Author Topic: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics  (Read 11977 times)

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Offline PedroDaGr8

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Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« on: August 29, 2013, 04:24:02 am »
Quote
The course is an introduction to switched-mode power converters. It provides a basic knowledge of circuitry for the control and conversion of electrical power with high efficiency.

Thought it might be interesting for some of you guys.
https://www.coursera.org/course/powerelectronics]
[url]https://www.coursera.org/course/powerelectronics
[/url]

For those that don't know Coursera consists of free online college classes. You don't get credit but you get quizzes, homework, lectures, etc. For those that like the structure of a classroom when learning it can be very useful.
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -George Carlin
 

Offline jancumps

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2013, 06:42:44 am »
I subscribed for September
 

Offline Kremmen

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2013, 05:16:11 pm »
Yep, i too have decided to see if they have any news for me. Robert Erickson is a well-known guy in the SMPS circles. I have some of his books and they are worth their price. The Fundamentals of Power Electronics - the course material, is by Erickson and Maksimovich, another name guy. Also both have written a lot of good articles to Spectrum, the IEEE magazine. So i expect this to be a good course.

Other for me interesting courses are the "Linear and Integer Programming" as well as "Digital Signal Processing" by guys from Ecole Polytechnique Lausanne. Just thought to mention those if anyone else would find them useful.
Nothing sings like a kilovolt.
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Offline PedroDaGr8

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 05:32:22 am »
Just a reminder that this is starting now!
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -George Carlin
 

Offline jancumps

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2013, 08:09:48 pm »
The class is really open now :)
Starting...
 

Offline Spikee

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2013, 09:15:03 pm »
As a student I also have signed up. The design classes at my college are a joke so I'll have to learn it myself.
Freelance electronics design service, Small batch assembly, Firmware / WEB / APP development. In Shenzhen China
 

Offline Orpheus

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2013, 01:06:42 am »
I'm in it too, but I'm a Coursera junkie. You likely wouldn't  believe me if I told you how many courses I completed from Jan-Aug of this year, when I swore off because deadlines were becoming a strain (I now realize that a couple of 'eccentric' courses where messing me up). I've slowly crept back up to four in the last 2 weeks. Someone throw me a rope before I go down for the third time.

Taking 8 courses at once isn't very hard if you put in 90 min a day, every day, as long as each course has a "clean" schedule [e.g. Watch the lectures, do any needed reading and exercises, take the quiz), but even 1-2 "eccentric" courses can really mess that up, and I've been seeing more of those. Examples of eccentricity include: two short  lecture/exercise sets per week (or problem sets and quizzes on different release/due schedules); professors who don't follow their own lecture posting schedules; or out-of-main-sequence projects on top of your weekly routine (though all of these may be fine if you're only taking 4 or fewer courses)

I find that many professors, especially in engineering classes, are quite comprehensible at 1.5x playback speed.  Also, don't overlook the video download option. Many courses split their lectures into 5-15 min modules, perfect for viewing on your phone in idle moments
 

Offline TimNJ

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2013, 06:35:57 am »
I singed up. Since I'm a first year EE student, I'm sure I will run into a few glitches here and there since there are many concepts I don't yet understand.

Nonetheless, what he taught so far was understandable and I like it.

I've never done Coursera before, but say I actually passed the course, what can I "do with it"? (Other than have a working knowledge of the material.) Do I put it on my resume? Tell it to a future employer that I passed a course on switching converter design?

 

Offline jancumps

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2013, 06:39:24 am »
Make something that works with hte theory you picked up during the course, and put that on your resume.
 

Offline PedroDaGr8

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2013, 05:07:08 am »
I singed up. Since I'm a first year EE student, I'm sure I will run into a few glitches here and there since there are many concepts I don't yet understand.

Nonetheless, what he taught so far was understandable and I like it.

I've never done Coursera before, but say I actually passed the course, what can I "do with it"? (Other than have a working knowledge of the material.) Do I put it on my resume? Tell it to a future employer that I passed a course on switching converter design?

