Research

At the 2017 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, I published the results of a comparison of lab kits using the control systems laboratory framework (CSLF) that I published earlier this year in the IEEE Transactions on Education. The paper also includes a suggested process for using the CSLF in new laboratory development (see photo above).  The full paper can be accessed in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library.

Read more: Applying a common framework to develop undergraduate control systems laboratory kits

At the 2017 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, I published a paper about teaching assistants (TAs). The observations about the influence of TAs in the laboratory emerged from the laboratory equipment study that I conducted during my dissertation. Based on student comments during the original study, the TAs had an impact on the learning environment in the laboratory.   The full paper can be accessed in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library.

Read more: The influence of teaching assistants in an undergraduate engineering laboratory course

During my dissertation, I surveyed control systems faculty, laboratory staff, and industry professionals to determine common aspects of undergraduate control systems instructional laboratories. Through two different survey techniques, I defined the most common learning objectives, concepts, and components of a laboratory apparatus. The results of this study were recently published in IEEE Transactions on Education. The full paper can be downloaded from IEEE Explore.

Read more: Common Learning Objectives for Undergraduate Control Systems Instructional Laboratories

At the 2017 SWE Annual Conference (WE17), I presented a session that included strategies for using technology to organize your artifacts for promotion and tenure.  My presentation was based on data collected in a survey of other faculty members and my own experience. 

Read more: Strategies for using technology to organize a promotion and tenure portfolio

The technical details of my laboratory kit for control systems were published in the Raspberry Pi special edition of Electronics.  This article also includes the newly added Furuta Inverted Pendulum attachment for the kit.  The open access paper can be found on the Electronics website.

Read more: Developing an Affordable and Portable Control Systems Laboratory Kit with a Raspberry Pi

I created a video demonstration of my control systems laboratory kit to help expand the reach of the new possibilities of instructional laboratories with low-cost hardware.

Read more: Video of Control Systems Laboratory Kit

At the 2015 IEEE Frontiers in Education conference, I presented the preliminary analysis of the quantitative data we collected about a laboratory kit during the 2014-2015 school year.  During both semesters, half of the GE 320 laboratory sections used our new kit (treatment) and the other half used the existing equipment (baseline).  In this preliminary analysis, we determined that we could not detect a difference in performance on exams between the treatment and baseline groups.  The full paper can be found on the IEEE Explore website.

Read more: Assessing an affordable and portable laboratory kit in an undergraduate control systems course

The first phase of my dissertation research is to create a laboratory kit that can be used in the introduction to controls course in General Engineering (GE).  I have included a description of the course, the existing equipment, the contents of the kit, and a comparison of the laboratory exercises below.

Read more: GE320 Laboratory Kit Development

Each year the Academy for Excellence in Engineering Education (AE3) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers Grants for the Advancement of Teaching Engineering (GATE).  Professor Sreenivas (my advisor) and I were awarded funding use the GE320 laboratory kit in the fall semester of 2014.

This will give us the opportunity to conduct a quasi-experiment in GE320 laboratory sections this fall.  The control group will be four of the scheduled lab sections of GE320 in the fall semester of 2014.  These sections will use the lab equipment that is currently being used in the course.  The subject group will be the remaining three of the laboratory sections.  These sections will use a laboratory kit instead of the existing equipment.  Even though the kit is designed to be portable, in this study the kit will be used during schedule laboratory sessions in the same room as the other sections.  The laboratory experiments in this course are designed to reinforce topics learned in lecture and give students the opportunity to practice what they have learned.  I will measure how well each group achieves the course objectives to ensure the kit helps the students at least as well as the existing equipment before proceeding with further development of the kit.

All GATE recipients for the 2014-15 school year

Read more: Grant for teaching engineering awarded

This year I applied to the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.  I received an honorable mention in the field of engineering education.  The reviewers provided some very positive and supportive comments on my research proposal. 

News story on Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering website

All 2014 awardees

Read more: GRFP Honorable Mention

My first peer-reviewed publication will be a poster at this summer’s American Society of Engineering Education Annual conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The poster covers the content and development of the GE320 kit.

Read more: Research poster to be presented at ASEE Annual Conference in June

At the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Region H Conference this year I was able to present my dissertation research for the first time.  Graduate Student Rapid Fire pretentions comprised one session of the conference and gave five graduate students the opportunity to present their research to a diverse audience and receive feedback.  Members of the audience, including professors from Michigan Tech (the host school), SWE Leaders, and other interested volunteers were provided feedback forms to give to the presenters at the end of the session.

Read more: 3 lessons from giving a short presentation

MATLAB Code for Lab Kit

The MATLAB and Simulink files for my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.

3D Models for Lab Kit

The instructions for experiments using my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.

Experiments for Lab Kit

The instructions for experiments using my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.