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Murman, Earll, Edward Greitzer, Jennifer L. Craig, and John Deyst, 16.621 Experimental Projects I, Spring 2003. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 07 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Experimental Projects I

Spring 2003

A lab notebook cover.
A lab notebook cover. (Image courtesy of MIT OCW.)

Course Highlights

This site presents the building blocks of an experimental design course. The materials here can provide only a profile of the course because the most important elements of the course are the interactions between student team, faculty, project advisor, and shop staff and also between student team members. However, this site offers some of the preparation and guidance materials for students embarking on an experimental project. To emphasize the focus on communication skills, a set of study materials and examples of student work are provided.

Course Description

The Experimental Project Lab in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics is a two-semester course: 16.621 and 16.622. This site offers material on 16.621. In the course, two-person teams initiate a project of their own conception and design in 16.621 and then complete it in 16.622. For many students, this is a first encounter with research standards and techniques. It is a complicated course that requires a lot of interaction and support and also access to facilities and materials, but it is rewarding for students to explore an hypothesis under the guidance of a faculty advisor.


  WEEK #       DAY 1       DAY 2       DAY 3       DAY 4       DAY 5  
  1       Registration Day       Brief Introduction to 62X (EMM)
Picking a Partner and Collaborative Skills (JLC)
(1 hr)
              Course Overview (EMG)
Tips on How to Succeed in 16.62X (TAs)
(1 hr)
      Last day to add 16.621  
  2               Ethics (EMM), Notebooks (TA)

Project Advisors can commit to student teams
Students declare partners to the course staff
(1 hr)
              Hypothesis, Objective, Success Criteria (EMG)
(1 hr)

Due: Memo re Collaboration and Expectations (JLC)
      Due: Partner, Advisor, Project  
  3                               Audience Analysis and 16.62X Style Guide (JLC)
(1 hr)
  4               Review, Discussion of Draft HOS Statements (EMG)
(1 hr)
              Literature Review (JCP)
Experiment Design (EMM)
(1 hr)

Due in Class: Version I of Project Proposal (SOP)
  5       Signups for Week 6 - Day 2 and 4 Team Meetings posted       Graphic Illustration (JLC)
Test Matrices (EMM)

Invited to 16.622 Oral Reports
(1 hr)

Due: Notebook
              Measurement Techniques (EMG)

Invited to 16.622 Oral Reports
(1 hr)
      Last Day to Sign Up for Week 6 - Day 2 and 4 Team Meetings  
  6               Error Analysis (EMG)

Due: Oral Progress Report Assignment (JLC)
(1 hr)

Team Meetings
(2 hrs)
              Data Analysis I (EMM)
Graphic Presentation (JLC)
(1 hr)

Team Meetings
(3 hrs)
  7               Data Reduction (JD)
(1 hr)
              Oral Presentations (JLC)
(1 hr)

Due in Class: Version I (revised) and Version II of Project Proposal
  8               Intro to Shop and Sketching (TA & LS)
(1 hr)

Due: Notebooks
      Rehearse Oral Proposals               Rehearse Oral Proposals  
  9               Oral Proposals (Version I Revised and Version II) and Feedback
(3 hrs)
              Oral Proposals (Version I Revised and Version II) and Feedback
(4 hrs)
  10               Engineering Drawings I (LS)
(1 hr)
  11                       Shop Demos (LS)       Shop Demos (LS)       Shop Demos (LS)  
  12       Shop Demos (LS)       Due: Notebooks

Invited to Attend 16.622 Final Oral Presentations
(4 hrs)
      Shop Demos (LS)       Invited to Attend 16.622 Final Oral Presentations
(4 hrs)
  13               15 min Team Meetings
with Advisor and Staff
(4 hrs)
  14               Class Feedback
(1 hr)
Due: Final Written Proposal (Versions III)

16.622 Project Display (2 hrs)
              Due: PDF Version of Final Written Proposal          


EMM - Prof. Earll Murman
EMG - Prof. Edward M. Greitzer
JD - Prof. John Deyst
JLC - Jennifer Lynn Craig
TA - Teaching Assistant
LS - Laboratory Staff   Tell A Friend