USING OCTAVE FOR CALCULATING CENTERS OF GRAVITY IN THE BUILDING ENGINEERING STUDENTS
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Octave is a high level language oriented to numerical computing. It is a clone of MATLAB and the best is that is free and open source. Programming in Octave is simple; we can make a program of a few lines with a little effort. Another matter is to program well, which takes much longer, but for applications that need a first-degree, we can say is the ideal language.
What does Octave offer to a first year student of engineering? In subjects like Physics we know that new students arrive with strong deficiencies in mathematics and physics. Octave can help to reinforce math concepts, to perform routine calculations and to see the relationship between physics and mathematics.
On the other way, the calculation of centroids has many difficulties for first year students but it is priority for future architects. In this case, it is necessary to solve equations with integrals, which are often difficult to calculate from the primitive function.
The functions for calculating definite integrals built in Octave provide easy calculation of these integrals so that students can work with a tool that allows them to better understand the concepts of centroid and center of gravity, and also address statics problems where knowing the center of gravity is necessary to solve the problem.
The use of "scripts" facilitates the calculation process and re-directs the student’s attention to the “physics side” of the problem, so that takes, otherwise impossible to solve, can be tackled.
Keywords: Octave, centers of gravity.