Work in progress: A novel 2d vectors hands-on lab exercise for a first year engineering mathematics laboratory

Jaskirat Sodhi, Max Roman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Studies show that teaching mathematics using an application-oriented, hands-on approach helps students grasp and understand the topics much better as compared to a lecture-based mathematics course. Starting Fall 2016, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) offers such a course loosely based on the Wright State University model to engineering students placed in pre-calculus courses. Throughout the course, students are introduced to engineering problems and applications that rely on concepts of mathematics. This course has lecture, recitation and laboratory components. The lecture provides an overview of relevant topics in engineering analytical methods that are most heavily used in the core sophomore-level engineering courses. These topics are reinforced through solving problems in a lab environment. This paper will discuss a new hands-on lab project that is being introduced in Spring 2018 to help students understand the concept of two-dimensional vectors. A model of a human arm has been designed to demonstrate the application of two-dimensional vectors and calculation of reaction forces. The same model can also be used to demonstrate the application of the law of cosines to measure the bicep muscle length and applications of direct and inverse kinematics for a twolink robot. Use of a simplistic model that must be manually loaded and measured provides a visual demonstration of the concepts and applications of mathematics as discussed in the lecture as well as presented in the textbook. The model has the additional advantage of being inexpensive as it is 3D printed inhouse. We plan to assess the effectiveness of this activity using student surveys. We also look forward to gathering feedback from other conference attendees about this hands-on lab exercise and hope to refine it further for future semesters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jul 24 2018
Event10th Annual First-Year Engineering Experience Conference, FYEE 2018 - Glassboro, United States
Duration: Jul 24 2018Jul 26 2018


Conference10th Annual First-Year Engineering Experience Conference, FYEE 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


  • Application-oriented
  • Engineering mathematics
  • First year introductory course
  • Hands-on lab


Dive into the research topics of 'Work in progress: A novel 2d vectors hands-on lab exercise for a first year engineering mathematics laboratory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this