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In the past decade, the use of computer based design and analysis tools, such as MATLAB/SIMULINK, has revolutionised practice in Control Engineering. Concepts that were previously only understandable after sustained mathematical analysis or experimental work may now be readily simulated on the computer. Over the past four years, the author has experimented with the use of MATLAB/SIMULINK, in the lecture and laboratory environment, with degree and taught masters students in control engineering at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). It has been found that the tool helps to increase student understanding of challenging topics, to act as motivation to further exploration and to demystify important design ideas. The author has also explored the use of interactive computer based tools that automate much of the design iteration, and provide, on the computer screen, the appropriate images of the iteration process. Such tools further enhance the quality of the learning experience for the student (particularly in a self-learning mode).
O'Dwyer, Aidan :Using information technology to enhance control engineering education: some experiences. EdTech 2004: the 5th Annual Irish Educational Technology Users Conference, Institute of Technology, Tralee, June.