Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Course Objectives

ENGR0016 Course Objectives Fall 2017

Welcome to the SWANSON School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh

You are a diverse group of students, geographically, politically, and economically. 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. Some of you transferred into Pitt from another university, a regional campus or from within Pitt such as Arts and Science.  But whoever you are and wherever you are from, all of you share the common goal of obtaining a degree in engineering.

For those of you who are from the U.S., there is the additional concern about our country's future. You have all heard a lot about an international economy and the decline of some industries due to foreign competition. To remain competitive, our country needs to maintain a strong technology 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.

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.

ENGR0016 is an integrative course in computer programming with engineering applications. The course has the following main goals:

  1. Since each of you is a transfer student, the course provides a meeting environment where you can form partners with others in your major
  2. To teach you to program a computer using a general-purpose programming language.
  3. To teach you to design programs using a "top-down" approach.
  4. To promote and encourage good programming practices.
  5. To illustrate the role of computer programming in solving engineering problems.
  6. To show what values come with working in a group environment
  7. To introduce the required library research skills and communication skills used by all engineers
  8. To provide an overview of how material in the basic sciences and mathematics is applied by engineers to solve practical problems of interest to society.

Programming a computer is a skill, like playing the piano. It can be learned only by constant, repetitious practice.

For many years, engineers used Fortran as their principal programming language. In recent years, however, there has been a strong movement in the computer science area toward the use of a newer language, called C, for technical and commercial software development, and in the engineering area toward a software package called Matlab for problem solving. We will be concerned with the use of both Matlab and C in this course.

There will be two 2-hour active learning sessions each week. All of the instruction will take place on-line, in the School of Engineering 2nd floor computing lab in room Benedum 229 or Gardner Steel first floor classroom GSCC 138. Each class will consist of a series of brief informal lectures, totaling roughly 40-60 minutes long, followed by an active-learning session in which you will be required to complete one or two relatively simple programming problems.

Contribution of ENGR0016 towards fulfillment of ABET Criterion 3

  1. apply knowledge of mathematics, science,and engineering:
    ENGR0016 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:
    This course does not include direct applications to this, however by working in teams the students do learn the value of professional and ethical responsibilities of team work.
  7. communicate effectively
    The course uses teams for all the homework, and a percentage of the quizzes, this requires the students to learn how to communicate with each other in a professional setting.
  8. appreciate the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global societal context:
    This course does not include direct applications to this, but working in a team setting does introduce the indirect concept of the need for a broad education.
  9. recognize the need for an ability to engage in life - long learning:
    This course does not include direct applications to this, but software development is constantly changing thus you will need to change as the technology changes. The concepts shown in the second half of the semester as we compare Matlab and C are designed to teach the student how to develop the skills needed to learn new software.
  10. develop an interest in gaining knowledge of contemporary issues:
    This course does not include direct applications to this.
  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.