This year the National Educator's Workshop (NEW:Update 97) was held at Boeing's facilities in Seattle, Washington from November 2 - November 5, 1997. This workshop gives instructors a chance to share tips, tricks and experiments used in the materials science laboratory courses being taught at universities, community colleges and technical schools and even high schools across north America. It was organized by Jim Jacobs at Norfolk State University and was sponsored by Boeing Commercial Airplane Company, NASA, Norfolk State University and NIST with support form many other organizations.
COMPUTER APPLICATIONS FOR THE MATERIALS LABORATORY/CLASSROOM: Illustrating Structure and Diffraction
By: James Shackelford and Mike Meier
This paper describes three examples of the contributions that can be provided to materials engineering education by contemporary computers. First, the use of an x-ray diffractometer with computer control and data analysis in an undergraduate structures course is an excellent tool for demonstrating the role of computers in the materials laboratory. Second and closely related to diffraction is the use of computer modeling of atomic-scale structures, a major development in the field of materials science in the past decade. Commercial software packages are now available for this purpose. Using a graphics platform, these simulation packages can be used to illustrate structure in undergraduate courses, as well as predict diffraction patterns. Third, CD-ROM technology is providing a convenient supplement to current textbooks, e.g., a ready source of figures and tables. Ironically, there is some debate as to whether the CD-ROM may replace the textbook in the future.
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