June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
15.153.1 - 15.153.37
An Important Experiment and Project in the First Measurement Course
One of the important components of a first measurement course in an engineering curriculum should be the coverage of the fundamental concepts in probability, uncertainty, and statistical analysis. An experiment and Project are designed and offered to better instill the significance of the above concepts and tools in engineering measurements, data analysis, and decision making process. The experiment calls for the establis in each of the several sets of springs. Groups of students equal to the number of sets are formed to accurately measure and obtain the necessary data for each of the samples. These groups are then divided into smaller teams which conduct a comprehensive statistical analysis for each set and compare its tendencies with the rest. The teams then must justify their final decisions based on the statistical conclusions that they have drawn. The process for the establishment of six distinct samples is described. Design of the associated apparatus and their costs are presented. The parameters influencing the choice of the sample are discussed. The sample size and how its optimal selection may enable the coordinators to create fifteen (15) different combinations of the sets are described. The required number of measurements and the process for the establishment of K-values are briefly discussed. A comprehensive assessment of how the experiment and the project have improved the learning curve of the students is presented. Sufficient details are provided for creation of a variation of this exercise utilizing electronic components. This alternative features reduced cost and time for assembly and machining. The handout of the project and the experiment as well as a sample of the data required for conducting the analysis is included in the Appendices.
I - Introduction
Laboratory experimentation is a critical final link for a thorough understanding and appreciation of scientific and engineering theories and principles. Every possible effort should be made not to deprive the future engineers or educators from this vital component of their education1. It is therefore necessary to continue development of effective and efficient pedagogical methods and techniques for the engineering laboratory experience2.
The ability to perform Statistical Analyses and developing a solid understanding of the parameters influencing the reliability requirements/considerations in the engineering decision making process may prove critical for a functional design team. An integrated experiment and project are designed to better instill the significance of the above parameters.
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