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Artie, an Artificial Heat Transfer Analyst: Reporting Document and Graphics




2: Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Supervisor:

Tony Patera

Faculty email:


Apply by:

September 18


Tony Patera: patera@mit.edu

Project Description

We are developing an "Artificial Heat Transfer Student" which could earn an A in an undergraduate heat transfer subject. The software will accept problem set-like statements and provide solutions as expected of actual students. Our approach divides the software into two parts: The frontend applies natural language and image processing techniques to translate problem statements into heat transfer specifications. The frontend also summarizes the solution, complete with derivations and justifications, in a technical report and associated graphics. The backend operates on the heat transfer specifications to develop appropriate mathematical models and associated approximate solutions, with particular attention to the most challenging limit — back-of-the-envelope estimates justified through appropriate simplifications of the geometry and physics. In this particular UROP project we will develop software which packages frontend and backend outputs as a formal technical document and associated graphics, similar to the deliverables of a student's problem set solution. Included will be a summary of empirical information incorporated in the analysis, the derivation and justification of the mathematical model, a presentation of the associated computational solution, discussion of error estimates and sensitivity studies for the predictions, and comparisons with any available experimental data.


Extensive Matlab experience, in particular text processing and graphics; latex experience.