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MichelleLOyen's picture

Introductory Biomechanics Courses

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In the early days of biomechanics, there probably were not many dedicated biomechanics courses and instead a regular mechanics curriculum was studied by people interested in tissues and biosystems. However, now that there are so many dedicated bioengineering programs at Universities throughout the world, it seems as though it is more likely that much of students' basic mechanics knowledge comes through dedicated biomechanics courses. This then in turn raises the interesting question of what is taught in these courses?

Mogadalai Gururajan's picture

The SIAM 100-digit challenge of Bronemann et al: A review

Suppose if somebody asked you the following question, and more importantly, wanted the answer to an accuracy of 100-digits:

  • Problem A: A particle at the center of a 10 x 1 rectangle undergoes Brownian motion (i.e., two-dimensional random walk with infinitesimal step lengths) until it hits the boundary. What is the probability that it hits at one of the ends rather than at one of the sides?

Or, this question (again, demanding the answer to an accuracy of 100-digits):

MichelleLOyen's picture

J-Club participation: advice for students

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Now that the Journal Club is getting started, I wanted to post some advice for students who may not have participated in such a forum in the past, either online or in person. The fun of a J-club includes the opportunity to broaden your understanding of the literature of a broad field (like mechanics) by reading carefully-selected groups of papers on small topics of interest to different sub-communities. The challenge in participating in the subsequent discussion is ensuring that you understand the papers sufficiently to participate confidently in the ensuing discussion. This will also prepare you to be a good reviewer for technical journals some day.

The Energy Blog

I just jointed iMechanica. Great blog site! I thought to bring to your attention another blog that I enjoy, run by a retired engineer, on renewable energy issues. Here is the link:

Pure shear decomposition of the deformation gradient for finite strain measures


I am wondering about deformation gradient for pure shear decompositions. As i saw much literature on simple shear, I couldn't able to track one on pure shear.

Please some one in this forum provide me with literaure and fine details.





MichelleLOyen's picture

New Book "Tissue Mechanics"

A new book, "Tissue Mechanics" by SC Cowin and SB Doty is of potential interest to those from a classical mechanics background considering work in biomechanics. Downloadable versions of the first two chapters are available at the book's website along with a full table of contents and other supplemental information.

Adrian Podpirka's picture

MEMS Doubly Clamped High Sensitivity Mass Detector

After reading the abstract on the resonanting cantilever mass detector, I think this paper might be of interest to some.  My colleagues and I wrote this for a MEMS device class we took Fall 2005 at Columbia University while I was an undergraduate.  It was a term design project.

Abstract – Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) often provide cost effective 

Master of Science in Mechatronic Systems Engineering

Lawrence Technological University has introduced a new master’s degree program in mechatronic systems engineering, a philosophical approach that cuts across multiple scientific disciplines.

Mechatronic systems engineers design enhanced products, systems and manufacturing processes by bringing together knowledge from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science. Students learn new principles for designing mechanical subsystems to satisfy control requirements.

EFG Matlab Routines

These used to be hosted at Northwestern, but the files were taken down some time ago. The original 1d and 2d Matlab routines for the element-free Galerkin method are now located at

These routines are described in detail in the paper

J. Dolbow and T. Belytschko (1998), "An Introduction to Programming the Meshless Element Free Galerkin Method," Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 207--242.


I am writing to you to bring to your attention a new Master Course on Computational Mechanics, which has been awarded the Erasmus Mundus label.

It is an international Master course given jointly in English by the Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña (Barcelona), University of Wales Swansea), Ecole Centrale Nantes and Universität Stuttgart with the collaboration of CIMNE International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering, Barcelona). The Erasmus Mundus program:

Mechanical Properties of Thin Films (class notes for a graduate class at Stanford University)

The attached file is a set of class notes developed by W.D. Nix of Stanford University and used in a graduate course on Mechanical Properties of Thin Films. These notes have been used in the graduate course MSE 353 since the late 1980's. That course has been taught every year or so since that time. The notes were last updated in January of 2005. The reader will see a note to the effect that many of the figures and illustrations in the file have been taken from the work of students and colleagues at Stanford without proper attribution.

Vlado A. Lubarda's picture

Recent book "Mechanics of Solids and Materials" by Asaro & Lubarda

Mechanics of Solids and Materials intends to provide a modern and integrated treatment of the foundations of solid mechanics as applied to the mathematical description of material behavior. The book blends both innovative (e.g., large strain, strain rate, temperature, time-dependent deformation and localized plastic deformation in crystalline solids, and deformation of biological networks) and traditional topics (e.g., elastic theory of torsion, elastic beam and plate theories, and contact mechanics) in a coherent theoretical framework. This, and the extensive use of transform methods to generate solutions, makes the book of interest to structural, mechanical, and aerospace engineers.

Liu's picture

Summer research internship in Germany

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) - in cooperation with science organizations in North America and Germany— is to invite undergraduate students from the US and Canada in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth Sciences and engineering to apply for a summer research internship in Germany. RISE summer placements take place with research groups at universities and top research institutions across Germany. The RISE interns are matched with a doctoral student whom they assist and who will also serve as their mentor. This program is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as part of the European Recovery Program (ERP).

More details at

The first course in continuum mechanics

In response to Zhigang's forum topic on the first course in continuum mechanics, it is so happened that I am also teaching a continuum mechanics course this semester. I shall list our continuum mechanics course outline taught here in Berkeley.

