Asee peer logo

Web Based Java Applets For Teaching Engineering Mechanics

Download Paper |


2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.719.1 - 5.719.10

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Yong Y. Kim

author page

Rakesh K. Kapania

author page

Kamal B. Rojiani

Download Paper |

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

Session 2620

Web-Based Java Applets for Teaching Engineering Mechanics

Kamal B. Rojiani1, Yong Y. Kim2 and Rakesh K. Kapania2 1 2 Charles E. Via Dept. of Civil Engineering, Dept. of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg VA 24061


A series of novel Web-based instructional units for teaching structural mechanics to undergraduate students are developed. The instructional units are centered on computer programs written in the platform independent object-oriented Java programming language. The Java applications are embedded in World Wide Web pages (where they are called applets) and are thus available via the Internet to students and instructors throughout the nation. The instructional units are self-contained and independent and can be easily integrated in a variety of courses. Examples of applets developed include: shear, moment and deflection of beams, computation of section properties of sections built up from standard geometric shapes, analysis of statically determinate trusses, and shear center for open and closed section thin-walled tubes. The applets make extensive use of graphics and allow for significant interaction. The advantages of using Java and the World Wide Web for teaching are discussed and examples of the use of these applets in the classroom are presented. An important aspect of the work is to simulate development of similar materials. The instructional units provide necessary resources for instructors in the form of source code and suggestions for adaptation and incorporation into courses. Evaluation of the educational effectiveness of the units is also discussed.


Many educators have realized the value of computer-based tools for enhancing engineering education. The capability of the computer to interact with its user, to compute and then display the consequences of that interaction in a dynamic form provides an avenue for learning that is simply not available in the classroom or textbook. Educators have exploited this capability by developing educational software to solve standard engineering problems and illustrate fundamental engineering concepts and phenomena. Such programs range for simple routines written in a programming language to full multimedia packages.

The advance of technology in the form of the relatively new Java programming language and the World Wide Web offers real opportunities for enhancing the quality of engineering education. The World Wide Web is a popular vehicle for publicizing information in text or graphical form over the Internet. It recent years it has also become a valuable resource and tool for educators. Its strength and popularity arise from the fact that it provides access to information that is time and location independent. Web pages have a significant weakness, however, in that they only offer

Kim, Y. Y., & Kapania, R. K., & Rojiani, K. B. (2000, June), Web Based Java Applets For Teaching Engineering Mechanics Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2000 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015