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Teaching Engineering Problem Solving With Mathcad And The Web

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.941.1 - 6.941.7



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Paper Authors

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William Mueller

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Philip Pritchard

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

Session #1520

Teaching Engineering Problem Solving with Mathcad and the Web William Mueller, Philip J. Pritchard Mathsoft, Inc. / Manhattan College


Students often have difficulty understanding basic engineering procedures because of the gulf of mathematical analysis that lies between the definition of a problem and the implementation of its solution. We describe a new Web-based introduction to engineering problem solving intended to address this difficulty. Using Mathcad as a computational engine, analytic details in the course are selectively de-emphasized, directing student attention to the essentials of problem formulation and interpretation. The approach integrates Mathcad’s many pedagogical advantages with the accessibilty, flexibility, and richness of the Web.

I. Introduction: The MathSoft Learning Site

The ubiquity of the World-Wide Web has brought both new opportunities and new concerns to the teaching of the undergraduate engineering curriculum. Indeed, the Web has forced a re- examination of the curriculum itself. Using the Web has some obvious advantages—in terms of availability, inter-connectivity, and access to rich sources of data and reference information. On the other hand, spurious and distracting content, and the difficulties of integrating open-ended instructional options into established classroom practice, make effective use of the Web a continuing challenge. Teachers are looking for workable strategies.

With this in mind, MathSoft, the makers of Mathcad software, have launched a Web-based educational resource center called The Learning Site. It is located at:

The goal of The Learning Site is to provide teachers of engineering, science, and mathematics with reliable, ready-made solutions to the problems of teaching with technology. The site offers online training in the use of Mathcad, as well as integrated collections of learning materials that make use of Mathcad and the Web to deliver their content through engaging, technologically- informed presentations.

Proceedings of the Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Mueller, W., & Pritchard, P. (2001, June), Teaching Engineering Problem Solving With Mathcad And The Web Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9861

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