ME/ISyE 4803 Syllabus for Fall 2013

Instructor: Chris Paredis

Room: MARC 256
Phone: 404-894-5613 (office)
Office Hours:  consult my calendar (check because the schedule may change due to travel)

Teaching Assistant: Sebastian Herzig

Room: MARC 264
Office Hours:  by appointment in MARC 264


Time: Tuesday-Thursday 12:05-1:25PM
Room: Clough Commons 129


For ISyE students: 3103 or 3104
For ME students:  ME 2016 and Math 2403


A Practical Guide to SysML, Second Edition: The Systems Modeling Language,
Sanford Friedenthal, Alan Moore, and Rick Steiner.
Elsevier, 2011.  (ISBN: 978-0123852069)

Course Description and Objectives

Engineering analysis or design of complex systems involves two kinds of modeling.  One is the description of the system itself, and one is the description of a computation one would like to perform, in order to better understand or to specify some aspect of the system.  This course addresses both.  The systems modeling language, OMG SysML™ (, provides the syntax for very expressive models of systems.  Because SysML is a formal language, it supports a broad range of integration and interoperation with specific solvers, thus it enables tight integration between description and analysis.

In this course, students will learn to use SysML to describe systems of interest from the AE, ISyE and ME domains, and will learn how to integrate their descriptive models with simulation, optimization, and other analysis models.

Course Grading

Students are responsible for being aware of all announcements made in class and all changes in schedule that are posted on the class website.  Grades will be determined by tests, homework assignments, a group project, and readings/class participation.  The breakdown of grades is:

     Tests and Exams (40%) -- individual assessment
Test 1: modeling structure (BDD, IBD) 10%
Test 2: modeling behavior (ACT, PAR) 10%
Final Exam: comprehensive 20%
    Homework Assignments (28%) -- individual activity
Homework 0: getting started with MagicDraw 0% but mandatory
Homework 1: modeling structure with Blocks 7%
Homework 2: modeling interfaces with Ports and Flows 7%
Homework 3: modeling behavior with Activities 7%
Homework 4: modeling and analyzing Parametric Relationships 7%
    Project (32%) -- group activity
Comprehensive Group Project 25%
Peer Evaluation and and Class Participation 7%

Refer to the Schedule for the exam schedule and assignment due dates.


During the second half of the semester, the students will work on a group project.  In this project, the students will follow a systematic systems engineering process to design and model a system of their choice.
The projects will be performed in small groups (3-4 students) consisting of both ISyE and ME students.  The size and scope of the contribution is expected to be proportional to the group size.  Through collaboration between ISyE and ME students, the projects are expected to address the systems engineering problem from a variety of perspectives, such as economic, manufacturing, supply chain, dynamic behavior, or human interaction perspectives.


To create SysML models, MagicDraw by No Magic Inc. is used. The software will be provided for free to all the students enrolled in the course. A short guide on how to download, install and activate MagicDraw is available on t-square in Resources / Software.

Past experience has shown that computers owned by students vary tremendously in architecture (PC, Mac), operating system (Windows XP, 7 or 8; OS X), and software tools installed.  As a consequence, the instructions provided above may or may not work for your particular computer.  Rather than trying to debug the setup for each individual student, we have provided VLAB as a backup option in case the software does not install properly on your computer.  The use the software on VLAB, go to, log in with your Georgia Tech username and password, and log into the virtual machine called ME-F2013.  If you have problems accessing VLAB, then contact the instructors.

Collaboration Policy

For the individual homework assignments, each student is expected to hand in his/her own individual work.  No copying from other students, from the internet, or from any other source is allowed.  However, students are allowed and encouraged to discuss the assignments with each other.  Discussing the assignments with your peers will help you to develop a deeper understanding of the material.  For the final project, students are expected to work in small groups.  Each group is expected to turn in only one report.  If you have questions about this collaboration policy, do not hesitate to ask your instructors.

For group assignments all students are expected to contribute equally to the group effort.  At the end of the project, a peer evaluation form will be used to assess the significance of the contributions made by individual team members.  These assessments will be taken into account when determining the final grade for the course.

Honor Code

The Georgia Tech Honor Code will be strictly enforced in this class.  It is each student’s responsibility to understand and abide by the Honor Code as it applies to each class activity.

The honor code addresses more than just test taking—it addresses what is expected for all submitted work.  In particular, if you use any source—book, magazine, web-page, prior course handouts, old student reports, etc—in preparing an assignment, you are obligated to cite the source.  Failure to do so is a violation of the honor code and will result, at a minimum, in a zero grade for the assignment.

In regard to exams, all work is to be done on an individual basis.  You may not discuss or exchange information on exam questions or answers with others either in or outside of this class.  Asking anyone other than the instructor to interpret an exam question, its response, or the material covered in the question is a violation of the Honor Code.  Changing your answer on graded exams is also disallowed.  You may form study groups in which to prepare prior to exams or classroom discussion.  Failure to adhere to any of these requirements constitutes a violation of the Honor Code; other situations are also at the discretion of the instructor.

To protect the honest majority, any cheating on any exam, big or small, will be penalized by an "F" in the course and the student will be referred to the Dean of Student Affairs for disciplinary action.

If there is any question as to whether an activity is or is not permissible (in this class) under the Honor Code, consult the instructor prior to undertaking the activity.  The Georgia Tech Honor Code is available at