The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 82 (2004) > Issues > Issue 23/24 > An alternative mathematical framework for structural theory
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An alternative mathematical framework for structural theory

The author has researched a little known branch of mathematics and found that it is ideally suited to the presentation of structural theory both in the lecture theatre and in practice at every level from elementary beam theory to the numerical solution of the most intractable problems that may be encountered. At worst it is useful for verifying the output from computer analysis; at best it can replace the computer with more accurate solutions with no more labour than that involved in preparing input data and perusing output data, with the advantage that the results are in readily visualisable form, give clear messages about the magnitude of residual errors and restore that ‘hands-on’ feeling which has been lost with the advent of computer-aided design. This is achieved with low-level arithmetic. A brief introduction and a simple example are given in the hope of encouraging others to pursue the subject. J. M. Rolfe, BSc (Eng), PrEng, CEng, FIStructE