Application of Mathematical Software Packages in Chemical Engineering Education

Session leaders:

Michael B. Cutlip, Department of Chemical Engineering, Box U-3222, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3222   (Michael.Cutlip@Uconn.Edu)

Mordechai Shacham, Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel 84105   (

These materials were originally created for Sessions 16 and 116 at the ASEE Chemical Engineering Division Summer School at the University of Colorado Boulder.  July 27 - August 1, 2002

This paper provides a collection of representative problems with detailed solutions that can be used to introduce numerical problem solving into core chemical engineering courses. These problems require application of the numerical analysis areas of linear equations, nonlinear equations, ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, and regressions with statistics (polynomial, multiple linear and nonlinear).

A set of 12 "example" problems is presented here along with complete solutions utilizing three representative software packages: Microsoft Excel*, MATLAB*, and Polymath. An additional set of 12 "assignment" problems is also presented. All 24 problem statements and the detailed solutions of the demonstration problems are made available from this page.

These problems and their solutions provide insight into the various types of problems appropriate to chemical engineering, practical aspects of problem solution, and proper interpretations of results. Emphasis will be given to placement of these problems and application of the software within the Chemical Engineering curriculum

Workshop Materials


General Introduction DOC  PDF   HTM


A.  General Materials

        Demonstration Problems  PDF

        Assignment Problems  PDF


        POLYMATH Solutions to Demonstration Problems  PDF

            POLYMATH Solution Files HTM

            POLYMATH Introduction DOC   PDF   HTM

            POLYMATH Detailed Overview  DOC   PDF   HTM


        MATLAB Presentation  PPT  PDF

        MATLAB Solution Files  XLS

        MATLAB Regression Files  XLS


        EXCEL Presentation  PPT  PDF

        EXCEL Solution Files  XLS

E.  Software Installation Files

        POLYMATH Demo Instructions  DOC   PDF   HTM

        POLYMATH Demo Software (limited to 20 sessions)  SETUP

        Request Full Examination Copy of POLYMATH Software  DOC   PDF   HTM

POLYMATH Software Home Page