Animations for Introductory Courses

Dr. Michael R. Gallis

Dr. Ping Wang

There are many concepts and ideas in the introductory Engineering curriculum that are difficult to convey with static diagrams. The depiction of processes, dynamic phenomena or geometric relations which depend upon a single parameter can all be enhanced with the use of computer animations. Animations can be a valuable aid to visual learners and can even provide a limited degree of interactivity. The development of computer animations (especially 3-D animations) has generally been considered expensive computationally as well as fiscally. However, with the advent of the modern PC, the computational power to render sophisticated graphics in reasonable time is readily available to most instructors. The multitude of collaborative projects on the Internet has provided an array of low- and no-cost programs that help make animation development accessible to all.