Wellesley College Wellesley, Massachusetts Course Syllabus

Wellesley College
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Course Syllabus
Course number
Course title
Introduction to Engineering
Semester(s) covered
Spring 2012
José Oscar Mur-Miranda, [email protected], (781)292-2544
Course description
Engineering is about combining ideas from mathematics, physics, computer science, and many
other fields to design objects and systems that serve human needs. This project-based course
introduces the big ideas of engineering and prepares students for taking additional engineering
courses at Olin College or MIT.
Topics covered
1. Introduction to feedback and control
2. Modeling, simulation, and control of physical systems
3. Introduction to the engineering design process
4. Basic prototyping and construction of mechanisms
PHYS 107 is recommended, but not required.
Course objectives
By the end of the course, the students should be able to:
 Use feedback to control a system
 Create basic models and simulations of physical systems
 Apply an engineering design process
 Use basic tools to construct sketch models and prototypes
Class/laboratory schedule
MR 1:30pm - 4pm
Student assessment
Each student is required to maintain an individual blog to document her journey through the
course. An individual blog should contain:
 Daily documentation of all projects, including text, drawings, images, and videos.
 Other thoughts, observations and sketches related to the course.
This is a project-based course. During the semester you will asked to work on a series of
projects. You are responsible for documenting each project in your blog. Projects will vary in
length. The relative grading weight will be in rough proportion to the length, difficulty and
complexity of each project.
We will examine your blog regularly throughout the course to check your progress and to provide
feedback on your designs and insights. Your blog and your participation in the course will
determine your grade.
Course policies
Class attendance is required. If you must miss a class for a legitimate reason, inform us and your
team members as early as possible so that we can plan appropriately and make up the session.
Even when working with a team, it is essential that you maintain your own design blog. Some
deliverables might be the same as your partner, but the reflection around the process should be
your own.
In this class you will learn how to use pieces of equipment that are potentially dangerous to you
and your classmates if not used properly. They are also expensive to repair if you break them.
You are not allowed to use these pieces of equipment without direct supervision unless you
have been explicitly "certified" to use them by an instructor.
Classroom assessment
Students will be expected to be active stewards of their learning and provide feedback as
necessary. The instructor will also hold feedback sessions with the students at regular intervals.
Person(s) who prepared this description
José Oscar Mur-Miranda based on material from previous offerings of the course.
Date of preparation
January 2012