George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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Urban Systems Engineering Courses (USE)


School of Information Technology and Engineering

199, 299, 399 Industrial Internship I, II, III (1:1:0). A supervised 10-week summer work experience in urban systems engineering positions with land development, architecture/engineering, and construction firms or government. A written report and presentation is required. USE majors only. sum

210 Measurements and Surveying (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ENGR 107. An introduction to state-of-the-art equipment and software for digitizing and computer use of field data, satellite positioning and other modern surveying procedures, with special emphasis on land measurements, mapping, and surveying. The course covers inherent errors in these measurements and methods of diagnosis, detection, and correction of them. Laboratory exercises involve linear and angular measurements, and open and closed traverses. Topographic mapping, video, remote sensing, and optical techniques in surveying are also discussed. s

230 (formerly 310) Hydraulics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ENGR 210 and MATH 213. Principles of fluids in equilibrium and in motion. Topics include hydrostatic pressure; continuity, Bernoulli, and momentum equations; viscosity flow problems; measuring instruments; and applications to closed conduits and open channels. s

290 Engineering Computation and Design II (4:2:6). Prerequisite: ENGR 183. An introduction to the urban systems engineering design process. Methods and technologies for spatial data acquisition and specification are introduced, with special emphasis on land measurements, mapping, and surveying. Also covered are processing of field data for incorporation into computer aided design systems; conversion of raw data into finished design documents, including schematic layouts, digital terrain models, preliminary plans, topographic maps, detailed design plans, cut sheets, cross-sections, profiles, etc.; 2D and 3D computer aided design techniques; and application of digital computation. Design projects are included. f

300 Urban Systems Planning and Management I (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 290 or permission of instructor. An introduction to the complex relationships of overlapping urban systems such as land, transportation, energy, water, and communications. Topics include the history of engineering, land, and infrastructure; the social, economic, environmental, and political aspects of urban policy and decision making. Current issues in the urban environment are examined. Contemporary urban systems engineering design problems are discussed. s

301 Engineering and Economic Models in Urban Systems Engineering (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 300 or permission of instructor. The study of planning, analysis, control, and engineering economic models applicable to the life cycle of physical urban infrastructure. The infrastructure design process and the application of quantitative models are introduced. Applications of model building for engineering economics, decision making, forecasting, resource scheduling and allocation, estimating, work measurement, and materials, quality and process control in water, transportation, energy, telecommunications infrastructure systems and the built environment are presented. f

305 (formerly 405) Soil Mechanics (3:3:0). Formulation and engineering characteristics of soils. Also covered are strength and deformation characteristics of soils, consolidation and bearing capacities, and corrective measures. Foundation design fundamentals are introduced. s

340 Water Resource Engineering (3:2:3). Prerequisite: USE 230 or 310. Analytic methods and computer models for the design and evaluation of water resource projects such as flood control and river basin development. Topics include governing principles, common models, and typical applications for water resource systems; principles of design for stormwater management systems; tangible and intangible consequences of environmental policies; and environmental impact assessments. s

365 Transportation Systems (5:4:3). Corequisite: USE 301. An introduction to urban transportation systems and the factors that influence their planning, design, and operation. Topics include fundamentals of urban travel, travel demand forecasting, and traffic flow; principles of highway design, capacity calculations of uninterrupted and interrupted highway sections; introduction to traffic control; traffic signs and markings; traffic signals; traffic signal control systems; intersection design; intersection control; pedestrian control; speed zoning and control; principles of public transportation planning and operations; and an introduction to Intelligent Transportation Systems and travel demand management. Laboratory and field work are required on selected topics. f

367 (formerly 467) Behavior of Concrete and Steel Structures (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ENGR 310. A study of the structural design process. The course covers analysis and design of steel structural members, including tension members, beams, and columns; design of bolted and welded connections; concrete and its structural characteristics; design of structural reinforced concrete members, including beams, columns, and foundations; and use of computer programs in structural design. s

400 Urban Systems Planning and Management II (3:3:0). Prerequisites: ENGL 302, USE 301 and 365; corequisites: USE 440 and 455. Quantitative and qualitative analysis in planning, design, construction and management of engineering systems and facilities. The course introduces the policies, programs, and regulations that influence land development, history-enabling legislation, governing and regulating bodies, control of the site plan development and approval process. The course examines the structure, function, and purpose of urban systems and ways in which urban systems design can be achieved. Other topics include impact assessment and cost benefit/effectiveness analysis; contemporary theories of urban design; physical relationships between development, land use, transportation, energy, communications, and water; politics of systems management and development; and evolution and development of housing, transportation, and taxing policies. Students study the public- and private-sector urban development industry, including terminology, analytical techniques, evaluation techniques, and information sources at each phase. An overview of U.S. competitiveness in domestic and international urban systems markets is given. Policy- and decision-making process in urban infrastructure, issues and challenges associated with innovation and competition on the basis of new technology, and environmental issues in land use are discussed. Design projects are required. f

