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Enabling Extensive Numerical Problem Solving on Smartphones and Tablets

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2014 ASEE International Forum


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 14, 2014

Start Date

June 14, 2014

End Date

June 14, 2014

Conference Session

Track 1 - Session 1

Tagged Topic

Curriculum and Lab Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

20.15.1 - 20.15.9



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Paper Authors


Michael B. Cutlip University of Connecticut

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Michael B. Cutlip is an Emeritus Professor within the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut and has served as department head and director of the university’s Honors Program. He has B. Ch. E. and M. S. degrees from Ohio State and a Ph. D. from the University of Colorado. He has been the Chair and National Program Chair for the ASEE Chemical Engineering Division plus he co-chaired the ASEE Summer School for Chemical Engineering faculty in 2002. His current interests include the development of general software for numerical problem solving and application to chemical and biochemical engineering. Dr. Cutlip is also managing director of Polymath Software that develops and provides problem solving software to higher educational institutions and to individual professional and academics users.

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Mordechai Shacham Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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Mordechai Shacham is professor emeritus of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. He has served as department head, as the chairman of the Israeli Inter-University Center for e-Learning (IUCEL) and as the president of the Israel Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE). He is the recipient of the of the 2000 CACHE Award, the 2010 Himmelblau Award of the CAST division of the AIChE and he is a Fellow of the IIChE. Dr. Shacham received his BSc and DSc degrees from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. His research interests include analysis, modeling and regression of data, applied numerical methods and prediction and consistency analysis of physical properties.

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Michael Elly Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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Michael Elly holds BSc and MBA degrees from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. He is with the Intel Corporation that he joined in 1996 and has served in several senior IT/Automation positions in Israel and in the US. He is the lead programmer for PolyMath and the new PolyMathLite software packages. He is also currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering at the Ben-Gurion University.

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Enabling Extensive Numerical Problem Solving on Smartphones and Tablets Michael B. Cutlip* (Speaker), University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA Michael Elly, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel Mordechai Shacham, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, IsraelComputing is rapidly moving into the world of Smartphones and Tables with theincreasingly popular Android, Apple and Microsoft operating systems for mobiledevices. This will have major impacts in engineering education, particularly indeveloping countries, that will enable the effective and accurate solutions to manysimple and advanced numerical problems. This computing advancement will benefitthe many disciplines involving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math(popularly referred as the STEM areas of study).As academics, we have worked since 1984 on the development of PolymathSoftware for PCs that easily allows engineering students, faculty and professionalengineers to apply numerical analysis methods to problem solving.Within the last year, our work has been expanded into the Android OS that isemployed in over 750 million devices worldwide. We have recently been successfulin creating an Android app called PolyMathLite that retains the problem solvingcapabilities of Polymath for PCs. This app only requires Android 2.2 or higher so itwill execute on even the older smartphones and tablets. PolyMathLite implementsthe same numerical algorithms and provides similar options to those in Polymath forPCs. Android devices generate comparable solutions to seven significant figureswhen compared to PC solutions. The calculational capabilities and execution speedof Android phones and tablets are extremely fast. Problem setup and execution iscompletely on the device so that no active internet connection is needed once theapp is installed.PolyMathLite solves systems of linear equations (LEs), nonlinear algebraic equations(NLEs), systems of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) and carries outpolynomial, multiple linear and nonlinear regressions of data (REGs). This softwarealso provides for automatic creation of MATLAB m-files and also automaticallycreates Excel spreadsheets through the use of Polymath for the PC.This paper will present an overview of the PolyMathLite package for Android devicesin which Engineering problems will be solved. Implications for use in engineeringeducation will be considered. Dissemination of the software to interested attendeesis planned.__________________* Michael B. Cutlip is an emeritus professor at the University of Connecticut and is aco-author of POLYMATH along with the other authors of this paper. He is theManaging Director of Polymath Software. He has been very active with theAmerican Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the American Institute forChemical Engineers (AIChE). His email is:

Cutlip, M. B., & Shacham, M., & Elly, M. (2014, June), Enabling Extensive Numerical Problem Solving on Smartphones and Tablets Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--17178

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