GSCI101 General Science COURSE

WELCOME

Students should visit this page for general advisories and course updates.

This is a course designed to satisfy the goals and objectives for Cluster 3 (Mathematics and Science). These ideas will be explored by examining the current state of robotics. The successful development of machines capable of completing complex tasks as autonomous entities or as remotely controlled machines requires input from all science and mathematics.  From the examination of biological systems that provide nature’s solutions to various engineering problems to the complex mathematics and engineering that are used to solve problems for flight, robotics provides an excellent overriding theme.

The plan for the fall of 2014 is to examine the field of robotics through hands-on projects based on the Arduino system. Lectures will then attempt to address some of the basic science as well as discussions of any material assigned. 

Since this a new version of this course there may be adjustments made during the semester to address student feedback and the instructor’s perception of the effectiveness of the methods employed.

We may be entering the “Age of Robots”.  Significant advancements in both the mechanical and computing arenas seem to be opening a door for significant advancements.  Whether or not the field continues to grow and profoundly impact our daily lives or encounter difficulties that delay progress, this seems to be an ideal time to see where we are and where we are going.  A true appreciation of these developments will require some mastery of basic science.  To appreciate the challenges and the dramatic achievements one needs to have some grasp of the essence of science and mathematics.  Therefore students can expect to grapple with basic notions such as motion, force, energy, materials, and computing.

The topics were chosen with the goal of teaching best methods to reach an understanding when confronted with scientific ideas.  Many students rely on memorization and formulas as the best approach to science. Our goal will be to develop models based on our understanding of other phenomena as the primary focus. For example, electric current is the flow of electric charge in a wire.  To understand electric currents we will examine the flow of cars on a highway and consider the flow of water in a stream and see if we can carry over some aspects of these flows to develop some intuition about electric currents.

Syllabus (Also find a pdf on CANVAS)

Guideline Summary (required reading)

 

IMPORTANT DATES

1

Test 1

Around week 7 or 8

2

Final

exam week

 

 

 

HW

Homeworks are online using a system similar to Blackboard  è   LON CAPA   

 

HW1 (Force & motion)

Sept. 14

 

HW2 (Force & Energy)

Oct. 5

 

HW3 (elec.)

Nov. 16

 

HW4 (circuits)

Dec. 1

 

 

 

Tentative outline of course

 

 

 

lecture

lab

WK

 

Day

 

 

1

Aug 25

M

guidelines

guidelines, arduino programming

 

 

W

Motion position, velocity, acceleration

 

 

F

1-d motion

2

Sept 1

M

Graphs 1-d (reading)

Blink code,  LED circuit, protoboard

 

 

W

Relating (x vs t) to v and a vs t

 

 

F

Slopes, constant acceleration

3

Sept 8

M

vectors

Fade code, More than 1 control, LED circuits

 

 

W

All vector “same  understand position

 

 

F

Graphical addition of vectors

4

Sept 15

M

Angles and scales (1cm è 1 mile)

Develop coding understanding

 

 

W

Gravity  (special version for earth)

 

 

F

Mass inertial vs gravitational

5

Sept 22

M

Forces

Serial monitor and inputs

 

 

W

Normal (forces due to flat surface)

 

 

F

Buoyant, friction, external

6

Sept 29

M

Rope forces

Wiring switch as a sensor

 

 

W

Free body diagrams

 

 

F

Energy

7

Oct. 6

M

 

Motors

 

 

W

Energy

 

 

F

 

8

Oct. 13

M

 

 

 

 

W

Energy

 

 

F

TEST

9

Oct. 20

M

 

 

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

 

10

Oct. 27

M

 

 

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

 

11

Nov 3

M

 

 

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

 

12

Nov 10

M

 

 

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

 

13

Nov 17

M

 

 

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

 

 

Nov 24

M

BREAK

 

 

 

W

BREAK

 

 

F

BREAK

14

Dec 1

M

 

 

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lab portion of the class will be centered around the Arduino, programming the Arduino, building simple circuits driven and read by the Arduino.

