May 2014

Letter from the Editor
John Booske, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dear ECEDHA Members, Industry Partners, and Colleagues,

Use of instructional technology (IT) for higher education has received extensive attention in the last few years, largely for its prospect to improve access to college-level learning at a distance via MOOCs. However, as articulated in Stanford University's Professor of Computer Science and Coursera Co-Founder Daphne Koller's article, the highest quality learning impact exists in the classrooms of resident college students via the flipped or inverted classroom pedagogy. >> Read more

Current Views
Barry Sullivan
Barry Sullivan, ECEDHA
All the World's a Stage for Engineers, Too


Time Magazine came out with their 2014 list of the 100 Most Influential People a couple weeks ago, something they have been doing annually since 1999.  Flipping through the magazine, I was happy to see engineers like Tony Fadell of Nest (BS in computer engineering from the University of Michigan) and Jeff Bezos of Amazon (BS in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University) included for doing what engineers do, using their technical knowledge to create valuable products and services.  Of course, the list included many more athletes, entertainers, and politicians than engineers. >> Read more

Featured Articles
The Flipped ECE Classroom

By Cynthia Furse, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Utah
One of the most promising and transformative trends in STEM education is the 'Flipped Classroom'. Instead of lectures in class and homework out of class, students watch video lectures prior to class. The in class face-to-face (F2F) time can then be used for active and engaged problem solving, usually working with peers, guided by the professor. A variety of literature in engineering shows that students learn as well or better than in a traditional classroom. It helps them better prepare for assignments and exams and can accommodate a variety of student learning styles and special needs. >> Read more


Blended Learning for Circuits and Electronics

By Kenneth A. Connor, Professor, Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  


As I near the end of my 40th year as a professor of electrical and computer engineering, I remain excited about teaching electronics to engineering students. It would be natural to expect at least a little burnout at this advanced point in my career but I find I am having more fun than ever because we now have some amazing new tools available and, through a fortuitous series of recent experiences, I am meeting more and more remarkable teachers from ECE departments throughout the US, Canada and the world who want to fundamentally change the way our students learn about and with electronics. 


Digital Natives: A Defense of the Internet Community

By Daphne Koller, Professor, Computer Science, Stanford University and Co-Founder, Coursera  


Adapted from an article originally published in the New York Times.

The use of technology in higher education is a movement that is bound to have its detractors, but in response to concerns about the replacement of a community-based physical classroom with a cold, interaction-free digital one, I'd like to call out two important perspectives. First, when we discuss the role of digital media within the context of education reform, we do not want to confound forward technological progress with a rejection of all that came before us. Second, we must leverage, not fight against, the changing tide of the preferences of a new generation - the digital natives. >> Read More

Sponsored Article

The Demise or Renaissance of Classic Control

By Tom Lee PhD., Chief Education Officer, Quanser; Adjunct Professor, Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo

At the 2014 ECEDHA Conference, held in Napa, Quanser conducted a focus group on the future of the conventional control systems lab. Quanser is well known for its motion systems and plants used in a wide range of control teaching and research applications. The objective of this focus group was to explore the future of rigorous, analytical control analysis and design techniques that we have taught, and continue to teach, since the mid twentieth century, in the face of more contemporary application fields such as mechatronics, robotics, and embedded systems. >> Read more
ECE in the News
Typecast at Work, Actor Finds a New Role in a Tech Job
By Sue Shellenbarger (April 16, 2014, The Wall Street Journal)
Actors and other artists are often seen as lacking in technical skills and can end up being pigeonholed in sales or customer-service roles. Seton Brown, a part-time actor and former college acting instructor, was stuck in a customer-service job, but rebranded himself as an engineer. Here's how he pulled it off. >> Read more
Growing Interest in STEM 
By Kareem Burney (April 9, 2014, The Baltimore Sun)

The dearth of women and certain minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields represents a huge problem within this country and is a crisis often repeated in the news today. These stories often provide the same problem and, more often than not, suggest the same solution: that the education system must improve to better provide STEM skills to minorities before college.
>> Read more 


Hooked on Science & Engineering
By Bruce Swanson, Technical Marketing Engineer, Mentor Graphics (April 14, 2014, EE Times)

When I was growing up, I wanted to become an architect. I like to design and build things and am pretty good at 2D to 3D visualization. I took drafting and architectural design "shop" classes in high school where we worked with pencils, paper, triangles, and a T-square. I sure wish those opportunities were still more available in schools today for students to learn and explore. >> Read more 


Recruiting the Next Generation of STEM Employees
By Delece Smith-Barrow (April 28, 2014, US News & World Report)

How can companies find the next generation of engineers, production workers, and team leaders that will be innovative and create new products? By fostering internship programs, creating community partnerships, collaborating with universities and other initiatives that reach the youngest Lego fan to Ph.D. students. >> Read more 


Special Announcements
Have you renewed your ECEDHA membership?
2014 Membership Renewal is now underway!

2014 ECEDHA membership renewal for ECEDHA department heads is now underway. ECEDHA membership runs on a calendar year beginning January 1 - December 31.


Renew your membership today to keep receiving ECEDHA membership benefits including:

  • Access to the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo  
  • Complimentary registration for ECEDHA's NEW! ECE Webinars  
  • The opportunity to participate in the ECEDHA Annual Survey, a valuable tool in benchmarking your organization in lab and office space, faculty and department head salaries, research budgets, student retention, graduation rates, and much more.  
  • Access to specialized workshops held throughout the calendar year  
  • Complimentary job posting service via the ECEDHA website  
  • And much more!  
For questions, please contact Michelle Klein at or 312-559-3724.  
Corporate Features
ECE Spotlight

Captured live at the 2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference, ECE Spotlight Sessions offer the opportunity to view short corporate presentations and to learn more about what these companies can offer you.

Featured ECE Spotlight Session:

Presenter: Amirpasha Javid, Application Engineer, Quanser 
ECE Perspectives
ECE Perspectives offer in-depth interviews with leading industry executives.
Featured ECE Perspective:
Tom Lee Ph.D. 
Chief Education Officer 


Produced by: 


In This Issue
Calendar of Events
March 13, 2015
ABET Workshop
Presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
March 13-17, 2015
2015 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
The Westin Hilton Head Island
Hilton Head, South Carolina

Save the Date!


2015 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo


March 13-17, 2015

The Westin Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head, South Carolina



Regional News
Southwest (SWECEDHA) Regional Breakfast Meeting Minutes
March 22, 2014
>> View Minutes

ECEDHA Member and Partner News

Workshop: How to Engineer Engineering Education

July 23-25, 2014; Bucknell University 


For the 13th consecutive year, faculty from Bucknell University are proud to offer this hands on workshop for engineering and science faculty and graduate students to enhance their teaching by:


Writing clear instructional objectives at appropriate cognitive levels


Using active, cooperative, and problem-based learning


Teaching teamwork and problem solving skills


Assessing learning outcomes


>> View more information

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