Ivana Milanovic, professor of mechanical engineering is the keynote speaker at the COMSOL Conference 2018 Boston. She will deliver a talk on a Simulation-Based Approach to STEM Challenges. The pedagogical approach combines problem- and inquiry-based learning, simulations and apps with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, and emphasizes the importance of outside-of-class learning supported by effective reference materials and faculty mentoring.
A two-course sequence was modified to contain scaffolded and contextualized simulations with application building that develop technical competency in modeling, a deeper understanding of thermofluids concepts by solving realistic technological problems, and writing skills by generating technical reports for each simulation. Apps involve creating a simplified interface that contains the full efficacy of the underlying model but not exposing the end user to its complexity.