Welcome to the School of Engineering at the
University of Pittsburgh
Welcome to Pitt's School of Engineering. The beginning of your college experience is an exciting time, and one that you will remember for many years.
You are a diverse group of students, with different backgrounds based on variables such as gender, race, political views, physical disabilities, or religion. Many of your views and values reflect environmental factors such as geographical location of your home or economic class of your family. Most of you are from Western Pennsylvania, but some of you are from other parts of the United States; some of you are from the inner cities, some from the suburbs, some from the rural areas and some from foreign countries. But whoever you are and wherever you are from, all of you share the common goal of earning a degree in engineering.
You have all heard a lot about an international economy and the decline of some industries due to foreign competition. Some of you may have concerns about our country's future. To remain competitive, our country needs a diverse work force, that has a strong technological base, supported by well committed, well trained engineers. We hope to prepare you to participate in building and maintaining the U.S.'s technological leadership.
To help us meet the course goals, we have designed roughly half the course to be taught interactively in a computer equipped classroom. There are two 2-hour classes each week. The course is taught in a traditional lecture setting and active learning setting, where our emphasis will be on the relationship between the engineering sciences and engineering design. The active learning part of the course will require your participation on in-class assignments. Our intent is to keep you actively involved in the learning process to the greatest extent possible. Therefore, we will expect you to learn new topics and review old topics by reading the material that will be assigned each week.
We have designed this course to include integration with your other courses such as Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics. We have also included a component that includes a
component that will require you to use the library on the Ground floor. You will expand your communication skills by researching and delivering a presentation on one of these fields.
This course supports Information Literacy in the context of the Library Research Project. Thus, the ENGR0011 curriculum includes a series of writing assignments that require students to gather information using library resources. Use of writing as a pedagogical tool is a cornerstone of the curriculum. Writing is used to help students learn how to think, to learn what they think, and to help them inform their views with reputable information sources. The basic goal behind the projects is to help the students make an informed decision on the selection of their major. Formal classroom presentations by librarians and by members of the English department introduce freshmen to the university library research environment and to the suit of skills specified in the Middle States definition of Information Literacy. Subsequent informal contact that students initiate with either library or writing center personnel provide opportunities for reinforcement of these teaching/learning objectives. The curriculum design incorporates information literacy goals promulgated by ABET (the engineering education program accreditation board) and by ACRL (the Association of College & Research Libraries).
course has the following four overall learning goals:
The first two goals will be addressed by using group projects throughout the course. This component is designed to help you understand the value of communication, diversity and team work in the engineering profession.
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:
The classes are taught by faculty members from various departments within the School of Engineering. These lecture sections are coordinated and all cover the same material. The faculty will be assisted by graduate teaching assistants (TA's), undergraduate teaching fellows (TF's) and, when available, by professional engineers who have recently retired from active practice or are still active in their fields.
New students are often reluctant to ask questions in class, or to approach faculty or teaching assistants on a one-to-one basis. Unlike your other courses, however, this course requires that you participate actively. Ask questions if you don't understand what is being discussed. Remember that we can't help you unless we know what your problems are.
Over the years, we have a found a strong correlation between class attendance and final grades. Those who attend class, participate actively, and do their homework conscientiously will get good grades. Those who skip class and/or skimp on their homework get low grades. You decide which group you want to be in.
We want your enrollment in Pitt's School of Engineering to be a satisfying and rewarding educational experience. We will do whatever we can, within reason, to provide you with assistance and advice. In return we expect you to work hard, be fair and honest with yourselves and with others, and remember that good things generally do not come easily in life. Obtaining a Pitt engineering degree is well worth the hard work required to earn it.
Good luck to all of you. On behalf of the entire ENGR0011 faculty, we look forward to meeting you and working with you.