1.050 | Fall 2007 | Undergraduate

Engineering Mechanics I


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Recitations: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session

This subject provides an introduction to the mechanics of materials and structures. You will be introduced to and become familiar with all relevant physical properties and fundamental laws governing the behavior of materials and structures and you will learn how to solve a variety of problems of interest to civil and environmental engineers. While there will be a chance for you to put your mathematical skills obtained in 18.01, 18.02, and eventually 18.03 to use in this subject, the emphasis is on the physical understanding of why a material or structure behaves the way it does in the engineering design of materials and structures.


Detailed lecture notes will be distributed for each lecture, usually covering “theoretical” aspects (derivations, etc.) in more detail or in a different manner than done during class. The subject content is defined by the material presented in lectures, recitations and reading assignments, so regular attendance is advisable.


Recitations will illustrate and/or expand concepts presented in lectures by working through example problems or conducting simple experiments. Material covered in recitations is often related to homework assignments and is considered part of the subject content, so regular attendance at one of the two weekly recitations is advisable.

Lecture Summary Slide

After each lecture we will distribute a single summary slide. The goal of these summary slides is to convey the most important message(s) of each lecture - these should help you to review the lecture notes and prepare for quizzes and exams. The slide is not a complete summary of the contents; you should rather see it as a skeleton to guide your review of the lecture material.

Content Survey

At the end of each lecture, the TA will collect a brief survey in which you are asked to indicate how much of the material you understand. The survey will consist of a series of questions, for each of which you are asked to indicate if you’d be able to answer it (yes/no). This will provide us with immediate feedback about the understanding of the lecture material and will enable the instructor to react to potential difficulties or to emphasize on certain points more clearly.

Lecture Notes

We have developed detailed lecture notes for 1.050, which are used as the sole required reading for the subject. Some further reading references are given at the end of each chapter in the lecture notes, which may be of interest to you, but which are not required reading.


Problem sets will be distributed each Wednesday and are due on Wednesday the week after. Each problem set is designed to build upon the material covered in the preceding lectures and recitations. Homework assignments will be prepared by teams consisting of three students. Each team will hand in one solution, with the names of team members who contributed indicated on the cover page. Due dates for problem sets are firm and homework assignments will be corrected and handed back (with solutions) no later than two lectures after the due date.


There will be two in-class hour exams, on 2 days after Ses #16 and 3 days after Ses #28. There will also be a three-hour scheduled final exam. All exams are open-book, but bear in mind to develop an appropriate exam strategy.


The grade will be based on:

Homework 50%
In-class exams 25%
Final 25%

In arriving at a final letter grade, we will count the best 10 of 11 homework assignments.