Introduction to Mechanisms and Mechanical Systems

Description: Lecture, four hours; discussion, two hours; outside study, six hours. Enforced requisites: courses M20 (or Computer Science 31), 102. Analysis and synthesis of mechanisms and mechanical systems. Kinematics, dynamics, and mechanical advantages of machinery. Displacement velocity and acceleration analyses of linkages. Fundamental law of gearing and various gear trains. Computer-aided mechanism design and analysis. Letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 4.2
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Most Helpful Review
Good professor, though a lot of the class seemed to be review from kinematics, just with more emphasis on linkages. A note on the project: I felt that due to the CS requirement for this class, we were expected to write a program to solve it. The teacher and TA's also made this seem to be the case. However, if you do write a program, it will take way too long to solve for an answer, because there are too many variables. I wrote mine in simple fashion (it's fairly straightforward once you have the equations), and you could probably achieve more efficiency if you solve recursively somehow, however, I felt that it was simply too time intensive to do so. Especially since CS31 is a pretty basic course, and methods of approaching the project aren't discussed much in class. It's very frustrating if you do try to write a program, as you can't really tell how close you are to a solution, either, you just have to wait for it to continue running until done. There are a few other methods for solving the project, which he does discuss in class. I ended up solving it over the course of a night using guess and check, whereas I had had my program running (with intermittent restarts to address bugs) for almost a week on two computers. I was very frustrated at starting a week early, only to end up figuring out I wasted my time and then having to stay up all night the day before it was due. I mentioned to the professor that I thought he should tell students that it can take a long time to solve computationally, because it really does waste a lot of time, but I thought I'd say that here, as well. That was how things worked out for me, at least.
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