TAM 210/11: Statics

General Info

Grades Formal Assessment Contact Info
Course description Grading Lectures Office hours
Big idea Final grades i-Clickers Online forum
Prerequisites   Discussions  
Reference text   Online tutorials  
Equity & Diversity   Online homeworks  
    Written assignments  


Website: The official class website is http://courses.engr.illinois.edu/tam210/

Description: In this course, we will cover fundamental concepts that are used in every engineering discipline. We will begin with forces, moments and move towards structural analyses of frames, devices, and machines.  By the end, you will be able to solve rigid body mechanics problems that will inform the design of everything from bridges to biomedical devices.  

Big Idea: Clear knowledge of external forces (boundary conditions) is required to determine what constraints are necessary for the safe (static equilibrium) development and design of any widget. Free body diagrams are an essential tool for understanding the forces and moments on a body.

Prerequisites: Required: PHYS 211; credit or concurrant registration in MATH 241. Preferred: CS 101 or experience programming in MATLAB.

Reference texts:

  • Engineering Mechanics: STATICS, 14th edition by Hibbeler.  (Not required, but would be VERY useful)
    • Available at bookstore (electronic or hard copy)
    • Available on reserve at Grainger
  • Also vailable on reserve at Grainger
    • Beer, Ferdinand P.;   Vector Mechanics for Engineers: Statics
    • Nelson, E.W. [et al.];   Engineering Mechanics: Statics
    • Nelson, E. W.;   Schaum’s Outlines Statics, 6th Edition [online electronic resource] (Great study guide resource with many worked examples)

Equity and diversity:

This is an equal opportunity classroom environment. We value the diversity represented by the participants in this course. Our diversity is a primary source of ideas and perspectives. As you work through the course, practice using this diversity to your advantage.


Grading: As noted under Polices (Gradebook), all assessment scores are stored on Compass2g. Note that we are only using this website for grade reporting.The total score for the course is computed with the following weights:

In-lecture iClickers 4% Written assignments 8%
Discussion group activity 8%

CBTF quizzes

PrairieLearn homework 10% CBTF Exam 30%


Final grades: The total score s corresponds to final grades as follows.

97% ≤ s < 100% A+ 92% ≤ s < 97% A 89% ≤ s < 92% A-
86% ≤ s < 89% B+ 82% ≤ s < 86% B 79% ≤ s < 82% B-
76% ≤ s < 79% C+ 72% ≤ s < 76% C 69% ≤ s < 72% C-
66% ≤ s < 69% D+ 60% ≤ s < 66% D 55% ≤ s < 60% D-
s < 55% F        

This means that a score of 78.9% is a C+, while 79.0% is a B-.


Lectures: Prompt and regular attendance at lectures is required to obtain credit for iClicker content.


iClickers: Short multiple-choice questions are conducted during lectures using iClickers (grade is based on participation). An iClicker remote can be purchased from any of the bookstores, and must be registered on Compass2g, under the tab "Register i>clicker". You need to register your iClicker by the end of Week 1, when the iClicker roster will be synced for the last time. The first iClicker use for credit will take place in Week 2 of the semester.


Discussion sections: Discussion sections start in Week 1 of semester, with the schedule below. Prompt and regular attendance at your discussion section is required. You must attend only the discussion section in which you are enrolled. You will not receive a grade for the worksheet if you attend the wrong discussion section.

Most discussion sessions will consist of a group worksheet exercise, which is a high-energy and efficient 50-minute learning experience. Students will be placed in permanent groups of three to four people during the third week of classes. If you are more than 5 minutes late to a discussion session then you will not receive credit for the section. All members of the group should be working together as a team. The TAs and CAs will be evaluating team work, problem-solution skills and interpretation of the problem.

