GEP 474 Learning Objectives

Note: these are a working draft.

Course-Level Learning Objectives

  • Develop model-thinking skills for electrical energy
  • Develop ability in quantitative estimation
  • Communicate estimations to others

Section-Level Learning Objectives

Electricity Concepts

  • Describe voltage, charge, and current
  • Reason about relative current flows in series and parallel circuits
  • Reason about relative energy consumption in series and parallel configurations
  • Reason about relative current flows in wires of different sizes

Electricity Circuit Models

  • Recognize and describe ideal models for resistors, batteries, voltage sources
  • Able to estimate voltage, current, power, and energy in circuit elements using circuit models
  • Describe and recognize practical applications of circuit models
  • Draw how humans can become a circuit component
  • Describe basic household wiring and safety
  • Apply circuit concepts to thermal circuits
  • Estimate the resistance of wires from physical properties


  • Describe current-voltage curve using ideal and internal resistance model for a battery
  • Calculate current, voltage, and energy available from series and parallel combinations of batteries
  • Quantify battery bank currents and voltages to loads
  • Describe basic environmental and resource implications of wide-scale battery use


  • Describe how forces are produced by currents and magnets
  • Describe basic parts of a motor (rotor, stator, windings)
  • Estimate voltage and current to motor using simple model (back emf and copper loss)
  • Predict rotation speed and torque for a motor from specifications and current provided
  • Describe the function of power converters and transformers and make estimations of power or efficiency
  • Estimate the efficiency of a motor based on copper loss

Midterm 2 up to this point


  • Describe how our electricity system can contribute to wildfires
  • Describe how unintended current flow can cause ignition

Computational techniques

  • Given a time series of power data, describe how to compute the energy expended
  • Given a time series of cumulative energy, describe how to compute the average power
  • Connect electrical quantities to slopes and areas on time series plots