Syllabus - CE2120 Spring 2024#

Applied Mechanics II: Dynamics#

Course and Instructor Information#

Course Title: CE2120 - Applied Mechanics II

Format: Flipped Lecture (work on problems in class, review material at home)

Prerequisite: CE 2110 and MATH 2110 or 2130

Instructor: Prof. Ryan C. Cooper

Office Hours/Availability: by appointment (Mon/Wed/Thur 9-5) post questions on GitHub Discussions (the preferred contact)

Preferred Contact: Post course-related questions and comments to GitHub Discussions.

Personal questions should be communicated privately via UConn email or GitHub Discussions Direct Message (DM)

Course Materials#

Required textbook: Engineering Dynamics by Jeremy Kasdin and Derek Paley. Princeton University Press.

All of the required textbook content is freely available (as PDF download) through the UConn library subscription at the following links:

Additional materials are under active development at the following link:

Engineering Dynamics* by Ryan C. Cooper* *this is a work in progress. Feel free to add suggestions/comments/updates in the *GitHub repository

All of the Required Python software you need for this course is installed and ready at

Required software: Jupyter, Python, GitHub, and (Google/Microsoft/OpenOffice), Plotting software (Python, Excel, or Google Sheets)

GitHub Discussions: This session we will be using GitHub Discussions for class discussion. The system is catered to getting you help fast and efficiently from classmates and myself. Rather than emailing questions, I prefer you to post your questions on the discussion board.

Course Calendar#

Schedule: The course schedule is managed by HuskyCT. Assignments are due by 11:59pm on the specified due dates.

Course Livestreams and Videos#

Prof. Cooper’s YouTube Channel#

Course Description#

Fundamentals of dynamics using vector methods. Rectilinear and curvilinear motion, translation, rotation, plane motion; work, energy and power; impulse and momentum. We will work through five course modules:

Course Objectives#

Applied mechanics II is the study of objects in motion and their interactions. It is the foundational knowledge for solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, aerodynamic studies, control theory, systems and mechanics, etc. Students are expected to use two disciplines to solve problems:

  1. Apply kinematics to rigid body engineering problems, including:

    1. Vector algebra

    2. Vector calculus

    3. Geometry.

  2. Appy kinetics to rigid body engineering problems, including:

    1. The Newton-Euler equations: \(\mathbf{F} = m\mathbf{a}\) and \(M = \frac{d}{dt}h\)

    2. Conservation of energy: \(T_{1} + V_{1} + W_{1\rightarrow 2} = T_{2} + V_{2}\)

    3. Conservation of momentum: \(\mathbf{F}dt = d(m\mathbf{v})\) and \(\mathbf{M}dt = d\mathbf{h}\)

  3. Apply kinematics and kinetics to solve a variety of engineering problems and use these disciplines to extend this work to problems in solid and fluid mechanics.

  4. Analyze, interpret, and communicate results from dynamic analysis.

  5. Create engineering design under constraints.

Course Expectations#

Students are expected to quantitatively describe the motion of objects using calculus, Newton’s laws of motion, energy, and momentum. Students should be able to identify degrees of freedom and solve for the position, velocity, and acceleration of rigid body objects based upon applied forces.

This course will introduce analytical and numerical solutions to dynamic interactions of objects. We will use Newton’s laws of motion, calculus, and algebra to derive differential equations of motion. We will use Python to analyze and visualize dynamic problems.

In order to be successful in this course I expect:

  • You watch all media content provided

  • You do the assigned readings and provide discussion content

  • You go through derivations on your own

  • You turn in all assignments


  • Automotive design: cam shafts, power requirements (both engine and brakes), windshield wipers, frame design, etc.

  • Aerospace design: turbine blades, power requirements, flight tracking, etc.

  • Biomechanics design: artificial knees/hips/…, sports physics, health/fitness tracking, etc.

  • Sports: ball-tracking, speedometers, helmet design, equipment design (baseball bat, lacrosse stick,…), etc.

Course Requirements and Grading#





20 %

Discussions and peer review


30 %

Submit solutions on HuskyCT and revise based upon textbook solution


30 %

5 quizzes

Project Report

20 %

Create one dynamics application to share with new engineers

Note on Due dates#

All the course due dates are included in the course calendar Assignments should be submitted before 11:59pm on the due date.

Due dates are flexible to account for personal scheduling. You do not need an excuse, but you need to put a note in the assignment submission that states:

  1. When will you submit the assignment?

  2. What help do you need?

If you need help with the material, we can set up a meeting. If you just need more time, I’m happy to provide an extra day to get to an assignment done.