There are two main goals for the discussion worksheets:

  1. Gain experience in team-work. This is a critical skill in all areas of engineering, from large-scale industrial projects to academic research. Working productively in teams is a skill that must be learned just like math or physics, and regular practice is essential. Often you will have to work with people who you do not especially like, or who you find it difficult to work with. It is important to lean how to manage these situations so that the important work is still accomplished.
  2. Apply engineering concepts to real-world problems. Each worksheet focuses on a real-world problem that you will have to use your engineering skills to solve. This will include using the material from class, but also knowledge from previous engineering, math, and science classes. You will also have to think like an engineer, and understand when to make approximations, how to judge the appropriateness of different models, and which mathematics and physics is most useful for a given engineering problem.

We also hope that these discussion worksheets will help you to meet other engineering students and we encourage you to get together outside of lectures and discussions to work collaboratively on homeworks and exam study.

Discussion sections are always held in 252 Mechanical Engineering Building.


  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday



David, Zhichao




David, Zhichao




Rami, Sukrit




Brett, Sukrit




Jamie, Brett



David, Brett




Yijie, Jamie




Rami, Yijie




Sean, Haolin




Sean, Haolin




Online homeworks: Weekly online homeworks will be assigned via PrairieLearn. Each assignment is due at 11:59pm on the assigned due date. Due dates are available inside PrairieLearn. These assignments place an emphasis on mastery. The idea is to keep doing questions until you master the underlying concept or method. Once you do, you should be able to answer these questions very quickly.

The way this works in PrairieLearn is that each question has a value, a point total, and a point maximum. If you answer a question correctly, two things happen:

  • The point total increases by the value, until you reach the point maximum.
  • The value increases (2x, 3x, 4x, etc.).

If you answer a question incorrectly, one thing happens:

  • The value goes back to what it was originally (1x).

This system rewards repeated correct answers, which tend to demonstrate mastery. There is no penalty (other than resetting the value) for answering a question incorrectly, so don't be afraid to submit an answer. Similarly, don't be afraid to keep doing a question after you reach the point maximum - your point total with never go down!

If you click on the "?" just to the right of the line about available credit, you'll see all the dates associated with this homework. In particular, it says:

  • you can receive 100% until Main End Date
  • you can receive 80% until Extended End Date(two days later)
  • you can receive 0%, but can keep doing problems as practice for the rest of the semester.

Note that your score will never go down. For example, if you achieve 90% by the Main End Date, you won't be able to increase your score after that time, but you won't be penalized for not reaching 100% - your score will remain 90% forever. On the other hand, if you achieve only 70% by the Main End Date you will be able to increase your score after that time (to a maximum of 80%) until the Extended End Date.


Written assignments: To help you to practice you how to prepare your analyses in a logical manner, you will be asked to submit INDIVIDUALwritten assignments during the semester.  These assignments are designed to practice communicating engineering concepts in writing. They will be graded based on content and presentation.

Assignments are to be submitted using Compass2g.

  • IN SUMMARY, WE WILL ONLY GRADE REPORTS UPLOADED AS A PDF FILE, SINGLE DOCUMENT, PORTRAIT FORMAT! NO EXCEPTIONS!! Submitted assignments that do not comply with these guidelines will automatically lose 50% of the grade for the assignment.
  • Details of how to complete a written assignment and expectations are given in the WA1 help file found on Compass2g.
  • Written assignment deadlines are available in the schedule page.
    • Written assignmetns must be completed by 11:59 pm Central Time on the due date.
    • You will have unlimited attempts to upload your written assignment; we will grade only your last attempt.
    • Your name and discussion session number must be printed legibly on the top of the first page.
    • Scan your assignment and save it in pdf format. Files in any other format will not be graded. 
    • While scanning, make sure that you captured all of the pages of your written assignment in ONE pdf file. We will only grade a single pdf file.
    • Submit a professional document. All text, symbols, diagrams, plots, lines, etc. in the submitted PDF document must be readable by the TA. Illegible documents will not be graded.
    • Your scanned work must be in portrait format.
    • When preparing your written assignment, you MUST assign symbols (to the utmost extent possible) to all the relevant lengths, forces, material properties, et cetera, and then solve the problem symbolically. If given, you should assign numerical values to your final result. Depending on the difficulty of the problem, you may assign numbers at intermediate steps.
    • Late written assignment will not be accepted (you will not be able to upload it on Compass2g). No exceptions. PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR LATE WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT BY EMAIL.

