Sharing Session on Teaching Development Grant Project – Removing Learning Barriers in Engineering Education: Innovative Use of 3D Animation, Spreadsheet Methods and CAS Calculators

Tuesday, 7 February, 2012 - 12:30 to 14:00

Venue: Room 3037 (Lift 1)
Speaker: Prof Thomas W.C. HU, Visiting Assistant Professor, CIVL

Event has been rescheduled for the next call for TD grant project proposals.

About the session:

In a number of civil engineering courses, persistent learning obstacles have been observed. A common cause is that certain traditional methods commonly used to teach, learn or solve problems are labor-intensive yet inefficient. In the sharing session, Prof Hu will share his experience about how he implemented a number of Teaching Development Projects to pilot revolutionary methods utilizing animation and "e-math" tools in various CIVL courses to enhance teaching and learning. The sharing will also cover how the project ideas originated, how to apply for the Teaching Development Grant, what difficulties arose and how they were tackled, how the projects were evaluated, as well as how these projects generated genuine impact upon teaching and learning.

About the speaker:

Prof Thomas Hu has been teaching various courses that serve CIVL and IELM students at HKUST for over 17 years. His teaching includes hands-on and lab-oriented topics such as drafting and land surveying, as well as more theoretical subjects such as engineering statistics, statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, and matrix structural analysis. A persistent theme found in his teaching is to make difficult tasks easy for engineering students, yet without sacrificing theoretical rigor. To achieve these, he has devised and implemented many "soft solutions to hard problems" in his courses. These include the innovative use of animation videos, FEM simulation, spreadsheet solvers, and most recently the application of computer algebra systems (CAS calculators) in mechanics and non-linear optimization problems. He has also published a series of technical papers in engineering journals on these innovative "e-math" methods for revolutionizing engineering computations. His research and teaching are therefore integrated with a common desire--to remove the pain of heavy yet peripheral mathematics from engineering analysis. He has published a textbook on land surveying computations using e-math tools, and was a recipient of the HKUST School of Engineering Teaching Excellence Appreciation Award in 2000.

Target audiences:

Faculty and teaching staff who are interested in teaching development and would like to explore the potential of applying Teaching Development Grant to support their innovative teaching ideas.


Registration is not yet available. 

For enquiries, please contact Ms June Chan at 2358 8917 or