MatSE 404ELA: Modeling Elasticity

Spring 2020


TR 2:00–5:00pm in L440 Digital Computer Laboratory

Meets Jan. 21–Mar. 12 (first half of semester)

Course content



Students will be able to

  1. apply modeling tools to predict elastic behavior of new materials;
  2. determine proper parameters for a simulation;
  3. determine if a simulation result is reliable based on the underlying physical principles in the simulation;
  4. systematically analyze data to extract meaningful materials quantities;
  5. interconnect materials modeling tools to cover appropriate length scales efficiently;
  6. use a command line with shell scripting to automate computational tasks.

Prerequisites: Senior standing in MatSE


Michael R. Fellinger (; 312A MSEB).

Teaching approach: Hands-on project-based learning

An "active learning" approach where we focus on the course objectives: applying modeling tools to predict elastic behavior of new materials, determine if a simulation is reliable, and use a systematic approach to computation. You will:

We will apply this to predicting the elastic moduli of a metal matrix composite including the effect of size, shape, and elastic anisotropy of the reinforcement in the spirit of integrated computational materials engineering (ICME).



For each topic, you will turn in projects along with a final project that integrates your work to study a metal-matrix composite.

Project uploading



Letter grades: A (>90), B (>80), C (>70), D (>60).

Academic Integrity, Harassment, and Discrimination

You are bound by the University Honor Code in this course. Any violation of the Honor Code will result in disciplinary action.

Students are responsible for producing their own quiz answers and project reports. Collaborative interaction in small groups is encouraged, but each student must perform all calculations themselves, and write their own reports. Plagiarism will not be tolerated, and verified incidents will result in all parties receiving a zero and formal academic sanctions. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the definition of and penalties for plagiarism in Section I-401 of the UIUC Student Code. Note that plagiarism includes "copying another student’s paper or working with another person when both submit similar papers without authorization to satisfy an individual assignment."

Harassment or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. Please report any concerns immediately to your instructor.

Changes to syllabus

May occur as deemed necessary by the instructor; they will be announced and the updated syllabus posted on the course website.


Tuesday Thursday notes
Jan 21 Jan 23 Introduction / bash: Project 1 / PDF
Jan 28 Jan 30 Quantum Espresso theory + practice
Feb 04 Feb 06 Quantum Espresso walkthrough/PDF + Project 2 / PDF
Feb 11 Feb 13 project / OOF2 theory
Feb 18 Feb 20 OOF2 practice + walkthrough/PDF + Project 3 / PDF
Feb 25 Feb 27 project
Mar 03 Mar 05 project
Mar 10 Mar 12 Final project / PDF

Quiz dates in bold: Jan. 30, Feb. 13, Mar. 3

Online reading

You may want to use the following references throughout the course:

Accessing library resources

The Univ. Illinois library has access to a huge variety of electronic resources; this plus additional online resources will be our references. Many can be accessed from the library's website, or via the campus VPN. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the library proxy. This is done by appending to the web address; when reloaded, you will be asked for Univ. Illinois authentication, and then will be able to access the resource as if you were on campus. In general, this authentication is required only once per session. So, the website

would become

Alternatively, install the Proxy Bookmarklet which makes it extremely easy to use the proxy. I highly recommend this method.