The “EN1” course (taking in your first semester at Tufts) is an Introduction to Engineering. There are multiple sections available, offered by different instructors from a variety of different departments and disciplines, all customized to their personal interests and expertise.

Course Description:

Introduction of various concepts in engineering. Emphasis on project work, engineering ethics, and engineering design process. Discipline topic areas vary each term. Limited to first-year students.

Notes for Fall 2022:

– Every fall, Tufts School of Engineering (SoE) offers a selection of EN1: Applications in Engineering Sections. Below are the selection that are being offered in Fall 2022.
– A single document containing all the Fall 2022 EN1 Section Information can be downloaded here. Please reach out to the individual instructors if you have questions regarding details of a particular section of EN1. Otherwise, please reach out to your assigned academic advisor for general academic advice.
– For many of the EN1 sections, there are a few reserved seats for A&S students who are interested in doing an internal transfer into SoE. If you have questions or need additional information, please reach out to the Liberal Arts to Engineering Internal Transfer Advisor.
– If you get on the waitlist for one EN1 section, you can still sign up for another (open) section, and be automatically swapped if you get off the waitlist. This is called a “Future Swap” (Add then Drop) and requires careful implementation in SIS. Follow these instructions to do this properly. A mistake will lose your spot on the waitlist.

Undergrad Jake Blum talks about a typical “First Semester” for incoming engineering students

EN1 Sections (Fall 2022):

Section 01: Intro to Renewable Energy (Thomas Vandervelde, Electrical/Computer)
Section 02: Music & Art of Engineering (Jeffrey Hopwood, Electrical/Computer)
Section 03: Engineering for the Customer (Eli Cushner, Engineering Management)
Section 04: The Craft of Computer Science Research (Soha Hassoun, Computer Science)
Section 05: Innovation in Biomedical Engineering (David Kaplan and Fiorenzo Omenetto, Biomedical)
Section 07: Remote Exploration with Roomba (Chris Rogers, Mechanical)
Section 08: Simple Robotics (Ethan Danahy, Computer Science)
Section 09: Community-Centered Engineering (Greses Pérez, Civil/Environmental)
Section 10: Engineering in the Kitchen (Steven Bell, Electrical/Computer)
Section 13: Impact of Self-Driving Cars (Hal Miller-Jacobs and James Intriligator, Mechanical/Human Factors)
Section 14: Electricity Inside You (Joel Grodstein, Electrical/Computer)
Section 15: Sci-Fi Bioengineering (Nisha Iyer, Biomedical)
Section 16: Bridges for Resilient Cities (Betsy Kirtland, Civil/Environmental)
Section 17: Frontiers in Reproductive Health Engineering (Juan Gnecco, Biomedical)

See details about each section and the instructors here.

Section 01: Intro to Renewable Energy

We will examine renewable energy generation technologies with a critical eye; including, the examination of the way the media portrays energy technologies. We will explore the renewable energy technology of today as well as future prospects. We will look at the natural resource requirements of energy systems as well as their environmental and economic impacts. While going off the grid sounds like a great idea, it is a complex problem to be solved. Solar and wind energy sources require a lot of land; additionally, they are not constant with time, and efficient energy storage technology does not exist. Labs will give the student a hands-on sense for the energy generation process and its complexity. (Thomas Vandervelde, Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Section 02: Music & Art of Engineering

This course is a hands-on introduction to the fields of electrical and computer engineering. Because many engineers, mathematicians, and scientists are musicians, it makes sense to use music as the context for understanding the science of sound, electronics, and computers. We will study how electrical signals are used to represent sounds, and how these signals can be created and modified using both electronic circuits and computers. In the first half of the course, students will learn to design circuits and then use electronic instrumentation to probe how these circuits work. In the second half of the course, we will use computers and MATLAB to synthesize and modify sound. At the end of the course, groups of students will apply their newly acquired knowledge to design and build a musical project. (Jeffrey Hopwood, Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Section 03: Engineering for the Customer

What do Amazon, Broadway, and Dunkin’ Donuts have in common? They deliver great customer experiences. These experiences are anything but random; they are carefully designed and engineered. Through team projects, class discussions, and guest speakers, we will analyze physical products, user-interfaces, service experiences, and the leadership skills needed to bring it all together. You will leave this course with a mindset and toolset to focus on the customer as you continue your engineering journey at Tufts. (Eli Cushner, Gordon Institute of Engineering Management)

Section 04: The Craft of Computer Science Research

While it might be obvious why we need research in biology or history, Computer Science research is necessary to reinvent the field and to drive discoveries across many disciplines. This course will teach you the foundations of research. Students will work with a faculty mentor and a student group on a research project. Research topics include machine learning, computer security, quantum computing, human-robotics interaction, computational biology, computational geometry, and others. The course will cover topics including identifying and formulating research problems, reading and evaluating research papers, literature searching, self-guided learning, designing research studies, and data analysis. Students will practice working in a team, goal setting, activity logging, and communicating with others. This is a non-coding class. No prior coding or CS experience is required. Student groups are expected to develop a research proposal by the end of the semester and to be well-prepared to participate in future Computer Science research experiences. (Soha Hassoun, Computer Science)

