September 2013
Letter from the Editor
Pritpal Singh

Pritpal Singh, 
Villanova University

Dear ECE faculty, Department Heads and Engineering Deans,

Welcome to the September issue of the ECE Source. I hope that you had a productive and relaxing summer. Mine involved significant travel throughout Central and South America. During my travels I visited several universities' engineering schools and it is very interesting to see how different universities approach engineering education slightly differently. For example, EIA (Escuela Ingenieria de Antiochia) in Medellin, Colombia has a combined electrical and mechanical engineering program in which students take common core courses and then follow tracks to get either an electric power or mechanical engineering specialization. >> Read more
Current Views
Barry Sullivan
Barry Sullivan, ECEDHA
It's that time of year. Back-to-school sales have come and gone, and big yellow buses are a familiar sight again in the neighborhood. The weather may be slow to get the news, but summer is over and school is back in session as far as students are concerned.

In my family's case, it was time to pack up our youngest and launch him on the college phase of his education. It's hard to know where this path will lead him, but I'm happy to say he is setting off on it as an engineering major. 
>> Read more
Featured Articles
The Academic World is Shrinking and the Cops Have Noticed: 10 Reasons to Focus on Export Controls Right Now
By J. Scott Maberry, Partner, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP; Robert F. Roach, Chief Compliance Officer, New York University; and Kristin L. Worman, Assistant General Counsel, Texas A&M University System
Export controls are as old as governments. But U.S. colleges and universities need to be especially careful now because of new realities of U.S. export controls. Electrical and Computer Engineering departments should take particular note because of the sensitive nature of some of the technologies you're developing. Perhaps you've already heard from your compliance personnel or your legal department on this important issue. This article suggests ten current realities on export controls, suggesting areas where a little bit of focus now might help avoid problems in the future. This article concludes with ten reasons to seek export control advice from your University's compliance or legal department. >> Read more

A Perspective on Building an Electrical Engineering Undergraduate Online Education Program
By Craig J. Scotta, Petronella Jamesa, Yacob Astatkea, Jumoke Ladeji-Osiasa, Farzad Moazzamia, Kofi Nyarkoia
aMorgan State University
Over the past three years, we have been investigating the use of inexpensive, highly portable instrumentation to facilitate our lab requirements. As a result of this enabling technology, an online program targeted toward completing the second two years of an undergraduate electrical engineering degree is being piloted at our institution. Nearly 109 students have participated in this study. A two-plus-two approach avoids the need for an institution wide conversion of all required courses. Special care must be taken, however, to assess a student's ability to work independently and to assess whether or not they have reasonable expectations of the degree of time management and persistence needed to satisfactorily complete their coursework online. In this article, we detail the curriculum changes, how the formats of both laboratory and non-laboratory courses were modified, and the process of recruiting and certifying faculty to teach these courses. >> Read more
ECE in the News
Computer scientists achieve 'iron wall' software obfuscation to protect IP
By Olivia Solon (July 31, 2013, WIRED)
A team of computer scientists at UCLA, IBM Research, and UT-Austin have designed a system to encrypt software that allows a person to use a program as intended while preventing the deciphering of the code behind it. This is the first time that "software obfuscation" has been accomplished. >> Read more
Master's Degree Is New Frontier of Study Online
By Tamar Lewin (August 17, 2013, The New York Times)
Next January, the Georgia Institute of Technology plans to offer a master's degree in computer science through massive open online courses for a fraction of the on-campus cost, a first for an elite institution. If it even approaches its goal of drawing thousands of students, it could signal a change to the landscape of higher education. >> Read more
Colleges, universities look to online programs to navigate an uncertain future
By Michael Vasquez (August 21, 2013, The Miami Herald)
Measured strictly by size, the University of Florida's recent Fundamentals of Human Nutrition class was a resounding success. The class, offered this past spring, was UF's first foray into the online trend of Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs. The class was open to anyone interested, from around the world, and more than 69,000 students signed up. >> Read more

The STEM Crisis Is a Myth
By Robert N. Charette (August 30, 2013, IEEE Spectrum)
You must have seen the warning a thousand times: Too few young people study scientific or technical subjects, businesses can't find enough workers in those fields, and the country's competitive edge is threatened. >> Read more

