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Learning The Methods Of Engineering Analysis Using Case Studies, Excel, And Vba

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Computers in Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.854.1 - 9.854.15



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Paper Authors

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Samuel Daniels

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Bouzid Aliane

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Jean Nocito-Gobel

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Michael Collura

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

Computers in Education, Session 1520

Lear ning the Methods of Engineer ing Analysis Using Case Studies, Excel and VBA - Cour se Design

Michael A. Collur a, Bouzid Aliane, Samuel Daniels, J ean Nocito-Gobel School of Engineer ing & Applied Science, Univer sity of New Haven

Abstr act

Methods of Engineering Analysis, EAS 112, is a first year course in which engineering and applied science students learn how to apply a variety of computer analysis methods. The course uses a “problem-driven” approach in which case studies of typical engineering and science problems become the arena in which these analytical methods must be applied. A common spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel, is the starting point to teach such topics as descriptive statistics, regression, interpolation, integration and solving sets of algebraic, differential and finite difference equations. Students are also introduced to programming fundamentals in the Visual Basic for Applications environment as they create the algorithms needed for the analysis. In this programming environment students gain an understanding of basic programming concepts, such as data types, assignment and conditional statements, logical and numerical functions, program flow control, passing parameters/returning values with functions and working with arrays.

EAS 112 is a stop along the Multidisciplinary Engineering Foundation Spiral1 in the engineering programs at the University of New Haven. A typical student will take the course in the second semester of the first year. Certain engineering foundation topics will appear in the assigned problems and case studies, contributing to students’ understanding of areas such as electrical circuits, mass balances, and structural mechanics. At this point along the spiral curriculum students are given most of the equations needed to analyze the case study problems, but they are responsible for development of the algorithms and implementing these in the spreadsheet and/or programming environment.

This paper will provide a detailed discussion of the course design along with several examples of the case studies used. Results of an initial pilot offering of the course will be discussed, including an assessment of student’s progress and their opinion of the course.

Intr oduction

Faculty of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at the University of New Haven (UNH) have developed a comprehensive curriculum for the first two years of our engineering programs. This program includes four new Engineering & Applied Science (EAS) courses in the first year. The course of interest in this paper, Methods of Engineering Analysis (EAS 112), is required of all engineering students in the second semester of the freshman year. At that point students should have completed two EAS courses in the previous semester: EAS

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright ©2004 American Society for Engineering Education

Daniels, S., & Aliane, B., & Nocito-Gobel, J., & Collura, M. (2004, June), Learning The Methods Of Engineering Analysis Using Case Studies, Excel, And Vba Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13482

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