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Cleveland State University EEC 414/503, ESC 720 Writing in Electrical and Computer Engineering

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Cleveland State University EEC 414/503, ESC 720 Writing in Electrical and Computer Engineering Lecture 1 Introduction Dan Simon 7. Write concisely Replace phrases ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Cleveland State University EEC 414/503, ESC 720 Writing in Electrical and Computer Engineering


1
Cleveland State University EEC 414/503, ESC
720 Writing in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Lecture 1 Introduction
  • Dan Simon

2
The Importance of Communication
  • 96 of employers say that employees must have
    good communication skills Markel
  • 80 of Fortune 400 companies identify writing
    skills as their greatest weakness Markel
  • Without communication there is no engineering.
    Gunn
  • A professional engineer spends up to 80 of the
    time communicating with others Oatheimer
  • If you cannot communicate, you are less
    valuable if you can, you are more valuable.
    Markel

3
The Importance of Communication
  • How do you objectively identify senior
    engineering qualities? Lee
  • Instinct and intuition
  • Foresight and planning
  • Result oriented
  • Communication skills
  • Time management

How can we improve our communication skills?
4
Types of Engineering Communication
  • Memos, emails, letters
  • Instructions, manuals
  • Proposals
  • Reports
  • Oral presentations
  • Web sites
  • Articles
  • Theses

5
Beginning Writers Intermediate Writers Advanced Writers
Most important aspect of writing Tendency to summarize Focus and argument Disciplinary-specific writing
Definition of knowledge Facts Synthesis Novel synthesis or invention
Definition of writing Grammar Grammar and style Focused and audience-driven
Audience Self Others Multiple audiences
Revision None Some Revision based on expert feedback
Grammar, style, and citations Lack of familiarity Correct style, grammar, and citations Correct style and grammar, and discipline-specific citations
6
Your First Assignment
  • Write a one-page essay related to one of the
    following topics, or some other engineering topic
  • How to develop and tune an effective control
    algorithm
  • How to design and test a power electronics
    circuit
  • The importance of electronic communications in
    21st-century America
  • Methods for software testing
  • Potential pitfalls when designing a computer
    networking protocol
  • Closed book, closed notes
  • Write neatly
  • You have 10 minutes
  • If you finish early, keep your paper with you and
    wait

7
Your First Assignment
  • Answer these questions on the back of the page
  • Did you put your name and the date at the top of
    the essay?
  • What is a one-sentence description of the focus
    of the essay?
  • How many paragraphs are in your essay?
  • How many sentences are in each paragraph?
  • How many words are in each sentence?
  • How many one-syllable words did you use?
    Two-syllable words? Words of more than two
    syllables?
  • How many contractions did you use?
  • Hand in your paper

8
Characteristics of Good Communication (Markels
book)
  1. Address your particular audience
  2. Use both words and graphics
  3. Write clearly
  4. Write accurately
  5. Write comprehensively
  6. Write accessibly (i.e., be organized)
  7. Write concisely
  8. Write professionally

9
1. Address your particular audience
  • What is your audiences level of knowledge? Avoid
    being overly simple or overly complex.
  • Example A technical proposal to NASA or the NSF
    should not include an overview of fuzzy logic
  • Example An overview of fuzzy logic to management
    should not include defuzzification equations

10
1. Address your particular audience
  • Address your particular audience. What is your
    audiences interest?
  • Example An academic research paper should not
    include a cost/benefit analysis, but it could be
    included in a thesis
  • Example A proposal to management for a new
    control approach should not include a stability
    proof

11
Characteristics of Good Communication
  1. Address your particular audience
  2. Use both words and graphics
  3. Write clearly
  4. Write accurately
  5. Write comprehensively
  6. Write accessibly (i.e., be organized)
  7. Write concisely
  8. Write professionally

12
2. Use both words and graphics
  • Why use graphics?
  • A picture is worth a thousand words
  • Make your writing more interesting and appealing
  • Communicate difficult concepts
  • Communicate large amounts of data
  • Use flowcharts and algorithm listings
  • Make sure you explain your figures and tables
  • Use color as appropriate

13
2. Use both words and graphics
  • The figure looks fine in color, but not in black
    and white.
  • Do not rely on color unless you are sure that it
    will always be available.

14
2. Use both words and graphics
The price of soybeans is 1.45 per pound in
Zambia and 1.67 in Sweden. The price of rice is
0.65 per pound in Zambia and 0.63 in Sweden. We
see that soybeans are more expensive in Sweden,
but rice is more expensive in Zambia.
Soybeans Rice
Zambia 1.45 0.65
Sweden 1.67 0.63
15
Characteristics of Good Communication
  1. Address your particular audience
  2. Use both words and graphics
  3. Write clearly
  4. Write accurately
  5. Write comprehensively
  6. Write accessibly (i.e., be organized)
  7. Write concisely
  8. Write professionally

16
3. Write clearly
  • What question does your report answer?
  • What is the focus of your report (thesis)?
  • Does the entire report support your focus?
  • Is your report organized well?
  • Between-section level
  • Within-section level

17
3. Write clearly
  • It is necessary for technical reasons that these
    warheads be stored upside down, that is, with the
    top at the bottom and the bottom at the top. In
    order that there be no doubt as to which is the
    bottom and which is the top, for storage
    purposes, it will be seen that the bottom of each
    warhead has been labeled 'TOP'.
  • British navy instructions Markel

18
3. Write clearly
  • Unclear Such preparations shall be made as will
    completely obscure all Federal buildings and
    non-Federal buildings occupied by the Federal
    government during an air raid for any period of
    time from visibility by reason of internal or
    external illumination. Zinsser
  • Clear In buildings where you have to keep the
    work going, put something across the windows.

