Copters in the classroom
The $500 hobby-shop helicopter whirling through a laboratory
in the basement of Homewood's Barton Hall is not there to
amuse the undergraduates. The copter is a key teaching tool
in a demanding electrical engineering course aimed at
preparing students for high-tech jobs in the aviation and
automotive industries. Students in this class must program a
computer to guide the aircraft safely through various
maneuvers without help from a human "pilot." They cannot use
the remote control box that normally steers such
This aerial challenge has become part of a
long-standing course called Control Systems Design, or
Electrical and Computer Engineering 454. This spring,
students for the first time will use model helicopters to
see if the commands they've devised for a computer mockup
will run a real-life flying machine.
Students explore South America's biological
Students and faculty from Johns Hopkins this past January
initiated what they hope will become a tradition with the
first offering of an intersession course called Tropical
Biology and Ecology in Ecuador and the Galapagos.
The course took faculty and students on an
adventurous 13-day odyssey of learning through the volcanic
Galapagos Islands, off the coast of Ecuador; Quito, the
capital city of Ecuador; and the remote tropical rain forest
in eastern Ecuador.
While there, the group also initiated the
tentative beginnings of a relationship between Hopkins and
ESPE, a university in Ecuador that played a key role in
facilitating the trip.
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