ENG 17


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

ENG 17 Honors

Circuits I

Course Overview

Spring 2020

This page last modified on May 1, 2020

Web Page:

Course Location and Time:
105 Olson on TuTh 12:10 pm-2:00 pm is assigned but the class will be taught on line this term. Lecture videos will be posted on the canvas web site.

Stephen Lewis
Office Hours: Zoom video conferences on Tuesdays from 12:10 to 1pm.

Teaching Assistant:
Yuanhao Shi
Office Hours: Zoom video conferences on Wednesdays from 2:30-3:30 pm.

Recommended Text:
Linear Circuit Analysis, Artice M. Davis, Cengage (originally PWS Publishing Company), 1998. New copies of the text come with a CD that points to a web page that the publisher has not maintained. Also, I will teach the class in a way that you will not need a copy of the text. So if you buy it, I recommend that you buy a used copy.

Here is a summary of errors in the text: Corrections

When you are deciding whether to buy the book, I recommend that you think about how you like to learn. If you like to learn by reading, then I recommend that you buy the book. It is well written. However, if you prefer to learn by listening, you will not need the book. I will cover everything you need to know in class for the graded material in this course.

Math 21C (C- or better recommended)

Objectives: After taking this course, a student should understand:
  1. Electrical quantities and elements,
  2. Resistive circuits,
  3. Transient and steady-state responses of RLC circuits,
  4. Sinusoidal excitation and phasors,
  5. Complex frequency and network functions, and
  6. Power calculations
A key goal of this class is for you to be able to use the material presented in lecture to solve related problems. Being able to understand the lectures as they are presented is helpful, but this is only the first step in the process of learning this material. Studying and thinking carefully about your class notes and the homework are crucial steps toward satisfying this goal.

Discussions: Discussions will be held by Zoom video conference from 1:10 to 2:00 pm each Thursday except on the day of the midterm exam. The first one will be on Thursday April 2. Before that time, you should have watched the first two lecture videos. (Spreading out the material covered in this class uniformly over the term will help in learning the material.)

Lecture Videos: Lecture videos will be posted on the canvas web site. Be careful about watching the lecture videos more than once each. Watching the videos is not the same as understanding the material and takes a lot of your time. To maximize what you get out of this class, I recommend that you watch each video once carefully and then, within a day or two, think carefully about the notes you took while watching the previous video. Thinking about your notes carefully is more difficult and more productive than re-watching the videos. A rule of thumb is to spend about as much time thinking about your notes as spent in the real-time recording of each class and then to spend about this amount of time again in working on the homework.

Homework: Assignments will be posted on the course website but will not be collected or graded this term. Homework solutions will be available on the course website about a week after the homework is posted.

Grading: The final exam time is scheduled for Monday June 8 from 1:00pm-3:00 pm. Also, the midterm exam will be on Thursday May 7, and it will have two parts. The first part will ask you to solve five problems, each with multiple parts, and type your answers into canvas. The second part will ask you to scan or upload your work in five files, one for each problem. Both parts will start at 12:55 pm. Part 1 will be due by 1:50 pm. Part 2 will be due by 2:00 pm. Finally, I'm planning to have seven graded 10-minute quizzes, each starting at 1:45 pm on April 9, April 16, April 23, April 30, May 14, May 21, and May 28. (We will have a practice quiz on April 2 to try to discover and work out problems in giving on-line quizzes. This practice quiz will not count toward the course grades.)

The weighting used for the final course grade will be:

Recommended Reading: The following table gives an outline for the course. Also, it gives recommended reading in case you buy the text book. Each row corresponds to about one week in the class. Also, please plan to read and study your notes very carefully, especially if you do not buy the book.

TopicRecommended Reading
Introduction and Resistive Circuits Sec. 1.1-1.5, 2.1-2.4, and 2.6
Subcircuits and Nodal Analysis Sec. 3.1-3.6, 4.1-4.2, and Appendix A through (A-58)
Mesh Analysis Sec. 4.3-4.4
Active Circuits, Waveforms, and Capacitors Sec. 5.1-5.2 (through page 176), 5.3-5.4 (through the first
paragraph after Equation (5.4.8) on page 192), and 6.1-6.2
Inductors, Switched Circuits, Impulses,
Time response of first-order circuits with
first-order lowpass response
Sec. 6.3-6.6 (skip the Generalized Differentiation of
Discontinuous Waveforms section, which begins on page 283
and ends on page 286), and 7.1
First-order highpass, Complex Numbers,
Euler's formulas, Sinusoids, Complex
Exponentials, and Phasors
Sec. 7.2-7.3, 7.7, 8.1-8.2, 8.4, and 8.6
Time Response of Higher-Order Circuits
and the Phasor Equivalent Circuit
Sec. 9.1-9.2 (skip Cascade Simulation of the General Solution
Operator on page 427), 11.1-11.2 (skip the material on
Impedance Scaling and Frequency Scaling, which starts
after Example 11.12 and ends before Example 11.15)
Average Power and Complex Power Sec. 11.3-11.4 (skip material on Conservation of Complex
Power, which starts on page 585 and ends on page 588.)
Mutual Inductance and Transformers Sec. 16.1 (Ignore Equation (16.1-14a) and
stop reading after Example 16.1)