CVEN 489-501:
Special Topics on Mixing and Transport in the Environment
Spring 2005


S. Socolofsky > CVEN 489 > Syllabus

Course Syllabus

Course Objectives

The objective of this course is to introduce the physics and chemistry of transport and mixing of substances in the hydrosphere by learning to:

  • Understand the effects of diffusion, advection, dispersion, and chemical reactions
  • Apply the governing transport equation to solve problems with diverse boundary and initial conditions
  • Evaluate the important processes affecting fate and transport in a range of problem situations
  • Synthesize the analysis tools developed in the course to solve real-world transport problems

This course also contributes to the following ABET-identified outcomes of the civil and ocean engineering curricula:

  • Ability to apply knowledge of basic mathematics, science, and engineering
  • Ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams
  • Ability to formulate and solve civil/ocean engineering problems
  • Understanding of the impact of civil/ocean engineering solutions in a global/societal context
  • Ability to use techniques, skills, and modern tools necessary for civil/ocean engineering practice

Together, these objectives are important in the professional development of engineers and address the following specific issues of preparation for engineering practice: advanced mathematics and basic sciences appropriate for civil, environmental, and ocean engineering, and introduction to industry standard computer programs for transport problems, including CORMIX, QUAL2E, and submodel algorithms for sediment/water and air/water boundary exchange.

There is one required textbook: Socolofsky, S. A. and Jirka, G. H. CVEN 489-501 Special Topics on Mixing and Transport in the Environment, available for download from the book page.  To access the online course material (downloads of assignments, course handouts, and related resources), please see the course web pages at:

Course Calendar

Please see the Course Calendar page.


Your final grade is broken down as follows:

Homework 30%     90 A 100
Group project 20%     80 B < 90
Midterm 1 25%     70 C < 80
Midterm 2 25%     60 D < 70

Class participation and quizzes

There will be an occasional sign-in sheet to evaluate class participation. Pop quizzes may be given during any lecture. The purpose of a pop quiz is to motivate you to keep up with the material and to give you practice working potential exam problems. Class participation and quizzes are 25% of the total homework grade. Reading assignments should be done before coming to class.

Homework policy

Homework will be assigned periodically and the due date announced. You may ask others for help at places where you have made diligent attempts and have become stumped. You may ask others for confirmation of results at significant milestones in the problem. However, homework submissions are to be as individuals; please do not copy (see Plagiarism below).

Homework problems must be answered clearly, showing all your work, and should be easy to follow. Where applicable, the solution to each problem should contain:

  1. A brief statement of the problem 
  2. A sketch or graph
  3. A list of all the important assumptions made to solve the problem
  4. The general form of the equations used to solve the problem 
  5. An equation with the plugged-in numbers and the highlighted solution

Failure to include one of these elements will result in lost credit for the problem. Not all homework or homework problems may be graded. Partial credit will be given for wrong answers that demonstrate some of the correct solution method.  

Homework is due at the beginning of class on the assigned day. Unless you have a university excuse (see Absences below), late assignments will not be accepted for full credit. Please do not ask for exceptions.

Group project

There will be one group project, handed out March 21, 2005, and due on May 10, 2005. You will work in groups of three students each. Grading of the group project will make use of a student evaluation form.


Two, 50-minute midterms are scheduled (see the course calendar given above). The two midterms will be cumulative. Unexcused absences will result in a grade of zero for missed examinations. 

The exams are closed book but you may prepare crypt-sheets as follows. You may prepare notes on the front and back of one page of 8 1/2 x 11 paper for each exam. You may prepare one new sheet for each exam and you may bring the sheet from exam 1 along with a second sheet of notes to exam 2. You will need a hand-held calculator for each exam. It is your responsibility to ensure that your calculator is working and will perform in the examination.

Plagiarism and Cheating

Please read Section 20 of the Texas A&M University Student Rules at

No form of scholastic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, etc.) will be tolerated. As commonly defined, plagiarism consists of passing off as one's own the ideas, words, writings, etc., which belong to another. In accordance with this definition, you are committing plagiarism if you copy the work of another person and turn it in as your own, even if you should have permission of that person. Since the homework grade for this course is a high percentage of your total grade, no plagiarism or cheating will be permitted in the homework. This includes programming assignments.


Please read Section 7 of the Texas A&M University Student Rules at

Please contact me as soon as you know you will miss a class or an exam so that a reasonable alternative can be accommodated. Unexcused absences will result in a grade of zero for the missed work.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities.  Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities.  If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Department of Student Life, Services for Students with Disabilities in Room 126 of the Koldus building, or call 845-1637.  If you require accommodation for activities related to this course, please contact me as soon as possible.


You may be asked to allow copies of your assignments and exams to be submitted to the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) review panel.  The purpose of this is to demonstrate to ABET that our stated mission and objectives are being effectively implemented.  Your grade will not be affected by participation. 

External Resources

Visit the Related Resources page for a list of other relevant web resources.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CTS-0348572.  Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).



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