Fall 2009 Seminars
September 8, 2009
Jeffrey Erickson, Electrical and Computer Engineering, NDSU
Abstract: Safety in the workplace or in an educational setting is part of the key to success. This seminar is approximately forty-five minutes long and will briefly discuss, various safety concerns pertaining to Electrical & Computer Engineering Students.
Bio: Jeff Erickson has a degree in Electronics Technology, and has been employed in the Home Consumer Electronics field for twenty-seven years. He has taught as an Electrical Technology Instructor at NDSCS and has been self-employed for the last twenty-three years. Recently he has joined the staff at NDSU in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Technical Services department.
September 22, 2009
Rasool Aghatehrani, Graduate Student, Electrical and Computer Engineering, NDSU
On the use of Doubly Fed Induction Generators for ancillary services in distribution power systems
Abstract: Doubly fed induction generators (DFIG) are widely being used in wind energy conversion systems. DFIG-based wind turbines offer variable speed operation, lower converter cost and reduced power loss compared to wind turbine using fixed speed generators or fully-fed synchronous generators with full-sized converters. Currently many operators prefer unity power factor operation (UPF) since active production is rewarded. With increasing levels of wind power penetration into the grid however, ancillary services of DFIG such as voltage control, frequency control and network reactive power support are becoming more important. This seminar will briefly discuss about a complete model of a DFIG wind turbine. Also it will present new control methods for improving voltage control, frequency control and reactive power management of in distribution systems with DFIGs.
October 6, 2009
Mark Schroeder, Electrical and Computer Engineering, NDSU
Holistic Engineering: Is It Whole?
Abstract: Changing global socio-economics are impacting the engineering industry and redefining the job description of engineers. Now, more than ever, companies are seeking engineers who possess good skills in project management and product development as well as soft skills such as the ability to communicate effectively. A new education paradigm, holistic engineering, recognizes these needs and attempts to address them by emphasizing a more cross-disciplinary, whole-systems approach to engineering education. Although this new education model might prove to be successful in producing a better product, it does not address the essence of the individual? The new holistic engineering model, like its predecessor, would still be leaving out an important element in training engineers of the future? As engineering education embarks on a period of transformation, now might be an opportune time to ask an important question: "Where is the spirituality in engineering and engineering education?"
October 20, 2009
Cristinel Ababei, Electrical and Computer Engineering, NDSU
Speeding up Analysis and Optimization of Power Systems
Abstract: Improving the efficiency of distribution automation (DA) tools is one of the main challenges in the power systems community. Efficiency is a key "component" in the effort of transforming the original electric grid into a smart grid. In this talk, I will discuss new algorithmic techniques that can speed up the analysis and optimization of distribution systems. In particular, I will present a minimum cost maximum flow based approach for distribution system reconfiguration for loss reduction. I will also present an efficient random walks based technique for the power flow solution update of distribution systems. I will report experimental results and discuss future work on these topics.
November 3, 2009
David Farden, Electrical and Computer Engineering, NDSU
Core Competencies for ECE 111
Abstract: ECE 111 is our introduction to ECE course. This is an opportunity to give our students a taste of what to expect as they proceed on their journey through our curriculum and help them to begin understanding basic concepts that will be reinforced with more advanced courses as they continue on their journey. My evolving vision for ECE 111 is presented, along with ?ve corresponding core competencies:
November 17, 2009
Jacob Glower, Electrical and Computer Engineering, NDSU
Inverse Kinematics for a Barn Door Equatorial Platform
Abstract: An equatorial platform is a structure which rotates on a axis parallel to the Earth's axis. In doing so, anything placed on the platform sees motionless stars. In this presentation, the mathematics behind designing a novel type of equatorial platform are presented. With the help of e-bay, the hardware to build such a platform is obtained. Controlled with a microcontroller, the tracking of the sun, stars, and planets is then demonstrated with an 8" Dobsonian telescope.
December 1, 2009
Davis Cope, Department of Mathematics, NDSU
Simple Cell Response Properties Imply Receptive Field Structure
Abstract: Simple cells are nerve cells widely prevalent in mammalian visual cortex. They were discovered and studied by Hubel and Wiesel in the 1960s, who later shared a Nobel Prize for their work. There is strong evidence the cells play a key role in visual processing. The term "simple cell" refers to the fact that the cells show well-defined responses to special visual stimuli. Such well-defined responses arise from a receptive field associated with the simple cell. It consists of excitatory and inhibitory regions and corresponds to a patch of the visual field on the approximate order of one degree. Receptive field functions are models for this field structure and a wide variety of such models have been proposed. In this work, we note that the three major experimentally observed properties of simple cells can be interpreted as properties of the Fourier transform of the field function, which suggests the possibility of deriving receptive field functions from such experimentally based first principles. This work represents a first step in such an approach and leads to two disjoint classes of functions, the bandlimited class, which appears to overlap a recently proposed class of models (Victor and Knight, 2003), and the balanced Gabor class, which is essentially new but similar to the Gabor field function (a widely used model).
The general question of characterizing functions whose Fourier transforms have these experimentally based properties appears to be an open problem. Any results along this line would have implications for theoretical neurophysiology, and feedback is welcome. The results represent joint work from an ongoing collaboration with Barbara Blakeslee and Mark McCourt of the NDSU Center for Visual Neuroscience.