Multimeter (voltmeter) discussion (extra material for any student that wants to use a voltmeter to measure voltage in a circuit)

General notes relating to circuits that might be useful as we develop our understanding

circuit diagrams, units [M,k...], models

 

General information Robotics

Building your robot

Good link for      Sensing and Sensors (pdf)

 

*******************************

First half of the semester we cover Mechanics

·    Motion

·    Force

·    Energy

These are expansive topics so we will focus on specific aspects of these topics such as 1-d motion and graphs, vectors, special forces, Newton’s laws, free body diagrams.

 

Topics  list of topics, some brief discussions, motion

Compilation of some topics that will be covered

Forces   

Energy 

Money Model For Energy

 

Reading Assignment for Energy

 Energy chapter from Physics for Future Presidents

Some previous summaries.

Repeat of much of the above but perhaps in smaller digestible bites.

Week 1

Week 2-3   

Week 4a  

force

Week 4b

Money Model For Energy

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

 

 

 

 

Material Fall 2013 and earlier==========

Article below identifies some goals for teaching and learning science.

 

Applying New Research to Improve Science Education 

Wieman

The appropriate STEM educational goal should be to maximize the extent to which the learners develop expertise in the relevant subject, where expertise is defined by what scientists and engineers do.

educational experiences should be measured by their effectiveness at changing the thinking of the learner to be more like that of an expert when solving problems and making decisions relevant to the discipline.

Experts have:

  • large amounts of knowledge
  • discipline-specific ways to organize and apply
  • capability to monitor their own thinking
    • testing their understanding and
    • the suitability of different solution approaches, and
    • making corrections as appropriate.
  • Discipline and topic-specific mental models
    •  involving relevant cause and effect relationships
    • used to make predictions about behavior and solve problems.
  • Sophisticated criteria for deciding which of these models
  • processes for regularly testing the appropriateness of the model being used.
  • Complex pattern-recognition systems for distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant information.

 

Wieman - Applying New Research to Improve Science Education

If you are interested in some presentations designed to explore this frontier watch the following videos:

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/a_robot_that_flies_like_a_bird.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/rodney_brooks_on_robots.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/michael_shermer_on_believing_strange_things.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/catherine_mohr_surgery_s_past_present_and_robotic_future.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/paul_root_wolpe_it_s_time_to_question_bio_engineering.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/caleb_chung_plays_with_pleo.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/heather_knight_silicon_based_comedy.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/juan_enriquez_shares_mindboggling_new_science.html

http://www.ted.com/talks/pranav_mistry_the_thrilling_potential_of_sixthsense_technology.html

 

Interesting physics book: http://muller.lbl.gov/teaching/physics10/PffP_textbook/PffP-01-energy-2008.pdf

 

 

 

Brief summary of material presented

 

 

 

lecture

lab

WK

 

Day

 

 

1

aug 26

M

guidelines

guidelines, arduino programming

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

Vectors  (graphical addition)

2

sept  2

M

motion position, velocity, acceleration

basic circuits

 

 

W

3-d means vector addition

 

 

F

1-d means x-t,v-t,a-t relationships

3

9

M

1-d graphing regions of constant a

use shield protoboard blink, intro voltmeter brief V-height

 

 

W

force

 

 

F

mg vs mi, Newton’s laws, Free body

4

16

M

forces   Newton’s laws,

fade, students responsible for circuits and code!

 

 

W

forces  free body diagrams, types

 

 

F

forces balance

5

23

M

energy, mechanical

most of the period for exploration

 

 

W

KE, work, PEgrav, PEspring

 

 

F

Money as a model for energy

6

30

M

 

switch

 

 

W

work , power, energy

 

 

F

 

7

Oct 7

M

 

add motor control

 

 

W

more energy review

 

 

F

 

8

14

M

 

continue  switches and motors

 

16

W

TEST

 

 

F

test  solution

9

 

M

heat, temperature

build robot

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

 

10

 

M

 

build

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

 

11

 

M

 

 

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

 

12

 

M

 

 

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

 

13

 

M

 

 

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

 

14

 

M

 

 

 

 

W

 

 

 

F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multimeter (voltmeter) discussion

circuit diagrams, units [M,k...], models

Week 1    list of topics, some brief discussions, motion

Week 2 motion see links from last year below

Week 3&4 Forces   

week 5  Energy 

   Money Model For Energy

TEST1

Reading Assignment week 8…         Energy chapter from Physics for Future Presidents

 

General information Robotics

Building your robot

Good link for      Sensing and Sensors (pdf)

 

Movies are excerpts from “Beyond the Mechanical Universe”. The full programming is available on request (purchased by JMU physics).

