Using Computational Thinking to Teach Mechanical Vibrations

Introduction to Mechanical Vibrations is a 30+ year old upper level elective in the mechanical engineering curriculum at the University of California, Davis. It is a classic mechanical engineering course that stems from the courses and books of Timoshenko and Den Hartog from the early 20th century. The course advances students’ understanding of vibrating mechanical systems, that has a foundation is the theory of small periodic motions resulting from the mathematical analysis of linear differential equations derived from Newton’s Second Law of Motion. These foundational concepts provide insight into the design of machines to both minimize undesired vibrations and exploit desired vibrations. Continue reading

Learning Mechanical Design Through Lightweight Prototyping

Introduction In our mechanical engineering curriculum, we teach a required upper level mechanical engineering course entitled “Mechanical Design”. This course is primarily focused on teaching students how to apply theories of stress and strain prediction to determine if arbitrary mechanical parts and structures are likely to fail under static and … Continue reading