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Feb. 14, 2001
OSWEGO -- Dr. Earl D. Gates, associate professor of technology at SUNY Oswego, is the author of "Introduction to Electronics," the fourth edition of which has been recently released. He is using the textbook for teaching his class in "Electronics Technology."
Published by Delmar, a division of International Thomson Publishing Co., the text is used at various high schools and colleges worldwide.
"Just recently I reviewed a curriculum on the Internet for a college in New Zealand that is using my book in a survey course in electronics," Gates said.
Gates has updated each edition according to specific needs. He works with the publisher and surveys teachers at all levels who are using his textbook to determine what needs to be added or deleted. He also keeps up on the changes in the field of electronics and tries to add the latest technological changes. New in this edition, for example, are programmable logic devices and microcontrollers.
The new edition of the textbook includes a CD where students can use pre-created files for troubleshooting and simulation. A CD is available to teachers and includes an instructor's guide, extensive test database, picture database and a PowerPoint presentation.
The text has a companion Web site at, which provides access to text updates, online quizzes, RealAudio and more.
In 1982 Gates was teaching at Greece Olympia High School in Rochester. "I was discouraged that I was having to use four different textbooks to teach the necessary information," he said. The idea to write the textbook originated with his supervisor at Greece.
Gates did a study on what industry wanted from students graduating with a background in electronics. He found that industry representatives valued a student's ability to do more than they valued the ability to know. He also found that the industry wanted less time spent on teaching theory and more time spent on teaching hands-on applications.
"The idea was to provide a text and reference book that summarizes, in understandable terms, those principles and techniques that are the basic tools of electronics," Gates said.
"In my class all students have to know how to operate all equipment. I also focus on preparing the students as if they were going to teach electronics. I hope both of these elements combine to provide a good foundation for the students to go on to the next level."
Since the text was designed for high school students, Gates has had to make certain changes to apply to college students. He added chapters on material that industry reviewers felt was not necessary but that colleges wanted. For instance, he incorporated information on RCL circuits and Karnaugh maps and expanded the section on using digital meters.
Last semester was the first time Gates actually used the book in a classroom at Oswego.
Gates has 23 years of experience in public education as a teacher and administrator and another 29 in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserves, where he taught theory, maintenance and repair of digital navigation computers and peripheral equipment used on Fleet Ballistic Missile submarines.
His military electronics experience, the three years he spent teaching in the military and the teaching and administrative positions he held throughout his career in education all combined to help Gates develop his book as a successful learning tool.
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CONTACT: Earl D. Gates, associate professor of technology, 312-5760

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