This page focuses on the course 16.90 Computational Methods in Aerospace Engineering as it was taught by Professors Karen Willcox and Qiqi Wang in Spring 2014.
This course provided an introduction to numerical methods and computational techniques arising in aerospace engineering. Applications were drawn from aerospace structures, aerodynamics, dynamics and control, and aerospace systems. Techniques covered included numerical integration of systems of ordinary differential equations; numerical discretization of partial differential equations; and probabilistic methods for quantifying the impact of variability. Specific emphasis was given to finite volume methods in fluid mechanics, and finite element methods in structural mechanics.
This course was taught using the Residential MITx platform.
Course Goals for Students
- Attain a conceptual understanding of computational methods commonly used for analysis and design of aerospace systems
- Achieve a working knowledge of computational methods, including experience implementing them in model problems drawn from aerospace engineering applications
- Possess a basic foundation in theoretical techniques to analyze the behavior of computational methods
Below, Professor Karen Willcox describes various aspects of how she taught 16.90 Computational Methods in Aerospace Engineering.
- 16.004 Unified Engineering or permission of the instructor
- Concurrent enrollment in 16.09 Statistics and Probability or 6.041 Probabilistic Systems Analysis
16.90 can be applied towards a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, but is not required.
Every spring semester
The students' grades were based on the following activities:
Instructor Insights on Assessment
Professor Karen Willcox shares her insights about assessing students through oral exams.
Breakdown by Year
Mostly juniors and seniors
Breakdown by Major
Mostly aeronautics and astronautics majors
During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:
- Course met 2 times a week for 1.5 hours per session; 25 sessions total.
- WebEx broadcasting of class sessions allowed students time away from campus to participate in engineering competitions or presenting at conferences.
- Sessions included concept questions, small group exercises, and project work.
Out of Class