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Visualization Techniques For Structural Design Education

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Web-Based Laboratories and Classes

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1283.1 - 8.1283.7



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Paper Authors

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Mohammed Haque

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

Session 2158


Mohammed E. Haque, Ph.D., P.E.

Texas A&M University, Texas, USA


The contemporary information technology (IT) allows us to develop learner-centered virtual design studios that can be reached to a large student population via the web. Considerable pedagogical advantages can be achieved by the integration of IT and visualization tools in teaching engineering technology. Structural analysis and design concept visualization, whether in reinforced concrete or steel structure is a subject that depends on geometric and physical perception, and every effort should be made by educators to enhance this ability. This makes it an interesting challenge in an exciting area, requiring creativity, imagination, as well as knowledge, and systematic thinking. Although the classroom environment in Engineering and Construction Science is highly structured by the instructor, teaching students to be critical thinkers is essential in the virtual classroom of the future. The textbooks available in structural design are mostly prepared for engineering students, and do an excellent job, but the associated rigorous theories make it an uninteresting academic hurdle for many below mediocre students. However, when the theories are exemplified in a virtual environment with multimedia, animation, interaction, virtual walk-through, and manipulated image visualization techniques, students' conceptual understanding are enhanced. This paper demonstrates various design concept visualization techniques including image visualization/animation, image manipulation, interactive flowchart based analysis and design animation, and walk-through virtual navigation. These visualization techniques can be valuable aids not only in teaching design principles in the class room but also an effective self directed tool for open learning via the web. All the techniques as discussed in this paper employ a generic programming architecture, which is discipline independent and can be adapted to any other similar domain, which will certainly promote and enhance students’ understanding.


As technology rapidly changes, the importance of educating and training diverse populations of civil/construction engineering/science students becomes more critical. With the advances in information technology (IT) over the last decade, the traditional teaching format of having an individual lecture to an audience has been supplemented, and in some cases, replaced by the rapid development and implementation of new distance learning methods. Classroom use of IT for teaching science, engineering and technology has increased dramatically in recent years and

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Haque, M. (2003, June), Visualization Techniques For Structural Design Education Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12260

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