Teaching Fluid Mechanics through Photography

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


As part of the General Education (GenEd) program at the Pennsylvania State University, we offer an experimental course on flow visualization to undergraduate students. This course aims to bridge the gap between two distinct areas of knowledge: the art and science of fluid mechanics. Designed for students with minimal to no background in photography or physics, this non-mathematical course provides an opportunity for students to explore a variety of aesthetic issues through practical and creative assignments. The course consists of lectures on photography skills, fluid physics, visualization techniques, critique sessions, and a guest lecture. Assignments consist of images paired with written technical reports, and critique sessions. The primary objective of the course is "integrative thinking". Other course objectives evaluated through students' assignments and projects are "creative thinking" and “effective communication”. Some samples of student work are presented, and the outcomes are discussed. This course proved to be very successful in attracting all students (male and female) in both engineering and non-engineering majors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 25 2023
Event2023 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - The Harbor of Engineering: Education for 130 Years, ASEE 2023 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2023Jun 28 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering

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