The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association                                                                           March  2018
Letter from the Editor
Badri Roysam,
University of Houston
Dear ECEDHA Members, Industry Partners, and Colleagues,

The exuberance of Electrical and Computer Engineering is evident in the daily breakthroughs our faculty and students make, and will be on display at the upcoming  ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo.

This year's conference includes an event featuring ECE makerspaces. Increasingly, ECE creations are playing a central role in modern makerspaces. In this issue of ECE  Source, we are delighted to feature a report from the ECEDHA makerspace working group written by Prof. Shawn Jordan. Robots continue to be favorites at makerspaces, and we are pleased to feature a report from the ECEDHA Robotics Working Group led by Prof. Zhihua Qu. The field of robotics is itself going through yet another revolution, and we are pleased to feature an article about Robot Swarms from Aaron Becker. Finally, we recognize that great textbooks written by eminent and caring thought leaders lay the intellectual foundation for our students and future faculty. We are especially pleased to feature a new initiative led by Prof. Fawwaz Ulaby at the University of Michigan that brings high-quality textbooks for free to our students and faculty.

Featured Articles
Zhihua Qu
Zhihua Qu,
University of Central Florida
Robotics Working Group Report

This column provides a report of the ECEDHA Robotics Working Group and its recent activities.

History and Mission
Through its initiatives of vision, advocacy and outreach, ECEDHA desires to build a network of partners whose activities will give ECE more visibility to future student, their parents, and general public. In March 2017, ECEDHA Board established the Robotics Working Group to advance ECEDHA engagements in STEM activities and attract better and more students to ECE.

Shawn Jordan,
Arizona State University
Makerspace Working Group Report

This column provides a report of the recent activities of the ECEDHA Makerspace Working Group.

Goals
The goals of the ECEDHA Makerspace Working Group are to (1) promote an understanding of the benefits that Making and Makerspaces bring to the ECE community, (2) facilitate conversations on how Making can support the ECE brand, and (3) create a robust network of ECE Making supporters, including administrators, chairs, industry representatives, staff, and students.

Aaron Becker, University of Houston
Robot Swarms are Here!

Now is the time to use swarms for teaching, research, and competitions. The confluence of high-compute-power commodity microprocessors and miniature sensors for mobile phones coupled with code and algorithm sharing and a thriving consumer electronics market, has made it easier than ever to get a swarm into your classroom or lab.

First off, the term "robot swarm" is commonly used to describe a multirobot system whose capability is more a function of the number of robots rather than the complexity of the individual units. This short article high-lights several activities in the field. The first is open software, best represented by the Robot Operating System http://www.ros.org/. This has evolved into a defacto standard for robotic software, and http://robots.ros.org/ lists 120 robot brands that use ROS.

Fawwaz Ulaby, University of Michigan
Free Electrical Engineering Textbook Initiative

Textbook Price Spiral
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the 15-year period between 1998 and 2013, the composite (all items) consumer price index (CPI) increased by 44%. Over the same time period, the CPI for college textbooks increased by more than threefold, to 142.5% (Figure 1). This large deviation between the composite rate of inflation and the rate of inflation for textbooks started in the early 1980s: 240% over the past 30 years for all items, compared with 800% for textbooks. A student who paid $30 for a typical college textbook in 1988 now pays $240 for it.

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Conference Corner
Last Chance to Register for the 
2018 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo!
  
March 16-20, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey in
Monterey, California


Join us this month for the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECE xpo, the largest gathering of ECE department heads from throughout the United States and Canada.

This year's program is hosted by San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and University of California, Santa Cruz. Join us  March 16-20, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey in Monterey, CA.





Corporate Features
ECE Insights

ECE Insights offer in-depth interviews with leading industry executives.

Featured ECE Insights:
In This Issue
Calendar of Events
March 16, 2018
ABET Workshop
Presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference
Hyatt Monterey - Monterey, CA
March 16, 2018
Leadership Workshop
Presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference
Hyatt Monterey - Monterey, CA
March 16, 2018
New Chairs Workshop
Presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference
Hyatt Monterey - Monterey, CA
March 16-20, 2018
ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECE xpo
Hyatt Monterey - Monterey, CA
On Demand Webinar
Rethinking Electronics Fundamentals
Sponsored by National Instruments
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by Keysight Technologies
On Demand Webinar
In Partnership with National Instruments, ISTEC, LACCEI, and Tecnol├│gico de Monterrey
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by COMSOL
On Demand Webinar
Sponsored by National Instruments
ECEDHA Member and Partner News
2018 IEEE Educational Activities Board Awards

Please consider nominating a colleague or deserving individual for one of EAB's prestigious awards.

Deadline: May 7, 2018

>> Learn more

At the ECE Source, we strive to cover topics that are relevant and timely to ECE  department heads.  We welcome your comments, feedback, and suggestions of topics t o cover in our next issue.  Thank you.