Forces on Bridges with MATLAB 
Unit Purpose:By analyzing a bridge in terms of the vector forces acting upon it, the student develops an understanding of the roles that physics and mathematics play in the design of a bridge. Building a mathematical model of a given bridge type provides handson experience with rigid structures. The mathematics of solving systems of equations is addressed beginning with a system of 3 variables, and extended with a system with 17 unknowns. Throughout this process, the application of forces via vectors is experienced.
Unit Objective:To develop a mathematical model of the forces on a bridge which is constructed of simple trusses.
Unit Overview:The following concepts will be covered:
Materials:
Mathematical Concepts:Geometrical shapes, inductive reasoning, sine and cosine functions in a right triangle, vectors (magnitude and direction), systems of equations, matrices (optional)
Links to State Mathematics Outcomes:Students will demonstrate their ability to apply algebraic concepts in the real world in problem solving situations using, for example, algebraic expressions, equations, inequalities, matrices, tables, and graphs. In addition, collegeintended students will demonstrate their ability to use matrices to solve linear systems and will demonstrate facility with algebraic transformations.In addition, students will demonstrate their ability to apply trigonometry to problem solving situations with triangles, and to explore real world phenomena using the sine and cosine functions.
Student Outcomes:The student will be able to:
Activities:Student Assessments:Ask the student to:
Background Information 
