Development, Testing and Dissemination of Dynamic Visual Learning Tools for Solid State Materials
Chu Wie Principal Investigator
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The goal of this project is to develop, test and disseminate interactive dynamic and visual simulation software modules in solid state materials. The visual simulation programs will be developed using the Java programming language. They are to help students visualize difficult physical processes and to demonstrate the operating principles of solid state devices. The modules will be designed to enhance student's learning of difficult material and device concepts. The small Java applet programs will run in most popular web browsers, which maximizes the dissemination to the widest possible audience. It also increases the applicability to a traditional course structure such as lecture, recitation and student home work assignment. Many applets will be developed for use in design problems. Some will be used for student oral presentations and for written reports to develop student communication skills. Most of the simulation programs will be developed in such a way that both lower level and upper level courses can utilize the modules in electrical engineering, materials science and physics. Also, collection of the applets will be sufficient to cover most of the topics needed in a one-semester junior-level solid state devices course. We will begin with a comprehensive list of initial topics. This list will continually improve during the project lifetime so that we can identify important topics and focus on them while addressing the comments and suggestions from users (professors and students). Feedbacks from instructors from around the world will be used as a guideline for selecting new applet topics. Dissemination of this project will take place in many ways: world wide web, CD-ROM, email broadcast, journal articles, and conference presentations. Some of our existing applets for solid state materials and devices are already being used in several universities. It already helps more than three hundred students annually based on the informal feedbacks received from various collegies and universities. O nce a more formal effort is made for development and dissemination, this number is expected to climb manifold.