3.57, Materials Selection, Design and Economics

Professors Joel Clark and Lallit Anand,
Drs. Frank R. Field & Randy Kirchain

Web site: http://web.mit.edu/sma/Programs/adv_mat.html

(Note that you must be registered to access the course materials/WWW page, which is


Organization of Syllabus

The syllabus for the course consists of 4 Blocks of material. These lead the participants through the natural evolution of systems analysis and design. These are:


The instructors are:

Appointments with Instructors

The instructors will be available after class for discussions or making individual appointments.

Text Materials

The reading material consists of three parts:

Computer Environment

Web Site: http://web.mit.edu/sma/Programs/adv_mat.html
(then follow the Subjects link to 3.57)

This web site is the primary means of distributing basic information about the course:

The web site will also be the communications center for the course. It features:
Note Well: Participants will not be able to access this WWW site until they have been given a userid and password, which will be assigned once they have registered for the course. A registry of e-mail addresses will be constructed from this list, which will be the primary roster of participants used for grading, etc. Participants are expected to use email regularly to keep up with messages about the course from instructors. Messages sent by email will be considered to have been available to everyone. Email related to the course will normally proceed through the web site for the course. Participants may find the Discussion Group to be a useful way to communicate rapidly with fellow students and the instructors.

Web Site: http://msl1.mit.edu/rdn/tree_98.htm
<<may be consolidated into above site>>

The final project represents an important part of the educational experience. In order to minimize the time spent on programming, students will be able to download from this server a generic set of spreadsheets designed to accommodate most of students' projects. However, building partly on the existing piece of work, students should fell free to design their own analysis tools in order to address the specific needs of their project. They should however be aware of the extra work this possibility may represent.

Course Software: The course project and many of the homework assignments rely heavily on the use of spread-sheet tools

The instructors are most familiar with Microsoft Excel and Lotus 123, and will provide support for running exercises with this software. However, students can use any package that can run the models, with the understanding that support will be limited if the product is unfamiliar to the instructors.

Treeplan, a decision analysis macro for use with Microsoft Excel (V 4.0 or higher required) will be made available. This shareware will be useful for both the homework assignments and the final project, but its use is not required. The instructors can suggest alternative decision analysis packages that students might wish to buy. One other tool that will be undergoing evaluation for course use this year is TreeAge, which we may be providing upon our assessment of its appropriateness and utility for the course.

All software for the course will be provided in DOS/WIntel format, but students can process assignments on any computer system. Note that the Excel materials are readable across platforms. All assignments will be turned in as hard-copy reports.

Grading, etc.

Grades will be based about equally on the following elements:

The final grade will be modulated by an appreciation of the participant's progress throughout the semester, giving extra weight to those that finish strongly and demonstrate that they have, at the end, mastered the material.

Absences: Students are expected to complete all assignments on time. Unexcused late assignments will be marked down. Reasonable excuses (sickness, unavoidable professional absences, family emergencies, etc.) will of course be accepted when presented near the event. Work in Teams: Students may work in teams for the final project. Indeed, we encourage this collaboration because it can lead to more interesting results. We require each student to turn in individually written presentations and interpretations of the common analysis. Academic

To avoid any potential confusion that might result from different expectations in other courses or establishments, please note the standards that apply in this subject:

DRAFT Syllabus - 3.57, Materials Selection, Design and Economics
Professors Joel Clark and Lallit Anand, Drs. Frank R. Field & Randy Kirchain

Block I: Modeling of Efficient Systems Design




Assignments Due

Sept 9

Introduction To Subject


Sept 14

Production Functions: Theory and Applications

Chapter 2


Sept 16

Constrained Optimization & Cost Functions

Chapters 3 & 4


Sept 21

Linear Programming (LP)

Chapter 5

2.3, 2.4; 3.1,4.3, 4.14

Sept 23

LP Sensitivity Analysis

Chapter 6


Sept 28

LP In Practice


5.5, 5.8; 6.6, 6.10

Sept 30

Technical Cost Modeling (TCM): Theory



Oct 5

TCM Applications



Oct 7

TCM Workshop


Block II: Materials Selection and Performance




Assignments Due

Oct 12

Introduction to Properties and Design


Oct 14

Materials Properties Charts I


Oct 19

Materials Properties Charts II


Oct 21

Materials Performance Indices


Oct 26



Block III: Decision Analysis/Utility




Assignments Due

Oct 28

Value Analysis/Introduction to Term Project


Chapter 18


Nov 2

Single Attribute Utility

Chapter 19

Cost Model Sensitivity Exercise

Nov 4

Decision Analysis/Trees

Chapter 16


Nov 9

Value of Information

Chapter 17

19.7, 19.22, 16.1, 16.8

Nov 11



Nov 16

Multiple Attribute Utility Analysis (MAUA)

Chapter 20

16.6, 17.11, 17.13

Nov 18

MAUA Applications


Nov 23
Choice of Discount Rate
Chapter 11

Block IV: Integration




Assignments Due

Nov 28



Nov 30

Capital Asset Pricing Model

Chapter 12

20.5, 20.6, 20.8

Dec 2

Integration of Cost Models/Utility


Dec 7

Case Study Workshop


Dec 9

Final Presentations