AJ Magana, RE García “FiPy and OOF: Computational simulations for modeling and simulation of computational materials.” Proceedings of the 117th Annual Conference of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), Louisville, Kentucky, June. 20-23, 2010.
Modeling and simulation of materials has been identified as one relevant skill for undergraduate and graduate students in materials science engineering. To address this need, the course MSE 597I Introduction to Computational Materials, aimed to junior/senior undergraduate and graduate students, has been designed to convey concepts and ideas that address the numerical description of the equilibrium and kinetics of materials. To attain the goals of the course, two computational tools, OOF and FiPy, have been incorporated to the class. OOF was used to calculate the spatial distribution of physical fields and the macroscopic properties from images of real or simulated microstructures and FiPy was used as a tool to solve partial differential equations. To investigate students’ perceptions of OOF and FiPy as learning tools, two surveys were conducted focusing on learning outcomes, evidence of the learning, and pedagogical approach. By identifying, comparing and contrasting students’ perceptions of these two tools we discuss potential changes in classroom implementation as well as changes in the simulations’ interface design.