Covers elementary programming concepts, including variable types, data structures, and flow control. Provides an introduction to linear algebra and probability. Numerical methods relevant to MechE, including approximation (interpolation, least squares, and statistical regression), integration, solution of linear and nonlinear equations, and ordinary differential equations. Presents deterministic and probabilistic approaches. Uses examples from MechE, particularly from robotics, dynamics, and structural analysis. Assignments require MATLAB programming. Enrollment may be limited due to laboratory capacity; preference to Course 2 majors and minors.
Fall 2020 Update: Fully Remote Classes - Our three main goals in 2.086 are to: build your confidence in tackling engineering problems with computational tools; give you mastery of about ten fundamental computational algorithms; and provide the conceptual and mathematical underpinnings for it all. These focus areas, and the specific technical scope of the class, will be largely intact from prior semesters. There will be about ten problem sets, and about three quizzes/exams. What is "new" will be the remote lectures, (computer) labs, and office hours -- all available via Zoom, live and recorded -- as well as several new structures we are developing to help foster community and personal interactions. Students should plan to attend one (or more) of the live lab sections. We are a rigorous but friendly staff, and we look forward to working with you.