460068 Chemical Engineering Comics to Teach Assumption Making

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Christopher Cogswell, Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA and Lucas J. Landherr, Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

One of the most difficult aspects of chemical engineering for undergraduate students to comprehend, and therefore one of the most difficult to teach, is the concept of assumptions. How to make them correctly, when to apply assumptions, and how to use them in line with mathematical concepts and definitions are a requirement for any successful engineer, yet it is something that has proven especially challenging for undergraduate students to grasp. Providing students with not only a grasp on the concept but also a willingness and confidence to apply assumptions when possible is necessary in undergraduate education. In an effort to create supplemental curriculum to help support students in their development with this concept, the authors have prepared a Chemical Engineering science comic to be implemented in their course work. The comic should make the concept of assumptions more accessible to engineering students, as well as act as a way to introduce the topic to students in a useful and thought provoking manner. The comic utilizes visual depictions of applied assumptions, supported by an dialogue between a professor and student, to create an additional learning tool. With future comics to come in the series, it is the hope that these chemical engineering comics can act not only as a starting point for discussions of assumption making to undergraduates but also be applied to other engineering concepts in the future. 

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See more of this Session: Poster Session: Chemical Engineering Education
See more of this Group/Topical: Education Division