19
3. Write clearly
  • Make sure antecedents are well defined
  • John built the experimental setup. Elmer and Fred
    conducted the experiment. They destroyed the lab
    and should be fired.
  • John built the experimental setup. Elmer and Fred
    conducted the experiment. Elmer and Fred
    destroyed the lab and should be fired.

20
Characteristics of Good Communication
  1. Address your particular audience
  2. Use both words and graphics
  3. Write clearly
  4. Write accurately
  5. Write comprehensively
  6. Write accessibly (i.e., be organized)
  7. Write concisely
  8. Write professionally

21
4. Write accurately
  • Inaccuracy confuses and annoys readers
  • Accuracy is an ethical consideration
  • Inaccuracy casts doubt on your entire document

22
4. Write accurately
  • Accuracy includes completeness
  • Two types of deceit
  • Commission
  • Omission Example A new controller tracks to
    within 1 of the setpoint, while PID tracks to
    within 10. But what were the tuning parameters?
  • Avoid spin we are not salespersons

23
4. Write accurately
  • Accuracy includes corect spelllling.
  • Accuracy, includes correct punctuation.
  • Accuracy include correct grammar.
  • accuracy Includes correct Capitalization.
  • Accuracy includes correct spacing.

24
4. Write accurately
  • Technical writing should be objective and
    unbiased. It should not be sales literature.
  • Ugly Our new optimization algorithm far
    outperforms all other methods and is clearly the
    best algorithm that has ever been invented.
  • Bad Our new optimization algorithm outperforms
    differential evolution.
  • Good Our new algorithm outperforms differential
    evolution in terms of convergence speed for the
    benchmarks that we investigated and the tuning
    parameters that we used.

25
Characteristics of Good Communication
  1. Address your particular audience
  2. Use both words and graphics
  3. Write clearly
  4. Write accurately
  5. Write comprehensively
  6. Write accessibly (i.e., be organized)
  7. Write concisely
  8. Write professionally

26
5. Write comprehensively
  • Provide background
  • Technology background
  • Define acronyms (within reason)
  • Experiment background
  • Provide detail
  • Clearly refer to supporting materials
  • Allow (even encourage) the reader to reproduce
    your results

27
5. Write comprehensively
  • This paper discusses various experiments with
    FCs, including tradeoffs related to materials and
    tolerances.
  • Flux capacitors (FCs) are a new Initial
    research was reported in This paper discusses
    various experiments with FCs, including tradeoffs
    related to materials and tolerances.

28
5. Write comprehensively
  • Genetic algorithm results are shown in Fig. 3.
  • The genetic algorithm was run with a mutation
    rate of 0.01, a crossover rate of 0.9, a
    population size of 50, an elitism parameter of 4,
    and roulette wheel selection. Results are shown
    in Fig. 3. These results can be duplicated with
    the PIC assembly code that is available at
    www.micropicga.com.

29
Characteristics of Good Communication
  1. Address your particular audience
  2. Use both words and graphics
  3. Write clearly
  4. Write accurately
  5. Write comprehensively
  6. Write accessibly (i.e., be organized)
  7. Write concisely
  8. Write professionally

30
6. Write accessibly
  • Make your writing clear and organized
  • Abstract 100?200 word summary of results
  • Introduction, including overview of paper
  • Sections
  • Subsections
  • Paragraphs
  • Conclusion
  • Summary
  • Future work
  • References
  • Appendices

31
Characteristics of Good Communication
  1. Address your particular audience
  2. Use both words and graphics
  3. Write clearly
  4. Write accurately
  5. Write comprehensively
  6. Write accessibly (i.e., be organized)
  7. Write concisely
  8. Write professionally

32
7. Write concisely
  • Eliminate and eradicate words and terms which,
    due to their repetitiveness and redundancy, do
    not serve a useful or functional purpose, and
    that do not add to the intended meaning.
  • Eliminate unnecessary words.

33
7. Write concisely
  • Use short words
  • The proposed methodology endeavors to facilitate
    the utilization of the assembler.
  • The proposed method makes it easier to use the
    assembler.

34
7. Write concisely
  • Replace phrases with words
  • Our students excellence is due to the fact that
    professors are hired for the purpose of teaching,
    with the possible exception of Dr. Einstein.
  • Our students excellence is because professors
    are hired for teaching, except Dr. Einstein.

35
7. Write concisely
  • Replace phrases with words
  • This paper provides a review of the basic tenets
    of cancer biology study design, using as examples
    studies that illustrate the methodological
    challenges or that demonstrate successful
    solutions to the difficulties inherent in
    biological research.

