FSS > Undergraduate Division > Letters & Science > UC Berkeley

Mechanical Engineering 24, Section 1
Art and Science on Wheels (1 unit, P/NP)
Professor Benson Tongue
Friday 10:00-11:00, 214 Haviland Hall, Class number: 39677

This seminar will examine two devices near and dear to my heart—the automobile and the bicycle. Both of these have undergone a long history of change and innovation; both inspire passion in their users; and both embody technical as well as artistic excellence. Some issues we will look at will be efficiency, alternative power sources, environmental impact, dynamics, aerodynamics and handling. Along the way we'll dispel some myths, and ideally people will leave with a deeper appreciation for what bicycles and cars truly represent. Upright bipeds with bilateral symmetry preferred. Hopefully mammalian.

Benson likes to profess in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His interests lie in the fields of vibrations, dynamics and controls, not to mention Scottish dancing, bicycling, fast cars, bird watching, photography and playing around with Photoshop. His books, Principles of Vibrations and Dynamics: Analysis and Design of Systems in Motion, make great bedtime reading.

Faculty web site: http://www.me.berkeley.edu/faculty/tongue/

"My presentation was on the history of the car, and I got a unique look at how politics, social issues, and cars are closely interrelated." - student in spring 2015 seminar

"I certainly feel at home in the intellectual community of this class, and I enjoyed the small, interactive environment. Professor Tongue is a superb instructor!" - student in spring 2015 seminar

"It is informative and interesting especially for people who like cars and bikes and want to know more about them. It's a good way to practice presenting and discussing ideas in a small group." - student in fall 2014 seminar

Quotes from students in spring 2014 seminar:
"I definitely recommend this course to people who are interested in the subject, even if it’s just for the experience."

"You learn a lot. The professor is really cool and I was able to develop a keen interest in learning more about what goes on in the minds of mechanical engineers."

"The professor is very good at explaining details at all levels and is very enthusiastic and passionate about the subject."

"I feel like the experience I had captured the essence of what Freshman and Sophomore Seminars are supposed to be. Every class offered new and eye-opening topics of discussion. Professor Tongue is just a cool, quirky guy who makes you feel welcome."

"It's an awesome seminar and definitely worth it... There is a lot to learn from knowledgeable professors." - student in spring 2012 seminar

Freshman and Sophomore Seminars are co-sponsored by the Undergraduate Division
of the College of Letters & Science and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.
For further information about the program,
contact Alix Schwartz (alix@berkeley.edu / 642-8378).

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