1.                  E&M movie 1-emwaves

2.                  E&M movie 2-field_lines

3.                  E&M movie 3-Maxequations

4.                  E&M movie 4- waveprop

5.                  E&M movie 5- waves_emspectrum

 

·    E&M weeks 9-12

·    Circuits

·    Control W 14

 

final reading assignment for last week of class-------------

 

Feedback Systems: An Introduction for Scientists and Engineers (read chapter 1)

Karl Johan Aström, Richard M. Murray

 PDF version     

 

Chapter 1  IMPORTANT Sections ------------

section 1.1-1.2,

section 1.3: Early Technology, Power Generation, Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Networks and Computing and

section 1.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

previous year material ****** SPRING 2013*************

IMPORTANT DATES

1

Test 1

March 1, 2013  Friday

2

Final

Monday, 4/29/2013, 10:30-12:30.

 

 

 

HW

Homeworks are online using a system similar to Blackboard  è   LON CAPA   

 

HW1 (Force & motion)

Feb 16

 

HW2 (Force & Energy)

Feb 24

 

HW3 (elec.)

April 11

 

HW4 (circuits)

April

 

 

 

Outline:  ------------------------------------------

DRG will try to put some outlines and comments about each week’s work.  It may not be possible to keep the web site up-to-date so notes taken in class may be necessary to kep track of all of the material covered.

Brief summary of material presented

 

 

 

lecture

lab

WK

 

Day

 

 

1

jan  7

M

guidelines

guidelines, equipment voltmeter, power supplies

 

 

W

Motion

 

 

F

Motion

2

14

M

Motion

circuit diagrams, resistors, wires, LEDs

 

 

W

Motion

 

 

F

Motion

3

21

M

Motion

1st look at the Arduino, phystu network drive,  blink, driver,

 

 

W

Motion

 

 

F

Motion

4

28

M

Force

blink and fade   on proto sheild

 

 

W

Force

 

 

F

Force

5

feb 4

M

Energy

fade

 

 

W

Energy

 

 

F

Energy

6

11

M

Energy

switch for control

 

13

W

Temperature/Heat

 

 

F

Heat/power

7

18

M

Power

motors

 

 

W

no class

 

 

F

Energy

8

25

M

WORK/ENERGY

MOTORS

 

 

W

REVIEW

 

 

F

TEST

 

 

 

break

 

9

 

M

discuss platform (mechan. struc.)

 

cont. work fading, switch sensor, motor shield motor same cont.working om control and sensing motors, fade, switch discuss platforms and see if there are stuents interested in designing.

 

 

W

gen.intro E&M theory vs speculation,  paradignm shifts, spectacular adv., future predictions

 

 

F

Basic interactions,matter

10

 

M

NA  (storm)

Build a robot with two motors and two switch sensors.

Students should proceed slowly and carefully to develop control and sensing hardware, an algorithm, and the structural elements.  All groups need to complete and show a working robot by the end of the semester.

 

 

 

 (10/31)W

More basic theory matter &forces

 

 

F

E&M grand relationship

11

 

M

electric force

 

 

W

voltage  current DC circuits

 

 

F

voltage  current DC circuits

12

 

M

voltage  current DC circuits

 

 

W

circuits

 

 

F

circuits

 

 

 

 

13

 

M

circuits

 

 

W

circuits

 

 

F

power

 

 

 

 

14

 

M

feedback

 

 

W

feedback

 

 

F

feedback

 

 

 

 

15

 

M

review

 

 

 

W

review

 

 

 

F

    no class

 

 


THE following notes are either part of a previous semester of an undated version.  Some of the material may not have been emphasized this semester but most of the main points are the same.  We have not had as much time to discuss sensors as we have had in the past.  We have also not worked through the pdf provided on energy from “Physics for Future Presidents”.  This  a nice discussion well worth reading. 