36
7. Write concisely
  • Replace phrases with words
  • This paper provides a review of the basic tenets
    of cancer biology study design, using as examples
    studies that illustrate the methodological
    challenges or that demonstrate successful
    solutions to the difficulties inherent in
    biological research.
  • This paper reviews cancer biology study design,
    using examples that illustrate the challenges and
    solutions. http//www.youtube.com/watch?v91jo4kX7
    Cq0

37
7. Write concisely
  • Replace verb-noun combinations with active verbs
  • Obtain estimates of ? Estimate
  • Has seen an expansion of ? Has expanded
  • Provides an emphasis ? Emphasizes
  • Take an assessment of ? Assess
  • Conduct a review of ? Review
  • Offer confirmation ? Confirm
  • Make a decision ? Decide
  • Shows a peak ? Peaks http//www.youtube.com/watch
    ?vO-NZFSrqHB0

38
Characteristics of Good Communication
  1. Address your particular audience
  2. Use both words and graphics
  3. Write clearly
  4. Write accurately
  5. Write comprehensively
  6. Write accessibly (i.e., be organized)
  7. Write concisely
  8. Write professionally

39
8. Write professionally
  • Your writing is a reflection of your ability
  • Referencing and ethics (Lectures 2 and 3)
  • Use correct and consistent formatting
  • Page layout
  • Section headings
  • Margins
  • Font
  • Capitalization
  • Reference formatting

40
8. Write professionally
  • Ugly example of bad formatting
  • This is an approach for finding the closest
    correlation matrix of a user-specified rank to a
    given matrix, where some elements of the
  • matrix are constrained to be zero. This is the
    first time that this particular problem has been
    studied. If there are no constraints then our
    method reduces to that proposed in 1 and
    convergence is guaranteed. If constraints are
    specified in the problem then we cannot guarantee
    convergence, or even feasibility, depending on
    the constraints and the rank of the matrix.

41
8. Write professionally
  • Ugly example of inconsistent section headings
  • INTRODUCTION
  • Constrained Correlation
  • Feasibility and convergence
  • Conclusion
  • What is the correct format?

42
8. Write professionally References
  • Use consistent reference formatting, regardless
    of the format of the original reference
  • Include enough information in the reference so
    that the reader can find the reference
  • Do not use internet references in your paper
  • Use them for quick background research

43
8. Write professionally References
  • Ugly example of inconsistent reference
    formatting
  • Chen M, Linkens D. ? A Systematic Neuro-Fuzzy
    Modelling Framework, IEEE Transactions on System,
    Man, and Cybernetics, 31, 5, 781790 , 2001.
  • M. Dische, Observations on the morphological
    changes of the developing heart, Cardiovascular
    Clinics, Vol. 4 (3), pp. 175 -191,1972
  • Jim Johnson and Nigel Flowers. Diagnostic
    accuracy of the ECG, Cardiovascular Clinics,
    volume 8(3) 25-40, 1977
  • Macfarlane P W Is electrocardiography still
    useful in the diagnosis of cardiac chamber
    hypertrophy and dilatation?, Cardiology Clinics
    24, number 3, p.401-411, March 2006

44
8. Write professionally References
  • Journal Paper
  • 1 B. Igelnik and D. Simon, The eigenvalues of
    a tridiagonal matrix in biogeography, Applied
    Mathematics and Computing, vol. 218, no. 1, pp.
    195201, September 2011.
  • Conference Paper
  • 2 H. Ma and D. Simon, Biogeography-based
    optimization with blended migration for
    constrained optimization, Genetic and
    Evolutionary Computation Conference, Portland,
    Oregon, pp. 417418, July 2010.
  • Book Chapter
  • 3 P. Lozovyy, G. Thomas, and D. Simon,
    Biogeography-based optimization for robot
    controller tuning, in Computational Modeling
    and Simulation of Intellect (B. Igelnik, editor)
    IGI Global, pp. 162181, 2011.
  • Book
  • 4 D. Simon, Optimal State Estimation, John
    Wiley Sons, 2006.

45
8. Write professionally References
  • IEEE www.ieee.org/documents/ieeecitationref.pdf
  • APA owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01

46
Conclusion The Simplicity of Effective
Communication
  • a great many people who pass in society as
    being polished, refined and educated use less
    than 2,000 words The greatest scholar alive
    hasnt more than four thousand different words at
    his command, and he never has occasion to use
    half the number. Devlin

47
References
  • J. Devlin, How to Speak and Write Correctly, 1910
  • C. Gunn, Engineering graduate students as
    evaluators of communication skills. Proc. ASEE
    Annual Conf., Washington, DC, USA, 287-290, 1995
  • P. Lee, Identifying Senior Software Engineers
    Six Critical Differences, www.prestonlee.com,
    August 20, 2008
  • M. Markel, Technical Communication, Chapter 1,
    Appendix D, Guidelines for Multilingual Writers
    (ESL)
  • M. Oatheimer and E. White, Portfolio assessment
    in an American engineering college. Assessing
    Writing, 10, 61-73, 2005
  • W. Zinsser, On Writing Well, 2006
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