Intuitive Electronics: A Problem-Solving Approach
To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk
Thomas Alva Edison
Electrical and electronic gadgets are all around us and form an integral part of our lives. To design innovative devices and solve problems, engineers need to have an understanding of the underlying physics and develop an intuition for circuits, circuit elements and their interactions, and connect these with the equations involved. Unfortunately, many students (even those who ace their electrical engineering exams) are unable to develop these capabilities, given the focus of the formal system. Successful engineers develop the required intuition over years by building circuits and experimenting with them, relating the results to the theory they have learnt and through critical questioning and reflection, deeply internalize the fundamental ideas of the domain.
The aim of this course is help students start the journey of becoming a good engineer by engaging in the practices successful engineers employ. Participants will be presented with circuits whose behaviour they will reverse engineer and interpret. They will also be presented with specific problems to solve for which they will need to come up with circuits. For example, students will design and build a burglar alarm, and as the course progresses, they will build in increasing sophistication to their original design. They will also use their learning to implement interactive circuit-based games where some form of physical input will be used to control parameters to satisfy conditions defined by the rules of the game. Challenges using 555 timers and possibly op-amps are also planned.
Throughout, students will develop an understanding of basic electrical quantities and components through experiments – using the components in basic circuits, measuring the associated electrical quantities, and visualising electrical behaviour through analogies to their mechanical equivalents. They will also learn about signals and waveforms and how these can be conditioned and filtered for various applications.
Note: A separate kit-fee of Rs. 5000 will be charged for this course.