IAP 2002 Activities by Sponsor

Mechanical Engineering

How to Be MechE in the "Real World"
Daniel Kern
Tue Jan 8, 15, 22, 29, 11am-12:00pm, 3-442

No limit but advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 04-Jan-2002
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)
Prereq: None

If you are wondering if mechanical engineering is right for you or if you realize gears run your brain, then this class is for you. The roles and career paths of mechanical engineers in industry will be investigated. Topics such as "Should I Co-op?", "When/if should I go to grad school?", "What kind of jobs are available for a MechE?", and "What does a MechE do daily on the job?" will be covered. Many examples from the automotive industry will be presented. The format will be informal lectures and panel discussions.
Contact: Daniel Kern, 3-436,

Research in Mechanical Engineering: Laboratory Tours
Martin L. Culpepper
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)
Prereq: None

The goal of this class is to provide students and faculty with an opportunity to have informal discussions about research topics in Mechanical Engineering. The class will tour several research laboratories, meet with graduate students in these labs, and talk with faculty about their work. This is a good opportunity for students to learn more about the discipline of Mechanical Engineering and make contacts that may lead to UROPs, a senior thesis, or a graduate assistantship.
Contact: Martin L. Culpepper, 3-449, 452-2395,

Home Automation and Health Care Consortium
Sponsor: Prof. H. Asada
We will show the Home Automation and Healthcare Consortium project, including Wearable Sensors, Health Monitoring, Digital Human, Robotic Chair/Beds, and Cyborg Hands.
Wed Jan 23, 10-11:00am, Rm. 1-001

Precision Motion Control Lab
Sponsor: Prof. D. Trumper
Prof. Trumper's precision motion control lab focuses on novel electromechanical systems and their associated control algorithms. Examples include diamond turning machines for fabrication of asymmetric optics, and magnetically-levitated positioners for semiconductor manufacturing. For more details, see the lab web page.
Wed Jan 23, 11am-12:00pm, Rm. 35-030

Field and Space Robotics Laboratory
Sponsor: Prof. S. Dubowsky
The MIT Field and Space Robotics Laboratory's research focuses on the dynamics, design and control of high performance machine systems, robots and manipulators. Physical and virtual demonstrations will be presented for projects: Planetary exploration rovers and binary robotic systems, space robotic satellite and debris capture, and a personal aid for mobility and health monitoring (PAMM).
Thu Jan 24, 10-11:00am, Rm. 1-001

Precision Systems Design and Manufacturing Lab
Sponsor: Prof. M. Culpepper
Prof. Culpepper designs machines, actuators, and fixtures for precision (nano and micro level) alignment and positioning. He uses these devices to make parts and machines from different scales (i.e. Nano, Micro, Meso, Macro) work together in what we call "multi-scale" assemblies and systems. Example applications include fiber optics, automotive engines, and miniature robots and machines that operate by flexing.
Thu Jan 24, 11am-12:00pm, Rm. 3-446

Silly Putty 101
Andy Stein
Tue Jan 15, Thu Jan 17, Tue Jan 22, Thu Jan 24, 01-03:00pm, 1-246

Enrollment limited: advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 10-Jan-2002
Limited to 20 participants.
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)
Prereq: 18.03, 8.01, 8.02

Did you know if you hit silly putty with a hammer, it shatters like a piece of glass, or that it picks up static electricity? This class helps us understand why silly putty has these interesting properties; we'll also have fun seeing what else silly putty can do. We'll use basic math, physics, and chemistry to model silly putty’s behavior and while I may show a few nasty equations, I'll focus on intuition, not grunge math. Understanding silly putty’s behavior has applications to modeling the deformation and flow of other nonlinear fluids such as blood and plastics.
Contact: Andy Stein, 3-466, x8-0649,

The Art and Science of Car Racing
Martin Culpepper, Carlos Hidrovo
Mon-Wed, Fri, Jan 22-23, 25, 28, 30, 1, 04:30-06:30pm, E51-335, See URL for more details.

No limit but advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 15-Dec-2001
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)
Prereq: Basic calculus and physics

This class surveys the fundamental aspects and engineering principles behind car racing. It will look into the role and operation of tires, the general dynamics of car behavior (under-steer, over-steer and neutral-steer) and the different components of the chassis (frame, suspension) and powertrain (engine, transmission) of the car. It will also address other elements and topics like steering and braking systems, data acquisition/telemetry and some aerodynamic fundamentals. Time will also be devoted to racing from the driver’s perspective, as opposed to the designer’s perspective. The last lecture will be a trip to a local go-kart facility.
Contact: Carlos Hidrovo, 3-461, x2-3076,

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