Asee peer logo

Fortran90, Tksolver And Excel A Comparison

Download Paper |


1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.204.1 - 2.204.12



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Michael H. Gregg

Download Paper |

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

Session 1253

FORTRAN90, TKSOLVER and EXCEL - - A Comparison

Michael H. Gregg, Assistant Professor Division of Engineering Fundamentals Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University currently requires its incoming freshman or transfer students to take two introductory engineering courses - - EF1005 and EF1006. These classes introduce and expand upon a number of engineering topics, but both culminate in projects.

EF1005, a course in engineering problem solving, teaches pencil-and-paper problem solving skills, introduces students to TK-Solver and its capabilities, and then teaches students how to generate computer solutions via their own FORTRAN programs. The class includes a semester long project which incorporates all of these problem solving skills.

This paper compares the use of FORTRAN 90 (Essential Lahey FORTRAN, ELF90), TK SOLVER 3.0 and EXCEL 5.0 in the solution of various types of freshman level engineering problems. The advantages and disadvantages of each in the creation of graphs, iterative solutions, back solving, and direct solutions are examined. Costs and software and hardware requirements are addressed.


Virginia Tech, a land grant institution, is well into its second century. Its objectives are education, research, and community service. Virginia Tech has grown over the past 126 years from an institution with a student body of 43 to a current enrollment of about 25,000, comprising about 5000 new freshman each year. Of these entering freshman, roughly 1500 will enter the Engineering program.

Virginia Tech’s engineering program puts an emphasis on immediately involving its entering engineering students in engineering topics. These introductory topics are structured to give these students a taste of engineering curricula and to expose them to problem solving techniques. Early involvement in engineering problem solving helps stimulate, refresh and/or retain the interest that these students have already shown in the engineering profession. Virginia Tech’s success in maintaining a respected and rigorous engineering program is combined with an exceptionally high retention rate of its freshman in engineering . The latest figures indicate that nearly 70 percent of freshman engineering students graduate from Virginia Tech with an

Gregg, M. H. (1997, June), Fortran90, Tksolver And Excel A Comparison Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6576

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: © 1997 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