Faculty paper chosen ‘best’ for 2001

Impact, Winter 2002



Receiving an award almost always evokes a sense of pride in accomplishment. But when the honor is announced and neither you nor your partner even knew your work was being considered for an award, the accolade brings even more joy.

Such was the case for Mark J. Paulik and Mohan Krishnan, both professors of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UDM. Paulik and Krishnan won the 2001 “Best Transaction Paper” award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Education Society, an organization with approximately 5,000 members.

The paper, “A Competition-Motivated Capstone Design Course: The Result of a Fifteen-Year Evolution,” appeared in the February 2001 issue of IEEE Transactions on Education. According to Paulik, typically about 150 papers appear in the 12 issues of Transactions in a calendar year.

The professors’ award-winning paper presents a design course organization that was the result of 15 years’ experience with a two-semester senior design course sequence at UDM that includes a robotic-vehicle race. As described by Krishnan in the abstract, “We have determined an organization that for us balances team experience and individual assessment, design complexity, realism, writing content and faculty workload. The course structure is based on the integration of our capstone program with the International Ground Vehicle Competition sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.”

Official notification of the award selection came from the publication’s Editor-in-Chief David A. Conner, to Marion Haglar, IEEE Education Society president.
In an e-mail to Paulik, Haglar explained, “The basis for judging candidate papers is assessment of contributions to furthering the objectives of the IEEE Education Society as demonstrated by originality, quality, advancement of the art, and effectiveness of presentation in terms of clarity of exposition and coherence.”

Balloting for the best paper was conducted using the Transactions’ associate editors and a cross section of IEEE members.

“The fact that our paper was chosen in part by our peers, fellow members of the IEEE, makes us very proud,” says Paulik.

The award, which consists of a plaque and certificate, was presented to Paulik and Krishnan at the Frontiers in Education conference, November 6-9, 2002, in Boston.

Paulik received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Detroit in 1981, his master of science degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983, and his Ph.D. at Oakland University in 1989. His principal areas of research interest include engineering education, digital signal and image processing and real-time embedded system design. His recent efforts have focused on engineering design pedagogy, the analysis of on-line handwritten signatures using Hidden Markov Models, and System on a Chip (SOC). He is a senior member of the IEEE.

Krishnan holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India; a Master of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India; and a Ph.D. from the University of Windsor in Ontario. Apart from engineering education, his interests include digital signal processing, in particular its application to pattern recognition problems involving both 1-D and 2-D signals, such as voice and handwritten signature authentication; computational intelligence; and mechatronic systems.