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Finite element method - Basics

Status: Avslutad
Öppen för svar: 2008-01-21 - 2008-02-11
Antal svar: 39
Procent av deltagarna som svarat: 63%
Kontaktperson: Björn Engström»

Your own effort

1. How many hours per week did you spend on this course?

We mean total time, that is, it comprises the time you spent in class and the time you spent on your own work. Try to estimate the average time over the entire study period.

38 svarande

At most 15 hours/week»1 2%
Around 20 hours/week»4 10%
Around 25 hours/week»12 31%
Around 30 hours/week»16 42%
At least 35 hours/week»5 13%

Genomsnitt: 3.52

- I did not end the course or more correct, I really never started.» (?)
- Most time was spent on the project work» (Around 25 hours/week)
- Much more tahn others» (Around 30 hours/week)
- This was my main attracting course in this progrem. And from the very first day I did to work a lot.» (Around 30 hours/week)

2. How large part of the teaching offered did you attend?

39 svarande

0%»1 2%
25%»0 0%
50%»3 7%
75%»9 23%
100%»26 66%

Genomsnitt: 4.51

- rather ~85-90%» (75%)
- All the lectures were well explanatory with all material plus the book for this course (Introduction to FEM by Ottosen and Peterson) is of course a hallmark for this subject.» (100%)

Goals and goal fulfilment

The course syllabus states the course goals in terms of learning outcomes, i.e., knowledge, skills and attitudes to be acquired by the student during the course.

3. To what extent did your reach the following goal?

After the course the student should be able to define basic constituents defining a boundary value problem in terms of a differntial equation, data and boundary conditions.

38 svarande

0-20%»0 0%
20-40%»3 7%
40-60%»3 7%
60-80%»20 52%
80-100%»12 31%

Genomsnitt: 4.07

- more applications in terms of commercial software would have been desireable» (60-80%)

4. To what extent did you reach the following goal?

After the course the student should be able to apply the basic theory of the finite element method as a numerical method to solve (partial) differential equations, including deriving a weak formulation and constructing suitable approximating functions.

37 svarande

0-20%»0 0%
20-40%»1 2%
40-60%»5 13%
60-80%»15 40%
80-100%»16 43%

Genomsnitt: 4.24

5. To what extent did you reach the following goal?

After the course the student should be able to identify and separate the physical modelling (balance laws, material properties, loads and boundary conditions) as compared to the discretization (numerical solution, e.g. FEM).

38 svarande

0-20%»1 2%
20-40%»2 5%
40-60%»10 26%
60-80%»16 42%
80-100%»9 23%

Genomsnitt: 3.78

6. To what extent did you reach the following goal?

After the course the student should be able to define the modelling steps in the mathematical modelling of stationary and transient linear heat flow and static linear elasticity.

38 svarande

0-20%»1 2%
20-40%»2 5%
40-60%»6 15%
60-80%»20 52%
80-100%»9 23%

Genomsnitt: 3.89

- transient heat flow was not part of exercizes?!» (60-80%)

7. To what extent did you reach the following goal?

After the course the student should be able to apply the finite element method to problems of stationary and transient heat flow and liner static elasticity in one, two and three spatial dimensions.

38 svarande

0-20%»0 0%
25%»2 5%
40-60%»11 28%
60-80%»19 50%
80-100%»6 15%

Genomsnitt: 3.76

- see above» (60-80%)

8. How understandable are the course goals?

38 svarande

I have not seen/read the goals»1 2%
The goals are difficult to understand»1 2%
The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer»14 36%
The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn»22 57%

Genomsnitt: 3.5

- at least i don"t remember reading them» (I have not seen/read the goals)

9. Are the goals reasonable considering your background and the number of credits?

Answer this this question and the succeeding one, only if you do know the course goals.

37 svarande

No, the goals are set too low»0 0%
Yes, the goals seem reasonable»33 89%
No, the goals are set too high»4 10%

Genomsnitt: 2.1

- It"s hte projectworks that take too much time to get a better understanding in a whole » (Yes, the goals seem reasonable)
- Though the goals seem reasonable, I lacked theoretical background. Especially matlab programming which was never part of my studies in Germany gave me quite a hard time, though it is of course possible to learn by oneself. For students from abroad who had no matlab courses before, a more complex introduction could be offered right in the beginning (with examples to programm)» (Yes, the goals seem reasonable)

10. Did the examination assess whether you have reached the goals?

37 svarande

No, not at all»2 5%
To some extent»19 51%
Yes, definitely»15 40%
I don"t know/have not been examined yet»1 2%

Genomsnitt: 2.4

- I was sick and my brain was pretty decomposed! I only got 1.5 on the exam but on another day I would have got 7-8 points.» (No, not at all)
- Some questions were pure mathematics, no FEM knowledge appliable.» (To some extent)

Teaching and course administration

11. To what extent have the lectures been of help for your learning?

38 svarande

Small extent»1 2%
Some extent»9 23%
Large extent»20 52%
Great extent»8 21%

Genomsnitt: 2.92

- The amount of information per lecture was too high, it"s difficult to learn (and not get confused and exhausted) when all you do is write math expressions. Talk more, derive less and use all the weeks for lectures.» (Some extent)
- Certain things have been explained several times by different people, though always in the same way. It might be a good idea to include some calculation examples (B-matrix, K-matrix etc.) also in the lectures. This would have given me much more confidence with the project work.» (Large extent)
- I have absolutely nothing to complain about the lectures. They where great!!! And prof Kenneth is a really good teacher!» (Great extent)

12. To what extent have the exercices been of help for your learning?

38 svarande

Small extent»2 5%
Some extent»11 28%
Large extent»18 47%
Great extent»7 18%

Genomsnitt: 2.78

- exercises were presented very quick and with some mistakes also (sometimes) Less examples which are understood by everyone thoroughly might be better» (Some extent)
- Talk a lot. Explain everything.» (Large extent)

