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Symbolic Computation with Maple V for Undergraduate Electromagnetics

Irina Munteanu, Member, IEEE, and Daniel Ioan, Member, IEEE


Abstract - Although symbolic analysis has been successfully used as an educational tool for mathematics, circuits, signals and systems courses, its value in electrical engineering education is still a controversial issue.

The paper presents the use of symbolic computation in electromagnetics, where the complexity of the involved mathematics often prevents the students from understanding the underlying physical aspects. The educational strategy we propose is complementary to the numerical approach. It is based on actual symbolic calculation of electromagnetic field, not just on field visualization.

An example of a Maple V worksheet dedicated to the computation of magnetic field with the Biot-Savart-Laplace method (BSL) is presented. The worksheet contains a theoretical introduction, 8 solved problems (equations, text and plots) and 12 proposed projects.

After going through several solved problems, the students are asked to make changes in the worksheet and to discuss the results. They are finally required to conceive their own worksheets for solving new proposed problems, using the BSL worksheet as a model.

Our experience shows that the symbolic computation has an outstanding educational potential not only in mathematics, circuits and systems, but also in electromagnetics.

The CD-ROM contains the HTML, PostScript and Maple V version 4 formats of the BSL worksheet.


Please click here to proceed with the paper


Acknowledgments

This work was supported in part by the Romanian Ministry of Education in the frame of the World Bank Project CNFIS 24354/99 ``Symbolic Analysis in Electrical and Electronic Education''.


Author Contact Information

Irina Munteanu*
Numerical Methods Laboratory
Electrical Engineering Department
"Politehnica" University of Bucharest
Spl. Independentei 313
77206 Bucharest
Romania
Phone: +40-1-410-6984
Fax: +40-1-411-1190
E-mail: irina@lmn.pub.ro

Daniel Ioan
Numerical Methods Laboratory
Electrical Engineering Department
"Politehnica" University of Bucharest
Spl. Independentei 313
77206 Bucharest
Romania
Phone: +40-1-410-6984
Fax: +40-1-411-1190
E-mail: daniel@lmn.pub.ro


Author Biographies

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Irina Munteanu (S'92-M'95) received the M.Sc. and PhD degrees from ``Politehnica'' University of Bucharest, Romania.

She is an Associate Professor at the Electrical Engineering Department of the same university. Currently, she teaches courses on numerical methods, electromagnetic waves and professional communication techniques.

Her main academic interests are in computer-aided engineering education, and the research interests include electromagnetic field modeling and simulation, reduced order models for distributed-parameter systems, absorbing boundary conditions, and high-performance computing.

She authored/coauthored more than 40 papers and 3 textbooks, and was nominated for the 1998 Prize of the Romanian Academy - Technical Science Section.




pictures/ioan.jpg


Daniel Ioan (M'78) received his MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest in 1970 and 1979, respectively. Since 1970, he has been actively engaged in teaching and research at ``Politehnica'' University of Bucharest where he is currently Professor of Electrical Engineering. His main professional interests are in computer aided electrical engineering, high performance computing, and computer aided engineering education. He is founder of Numerical Method Laboratory and president of Computer Aided Electrical Engineering Research Center at "Politehnica" University. Initiator of many educational and research international projects and conferences. Chairman on IEEE Romanian Section 1997 - 1998.


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