Experiential learning of complex engineered systems in the context of wireless sensor networks

Paul G Flikkema, Jeff Frolik, Carol Haden, Tom Weller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a strong need for the reform of engineering education in order to prepare students for one of the great challenges of this century: to understand highly complex problems ranging from health care to geoengineering and to synthesize the necessarily complex-engineered solutions for them. A multi-university NSF-sponsored collaboration has implemented a modular, web-enhanced course that aims to develop the systems-thinking skills necessary to tackle these problems in the specific context of the engineering of environmental wireless sensor networks (WSNs). As part of this effort, we have developed and are currently testing hands-on experiments that introduce students to the range of engineering skills that are the foundation of WSN engineering. These experiments are based on two platforms: (1) a development board that can be used with a plug-in microcontroller/radio module to prototype simple WSN nodes and (2) a powerful circuit- and system-level simulator. The development board, which we call CLIO, facilitates team-based student projects that can integrate sensors, embedded computing, energy management and wireless communications. The CLIO hardware and software package includes the development board along with experiments that build upon each other. Experiments based on the simulator are complementary, allowing students to explore circuit- and systems-level wireless design parameters and the links between them. This paper describes the capabilities and suggested use for the development board, associated simulation projects, and supporting course material. We also present assessment results based on surveys and focus groups, conducted at two universities in Fall 2009. Two additional universities will be implementing the course with these experiments in Spring 2010. All hardware and software tools and extensive documentation, along with video-based course content, are available through the project website (www.uvm.edu/∼muse/). The CLIO boards are being distributed for beta testing at several universities; wider dissemination is being supported by the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2010

Fingerprint

Large scale systems
Wireless sensor networks
Students
Experiments
Simulators
Networks (circuits)
Energy management
Testing
Engineering education
Microcontrollers
Health care
Software packages
Computer hardware
Telecommunication links
Websites
Microwaves
Problem-Based Learning
Hardware
Communication
Sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

@article{7c17c40571134efea71f0567a40710b6,
title = "Experiential learning of complex engineered systems in the context of wireless sensor networks",
abstract = "There is a strong need for the reform of engineering education in order to prepare students for one of the great challenges of this century: to understand highly complex problems ranging from health care to geoengineering and to synthesize the necessarily complex-engineered solutions for them. A multi-university NSF-sponsored collaboration has implemented a modular, web-enhanced course that aims to develop the systems-thinking skills necessary to tackle these problems in the specific context of the engineering of environmental wireless sensor networks (WSNs). As part of this effort, we have developed and are currently testing hands-on experiments that introduce students to the range of engineering skills that are the foundation of WSN engineering. These experiments are based on two platforms: (1) a development board that can be used with a plug-in microcontroller/radio module to prototype simple WSN nodes and (2) a powerful circuit- and system-level simulator. The development board, which we call CLIO, facilitates team-based student projects that can integrate sensors, embedded computing, energy management and wireless communications. The CLIO hardware and software package includes the development board along with experiments that build upon each other. Experiments based on the simulator are complementary, allowing students to explore circuit- and systems-level wireless design parameters and the links between them. This paper describes the capabilities and suggested use for the development board, associated simulation projects, and supporting course material. We also present assessment results based on surveys and focus groups, conducted at two universities in Fall 2009. Two additional universities will be implementing the course with these experiments in Spring 2010. All hardware and software tools and extensive documentation, along with video-based course content, are available through the project website (www.uvm.edu/∼muse/). The CLIO boards are being distributed for beta testing at several universities; wider dissemination is being supported by the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.",
author = "Flikkema, {Paul G} and Jeff Frolik and Carol Haden and Tom Weller",
year = "2010",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings",
issn = "2153-5965",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Experiential learning of complex engineered systems in the context of wireless sensor networks

AU - Flikkema, Paul G

AU - Frolik, Jeff

AU - Haden, Carol

AU - Weller, Tom

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - There is a strong need for the reform of engineering education in order to prepare students for one of the great challenges of this century: to understand highly complex problems ranging from health care to geoengineering and to synthesize the necessarily complex-engineered solutions for them. A multi-university NSF-sponsored collaboration has implemented a modular, web-enhanced course that aims to develop the systems-thinking skills necessary to tackle these problems in the specific context of the engineering of environmental wireless sensor networks (WSNs). As part of this effort, we have developed and are currently testing hands-on experiments that introduce students to the range of engineering skills that are the foundation of WSN engineering. These experiments are based on two platforms: (1) a development board that can be used with a plug-in microcontroller/radio module to prototype simple WSN nodes and (2) a powerful circuit- and system-level simulator. The development board, which we call CLIO, facilitates team-based student projects that can integrate sensors, embedded computing, energy management and wireless communications. The CLIO hardware and software package includes the development board along with experiments that build upon each other. Experiments based on the simulator are complementary, allowing students to explore circuit- and systems-level wireless design parameters and the links between them. This paper describes the capabilities and suggested use for the development board, associated simulation projects, and supporting course material. We also present assessment results based on surveys and focus groups, conducted at two universities in Fall 2009. Two additional universities will be implementing the course with these experiments in Spring 2010. All hardware and software tools and extensive documentation, along with video-based course content, are available through the project website (www.uvm.edu/∼muse/). The CLIO boards are being distributed for beta testing at several universities; wider dissemination is being supported by the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.

AB - There is a strong need for the reform of engineering education in order to prepare students for one of the great challenges of this century: to understand highly complex problems ranging from health care to geoengineering and to synthesize the necessarily complex-engineered solutions for them. A multi-university NSF-sponsored collaboration has implemented a modular, web-enhanced course that aims to develop the systems-thinking skills necessary to tackle these problems in the specific context of the engineering of environmental wireless sensor networks (WSNs). As part of this effort, we have developed and are currently testing hands-on experiments that introduce students to the range of engineering skills that are the foundation of WSN engineering. These experiments are based on two platforms: (1) a development board that can be used with a plug-in microcontroller/radio module to prototype simple WSN nodes and (2) a powerful circuit- and system-level simulator. The development board, which we call CLIO, facilitates team-based student projects that can integrate sensors, embedded computing, energy management and wireless communications. The CLIO hardware and software package includes the development board along with experiments that build upon each other. Experiments based on the simulator are complementary, allowing students to explore circuit- and systems-level wireless design parameters and the links between them. This paper describes the capabilities and suggested use for the development board, associated simulation projects, and supporting course material. We also present assessment results based on surveys and focus groups, conducted at two universities in Fall 2009. Two additional universities will be implementing the course with these experiments in Spring 2010. All hardware and software tools and extensive documentation, along with video-based course content, are available through the project website (www.uvm.edu/∼muse/). The CLIO boards are being distributed for beta testing at several universities; wider dissemination is being supported by the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85029119030&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85029119030&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

JO - ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

JF - ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

SN - 2153-5965

ER -