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Mathematica in the ChE Curriculum

John R. Dorgan
Organization: Chemical Engineering Dept., Colorado School of Mines
J. Thomas McKinnon
Organization: Chemical Engineering Dept., Colorado School of Mines
Journal / Anthology

Chemical Engineering Education
Year: 1996
Volume: 30
Issue: 2

We have been active in incorporating Mathematica, a multifunctional general computer programming environment, into the chemical engineering senior year curriculum at Colorado School of Mines (CMS). This integrated platform for symbolic, numeric, and graphical analyses has been used in process control and reaction engineering courses. Students in these classes have had mixed but generally positive reactions toward its use. In this article we will describe our experiences and provide information that allows access to example problems posted on the Internet. The use of Mathematica provides several advantages in teaching chemical engineering concepts--graphical accuracy in problem solutions presented in class, the ability to do more involved problems, and most importantly, discovery learning on the part of the student. Furthermore, the multimedia capabilities of Mathematica can be used to stimulate student interest in subjects that are inherently heavily mathematical in nature. Finally, we believe that the incorporation of this program into the curriculum provides a general engineering tool that can be useful to the students throughout their careers.

*Engineering > Chemical Engineering