A Pragmatic Introduction to the Art of Electrical Engineering

A Book is Born

For the Fall of 1996, I was given the assignment of teaching the required introductory
EE course for other engineering majors. Usually, visiting faculty were relegated
to this unseemly task, but we were shorthanded so some of us on the tenure
track would have to pay our dues. My fellow faculty warned me to expect terrible
student evaluations, since most of the students were only taking the course because
it was required, and really didn’t want to be there. It seemed pretty grim.
Knowing that I would soon be leaving, I decided to throw caution to the wind, and
teach a radically different kind of introductory course - one based totally on
projects, yet with a sound theoretical underpinning. I couldn’t find an appropriate
text, and in any case, I knew my students couldn’t afford both a text and the serious
lab kits I had in mind. So I resolved to write this book “on-the-fly” over the course
of the semester. Each weekend, I would build, write and draw like crazy, hand it to
my editor in chief, my wife Cathy, you would rather bluntly tell me how bad it was.
Then I would start again, often from scratch, and churn out something that she
could reasonably fix up. The result is this text.