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Aerospace Engineering: Integrator For Cross Disciplinary Learning

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.145.1 - 6.145.11



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Paper Authors

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Marilyn Smith

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Aerospace Engineers have a tradition of innovating across discipline boundaries. Each new flight vehicle design is a challenge requiring the application of advances in different disciplines. The fast-changing technological marketplace makes it critical to prepare students to absorb and integrate knowledge from any discipline. This skill will be crucial to their ability to analyze problems and develop new concepts. The basic question facing engineering educators is: “How will we teach learners to seek and grasp the fundamentals of new disciplines and to use them appropriately to solve problems?” This issue faces the tough constraints of time, the imperative for depth, the need for sequential presentation of fundamental knowledge, the maturity of the learner, and the ability of any given instructor to teach multiple disciplines. A system where students learn, by iteration, to solve problems across disciplines is being developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The Internet is used as a knowledge locator and integration tool to supplement traditional learning methods. A growing resource called the Aerospace Digital Library ( is being used by learners at all levels. A learner-centered gateway, set at the level of a college freshman, links the fundamental logic of technical disciplines to the leading edge of technology. Using a Concept Engine structure, learners can navigate from the basics to the leading edge of multiple disciplines. In this paper, the issues of catering to differing learner styles, and the experience of learners at different levels using the ADL, are discussed.

Smith, M. (2001, June), Aerospace Engineering: Integrator For Cross Disciplinary Learning Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--8895

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