As computer technology advances, graphical design environments (GDEs) and visualization tools to support engineering design and decision making are gaining prominence and recognition, particularly in the area of multiobjective design and optimization. In this paper, we discuss an experiment in two graduate courses that was designed to evaluate GDEs through in-class student assignments. For this first set of experiments, a GDE was developed for designing an I-beam cross section with two competing objectives. Within the GDE, students were allowed to vary the values of the design variables and view the corresponding performance graphically in an effort to obtain an optimal design based on a weighted sum of the objectives. Methods for evaluating student efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction within a GDE are discussed, and preliminary results from the experiment verify that graphical design environments can improve design quality and overall satisfaction with the design. The importance of rapid graphical feedback in a GDE is also investigated by incorporating time delays in the performance response. The use of graphical design environments to improve student understanding of design tradeoffs in the classroom is discussed, and results from the I-beam experiment are compared with a previous assignment wherein students had to choose an optimal design without the use of a graphical design interface.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2001|
|Event||2001 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Peppers, Papers, Pueblos and Professors - Albuquerque, NM, United States|
Duration: Jun 24 2001 → Jun 27 2001
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes