Introduction to Biomechanics

AME 40/60572:  Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022
Prerequisites: AME 20241 Solid Mechanics

You’ve learned about the behavior of structures made out of concrete and steel - but what about the human body, made up of bones, muscles, skin, and other tissues? You’ve done tensile testing on steel - but how do you measure the stiffness of something as soft as the brain?  This course is an introduction to the application of mechanical engineering analysis to understand topics in biology. This course is not intended to be comprehensive - there are many areas that we will not cover, and many topics we address could be the subject of their own course(s). As a survey course, we will touch on many topics, including development, diseases, diagnosis, treatment, imaging, and mechanical testing in a variety of biological systems on a number of different scales.

Evaluation is based half on students' mastery of the subject matter presented in class, and half on their exploration of their own interests within biomechanics. The former will include lectures, problem sets, and an exam. The latter will be based on assignments requiring students to find, read, and respond to scientific literature and popular media regarding biomechanics. Previous student projects can be seen on our class blog!  Materials for educators who want to implement a similar project can be found on GitHub/Zenodo!


Continuum Mechanics

AME 60624:  Spring 2020, Fall 2021
Prerequisites: AME 20241 Solid Mechanics and MATH 20580 Linear Algebra

This is an introduction to continuum mechanics, with a focus on solid mechanics. The field lies at the intersection of math and physics, and forms the foundation for future study in fields such as structures, materials, bioengineering, astrophysics, fracture, and finite element analysis. As this course is open to students of different backgrounds, we will focus on the theory, with an emphasis on mathematical proofs and physical intuition, rather than applications.