Marchand, R. and T. J. McDevitt. 1999. Learning Differential Equations by Exploring Earthquake Induced Structural Vibrations: A Case Study. International Journal of Engineering Education. 15(6): 477-485.
Article Abstract: This paper discusses an interdisciplinary project administered at the US Military Academy in a calculus with differential equations course. The project takes full advantage of analytical, numerical, and qualitative techniques to explore the mechanical vibrations of buildings during an earthquake. The traditional treatment of mechanical vibration topics in an elementary ODE course is extended through the use of non-dimensionalization, energy related concepts, Coulomb damping, systems of differential equations and the use of computer animations to develop physical intuition and engineering concepts. A primary goal is to allow students to experience both the capabilities and the limitations of technology.
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