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ENGR 121

Computer Tools for Engineers

Spring 2011

Class Section:




TR 10:30 – 11:20 am

TR 12:00 – 12:50 pm

(all in ET 315)

TR 11:30 – 11:55 am

TR 1:00 – 1:25 pm

(supplemental instruction times will be adjusted subject to class approval)


Todor Cooklev

Zesheng Chen





ET 229 C

ET 321A


Course Websites:

Section 2 & 3:

Office Hours:


1:00 – 3:00 pm


9:00 am – noon


5:00 – 6:00 pm


2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

or by appointment; or stop by when we are in our offices we can at least make an appointment.

Teaching Assistant:


Catalogue Course Description: Introduction to the use of computer software for solving engineering problems. Emphasis on problem solving techniques with applications of modern high-level structured programming languages and spreadsheets: algorithm development, looping techniques, files and data structures, solving linear algebraic equations, simple statistical techniques, files and plotting techniques.




ENGR 120

Required Text:

Palm, W.J., Introduction to MatLab for Engineers, McGraw-Hill (2010)


Matlab, MS Excel

Grade Distribution:


15 %

Review Activities

10 %

Project/Challenge Problems

20 %

Exams (3 x 10% ea)

30 %

Final Exams

20 %

Instructor Evaluation

5 %

Grade Curve: 93-100 % = A 90-92 % = A- 87-89 % = B+ 83-86 % = B 80-82 % = B- 77-79 % = C+ 73-76 % = C 70-72 % = C- 60-69 % = D Below 60% = F

Exams: The three midterm exams will be given in class and will include solving problems using the


exam. All exams are in ET315.

The table below shows the tentative dates for these three exams and the set date for the final


Exam 1

Exam 2

Exam 3

Final Exam

Section 2

Feb. 10

Mar. 3

April 7

Tues., May 3, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Section 3

Feb. 10

Mar. 3

April 7

Tues., May 3, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Course Outcomes


The ability to complete multi-step engineering calculations using appropriate software. (k)


The ability to properly communicate a solution based on computer calculations. (g)


An understanding of arrays and array manipulations and their applications in formulating and solving engineering problems. (e, k)


An understanding of files, functions, and data structures. (k)


The ability to write programs using logical expressions, conditional statements, and loop structures to solve engineering problems. (e, k)


The ability to produce clear and effective graphs. (g, k)


The ability to use computer tools to construct simple empirical models from physical data. (e)


The ability to use computer tools to calculate simple statistics. (e, k)


The ability to find solutions to equations using computer tools. (e)

ABET Program Outcomes Engineering programs must demonstrate that their graduates have:


an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering


an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data


an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs


an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams


an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems


an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility


an ability to communicate effectively


the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal



a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning


a knowledge of contemporary issues

(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Tentative Course Schedule/Outline

Week of


Text Sections

Special Events


Introduction – MatLab & Excel as Calculators, Intro to Scripts

1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6



Calculations with Functions, Vectors, and Polynomials


& 1.5



Functions & Music in MATLAB

3.1& Appendix B2



Functions (cont.)




Introduction to Arrays


– 2.3

Exam 1


Arrays (cont.) & Working with Files


& 3.4



Plotting: Introduction


& 5.2



Plotting: Formatting Requirements


Exam 2


Spring Break



Programming: Relational & Logical Operators, Conditionals


- 4.4

Withdraw Date


Programming: Switch & Loops


& 4.5



Programming: Loops (cont.)




Programming: Debugging, Program Structure


& 4.8

Exam 3


Descriptive Statistics & The Normal Distribution


& 7.2



Model Building: Model Identification and Basic Fitting


& 6.1



Model Building: Matrix Fits & Multiple Linear Models



ENGR 121

Computer Tools for Engineers

Spring 2011

Course Policies:

Homework: Homework is due before the start of class. Under no circumstances should you interrupt the class to attempt to get your homework in.

Attendance: Students are expected to attend all classes. In the event a student misses a class, he/she is responsible for all material covered in the class, including all assignments and announcements. Strict attendance is not taken; however, the 5% discretionary portion of the grade will be based on class participation and the instructor’s observations of attitude and effort.

CDC Recommendation: H1N1 flu – “Stay home or at your place of residence if you are sick for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Staying away from others while sick can prevent others from getting sick too. Ask a roommate or friend to check up on you and to bring you food and supplies if needed.” You can and should keep up with class by using the course websites, email or phone calls to your instructor and classmates. You are expected to keep your instructor informed as you are able.

Review Activities: Most classes will begin with a graded review activity. This may be a short activity or problem based on a previous class or homework problem that all students complete, or it may be a request for an individual student to summarize the key points from the previous class or reading.

Tardiness: Late arrival to the classroom disturbs everyone. Please do not be late. If you are unavoidably delayed, then join the class quietly, with minimal disturbance.

Cell phones: All cell phones and beepers must be turned off during class (off – not simply on ‘vibrate’).

Eating or drinking is not allowed in ET315.

Missed exams will receive a grade of zero except in the case of a documented emergency.

Integrity: Students are expected to conduct themselves with integrity and according to the highest ethical standards in accordance with the rules and regulations of IPFW. In any assignment in which work is borrowed from another source, clear reference must be made to the original author. The following guidelines apply to homework assignments, projects, and exams:


Some collaboration on homework is helpful to the learning process and encouraged. However, you must include a note on any assignment listing others with whom you worked. However, in all cases the final wording, computer coding and calculations must be your own work.


Copying and other forms of cheating are treated seriously. Penalties generally exceed the value of the assignment and can result in a F for the course and/or a memo placed in your advising file.


Assisting anyone in cheating is also a violation of your professional integrity and may also result in these penalties. This includes allowing anyone to copy your work.

Disabilities: If you have a disability and need assistance, special arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. Contact the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities (Walb Union, Room 113, telephone number 481-6658) as soon as possible to work out the details. Once the Director has provided you with a letter attesting to your needs for modification, bring the letter to me. For more information, please visit the web site for SSD at

Computer use: During class you are expected to use the computers only for activities directly related to that class session (i.e., no web surfing, working on other homework, instant messaging, etc.). Students who repeatedly violate this policy may be asked to leave the classroom.

Learning Assistance: You are ultimately responsible for your own education. However, there are a range of resources that you can access to help learn this material. These include:


Course instructors and TAs: Please ask questions in class, at office hours, and via email. This course builds, and make sure you understand things as they come up.


The SPOT Learning Center: Free tutoring is available in the SPOT in Kettler G21 (next door to the Writing Center). You are entitled to 2 free hours per week of one-to-one, course- specific help in understanding concepts, practicing the application or explanation of material being learned, and developing effective test-taking strategies. Make all appointments online through TutorTrac at If you don’t see a tutor available for your class, contact them in Kettler G21! Call 481-5419. Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


The ETCS Success Center: (ET 105) Drop in when you have questions about IPFW procedures or need to know where to get help with your classes, for a place to study, or to take a break.

Email: We expect that you will receive and read any emails send to your IPFW email account with-in one day. Either check this account regularly (daily) or forward the messages to an account that you do check daily. IPFW email and forwarding instructions are available at:

Please send emails to us from your IPFW account only. Other messages may be deleted or filtered as

possible spam.

welcome to email questions from your IPFW account. Any email received from a student IPFW account will generally be answered by the end of my next office hour at the latest.

Assignments will be counted only when sent from your IPFW account.

You are

Computer Login for ETCS computers

University (ITS) and ET building networks are separate. They require separate login IDs and have separate

network drives.

User Name:


For ET building network your user name and password are:

1 st letter of first name + 1 st three letters of last name + last four digits of student ID. (e.g., if your name is Tom Jones and your ID is 900682967, your user name is tjon2967) student ID with hyphens as in your SSN. ( e.g., for the ID number above, your password is 900-68-2967).

name is tjon2967) student ID with hyphens as in your SSN. ( e.g., for the ID

Your Student ID is your randomly generated ID number not your Social Security Number.

This number is listed at the top of your page.

password. If you are not able to login this way or have other technical difficulties with your student

account, please email Mike Pressler at

Once you have logged in, you may change your

Accessing your ETCS Network Drive from outside the ET building You can access files stored on your ETCS network drive remotely anywhere you have network access. Open your web browser and go to Log in using your ETCS user name and password described above.