June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Computers in Education
12.1278.1 - 12.1278.16
Simulation and Animation of Engineering Systems: No Specialized Software or Programming Required Abstract:
Many topics in engineering curricula rely on visual components to help convey concepts that are difficult to describe in purely text-based form. Similarly, raw data plotted in a colorful three- dimensional graph brings life to otherwise static numerical information. The extraordinary value of providing a visual component to teaching and learning is well documented. Adding animation to visual components only serves to enhance the learning experience even further. The use of animation allows students to view dynamic processes in various topics throughout all engineering disciplines in a manner that effectively engages the student in the learning process. However, the task of creating simulations and animations is frequently a daunting, time- consuming task where regardless of the usefulness there is simply not enough time in a day to create such a worthwhile experience for students. Therefore, providing instructors with the capability to create, with ease, animations of complex engineering systems and providing students with the opportunity to view these “living” systems is invaluable in the quest to enhance teaching and learning and to retain student interest in the subject matter.
This paper will provide a discussion centered on two intertwined themes. The first theme provides details regarding useful techniques for creating animation of dynamic processes applicable across all engineering disciplines, without the use of programming or specialized software. The second theme is the development of an example of animating the architecture of a computer system. This analytical example evolves from a course in digital systems, and actively demonstrates the physical interrelationships of individual components of a computer system as a program executes in real-time, clock-pulse by clock-pulse. This simulation/animation provides an effective opportunity for students to visualize the movement of data throughout the architecture of the system as a program executes in either a continuous or stop-and-go fashion at a speed determined by the analytical capabilities of the student user of the system. Even though the example is from the topic of digital systems, the explanation of the simulation/animation techniques is presented in a manner that is applicable across all engineering disciplines.
Engineering students are typically hands-on visually oriented learners. The extraordinary value of providing a visual component to teaching and learning is well documented. Many topics in engineering curricula rely on visual components to help convey concepts that are difficult to describe in purely text-based form. Adding animation to visual components only serves to enhance the learning experience even further. Bringing animation to raw data plotted in a colorful three-dimensional graph brings life to otherwise static numerical information.
Simulation and animation can be utilized by an instructor to illustrate concepts in a classroom setting or by students to solve problems in a laboratory setting. The use of animation provides a method to model and observe dynamic processes in all engineering disciplines in a manner that effectively engages the observer.
Ziegler, W. (2007, June), Simulation And Animation Of Engineering Systems: No Specialized Software Or Programming Required Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2673
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: © 2007 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