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Feasibility of Interactive eTextbooks with Computationally Intense Content

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Applications of Online Computing

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.602.1 - 24.602.18



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Paper Authors


Jacques C. Richard Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Richard got his Ph. D. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1989 & a B. S. at Boston University, 1984. He was at NASA Glenn, 1989-1995, taught at Northwestern for Fall 1995, worked at Argonne National Lab, 1996-1997, Chicago State, 1997-2002. Dr. Richard is a Sr. Lecturer & Research Associate in Aerospace Engineering @ Texas A&M since 1/03. His research is focused on computational plasma modeling using spectral and lattice Boltzmann methods for studying plasma turbulence and plasma jets. His research has also included fluid physics and electric propulsion using Lattice-Boltzmann methods, spectral element methods, Weighted Essentially Non-Oscillatory (WENO), etc.
Past research includes modeling single and multi-species plasma flows through ion thruster optics and the discharge cathode assembly; computer simulations of blood flow interacting with blood vessels; modeling ocean-air interaction; reacting flow systems; modeling jet engine turbomachinery going unstable at NASA for 6 years (received NASA Performance Cash awards). Dr. Richard is involved in many outreach activities: e.g., tutoring, mentoring, directing related grants (for example, a grant for an NSF REU site). Dr, Richard is active in professional societies (American Physical Society (APS), American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), etc.), ASEE, ASME. Dr. Richard has authored or co-authored about 25 technical articles (19 of which are refereed publications). Dr. Richard teaches courses ranging from first-year introductory engineering design, fluid mechanics, to space plasma propulsion.

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Logan N. Collins


Kristi J. Shryock Texas A&M University

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Dr. Kristi J. Shryock is Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. She is also an Instructional Associate Professor in the Department. She received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering with a research focus on engineering
education. She works to improve the undergraduate engineering experience through evaluating preparation in mathematics and physics, incorporating experiential activities in the classroom, and introducing multidisciplinary design.

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John D. Whitcomb Texas A&M University

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John began his career at NASA Langley Research Center in 1974, where he stayed until moving to Texas A&M University in 1989. While employed at NASA, he completed his Masters and PhD degrees at Stanford University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, respectively. His research has primarily focused on predicting the performance of composite materials subjected to static and fatigue loads. He has also explored non-mechanical behaviors, such as moisture diffusion, oxygen diffusion and subsequent oxidation, and permeability to cryogenic fuels. The overall goal is to predict the response of potential composite structures without the need for extensive experimental effort. He is also keenly interested in developing techniques for leveraging the power of symbolic and numerical computation to enhance learning opportunities for students.

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John Edward Angarita Columbia University

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Feasibility of interactive eTextbookswith computationally intense content October 20, 20131 AbstractWe evaluate the technical feasibility of creating pedagogically valuable,highly interactive content in eTextbooks for the purpose of education in com-putationally intense fields. This research was motivated by the observationthat emerging eTextbook technologies could help enhance the education ofengineering students. Engineers often want to experiment and to be able toquickly see meaningful results. They want to receive immediate feedback orresponse for their inputs. They want interactive learning tools. Engineerswant trial-and-error with a realistic system, with which they can interact,even if it is a virtual one. The most interactivity in many eTextbooks isclicking links, resizing and rotating images, or pausing/playing audio/video.Currently, emerging technologies associated with eTextbooks, and eBooks ingeneral, are approaching a developmental level where it is possible to providerealistic virtual systems embedded in an eTextbook environment that couldhelp build students’ physical intuition. Since students may wish to interactwith simulations in real-time, one of our feasibility tests involved the real-time rendering and simulation of different example cases of fluid flows withina sample eTextbook chapter. The simulation comes with controls that thestudent can use to manipulate key flow parameters to see the response of theflow field to student inputs. 1

Richard, J. C., & Collins, L. N., & Shryock, K. J., & Whitcomb, J. D., & Angarita, J. E. (2014, June), Feasibility of Interactive eTextbooks with Computationally Intense Content Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20493

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