Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type



Mathematics, Engineering & Computer Science

First Advisor

John Scharf

Second Advisor

Mary Keeffe

Third Advisor

Anthony Szpilka


I used Mathematica, a computer algebra system, to write a program that models the response of a multistory building structure to seismic ground motion. The model uses a sinusoidal wave as the excitation, and includes viscous damping as an energy loss mechanism. The Mathematica program uses a numerical differential equation solver to generate the response, and presents a visual animation of the building’s vibration. With the results generated from such a model, one can begin to predict the sustainability of multistory buildings to various types of ground motions. This enables the proper design of buildings so that when earthquakes do strike, lives can be saved and damage can be minimized.