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MAE 334 - Introduction to Instrumentation and Computers

 - Course Objectives

 - Laboratory Info
    - Valid Excuses
    - Lab Handouts
    - Lab Report Format

 - Course Notes & Schedule

 - Grading Policy

 - Instructor

 - Teaching Assitants

 - Text BooK





  • Your lab notebook should be a small 3 ring binder or folio into which you will insert the required content (listed below). Be sure that it contains blank writing and/or graph paper for taking lab notes. The content of your lab notebook will be checked when you leave the lab. Your oral presentation to your lab instructor will be from your notebook where all of your graphs, etc. should be placed until you assemble them into your written report. Over thirty percent of your lab grade is based on the neatness, organization and thoroughness of your notebook content. Your written lab report should also fit nicely into your notebook.
  • Each lab partner will be graded independently and must perform all lab write-ups and during lab notes independently. Only the actual acquisition and storing of the lab data are to be done jointly.
  • Be sure to obtain a copy of your data (and have backup arrangements) before you leave the lab! A USB memory stick is recommended but several options are possible including: storing the data directly to your mapped engineering directory, Emailing the data to yourself or an FTP transfer to your engineering account.


  • Include the course name and number, your name, partner's name, TA's name, lab section and grading space.
  • There is a MS-Word template available for each lab on the Lab Handouts web page.


  •  A copy of the lab handout should be in your notebook at the start of the lab session.


  • The notes taken during the lab should start with a brief description of the lab setup. In particular any wiring connections should be documented.
  • Notes describing the procedure for each different step of the experiment are to be made.
  • Observations (quick sketches of the oscilloscope graphs, wiring hookup...) and comments are to be included in the notebook.
  • A brief description of each data file recorded is to be logged. When saving files in Virtual Bench be sure to include comments describing the data in the comment box before saving.
  • Here is a example of "B" quality lab notes.




This should be a brief description of what you did and how you did it (should fit easily on one printed page). This should be to-the-point and in your own words, not a paraphrasing of the laboratory handout. It should include the objectives of the experiment and its significance as well as a brief statement of the significant conclusions.


In this short form report format, your Results section should contain all of the required graphs, figures and tables. Each figure should be clearly numbered and titled with a descriptive caption. Graphs should be clearly labeled and show appropriate units. At the end of your Results section you should include examples of any hand calculations used in obtaining your results. These should be clearly labeled. Include transducer calibration calculations. Pay special attention to units and be sure that your quantitative results are sensible and of reasonable magnitude.


In this section you should discuss the nature of your results, giving particular attention to the agreement of your results with theory. Explaining disagreements between ideal results and your results should be emphasized. Be sure to respond to incidental questions mentioned in the write-up for the lab session. Also mention any difficulties that you may have had with the experiment. One page should normally be adequate.


In each experiment we will have several specific questions listed at the end of the lab write-up. Answer these questions carefully and use your best, concise language. Read your answers carefully before turning them in to be sure they are complete and make sense to you.


Use the reference style described in the ASME Transaction Journal (see below).

Appendix A of the class text by Figliola [1] contains an excellent technical writing review.


Include portions of data files here as examples.  Be sure the file header is included.


1.                  (10%) Lab Preparation including notebook. Check off required lab results.

2.                  (10%) Notebook review.

3.                  (15%) Oral presentation of results. In your lab presentation, you may be required to login to a lab PC and demonstrate your functioning Excel spreadsheet.

4.                  (5%) Summary content, quality of writing and clarity.

5.                  (30%) Presentation of results. Neatness and organization of Excel spreadsheets. Quality, clarity and consistency of graphs and tables.

6.                  (25%) Demonstration of your understanding of the results as evidenced in your discussion and answers to specific questions.

7.                  (5%) Neatness, references and appendix.


1. Figliola, R. S., Beasley, D. E., 2000, Theory and Design for Mechanical Measurements, Third Edition, John  Wiley, New York, Appendix A.

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