This is an update for ``BASIC Biochemical Engineering". The teaching of biochemical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is changing because of the World Wide Web (WWW). The computerized tutorials written in BASIC that have been fairly effective in the past are now obsolete when superior interactive hypertext presentation on the WWW are available. Hypertext permits the following features:

  1. a home page that can be reached easily from the other pages. This helps the reader to get back on track when lost in the nooks and crannies of the presentation.

  2. study guides that package WWW presentations into logical sequences and to group materials for each assignment. Each guide is a specialized home page.

  3. each citation as a ``hot word", and clicking takes the reader to exactly that reference in the list.

  4. layered presentations of equations. You click to select a cursory derivation, a detailed derivation, or a ridiculously oversimplified treatment for anyone with with weak math.

  5. each assay procedure with an index page with entries for the techniques themselves, evaluations and tips lifted from Ph.D. or M.S. theses, lists of equipment, and name of vendors.

  6. a glossary. Key words on various pages are ``hot" and take the reader to exactly that entry in the glossary.

Links to other pages can maintain the logical thread or can branch. For example, an introductory page links to more advanced material, and more advanced pages have ``hot words" that bring up pages with explanations. The glossary and the literature citations have no links because the reader will return using the ``BACK" feature of the browser software. This is much more sensible than scrolling through a long list to find links because you almost always want to go back to where you were.

The number of files on the WWW that relate to biochemical engineering increases daily, and any document about them is soon out of date. However, our home page on the WWW is updated frequently.

A serious disadvantage of the WWW is slow response. At our institution the WWW functions beautifully early in the morning but gets badly overloaded by noon. This will not be a problem when the information superhighway is faster and has more lanes. In the meantime files can be copied to local directories for speedy response. We have downloaded complete hypertext presentations to a personal computer that has a version of Mosaic and found almost ideal response times. It would not be practical to move all the world's files that relate to biochemical engineering to a personal computer, and newer files might be missed. However, it can be highly effective for a formal course to provide the hypertext files for a week or two of material as a local archive or as a collection on one compact disk or several ordinary disks. This also makes HTML files and hypertext available to persons not on the WWW and to those whose internet connection is too slow to be practical.

The software for internet browsers has versions for Windows, Macintosh, Unix, Commodore Amiga, and other operating systems. Public domain versions are widely available from internet archives, and there are commercial browsers. While it is not difficult to find and install the Public Domain browser software, the commercial software has better instructions. This update offers no advice about installation because most students will use the system at their institution and only a few will need to configure their personal computers.

Chapter 1 Getting Started

The introductory chapter for BASIC Biochemical Engineering has much about working with personal computers in BASIC. The main argument for using BASIC was that there were good versions of this language for all personal computers. With some minor changes to take care of resolution of the screen of the computer terminal, the computer exercises could be handled by any operating system. The BiLine programs were written using only the most common BASIC commands to facilitate use with any version. However, companies offer ``improved" versions of BASIC that challenge some more powerful languages in terms of features and ease of use. The penalty for better BASIC has been less convertibility from one version to another. Some of the BiLine instructions do not work well with versions of BASIC that are now popular. The differences are minor in terms of editing, loading, saving, and reentry after execution is halted, but someone following the instructions in a BiLine book can become frustrated.

Avoiding problems by providing the BiLine programs as compiled BASIC would not take advantage of terminals with higher resolution screens. Many of the BiLine programs have the screen dimensions in an early command, and changing them to suit your terminal will rescale the figures automatically. Instead of working with BASIC to find ways of accommodating all the new versions, much better presentations result from switching where possible to HTML and the WWW. The really important interactive simulation exercises in BASIC do not translate to HTML, and nine or ten have been improved. Many other exercises that are presentations of text, static figures, and simple animations are being recast in hypertext.

Anyone still using the MS/DOS operating system can benefit from the instructions in Chapter 1. Others are probably using Windows and should learn instead how to invoke and use whatever version of BASIC is recommended for their system. The exercises are intended to make the reader comfortable with BASIC. The Ferment exercise that is one of the best tutorials will be even better in the hypertext version that is under development.

Chapter 2 Some Biochemistry

This chapter is quickly becoming surpassed by material on the WWW. The R.P.I. home page for hypertext presentations has links to some of our own teaching aids and has links to other institutions. There is a much larger audience for biochemistry than for biochemical engineering, and much more effort is being expended for developing new presentations.

