How to Teach Mechanics: Benchmarks of a Contextual Framework

Friday, April 19 at 3:30pm

Toomey Hall, 140
400 W. 13th St., Rolla, MO 65409

You're invited to a seminar with Dr. Mohammad E. Torki, a senior research scholar in Computational Solid Mechanics with an equally extensive teaching track record, titled "How to Teach Mechanics: Benchmarks of a Contextual Framework."

Abstract: A self-contained teaching task fixates on articulation, enactment, and assessment. If carried out to their optimum, the three combined can create a rich, dynamic learning environment for students. Articulation entails primarily framing all aspects of the material around a big picture demonstrating a general overview of the subject and its take-away message. A key requisite to effective articulation is targeting an average student level, supplemented with some substance for the above-average and systematic compensatory measures (e.g. recitation classes, office hours, etc.) for those slower to learn. Enactment of teaching materials is another pivotal step to an inclusive grasp. For any engineering subject, the latter is attainable upon portrayal of materials in physical context and binding them to design applications. Aside from its primitive definition, assessment is meant to cater to an interactive learning environment. Such perspective would hone in the assessment methodology towards more interactive methods that place central focus on retention, i.e. keeping students engaged in dynamic reciprocity through questions and answers, involvement in partial solution of class problems, group quizzes and similar activities. A paramount estuary for better retention is an active learning environment, targeted towards collaboration, engagement and exploration. Accordingly, an example teaching task is mocked regarding fundamentals of Hooke’s law in Solid Mechanics in such a manner that is adaptable to both traditional and active learning environments. The subject is presented in four aspects to fully cover all teaching objectives: conceptual, mathematical, physical and design aspects. Further, an extensive cross-scale teaching proposal is presented that encompasses both undergraduate technical electives and graduate-level new courses as well as relevant courses in the existing course catalogue.

Biography: Dr. Mohammad E. Torki is a senior research scholar in Computational Solid Mechanics with an equally extensive teaching track record. He has recently held a visiting faculty line at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University preceded by a senior postdoctoral scholarship at the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter, University of Pennsylvania, a postdoctoral research association at the University of Cambridge, and a lecturer at the College of Engineering, Texas A&M University. He earned his PhD from the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M in 2019. Prior to joining A&M, he received the first rank in the Doctoral Entrance exam after earning his Master’s from Sharif University of Technology. His substantive teaching experience spans advanced graduate-level courses in Continuum Mechanics and Fracture Mechanics as well as various undergraduate courses in relevant topics. His research areas also include mechanics of soft matter (cells and soft tissues), powder-based manufacturing, computational material failure, solid-fluid interaction, high-performance composites, and dynamic instability. He has collaborated with several luminaries including Vikram Deshpande, Vivek Shenoy, Amine Benzerga, Jean-Baptiste Leblond, and J. N. Reddy. His research contributions have been thus far reflected in over 35 articles in high-impact journals including but not limited to Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, Powder Technology, International Journal of Plasticity, and Journal of Sound and Vibration

Event Type

Meetings, Lectures and Conferences


College of Engineering and Computing, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Open to Public


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