Berkely has its tradition and its special flavour on Continuum Mechanics. The history goes back to Paul Naghdi, Tom Hughes, Jerry Marsden, Juan Simo, David Bogy, Coby Lubliner, Bob Taylor, Karl Pister, James Casey, Geroge Johnson, and some others.

Zhigang Suo's picture

Let's compare notes: first graduate courses in solid mechanics

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This semester I teach an introductory graduate course in solid mechanics. Following a suggestion made by Mark Walter, I posted an outline of my course in iMechanica.

This is the first time I teach the course at Harvard, but I taught a similar course at UCSB, and an upper-level undergraduate course of similar content at Princeton. The students for the three courses have different backgrounds. At Harvard, I assume that students have taken an undergraduate course on strength of materials (tension, bending, torsion, etc.), a course on multi-variable calculus, and a course on linear algebra. I try to avoid excessive math, and try to bring out features of mechanics. (My students may disagree with me, but at least my heart is in right place.) Most students will not be specialized in mechanics, as evident from their descriptions of themselves.

Rui Huang's picture

EM 397 Thin Film Mechanics Term Paper

Each student completes a term paper of selected topics that (a) addresses a phenomenon in thin film materials, and (b) involves analyses using mechanics. The project contributes 25% of the grade, distributed as follows:

  • 5%: November 30 (Thursday). Post your title and abstract in iMechanica, formated as below
  1. Title (EM 397 Term Paper: e.g., Dislocations in Epitaxial Thin Films).
  2. Tags (EM 397, Fall 2006, University of Texas at Austin, thin films, term paper)
  3. Body: (i) Describe the phenomenon. (ii) Explain how mechanics is relevant. (iii) Cite at least 1 journal article.
  • 10%: December 12 Tuesday (2:00-4:00 pm). 30 minute presentation. Use power point slides.
  • 10%: December 18 Monday.

A Recent Book: Meshfree Particle Methods, by Shaofan Li and Wing-Kam Liu

Meshfree Particle Methods is a comprehensive and systematic exposition of particle methods, meshfree Galerkin and partition of unity methods, molecular dynamics methods, and multiscale methods. It presents theoretical foundation, numerical algorithms, as well as applications. Since it was published in 2004, the first print has been sold out. The publisher is preparing the second print.

Cai Wei's picture

New Book: Computer Simulations of Dislocations, by Vasily V. Bulatov and Wei Cai

Companion web site ISBN:0-19-852614-8, Hard cover, 304 pages, Nov. 2006, US $74.50.

This book presents a broad collection of models and computational methods - from atomistic to continuum - applied to crystal dislocations. Its purpose is to help students and researchers in computational materials sciences to acquire practical knowledge of relevant simulation methods. Because their behavior spans multiple length and time scales, crystal dislocations present a common ground for an in-depth discussion of a variety of computational approaches, including their relative strengths, weaknesses and inter-connections. The details of the covered methods are presented in the form of "numerical recipes" and illustrated by case studies. A suite of simulation codes and data files is made available on the book's website to help the reader "to learn-by-doing" through solving the exercise problems offered in the book. This book is part of an Oxford Series on Materials Modelling.

jqu's picture

New Book: Fundamentals of Micromechanics of Solids, by Jianmin Qu and Mohammed Cherkaoui

Fundamentals of Micromechanics of Solids, Jianmin Qu, Mohammed Cherkaoui
ISBN: 0-471-46451-1, Hardcover, 400 pages, August 2006, US $120.00



  • 1.1 Background and Motivation
  • 1.2 Objectives
  • 1.3 Organization of Book
  • 1.4 Notation Conventions
  • References


give you some introduction of my department

Department of Modern Mechanics

USTC's Department of Modern Mechanics, founded in 1958, first chaired by famous scientist, Prof. H.S. Tsien, is among the most prestigious in China.

Joost Vlassak's picture

ES 246 projects

Each student creates a project that addresses a phenomenon or issue in plasticity theory, and presents it in class after the winter break. The scope of the projects is very wide: experimental, computational, or a critical discussion of one or more papers. The project contributes 30% of the grade, distributed as follows:

  • 5%: November 30 Thursday. Post your project proposal in iMechanica.
  1. Title. ES 246 project: e.g. Plastic buckling of plates.
  2. Tags. Use the following tags: ES 246, plasticity, Fall 2006, project
  3. Body. (i) Describe the project. (ii) Cite at least 1 journal article.
  • 5%: December 7 Thursday. Post a comment to critique the project proposal of at least 1 classmate.

A Wiki for Example Problems in University Mathematics

While studying (very diligently) for my upcoming midterm, I discovered a wonderful Wiki that provides problems and solutions for many collegiate math courses.

Carbon Nanotube Lecture on Nov 1st at MIT

Dr. John Hart from MIT is giving a carbon nanotube (CNT) tutorial at the International Symposoum on Nanomanufacturing (ISNM) at MIT on November 1st, Wednesday. Please see the following if you are interested.


Carbon Nanotubes: Fundamentals, synthesis, and applications

Dr. John Hart, MIT
November 1st
9.00 am - 12.30pm (with 1 break)

Computational Science Graduate Fellowship Program

The Department of Energy is once again calling for applications to its Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (CSGF) program. These fellowships cover full tuition and provide a generous stipend for up to four years, and they also provide travel support and matching funds for a computer. Undergraduate seniors or first and second year graduate students are eligible to apply.

Additional information, including an online application, is available here. Applications are due by January 10, 2007


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