15 September 2014 Microcontrollers and optical sensors for education in optics and photonics
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The digital revolution is going full steam ahead, with a constantly growing number of new devices providing a steady increase in complexity and power. Most of the success is based on one important invention: the microprocessor/microcontroller. In this paper the authors present how to integrate microcontrollers and optical sensors in the curricula of media engineering by combining subjects of media technology, optics, information technology and media design. Hereby the aim is not to teach these topics separate from each other, but to bring them together in interdisciplinary lectures, projects and applications. Microcontrollers can be applied in various ways to teach content from the fields of optics and photonics. They can be used to control LEDs, displays, light detectors and infrared sensors, which makes it possible to build measuring instruments like e.g. a lux meter, a light barrier or an optical distance meter. The learning goals are to stimulate the student’s interest in the multiplicity of subjects related to this course and to support a deeper understanding of the close connections between them. The teaching method that the authors describe in their paper turned out to be very successful, as the participants are motivated to bring in their own ideas for projects, they spend more time than requested and as many students return to the courses as tutors. It is an example for effectual knowledge transfer and exchange of ideas among students.
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Paul Dressler, Heinz Wielage, Ulrich Haiss, Oliver Vauderwange, P. Wozniak, Dan Curticapean, "Microcontrollers and optical sensors for education in optics and photonics", Proc. SPIE 9188, Optics Education and Outreach III, 91880F (15 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2061836; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2061836

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