UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
Engineering 7 – Spring 2009
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Instructor: Professor Rector
1
E7 Spring 2009 Course Syllabus
[Last Edited: 1/18/2009]
Instructor:
James Rector
jwrector@lbl.gov
419 Davis Hall, Office Hours TBD
Lecture:
55 Dwinelle, MW 1-2 PM
Head GSI:
James Lew
jbocky@gmail.com
Co-Head GSI
: Timmy Siauw
timmy.siauw@gmail.com
GSI Office Hours:
537 Davis Hall
W, 5:30-7:30 PM
James Lew
TBD
Anand Subramanian
T
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TBD
Chet Vignes
Class Objectives and Philosophy
E7 is an introductory programming course in the College of Engineering and is primarily taken by
freshman in their 1
st
or 2
nd
semester at Cal.
This semester, E7 is a very large class and is staffed by 15 Graduate
Student Instructors (GSIs), 4 Readers, and 1 instructor, Professor James Rector.
Please be aware that the size of the
class naturally makes it difficult to accommodate all students, but we will do the best we can.
E7 is a 4 unit course, which means that there will be a significant workload.
Per student each week, there
will be 2 x 1 hour lectures, 2 x 2 hour laboratory sessions, and a 1 hr discussion section.
Additionally, there will be
approximately 13-15 laboratory assignments, a mandatory robot tournament, 2 midterms, and 1 final. These will be
discussed in depth later in this syllabus.
The course is divided essentially into 2 halves, the first of which will cover
programming in Matlab, and the second half will cover engineering applications of programming.
Originally, this course was taught in the Fortran language, but has since been changed to Matrix
Laboratory, or MatLab for short.
The E7 course is designed to convey the notion of programming as translating a
problem into a language that a computer or machine can process.
The course is meant to both illustrate how tedious
tasks typically done manually can be automated by computer programs, and how word problems can be decomposed
into a set of smaller sub-problems and solved using a set of MatLab functions or scripts.
Therefore, please
remember that MatLab is merely just a tool, a simplified language, to help demonstrate concepts about programming
in general.
The focus of this class is less about the precise syntax and formatting of output, and is more concerned
with how well students can parse code and translate word problems into a programming language.
Please note that this class was formerly E77 and required Math 54; this is no longer the case and therefore
understand that a student’s knowledge of linear algebra and differential equations is limited to a high school level
(which may or may not include calculus).
We favor teaching quality over quantity of topics, preferring to teach
fewer concepts very well rather than spreading thin on many topics. As such, certain concepts that may have
appeared in the lecture schedule in previous semesters may be deemphasized or omitted this semester.
Our goal is
therefore to provide you with a robust paradigm to analyze problems and solve them using a programming language.
If you walk away with a firm understanding of MatLab and programming concepts, this will improve your capacity