Continuum Mechanics As The First Mechanics Course

Jennifer Stroud Rossmann, Clive Dym
2004 Annual Conference Proceedings   unpublished
This paper describes an introductory course in continuum mechanics. Taught within Harvey Mudd College's broad, unspecialized curriculum, the course is designed for second-semester sophomores or juniors who have not had any of the standard engineering courses in mechanics (i.e., statics, dynamics, or strength of materials). We describe in this paper the course's development and its contents, including its many illustrative real-world case studies. We also show how it is uniquely positioned to
more » ... ly positioned to demonstrate the connections between solid and fluid mechanics, as well as the larger mathematical issues shared by both fields, to students who have not yet taken courses in fluid mechanics and/or strength of materials. We also discuss our success in introducing continuum mechanics at such an early point in the curriculum, as we detail the course's implementation over eight semesters, its assessment during that time, and the response of some 300 students who have taken the course.
doi:10.18260/1-2--13343 fatcat:sbasq6mxjbh7rnxz3es5cq42eq