Abstract

Engineers need to absorb and learn large amounts of new technical information. Effective methods of receiving this information are needed. Hypermedia stacks are one emerging avenue for information transmittal. This paper discusses two programs that have been created to address two distinct requirements for information transmittal — description of new technology in an easily accessible form, and guiding novices in developing skills and gaining insights in solving a particular type of problem. The first program was developed using a HyperCard stack and a Macintosh computer and describes current techniques available for rapid prototyping. Professional engineers and engineering students are largely unaware of these technologies because information on the subject is new. The second program is being developed using ToolBook under Windows and deals with the problem of sizing an idler shaft under given loads and operating conditions. This is a standard type of problem that might be given in a junior level machine design course. It draws on knowledge from statics and strength of materials and so acts as a review of fundamentals as well as a test of deeper understanding. This second program is at an earlier stage of development.

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