EML3035: Programming Concepts for Mechanical Engineers

A one-credit hour course

Lectures & Assignments      Syllabus

A one credit hour course in Programming Concepts

Fall 2013


More than just teach you how to program, this course teaches you how to think more methodically and how to solve problems more effectively. As such, its lessons are applicable well beyond the boundaries of computer science itself.  That the course does teach you how to program, though, is perhaps its most empowering return.  With this skill comes the ability to solve real-world problems in ways and at speeds beyond the abilities of most humans.” - David Malan who teaches a general computer science course in Harvard to majors and non-majors of computer science.


Penny Herscher, president and CEO of FirstRain, an analytics software company, writes, "Software has changed the way we communicate, the way we shop, the way we listen to music, the way we create images, the way we find dates, the way we read books and watch movies, the way we work, the way our every action is stored and analyzed and the way we educate our" children. The "ability to create algorithms and apply structured logic, whether by writing the code oneself or by learning how to use applications that translate structured logic into code, can make us all active participants in the Digital Age and the software revolution." Herscher writes, "It's time to encourage every child, every student and every worker to take an interest, to understand the basics of software and computing and to be an active participant in the creation of our new software-driven world."




Introduces the student to the world of programming through MATLAB to develop scientific and engineering models.  The student will be able to write beginner level programs that include conditional statements, repetition loops, input/output of files, modular programming including subprograms, and matrix manipulation.


How do I buy MATLAB or do I have to?

  1. You can use the apps option to access MATLAB remotely.  Be careful where you save your files (read this). 

  2. You can use MATLAB free of charge in all open access labs (http://www.it.usf.edu/services/labs) except the ones in EDU.

  3. You can buy the MATLAB Student Version from the USF bookstore.

How should I study for this course?

In Spring 2004, I asked students if they had any parting words of wisdom for a student who is registered for this course. This is what they had to say - they are the words of wisdom from your peers. 

Sample HWs, quizzes from past class offerings and online practice tests,  and competency tests are available.  Keep yourself updated with what was taught in the classroom via the lectures and assignments link.


Can I get exempted from taking the course?

Read the full details of how to get exemption.


Course Outline



MATLAB Syntax and Commands

Use of MATLAB to Solve Engineering Problems

Conditional Statement
Repetition Loops


Matrix Manipulation
File I/O