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Math Review in

Fluid Mechanics
2017 Ohio-PKAL Annual

Brett Batson, Ph.D.

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Trine University, Angola, Indiana
1 B.W.B
Math Review in Fluid Mechanics
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Brett Batson, Ph.D.

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Trine University, Angola, Indiana
2 B.W.B
Math Review in Fluid Mechanics
Integration of Effective Mathematics Teaching review and
reinforcement across the STEM Curriculum
Supporting, not replacing, the Math Department
Bridging the gap between just math and applications

Just Math
review Applications
3 B.W.B
The Problem
The minute we need a thing, we begin paying
for it whether we buy it or not.
Considering the lack of knowledge in, and skill with, algebra,
calculus, and differential equations:
Students begin paying by an impaired ability to grasp
concepts in fluid mechanics (and other subjects).
They continue paying through lost credit on assignments.

Hines, S. W. ed. 2007. Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm Journalist. University of Missouri
Press, Columbia, MO.
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The Problem Defined
Fluid Mechanics is probably the most math-intensive course
in the core curriculum.
Students prove they are poorly prepared, mathematically.
Fall 2010
o Curriculum change
o Single fluids course
Fluid Mechanics is very full.

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The Problem Defined
A prerequisite for this Fluid Dynamics class is Differential
o In order to take Differential Equations, students must
have earned at least a C in Calculus I and Calculus II,
and passed Calculus III.
o These students should be
well prepared to learn Fluid

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Math Review The Need Exam II is
~48 Students
Exams math intensive
Before the Math Review

~17 pts. 60



1 I 2 II
Exam Exam
3 III Final

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Fluid Mechanics
Cover a lot of material
Properties Potential flow
Pressure fields Stream function
Bernoulli equation Velocity potential
Acceleration fields Pipe flow
Kinematics Laminar
Integral analysis Turbulent
Conservation of mass External flow
Newtons second law Lift, drag
1st law of thermodynamics
Differential analysis
Navier-Stokes equations
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Class Inversion
In the conventionally-taught (lecture) class, there was inadequate
time to review math.

Outside Class
View lecture video

In Class
Take quizzes
Work Practice Problems

Outside Class
Finish Practice Problems
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Inverting Fluid Mechanics
Frequent quizzes
Helps keep students on track
Shorter lectures
~30 minute average per lecture for a 50 minute class
Now I have time to review mathematics!
Math practice problems included
Math problems fair game on quizzes
and exams

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Math Review The Timing
A math review may be done all at once and at the start of
the mathematical-related course.
By the time these skills are needed for the course, students
usually have forgotten them, again.
Importantly, the plurality of review topics should be
covered immediately before they are needed in the
mathematical-related course.

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Math Review Topics
Properties Taylor series
Gradient ( ), logarithms,
Pressure fields
1st order ODEs
Bernoulli equation

Reynolds Transport

Acceleration fields Partial derivatives, total derivatives

Kinematics Evaluating determinants, curl

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Math Review Topics
Differential analysis

Conservation of mass Divergence

o Stream function Total differential

Exact differential equations
Newtons 2nd law
2nd order differential equations
o Exact solutions Method of undetermined coefficients
Surface integrals

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Math Review The Results
~48 80 ~144
Students Students



1I Exam
2 II Exam3 III Final
Before math review After math review

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Math Review Student Comments
Anonymous Course Evaluations:
Math review was also very helpful getting the concepts
back into our minds and thinking about math again.
Dr. Batson has done a wonderful job with the math review
and I found it to be very helpful.

Personal conversations (unprompted) revealed the same


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Math Review Important Points
If your course is too full to review math, consider flipping.
Integrate math review when it will be needed.
Put teeth into the review.
o Quizzes
Dont be afraid to review math not necessarily needed for
your class:
o very helpful getting the concepts back into our minds
and thinking about math again.
The results could be astonishing!

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Math Review Questions?

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