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Tutorials and Events

Tutorial: Idea sketching primer. Friday, September 5, 5-6:00 PM. Room 3-270.

This one hour, optional tutorial by Roger Zhu, a designer at Involution Studios is intended to help you practice the type of sketching that will be needed over the weekend for your individual brainstorming deliverable. Sketching materials will be provided for those who attend.

Taking the Bull by the Horns: How to be proactive and set your team up for success
Thursday, September 10, 5-6:00 PM, Room 3-370
Libby Mahaffy

You know the structure of your team is important, and that you have a key role to play in the team’s dynamics, but *how* do you actually do it? This interactive workshop will explore ways you can set your team up for success, both structurally and personally. From meeting agendas and group memory templates to facilitation tips and consensus-building techniques, you’ll come away with plenty of tools to start the semester out on the right foot.

Tutorial: observing users. Friday, September 12, 5:00-6:00 PM. Room 3-333.

Practicing designer Meena Kothandaraman will give a short presentation on ethnographic studies 101 that includes tips on how to identify product opportunities by consciously observing in an environment, and trying to learn from potential users or customers. This is very useful in the early part of any product development process, and is particularly relevant for the observation exercise over the weekend.

Slides by designer Jeremy VanHill.

Hands-on Workshop: designing with sourced components. (overview, .pdf)
Session I: Monday September 15, 7-9 PM
Session II: Thursday September 25, 7-9 PM

By Eric Sugalski, David Schoon, and David Perry (product designers from Boston Devices) and held in the Pappalardo lab. Design using existing parts is an art that allows one to quickly and efficiently build working models and assess design concepts. Designing using sourced parts is a key to success in the sketch model and mockup phases of 2.009.

In session 1 you will: learn about the efficiencies gained by using sourced components; be introduced to popular component supply houses; design a simple product using ONLY sourced components.

In session 2 you will: assembly your design using sourced components, and test it.

This workshop requires your RSVP by 9 AM Monday, September 15, and you will want to be able to attend both sessions so you can build and test what you have designed in part I. To RSVP, please contact the course instructor. If you have a laptop please bring it to the workshop.

Credit card training for all financial officers (required!).
Thursday, September 18, 4:00-5:00 PM, room 3-434.

Financial officers hold their team's credit cards. MIT will not issue any of the 2.009 team cards until all financial officers complete the MIT training program. Thus financial officer attendance is mandatory. If there are conflicts, please contact the course instructor.

Tutorial: Building a Portfolio. (tutorial slides, .pdf and video (.mp4, 2 gb) Thursday, September 18, 7:15–8:00 PM. Room 3-370.

A portfolio is essential for anyone pursuing design work beyond 2.009. This 45 minute seminar will give you the basics about developing your portfolio — a visual representation of your design and engineering work that complements the words in your resume. We'll talk about why you should start thinking about it now and what you can do to start documentation habits, especially in the midst of your 2.009 work.

Tutorial: Posters in Illustrator (online tutorial materials)
Friday, September 19, 4 PM, Pappalardo lab conference room (south end).

This tutorial will provide tips for using Illustrator to design a poster or logo design, as well as preparing graphics from photos. This will be helpful for your 3-ideas poster execution. You can download a trial version from the Adobe website. The full Adobe creative cloud is also installed on the 2.009 computers in the Pappalardo lab.

Tutorial: Patent Searching Fundamentals
Wednesday, September 24, 4-5pm 14N-132 (DIRC)

While you won’t come out of this session qualified to be a patent attorney, you will be able to successfully find patent references from all over the world and know how to obtain patent text and diagrams. The session will be a hands-on practicum that will help de-mystify the patent literature and expose attendees to key resources for finding patents through free resources available on the web.

(Note: this is the same patent search tutorial that was offered institute wide and was over subscribed. This offering is for 2.009 students only.)

Tutorial: Solidworks bootstrap. (automoblox tutorial slides, .pdf)
Friday, September 26, 5-6 PM, room 35-122.

If you are feeling rusty with Solidworks, or have never really have had the chance to work with it much, this tutorial will get you going. There are workstations in the room (ME cluster computers), or you can bring Solidworks on your laptop.

RFP training for financial officers.
Friday, September 26, 3:00-4:00 PM, room 3-350.

Financial officers manage the cash reimbursement process for their team members. This training session explains the process and thus financial officer attendance is mandatory. If there are conflicts, please contact the course instructor.

Tutorial: User feedback and usability. (slides, .pdf)
Friday, September 26 (room 1-242) and Monday November 3 (room 1-150), 4:00 - 5:00 PM

Understanding your target user audience is critical throughout the design process. This two-part tutorial, designed by the communication instructors, focuses on outreach to users with an emphasis on starting conversations and conducting surveys. This outreach effort enables you to understand the experiences, expectations, and desires of users, rather than rely on preconceptions of who they are and what they need. In Part I (September 26), instructors and students will discuss why usability matters and will consider examples. They will also examine the social dynamics of “talking to strangers,” identify potential users for different product concepts, and have an opportunity to write questions appropriate for user interviews. In Part II (November 3), students will discuss their experience to date in gathering user feedback, analyze and weigh the value of sample feedback, and refine their techniques.

