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A Web Enabled Study Of Mechanical Engineering

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Software and e-learning in the ME curriculum

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.145.1 - 11.145.12



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Paper Authors


Benson Tongue University of California-Berkeley

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Benson Tongue is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his MS from Stanford University and his BSE, MA, and PhD from Princeton University. He taught from 1983-1988 at the Georgia Institute of Technology and has been at Berkeley since 1988.

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Eric Lew University of California-Berkeley

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Eric Lew is an undergraduate student, majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. His projected graduation date
is May 2007.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

AWESOME: A Web Enabled Study Of Mechanical Engineering

1 Abstract

In this paper we present a dynamic, multi-media, web-based approach to student learning. Hyper-linked text and images allow students to guide their own education with regard to the intent and content of mechanical engineering courses and to discover the applications of particular courses and subject areas.

2 Introduction

The goal of our research is not traditional engineering education as found in mechanical engineering courses such as dynamics, vibrations, and so on. In these courses the goal is to transmit a well defined body of knowledge. A mechanical engineering major knows that he or she needs a particular course for graduation, they take that course and they absorb (hopefully) the material.

Our concern here is rather different. We target students who have a broader and more diffuse set of needs. We answer the question of “why” and leave the class to provide the “how.” What is the point of taking a particular class and how does it fit into a larger picture? These are the issues we try to address. Whether they are undeclared students trying to decide what discipline to enter, are freshman mechanical engineers wondering what courses to take or are upper level students wondering what this is all good for, they all face the same basic dilemma - how to get good answers to their questions. They want insight into what mechanical engineering offers, how the courses interrelate and how the material they’ll be learning will be reflected in future jobs. This paper will examine the workings of a user-driven, multi-modal program that attacks these issues in a combination of ways.

3 Brief history and motivation

Year after year the first author has heard similar questions. Questions such as “What courses should I take?” “I’m interested in becoming an automotive engineer - what electives would be most relevant?” “The syllabus for ME 104 lists orbital mechanics. Why should I care about this?” “What sort of jobs are there for someone who minors in vibrations?”

These examples are typical of students who’ve already, for one reason or another, have entered the mechanical engineering program. A new question, one which will likely become more widespread as the undeclared major becomes a more popular avenue into college, is

Tongue, B., & Lew, E. (2006, June), A Web Enabled Study Of Mechanical Engineering Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--111

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