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Interactive Software for Undergraduate Electromagnetics

S. Broschat
John Schneider
Organization: Washington State University
Frank Hastings
Organization: Washington State University
Mark Steeds
Organization: Washington State University
Journal / Anthology

IEEE Transactions on Education
Year: 1993
Volume: 36
Issue: 1
Page range: 123-126

To demonstrate the relationship between physical reality and the equations used in electromagnetics, we have created interactive software using Mathematica with its "notebook" capability. This software is composed of different notebooks, each covering a specific topic, which are collectively called EM Notebooks. The notebooks are used in a workstation laboratory of 12 NeXT computers in conjunction with our two required junior-level courses in electromagnetics. Each notebook consists of text, equation, and graphics. The equations are actually Mathematica commands which are used to evaluate electromagnetic formulas found in a typical undergraduate electromagnetics textbook. Equation parameters can be changed by a student, permitting examinations of an unlimited number of examples. In addition, much of the graphics can be animated. The animations provide a pedagogic tool unavailable in traditional textbooks; they have proven valuable in illustrating dynamic processes and parametric dependence in a function. EM Notebooks are not restricted to NeXT workstations; however, they must be used on a computer that runs Mathematica with the notebook facility.

*Engineering > Electrical Engineering