Please RSVP to 2009CR with names of the team members who will attend and your team color.

Workshop; SI team communication training.
Monday, September 29, 7-8:30 PM, room 3-370.

Offered by the communications instructors, this workshop should be attended by at least one system integrator (or candidate) from each section. Other students interested in team communication strategies are also welcome. Pizza dinner will be provided.

System integrators help keep a team working productively even when milestones approach, opinions diverge, and goals change or expand. Their most powerful tool is effective team communication, especially in meetings and email. Although most people give significant consideration to the content of our communication, we don't often stop to think much about the ways in which we communicate. In this session, system integrators will be presented with a few straightforward principles for planning and running a meeting, engaging team members, and delegating tasks and monitoring their completion. Participants will also have an opportunity to reflect on their experience as SI's to date.

Tutorial: finding information for your product with the course librarian
Monday, September 29, 7:00-8:30 PM, room 14N-132 (Digital Instruction Resource Center)

Information officers must attend, dinner will be provided (pizza). The sketch model presentation requires technical benchmarking, market, and customer information for the ideas that your section is pursuing. Several librarians will be on hand for one-on-one consultation. Be prepared with descriptions of your teams concepts, what information you have already found, and what you are finding difficult to locate. There should be a representative from each section, so if an information officer cannot attend an appropriate substitute should be arranged.

Tutorial: an introduction to micro-controllers
Friday, October 3, 5:00-6:30 PM. Pappalardo lab

Steven Banzaert will hold a hands on tutorial that covers the basics of working with a micro-controller. You will setup a project on your computer, light LEDs and run a servo motor. Please bring your laptop for software setup and programming.

Tutorial: Starting a Startup 101
Friday, October 10, 4 PM. Pappalardo lab

Ken Zolot will give an overview and take Q&A about the process of launching a company. You can also use this session as a forum for proposing new options for MechE students who seek to become startup founders, as the department is evaluating a number of new initiatives we might launch.

Ken Zolot leads courses for aspiring startup founders in the School of Engineering. He has mentored many MIT-spawned companies. This semester he is teaching a special add-on seminar to 2.009 that several of our students are taking (2.s994, "3D startups").

Workshop: Moderating Design Disputes
Tuesday, October 14, 5:30 PM. Room 3-270

This is a tutorial for SIs and anyone interested in how to better handle making tough team decisions, such as your final product selection next week.

In a typical design or development project, an issue will often arise where the team has to decide between separate ideas. It can quickly become a competition, with team members taking sides. Usually there’s a winner and loser at the end of it, potentially disrupting the effectiveness of the team.

This workshop outlines a process that can help a team, in the midst of a dispute, have a productive discussion and create a “win-win” situation where everyone feels good about the final decision.  The process involves inviting a moderator – a neutral 3rd party – to help with the discussion process. This one hour workshop will teach you how to be a moderator and help other teams work through their disputes by spending less time arguing and more time in productive discussions.

Mindy Garber is Chief for Quality/Customer Satisfaction at Parlance Corporation, a company she helped found that develops automated operator solutions for enterprise telephone systems. Mindy also has significant experience as a mediator, having resolved over 150 disputes in small claims, summary process (tenant/landlord disputes), and probate courts within the Massachusetts District court system. Her specialty is helping parties come to a mutually acceptable agreement without judicial intervention. She teaches workshops in negotiation skills, difficult conversations, and dispute resolution.

Mindy has a Masters degree in Engineering from Stanford and a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. She attended Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation and mediator training at Mediation Works Inc. In her free time, she studies languages and ancient history.  

Tutorial: Advanced Electronic Design & Fabrication
Monday, October 20, 7 PM, room 3-062

In this hands-on tutorial we will take a small electronics project from concept to fully-functional printed circuit board. We will discuss practical design considerations, schematic capture and PCB design in Eagle, sourcing parts and sending printed circuit boards out for fabrication, and advanced surface-mount soldering techniques.

Tutorial will be held in the 2.678 lab, room 3-062 (at the south end of the Pappalardo Lab). You will be able to use the lab computers for PCB design; if you wish to bring your own laptop, please install Eagle ahead of time.

Tutorial: Product naming
Thursday, October 23 at 7 PM, Pappalardo lab conference room (north end).

Struggling to find the right name for your product? This tutorial by Beth Marcus, a successful entrepreneur, is intended to help you think strategically about naming your product. Please come to the tutorial with a clear sense of your product's core benefit, who it is for, and how you think you will market it. Beth has requested you review the slides before the tutorial.

Also, before the tutorial pick 1-2 well-known brands with name they like. Please come prepared to say why you like it, and what the name tells them about the company or product?

Tutorial: Misumi discount program introduction
Friday, October 24, 4 PM, room 5-233

Jocob Oji from Musimi, a mechanical components vendor, will provide an overview of their product line and website, and provide a discount code that your 2.009 team may use for a 30% discount on Misumi purchases. Team financial officers, or a team-members that can stand in, should attend.

