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Toward a T-Shaped Integration of Mathematics in Mechanical Engineering

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Mathematics Division Technical Session 2

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Amitabha Ghosh Rochester Institute of Technology

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Dr. Amitabha Ghosh is a licensed Professional Engineer with a Ph.D. in general engineering composite (Major: Aerospace Engineering) from Mississippi State University. He obtained his B.Tech. and M.Tech. degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. His primary teaching responsibilities are in the areas of fluid mechanics and aerodynamics. He is also a significant contributor in teaching of the solid mechanics courses. For the past twelve years, he has been involved heavily in educational research at RIT and has also served as the coordinator of the Engineering Sciences Core Curriculum (ESCC) in Mechanical Engineering. He is also a member of the graduate advisory committee in Mechanical Engineering.

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This paper presents a progress report structured to implement instructional methods presented in 3 earlier papers published by the author. Details of the coordinated instructional and assessment approaches were utilized by a faculty team in an engineering sciences core curriculum (ESCC) and are now extended to some upper level technical electives. These instructional guidelines have been part of the ABET continuous improvement process at the author’s institution. After the release of ABET 2000, various teaching and assessment methods have been explored by different faculty teams for engineering science topics. Their recommendations were implemented to develop pedagogy and assessment in ESCC. However, these courses failed to uniformly reinforce important mathematical concepts for various reasons. This shortfall was cited and discussed in recent publications. It is necessary to determine which effective mathematical tools are most needed to teach formulation and solution skills to mechanical engineering students, and how to train engineering faculty to use such tools. Recently the departmental focus also shifted to topics of applied mathematics necessary to lead students into advanced research in continuum mechanics. Our initial attempt was to choose the most important mechanical engineering topics and demonstrate conceptual breadth and depth necessary for connectivity with previous topics. Last year a status update was published. This paper further presents a flowchart of mathematical preliminaries and their connectivity to advanced fluid mechanics. The examples presented here demonstrate student performance improvement in topics of aerodynamics and ideal flows. The focus group of students demonstrated remarkable clarity in expressing logical arguments. The author believes such recommendations should further be explored and implemented for other solid mechanics and continuum mechanics electives. The current results support a T-shaped integration of applied mathematics in mechanical engineering. They can be shown to link mathematical training of engineering students and desirable ABET outcomes.

Ghosh, A. (2019, June), Toward a T-Shaped Integration of Mathematics in Mechanical Engineering Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33449

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