It is suggested that a student browse through the BiLine chapter to read the text and to look at the figures to gain some perspective before working through the teaching presentations on the WWW. These are far more complete and overly detailed for an engineering student trying to develop a working background in biochemistry.

Study guides in the R.P.I. archive are started but are not perfected for organizing materials on the WWW into packages for approximately one-hour sessions for engineering students.

Chapter 3 Simulation

This chapter about simulation is not at all obsolete, and the SIMBAS program for differential equations is easier to use than most others. However, there are far more powerful programs, and R.P.I. students use Matlab in severall courses. Some prefer to convert the simulation exercises in the BiLine books to Matlab. However, SIMBAS requires much less computer expertise for showing several different runs on the same graph and for scaling such plots.

In the R.P.I. biochemical engineering course, SIMBAS is emphasized. All the simulation exercises are assigned, but students with training in other programs for solving differential equations are encouraged to use them and to compare with SIMBAS.

There are some corrections for this chapter:

page 3.4: the equation at the bottom of the page should have a minus sign in front of K1

page 3.12: the final sentence should read ``1. Follow Instructions 1 through 5 on Pages 1.7 and 1.8 to invoke GRAPHICS and BASIC."

Chapter 4 Some Biology

Exercise 4-5 Normal Distribution for Mold Growth is interactive and has no equivalent on the WWW. The other tutorial exercises would be much better in hypertext, and some are being converted at R.P.I. We are developing study guides in our WWW archive to link to our own hypertext presentations and to some at other institutions.

Chapter 5 Mass Transfer and Mixing

The exercises in this chapter have no important interaction except for Exercise 5-3 Measurement of Kla. There are several hypertext presentations in the R.P.I. archive that relate to topics in this chapter, and it is suggested that these be consulted first. When no equivalent WWW exercise is found, those in the book should be run.

There are some corrections for this chapter:

page 5.12: Computer Instruction 3 is wrong. There are no values in the figure to guide you, and the figure number is also wrong.

page 5.16: There is a typo in the Reynolds number equation 5.7. It should be:

Chapter 6 Batch Bioprocesses

Our WWW archive has several images and hypertext presentations. The interactive programs for this chapter remain some of our best. We find that Maple is a good language for working with the various growth rate relationships in pages 6.18 through 6.24. The Maple files are in our archive. There are also hypertext treatments of inhibiton and multiple limitations that have nice color figures.

Chapter 7 Continuous Bioprocesses

We have embarked on a major hypertext project about continuous cultivation, and it surpasses the material in the book.

There is an addition for this chapter:

At the bottom of page 7.5, add this bullet:

S is never great enough to reach . Therefore, washout occurs before D = .

Chapter 8 Mixed Cultures

A great deal of material about ecology is appearing on the WWW but not in a simplified form that should replace the BiLine chapter. Most of the exercises in this chapter are simulations that are important.

There are some corrections for this chapter:

page 8.10 The or hat is missing for the symbol for maximum for B.

page 8.11 The notation is not explained for Figure 8.5. X is the organism that grows more rapidly, Z is the slower organism that is added continuously, and S is the substrate concentration. The subscripts indicate substrate concentration in the feed.

Chapter 9 Sterilization

There is only a little on the WWW, and the interactive programs for this chapter are important.

Chapter 10 Product Recovery - Early Steps

Much of this chapter is descriptive, and hypertext presentation would be better. Our WWW archive has several worthwhile pages. The hypertext presentation of adsorption goes well beyond what is in the BiLine book.

Chapter 11 Specialized Recovery Steps

Again much of the material is descriptive. Our WWW archive has a major treatment of membranes and several pages for other methods of separation.

There are some corrections for this chapter:

page 11.3 The middle figure at the bottom of the page shows a bundle of hollow fibers, but it is close to real size.

The CHROMO.BAS game has been improved slightly by making the relationships more realistic.

Chapter 12 Immobilized Enzymes and Cells

Our WWW archive has several hypertext presentations.

There are some corrections for this chapter:

page 12.1 Simple typo in first line of second paragraph; needed instead of need

page 12.4 (middle of paragraph) Figure 11.1 and not 12.1.

Chapter 13 Additional Topics

We are convinced that chemical process control can make excellent use of Matlab. There are good aids, not in the R.P.I. Biotech-Environmental archive, but in the Process Control archive. Prof. Wayne Bequette has guides to using Matlab and has example programs.

The other topics in this chapter do not have much in the way of WWW counterparts yet, but the student should check to see what is new in the R.P.I.archive.

Jan 9 13:46:36 EST 1996