Accession Number : ADA302788

Title :   A Visualization Tool for Engineering Vector Analysis.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH

Personal Author(s) : Miranda, Byron L.

PDF Url : ADA302788

Report Date : 27 DEC 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 65

Abstract : A prototype computer tool was designed to support an interactive, visual approach to the learning of vector analysis. The objective was to construct a prototype environment in which vectors, scalars and points could be entered, manipulated and observed in three-dimensional form in order to investigate new mechanisms for linking mathematical abstractions to intuitive, geometric thinking at an early stage in a student's education. Vector analysis is typically an integral part of an engineering student's introduction to 3-D thinking. When first introduced, vectors and the results of vector operations often are presented geometrically so that the student may gain some sense of what they actually 'look' like. This is often hindered, however, by the two-dimensional limitations of paper and chalkboard, and by the time required to complete the mathematical calculations and graphically render them in a meaningful way. Computers permit rapid vector calculations and allow quasi-real-time graphical presentation of the results of these calculations. Therefore, students could be able to see the results of their work as it is done in a richer and dynamic fashion. Basic functionality was achieved in the resulting prototype, although critical areas that should be improved in later versions were identified ultimately, the goal of creating vector analysis software cap able of developing three-dimensional visualization skills in entry-level engineering students appears achievable, though more work is required.

Descriptors :   *SOFTWARE ENGINEERING, *VECTOR ANALYSIS, *INTERACTIVE GRAPHICS, IMAGE PROCESSING, COMPUTATIONS, DATA MANAGEMENT, REAL TIME, THESES, INPUT OUTPUT PROCESSING, PROTOTYPES, THREE DIMENSIONAL, COMPUTER GRAPHICS, VISUAL PERCEPTION, SCALAR FUNCTIONS, MAN COMPUTER INTERFACE, DESIGN CRITERIA, COMPUTER AIDED INSTRUCTION, DYNAMIC PROGRAMMING, RAY TRACING, FIELDS(COMPUTER PROGRAMS).

Subject Categories : Computer Programming and Software

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE