Dynamical Systems Project




This is a group (3 people) assignment.

The goal of this project is to investigate real life mechanics events through video analysis. You will formulate your problem and questions about a mechanical system. You will provide the theory and analysis for a collection of videos related to your problem.

 For each application the groups should do the following:

  1. Pick a system of interest to your group. Get approval for your project from Dr. Herman.
  2. Model the system using the methods of the class and determine the solution, typically position as a function of time.
  3. Select, find or create appropriate videos.
  4. Analyze the videos using video analysis tools: http://www.cabrillo.edu/~dbrown/tracker/ or http://www.stchas.edu/faculty/gcarlson/physics/datapoint.htm.
  5. Write up a report according to the guidelines.

Possible Video Sources:

  • Analyze Existing Movies listed on the Materials Page

  • Capture Videos from DVD or VHS Movies

  • Do your own experiments and capture on video.

All work should be typed with double-spacing and 12 pt font. You will be expected to use correct English grammar and punctuation. You will be graded on the evidence of work, mathematical and physical detail and understanding, proper exposition and neatness. Your work should also be supported with properly labeled and embedded plots. Any references used should be cited as well. These reports will count towards the project component of your grade.


  • Nov 1 Let Dr. Herman know who is in the group and what problem you will work on.

  • Nov 8 Progress Report 1: Submit a synopsis of what your problem. Include title, the system and its modeling, and possible directions you plan to go with the research.

  • Nov 15 Progress Report 2: Submit a progress report indicating how far you have gone towards the goals provided in the last report.

  • Nov 29  Final Report: Submit completed final report.


E-Mail: Dr. Russell Herman Last Updated: October 30, 2007