Course Number: E7
Course Name: Introduction to MATLAB
When is it offered? FALL/SPRING
Requirement Satisfied: CORE
Summary: The class begins with teaching the basics of the MATLAB language. After a few weeks, class material increases in difficulty, because students must then apply the basic principles of coding in MATLAB to solve a wide variety of problems (think puzzles that involve math). By the end of the course, you should be fluent in manipulating MATLAB to solve your future CBE course problems.
Official Prerequisites: Math 1B (May be taken concurrently)
LEGIT Prerequisites: Math 1B
Topics Covered: 1. Elements of procedural and object-oriented programming 2. Induction 3. Iteration 4. Recursion 5. Real functions 6. Floating-point computations for engineering analysis 7. Introduction to data structures.
Workload: You must go to your lab section at least once a week to check in for attendance. Problem sets (labs) are due weekly. You are given test cases with which your code will be graded on, so you can check to see if your code actually works. However, there are also graded test cases that are not revealed to you, so you have to make sure that your code ACTUALLY works (i.e. make sure it doesn't only work for the test cases they give you). Do not procrastinate on labs; start early so you can ask your peers and GSI's questions if you get stuck. Getting stuck on coding is very different from regular chem or CBE classes and it can take you many hours to sort out a coding or logic error. But don't stress over labs. They are quite easy and simple if you follow along with the class (lecture and/or textbook). There is one midterm and a final exam. Both exams are multiple choice and you can take a cheat sheet with you. Again, if you follow along the class, the exams should be no problem. There is also a final project which you will do in groups of 3-5. The projects are quite large. However, you are given enough time to complete it and the GSI's generally very helpful. In Spring 2016, students had to code an arcade-like game which implemented almost all of the skills learned in the class.
When to take? Freshman Spring
"Whats next" Courses? Every CBE course (CBE 40 is an exception, but MATLAB does help with CBE 40)
Usefulness for research / internships: It helps with any position that involves numerical analysis, solving systems of equations, and any other mathematical functions.
Added Comments or Tips: I really enjoyed this course. I liked doing the labs, because I enjoyed solving puzzles and working out the logic for my code. The lectures were not useful, though. I just read the textbook to learn how to code in MATLAB, which was enough. Whether or not you end up enjoying E7 (I really hope you do!), you should be diligent in learning the material in this course. MATLAB will save your life in your CBE classes. Think of MATLAB as that piece of driftwood that keeps you afloat after Iceberg (CBE) meets Titanic (your sanity).