ENGRCEE 20 Introduction to Computational Engineering Problem Solving (2014-2015)

ENGRCEE 20 Introduction to Computational Engineering Problem Solving

(Required for CE and EnE. Selected Elective for MSE.)
Catalog Data:

ENGRCEE 20 Introduction to Computational Engineering Problem Solving (Credit Units: 4) Introduction to computer programming within a numerical computing environment (MATLAB or similar) including types of data representation, graphical display of data, and development of modular programs with application to engineering analysis and problem solving. Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering majors have first consideration for enrollment. Only one course from ENGRCEE 20, ENGR 15 may be taken for credit. (Design units: 1)

Required Textbook:
. Edition, , 1969, ISBN-13 978-0201308600.

Recommended Textbook:

Student Edition of Matlab, Mathworks. (recommended)

Jasper Alexander Vrugt
Relationship to Student Outcomes
This course relates to Student Outcomes: EAC a, EAC b, EAC c, EAC e, EAC g.
Course Learning Outcomes. Students will:

1. Use Matlab to perform a range of matrix and vector operations. (EAC a)

2. Use Matlab to write computer programs, structures and functions (subroutines). (EAC a, EAC c)

3. Use Matlab to plot data and mathematical functions. (EAC a, EAC g)

4. Use Matlab to find roots of nonlinear equations. (EAC a, EAC e)

5. Use Matlab to perform least-squares fitting of a curve to data. (EAC a, EAC b)

6. Use Matlab skills in the context of a design process which leads to a modeling tool useful for engineering analysis purposes. (EAC c)

7. Prepare a report that describes an analysis tool (computer model) for an engineering system or components, the purpose for this tool, and an application of it. (EAC g)

Prerequisites by Topic

Mathematics through linear algebra and differential equations. Introduction to computers and programming.

Lecture Topics:
  • (Week 1 – 2: Chapters 1 & 2): Introduction to MATLAB; Simple calculations; Use of variables and functions. Matrices and vectors, plotting and visualization
  • (Week 3 – 5: Chapters 3): MATLAB Programming; Script m-files, Function m-files, input and output, flow control, for and while loops, return, break and switch statements, vectorization, global variables, evaluation function, and inline function objects.
  • (Week 6: Chapters 4): Debugging tools. Good programming habits.
  • (Week 7: Chapter 6): Finding roots of nonlinear equations: Bracketing, bisection, secant, hybrid and Newton’s method.
  • (Week 8: Chapter 9): Least-squares fitting of curves to data
  • (Week 9: Chapter 10): Interpolation
Class Schedule:

Meets for 3 hours of lecture and 1 hour of discussion each week for 10 weeks.

Computer Usage:

Course involves extensive use of programming in MATLAB for data analysis, modeling, and graphical visualization. Required Lab Software: Matlab (Mathworks, Natick, MA), and Numerical Methods with Matlab (NMM) Toolbox which is available on-line at: http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~gerry/nmm/mfiles/

Laboratory Projects:

Weekly laboratory/homework assignments involve working through a set of problems under the direction of the laboratory instructor. The assignment is begun in the laboratory session where each student works at a computer running MATLAB software, and it is completed at home or at a campus computer lab. The experience involves performing computations and writing MATLAB programs for engineering analysis and design purposes. A term project is also assigned to teams of 2-4 students. The term project involves developing a computer model of a engineering system or component of the interest to each team. This assignment serves to provide an overview of the following problem solving method: 1. Problem Identification, 2. Conceptual Model, 3. Mathematical Model, 4. Matlab Computer Model, 5. Application.

Professional Component

Contributes to the design experience and Engineering Topics courses of Civil Engineering major.

Design Content Description

Design is incorporated into this class in two distinct manners. On the one hand, the design process is presented to students in the context of a team project involving the development of engineering analysis software. In the context of this assignment, students identify and formulate a problem, develop software to solve it, and communicate both the nature of the problem and its solution method with a written report. On the other hand, design components such as problem formulation, determination of unknowns and constraints, etc., are developed throughout the course (e.g., solution of systems of equations). In weekly laboratory sessions, design components are emphasized while the team project allows students to work through the design process.

Lectures: 50%
Laboratory Portion: 50%
Grading Criteria:
  • Team Project: 10%
  • Lab Participation: 10%
  • Exam 1: 25%
  • Exam 2: 25%
  • Exam 3: 25%
  • Total: 100%
Estimated ABET Category Content:

Mathematics and Basic Science: 0.0 credit units

Computing: 0.0 credit units

Engineering Topics: 4.0 credit units

Engineering Science: 3.0 credit units

Engineering Design: 1.0 credit units

June 19, 2015
Senate Approved:
January 8, 2013
Approved Effective:
2013 Fall Qtr