Talk to any engineering major and E72 will definitely be on their favorite class list. Co-taught by the engineering and math department, E72 is a half-semester class all engineering majors are required to take along with E80 Experimental Engineering. It features 3 hours of class followed by long homework assignments that focus on applications of material we’ve learned in the last three semesters of core. These include finding dimensionless parameters, analysis of inverted pendulum motion, and other really cool, applicable problems. The class sessions are discussion based: Prof. Bassman (engineering) and Prof. Yong (math) briefly introduce a topic, usually a spin-off of something we learned in either Math 40 Intro to Linear Algebra, Math 45 Intro to Differential Equations, or E59 Intro to Systems Engineering. Then in teams of two to four, we discuss the problem statements, how to solve it, and then check in with the professors. We switch partners every few classes so we get to work with a number of different people too.
The class isn’t all math though. In the last few weeks, I’ve become more comfortable with Matlab and Wolfram Mathematica, thanks to E72. Almost every assignment requires us to learn a new command and practice using it, whether it is plotting phase planes or solving differential equations.
“It’s so cool; I really like how we’re finally applying all the math we’ve ever learned to real situations that we’re actually going to use in engineering. Classes like E83 Continuum Mechanics also overlap with E72 material!” – Emily Swindle ’18
“Like training for a marathon, E72 wears you out but also gives you the endurance to reach further limits.” – Richard Liu ‘18
“E72 reminds me of the Navy SEAL’s 40% rule: every time you think you’re done with something, you’re only 40% done. I love the challenge.” – Anji Malpani ‘18