16.01 | Fall 2005 | Undergraduate

Unified Engineering I, II, III, & IV


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 9 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Recitations: 2 sessions / week, 1 hour / session


Unified Engineering is the sophomore-level engineering course taken by every undergraduate who joins the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. Many different engineering fields are introduced in a unified format, so that the systemic nature of aerospace engineering can be illustrated. Students who complete two semesters of Unified Engineering learn that even small changes to an aerospace design carry implications for the entire system.

Course Introduction to by Professor Coleman

Course Introduction to by Professor Waitz


Unified Engineering is itself a complex system. It employs many different activities, pedagogies and technologies. The goals, requirements and logistics of the course are summarized below:

Unified Engineering Course Facts (PDF)

Learning Objectives

All courses taught in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics disclose a set of learning objectives and measurable outcomes. Learning objectives describe the expected level of proficiency with syllabus topics that a student should attain. To complement the learning objectives, measurable outcomes describe specific ways in which students may be expected to demonstrate such proficiency. Major syllabus topics for each discipline are organized into learning objectives in the table below. The abbreviations provided below are used throughout the course site to refer to the various disciplines.

Computers and Programming C 16.01-02, Fall (PDF)
Fluid Mechanics F 16.01-04, Fall-Spring (PDF)
Materials and Structures M 16.01-04, Fall-Spring (PDF)
Signals and Systems S 16.01-02, Fall (PDF)

16.03-04, Spring (PDF)

Systems and Labs S/L 16.01-02, Fall (PDF)




16.01-02, Fall (PDF)

16.03-04, Spring (PDF)

Unified Concepts U  

Discipline Section Organization

Each discipline in Unified Engineering is presented on a separate section of the course site. In order to maintain organization and consistency across the sections, the content has been organized into the discipline tables with the following standard column headings:


Lecture number. Refer to the calendar section for more details on how each lecture session fits into the overall course schedule.


Summary of main topics covered during the lecture session. Lecture notes or slides from each lecture are linked here.

Concept Questions

Multiple choice questions posed to students throughout the lecture session. Students register a response using a Personal Response System (“PRS”) transmitter. Questions are typically designed to evaluate conceptual understanding, and to be completed in 1-5 minutes. Faculty can see the class’ results immediately.

Muddy Points

Responses to “Muddiest Part of the Lecture” cards. At the end of each lecture, students are asked to spend 5 minutes thinking about which of the topics presented was least clear. They write them on index cards and submit them as they leave. Faculty review and respond to “Muddy Points” in the next lecture and/or online.


Reading assignments for the lecture. These may be from published textbooks, or linked resources. For some disciplines, the instructor’s notes are assigned as readings to be completed before the lecture, so they are linked in this column. Optional readings appear in parentheses, e.g., sec. 1.1-1.4, (1.5).

Assignments / Solutions

Work to be completed by students. Each lecture has one associated problem. The problem and its solution are linked in both the section table and in the assignments section. Systems and Labs assignments, or “Systems Problems”, are larger in scope than individual problem set problems, and may be project-based or lab-based.

Handouts / Supporting Files

Supplemental materials distributed to class, related to the lecture problem set or systems problem.

Learning Resource Types
Lecture Videos
Course Introduction
Competition Videos
Problem Sets with Solutions
Exams with Solutions