Section 05: Innovation in Biomedical Eng

The course focuses on current topics in biomedical engineering related to the discipline, perspectives on technology impact in society, and concepts and problem-solving teamwork by the students. The goal is to utilize big picture themes to gain insight into the current state of technology related to human health and well-being in the future. Primary goals are 1) to expose students to science and technology involved in the field of biomedical engineering, 2) to look into the future with problem solving and impact on human health and society; and 3) to work in teams to challenge limitations and future opportunities empowered by the field of biomedical engineering. (David Kaplan and Fiorenzo Omenetto, Biomedical Engineering)

Section 07: Remote Exploration with Roomba

Using the iRobot Create 3 robot platform, we will build and program robots to do things like dance, soccer penalty kicks, remotely controlled exploration, and a robotic jousting tournament. Along the way, students will learn asynchronous coding (in Python and ROS) as well as fabrication techniques such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and water jet cutting. Through building crazy robots, students will get an overview of engineering: the different disciplines, the role of math and science, different educational pathways, etc. Weekly robotics challenges will highlight student ingenuity, creativity, and innovation. (Chris Rogers, Mechanical Engineering)

Section 08: Simple Robotics

Introduction to robot construction, programming, event-based programming, artificial intelligence, and elementary controls. Basic principles of robotics for students with minimal or no prior programming/building background. Hands-on projects emphasizing engineering design using a LEGO-based Robotics platform. (Ethan Danahy, Computer Science)

Section 09: Community-Centered Engineering

As a result of a lack of diversity in engineering, too many solutions inadvertently discriminate against people with real-life consequences for society. This course offers an experiential opportunity to learn with communities that engineering starts and ends with people. Along the way, students will learn different approaches to understand individuals and technologies. At the end of the course, students will use their knowledge to redesign social spaces. No prior experience is necessary. Students will develop an understanding of people from different backgrounds and how they interact with engineering groups. These experiences will prepare students with useful skills for future projects and research experiences. In learning about who we are as engineers and the communities we interact with, students will explore questions about what it means to be an engineer and who can become one. (Greses Pérez, Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Section 10: Engineering in the Kitchen

In this course, we will explore engineering through the lens of food and kitchen gadgets. During the semester, we will disassemble every electrified food-preparation device we can get our hands on, learn how they work, and use our newfound skills to build a few of our own. Along the way, you’ll analyze and design basic electrical circuits, program microcontrollers to take measurements and respond to them, log data to answer questions about cooking, and connect the Things you build to the Internet. We’ll also explore some of the complex social and ethical issues at the intersection of technology and food: does a cloud-connected refrigerator make us more efficient, or more lazy, or does it just result in more e-waste? And what responsibility do engineers have when working with something so deeply human as food? (Steven Bell, Electrical and Computer Engineering)

– Section 10 website:

Section 13: Impact of Self-Driving Cars

There is no question about it – Self-Driving Cars will be here; the only dilemma is when! This class will examine all aspects of this coming revolution. We will address the questions of:
– What are the advantages and disadvantages of self-driving cars?
– What are the technologies that will enable this to happen?
– How are the engineering complexities being addressed?
– Who are the key players in the world?
– What impact will this revolution have on our way of life?
– What are the social, ethical, urban, environmental, and legal implications of this revolution?
(Harold Miller-Jacobs and James Intriligator, Mechanical Engineering/Human Factors)

Section 14: Electricity Inside You

Forget the Terminator – we ordinary humans are already electrically powered! In this course, we’ll learn what bioelectricity is. We’ll learn its applications to medicine, both today (pacemakers, electrical pain relief and more) and in the potential future (regenerative medicine). Mainly, we’ll spend lots of time building and programming embedded-computing hardware that acts as bioelectrically-controlled prosthetics, cardiac monitors, and more. (Joel Grodstein, Electrical and Computer Engineering)

– Section 14 website:

Section 15: Sci-Fi Bioengineering

Where does science fiction meet biological reality? Using classic and contemporary sci-fi films as a framework for inspiration and discussion, this course will survey the practicalities of once imaginary technologies including gene editing, chimeric animal research, artificial organs, rapid vaccines, neural interfaces, and more. As we dissect fact from fiction, students will grapple with global and interstellar bioengineering challenges, regulations, and ethics as they exist now and may exist in the near future. (Nisha Iyer, Biomedical Engineering)

Section 16: Bridges for Resilient Cities

We will use the semester to understand the interaction of bridge design for resilient cities. Bridges play a significant role in urban design as they connect populations and often provide a significant architectural contribution to the cityscape. As a major component of a transportation network, bridges also play an essential role in creating resilient cities and ensuring that transportation networks remain functional in an emergency. We will study bridges in three major cities to learn about engineering design, city planning, and natural hazards with a focus on the creation of resilient cities. Students will learn engineering design of bridges and will access and map geospatial terrains. (Betsy Kirtland, Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Section 17: Frontiers in Reproductive Health Engineering

Reproductive tissues are some of the most dynamic, multifactorial, and complex systems of the human body and, as such, remain some of the most poorly understood. Frontiers in Reproductive Health Engineering is an introductory course that explores how big picture themes in the discipline of biomedical engineering (BME) can help to demystify, destigmatize and advance the way we understand women’s reproductive health and its diseases. The goal of the course is to expose first year students to both the basic principles of engineering and the fundamentals of the reproductive biology through a series of didactic lectures, group discussions, demos and invited guest speakers that span the current state of technology, the existing needs, and the future of reproductive health. (Juan Gnecco, Biomedical Engineering)

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