1 Steinbeis Center of Management and Technolgy (GERMANY)
2 Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu (ROMANIA)
3 University of Applied Sciences (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 6543-6552
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
This work presents a mathematical model that allows the determining, based on empirical input data, of a strict mathematical dependency between the percentages corresponding to the groups of subjects that compose the curriculum of the study programme “Mechatronics”.
A first step in realizing the model was the selection of the significant groups of study subjects. It was considered that the division into subjects from the mechanical domain, from the electrical domain and from computer science does not sufficiently reflect the complexity and multidisciplinary character of mechatronics as study programme, so that it was opted for introducing, beneath the above-mentioned groups of subjects, a supplementary group of subjects, namely study subjects from the domain of automated control, automations and robotics.
A first stage in elaborating the model was the studying of the curricula of "Mechatronics" study programmes from a significant number of universities from Romania and from abroad (Europe, United States and Canada, Middle East). This study showed that there are significant differences between the percentages of subject groups at the various universities, which indicate the fact that actually there is no unitary approach at this level, with regard to the structure of the curriculum.
Moreover, it has been noticed that there exist significant differences between the percentages allocated to the various groups of disciplines even at the level of the Romanian universities, taking into account the fact that at national level there are rather strict regulations concerning the structure of the curriculum.
The proposed mathematical model was realized based on the neuro-fuzzy techniques, having as input parameters the percentages of the above-mentioned subject groups and as output parameter the percentage of subjects from the domain of mechatronics. This output parameter was chosen because mechatronics, both as a science and as study programme, has since long surpassed the stage of a simple multidisciplinary mix, there existing already numerous branches of mechatronics that can be studied as independent subjects within this domain. Of course, in this case too there arises the problem of the weight these subjects should have within the curriculum, a problem to which the proposed mathematical model offers solutions. Thus, when one or several values of the input variables are modified, for various reasons, the model is able to calculate the new value of the output variable. In this manner, the balance of the curriculum, as expressed in mathematical form by the proposed model, can be preserved.
The fuzzy approach to the mathematical modeling of the ratio between the subject groups offers also a high degree of flexibility. For example, if the users' experience or various benchmarks indicate the need to modify a membership function or the definition range of such a function, this can be realized easily, without affecting the model's functionality.
Curriculum, mechatronics, ratio, disciplines.