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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Power Electronics by University of Colorado Boulder

3,381 ratings

About the Course

This course can also be taken for academic credit as ECEA 5700, part of CU Boulder’s Master of Science in Electrical Engineering degree. This course introduces the basic concepts of switched-mode converter circuits for controlling and converting electrical power with high efficiency. Principles of converter circuit analysis are introduced, and are developed for finding the steady state voltages, current, and efficiency of power converters. Assignments include simulation of a dc-dc converter, analysis of an inverting dc-dc converter, and modeling and efficiency analysis of an electric vehicle system and of a USB power regulator. After completing this course, you will: ● Understand what a switched-mode converter is and its basic operating principles ● Be able to solve for the steady-state voltages and currents of step-down, step-up, inverting, and other power converters ● Know how to derive an averaged equivalent circuit model and solve for the converter efficiency A basic understanding of electrical circuit analysis is an assumed prerequisite for this course....

Top reviews


Jul 31, 2017

This course sets the groundwork for more advanced concepts in Power Electronics. The Professor was very explicit and the homework assignments were of a good strength to help ground the notions learnt.


Jun 18, 2020

Very nice course. Even if you are already familiar with power electronics, it will help you to form a system of knowledge and utilize rational approaches for task solution of any level of complicity.

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26 - 50 of 814 Reviews for Introduction to Power Electronics

By Luke W

Jan 31, 2022

Coursera needs someone to go over accepted mathematical answers. Too often I was left wondering where did I go wrong only to find that I didn't answer to the 100th decimal position.

By Egbeola A

Apr 17, 2020

Very Difficult with very poor lecture videos.

By Tommi J

Oct 21, 2020

Very clear and concise explanations about basic analysis methods for power electronic circuits. What's great is the emphasis on general methodologies - you are not expeted to memorize the operation of all different power electronics circuits but are rather taught generally applicable tools to analyse any power electronic circuits you are given. I have taken this course as a refresher as I previously have a Master's in power electronics but have been working in other industries for the past 5 years. Thus, I think I can confidently say that the coverage in this course is good and the lectures and exercises have clearly been carefully constructed. My only minor negative point is that the exercises, while generally very good for making the student apply the skills taught in the course, are a little bit unforgiving in the sense that if you have somewhere along the way made a mistake when deriving analytical expressions, it might be quite difficult and time-consuming to find the error as it is difficult to get hints or to get pointed in the right direction. Of course, that might be expected from an online course and I guess there is also a (more expensive) version of this course available where you also have access to course staff which would certainly help when running into such issues. It's quite a time-consuming course so be prepared, I spent much more than the quoted 3h per exercise (without counting the first exercise which was pretty straightforward).

By John G

Jul 11, 2016

Teaches the basics of buck and boost converters (switching voltage regulators). Basics like how the switching duty-cycle determines the output voltage, and how the essential components affect ripple in the voltage and current.

The homework assignments are challenging and meaningful without being enormous undertakings.

Assumes freshman or sophomore-level electronics engineering knowledge (or maybe the first chapter of The Art of Electronics). Assumes familiarity with the basic concepts of calculus (what derivatives and integrals are). Homework requires some algebra (algebraic manipulation) but no difficult calculus sort of algebra. Homework does require thinking outside of the box a bit; the solutions to some problems are not completely obvious from the lectures.

By Sharmila P

Jul 26, 2020

The subject material is very well organized. Prof Bob Erickson explains the subject in a way that makes it simple and intuitive to understand the concept. It's such a welcome change from a 'push the book material' style of the most. The HW and Assignment questions are extremely well designed. They make the students to go through 'nooks and corners' of the subject. My only unfulfilled wish from the course is live demos with real life components and explanation of their relative merits over others. A 'virtual power electronics lab' to this course will be a welcome addendum.

A gratifying experience to receive the certificate signed by Dr Robert Erickson!

By Michael B

Jun 29, 2017

Well laid out review of the math behind switching converter designs. Course provides some above and beyond material (ie an example of a MOSFET driving circuit) for those looking to learn more.

Only negative comment I have is regarding the forums. The moderators appear to be semi-active and answers conclusively, but it has pages on pages of people asking the same questions, so sometimes it's hard to find the right discussion. Highly recommend the moderator 'closes' similar questions and refer's the author via link or something to the full discussion on that question wherever it is.

By zeeshan H

Sep 25, 2017

This was one of the best course that I came across online. I have studied this course during my undergraduate program but the way this course was handled and taught here was amazing. I learnt about many new methods of analysis of a converter. Moreover I learnt about the converters concepts in a way that I had never learnt before. Overall It was one of the best experience and I would recommend to every person interested in this subject to take this course. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this community.

By Aquiles J

Feb 14, 2016

Fantastic introductory course to a long awaited specialization. I'm an electrical engineer and I was related to most of the theory prof. Erickson discussed with us in the lectures, but assignments, quick questions and facts were beyond my expectations. I can actually say I learnt things in these few weeks. And is just the beginning. Can't wait until we get to the control loop design for active filtering techniques. Great job by prof. Erickson and his team for the resources and the knowledge.

