Preface

2001 CDROM Supplement

 

This issue of the IEEE Transactions on Education is the fourth issue to include a Rapid Publication Supplement, which contains 21 contributions on an accompanying CD-ROM. Only the summaries of the contributions on the CD-ROM appear in the printed portion of this issue, so the reader may easily select papers to view from the CD-ROM. This approach grew out of experience gained in publishing the August 1996 special issue on the application of information technologies to engineering and science education by guest editors Marion O. Hagler and William M. Marcy. The IEEE Education Society embarked on this experiment believing that technology offered a unique opportunity to present multimedia material through this unique publication medium. We have continued this effort to afford our authors a forum to present innovations in education using multimedia presentations and the Internet. Details about the publication process are given in the August 1996 issue in a contribution entitled The Making of the Special Issue on the Application of Information Technologies to Engineering and Science Education and in the November 1997 issue in a contribution entitled Publication of Archival Journals Accompanied by CD-ROMS.

This issue of the CD-ROM Supplement also has five papers selected from the 1999 International Conference on Engineering and Computer Education held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 11-14, 1999. Hugo Hernandez Figuerora was general chair of that very successful conference and asked that we include some of the best papers in this issue of the CDROM Supplement. Hugo selected five papers which have been included as a supplement to our normal papers. We hope that you enjoy theses papers as well.

We would like to thank the many reviewers worldwide who responded to our call for reviews of papers. The ability to provide reviewers from all countries with papers electronically greatly facilitated rapid reviews of many of the papers contained on the CD-ROM. Review forms were also returned electronically, edited and mailed to the authors for a rapid turnaround for publication.

In this issue of the CD-ROM Supplement, we are pleased to bring you several papers that highlight computer-based tools for use in various stages of an electrical and/or computer engineering curriculum. To highlight a few, Learning Microcontrollers with a CAI-Oriented Multi-Micro Simulation Environment, by Alfredo del Rio, Juan Jose Rodriguez-Andina, and Andres A. Nogueiras-Melendez, presents a simulation environment for laboratory experiences with microcontrollers. In Developing Educational Software for Mechatronics Simulation, Takasi Kenjo, Tatsuya Kikuchi, and Masatoshi Kubo describe a timely set of software tools for simulating a variety of examples in mechatronics. Brian L. F. Daku discusses a computer-based tutorial for familiarizing students with the MATLAB environment in his paper Development of an Interactive CDROM-based Tutorial for Teaching MATLAB.

We are also pleased to bring you several papers on various experiences in Web-based education. In Simulators over the Network Martin Llamas, Luis Anido, and Manuel J. Fernandez introduce SimulNet, a Java-based environment facilitating distance education. Monson H. Haves and Michael Mayercik discuss the delivery of graduate-level electrical engineering courses between the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta and the Georgia Tech campus in Lorraine (France), in Distance Learning Across the Atlantic. In their paper Remote Laboratory for a Brushless DC Motor, Tatsuya Kikuchi, Takashi Kenjo, and Shuichi Fukuda report on investigations into remote -learning methods for mechatronics education. Java Applets for Microelectronics Education, by Ralph M. Ford, Jonathan Bondzie, and Paul Kitcho, describes a library of online courseware for microelectronics instruction. Sunny S. J. Lin, Eric Zhi-Feng, and Shyan-Ming Yuan present a Web-based peer assessment system called NetPeas in their paper Web-based peer assessment: Does Attitude Influence Achievement?

The CD-ROM for the Rapid Publication Supplement is best viewed with WWW browsers that support HTML 4.0, such as contemporary versions of browsers from Netscape and Microsoft. Routine installation of HTML 4.0 browsers does not necessarily install all fonts required to view the Greek and mathematical characters that are part of HTML 4.0. In Windows, some of the necessary fonts are included, for example, if the "Multilanguage Support" components are chosen in "Windows Setup". You can test your browser with sample files available on the WWW, for example, at http://www-dsed.llnl.gov/documents/WWWtest.html. While the CD-ROMs for the August 1996 and November 1997 issues complied with the cross-platform ISO 9660 format to allow them to be read by browsers running on any of the popular operating systems for desktop machines, the CD-ROM for this issue moves beyond ISO 9660 to allow the long file names necessary for Java Applets. The special hybrid format relies on the Joliet File system for Windows, the rock Ridge Extension for UNIX and the HFS for Macintosh operating systems. As with the ISO 9660 standards, each file is visible on each platform although there are not multiple versions of each file on the CD-ROM. Windows 3.x views the hybrid CD-ROM as a simple ISO 9660 disk and truncates the long file names. With Windows 3.x, therefore, links to files with long names seem broken, and Java applets will not function. With UNIX systems that do not recognize the Rock Ridge Extension, a default setting when the CD-ROM drive is mounted may cause all UPPER CASE file names on the CD-ROM to be converted to lower case automatically. The resulting inconsistency in case with the upper case file names in the HTML documents causes links to fail. The remedy is to add a "nomaplcase" switch to the UNIX "mount" command. Refer to UNIX references for details.

We suggest that you begin exploring the CD-ROM by opening the file BEGIN.HTM that resides in the root directory. This file presents a table of contents that includes the title, authors, key words and requirements for best viewing of the manuscript. In some cases, the reader will want to be connected to the Internet when viewing a manuscript so that hyperlinks can be activated. The titles are hyperlinked to the initial HTML document for each contribution on the CD-ROM. The names of authors are hyperlinked to their contact information, which appears below the table in this document. The contact information for authors includes hyperlinks to personal home pages, institutional home pages and personal e-mail address.

You can use the Find function in your browser to search the table of contents document for a particular word, whether that word is the name of an author, a keyword, a word in a title, or a word in the address or affiliation of an author. Because a search with the browser Find function can span only a single HTML document, the browser cannot conduct a full-text search of the CD-ROM. If you find such a search important, you must use platform-specific tools to search for particular text strings on the CD-ROM. In Windows, for example, the Windows Explorer offers such capability.

The files for each contribution are located in a separate directory or folder on the CD-ROM. The numbers of the directories correspond to the order of the papers in the printed portion of the Rapid Publication Supplement and are listed in the table of contents document. An alternative approach to viewing the files on the CD-ROM is to open the file BEGIN.HTM that appears in the directory corresponding to a contribution. This file is the starting page suggested by the author for viewing the files in that directory. A link Return to the Table of Contents lies near the top and bottom of each such page, as an aid to navigation of the CD-ROM. By clicking on the directory number hyperlink in the table of contents, all files in that directory, including BEGIN.HTM, should be displayed in a file and directory listing. Thus, you can open any file type that your browser is configured to accommodate by clicking on the file name.

The editors express our sincere appreciation to the contributors and reviewers for their patience, suggestions and understanding as we struggled to compile this issue. A special note of thanks is extended to the IEEE Transactions on Education office assistant who helped put this together. Ms. Yan Yan spent many hours working with authors to help load electronic manuscripts onto our server and in writing the code for the CD-ROM. We hope you find the papers in the CD-ROM Supplement useful as we will continue to adjust to changing ways of delivering and enhancing instruction.

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James J. Sluss, Jr.
Associate Editor for Rapid Publication Supplement
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering
The University of Oklahoma
sluss@ou.edu

Ted E. Batchman
Editor-in-Chief
IEEE Transactions on Education
batch_t@unr.edu