Spotlight on Course 3 Academic Subjects Fall 2021

Special Subject: Computing Fabrics (Fall 2021)

MIT: S.S05 (U) / S.73 (G) / RISD
Prof. Yoel Fink
Lecture: Tuesdays 3PM-5PM, 1-134
Lab: TBD
12 Units (2-4-6)

Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor. Please contact Prof. Yoel Fink ( if you are interested in pre-registering for this subject. The MIT Registrars Office pre-registration deadline is August 26, 2021, 5pm.

Fabrics are one of the oldest forms of human expression, with a history as ancient as civilization itself. This course will explore and build on this venerable history,highlighting connections between industrialization, products, and advances in fibers and fabrics.  In parallel the evolution of technologies in their path from basic scientific research to scaled production and eventually global markets will be discussed. While the immediate goal will be to familiarize students with the field of fabrics spanning materials to applications, the ultimate objective will be the identification and investigation of the degrees of freedom that make fabrics such a powerful form of synthetic engineering and product expression. Topics will be explored in part through interactions with speakers from Industry covering: fiber, yarn, textiles and fabric materials, structure-property relations, and hands-on demonstrations of fibers, yarns, and fabric construction (pending equipment availability and covid restrictions) to anticipate future textile products. A key area of focus will be the intersection of fabrics with computing, which will be explored from an historical as well as a more recent perspective: namely, could fabrics which are made with the aid of computers become a compute environment in themselves? Areas of current research, outstanding challenges, as well as product and market perspectives will be provided through dialogue with practitioners from academia, government and industry.

This is an approved Course 3 undergraduate and graduate restricted elective in both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

3.42 Electronic Materials Design

M/W 11:00-12:30
Prereq: 3.23 or permission of instructor G (Fall)
3-0-9 Units

Extensive and intensive examination of structure-processing-property correlations for a range of functional materials as applied to communications, computation, energy conversion and storage, sensing and actuation. Topics covered include defect equilibria; junction characteristics; photodiodes, light sources and displays; bipolar and field effect transistors; chemical, thermal and mechanical transducers; energy conversion devices; and data storage. Draws correlations between limitations and challenges related to key figures of merit and the basic underlying thermodynamic, structural, transport, and physical principles, as well as the means for fabricating devices exhibiting optimum operating efficiencies and extended life at reasonable cost. Emphasis on materials design in relation to device performance.

Design Assignment provides students opportunity to examine an Electronic Materials topic in depth, to synthesize concepts learned in course, and develop writing, literature review and presentation skills. In class discussion encouraged.

Professor Harry L. Tuller

3.S06: Casting a New Tradition

Hands-on metalsmithing subject. In addition to the collective sculpture work, students will have the opportunity to create individual works of art or wearables that utilize metalsmithing techniques such as hollowware (plastic deformation), oxy-acetylene brazing, and lost-wax casting.

3.S06 is a special subject HASS-A, 9 credit course that will meet Fall 2021 on T 4-5 pm for lecture and TR 7-9:30 pm for labs in the forge/foundry (4-006).

Tradition runs deep at MIT. From hacking to Pi Day, students welcome the opportunity to add their individual contribution to the line of collective tradition.

In this special subject, students will work to create an interactive metal sculpture that embraces another tradition at MIT, the “brass rat” class ring. This life-size, cast bronze beaver sculpture will be entirely realized by MIT undergraduates within MIT laboratories. The course will provide a cross-disciplinary approach to sculpture that will include art history, metallurgy, and metalworking. From schematic rendering to metal casting, fabrication, polishing and patination, (and the many steps in between), students in this class will learn through hands-on experience how a cast sculpture comes to fruition as well as how much applied materials science knowledge is involved in art-making.

This course has limited enrollment, pre-registration is encouraged.

Tara Fadenrecht, Lecturer

3.17/3.37  Principles of Manufacturing 

Instructor: Professor Lionel C. Kimerling, DMSE
12 units: 2-1-9
Prerequisite: 3.010 or 3.020 or equivalent

Does your work measure up to a Six Sigma quality standard?

Do you understand that materials selection and processing choices affect system performance?

Has your education prepared you to solve today’s Grand Challenges of Manufacturing?

Join a 3.17/3.37 Team and find out.

Students successfully completing 3.17/3.37 will earn Six Sigma Green Belt status.


Teaches the methodology to achieve Six Sigma materials yield: 99.99966% of end products perform within the required tolerance limits. Six Sigma methodology employs five stages for continuous improvement — problem definition, quantification, root cause analysis, solution implementation, and process control — to help engineers evaluate efficiency and assess complex systems. Through case studies, explores classic examples of materials processing problems and the solutions that achieved Six Sigma manufacturing yield throughout the manufacturing system: extraction, design, unit processes, process flow, in-line control, test, performance/qualification, reliability, environmental impact, product life cycle, cost, and workforce. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.

Principles of Manufacturing (or Six Sigma Materials Processing) is a 12-unit, project-based subject designed for advanced MIT undergraduate and graduate students.  Materials Science and Engineering is the practice of making things.  Every step, from the extraction of elements from nature to the creation of functional objects, requires a common manufacturing engineering methodology.  This course teaches the practice methodology to achieve 6σ materials yield: 99.99966% of end products perform within the required tolerance limits.  The 6σ methodology is one of continuous improvement that employs five stages: i) problem definition, ii) quantification, iii) root cause analysis, iv) solution implementation, and v) process control.  This class will explore through a series of Case Studies classic examples of materials processing problems and the solutions that achieved 6σ manufacturing yield throughout the manufacturing system:  extraction – design – unit processes – process flow – in-line control – test – performance/qualification - reliability – environmental impact – product life cycle – cost - workforce.