RWM2011 Real World Measurements - Spring 2012
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  • Real World Measurements - Spring 2012


    Conducting experiments and making measurements is an essential part of all branches science and engineering. Nearly all of our current quantitative understanding of the natural world was born from experimental measurements (or the disagreement between measurements and existing theory). Models of systems are useless without experimental validation. Performance of engineered systems must always be measured and tested.

    In this course we will begin to learn some of the basic tools of making physical measurements and conducting experiments. We will learn to collect data, analyze data, conduct basic error analysis, and design an experimental system. We will learn about sensors and conduct labs with electrical, mechanical, and environmental measurements. We will set up basic computer based data acquistion systems and associated electronics. The software environment for the course will be MATLAB using the data acquisition toolbox.

    Meeting times

    The course meets
    Lab section 1, Tue, 9-10:40, AC428
    Lab section 2, Tue, 10:50-12:30, AC428
    Lab section 3, Fri, 9-10:40-5, AC428
    Lab section 3, Fri, 10:50-12:30, AC428
    All sections meet Wed, 9-10:40, in the auditorium


    Chris Murphy

    Brad Minch
    Milas Hall 354

    Brian Storey
    Milas Hall 267

    Class format

    The first half of the course will follow a weekly lab structure. The work will be individual and the lab objectives will, for the most part, be set for you. We will provide the essential equipment and sensors needed for each lab. A short report will be due one week from the date of the assignment.

    The second part of the course will be an open ended experimental design project. Working in teams of 4, you will design and conduct an experiment of your choosing. All projects for the semester will fit withing the theme The Natural World. You will be free to pick anything ranging from environmental monitoring to bio-instrumentation. We will discuss the project component and ideas as the time gets closer.

    Jan 2012.