It depends on the class. Some classes offer completion certificates and some even offer Verified Certificates (via Signature Track). In general though, Coursera is for you to learn on your own with no reward other than the knowledge you gain. Basically, you get to take/audit a college course on a topic maybe you otherwise would not be able to. Some courses are quite esoteric and as such maybe they wouldn't be offered at every school. If you are like me you learn better in a structured environment like this. So I find it VERY useful.
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -George Carlin
 

Offline mswhin63

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2013, 07:15:13 am »
I like Courera too but is very hard if you have other education commitments like I do. I instead use Udacity which most courses are at your own pace. Not as disciplined but OK for supplementary courses.
.
 

Offline jancumps

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2013, 09:08:44 am »
Oh dear my maths is rusty.
Last time I've been touching something more complex than power of 2 was in 1994. I'm struggling with the basic equations in chapter 2.2 :)
 

Offline Kremmen

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2013, 12:37:49 pm »
This course is now complete and the results are starting to come in.
I know there is at least one other eevblog member who has completed, with distinction.


My statement came just in time for xmas so here is a shameless brag.

Completed with distinction.


In January starts Embedded systems and Information Theory. Note to self: fill in the tank of night oil.
Nothing sings like a kilovolt.
Dr W. Bishop
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2013, 01:42:49 pm »
I don't understand the Coursera subscription and timed organisation.
I mean, why don't they simply post the videos with a short text description, so I can choose what&when?
Like Barbara Hecker on youtube, teached me Android programming.
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2013, 01:54:57 pm »
I started it. And I gave it up somewhere in the middle 3rd video.
I've expected something useful. The "time to integral" was something like 3 slides. Just another useless "remember the equation" course, the ones I was happy to leave university. I use integrals, and advanced math once every few months.
 

Offline JoeO

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2013, 05:36:28 pm »
I started it. And I gave it up somewhere in the middle 3rd video.
I've expected something useful. The "time to integral" was something like 3 slides. Just another useless "remember the equation" course, the ones I was happy to leave university. I use integrals, and advanced math once every few months.
Exactly the same with me.  There was a step left out between the lectures and the homework.
The day Al Gore was born there were 7,000 polar bears on Earth.
Today, only 26,000 remain.
 

Offline Kremmen

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2013, 06:45:12 pm »
I started it. And I gave it up somewhere in the middle 3rd video.
I've expected something useful. The "time to integral" was something like 3 slides. Just another useless "remember the equation" course, the ones I was happy to leave university. I use integrals, and advanced math once every few months.
Exactly the same with me.  There was a step left out between the lectures and the homework.

Like... er... doing the homework, actually?
Nothing sings like a kilovolt.
Dr W. Bishop
 

Offline Kremmen

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2013, 08:44:44 pm »
I don't understand the Coursera subscription and timed organisation.
I mean, why don't they simply post the videos with a short text description, so I can choose what&when?
Like Barbara Hecker on youtube, teached me Android programming.
Maybe because it is more than just a set of youtube videos.
- the course spans a specific period of time during which all events take place. In that respect it mimics a true on-campus course. Sure, that is inconvenient for some but then physically attending on-campus would be considerably more so. And the timing give a backbone to the course by creating the schedule. It is so easy to start things and never finish them or even make significant headway if you are the sole scheduler.
- the syllabus is a coherent set of topics unlike so many tube videos that bounce here and there without actually ever really completing the point
- you enroll so you are recognized as a student of the course. Unlike youtube, at the same time you make a commitment to study (to yourself only, of course)
- after the course is over you get a statement of accomplishment if one is warranted
- there is the associated discussion forum and a number of facilitators and assistants to clarify things if necessary
- the professor of the course is actually available on the forum during the course
- the assignments have deadlines to make it possible to issue the statements in a timely manner
- the statements are issued by the professor of the course based on what you accomplished during it.

I have a hard time seeing how all of this could happen if you just had a set of clips in the tube.
IMO this is much closer to the real thing than anything youtube can manage. I don't see it as a failure at all, instead just the other way around. And i like it. If others don't then that's all right and there are other ways to learn in the net.
Nothing sings like a kilovolt.
Dr W. Bishop
 

Offline jancumps

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2013, 08:56:00 pm »
I gave up participating on the homework after assignment 3. It took me a ridiculous time to find the answer on the questions because of the state of my math knowledge. I have now put the calculus courses on my watchlist :). Once i've regained my math I'll redo the training.
I kept on following the lessons.

