3.A26 | Fall 2005 | Undergraduate

Freshman Seminar: The Nature of Engineering


Reference Book

There are no assigned readings for particular class sessions. However, students are expected to read:

Benyus, J. Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. New York, NY: HarperTrade, 2002. ISBN: 9780060533229.

Background Readings: From The Engineering of Trees (2003)

Students interested in the topics of trees, plants and musical instruments may consult the following readings:

Engineering of Trees: Handout 1 (PDF)

Engineering of Trees: Handout 2 (PDF)

Engineering of Trees: Handout 3 (PDF)

Easterling, K. E., R. Harrysson, L. J. Gibson, and M. F. Ashby, F. R. S. “On the Mechanics of Balsa and Other Woods.” Proceedings of the Royal Society London A383 (1982): 31-41.

Gibson, L. J., M. F. Ashby, and K. E. Easterling. “Structure and Mechanics of the Iris Leaf.” Journal of Materials Science 23 (1988): 3041-3048.

Gibson, L. J., M. F. Ashby, G. N. Karam, U. Wegst, and H. R. Shercliff. “The Mechanical Properties of Natural Materials. II. Microstructures for Mechanical Efficiency.” Proceedings of the Royal Society London A450 (1995): 141-162.

Gibson, L. J., K. E. Easterling, and M. F. Ashby, F. R. S. “The Structure and Mechanics of Cork.” Proceedings of the Royal Society London A377 (1981): 99-117.

Gibson, Lorna J., and Michael F. Ashby. Cellular Solids: Structure and Properties. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp. 101-103, 148, 399. ISBN: 9780521499118.

Niklas, Karl J. “How to build a Tree.” Natural History 2 (1996): 48-52.

McMahon, Thomas A. “The Mechanical Design of Trees.” Scientific American 233 (1975): 93-102.

Kahle, E., and J. Woodhouse. “The Influence of Cell Geometry on the Elasticity of Softwood.” Journal of Materials Science 29 (1994): 1250-1259.

McIntyre, M. E., and J. Woodhouse. “On Measuring the Elastic and Damping Constants of Orthotropic Sheet Materials.” Acta Metall 36, no. 6 (1988): 1397-1416.

Barlow, C. Y. “Materials Selection for Musical Instruments.” Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics 19, part 5 (1997).

Burkle, Lloyd, and Henri D. Grissino-Mayer. “Stradivari, Violins, Tree Rings, and The Maunder Minimum: A Hypothesis.” Dendrochronologia 21, no. 1 (2003): 41-45.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2005