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The Department of Physics and Engineering Physics at the University of Tulsa Integrates Origin in their Lab Course

Dr. Alexei Grigoriev has used Origin for years in his research in experimental condensed matter physics.

“Origin was the de facto standard for data presentation in research labs where I did my graduate work, and it is very often used in my field of research.”

Recently, Dr. Grigoriev has discovered that Origin can be an effective teaching tool as well. He has integrated Origin into the curriculum of the Physics Instrumentation Lab course that he teaches. For example, in one exercise, students develop their own Origin C function for an ideal Shockley diode. They code, build and debug their function in Code Builder, Origin’s integrated development environment for Origin C. The students fit their experimental data to this function, and they also create a theoretical plot based on the function. Dr. Grigoriev also uses LabView in this course – and plans for future exercises include communication between Origin and LabView.

“Origin helps students to better understand and practice data analysis, the critical step between collecting data and reporting results. Students learn basics of scientific programming, experimental data fitting, and system behavior simulation (for a particular case of the diode I-V relationship). Origin allows to integrate three major components of engineering and research, – data collection, analysis, and reporting, – in a single environment. We are using Origin now for analysis and reporting, and we are looking forward to incorporate Origin into data collection process using its ability to communicate with LabView. I don’t know any other software that would allow such a high degree of integration and, in the same time would remain very intuitive and flexible.”

Organization

The Department of Physics and Engineering Physics at the University of Tulsa

Problem

Help students develop data analysis and presentation skills that will benefit them in their professional engineering and research careers.

Solution

Integrate Origin into lab exercises, allowing students to practice programming functions, nonlinear curve fitting, and data presentation, all in one software environment.

Key Features
  • Origin C programming language
  • Code Builder development environment
  • Accessing user defined functions from Set Column Values and the nonlinear curve fitter
  • Double-click graph customization
  • Nonlinear curve fitter
  • LabVIEW connectivity

In addition to using Origin in his lab course, Dr. Grigoriev recommends students to use Origin in other courses. Also, he uses Origin to make graphs and calculations for teaching students in other classes.

“In our lab, students learn how to present data in a professional fashion, and how to use fitting for data analysis to find system parameters. These skills should help students in their professional engineering and research careers. For me as an instructor, using Origin is an effective way to present lecture material (in other classes), introduce students to new software that is somewhat exciting for students, and to have students coming to my research lab for undergraduate (and potentially for graduate) research prepared to use Origin (which I use in my research).”

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