Quizzes: These quizzes are designed to assess your problem solving skills. Quizzes are only intended for ASSESSMENT, not learning. Quiz questions are formulated to be similar to the main concept, principle, or solution process being demonstrated in the homework questions. You will not be allowed to use notes, textbooks or any electronic devices (including calculators). If you practiced the course material in your PrairieLearn homework assignments, Written Assignments, and Discussion section worksheets, you should be able to address the quiz questions. You will need to be able to do calculations during quizzes. While working on PrairieLearn homework assignments, practice frequently using MATLAB, Mathematica, or other approved online computing resources (such as MATE Calculator software) so that you can use these tools efficiently during your CBTF quizzes. Solutions will not be posted. Quiz dates are listed in the schedule. Each quiz grade is determined from the following formula: max([First Try, 1/3*(First Try) + 2/3*(Quiz Retry)]). If you have an excused absence, then you will only have a single attempt to make up the quiz at a later date, or make other arrangements at the discretion of the instructor.

  • You will have a set number of attempts to submit the correct answer to the quiz question. Only the final submission is graded. There is no partial credit.
  • During the entire time period of testing, students are strictly forbidden from discussing any aspect of the test/quiz whatsoever with other students. See Policies (Computer-Based Testing Facility).
  • Information about the CBTF as well as access to the scheduler are available at https://cbtf.engr.illinois.edu.
  • The computer-based testing facility is in 57 Grainger Engineering Libarary; in the basement on the east side of the building.
Instructions for students to schedule a quiz:
1. Firefox and Chrome are both supported web browsers. Other browsers may not be supported yet.
2. Click “Add a course” and then click “TAM 210/211: Statics”
3. Click on “Quiz #1” (click anywhere in the large red box)
4. Click on the green button for the time-slot when you want to take Quiz #1
5. After you have signed up for a quiz, you can cancel or change your reservation by clicking on the green reservation area. You can make changes to your reservation up to 1 hour before your scheduled quiz time.
6. DRES students requiring extra time should sign up for a time-slot that has enough time remaining after it. For example, if you need 1.5X or 2X time, then don’t sign up for the last time-slot of the day, but any earlier time-slot is ok. If you need 3X time then don’t sign up for either of the last two time-slots of the day, but any of the early time-slots are ok. When you arrive at the CBTF, inform the proctor that you are a DRES student and you will be accommodated in a separate, reduced-distraction room.

Exam: A cumulative CBTF exam will be held for all students during week 12 after the completion of TAM 210 lecture materials. There will be no cumulative exam for the remaining TAM 211 students; they will take additional quizzes for the remaining topics.


Office hours:

Wayne Chang (220H Mechanical Engineering Building): Monday/Wednesday, 2:00-4:00 pm, or by appointment (contact via Piazza)

Daily office hours are held in Grainger 429 according to the schedule below. Office hours start on Tuesday, January 22.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
2-3 Kazem
Sean, Li
3-4 Kazem
​Sean, Li
      David, Jamie
4-5 Kazem,
David, Sukrit
Haolin, Brett
Jamie, Emma


Brett, Rami

5-6 Kazem,
David, Sukrit
​Haolin, Brett
Jamie, Emma
6-7 Mohan
Rami, Sukrit


Online forum (Piazza): This class uses Piazza for ALL communications between the instructor, TAs, CAs, and students. Students should not communicate with instructors via email, unless there is an emergency.

Students are encouraged to post public messages on Piazza ("Post to Entire Class"). However, you can use the private feature by posting a message visible only to the Instructors. In this last case, you must type "Instructors", instead of sending a message to a specific TA or instructor.

TAs and CAs are scheduled to be checking Piazza on the following days:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
TA Kazem Kazem Mohan Mohan Vineeth Vineeth Xian
CA Sean Haolin, Jamie Rami Emma, Brett David Li Sukrit

The use of Piazza should not replace the office hours time, since some questions cannot be fully addressed via an online forum.