Georgia Institute of Technology Simplifies Teaching Circuit Theory with NI ELVIS, NI LabVIEW and NI Multisim

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"This combination of NI software and hardware for laboratory use has proven effective for reinforcing theoretical circuit design concepts. "

- Thomas E. Brewer, Georgia Institute of Technology

The Challenge:
Implementing a hands-on approach to teach theoretical electrical engineering concepts with real-world signals.

The Solution:
Using the NI ELVIS modular engineering education platform with NI LabVIEW and NI Multisim software to teach the theory and performance of circuits with real-world signals.

Author(s):
Thomas E. Brewer - Georgia Institute of Technology

Circuit simulation and measurement are fundamental to an understanding of passive and active circuits. To teach these concepts at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), one of the premier engineering education institutions in the world, we use tools from the National Instruments circuits teaching platform. With the NI ELVIS modular engineering education platform combined with LabVIEW and Multisim software, we teach circuit concepts in the ECE 3041 Instrumentation and Circuits Laboratory and the ECE 3042 Microelectronics Circuits Laboratory classes.

The ECE 3041 and 3042 courses are required for juniors in the electrical engineering and computer engineering degree programs. Enrollment is typically 150 students per semester. During the courses, the students acquire a thorough knowledge of passive and active circuits and the instrumentation used to evaluate their performance. With the flexibility and power of NI ELVIS, LabVIEW, and Multisim, students can simulate circuits before the lab and perform automated measurements to gain a deeper understanding of how circuits behave and the factors that affect it.

Simplifying Circuits Education for Students with the NI Circuits Teaching Platform

Students complete homework assignments by simulating circuits with Multisim and evaluating real-world circuit performance and characteristics using NI ELVIS and LabVIEW. Multisim is used to set limits on the possible performance of circuits while NI ELVIS, LabVIEW, and LabVIEW SignalExpress provide an understanding of the performance that can be obtained with actual physical components.

With its specific pedagogical features such as 3D NI ELVIS, interactive quizzes, and advanced analysis features, Multisim is an ideal tool for teaching circuit theory. NI ELVIS, with its 12 integrated instruments and compatibility with Multisim and LabVIEW, helps students build and measure the simulated circuits on a standard PC running the Windows operating system. Together, NI ELVIS, Multisim, and LabVIEW, reduce the time required for the teaching and laboratory process.

This combination of NI software and hardware for laboratory use has proven effective for reinforcing theoretical circuit concepts. Our students also respond favorably to using these tools. We believe that this equipment was a wise investment for the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and hope that we can continue to use this platform more in future classes.

 

Author Information:
Thomas E. Brewer
Georgia Institute of Technology
777 Atlantic Drive Georgia Tech-EE,
Atlanta, GA 30332-0250
United States
Tel: 404.894-8206
tom.brewer@ece.gatech.edu

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