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Teaching Modal Analysis: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words And Multimedia Is Better Yet!

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.486.1 - 4.486.12

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Paper Authors

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Peter Avitabile

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

Session 2634


Dr. Peter Avitabile Modal Analysis and Controls Laboratory University of Massachusetts Lowell Lowell, Massachusetts USA


Teaching complex concepts related to modal analysis (both analytical and experimental topics) to undergraduate students can be quite difficult. The student must be familiar with a wide range of different subjects - some of which he has forgotten and others he may have never taken. In addition to traditional topics, the student must become familiar with vastly new and diverse subject matter.

In order to expose undergraduate students to experimental modal analysis to support capstone design projects and other related projects, a simplified approach is necessary. Complex mathematical concepts can be easily illustrated using detailed pictures where color becomes an extremely important contribution. These concepts can be further explained through the use of multimedia format presentations. Multimedia provides a mechanism for students to review material as often as needed to fully understand complex concepts. This paper addresses some of these issues through the use of some typical teaching examples used.

I. Introduction

Teaching experimental modal analysis involves a very wide assortment of different disciplines. The student must be familiar with basic dynamics and vibrations with exposure to a variety of different mathematical tools such as Fourier series and Laplace transforms. Beyond these traditional disciplines, the student must become familiar with digital signal processing concepts, instrumentation, testing techniques and modal parameter estimation techniques involving numerical estimation.

To address all of this material, in detail, requires several graduate level courses. However, many times undergraduates need to be exposed to the basic techniques and concepts of experimental

Avitabile, P. (1999, June), Teaching Modal Analysis: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words And Multimedia Is Better Yet! Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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