Tutorial: Top-down design in Solidworks (.pdf)
Friday, October 24, 5 PM, room 35-125

Harness the power of top-down design in Solidworks. This tutorial, by mentor David Schoon, will teach the CAD methods used in industry to create robust multi-user assemblies, dynamic mechanism layouts, and complex industrial designs. There are workstations in the room (ME cluster computers), or you can bring Solidworks on your laptop

Tutorial: Product costing. Part 1 of 2 (.pdf)
Monday November 3, 7 PM, Pappalardo lab

This tutorial by David Meeker introduces product manufacturing cost estimation software. To prepare, you need to review the introductory slides before the tutorial. He will help you get started with cost estimation for your team's product. At least two people from each team should attend.

Tutorial: User feedback and usability. (slides, .pdf)
Part II: Monday November 3 (room 1-150), 4:00 - 5:00 PM

Understanding your target user audience is critical throughout the design process. This two-part tutorial, designed by the communication instructors, focuses on outreach to users with an emphasis on starting conversations and conducting surveys. This outreach effort enables you to understand the experiences, expectations, and desires of users, rather than rely on preconceptions of who they are and what they need. In Part I (September 26), instructors and students will discuss why usability matters and will consider examples. They will also examine the social dynamics of “talking to strangers,” identify potential users for different product concepts, and have an opportunity to write questions appropriate for user interviews. In Part II (November 3), students will discuss their experience to date in gathering user feedback, analyze and weigh the value of sample feedback, and refine their techniques.

Please RSVP to 2009CR with names of the team members who will attend and your team color.

Industrial design consultation.
Thursday November 6, evening in the Pappalardo lab

Industrial designers Jeremy VanHill and Micheal Miller, of Radius, will be available for design consultation. Mike and Jeremy will spend 1/2 hour with your team to help you refine the overall vision for the usability and form of your product. Please show up to the consulting session with a few printouts of your design. Your assembly review (or newer design versions) materials may be appropriate. Also, think ahead about aspects of your product form or user scenarios that you are struggling with. Mike and Jeremy will discuss your design and also sketch alternatives with you. Please take full advantage of this great opportunity.

Consulting schedule:
6:00 PM: Green
6:30 PM: Yellow
7:00 PM: Pink
7:30 PM: Blue
8:00 PM: Red
8:30 PM: Orange
9:00 PM: Purple
9:30 PM: Silver

Tutorial: Designing User interfaces.
Friday, November 7, 5 PM, Pappalardo lab

This tutorial by Juah Sonin will discuss Design Axioms that describe a minimal rule set for designing interfaces: the foundational concepts that are required knowledge for designers and engineers to create usable and elegant interfaces. Interface designers require a broad spectrum of skills from typography to layout and graphic design to interaction design to storytelling. This one-hour-long session will cover topics on displaying data.

Tutorial: Emotional Design - Designing products that excite users!
Wednesday November 12, 7 PM, Pappalardo lab conference room

Design tutorial by Geoff Tsai. What a user experiences from a product—excitement, frustration, indifference—follows from its design. This workshop will help you to contemplate and design for the emotional response of your users. Dinner will be provided.

Tutorial: Finding images for presentations
Friday November 21, 4 PM in 14N-132

Finding relevant and meaningful images for your final presentation can help tell your product s story and establish the tone for your audience. Join Patsy Baudoin, Librarian for the Media Lab and Visual Arts, for this tutorial on finding free images and using and citing them appropriately. All students are welcome to this session, but students with a key role in slide design for the final presentation are especially encouraged to attend.

Tutorial: Product costing. Part 2 of 2
Monday, December 1, 7 PM in the Pappalardo lab (south end).

This tutorial by David Meeker will help you with cost estimates for your final product prototype. To prepare, you need to review the introductory slides before the tutorial. Ideally you will have attended Product costing, part 1 and attend with a bill of materials for your product.

Business Model Consultation
Wednesday, December 3 in Pappalardo lab (south end).

Professor Warren Seering has offered to meet with each team to review and discuss your team's business proposal. While the proposal will probably be 10-15% of your final presentation, it is still a very important aspect of establishing your product's credibility. Please be ready to discuss your plan.

Consulting schedule:
6:00 PM: Pink
6:30 PM: Yellow
7:00 PM: Orange
7:30 PM: Blue
8:00 PM: Red
8:30 PM: Green
9:00 PM: Purple
9:30 PM: Silver

Everything Will Work, But Just In Case...
Thursday, December 4, 5-6PM in Pappalardo lab (south end).

Every product and presenter should be in full working order before the presentation, but what if something unexpected happens in Kresge? In this workshop, we'll put on our 'psychic' hats and try and predict things that could go wrong during the final presentation, such as a presenter omitting a key piece of information, a slide that doesn't load properly, or even a product that begins to misbehave. All of the final presenters are encouraged to attend this workshop to brainstorm strategies for dealing with the unexpected under the Kresge lights. In addition, at the end of the workshop we can "rehearse" another opportunity for extemporaneous speaking: the Q&A portion of the final presentation.