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 and voltage available from series and parallel combinations of batteries
  • Use Kirchoff's Laws to quantify battery bank currents and voltages


  • Describe motor energy conversion
  • Describe basic parts of a motor
  • Estimate voltage and current to supply motor
  • Understand the factors contributing to motor efficiency
  • Understand how motors behave differently than other loads
  • Predict rotation speed and torque for a motor from specifications

Computational techniques

  • Able to create reusable, verifiable computational models
  • Recognize and correct for missing data
  • Extract power and energy statistics from time-series electricity data
  • Create plots of time-series electricity data

Carbon Emissions

  • Able to estimate carbon emission estimations from carbon intensity of generation
  • Able to estimate carbon reduction from energy retrofit

Grid and Utilities (and Policies)

  • Able to estimate tariffs based on fee schedule and power demand
  • Describe important state and national legislation that affects electrical energy use


  • Identify unanswered questions
  • Propose method to answer question
  • Use electricity concepts and computational techniques on a data set
  • Communicate methods, results, and implications of work