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An Integral Analytical Numerical Experimental Pedagogy For A System Dynamics And Control Course

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

What's New in Dynamics?

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.216.1 - 12.216.11



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Paper Authors

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Benjamin Liaw City College of the City University of New York


Ioana Voiculescu City College of the City University of New York

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Professor Ioana Voiculescu received a Ph. D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Politehnica University, Timisoara, Romania, in 1997 in the field of Precision Mechanics. She finished her second doctorate in 2005, also in Mechanical Engineering, but with the emphasis in MEMS. She has worked for more than five years at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, DC in the area of MEMS gas sensors and gas concentrators. Currently, she is developing a MEMS laboratory in the Mechanical Engineering Department at City College University. She is an IEEE member, an ASME member and a reviewer for IEEE Sensors Journal in 2004, 2005 and 2006

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An Integral Analytical-Numerical-Experimental Pedagogy for a System Dynamics and Control Course


An integral analytical-numerical-experimental pedagogy was adopted to reform the teaching- learning method in a junior systems dynamics and control course in the Mechanical Engineering program at The City College of New York. The main objective of the course reform is to help students acquire knowledge and abilities necessary for the success in students’ future professional careers (including graduate studies) and life-long learning. In lieu of the conventional textbook-based homework and exams for a traditional engineering science course, three approaches were adopted for the reform of this system dynamics and control course: (1) comprehensive homework linking the training of mathematical skills, computational techniques and engineering design capabilities, (2) an integral analytical-numerical-experimental approach to solve engineering problems, and (3) student initiated final group presentations and reports. Once completed the course, students are expected to have developed abilities to identify and formulate real-world engineering problems, to carry out background research, to think creatively, to work individually and in teams, to synthesize information of various attributes, to assess results, and to communicate with others effectively. As an evidence, the reform result is very encouraging. The score of the internal ABET course survey of the course has shown drastic improvement.

1. Introduction

The study of System Dynamics and Control requires a genuine multi-disciplinary approach to integrate principles in various engineering disciplines (mechanical, electrical, computer, information technology, etc.) to develop optimal strategy for solving a contemporary engineering problem. Many educators have developed various forms of pedagogy for the improvement of teaching-and-learning of this important subject1-10. This paper presents part of results of the recent NSF-funded departmental-level undergraduate curriculum reform at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, The City College of The City University of New York. The current effort adopted an integral analytical-numerical-experimental pedagogy for a required course – ME 41100: Systems Modeling, Analysis and Control (4 credits, 3 lecture hours and 3 laboratory hours), which is one of three courses in the area of mechatronics and controls offered in this curriculum. The other two courses are ME 31100: Fundamentals of Mechatronics (required, 3 credits, 2 lecture hours and 3 laboratory hours) and ME 51100: Advanced Mechatronics (technical elective, 3 credits, 2 lecture hours and 2 laboratory hours). Results of the curriculum reform in other courses had been reported elsewhere11-13.

As shown in the figure on next page, ME 41100 lies at the center of the Mechanical Engineering curriculum. The pre-requisites required for this courses include mathematics (calculus, differential equations, complex variables, linear algebra, etc.), engineering sciences (dynamics, mechanics of materials, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, electric circuits, etc.), MATLAB-based computer and numerical techniques, and mechatronics-based laboratory techniques (e.g.,

Liaw, B., & Voiculescu, I. (2007, June), An Integral Analytical Numerical Experimental Pedagogy For A System Dynamics And Control Course Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1696

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