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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

UNDERSTANDING CLASSICAL MECHANICS THROUGH PEER LEADERSHIP**

Abstract

In addition to standard course materials and supplemental instruction, incorporating numerical techniques in classical mechanics can help students gain a better grasp of the subject. In our course students were assessed by using mini-projects, questionnaires, pre- and post-tests, and a main project. The mini-projects were rooted deeply within the theory that was covered in class. Students used MATLAB/Octave to create and edit codes that would describe a system, usually through the use of the analytic solution compared against the numeric solution. Students were able to gain guidance from both the professor and the peer leader to better grasp the theory as well as the application of said theory. While being a student in the class, my final project involved the theory of a two-spring-two-mass system. Using matrices and eigenvalues, I was able to solve this system analytically. The theory was finally compared to the numerical result obtained from the Euler-Cromer method.

Acknowledgements

SEEP Grant from UWG and the UWG Physics Department for support

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