Freshman Year Course Sequence

Frequently Asked Questions about EGR 151-152-153-154-156

Why are EGR 151, 152, 153, 154 being offered?

EGR 151, 152, 153, 154 are motivated by the goal of instilling engineering into the first-year curriculum. Many engineering students have been dismayed that their first contact with engineering did not take place until the sophomore year, and these courses are an effort to address this concern. A requirement-neutral solution is to offer courses that not only cover the same subject matter as the regular courses but also introduce major challenges in modern engineering. Our goal is to offer a full suite of courses to satisfy SEAS freshman year requirements and to serve the campus more broadly.

What does EGR 151 cover?

EGR 151 is a course in the physics of mechanics, energy, waves, and introductory thermodynamics in the context of global engineering challenges. The laboratory is based on engineering projects that focus on design and building, problem-solving, and entrepreneurship.

What does EGR 152 cover?

EGR 152 is a course in single-variable calculus that illustrates how mathematics serves as a language for addressing engineering problems. It covers differential and integral calculus, series and sequences, and Taylor series.

What do you mean by “major challenges in modern engineering”?

Engineering and technology hold a possible solution to many of the societal challenges facing humanity today. Problems in energy and the environment, health, genetics, clean water, computer and information security can all be addressed with engineering. These courses will teach the necessary scientific and mathematical fundamentals in the context of these problems.

What does EGR 156 cover?

EGR 156 deals with the fundamentals of multivariable calculus from an engineering perspective, and will pull in examples from all 6 engineering departments. It will act as an introduction to functions of many variables, and will cover key topics important to the study of various types of engineering.

Who should take EGR 151-152?

The ideal candidate for EGR 151-152 is a first-year student who has (1) a keen interest in engineering as a way of solving important challenges, (2) has good high school preparation in physics but not able to place out of freshman physics at Princeton, and (3) has had some high school calculus that might make Math 104 a reasonable placement, whether or not you formally have AP credit. If in doubt, ask Dean Bogucki.

Who should take EGR 156?

Sophomores who have taken the Foundations of Engineering freshman sequence (EGR 151 and/or EGR 152 and/or EGR 153 and/or EGR 154) are eligible to participate in EGR 156.

Will these courses count for BSE degree requirements?

Yes! EGR 151 will substitute for Physics 103, while EGR 152 will take the place of Math 104. EGR 156 is considered an equivalent course with MAT 175, EGR 192, MAT 201, and MAT 203.

Who will teach EGR 151, EGR 152, and EGR 156?

Professor Claire Gmachl from Electrical Engineering will teach EGR 151, while Professor Andrew Houck from Electrical Engineering will teach EGR 152. Professor Jeremy Kasdin will teach EGR 156. 

Can I take one course and not the other?

We would prefer that you take EGR 151-152 together, although we will consider requests to decouple them.

How do these courses differ from the traditional math and physics courses?

The difference between EGR 151-152 and traditional math and physics course lies in the fact that the EGR courses are motivated explicitly by modern engineering challenges, and through the study of those engineering challenges, students learn the concepts of math and physics. Their goal is to introduce first-year BSE students to genuine engineering challenges and the scientific knowledge necessary to address them.

How do these courses differ from EGR 191-192?

While EGR 191 also covers the material of Physics 103, EGR 192 is a course in multivariable calculus, which requires two units of AP credit (5 on the BC calculus exam, 7 on the higher-level IB, or A on the British A-levels). Also, EGR 191-192 are coupled and must always be taken concurrently. If you have 2 units of AP in Math, you should take EGR 191-192.

What background do I need to take these courses?

We expect that students in EGR 151 have taken physics in high school that required at least the use of algebra. Students in EGR 152 should have some prior exposure to calculus. Students without prior calculus experience should consult Dean Bogucki. Students who have AP credit in Physics (2 units on the basis of Physics C, IB-H, or A-levels) are not permitted to take EGR 151. Students who have 2 units of AP credit in Math (on the basis of a 5 on BC calculus, 7 on the IB-H, or A on A-levels) are not permitted to take EGR 152. If in doubt, please consult with Dean Bogucki.

Are they easier/harder than the other courses?

EGR 151 and 152 should be no harder and no easier than Physics 103 and Math 104.

If I want to be a Physics major, should I take EGR 151?

You would probably be better advised to take Physics 105, or Physics 103, if majoring in Physics as an A.B. student or pursuing the Engineering Physics certificate as a B.S.E. are possible interests. If you have AP credit in Physics, you should definitely take Physics 105.

What courses follow EGR 151-152?

We plan to offer two courses in the spring semester: EGR 153-154, which will cover the material of Physics 104, Electricity and Magnetism, and Math 202, Linear Algebra.

Will I be able to take the traditional math and physics courses in following semesters?

We anticipate that a student who takes EGR 151 and/or 152 will have no difficulty transitioning to the traditional physics and math courses such as Physics 104 and Math 201.

How do I enroll in EGR 151 and 152?

After meeting with your adviser during Orientation, simply choose EGR 151 and 152 on your enrollment worksheet and enter them into TigerHub. 

What happens if there isn’t space for me?

We will compile a waiting list, but in the meantime, you should enroll in Physics 103 and Math 104 if EGR 151 and 152 fill up.

What academic support is available for students in these courses?

There will be abundant opportunities for support and feedback during the course. The instructors will hold ample office hours. In addition, there will be graduate and undergraduate students serving as teaching assistants will be available for additional assistance and assistance at study halls offered by the McGraw Center.

Freshman Year Course Sequence Course Descriptions - Fall 2018

EGR 151: Foundations of Engineering: Mechanics, Energy, and Waves

Claire Gmachl

EGR 152: Foundations of Engineering: The Mathematics of Shape and Motion

Andrew Houck

EGR 156: Foundations of Engineering: Multivariable Calculus

Jeremy Kasdin