440 (formerly 350) Water Supply and Distribution (3:2:3). Prerequisites: USE 230 or 310, and 340. An introduction to the analysis and design of public water supplies. Topics include supply evaluation, water quality and quantity requirements, treatment requirements and methods; hydraulic analysis of water distribution systems including line sizing, fire protection, pumps, valves, and storage; tangible and intangible consequences of environmental policies; environmental impact assessments; and federal, state, and local government laws and regulations related to public water systems. f

450 Environmental Engineering Systems (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 455. An introduction to systems analysis in environmental engineering. Applications of linear and dynamic programming, computer modeling, and other systems analysis methodologies to the solution of environmental engineering problems related to air, soil, and water pollution are presented. Experimental design approaches for the characterization of environmental sites are reviewed. Note: Credit is not given for both USE 450 and 550. s

451 Wastewater Management I (3:3:0). Prerequisites: USE 310 and 340. An introduction to the planning and design considerations in wastewater collection and disposal systems. Topics covered include wastewater flow rates, regulatory requirements, small on-site disposal systems, sewer collection systems, pump stations, wastewater treatment, effluent disposal, environmental considerations, financing, and management. Tangible and intangible consequences of environmental policies; environmental impact assessments; federal, state, and local government laws and regulations related to wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal are also covered. f

452 Wastewater Management II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 451 or 455. An exploration of the design fundamentals for the treatment of wastewater. Topics include environmental regulations pertaining to wastewater, wastewater characterization, pretreatment systems, biological, physical and chemical treatment of wastewater, treatment and disposal of wastewater sludge, financing, and management. Also covered are tangible and intangible consequences of environmental policies; environmental impact assessments; and federal, state, and local government laws and regulations related to wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal. Credit is not given for both USE 452 and 552. s (even years)

453 Solid Waste Treatment (3:3:0). An exploration of the design fundamentals for the treatment of solid waste. Environmental and economic considerations of the categorization, collection, disposal, and treatment of solid waste are discussed. s

455 Introduction to Environmental Engineering (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Three credit hours of chemistry. An introduction to the principles of environmental engineering management and design pertaining to water supply and treatment, wastewater treatment, solid waste management, air pollution control, noise pollution measurement and control, and environmental impact assessment. Note: Credit is not given for both USE 455 and 555. f

456 Environmental Law (3:3:0). An introductory course in the study of environmental laws as they pertain to urban systems infrastructure management. The course reviews the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and other environmentally related legislation. The course also reviews laws for allocation of surface and groundwater supplies and reviews environmental law databases. Note: Credit is not given for both USE 456 and 556. s

460 Public Transportation Systems (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 365 or 465. A study of the history of public transportation in the United States and its relationship with land use and the structure of cities; quantitative performance attributes of different modes including vehicle operational characteristics, geometric elements, capacity and costs; techniques for the planning and operation of public transportation systems including modal split, elasticity, systems planning, route planning, and scheduling; management and administrative concepts; and survey techniques and performance measures. Note: Credit is not given for both USE 460 and 560. s

463 Construction Systems (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 301. An overview of the urban construction industry, including its organizations and interactions. Topics include project and construction management for operations, tactical, and strategic planning and decision making; cost estimation and scheduling, accounting, estimating, resource planning, and structuring of urban systems construction projects; legal theories and relationships between parties in the construction process, including the role of the design professional and manager. Value engineering is introduced. s

465 Transportation Systems I (3:3:0). Corequisite: USE 301. An introduction to urban transportation systems and the factors that influence their planning, design, and operation. Topics include fundamentals of travel demand forecasting, supply modeling, demand management, systems design, and equilibrium analysis. Mass transit, automated guideway transit, and pedestrian and cycling facilities in context with automotive transport are also covered. Project evaluation, benefit cost analysis, and time staging methods for transportation systems are introduced. f

