Numerical Computation for Mechanical Engineers

Photo of a wheeled robot rolling over a small bump, and a force vector diagram of that situation.

The 2.086 Mobile Robot suspension system. (Photo and diagram courtesy of James Penn. Used with permission.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2014



Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Highlights

The textbook used for this course, written by Prof. Patera and several MIT colleagues, is available for download in the readings section. There are supplementary videos of the 2.086 Mobile Robot in the videos section.

Course Description

This class introduces elementary programming concepts including variable types, data structures, and flow control. After an introduction to linear algebra and probability, it covers numerical methods relevant to mechanical engineering, including approximation (interpolation, least squares and statistical regression), integration, solution of linear and nonlinear equations, ordinary differential equations, and deterministic and probabilistic approaches. Examples are drawn from mechanical engineering disciplines, in particular from robotics, dynamics, and structural analysis. Assignments require MATLAB® programming.

Anthony Patera. 2.086 Numerical Computation for Mechanical Engineers, Fall 2014. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.