Backtalk - 06/05/08

June 5, 2008
Through the Fluke Education Grant Program, 20 U.S. schools will receive Fluke 289 and Fluke 287 Logging Digital Multimeters — the company’s newest electrical and electronic test instruments.

Lucky schools get free multimeters

Announced in October 2007, the grant is targeted at community colleges, universities, and training programs across the U.S. and Canada. A review committee of electronics professionals examined program elements, including the breadth of course offerings and the types and numbers of certificates and degrees conferred.

The Fluke 287 has logging and graphing capability that lets users document design performance and see trend information directly on the meter display without downloading to a PC.

Shorter classes are more effective

A study by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that students rate shorter, intensive courses as more effective than traditional 15-week courses. The

John V. Kucsera, Dr. Dawn M. Zimmaro and Avani G. Trivedi, of the Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment, wanted to assess instructor effectiveness in traditional courses versus intensive courses. Their speculation was that attending daily classes rather than just two or three times a week increases the rapport between instructor and students and makes it easier to retain course material.

The study, which consisted of 130 cases, looked at the same instructors for the same long courses and intensive-length courses in an academic year.

“Intensive courses are usually defined as semester or quarter-equivalent classes that are taught in an accelerated format,” says Kucsera, who is a doctoral candidate in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology. “There’s a substantial body of research showing that intensive courses result in equal, or at times superior, learning outcomes for students.

Previous studies showed that instructors modified their teaching techniques for the intensive courses by incorporating more constructive, experiential learning and discussion than they do in a long semester class. They use more in-depth classroom discussions and less straight lecture, which increases classroom interaction. Increasing student participation facilitates learning and engages the students more.

60 years of supplying power

In 1948, Lester Dubin founded Lambda Electronics Inc. in Queens, N.Y. The original Lambda logo contained Dubin’s initials in the Greek letters Lambda (λ), located within the Delta (Δ). An inventive engineer, Lester patented many electronic devices that used vacuum tubes and large hand-wound transformers and inductors.

Lambda grew steadily and moved to a larger facility in Melville, N.Y., in 1962. In 1966, Veeco Instruments acquired Lambda and began selling its products in Europe. While Veeco was primarily in the semiconductor-fabrication business, its Lambda power-supply sector grew to become the largest part of the company.

In 1966, Lambda opened a factory in Karmiel, Israel, and established an engineering sales group to support its growing European sales. Lambda, currently owned by TDK Corp., goes by Lambda Americas, and has facilities in Japan, England, Germany, France, Israel, Malaysia, Singepore, Thailand, and the U.S.

Extreme Makeover — truck edition

Donald Wolford, Jr., of Greencastle, Pa., is the grand prize winner of the third-annual Castrol Tection Extra Big Honkin’ Truck Makeover contest. The contest recognizes the importance an owner-operator’s truck is to the operator’s business.

Wolford’s 1977 900A Kenworth will receive a $50,000 truck interior, exterior, and communications makeover customized by The Chrome Shop Mafia and 4 State Trucks Inc. Additional makeover products will be supplied by: Go Green Fuel Hydrogen Enrichment Technology System, Continental Tire North America, Alcoa Wheels, National Seating, Sirius Satellite Radio, Grote Industries, and Your Truck Stop.

A $3,000 BP gift card went to firstplace winner Tim Heddins for his 1989 Kenworth. Second place winner, Hendrik Kramer, received a $500 electronics gift card for his 1984 Freightliner.

The brick building to the left originally housed Lambda Electronics.

A 1979 product catalog

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