Week 1

 

Week 2-3   

Week 4a  

force

Week 4b

Money Model For Energy

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Building your robot

.      Good link for      Sensing and Sensors (pdf)

 

Test

·    calculator allowed

·    ruler, protractor allowed (straight lines must be straight and neat)

·    formula sheet will be generated by formulas submitted by students

o request accepted until  TBD

·    review notes on this site

·    READ chapter on energy posted above and get clarification if there are areas of difficulty.

Cover: force, energy, motion, programming Arduinos, sensors, simple circuits.

 

 

Energy chapter from Physics for Future Presidents

Movies are excerpts from “Beyond the Mechanical Universe”. The full programming is available on request (purchased by JMU physics).

·    E&M movie 1-emwaves

·    E&M movie 2-field_lines

·    E&M movie 3-Maxequations

·    E&M movie 4- waveprop

·    E&M movie 5- waves_emspectrum

 

 

Week 9

Weeks 10,11,12

Weeks 12, 13

Week 14

More Circuits

 

 PDF version     Feedback Systems: An Introduction for Scientists and Engineers

Karl Johan Aström, Richard M. Murray

Chapter 1  section 1.1-1.2,

section 1.3: Early Technology, Power Generation, Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Networks and Computing and

section 1.4

 

 

ROBOTS  

1.   Demonstrate and get checkmark

2.   Label sith your group number and hand-in

3.   Put your final code in the final code folder

 

 

 

 

 

LON CAPA ******* 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homework, quizzes and assignments will be provided on line through the LON CAPA system.  If a student encounters problems he/she should email Dr.Giovanetti with a brief  description of the problem.  Assignments and quizzes can be reset provided there is timely notification.

 

 

Units

SI

Mechanics

Motion (position,velocity, acceleration)

 

Vectors (adding forces and velocities)

 

Force (Newton’s Laws)

 

Energy, Power, Power sources

 

(Energy chapter from Physics for Future Presidents)

E&M

Fundamentals (E-fields, B-fields, electric and magnetic forces, charge, N-S poles, field sources, electric currents).

 

Electric circuits (voltage, current, resistance, Ohm’s law, power, DC circuits (parallel and series), AC signals, logic.

 

 

Robotics

Sensors, motors, microprocessors, control, feedback

 

Feedback Systems: An Introduction for Scientists and Engineers

Karl Johan Aström, Richard M. Murray

Chapter 1  section 1.1-1.2, section 1.3: Early Technology, Power Generation, Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Networks and Computing and section 1.4

 PDF version 

Hands-on

Program an arduino for a basic function

 

Control motors

 

Integrate sensors and respond to input

 

 

The course will address the goals and objective for GSCI 101 as described by the General Education Program      Cluster 3 (Mathematics and Science)

The material will be integrated and therefore not presented in the order listed.

 

Units are important and we will use a standard set called the SI units.  Students can obtain a list of the basic units and use the list at any time during the semester.  There will occasionally be some times when units will need to be converted from one system to another  (feet to meters) but more importantly units may need to be understood. For example, the product of force and distance [Nm] can be a form of energy.  Should one push an object energy can be transferred to that object. Students therefore need to understand that in SI units 1J=1Nm 1 Joule is delivered through the work of a 1 Newton force on an object that moves 1 meter.  These relationships will be discussed as needed.  There are not many units used so having a list of these and there definition should be straightforward.

 

Motion is a great place to start.  We all need to understand motion in order to survive.  We need to be able to avoid obstacles such as moving vehicles and we need to navigate our environment.  If our goal is to build a device that moves around we need to be able to describe and evaluate motion.  Our first goal will be to clarify common notions of motion so that they are defined in a scientific matter.