This book is intended for one or two courses on basic electric circuits as well as the “Circuits and Signals” course, CE-CSG, described in the Body of Knowledge of the IEEE/ACM. It differs from other textbooks in its coverage, organization, and presentation, which strongly emphasize fundamentals and stresses creative problem solving. By emphasis on fundamentals I mean:
(1) being comprehensive enough to include all the basic material that I believe should be included,(2) giving adequate explanation or justification of assertions or mathematical expressions (within the scope of the book, of course), and (3) helping the student understand the logic of circuit behavior and gain insight into the meaning, significance, and interrelations of the concepts involved. Insight is like an x-ray of the mind: it penetrates to the heart of a matter or problem. The main concepts are explicitly highlighted throughout the book for special emphasis.
There is no doubt that integration, generalization, and emphasis on fundamentals are conducive to a thorough understanding of the material. A thorough understanding is what distinguishes quality engineering education from mere technical training and is a prerequisite for creative problem solving, providing a solid foundation for life-long learning. The book stresses creative problem solving, in contrast to problem solving based on following set procedures without really understanding their rationale. Needless to say, creative problem solving is the most important conceptual step leading to a superior engineering design.
In addition to emphasis on fundamentals, creative problem solving is fostered by encouraging the student to look at a given problem in different ways, particularly fresh and original ways. This is done through solving a relatively large number of carefully selected problems, many of them using different methods, with in-depth explanations and insightful comments and interpretations.A prologue on solving circuit problems follows this preface.I have always tried to impress upon my students that a course on electric circuits involves much more than learning set procedures and techniques or writing down equations and solving for the variables involved.
The factual knowledge acquired in these courses is much less important than the insight gained into concepts and their interrelations, and the problem-solving approach that is learned. Factual knowledge is liable to be forgotten or become obsolete, whereas a grasp of fundamentals and the pursuit of creative problem solving become integral to the mindset of a true engineering professional. This book reflects such a philosophy. No special preparation is assumed on the part of the student beyond trigonometry, elementary calculus, and some basic physics. Discussion starts from almost level zero in circuit theory.
Mathematics alone is not relied upon to present concepts and relations. Qualitative and physical explanations and interpretations are emphasized whenever possible. A Solutions Manual for all problems and exercises is available with its own companion CD that includes classroom presentations. These are Microsoft® Office Word (Microsoft® Office Word is a registered trademark of Microsoft corporation, Redmond, Washington) files for each chapter that present, in the form of bulleted text with figures, the main ideas discussed in the chapter, as well as the examples illustrating these ideas. The files are intended for projection in the classroom by instructors and used as a basis for explaining the chapter material.
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