ENGR-1210 (CRN 21314) Spring 2024 Course Syllabus

What, when, where, and who

  • Time: Monday and Wednesday, 2:00pm--3:15pm
  • Room: 205 Goodwyn Hall
  • Instructor: Dr. Tianran Chen
  • Email: tchen1@aum.edu
  • Course page
  • Instructor's office
    • Office: 310A Goodwyn Hall
    • Office hour:
      • Mon, Wed, Tue, Thu: 3:15pm – 4:30pm
      • …and by appointment

What we will learn

This course is an introduction to computer programming in a high-level language, with emphasis on the use of the computer as a tool for engineering or science.

Course objectives:

  • Background of the Matlab language and programming framework
  • Basic structure and features of the Matlab language
    • Scalar variables
    • Arrays and multidimensional arrays
    • Mathematical constants
    • Array slicing
    • Branching statements
    • Loops
    • Functions and subroutines
  • Plots using Matlab
  • Advanced data structures in Matlab including sparse arrays and cells
  • I/O functions in Matlab
  • Basic image processing
  • Basic signal processing
  • Basic data analysis
  • General programming skills in the context of Matlab


MATH-1150 (Precalculus and trigonometry)


  • [Optional but strongly recommended] MATLAB: A Practical Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving 6th edition by Stormy Attaway (ISBN: 9780323917506)
  • Most of the time, we will rely on lecture notes, and the official MATLAB documentations.

Attendance and participation

Participation in in-class discussions and activities is an important part of the learning process. Therefore, class attendance is expected. Students missing 6 or more classes without an approved excuse will receive an F grade.

Code of conduct

Please be respectful of other people in the classroom and use common sense. In particular, please…

  • DO NOT use cell phones
  • DO NOT use social media
  • DO NOT take photos without permission
  • DO NOT sleep

Students who violate these rules will be asked to leave the classroom and will not be allowed to return until they have spoken privately with me.

Daily/weekly surveys

Daily/weekly surveys are brief questionnaires designed to evaluate your progress. Completing these surveys will earn you points that contribute to your overall grades. There will be no make-up surveys. However, a missed survey may be replaced by additional surveys offered at the end of the semester.

You can find surveys in the “Surveys” folder on our Blackboard course page.

In-class worksheets

In-class practice is crucial for learning as this course emphasizes hands-on programming skills. Your in-class worksheets will be graded and are a significant part of your overall grade. If valid reasons (such as military assignments, medical issues, family emergencies, etc.) are provided in advance with proper documentation, a missed worksheet can be replaced with additional worksheets offered at the end of the semester. Otherwise, a missed worksheet will receive 0 score.

Homework assignments

Homework problems are more complicated problems that will guide you to gain deeper understanding of the material we learn in class. Homework problems are listed on our Blackboard system. The submission procedures are outlined in the listings. Late homework submission will receive lower scores unless valid reasons (military assignments, medical issues, family emergency, etc) and proper documentation are provided in advance.

Final project

The end-of-semester final project will assess your ability to apply a variety of skills and tools acquired throughout the semester. This project carries significant weightage in determining your overall grade.

Grade composition

Your final grade is determined according to the following weighted average.

Component Points Where
In-class worksheets 55% In-class
In-class participation 3% In-class
Surveys 2% Blackboard
Homework assignments 30% Blackboard
Final project 10% Blackboard

Letter grade conversion scale

  • A : 90% - 100%
  • B+: 87% - 89.9%
  • B : 80% - 86.9%
  • C+: 77% - 79.9%
  • C : 70% - 76.9%
  • D+: 67% - 69.9%
  • D : 60% - 66.9%
  • F : below 60%

Other policies

AUM COVID-19 updates. Please follow guidelines detailed in the AUM pandemic plan relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Technology equipment expectation. Access to computers and stable Internet connection are expected. Students who do not have their own equipment can use AUM open labs including labs found in the first floor of the Taylor center and the second floor of the library.

Syllabus contingency plan. Should the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Governor, or Chancellor determine the university discontinue face-to-face (in-person) instruction in the interest of safety, this course would be converted to a virtual-only format. If normal class and/or lab activities are disrupted due to illness, emergency, or crisis situation (such as a COVID-19 outbreak), the syllabus and other course plans and assignments may be modified to allow completion of the course. If this occurs, an addendum to the syllabus and/or course assignments will replace the original materials.

In case the instructor cannot attend due to COVID-related matter, a back-up instructor will be arranged by the Department of Mathematics.

Academic dishonesty. Cheating of any kind will not be tolerated. In particular, you cannot copy (totally or partially) someone else’s solutions or allow someone else to copy your solutions on quizzes or exams. If you do, you will receive an “F” in the course. Please consult Student Handbook for additional guidelines.

Disability accommodations. Students who need accommodations are asked to arrange a meeting during office hours to discuss your accommodations. If you have a conflict with my office hours, an alternate time can be arranged. To set up this meeting, please contact me by e-mail. If you have not registered for accommodation services through the Center for Disability Services (CDS), but need accommodations, make an appointment with CDS, 147 Taylor Center, or call 334-244-3631 or e-mail CDS at cds@aum.edu

Academic support. Student Success Advising in the WASC can be scheduled through Advisor Trac, email at wasc@aum.edu, or by calling our front desk at 334.244.3230. ISL: Tutoring appointments can be scheduled online by filling out the form at http://www.aum.edu/tutoringapp.

Student privacy policy. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (FERPA) requires institutions receiving federal monies to protect the privacy of students’ educational records. For details go to the AUM’s FERPA website: http://www.aum.edu/academics/Registrars-office

This syllabus is subject to change

This syllabus is subject to change based on the needs of the class. The instructor reserves the right to adjust the policies and schedule outlined in this course syllabus. All changes will be clearly communicated to the students in class.