Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Course Administration and Policies

Course Administration and Policies

There will be two 2-hour active learning sessions each week. A detailed list of course topics can be found in the course syllabus. All of the instruction will take place on-line, in the Freshman Engineering classroom in room 229 Benedum Hall. This class uses Group Learning as it basic teaching method.

Each class will consist of a brief informal lectures, followed by an active-learning session in which you will be required to answer problems from the text book or inclass programming problems. The lecture setting is designed to introduce the material and provide the students with time for questions and answers. The group work will involve your Formal Groups organized in class. Thus, make sure you are sitting with your group.

A detailed list of course topics can be found in the course syllabus. 

Freshman Engineering Program Requirements

The Freshman Engineering Program requirements are that every student must complete the ENGR0011 and ENGR0012 sequence. ENGR0711 and ENGR0716/ENGR0712 is the equivalent honors sequence. Thus, students must complete ENGR0711 with the follow up course of ENGR0716 or ENGR0712 to meet the Freshman Engineering requirements.

To satisfy the ENGR0711 requirements students must receive a grade of C or better in ENGR0711. If a student receives a grade lower than C in ENGR0711, they will not be permitted to enroll in ENGR0716 or ENGR0712 and must take ENGR0012 to complete the Freshman Engineering Requirements. If a student fails ENGR0711, the student will be required to complete ENGR0011 then ENGR0012, and the ENGR0011 grade will replace the ENGR0711 F. In addition, students must also complete the programming exam components of ENGR0711 with a grade of at least 70%. Thus, if a student receives a grade of C or better in ENGR0711 but has an average grade below 70% on the programming exams, they will not be permitted to enroll in ENGR0716 or ENGR0712, but must enroll in ENGR0012 during the spring semester. A sequence of ENGR0711 and ENGR0012 will therefore meet the Freshman Engineering requirements.


A number of different types of assignments will be used in this course. Some will be inclass programming problems that will be handed in at the end of the class. They will not be graded in detail, but must be completed successfully, using acceptable programming style. The course will also include weekly homework assignments and quizzes, and a number of design projects including a major writing assignment. A detailed list of course topics can be found in the course syllabus and a list of the assignments can be found under Assignments on the menu of the course web page. The design projects are to introduce the following topics:

  1. Use of spreadsheets (EXCEL) in problem solving,
  2. Use of software packages (MATLAB and C) in problem solving, and
  3. Use of software packages (WORD, POWERPOINT) in communications.

The homework projects are ill-structured in nature (you will have to decide exactly what to do). These projects are intended to tax your judgment and creativity as well as your problem-solving skills. You will be required to submit a team report on each homework project. The conference research project, will include a written and oral presentation.

There will be approximately 12 programming assignments, roughly one each week. The first few assignments will be easy but they will quickly become more complex . You can work with anyone in the class, including other student groups to figure out effective solution strategies. The actual programming assignments must be done by each group. For each assignment, you will be required to submit a copy of your program electronically on a disk. We will run these programs to verify that they do run correctly. Your grade will be based upon programming style as well as accuracy.

Writing Assignments:

The purpose of the writing assignments is to help each student develop Research and Communication Skills so they obtain the necessary Information Literacy skills to complete the Engineering Curriculum.


All the daytime and evening sections will be given the same homework, exams and quizzes. Please be professional and don't ask other students in earlier sections for copies of the tests or quizzes. The goal is to have a quiz the last 15 minutes on Wednesday of every week. The date and time of the 2 hour mid-term exam will be posted on the web site, the final exam is posted on the university web site. There will be two parts to each exam: a inclass computer test and a evening written exam.

There are no makeup exams, however we will have a second testing time for students with conflicts. An unexcused absence from an exam will result in an exam of 0.

Grade Calculation:

The following is the break down of points associated with the above course topics. Note, you must complete the conference paper portion of this class to pass the course. You must complete all 5 topic areas to get a grade in the course.

MidTerm 25%
Final 25%
Homework/Inclass assignments 15%
Quizzes 15%
Writing Assignments : 20%


Grade Calculation:

The final course grades will be based on the following percentage breakdown. Note, the instructor has the right to lower this final grade percentages, but not raise them.

Percentage Course Grade
100 - 99 A+
98 - 93 A
92 - 90 A-
89 - 87 B+
86 - 81 B
80 - 78 B-
77 - 75 C+
74 - 69 C
68 - 66 C-
65 D
64 and below F



Essential Engineering Software , 1st edition , available at the Pitt bookstore.


You should obtain one or two jump drives , for saving your programs.


We will be using MATLAB R2016a and 2012 MicroSoft Visual Studio.net in this course. It is available in the School of Engineering computer labs. A similar version is available in the CIS computer lab on the basement floor. Pitt offers a free download of MATLAB from software.pitt.edu -- you can log in and then download a copy of MATLAB and they give you an activation key that will be good for a year. a In addition, Microsoft C++ is available from CIS.


You are expected to attend all classes and participate actively in the interactive sessions. Your final grade will be lowered for chronic non-attendance, or for unsatisfactory fulfillment of the in-class programming assignments.

University Policies:

If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and Disability Resources and Services, 140 William Pitt Union, (412) 648-7890 (412) 648-7890 , as early as possible in the term. DRS will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course. A comprehensive description of the services of that office can be obtained at http://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/drswelcome .

We suggest you take the time to read the university policies on University Student Judicial System Code of Conduct . We assume every student has read these policies and understand the impact these policies have on each student.