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Development Of Web Based Numerical Wave Tank And Java Applets As An Advanced Tool For Teaching Wave Mechanics

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Projects in Ocean and Marine Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.432.1 - 8.432.9



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Paper Authors

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Sangsoo Ryu

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M.H. Kim

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Julian H. Kang

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Spyros A. Kinnas

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

Session 1478

Development of Web-based Numerical Wave Tank and Java Applets as an Advanced Tool for Teaching Wave Mechanics

Sangsoo Ryu*, M.H. Kim*, Spyros A. Kinnas**, Julian H. Kang* *Texas A&M University / **The University of Texas at Austin


In this paper, the effectiveness of a user-interactive Web-based teaching tool is discussed. One of the topics that students may have some degree of difficulty in understanding Ocean Wave Mechanics may be the propagation and interaction of ocean waves and related physical phenomena. Explaining this kind of topic using only mathematical formulas may not be good enough for students to build strong knowledge in solving relevant problems. Our research shows that visual representation helps students to learn complicated mathematical subjects more rapidly and easily, and to better understand its complex physical phenomena. The recent advancement of visualization technology in Internet enables more effective visual dissemination and representation of complicated physics to students in remote place than ever before. We developed Web-based Numerical Wave Tank (WebNWT) using Java technology for distance education tools over the Internet. This paper addresses the structure of WebNWT and how WebNWT can help students to better understand complicated physics, such as wave interaction and propagation. The advantage of WebNWT over conventional non-interactive pedagogy in conveying knowledge is also discussed. Some exit survey results are collected from undergraduate and graduate students, and the data are analyzed.

I. Introduction

Visualization plays an important role in human’s cognitive process. Human beings obtain 83% of their knowledge from visual observation1. Although text is a more advanced way to express an abstract knowledge, pictures have their own value in describing mathematical concepts. Johnson- Laird et al. verified from experiment that the use of realistic materials improves performance in a deceptive reasoning problem2. Pressley asserted that “Imposed pictures are almost always learned better than words3”.

Wave mechanics is one of the courses that students may have some degree of difficulty in understanding theories and applying them to practical problems. Traditional lecture may not clearly convey difficult theories, concepts, mathematical formulas, and relevant applications of wave mechanics. Some of the possible drawbacks of the traditional lecture style in dealing with wave mechanics may include: • Difficulty in describing how the wave front propagates in group velocity instead of phase velocity

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Ryu, S., & Kim, M., & Kang, J. H., & Kinnas, S. A. (2003, June), Development Of Web Based Numerical Wave Tank And Java Applets As An Advanced Tool For Teaching Wave Mechanics Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11858

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