Note on Participation grade#

The participation grade is based upon your own self assessment of how you add to our learning community. You will fill out 2 forms:

  1. Halfway: What is your current assessment? Why do you feel that way? I will help connect you to others if you don’t feel engaged

  2. Final: What is your final assessment? How did you participate? Ths is your final Participation grade.

You can add to the class in a number of ways including, but not limited to:

  • adding questions or answers to GitHub Discussions discussions

  • attending lectures

  • participating in a study group or group chat

  • sharing notes from lectures or videos

Note on Homeworks#

All hand-written solutions need a legible scan. Android users should use Google Drive’s Scanning function:

Google Drive scanning support (

iOS users can use the following upload instructions:

Download Scannable from the app store. Scan the document, press “send”, press “share”, select “Google Drive”, select “Upload”.

Note on Quizzes#

There will be five quizzes, one for each module. The quizzes are composed of 2-4 questions based upon the readings and homeworks. The class before quizzes for modules 01-04, I will ask you to design questions that demonstrate your understanding of the material. I will build the quiz based upon our discussion.

You will scan and upload your work to HuskyCT along with a 10-30-second video explaining your solution.

Note on the Project Report#

I want you to build a dynamics project that interests you. Ideally, you can use this project in an engineering portfolio to demonstrate your grasp of Newtonian mechanics. My goal is to help you build this solution in a Jupyter notebook.

Grading Scale#


Letter Grade







Very Good





















Merely Passing






Due Dates and Late Policy#

All course due dates are identified in the course calendar. Deadlines are based on Eastern Time; if you are in a different time zone, please adjust your submittal times accordingly. The instructor reserves the right to change dates accordingly as the semester progresses. All changes will be communicated via the calendar or another appropriate notification.

Late Policy: If you need more time for an assignment or experience technical difficulties, reach out via GitHub Discussions or email. The instructor can make accommodations for work, family, and personal reasons. We ask that you be respectful of the instructors’ limited time and resources.

Feedback and Grades#

I will make every effort to provide feedback and grades within 7 days. To keep track of your performance in the course, refer to HuskyCT grades.

Weekly Time Commitment

You should expect to dedicate between 6 - 10 hours a week to this course. This expectation is based on the various course activities, assignments, and assessments and the University of Connecticut’s policy regarding credit hours. More information related to hours per week per credit can be accessed at the Online Student website.

This course requires lots of practice. You should set aside 1-2 hours per week to write out example problems from the textbook, try homework problems, and revise answers. This is the best way to learn and understand the material.

Student Authentication and Verification#

The University of Connecticut is required to verify the identity of students who participate in online courses and to establish that students who register in an online course are the same students who participate in and complete the course activities and assessments and receive academic credit. Verification and authentication of student identity in this course will include:

  1. Secure access to the learning management system using your unique UConn NetID and password.

  2. Students will submit videos to describe solutions to the 6 module quizzes.

Student Responsibilities and Resources#

As a member of the University of Connecticut student community, you are held to certain standards and academic policies. In addition, there are numerous resources available to help you succeed in your academic work. Review these important standards, policies and resources, which include:

  • The Student Code

    • Academic Integrity

    • Resources on Avoiding Cheating and Plagiarism

  • Copyrighted Materials

  • Netiquette and Communication

  • Adding or Dropping a Course

  • Academic Calendar

  • Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Inappropriate Romantic

  • Relationships

  • Sexual Assault Reporting Policy

Academic Integrity:#

  • The instructors of this class have a zero-tolerance policy for academic misconduct, that is copying others’ work either in the lab, field, or on an exam. Any student work that is found to be in violation of the university policy regarding academic misconduct will be assigned a grade of zero at a minimum.

  • Read and understand The UConn Student Code of Conduct. Students will follow all University regulations concerning the final exam.

Students with Disabilities#

The University of Connecticut is committed to protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and assuring that the learning environment is accessible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please let me know immediately so that we can discuss options. Students who require accommodations should contact the Center for Students with Disabilities, Wilbur Cross Building Room 204, (860) 486-2020 or

Blackboard measures and evaluates accessibility using two sets of standards: the WCAG 2.0 standards issued by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act issued in the United States federal government.” (Retrieved March 24, 2013 from Blackboard’s website)

Software/Technical Requirements (with Accessibility and Privacy Information)#

The software/technical requirements for this course include:

For information on managing your privacy at the University of Connecticut, visit the University’s Privacy page.

NOTE: This course was not tested or designed for mobile devices.

Minimum Technical Skills#

To be successful in this course, you will need the following technical skills:

  • Use GitHub Discussions

  • Create graphics and graphs and include them in Google documents and Jupyter notebooks

  • Work within two or more browser windows simultaneously.

  • Open and access PDF files

  • Scan and upload PDF files

  • Follow software tutorials on YouTube for Python and Jupyter

University students are expected to demonstrate competency in Computer Technology. Explore the Computer Technology Competencies page for more information.

Evaluation of the Course#

Students will be provided an opportunity to evaluate instruction in this course using the University’s standard procedures, which are administered by the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE).

Additional informal formative surveys may also be administered within the course as an optional evaluation tool.