Asee peer logo

Interweaving Numerical Processing Techniques In Multisemester Projects

Download Paper |


2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Engineers & Mathematicians Communicating

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.820.1 - 10.820.9



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Peter Avitabile

author page

Tracy Van Zandt

Download Paper |

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

Session 1165


Dr. Peter Avitabile, Associate Professor Dr. John Mc Kelliget, Professor Tracy Van Zandt, Graduate Student Mechanical Engineering Department University of Massachusetts Lowell One University Avenue Lowell, Massachusetts USA


The numerical processing (integration/differentiation/regression analysis) of data is critical to the reduction/manipulation of experimentally acquired data. Students often take classes in numerical methods as either engineering or mathematics courses. Unfortunately, these courses rarely integrate the material in a meaningful manner such that the students truly appreciate the processing at hand. This being the case, the material is often forgotten as the students “hit the reset button” at the end of the course.

Two projects are discussed which were used in an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Math Methods course to attempt to circumvent this generic problem. Each project highlights one technique which is particularly vital for later coursework, with the intent of giving students a better idea of its practical application and importance. The projects (one covering numerical integration/differentiation and one covering regression analysis) go beyond the standard textbook coverage of these subjects. Accompanying each project is a MATLAB-based graphical user interface tool which allows the students to further explore and more deeply understand the details of the techniques. This paper presents those projects along with the assessment of the student understanding prior to and following the implementation of the new projects.

I. Introduction

Course material is typically presented in a fashion that compartmentizes concepts within the confines of the course. Students often do not understand how current course material relates to previous or subsequent courses. At the completion of each course, students hit the “reset button” since they see no reason to retain material from the course. Many times the students will then

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering"

Avitabile, P., & Van Zandt, T. (2005, June), Interweaving Numerical Processing Techniques In Multisemester Projects Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14265

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: © 2005 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