Introduction to Circuits and Systems
Prepared by: The Task Group on ESE 215-205
N. Farhat, N. Engheta, J. Keenan, and V. Vuchic
Background, Philosophy, and Motivation:
Over the past few decades, the scope of electrical engineering (ESE in the context of our department) has expanded to a degree where the discipline risks effacement by diffusion . This calls for hard thinking on how to reform traditional course offerings in our discipline in order to avoid incoherent bifurcations forced from the outside and to preserve its identity in view of profound changes taking place. We are not alone. Similar reforms are being discussed in physics education . We as a relatively newly formed department of Electrical and Systems Engineering have had a head start in thinking about this issue recognizing that the challenge is to forge something better than the sum of its parts. This draft proposal is an attempt at reforming the present introductory Circuits and Systems course in our curriculum in order to partly meet this challenge. We have changed the course title to indicate that it will deal with “circuits and systems” concepts in a broader sense than the traditional electrical circuits alone. Our goal is that the course encompass electrical, optical (plasmonic), mechanical, fluidic, biological, neural, transportation, chemical, and ecological “circuits” and systems.
Biochemical logic circuits using DNA-binding proteins, and bistable gene-regulatory networks acting as a toggle switch , are being constructed. This gives an idea of the new types of elements future circuits and network would be built of. Similarly, plasmonic nano-optical components analogous to inductors, capacitors and resistance at optical frequencies being pioneered by researchers in our department, and Photonic Crystals will pave the way to plasmonic optical circuits, and the whole machinery of circuit theory can be brought to the optical domain. Other...