I found this was an excellent course. Well given, well paced - just too difficult for me at this time.

I don't share my fellow poster's critique about the homework. It was not just testing your ability to repeat the training. With the type of homework in this course you ended up with deeper and more knowledge on the subject (if your calculus skills match;))

 

Offline NANDBlog

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2013, 05:31:00 pm »
(if your calculus skills match;))
The point is 98% of the time you dont need calculus to design a power supply. Hell, I can webench one together in 10 minutes. And the other 5%, when you make say a microcontroller based one, still you don't design one with components coming from outer space. You have a set of inductors, which are rated for some current. I know I'm making this too simple, but you design it with that current and anything else doesn't really matter. Same goes with Fets, drivers, and the whole shebang. They are rated for something, and you dont need to integrate anything to select the right one.
 

Offline JoeO

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2013, 05:43:21 pm »
I started it. And I gave it up somewhere in the middle 3rd video.
I've expected something useful. The "time to integral" was something like 3 slides. Just another useless "remember the equation" course, the ones I was happy to leave university. I use integrals, and advanced math once every few months.
Exactly the same with me.  There was a step left out between the lectures and the homework.

Like... er... doing the homework, actually?
Don't be a jerk.
The day Al Gore was born there were 7,000 polar bears on Earth.
Today, only 26,000 remain.
 

Offline Kremmen

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2013, 07:20:39 pm »
Don't be a whiner.
Instead let us know what step was left out since you think that is the case.
Nothing sings like a kilovolt.
Dr W. Bishop
 

Offline Kremmen

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2013, 07:36:33 pm »
(if your calculus skills match;))
The point is 98% of the time you dont need calculus to design a power supply. Hell, I can webench one together in 10 minutes. And the other 5%, when you make say a microcontroller based one, still you don't design one with components coming from outer space. You have a set of inductors, which are rated for some current. I know I'm making this too simple, but you design it with that current and anything else doesn't really matter. Same goes with Fets, drivers, and the whole shebang. They are rated for something, and you dont need to integrate anything to select the right one.
That is the cookbook approach. The supplier tools let you throw together a more or less standard circuit without requiring any or very little understanding about what actually makes the circuit tick. You are more or less completely at the "mercy" of the supplier and the application and have to fit your requirements into what the app provides. The downside is that should your requirements fall outside the application areas that generate most revenue to the suppliers, you may find yourself on your own. And that was the real point of the course for me - to build true understanding of the underlying design principles. Now i am not a novice in power electronics so not all or even most of the contents was new but there is always something new or forgotten that is useful later. It is a pity that the course finished just when things would have become really interesting with tailoring the control loops and analyzing the stability. But never mind, that part i can do on my own.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 09:08:35 pm by Kremmen »
Nothing sings like a kilovolt.
Dr W. Bishop
 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2013, 10:28:11 pm »
Totally useless for me:

- the course spans a specific period of time during which all events take place. In that respect it mimics a true on-campus course. Sure, that is inconvenient for some but then physically attending on-campus would be considerably more so. And the timing give a backbone to the course by creating the schedule. It is so easy to start things and never finish them or even make significant headway if you are the sole scheduler.
- the syllabus is a coherent set of topics unlike so many tube videos that bounce here and there without actually ever really completing the point
- you enroll so you are recognized as a student of the course. Unlike youtube, at the same time you make a commitment to study (to yourself only, of course)
- after the course is over you get a statement of accomplishment if one is warranted
- the assignments have deadlines to make it possible to issue the statements in a timely manner
- the statements are issued by the professor of the course based on what you accomplished during it.

Could be useful :

- there is the associated discussion forum and a number of facilitators and assistants to clarify things if necessary
- the professor of the course is actually available on the forum during the course

If the quality of these last items is good, there could be some use for it. But is it really?
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline JoeO

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Re: Coursera: Intro to Power Electronics
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2013, 03:41:42 am »
Don't be a whiner.
Instead let us know what step was left out since you think that is the case.
3 people have noted here that they quit in the 3rd week.

That should be a big hint that there is some kind of disconnect.
The day Al Gore was born there were 7,000 polar bears on Earth.
Today, only 26,000 remain.
 


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