Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

labs: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session



1. Notes and handouts as provided.

2. Buy at Amazon Lardner, T. J., R. R. Archer, S. H. Crandall, and N. C. Dahl. An Introduction to the Mechanics of Solids. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Primis Custom Publishing, 1999. ISBN: 9780072380415. (Or other required 2.001 texts.)


3. Buy at Amazon Dowling, N. E. Mechanical Behavior of Materials. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1998. ISBN: 9780139057205.

4. Buy at Amazon Ashby, M. F., and D. R. H. Jones. Engineering Materials 1: An Introduction to their Properties and Applications. 2nd ed. Oxford, UK: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1996. ISBN: 9780750627665.

5. Buy at Amazon Pratap, Rudra. Getting Started with MATLAB®. Oxford, UK: Oxford Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780195150148.

Of Interest

6. Buy at Amazon Bowman, Keith. Mechanical Behavior of Materials. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003. ISBN: 9780471241980.


2.001 Mechanics and Materials I


The laboratory part of the course puts course material in to practice in (a) experimentally quantifying mechanical performance of structures, (b) determining material properties, (c) selecting appropriate materials for particular applications, and (d) project-mode exploration of mechanical behavior.

The class will be divided into 3 sections of approximately 15 students each.

The laboratory experience consists of six laboratory modules in the mode of focused two ­hour "recitations" in mechanical behavior of materials coupled with small "experimental projects," plus a multiple session "term project" in which small lab teams of 3­-4 students each will conduct independent experimental investigations into the mechanical behavior of engineering materials and structures. Team-based oral presentations of the term project will take place in the last week of labs.

Handouts for each lab module will be distributed at lecture and placed on the course home page before the first lab session of that module. Students are expected to have read the hand­out prior to lab. Each student should bring a calculator to the lab.

After completing a given laboratory module, students will write up a concise, but complete, summary of the lab. At the following lab session, the write-up will be turned in to the laboratory instructor for grading, comments and observations; the graded write-up will be returned to the student at his/her next scheduled laboratory session. Policies regarding written laboratory reports will be explained in the first laboratory session.

Topics suitable for the term project vary broadly in nature, and can originate from a variety of sources. A handout with background information on a list of possible topics will be distributed later in the term; in addition, topic areas suggested by students and approved by the respective lab instructors are encouraged.

Homework Assignments

Homework Assignments will usually be handed out on Wednesdays. They will usually be due one week after they are handed out. To receive credit, you must hand in your solutions on the due date, at the beginning of class. No late homework will be accepted.

Solutions to the assignments will normally be available in the Lab Instructor's office after 5 p.m. on the due date, and will be placed on the course’s webpage. There will be exceptions to this pattern because of tests, Institute holidays, and so on. Graded homework will be available in the Lab Instructor's office approximately one week after the problem set is handed in. While we will make "solutions" to the homework available, the benefits which students obtain from their own prior efforts on an assignment will far exceed those obtainable from mere passive review of the efforts of others.

Note: We encourage students to work with each other on the homework assignments, but we do not condone copying. Make your own honest collaborative efforts to contribute to the solution (by asking questions, offering suggestions, etc.) and, based on your own understanding, write up the answers in your own words and style. If you worked closely with other students on a given homework assignment and feel that your understanding was substantially influenced by the mutual learning process, you should formally cite the names of those students with whom you worked.

Quizzes, Mini­-Quizzes, and Final Examination

There will be two quizzes during the term, and a final examination at the end of the semester. These will be closed­ book. Students will prepare up to two (2) letter­-size pages (2 sheets; 4 sides) of self ­prepared, handwritten notes (no photo-­reductions) for use during each quiz; in addition, these notes will be submitted with the quiz for partial grade-­content of that quiz. Up to six (6) such pages (6 sheets; 12 sides) may be prepared for the Final Examination.

Excused absences from taking quizzes at the scheduled times must be requested in advance of the quiz  from Prof. Parks. Such requests will be granted only for verifiable and significant reasons.

Brief, 5–10 minute "mini-­quizzes" will be given during lectures on a roughly weekly basis throughout the term.


Tutorial sessions will be conducted in the evening, one to two days before each quiz. Precise times and locations will be announced approximately one week in advance. Depending on demand, additional tutorial sessions may also be scheduled during the semester.


The final course grade will be weighted as follows:

Homework 15%
Quizzes (2) 30%
Mini­-quizzes 5%
Laboratory 25%
Final Examination 25%
Total 100%