ME 321 Syllabus

Kinematics is concerned with the concepts of position, displacement, velocity, and acceleration in planar mechanisms, as well as the introduction to the design, synthesis, and analysis of gears, cams, and mechanism trains. Kinematics is strictly involved with the motion, i.e., considerations of space and time without regard to the forces that produce this motion. In a sense, this describes the possible motion, or the allowable position, velocity, and accelerations.

Class Information

Fall 2014
I hope that you enjoy the class. If there is anything that I can do to help you please let me know.
Professor: Dr. D. Dane Quinn (
ASEC (North) 313b
Lectures: 4600:321-005 Tu,Th 9:55-10:45am; SHN 362
4600:321-004 Tu,Th 11:00-11:50am; SHN 359
Office Hours: tba
Text: J. J. Uicker, Jr., G. R. Pennock, and J. E. Shigley
Theory of Machines and Mechanisms
4th edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011
TA: Ruba Alamad,
ASEC (North)


Homework:15 %
Quizzes:15 %
Exams:50 %
Final:20 %

Office Hours

Office hours will be held in the respective offices unless noted at some later time (if, say, the offices become overcrowded I’ll try to find a new location). Office hours are an opportunity for you to get extra help, clarify a mistake, work problems, etc. However you must come prepared. Don’t walk in and ask us to teach you ``stuff’‘. Come with specific problems to be worked or specific ideas you don’t understand. If you can not make it to one of the scheduled office hours then feel free to drop by and if I have time I’ll be glad to help you, but be prepared to schedule a convenient time for us both.


Homework will be collected during class and (hopefully) returned the following week. Please work neatly, show all necessary steps (I don’t need to see that 2+2=4), and clearly denote your final answer. I view homework as the opportunity for you to learn the material covered in the lecture. As such, I feel that it is unrealistic for me to expect each of you to master the topics immediately (i.e., submitting a perfect homework). Therefore I feel that it is unfair for me to grade the homework as I would an exam, which is where you illustrate how much you have learned.

My resolution to this dilemma is to have the homework graded primarily on effort. Essentially, half of your grade comes from this alone, with the remaining half from your performance. Thus, realistically if you put forth a solid effort on the homework your grade will be relatively good. My balance in this leniency is provided by the weekly quizzes, which come directly from the homework and are graded as a exam.


You may work together on homework but any and all collaboration must be CLEARLY NOTED (this includes any sources used other than your text and own notes). In addition you must write up your own work.

Late Homework Policy

Late homework will be marked as follows:

Classes LatePercent Off
15 %
2+not accepted


Quizzes will be held weekly. Each will be composed of a single problem taken directly from the homework of the previous week. My goal is to motivate you to not only do the homework but to review the solutions once they are made available.

Exams and Final

There will be two exams during the semester. Each will be closed book but I will provide brief notes. Note: The final will be comprehensive.



  1. Coordinates and Directions
  2. Kinematics