First Trial of Crowdsourced Grading for Computer Science Homework
(September 4, 2013, MIT Technology Review)
One of the most time-consuming aspects of teaching is grading homework assignments. So here's an interesting crowdsourcing tool from Luca de Alfaro and Michael Shavlovsky at the University of California Santa Cruz that switches the burden from the teacher to the students themselves. >> Read more

Special Announcement
Save the Date!
2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
March 21 - 25, 2014    Napa, California
Host Universities: 
ECEDHA is pleased to announce its 30th ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo. Join us in Napa, California as we celebrate 30 years of ECE leadership!

This special commemorative year promises one of the most exciting programs to date:
  • Hosted by the region's leading institutions: UC Berkeley, Santa Clara University, and Stanford University
  • Featured Keynote speakers from academia and leading corporations including Marvell Technology Group, UC-Berkeley, Stanford, Google Glass, and more!
  • Pre-Conference Online Education & Distributed Learning Workshop
  • Pre-Conference ABET Workshop
  • 45+ exhibitors showcasing the latest technologies and tools for ECE departments
  • ECE Spotlight and Industry Focus Group activities
  • Special Agilent Technologies off-site tour
  • 30th Anniversary Celebration and Festivities
Corporate Features
ECE Spotlight Sessions
Captured live at the 2013 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:


John Kikuchi, Agilent EEsof EDA University Program Manager, Agilent Technologies
ECEDHA Perspectives
ECEDHA Perspectives offer in-depth interviews with leading industry executives.
Featured ECEDHA Perspectives:


Clint Cole
Digilent, Inc.
Brad Ruzicka
Manager, Worldwide Analog Channel Marketing and SC Distribution Communications
Texas Instruments


Produced by: 

In This Issue
Calendar of Events
September 20-22, 2013
WECEDHA Regional Meeting
September 29-30, 2013
Canadian Regional Meeting
October 20-21, 2013
SWECEDHA Regional Meeting
November 15, 2013
ECEDHA Annual Survey OPEN for collection
January 1, 2014
Outstanding Leadership and Service Award Nomination Deadline
January 1, 2014
Innovative Program Award Nomination Deadline
January 1, 2014
Diversity Award Nomination Deadline
January 15, 2014
ECEDHA Annual Survey CLOSES for collection (all responses due)
March 21, 2014
Online Education and Distributed Learning Workshop
March 21, 2014
ABET Workshop
March 21-25, 2014
2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
The Meritage Resort & Spa
Napa, California
2013 ECEDHA Membership Renewal
2013 ECEDHA membership renewal for ECEDHA department heads is now underway. ECEDHA membership runs on a calendar year beginning January 1 - December 31.
If you have not yet renewed your 2013 membership, please do so today online.
For questions, please contact Michelle Klein at or 312-559-3724.
ECEDHA Welcomes its Newest Corporate Members
ECEDHA has established a Corporate Membership Program to strengthen the bonds between ECEDHA member institutions and leading industry organizations.
Please join us in welcoming our newest corporate members!

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  Interested in becoming an ECEDHA corporate member? Contact Kim Simpao at
Regional News
The ECEDHA Regional Groups are in the midst of planning their Fall Meetings. Additional details surrounding these meetings can be found below:
ECEDHA Member and Partner News
IEEE Smarter Planet Challenge
IBM and IEEE are in search of creative team based student projects that can help students at any level learn about applying engineering, science and other disciplines to solve real world problems. It's a great opportunity to put your engineering skills to use...and earn cash prizes too!
The competition is open to college/university students from all geographic locations. Student teams should have three to five members in any year of university study. At least one team member must be an IEEE member. 
>> Learn more
Digilent Announces the Digilent Design Contest 2014 and Winners of Design Contest 2013
Digilent Inc. proudly announces the Digilent Design Contest US 2014. The contest will be held on May 3rd and 4th in Brookly, NY. The contest is sponsored by the New York City College of Technology - CUNY, Digilent, ARM, and Xilinx. 
>> Learn more
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