27 August 2003 Teaching optics to engineers
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The challenges of teaching optics and optoelectronics in a broad based Engineering school will be discussed. At Liverpool John Moores University, optical devices and optoelectronics is taught from the second year of degree courses right through to MSc level. At second year, students in Broadcast Technology, Applied Electronics have little physics background and are more interested in networks than basic devices and fundamentals of light. Even at MSc level, students' backgrounds are patchy. The challenge is to get across the basic principles in an interesting way, and excite students' interest by focusing on state of the art, current developments and applications. This is backed up with demonstrations and student projects attached to active research groups. Research groups in the school contribute to teaching in their fields. Members of the Coherent and Electro-optics Research Group teach "Optics and Imaging in Medicine". Members of the Optical Fibre Sensors Research Group teach "Optoelectronics" and "Analogue and Optical Devices". Also discussed are the challenges of teaching Physics students optoelectronics, and the decline of the "Optical Science and Technology" degree course, due to falling student numbers and the decline of physics and physics based courses in the UK.
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Patricia J. Scully, Rebecca J. Bartlett, "Teaching optics to engineers", Proc. SPIE 4876, Opto-Ireland 2002: Optics and Photonics Technologies and Applications, (27 August 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.468522; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.468522

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