Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date




Publication Title

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Nashville, Tennessee


8.67.1 - 8.67.10

Conference Name

2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, June 22-25, 2003, Nashville, Tennessee


The Department of Engineering Technology at Old Dominion University offers TAC of ABET accredited baccalaureate programs in Civil Engineering Technology, Electrical Engineering Technology, and Mechanical Engineering Technology. All students are required to take traditional courses in algebra and trigonometry, as well as differential and integral calculus, at the freshman and sophomore levels. While these courses provided the necessary basic mathematical skills, it was difficult to justify the traditional upper-division mathematics courses such as differential equations, vector analysis, etc., as appropriate for the special needs of engineering technology students.

To address this issue, the Department has undertaken the development of a new "systems analysis" course that will cover the necessary upper-division engineering technology mathematical needs for ET students and it will be taught around a MATLAB based paradigm. While there are a number of fine computational software packages, MATLAB appears to be gaining broad acceptance in the engineering work place as one of the primary tools for advanced analysis. The course will consist of selected topics in linear algebra and matrices, differential equations, Laplace transforms, curve fitting, statistics, and optimization. Preliminary versions of the course have been offered several times to Electrical Engineering Technology Students and have received an excellent response. Beginning in the Spring of 2003, it will be offered to all Engineering Technology majors. Modifications to achieve that goal are currently underway.

All topics will be first introduced in their basic mathematical forms, but once the concepts are mastered with "simple" numbers and forms, students will begin utilizing MATLAB extensively to solve more practical and challenging problems. The paper presents a detailed breakdown of the topics selected for coverage in this new course along with examples of complex problems that are easily solved by students with MATLAB. A discussion of problems observed during the integration of students from all the discipline areas into the course will be made and proposed changes to improve the course will be discussed.


© 2003 American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings (Nashville, Tennessee, June 22-25, 2003)

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Original Publication Citation

Stanley, W., Kauffmann, P., & Crossman, G. (2003). A MATLAB-based upper division systems analysis course for engineering technology. Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Nashville, Tennessee, 8.67.1 - 8.67.10.