Asee peer logo

Introducing Special Interest Topics Into An Engineering Analysis Course

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Potpourri of Engineering Mathematics

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.780.1 - 8.780.7



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Frank Wicks

Download Paper |

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

Paper ASEE 2003-#3265, Mathematics Division

“Introducing Special Interest Topics into an Engineering Analysis Course” Professor Frank Wicks Mechanical Engineering Department, Union College


The Masters Degree program at Union College is primarily a part time program that serves engineers who work in area industries. Until recently no math course was required. The justification was the sufficient math content is embedded in the required engineering courses. Recent adjustments in the curriculum have added an Engineering Analysis Course which focuses on applied engineering mathematics.

Some special interest topics have been added along with the traditional differential and integral calculus, vectors, matrices and transform methods. These special interest methods topics place emphasis on the mathematical modeling of various processes and secondary emphasis on solution methods. The philosophy is that if a process can be mathematically modeled it can be solved by computer based numerical techniques. The fact that any process that can be modeled can be solved by numerical methods also means that questionable assumptions such as linearity do not have to be made during the process of developing the equations. Thus more realistic results can be obtained.

1. Introduction

Special interest topics that have been introduced in an engineering analysis course. These topics are of engineering importance but fall outside the boundaries of a traditional classical Applied Engineering Mathematics Course. They include a) Markov processes to model the transitional forecasting process that can be defined as fact to fuzz, b) the Global Positioning System problem of determining position by finding the intersection point of spheres, c) 2nd law analysis of thermodynamic cycles to develop the ideal fuel burning engine based on the varying temperature combustion products which are the source of heat, d) development of a finite element model of a cooking hotdog with constant and with temperature dependent conductivity, e) statistical analysis of the risk associated by launching a rocket outside the experience envelope as defined by the 1986 space shuttle Challenger accident, and f) development of simplified differential equation to represent nuclear reactor steady state and transient processes and then solving this differential equation for a variety of operating conditions.

Wicks, F. (2003, June), Introducing Special Interest Topics Into An Engineering Analysis Course Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12247

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: © 2003 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