13. To what extent have the project (assignments) been of help for your learning?

38 svarande

Small extent»1 2%
Some extent»7 18%
Large extent»13 34%
Great extent»17 44%

Genomsnitt: 3.21

- They more took time from ahieving a real understanding than helped the learning. Skip one of them so that there is left some days to understand.» (Some extent)
- Because a full report was needed of the assignment much of the time that could have been used for understanding FEM instead was spent on report wrighting.» (Some extent)
- Programming and writing the report took too much time in order to get better understanding » (Some extent)

14. To what extent has the the course literature and other material been of help for your learning?

38 svarande

Small extent»1 2%
Some extent»4 10%
Large extent»13 34%
Great extent»20 52%

Genomsnitt: 3.36

- The book is good (and do is also the CALFEM manual)» (Large extent)
- One of the best books I have ever red during my years at chalmers...» (Great extent)
- Great book!» (Great extent)
- The textbook Ottosen & Petersson is one of the best books for teaching I"ve ever seen. It is well structured and explains very detailed.» (Great extent)

15. How well did the course administration, web page, handouts etc work?

37 svarande

Very badly»0 0%
Rather badly»3 8%
Rather well»19 51%
Very well»15 40%

Genomsnitt: 3.32

- We got the corrected projects much too late. The correction must be done earlier, not just before the exam.» (Rather badly)
- Our deadlines were very important, but the teachers deadlines (grades on hand-ins etc.)didn"t seem that important.» (Rather well)

Study climate

16. How were the opportunities for asking questions and getting help?

38 svarande

Very poor»0 0%
Rather poor»3 7%
Rather good»13 34%
Very good»22 57%
I did not seek help»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 3.5

- It was not easy to reach the teachers outside the scheduled time,» (Rather poor)
- Thanks for all time spent.» (Very good)
- Andreas and Berndt offered some great help when we asked them...» (Very good)

17. How well has cooperation between you and your fellow students worked?

38 svarande

Very poorly»0 0%
Rather poorly»0 0%
Rather well»13 34%
Very well»25 65%
I did not seek cooperation»0 0%

Genomsnitt: 3.65

- Group of 2. Choosen by students. » (Very well)

18. How was the course workload?

38 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»6 15%
High»23 60%
Too high»9 23%

Genomsnitt: 4.07

- Some of the project took very much time.» (High)
- So unnecessary (in my opinion) to require "well written reports" for the assignments. It takes so much extra time.» (Too high)

19. How was the total workload this study period?

38 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»0 0%
Adequate»7 18%
High»18 47%
Too high»13 34%

Genomsnitt: 4.15

- This course stole a lot of time from the heat and moisture (and for me it was a problem, most of the participants preferred the FEM course but i didn"t, and with very big problems (and a lack of genuine interest)of understanding FEM it was a nightmare.» (High)
- Many of us needed to put most of the focus and time to FEM to be able to complete the assignments. This led to that the other course, "Heat and moisture engineering", was almost totally neglected until the last couple of weeks.» (Too high)
- Two very intensive courses. 12hours 7 days a week for a month.» (Too high)
- It was too high due to the fact, that I took the course "Steel Structures" in combination with "FEM - basics". Both courses require a lot of work!» (Too high)

Summarizing questions

20. What is your general impression of the course?

38 svarande

Poor»2 5%
Fair»0 0%
Adequate»8 21%
Good»19 50%
Excellent»9 23%

Genomsnitt: 3.86

- Too specific course» (Poor)
- I learned alot.» (Good)
- the topic itself is very interesting» (Good)
- Content is good but it needs much time and attention.» (Good)

21. What should definitely be preserved to next year?

- the assignments»
- The book»
- The hand-in execises.»
- see above»
- The assignments were very good»
- Not very much»
- the assignments»
- the project are very good but maybe a bit heavy»
- Everything! This course was great!!!!»
- The projects»
- the book!»
- basically everything but some things with some slight changes.»
- The projects, but i didn´,t liked that we had to write long reports.. it took to long time and you didn´,t learn that much of it.»
- The point structure with alot of bonus point in hand-ins which pretty much concludes the course. The litterature. Top 3 course litterature all-time!»
- Home Projects»
- The projects gives a good understanding of the theory.»

22. What should definitely be changed to next year?

- nothing»
- The exercices, too many exercices and not enogh explaning»
- Better administration of files on the portal.»
- see comment to question number 13»
- It would be good to know how many bonus points you have a bit earlier»
- More software and less mathematical tehorems»
- don"t know»
- The exam should at least be 5 hours... That´,s the only thing I complain about.»
- The assistents need to correct the projects earlier.The students need to get the information on the bonus points before the exam.»
- The workload for the projects»
- Less extensive assignments.»
- more exercises for the matlab! not only theoretical things, but real programming exercises would be nice.»
- An exam that is more related to the course. Take away the "written report" part of the projects. Try to explain more, of the general terms of FEM, in the beginning of the course.»
- Not much. More time for project works on exercises!»
- Lectures and exersice in same building»
- There should be more old exams or examples with the same difficulty level as those problems from the exam to get the chance for more practicing. This example book (which was the source for some examples handet out on the homepage) is not very good I think. There should be a clearer guidance which of these examples are really helpful and which are not.»

23. Additional comments

- i think the people involved in the course were very helpful. always possible to ask questions between lectures and at "övningarna". good!»
- The course doesn"t fullfil my expectatives at all»
- Kenneth and the other guys at the department(Andreas and Berndt) have done a great job!»
- Bade solution to have lectures and exersicec in different places»
- Organized, ambitious and an informative course. The book is very good and has a logical structure.»

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