Curriculum Integration Example
 

Example:  Multidisciplinary Applications of Spectral Analysis at the University of Alabama
At the University of Alabama (UA), Sally McInerny, associate professor of aerospace engineering and mechanics, and electrical engineering associate professors Harold Stern and Tim Haskew have developed a junior-level multidisciplinary laboratory course centered around industrial applications of dynamic data acquisition and analysis. "By using a team of professors to teach the course," says Stern, "we could show the students how professors work in teams. And by using professors from different disciplines, we could help the students see concepts from different perspectives and how different disciplines share common principles." The instructors designed the course to integrate topics in digital signal processing, communications, acoustics, vibrations, electric machines, and power. Multidisciplinary teams of aerospace, electrical, industrial, and mechanical engineering students develop a qualitative understanding of time and frequency domains. "Interdisciplinary interaction in upper-level lecture courses is helpful to students," says McInerny, "because it allows them to see some of the common principles and themes that run through all disciplines of engineering." Instructors use resources available via the Web and movies developed with MATLAB to help students develop a foundation for later work. With a conceptual foundation in place, students work to understand the breadth of possible applications, studying four laboratory modules: speech encoding and enhancement, machinery sound power measurement, machine condition monitoring, and motor condition monitoring. The course ends with a small design project.

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References for further information

  1. McInerny, S.A., Stern, H.P., and Haskew, T.A., "A Multidisciplinary Junior Level Course in Dynamic Data Acquisition," Proceedings, IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, November 1996, Salt Lake, UT.
  2. McInerny, S.A., Stern, H.P., and Haskew, T.A., "Industrial Application of Dynamic Data Acquisition and Analysis—Multidisciplinary Junior-Level Laboratory Course," Poster Paper, 1997 American Society for Engineering Education Conference and Exposition, 15–18 June 1997, Milwaukee, WI.
  3. McInerny, S.A., Stern, H.P., and Haskew, T.A., "Applications of Dynamic Data Analysis, " IEEE Transactions on Education, November 1999.
  4. Haskew, T.A., Stern, H.P., and McInerny, S.A., "Industrial Applications of Dynamic Data Acquisition—First Semester Experiences in a Multidisciplinary Laboratory Course," Proceedings, International Conference on Engineering Education, 14–15 August 1997, Chicago, IL, vol. II, pp. 512–521.