Syllabus for EE/ME 345

Fall 2018

Course description

This course is an introduction to the mathematical modeling and design of electrical, mechanical, and electro-mechanical systems. A system dynamical approach is used, which allows different energy domains to be modeled within a unified framework. Circuit elements covered include resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, transistors, and operational amplifiers. (Adopted from the course catalog.)

General information

Rico AR Picone, PhD
Office Hours
WF 12–1 and MWF 1–2
Office location
CH 103C
Classroom location
Cebula Hall 201B
Times (A1)
MWF 9:00–9:50 am
Times (B1)
MWF 11:00–11:50 am



Derek Rowell and David N. Wormley. System Dynamics: An Introduction. Prentice Hall, 1997. (Required.)

Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill. The Art of Electronics. Third Edition. Cambridge University Press, 2015. (Recommended.)

Homebrew texts and notes

Partial texts (with fill-ins) I’m writing will be posted on the Electronics: an introduction and the Dynamic Systems: an introduction pages.

These texts are being constantly revised, so you have two printing options I recommend (both in color!):

  1. Have a service such as that of the SMU Computer Resource Center print them in bulk for you. Whichever printing service you use, I recommend binding them such that pages can be replaced (e.g. three-ring bindable) in case there are major revisions to a section during the term.
  2. Print each week’s lectures on-demand, yourself, when I give the “ok to print” signal. This is more tedious and requires more organization, but it’s at least a bit less paper.

In either case, you are required to have a binder (or equivalent) with Electronics Lectures 01.01 – 01.03 ready to show by our second class to avoid a 10% deduction on your first quiz grade. (Or you can show me those lectures on your note-taking tablet, if that’s your preferred method.)

Throughout the semester, you should be ready to show these (current) in any class, with threat of 10% quiz grade deductions.

Video lectures

Most lectures will be available online on my YouTube channel. I recommend subscribing and familiarizing yourself with the playlist for this course.

For last year’s lecture videos, see this playlist.


Everyone is required to join the messaging service called “Slack.” We’ll use it to communicate with each other during the semester. The Slack team you need to join is called drrico. That’s a signup link. Be sure to join the channels #345-general and #345-homework.

Differential Equations Primer

I highly recommend reviewing the solution of linear ordinary differential equations. I have developed a text Differential Equations Primer For SISO Linear Systems and a companion lecture series to help prepare students to enter this course.


Class resources will be posted here throughout the semester.


The following schedule is tentative. All assignments will be set one week before the due date.

week topics introduced reading due
introduction, voltage, current, resistance, signals, voltage dividers, sources HH 1.1–1.3
Thevenin and Norton's theorems, output and input resistance, circuit loading, capacitors, inductors HH 1.4 assignment
circuit analysis HH 1.5, 1.6 assignment
steady-state circuit analysis, impedance HH 1.7, 1.8, & 1.9 assignment
nonlinear circuits, two-port elements, transformers, diodes, MOSFETs HH 2.1, 2.2 assignment
op-amps HH 3, 4 assignment
Midterm #1
systems approach, state-determined systems, energy, power, lumping RW Ch. 1 & Ch. 2
electronic elements, mechanical elements, one-port elements and their generalization Ch. 3 assignment
linear graph models, sign convention, element interconnection laws RW Ch. 4 assignment
state space models RW Ch. 5 assignment
state equation formulation RW Ch. 5
electromechanical systems RW Ch. 6 assignment
Thanksgiving week Midterm #2
electromechanical systems RW Ch. 6 assignment
superposition, stability, and other LTI system properties RW Ch. 8 assignment
finals week Final Exam


Assignment #1

Assignment #2

Assignment #3

Assignment #4

Assignment #5

Assignment #6

Assignment #7

Assignment #8

Assignment #9

Assignment #10

Assignment #11

Homework, quiz, & exam policies

Homework & homework quiz policies

Weekly homework will be “due” on Fridays, but it will not be turned in for credit. However — and this is very important — each week a quiz will be given on Friday that will cover that week’s homework.

Quizzes will be available on moodle each Friday (as early as I can get them up), and must be completed by that evening (before midnight). Late quizzes will receive no credit.

Working in groups on homework is strongly encouraged, but quizzes must be completed individually.

Exam policies

The midterm and final exams will be in-class. If you require any specific accommodations, please contact me.

Calculators will be allowed. Only ones own notes and the notes provided by the instructor will be allowed. No communication-devices will be allowed.

No exam may be taken early. Makeup exams require a doctor’s note excusing the absence during the exam.

The final exam will be cumulative.

Grading policies

Total grades in the course may be curved, but individual homework quizzes and exams will not be. They will be available on moodle throughout the semester.

Homework quizzes
Midterm Exam #1
Midterm Exam #2
Final Exam

Academic integrity policy

Cheating or plagiarism of any kind is not tolerated and will result in a failing grade (“F”) in the course. I take this very seriously. Engineering is an academic and professional discipline that requires integrity. I expect students to consider their integrity of conduct to be their highest consideration with regard to the course material.

Correlation of course & program outcomes

In keeping with the standards of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, each course is evaluated in terms of its desired outcomes and how these support the desired program outcomes. The following sections document the evaluation of this course.

Desired course outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the following course outcomes are desired:
  1. students will have a clear and thorough understanding of concepts, principles, and methods of modeling mechanical, electrical, and electro-mechanical systems;
  2. students will be familiar with the operation and input and output characteristics of the following electrical circuit elements:
    • resistors,
    • capacitors,
    • inductors,
    • diodes,
    • transistors, and
    • operational amplifiers;
  3. students will understand the designs of basic circuits;
  4. students will be able to model electrical and mechanical systems with a unified modeling technique;
  5. students will be able to construct state-space models (including state equations) of electrical, mechanical, and electro-mechanical systems;
  6. students will be able to analyze the characteristics of system models;
  7. students will be able to solve for first- and second-order linear (time-invariant) system responses;
  8. students will be able to solve for general linear (time-invariant) system responses;
  9. students will understand the larger contexts of electro-mechanical system dynamics, especially with regard to technology development and society; and
  10. students will be able to communicate what they are learning and its broader contexts.

Desired program outcomes

The desired program outcomes are that mechanical engineering graduates have:
  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering;
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
  3. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs;
  4. an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams;
  5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems;
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;
  7. an ability to communicate effectively;
  8. the broad education necessary to understanding the impact of engineering solutions in a global and social context;
  9. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning;
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues; and
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Correlation of outcomes

The following table correlates the desired course outcomes with the desired program outcomes they support.
desired program outcomes
desired course outcomes 1