## Teaching Fluid Mechanics Using Mathcad

Conference

2000 Annual Conference

Location

St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

5.586.1 - 5.586.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/8748

853

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

Session 1492

Teaching Fluid Mechanics Using Mathcad Ahlam I. Shalaby, Shahram E. Zanganeh Department of Civil Engineering Howard University

Abstract

Students are taught that the laws of the conservation of mass and the conservation of momentum are fundamental in fluid mechanics analysis and design. These fundamental principles apply whether the flow is spatially varied or constant, temporally unsteady or steady, and closed conduit or open channel. Thus, the application of these basic principles to such a wide possibility of fluid flow problems presents the student with quite a bit of tasks to accomplish in his/her learning process. In the application of one or both of the basic principles, the student is faced with the need to learn and apply, at times, tedious and time- consuming solution algorithms. As a result, both the teacher and the student are presented with auxiliary tasks, which many times, interrupt and hamper the teaching and learning process. Specifically, these auxiliary tasks include solution algorithms which use: iterative procedures; tedious numerical solutions; diagrams, charts, and nomographs; and other indirect and implicit solution procedures. The final result is that there is not much time left to focus on the modeling of the problem, formulation of the solution, interpretation of the results, changing the assumptions, and going back to modeling of the problem, etc., and thus be able to conduct a sensitivity analysis (or an experimental procedure) in order to find the optimum solution. The use of the mathematical software Mathcad to teach fluid mechanics has proven to greatly reduce the drudgery in solving fluid flow problems. As an illustration of this learning enhancement, Mathcad is used to model the occurrence of critical flow at a change of slope in an open channel flow situation. The Mathcad software performs efficient iterative and numerical solution procedures and direct solutions. The use of Mathcad has been made a requirement for all computational procedures in the Fluid Mechanics courses in the Department of Civil Engineering at Howard University.

Introduction

The laws of the conservation of mass and the conservation of momentum are fundamental in fluid mechanics analysis and design, whether the flow is spatially varied or constant, temporally unsteady or steady, and in a closed conduit or an open channel. The application of these basic principles to such a wide variety of fluid flow problems presents the student with a long list of tasks to accomplish in their learning process. In an effort to keep our students current with the fast-paced

Zanganeh, S. E., & Shalaby, A. I. (2000, June), Teaching Fluid Mechanics Using Mathcad Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8748

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