chapter  16
39 Pages

C H A P T E R 1 6

16.1 INTRODUCTION

Within the last few decades a number of new methods or techniques have appeared at the forefront of research in civil engineering, and have been rapidly passed into the mainstream of education and practice in the field. These meth­ ods utilize the power which computers-main-frames, workstations, and PCsprovide to accomplish new algorithms which transcend those formerly available to researchers, educators, and practitioners. They fly under different colors, or at least under different nomenclatures, but they have in common that they auto­ mate or mechanize activities formerly deemed to be the function of engineers. Of course, the new methods have all been created by persons, so it is clear that hu­ man mentality is incorporated into their functioning. But the stated (sometimes unstated) object shared by all of them by whatever name is to transfer a maxi­ mum amount of analysis, design, and operation to machines, leaving the persons to perform other (presumably higher) tasks.