By Rebekah Y

Apr 16, 2023

It would benefit students greatly if more solutions to chapter problems were posted in the "Sample Problems with Solutions" reading assignments. At the moment, only a couple chapter problem solutions are posted. With more solutions, students can practice more and really solidify their understanding of the chapter because they will be able to check their answers and make sure they are doing the problem correctly.

By Byron A C V

Aug 20, 2020

Excelente curso, buen contenido, el desarrollo del instructor es muy didáctico y se fomenta el auto aprendizaje con las tareas propuestas

By obinna o

Jul 16, 2022

I suggest that the instructor should add or recommend more materials/textbooks for further reading.

By Rafat S

May 12, 2019

the solution for numerical question were hard because of .1 % barrier and . the answer once entered correct the database should keep that result to reduce re entry of correct answers. add more exmple so that student can do more practice before attending assignment.

By Thierry G

Feb 4, 2018

Excellent introduction to the analysis of switched systems. The explanations and examples are very clearly explained.

The only drawback to this course is that it takes a lot of trying around to get used to enter the formulas into the system for the homework

By Deleted A

Apr 3, 2021

Although this course was great overall, I think it needs to have more content to explain more converter topologies. The homework assignments were at times extremely difficult due to a lack of helpful examples in lectures.

I have taken this course in undergrad (RIT) and concepts were more thoroughly explained to me there than here. I hope I am not being too harsh, as I do think this is good for those that haven't been exposed to much of the power electronics field before. Maybe the next course in this specialization will change my opinion!

By Matthew J

Aug 14, 2020

Overall a good introduction course.

I think the requirement that you be 0.1% accurate in your answers is a bit ridiculous and it would probably be better to expand the accuracy slightly so that you do not have to make multiple submissions just to determine if 0.123 or 0.1234 is the correct answer. This is especially true given that actual implementation is going to be much more hands on once you actually start developing the circuit.

By R.L C

Feb 3, 2017

My opinion:

Not much monitoring of the forums by mentors\instructors, hence responses are non- existent\delayed\misleading. some of the replies by mentors were misleading, The rationale of the Volt-sec balance was not set out very clearly, The expression evaluator is very temperamental, i had to enter the expressions many times , a very time-consuming & frustrating process.

By Philipp M

Jun 8, 2017

I liked the course and the lectures. Real good examples and explanations!

But for the exams, I would like t have some more hints sometimes if one is on the wrong way.

By Thomas E M

Sep 18, 2016

There are serious issues with the quizzes. Other than grading correct/incorrect, there is no feedback afterwards.

By Farhan S

Mar 2, 2021

A good course but need some more advance software for the solving and practising of assignment and knowledge.

By Eric S

Aug 28, 2020

No TA/Professor help. Some of the HW questions were ambiguous. Posting on the forums didn't help at all, no one is there.

By Wangnan Z

Aug 23, 2021

Literally no forum support. calculation tolerance is very small

By Andrew T H

Jul 9, 2022

Bob, the professor, suffers from what I call the Merle Potter Syndrome. If you don't know who Potter is, he was a published mechanical engineer professor whose books are poorly written. One can easily tell that Potter knew the material, but could not communicate the subject matter. Bob is identical in both aspects - knows the material, can't communicate.

Prior to taking this course, I spent two months reading his text book in anticipation for class. Sadly, the recorded lectures provide little to no help or guidance for answering the homework. The recorded content is barely even addressed in the homework. In fact the homework is the teacher. Which, when the homework becomes the teacher, what is the point in having a talking head at that point? Additionally, much like his lectures, Bob's textbook is written in the same fashion.

Currently, I've had to seek out a professor from another university graduate program, unrelated to University of Colorado, to learn this material. And I received help from Texas Instruments. I will complete this class, but in terms of completing this specialization, I will more than likely not complete it. Instead opting to start another specialization with the university. If it is found that other professors "teach" in the same fashion as Bob, then I will find a new university altogether.

In the end, if you are a professional who designs power electronics for a living and is looking to earn a master's degree in EE, then skip the recorded lectures, answer the homework, and take the final exam. If Power Electronics is new to you, I would strongly implore you to find another program. Or do what I'm doing seek out external help and just go through the motions of this class.

By Abheek A

Oct 9, 2020

Its Not an introduction , its from intermediate level

By Augusto H E

Feb 14, 2020

Muy buena introducción a la electrónica de potencia!

El doctor Erickson hace posible con sus vídeos y eplicaciones que conceptos muy complejos sean asimilados sin grandes traumas. Sería un curso perfecto si se incluyeran más ejercicios resueltos para poder practicar bien antes de realizar los tests, cuyo nivel de dificultad puede resultar algo elevado para los principiantes en esta materia.

Animo a todo el mundo interesado en este campo de la electrónica a participar en este magnífico curso!!!

By Sebastian L

Sep 30, 2017

I am a professional hardware developer working outside of the field of power electronics, so for me this course is an attempt to gain knowledge in a new field.... succsessfully. The introduction ends with quite a hardcore homework that may break some nerves but going through this is definitely worth it. I recommend this course to anyone that has some experience with electronics and wants to push their knowledge boundaries towards the field of power electronics