Rebuild the core knowledge structure for higher electronic engineering education
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Rebuild the Core Knowledge Structure for Higher Electronic Engineering Education. Xiqin Wang EE, Tsinghua Univ. 2012.10.22. (WIIE, Beijing). Development of the Curricula in EE, TSHU.

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Rebuild the Core Knowledge Structure for Higher Electronic Engineering Education

Xiqin Wang

EE, Tsinghua Univ.


(WIIE, Beijing)

EE, Tsinghua University

Development of the Curricula in EE, TSHU

  • 1950s, exchange with former Soviet Union experts, under leadership of the founders of the department, setup the curricula.

    • Meng Zhaoying, Ph.D. 1936 from CIT

    • Chang Tong, MS 1943 from MIT, Ph.D. 1947 from Harvard

  • 1980s, exchange with American universities, courses and textbooks improved.

    • MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, etc.

  • Late 1990s-now, research on new curriculum, broader and deeper fundamentals.

EE, Tsinghua University

Academic Subjects of EE, TSHU

  • Communications and Information Systems

    • Telecommunication, Radar, Satellite positioning, Wireless sensor networks, etc.

  • Signal and Information Processing

    • Speech, Image, Video, Graphics, Remote-sensing, etc.

  • Electromagnetic Field and Microwave Technology

    • Devices, Antenna, EMC, etc.

  • Physical Electronics and Optoelectronics

    • Vacuum, thin film, LED, HEMT, semiconductor, laser, fiber, optical communication, optical signal processing, etc.

  • Information network and complex systems

    • Network, search engine, distributed information processing, etc.

  • Circuits and Systems

    • Low power ICs, SOC, SIP, etc.

EE, Tsinghua University

Benjamin Franklin

  • Art is long and time is short. (Mid 1700s)

EE, Tsinghua University

Balance the Curriculum

  • Research practice: ½ to 1 yr

  • Percentage of courses

    • Natural Sciences (& Math) ¼

    • Liberal arts & Social Sciences (& Physical Training) ¼

    • Major core & Electives (& Free Electives) ½

  • Conflicts between and in categories…

EE, Tsinghua University

What Is the Basic Conflict?

  • Go back into the history…

End of 20th Century


Cornell Univ.

Learning theory

Learning Sci

Curricula Design

Wilhelm von Humbolt

Berlin Univ.


Engineering Sciences


Major core/theory


Engineering Practice

the Enlightenment


Social Service


Extra-curricula Act

17-18th Century

Free Research


14-16th Century

Increasing & Increasing ...

Splitting & Splitting ...


Natural Sci/Math

3500-2000 B.C.




EE, Tsinghua University

Liberal Arts/Social Sci

Liberal arts & Sciences

Increasing knowledge VS. Limited Time


  • What to to?

    • Disciplines

    • Under/graduate/post

    • Extended Program

  • Limited Space

    • Wider/deeper major

    • Postn-doc? impossible

    • Hard to extend

  • What to teach?

    • Liberal arts/Social sci.

    • Natural Sci/Math

    • Practical training

    • Extra-curriculum act.

    • Engineering Sci.

  • Developing Sci. Eng.

    • More to teach

    • Still Increasing

EE, Tsinghua University

The Idea for Solution

A Story—— Fish is Fish

Three Theories

1. Pre-conception

2. Core-conception

3. Meta-cognition

EE, Tsinghua University

NAS,How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the Classroom,2005. .

Structure of a Subject

  • Bruner in “The Process of Education”

    • Understanding fundamentals makes a subject more comprehensible.

    • Unless detail is placed into a structured pattern, it is rapidly forgotten.

    • An understanding of fundamental principles and ideas appears to be the main road to adequate “transfer of training.”

    • By constantly reexamining material taught in elementary and secondary schools for its fundamental character, one is able to narrow the gap between “advanced" knowledge and “elementary” knowledge.

EE, Tsinghua University


  • Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    • Achievements that share these two characteristics I shall henceforth refer to as 'paradigms,'

      • The achievement was sufficiently unprecedented to attract an enduring group of adherents away from competing modes of scientific activity.

      • Simultaneously, it was sufficiently open-ended to leave all sorts of problems for the redefined group of practitioners to resolve.

EE, Tsinghua University

Rebuild Core-Conception of EE (2009)

EE, Tsinghua University

Curriculum Design

Media & Cognition

Communication & Networks

Data & Algorithms

Digital Logic & CPU

Computer Languages

& Programming

Electronic Circuits & Systems


Statistics & Stochastic Process

Signals & Systems

Solid Physics

EE, Tsinghua University


1. J. R. STEPP, Prospectus for Information Ecology, Georgia Journal of Ecological Anthropology, Vol.3, pp38-54, 1999.

2. 北京高校党校协作组组编,《高等教育概论》,北京师范大学出版社,2003。

3. M. S. Donovan, J.D. Bransford, and J. W. Pellegrino, editors, How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice, National Academy Press, 1999.

4. A.Y. Kolb, D.A. Kolb, Learning Styles and Learning Spaces: A Review of the Multidisciplinary Application of Experiential Learning Theory in Higher Education, in Learning styles and learning: A key to meeting the accountability demands in education, Nova Publishers, 2006.

5. J. S. Bruner, The Process of Education, 1960, Harvard Univ. Press

6. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962, University of Chicago.

EE, Tsinghua University


EE, Tsinghua University

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