SYST 203 – Systems Modeling Laboratory (1:0:3)

Spring 2006


Dr. Harold Camp


(703) 585-7745 (with voice mail)


Office Hours:

Thursdays  before and after class, others by appointment

Course Description:

203 Systems Modeling Laboratory (1:0:3) Corequisite: SYST 202. Introduction to computer modeling using an engineering modeling environment such as MATLAB. Solution to systems of linear equations, numerical integration and differentiation, interpolation and curve fitting, solution of ordinary differential equations. Simulation and numerical solution of continuous dynamic systems. Discretization of continuous time systems. Use of built-in functions and construction of macros. Graphical presentation of results.


  1. "System Dynamic" by William Palm, McGraw-Hill (same as for SYST 202)
  2. Mathlab with Simulink, Release 14 with service pack 05 (available in GMU Bookstore)


20% - Group Project:

·        Define the Project & Modeling Plan

·        Build the Model and Execute the Plan

·        Results and Interpretation of Results

40 % - Laboratory Reports

15 % - Mid Term Exam

25 % - Final Exam

Group Project

The Group Project is one focal point of student effort within this course.  The majority of effort toward the group projects will be expended outside of class, with class time being reserved for reporting on activities. Each group of four students will select a complex system, plan a modeling activity with specific goals, build the model, execute the plan, and interpret the results with. Criteria and guidance for these activities will be given in class. Each group will present their project to the class.


Examinations are comprehensive over the work performed during the course and the course lecture material. Examinations will be open book and open notes since the examinations will test you on the application of principles learned. You will be expected to interpret the material of the course, not to repeat it via rote memory. The examinations are intended to enhance the student’s classroom experience and challenge the student to correctly apply the course material. Examinations are not designed to punish the student.

CLASS SCHEDULE – Updated on 21 January 2006

Week 1, Los Angeles

26 January

¨       Guest Lecturer – Dr. J. Shortle

¨       Introduction to MATLAB

Week 2> 

2 February

¨       Lecture: Introduction to Solving Dynamic Systems

¨       Laboratory: Parachute

¨       Groups: Form and Organize Groups

Week 3>

9 February

¨       Lecture: Displaying, Labeling, and Interpreting Results

¨       Laboratory: Parachute

Week 4>

16 February

¨       Lecture: Numerical Integration and Differentiation

¨       Laboratory: Ballistic Trajectory

Week 5>

23 February

¨       Lecture: Interpolation and Curve Fitting

¨       Laboratory: Determination of Accuracy of Numerical Integration

Week 6>

2 March

¨       Lecture: Systems of Linear Equations.

¨       Laboratory: Solve 3 X 3 Systems of Equations

Week 7>

9 March

¨       Mid-Term Exam

Week 8>

16 March

¨       Spring Break

Week 9>

23 March

¨       Lecture: Solution of Ordinary Differential Equations

¨       Laboratory: Mechanical Spring and Dashpot System

¨       Groups: Turn in Project Definition

Week 10>

30 March

¨       Lecture: Simulation and Numerical Solution of Continuous Dynamic Systems

¨       Laboratory: Electronic System, Band Pass Filter

Week 11>

6 April

¨       Lecture: Discrete systems and discretization

¨       Laboratory: Population Model

¨       Groups: Turn In Modeling Plan

Week 12>

13 April

¨       Lecture: Descretization

¨       Laboratory: Descretization of Mechanical System

Week 13>

20 April

¨       Lecture: Discrete Control Systems

¨       Laboratory: Power Generation Control

Week 14>

27 April

¨       Lecture: Orbiting Space Vehicle

¨       Laboratory: Changing Orbits

Week 15>


4 May

¨       Lecture: Review for Final Exam

¨       Group 1 Presentation

¨       Group 2 Presentation

¨       Group 3 Presentation

Week 16

11 May

¨       Final Examination


Note: Weekly minutes of group activities to be emailed to beginning 6 February 2006. Format will be discussed in class.