Practical Computing for Engineers:
Applied Matlab
Updated Aug 22, 2017
ENGRG 1112, Professor Andy Ruina (email)
Lectures:
Fridays 1:252:15, Kimball B11
Communications via Piazza (click and sign up)
A onecredit supplement to CS
1112. Time commitment: 1 hr/wk in class + 2 hrs/wk out + 3 hrs
final project.
Course description
An introduction to
Engineering problem solving using Matlab,
supplementing CS 1112. ENGRG 1112 uses CS 1112 concepts in
the service of basic numerical computation for engineering. At
course completion, a student will be able to comfortably use Matlab to solve or check homework
problems or project issues, in almost all other math and
engineering courses, using various numerical and symbolic
methods.
Throughout the semester,
students will solve `word
problems'. The overarching
theme,
sitting above the list of topics in the applied text and in
the CS 1112 syllabus, is
the nature of problem solving:
how to turn a question into a solvable problem, and
then solving, debugging and making sense of the solution. The final
project and demonstration will show competence in all of this.
FAQ
Why does CS 1112 need a
supplement?
So that students
who want that can orient their computer science skills more in
the applied direction.
What is the difference between
this (ENGRG 1112) and the CS1112 AEW workshop?
AEW is
reinforcement of the material in CS1112. ENGRG 1112 builds on
CS 1112 with additional applied material.
Can I take ENGERG 1112 and the CS1112 AEW workshop?
Yes. But you only have so
many hours in a week.
Can I take this if I am in, or
took, CS 1110?
You are not the
main target audience. But
you can take ENGRG 1112 if you are willing to learn the
CS 1112 material, namely basic Matlab
syntax, on your own.
Can I take this if I am
a sophomore?
You might be bored by the initial weeks when the freshman
are just getting up to speed, but
we could give you homework suitable to your level.
Prerequisites:
No
specific prerequisites
Corequisites
You
should be taking, or have taken, Math 191 or equivalent, and CS 1112
or equivalent (exceptions w/ permission of instructor).
You
should be comfortable with topics up to calculus including
algebra, geometry and trigonometry.
Required materials
*
Getting Started with MATLAB: A Quick Introduction
for Scientists and Engineers,
7th Edition
*
Strongly recommended: Matlab
on a laptop computer (student edition or Cornell license).
* iclicker, or cell phone app
that interfaces with iclicker.
Class and lab schedule: 1 lecture per week, Friday
1:252:15
Office hours: Many.
Students are expected to come, at least briefly, every
week.
Assignments, exams, and projects

Daily informal inclass iclicker quizzes

Video and/or reading prep for every lecture.

Usingthecomputer assignment(s) associated with every lecture
 No
prelims or exams

Final ``design'' project, and individual presentation of
project including query of student's mastery of material

Nominal workload is 3 hours/wk
(in class and out of class). That’s 50 hours total for the semester
Grading: Letter grade or pass/fail.
Pass/fail:
A student who credibly documents an investment of 50 hours total,
passes.
Letter:
50 hours guarantees a B.
The median grade will be somewhere in the B+ range,
depending on overall class performance.
Typical topics covered
The course will reinforce
most of the content in CS 1112.
Additional emphasis will be on such things as the
Matlab user interface (managing
windows, help, directories, etc);
reading and writing files;
Symbolic calculations; useful math functions (ode45,
interpolation, curve
fitting, backslash, etc);accuracy,
convergence, roundoff and method
errors; advanced Plotting, animation. Sample numerical
problems will include finding areas and
volumes, integration, differentiation, limits, series, montecarlo population dynamics simulations,
Euler's method for ODEs, etc.
Student outcomes
Working knowledge of most of
the above topics, including both programming skills and
special Matlab shortcuts.
Comfort and ability to setup,
solve engineering and math problems using the tools above.
Ability to and habits of doing
well documented, organized and checkedforreasonableness
computer work.
Student should be comfortably
able to solve, illustrate, plot, or animate
some features of most homework problems in most later courses
using Matlab, including projects
involving multiple files and usercreated functions.
Examples of
detailed skills to be obtained by students:
 Go
from a word problem to system of linear
equations to matrix form to computer solution to
interpretation of solution.
 Be
able to code in Matlab, without special Matlab commands: Euler's method;
numerical differentiation; numerical integration in 13
dimensions.
 Do
algebra with the Symbolic toolbox.

Convert symbolic expressions into expressions for numerical
evaluation.

Print using disp and fprintf; read and write files.
 Use
the debugger
 Use
the plot command with some sophistication in 2D and 3D

Make simple animations.
 Use
various forms of online help (help,
doc, google, etc)
 Use
the computer iteratively to estimate method and roundoff
errors.
Suggested or entertaining
or useful links/readings: