Just-In-Time Physics Education

By Ansys Advantage Staff

Ansys Innovation Courses present hard-to-grasp physics concepts in an easy-to-follow, online format. The newly launched, free, undergraduate-level courses use 3D simulation to illuminate forces and flows, and bring invisible phenomena — radiation heat transfer, for example — to light.

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Designed with students, early-career engineers and educators in mind, the Innovation Courses deliver on-demand project-based learning to anyone, anywhere. Students can access the self-paced courses to strengthen their understanding of a particular concept or explore new topics of interest. Graduates, preparing for a master’s degree or new employment, can use the courses as physics refreshers.

For professors teaching in or out of the classroom, the courses can easily be assigned as homework or self-study to their students. Additionally, educators can understand how simulation can be used earlier in their own course curriculum to start moving toward a state where theory overlaps with simulation in an on-demand manner versus a more traditional theory first, simulation second teaching method.

Take a Sneak Peek at the Simulation Syllabus

Created by the Ansys Ace (professional services) team in collaboration with the Ansys Academic Program, the Innovation Courses are offered individually or organized into learning tracks. Heat Transfers in Structures, Fundamental Electromagnetics and Basics of Fluid Dynamics are just a few examples of the many tracks rolling out in 2020. Each will cover a variety of topics: For example, mechanics courses will explore preloaded bolted joints, thermal strain, hyperelasticity, harmonic response analysis and more. And, while the content in a particular course will reference or dive deeper into content presented earlier in the track, learners and educators need not access courses sequentially.

The courses consist of several lessons, which can be started and paused. Each lesson usually contains a series of short, minutelong simulations and explanatory text, plus a longer, five- to 10-minute video “lecture.” A PDF handout of each lecture is also included, so students may follow along, make notes or use it as a resource after the lesson concludes. The homework section may contain quizzes or a video tutorial, with accompanying downloadable data files so that students can DIY-it. Free student software, available through the Ansys Academic Program, can further enrich these at-home assignments.

The Innovation Courses also provide professors with an effortless way to introduce students to simulation earlier in their college curricula. The content seamlessly marries physics theory, laws and equations with the simulation setups and solutions students will need to learn before graduation to help jump-start their careers.

The first set of courses is available at ansys.com/courses. Check back often: A multitude of new courses will be added monthly.

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