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ECE 465 Teaching Philosophy

ECE 465 Teaching Philosophy

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ECE 465 Teaching Philosophy

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  1. ECE 465Teaching Philosophy Shantanu Dutt ECE Dept. UIC

  2. Teaching Philosophy • Four Pillars: • In-depth understanding of basic/fundamental principles: Besides understanding of fundamental issues, this also allows you to derive more complex results w/o blind memorization (you can only memorize so many things, but you can certainly understand and thus remember basic principles, which are fewer in number • Analytical and thinking-based approach: Understand the why of various techniques, besides the how and what. Pursue the material to understand designs’ or design techniques’ pros and cons in depth, and explore alternative solutions • Mathematical approach: Will also mathematically analyze various metrics (e.g., runtime complexity, hardware complexity/cost, delay) of design techniques and designs. Will also prove properties of designs and design techniques (correctness theorems, etc.). • Pursue excellence in whatever we do, and success will follow us

  3. Corollaries of Teaching Philosophy • Problem solving (designing stuff) to be stressed • Analysis and theoretical point-of-view to be stressed • Interesting and challenging homeworks: • Theoretically/mathematically oriented Qs, along w/ design oriented ones • Interesting and challenging projects—will test your problem solving skills, and your abilities to: • Design stuff in a formal/theoretically-oriented manner (as opposed to ad hoc) • Analyze your design • Use CAD tools to design circuits and to simulate them • Write well-organized scholarly reports • No multiple choice Qs in HWs or exams • Rote memorization undesirable and useless • Pattern matching undesirable and useless • Exams are fair and test your in-depth understanding of material, and based on this understanding, your ability to solve problems, design circuits and prove theoretical results • Exams will not be rewordings of homework problems with different numbers

  4. Advantages of Teaching Philosophy • You can become a thinking and darn good engineer! • The intellectual/theoretical treatment of the material will tune your mind to think problems through, which will be beneficial to you in all fields • Do you know, for example, why top-rated boxers do a lot of runnning for months before a title fight? • Ans: To increase muscle strength and stamina that will be useful for boxing 15 rounds, not for running • Similarly, a good dose of intellectual thought on ECE 465 material, will build your “mental muscles”, allowing you to excel in other areas, including of course digital design (even though you may not prove theorems in your job, your mental muscles will have been built up by doing them in ECE 465, and possibly other courses, and this can help you be a good and skilled engineer) • Today’s high-tech careers involves complex problem solving, and the type of issues we will stress in ECE 465, will allow you to excel in your future high-tech job and career

  5. Should you take this course? • You should take this course if: • You are comfortable with the teaching philosophy outlined • You like (or think can begin to like) intellectual thinking • Find complex topics interesting • Like solving challenging problems • Like somewhat mathematical treatment of material • Achievement of complex tasks gives you internal satisfaction • This may not be a course to your liking if: • You only like easy things • You only like being taught a craft (what to do, how to do), but could not care less about the scientific/mathematical underpinnings of the craft • You do not like to work hard for courses • Achievement of complex tasks does not give you much internal satisfaction • Do note what President Kennedy had said, I think, wrt to the mission of landing men on the moon (to paraphrase):“We should do things not because they are easy, but because they are hard” • If you belong to the 1st (top) category, you will have fun in this course