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