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Engineering LibreTexts

1: Preface

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    This is the second text in a new, coordinated engineering curriculum, integrating Introduction to Engineering (which includes the Introduction to Computer Programming), Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus. These courses are commonly taken by first and second year engineering students, however, Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus are not generally aimed for the engineering student in a coordinate fashion. While this coordinated engineering curriculum was designed for Prince George's Community College (PGCC), the authors believe it is generally relevant for any college or university (with modifications unique to their region and educational culture).

    The first step to develop in this coordinated engineering curriculum was the PGCC's version of the General Chemistry for Engineering. The book was completed in 2016. The course and the book was well received by the engineering students who felt it more matched their interests. The preface to that book explains how it differs from a General Chemistry course, but basically it accelerates topics already known by freshman engineers and shifts the central theme from biology to materials which is more inline with engineering thinking.

    This textbook course is an intensive two semester course introducing engineering and computer programming for engineers and scientists. Topics include brief introductions to most of the relevant courses for engineers which would include chemistry, physics, and calculus.

    The traditional approach to introduction to engineering is to teach engineering through history, exemplify some engineers from different disciplines, lecture about relevant equations, and spend the majority of the time on a large engineering project. While that is effective for students who have already gone through a STEM-type program in high school it is not as effective for students who are new to science and technology as you would find in a community college. The approach here does not fully abandon the traditional approach but it shifts emphasis to learning "what is engineering". Exemplifying some engineers from different disciplines is removed as that is not relevant to actual engineering, engineering history is reduced to topics that emphasis "what is engineering" from a historical point of view, and the engineering project is divided into two different projects with one emphasizing real world activities and the other emphasizing laboratory of design and analysis.

    In the course of working on this project it was clear that computers was an integral part of the course which is not distinct from the introduction to engineering. Therefore the introduction to computer programming was merged into this textbook course.

    LibreTexts provides a platform in which links to external material, videos and more can be integrated.

    Finally using the LibreTexts platform lessens the substantial cost of a textbook, which exceeds $(US) 250 today.

    The authors acknowledge the help and support of Prof. Delmar Larson at UC Davis who created and runs the LibreTexts project.

    A number of figures herein were created by the authors using xfig and LibreOffice's Draw program (LibreOffice is NOT connected to LibreTexts though the philosophy of being free with a license is essential the same). Most graphs and programs are from the Octave programming language though some are from Python and Maxima.

    Broader impacts of research and teaching are an important part of an engineer's and scientist's life and are made possible by the freedom to explore new things granted by universities and research agencies. Joshua Halpern (Howard University), Scott Sinex, and Scott Johnson (both PGCC) gratefully acknowledge the support of this LibreTexts book by NASA Award 80NSSC18M0126 and the 2018 Department of Education Open Textbook Pilot Project award to LibreTexts.

    Maintenance and revisions of this book are being carried out with the support of a grant from the Department of Education Open Textbook Pilot Project and the LibreTexts community.


    Contributed by Scott Johnson, Joshua Halpern, and Scott Sinex 

    All figures in this book unless otherwise noted are original to this work and covered by a CC-BY-SA-NC copyright


    1: Preface is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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