Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Course Objectives

Course Objectives

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 writing assignment 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 web page assignments. Thus, the ENGR0015 curriculum includes a series of web page 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. 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 Goals

The ENGR0015 integrative course has the following four overall learning goals:

  1. To introduce you to the fundamentals of what engineering is, what engineers do, why a diverse work force is needed and what values come with working in a group environment.
  2. To introduce you to the required library research skills and communication skills used by all engineers. 
  3. To introduce you to the role of the computers in engineering problem solving. You will be exposed to the basic analytical, programming design, graphical, and problem solving skills used by most engineers in their profession.
  4. To provide you with an overview of how material in the basic sciences and mathematics is applied by engineers to solve practical problems of interest to society.

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.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Design a Web page in table format without the aid of additional web page design software,
  • Design a Web page in Frameset format,
  • Design a Web page that includes JavaScript,
  • Use the internet to transfer files and maintain your UNIX account,
  • Use spreadsheets (EXCEL) in engineering problem solving, and

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.

Contribution of ENGR0015 towards fulfillment of ABET Criterion 3

  1. apply knowledge of mathematics, science,and engineering:
    ENGR0015 is an engineering analysis course that builds upon the students background in physics, calculus in such a way that a linkage is formed between abstract mathematical concepts and physical problems common to engineering practice.
  2. design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data:
    This course does not include conducting experiments but does discuss how to analyze the resulting data using basic statistical packages and curve fitting software.
  3. design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs:
    The course introduces the concept of analyzing components of a problem and how to represent the resulting solution. The logic is taught as part of the computer programming components and the writing assignments teach the basic research skills needed to document a problem/solution.
  4. function on multi-disciplinary teams:
    The course uses teams for all the homework and a percentage of the quizzes. The concept of multi-disciplinary is stressed since the students represent all the majors in Engineering, and reinforces the concept of teamwork.
  5. identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems:
    The course teaches students to formulate and solve various types of problems during the programming phase of the course.
  6. appreciate an understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities:
    The various web page designs include writing assignments that address the needs of engineers to be professionals and follow ethical standards.
  7. communicate effectively
    This course has a small writing component, to improving the student writing skills, the course also requires presentations in the form of web pages.
  8. appreciate the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global societal context:
    As part of the web page assignments throughout the semester, one assignment involves the research and creation of a written report on the impact engineering solutions have on a global society. The assignment is designed to directly address this ABET requirement.
  9. recognize the need for an ability to engage in life - long learning:
    As noted above the course has a number of writing assignments, these assignments are designed to directly address not only this issue but the need to become a registered engineer.
  10. develop an interest in gaining knowledge of contemporary issues:
    By Studying what engineering is, we introduce the students to the importance engineers have in addressing contemporary issues.
  11. use techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for the practice of Engineering:
    The entire course stresses the need for engineers to be well versed in using modern computing software.

Strategies for Success:

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 ENGR0015 faculty, we look forward to meeting you and working with you.