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PS2 Question 6

I have not taken any courses focusing on mechanics before, though ES51 (Computer Aided Machine Design) briefly touched on some topics.  My undergraduate major was Physics.  My strengths will be my comfort with mathematics as well as my exposure to professor Howard Stone's undergraduate class in Fluid Mechanics (ES123).  My weakness will definitely be my lack of exposure to any other mechanics courses.

 I am currently a member in Robert Wood's research group.  We work on developing the field of microrobotics along many novel paths, including designing soft robotics, using and developing materials with exotic or controllable mechanical properties, and creating 'composite' materials that can perform multiple functions.  An example of this last research goal is to produce structural mechanical components (possibly deformable) which integrate electronics, power sources, etc.

 When size and weight are so limited, material characteristics become extremely important.  Taking this class will give me many tools which will be widely applicable in this research.  Regarding my education in general, my primary training is as a physicist and one glaring omission in my education is my lack of exposure to a continuum theory of the nature of solids.

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