466 Transportation Systems II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 465 or equivalent. An introduction to the analysis of transportation systems for passengers and freight. Deterministic and stochastic models for transportation systems are discussed. The theory and techniques for state-of-the-art transportation planning and design decision support systems are studied in detail. Also included are discrete and continuous network design models; interface of transportation planning and design software with geographical information systems; and suburban mobility. s

490, 495 Senior Design Project I, II (3:3:0), (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 400. A capstone design experience. The course integrates all design fundamentals employed by a typical urban systems design team. Major team efforts include land use, transportation, water and sewerage, stormwater, site analyses, economic considerations, regulatory considerations, sectioning, grading, and siting. Students focus on teamwork, interdisciplinary interaction, and tradeoff decision making. A design team analyzes all aspects of a major urban project, develops solutions to design problems, and produces a project report and verbal presentation. The design effort proposed is completed and a report is prepared, presented, and evaluated. The primary goal of the course is to produce a design for a contemporary urban systems project. s,f

498 Independent Study in Urban Systems Engineering (1-3:0:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours; must be arranged with an instructor and approved by department chair before registering. A directed self-study of special topics of current interest in USE. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits if the topics are substantially different.

499 Special Topics in Urban Systems Engineering (3:3:0). Prerequisites: 60 hours and permission of instructor; specific prerequisites vary with nature of topic. Topics of special interest to undergraduates. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits if the topics are substantially different.

516 Engineering Law and Ethics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 400. An overview of the body of law surrounding design, construction, and facilities maintenance and operations. Tort law and its relationship to design and construction contracting are introduced. Contract form, general and special conditions, ethics, contract administration, claims, dispute resolution, arbitration, and the appeals process are studied through case studies. s

530 Water Resource Systems Analysis (3:3:0). Prerequisite: OR 541 or equivalent. An introduction to the concepts, applications, and tools of systems analysis for the problems of water resources planning, management, and design. A variety of problems including river basin planning, real-time hydrosystem operations, water quality management, capacity expansion, urban drainage network design, and sanitary sewer design are used to illustrate the applications of systems analysis. Tools include linear and dynamic programming and knowledge-based systems. s,even years

550 Environmental Engineering Systems (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 455. An introduction to systems analysis in environmental engineering. Applications of linear and dynamic programming, computer modeling, and other systems analysis methodologies to the solution of environmental engineering problems related to air, soil, and water pollution are presented. The course reviews experimental design approaches for the characterization of environmental sites. Note: Credit is not given for both USE 450 and 550. s,odd years

552 Wastewater Engineering (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 455 or 555. An exploration of the design fundamentals for the treatment of wastewater. Topics include environmental regulations pertaining to wastewater; wastewater characterization; pretreatment systems; biological, physical, and chemical treatment of wastewater; treatment and disposal of wastewater sludge; financing; and management. Also included are tangible and intangible consequences of environmental policies; environmental impact assessments; and federal, state, and local government laws and regulations related to wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal. Note: Credit is not given for both USE 452 and 552. s,even years

555 Introduction to Environmental Engineering (3:3:0). An introduction to the principles of environmental engineering management and design pertaining to water supply and treatment, wastewater treatment, solid waste management, air pollution control, noise pollution measurement and control, and environmental impact assessment. Note: Credit is not given for both USE 455 and 555. f

556 (formerly 650) Environmental Law (3:3:0). An introductory course in the study of environmental laws as they pertain to urban systems infrastructure management. The course reviews the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and other environmentally related legislation. The course also reviews laws for allocation of surface and groundwater supplies and reviews environmental law data bases. Note: Credit is not given for both USE 456 and 556. s

560 Public Transportation Systems (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 465 or equivalent. An analysis of public transportation systems in terms of their role in urban transportation. Topics covered include the history of public transportation in the United States, quantitative performance attributes of different modes, analytical techniques for planning and operation, and management and administrative concepts. Note: Credit is not given for both USE 460 and 560. s

585 Automated Support Tools for Urban Systems Engineers (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ENGR 355 or equivalent. The study of information technology support functions such as computer aided design, geographic information systems, computer aided engineering, computer aided cost engineering, computer aided facilities management, and their application in engineering practice. Strategies and techniques for automating the engineering operation are studied, including software and hardware requirements determination, specifications, selection and purchasing; principles and strategies for computer networks; training; and productivity assessment. The course explores unique automated system support opportunities such as scanning, automated raster to vector conversion, file format conversion, file compression, computer aided presentation and projection, telecommuting, and teleconferencing. f,even years

