Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2011

Research Funding Agency



The goal of the DEEP project is to revise the Mechanical Engineering (ME) undergraduate curriculum to make the discipline more able to attract and retain a diverse community of students. The project seeks to reduce and reorder the prerequisite structure linking courses to offer greater flexibility for students. This paper describes the methods used to study the prerequisites and the resulting proposed curriculum revision. The process involved dissecting each course into topics at roughly the level of a line in a syllabus, editing the list of topics, associating prerequisites and successors to each topic, and then using a genetic algorithm to produce clusters of topics. The new curriculum, which consists of 12 clusters each of which could be a full year course, is quite different from the traditional curriculum.