Asee peer logo

Calculations And Design Checks Using An Internet Server

Download Paper |


2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.133.1 - 5.133.6



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Bill T. Ray

Download Paper |

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

Session 3520

Calculations and Design Checks Using an Internet Server

Bill T. Ray, Ph.D., P.E. Southern Illinois University Carbondale


This paper discusses the use of scripting (uncompiled) computer programming languages to provide students with interactive calculations and design examples over the Internet. Many engineering faculty already possess the programming skills necessary to perform these activities for course-related web sites. VBScript (Active Server Pages) and JavaScript (JScript) can perform a variety of programming functions including graphics, calculations, file storage, cookie (local data storage) creation and cookie retrieval.


Internet scripting languages open a new conduit to provide students with a broader experience with various design processes. VBScript and JavaScript are relatively easy languages to learn. Anyone with experience in C++ or Visual Basic will have little difficulty making the transition to either of these languages. Those with only FORTRAN skills will find the transition only slightly more difficult. However, before you can use either scripting language you must have at least a rudimentary understanding of html.

Each scripting language offers advantages. VBScript, while it runs slower, allows the author to hide the calculations and store or retrieve data from a server hard disk. VBScript accepts input over the Internet, performs the requested calculations on the server, and then writes an html page that is returned to the student. This process consumes more time than JavaScript processes because of transiting the Internet. However, the student is not afforded the opportunity to view the code. On the other hand, the code in JavaScript is downloaded with the html page. All the calculations are performed on the client machine. No further Internet transit time is required. However, the user can view the code, seeing how the author approached the problem (if they can understand the JavaScript). Since JavaScript runs on the local machine, and does not require the round trip through the server, it is much faster. When you use VBScript over a local area network (LAN) this time factor will not be apparent.

Both languages offer a suite of mathematical functions, including all the standard math functions along with the ability to use arrays. Selected features include:

Ray, B. T. (2000, June), Calculations And Design Checks Using An Internet Server Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8194

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2000 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015