601 Urban Systems Engineering I-Modeling and Problem Solving (3:3:0). Prerequisites: MATH 213 and CS 112, or USE 300, or equivalent. Concepts of modeling, systems analysis and engineering for problem solving in the urban environment. The course covers modeling, simulation, optimization, and limitations of modeling approaches. Also included are decision support tools; multiple objective, multiple decision maker problems in the public and private sectors; and multiple case studies in urban systems engineering design, planning, and management in areas such as transportation, water resources, the environment, solid, liquid, and gaseous waste, energy, telecommunications, and construction. f

602 Urban Systems Engineering II-Infrastructure Planning and Management (3:3:0). Corequisite: SYST 613. The study of planning and management practices applicable to the life cycle of the physical urban infrastructure (e.g., roads, sewers, water distribution and other pipelines, telecommunications and energy distribution systems). The course includes the study of the relationship of urban growth and infrastructure reinvestment; mechanisms of deterioration; direct and indirect methods of assessment, and degradation models; capital finance, budgeting, and programming; planning integration and coordination; quantitative applications in planning; uncertainty and reliability; public-private partnerships; operation and maintenance strategies; and future issues. s

610 Construction Systems and Management (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. A study of applications of construction management concepts and techniques to the production of the constructed system. The construction industry and the environment are explored through study of the project cycle design and construction phases with emphasis on estimating, planning, scheduling, and controlling labor, money, materials, machines, time, and information. Popular scheduling software is used with class projects and a case study. s,even years

632 Groundwater Systems Modeling (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 601. An introduction to groundwater hydrology and modeling, including quantity and quality aspects. Topics include characterization of the subsurface regime; well hydraulics; consideration of two- dimensional steady and unsteady state flows; exploration of the range of modeling approaches; simulation and optimization modeling; contaminant transport; parameter estimation; and design of systems to control groundwater quantity and quality. s,odd years

660 Urban Transportation Planning (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 601. Quantitative and qualitative techniques in urban transportation planning. Topics include different levels of urban transportation planning; the technical transportation planning process, including travel demand estimation, establishment of transportation strategies, and utility analysis; and activity center planning including on-site vehicle and pedestrian circulation, transportation interface, environmental planning, and planning administration. s

670 Urban Systems Decision Methods and Tools (3:3:0). Prerequisite: STAT 644 or equivalent. Principles of decision making and of knowledge acquisition in the context of building knowledge-based decision support tools for urban systems engineering. The course includes solving complex problems from several areas of urban systems engineering, including construction, environmental, and transportation engineering; and using various decision support tools, based on the Bayesian decision theory and on the principles of artificial intelligence, including knowledge-based systems and learning systems. f,even years

680 Spatial Decision Support Systems (3:3:0). Prerequisite: SYST 642 or equivalent. Fundamentals of traditional decision support systems and their application to spatially or geometrically related decision environments. The course surveys decision analysis models; explores spatial data base methodologies; reviews engineering models including computer aided design, geographic information systems, computer aided engineering, AM/FM, expert systems, etc.; and surveys of man-machine interface techniques. A study of the application of decision support systems in construction, engineering design, facilities management, transportation, public service, etc. is also included. f,odd years

685 Urban Systems Engineering Information Management (3:3:0). Prerequisite: USE 601 or permission of instructor. An advanced course in information resources management as applied to urban engineering problems and microcomputer data management. The course covers all phases of the information management life cycle from the conceptual design and data collection phases, through systems development, archiving and disposal. Software engineering (structured analysis, rapid prototyping, object-oriented analysis, etc.) as applied to urban systems infrastructure problem solving is covered. The course reviews civil engineering applications of database technology, spreadsheets, communications software, customized applications software, groupware, and graphics software (including computer aided design and geographic information systems). It covers the selection and use of appropriate software to match specific urban systems engineering problems related to the design, construction, and management of civil engineering infrastructure (transportation, water resources, environment, facilities, etc.). This course includes the design and development of a system for an urban systems engineering application. f,odd years

690 Topics in Urban Systems Engineering (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Determined by topic. Topics not covered in the regular urban systems engineering offerings. Course content may vary each semester. The course may be repeated with a change in topic.

798 Directed Readings in Urban Systems Engineering (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. An analysis and investigation of a contemporary problem in urban systems engineering. Prior approval by a faculty member who supervises the student's work is required. A written report is also required.

799 Master's Thesis (1-6:0:0). Prerequisites: 18 hours of graduate-level course work and permission of instructor. A research project chosen and completed under the guidance of a graduate faculty member, which results in a technical report acceptable to a three-faculty-member committee, and an oral defense.


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