Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Course Objectives

Course Objectives Fall 2017

Welcome to the 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. 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.

ENGR0711 is an integrative course in computer programming with engineering applications. The course has four main goals:

  1. To teach you to program a computer using a general-purpose programming language.
  2. To teach you to design programs using a "top-down" approach.
  3. To promote and encourage good programming practices.
  4. To illustrate the role of computer programming in solving engineering problems.

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 or 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 Freshman Engineering classroom room 229 Benedum. 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.