Aerospace Engineering 6210
Advanced Dynamics I

School of Aerospace Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology

Prof. Dewey H. Hodges
Office: SST Building, 200-C; Phone: 4-8201

Location: Guggenheim 246

Time: MWF 12:20 – 1:10 p.m.

Required Texts and Optional Software:

The book Dynamics: Theory and Application of Kane’s Method by Roithmayr and Hodges

Students: Please purchase the 2-year Advanced Student version for the discounted price of $41 at this page: 

Please download, install, and follow the Get-Started directions at:

Purpose: The main purpose of this course is to equip students with the knowledge and the capabilities they need in order to derive equations of motion for dynamical systems. Although the content of the course is limited to rigid-body kinematics and dynamics, the principles can be adapted for application to more complicated problems, including those with continuous members.

Conduct: The lectures will cover theory and will include illustrative examples. Grades are based on in-class examinations and out-of-class solution of approximately 90 problems. Each problem has been designed with a purpose in mind, and the students should endeavor not only to obtain solutions but also to ascertain the point of each problem in relation to the material that has been presented up until that time. The homework assignments will be collected periodically and, among them, certain problems will be graded; exactly which problems will be graded will not be announced until the problems are collected. At the end of the semester, students may choose to turn in a complete and corrected set of all assigned problems which can serve to improve their grades (see next paragraph for more detail). My office hours are Tuesdays, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., and Thursdays, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m..

  • Late work will not be accepted unless you have a bona fide excuse (illness certified by doctor’s note, death in immediate family).
  • Homework papers must use the same notation used in this course.
  • Homework must be neat and professional in appearance. Messy homework papers will not be graded. No cross outs of any kind may appear anywhere.
  • Use a straightedge to draw all lines and diagrams.
  • Use only good quality paper. Paper torn from a notebook may not be used.
  • Explain what you are doing at each step. Credit is given mainly for the method, not the answer.
  • Put a box around your final answer to help the grader.
  • Write on only the front side of each sheet of paper on all homework papers.
  • Staple pages together; “dog-ears” and paperclips will not be accepted.
  • Print your name at the upper right corner of the first sheet of paper.
  • Only conceptual collaboration is allowed. This means that you may discuss problems with another student. However, all substantive work — such as calculations, derivations, and all written work — must be your own.
  • Very similar homework solutions will be viewed as plagiarism and may be submitted as Honor Code violations.
  • Use of solutions from prior semesters or any other source (such as solution manuals and web resources) is definitely not allowed and will be treated as a breach of the Honor Code.

Grading Percentages: Two tests will be given during the semester, and there will also be a final exam, counting 20%, 20%, and 40%, respectively. There is the possibility of unannounced quizzes which, if given, plus the graded problems of the problem sets assigned during the semester, will account for 20% of the grade. A complete, corrected set of problems turned in at the final exam can add as much as 3% to the grade. This addition of 3% is only appropriate for someone on the borderline between two grades. In this complete set of problems all graded problems must be corrected in light of any marks or classroom solutions. Also, all previously missing problems must be added to the set. No partial credit will be considered for these added points; it’s all or nothing. 

  • Test papers must use the notation used in the course.
  • Explain what you are doing at each step, because credit is given mainly for the method, not the answer.
  • Put a box around your final answer to help me grade your work.
  • Write only on the front side of each sheet you turn in with a test.
  • If you continue to write once time is called, you could be charged with a violation of the Honor Code.
  • If you attempt to turn the test in after I walk out, you could be charged with a violation of the Honor Code. 

MotionGenesis Kane 5.x: This is a symbol manipulating computer program that “knows” dynamics. Although all the problems of the text can be worked by hand, some of them can be worked more efficiently by using this program. It will be important for students to ascertain how to work problems both ways, because use of the software is not be permitted on the in-class tests. It is recommended that assigned problems be worked first by hand and then followed up with a computer solution, especially early in the course. Students should view the software as an extension of their problem-solving abilities, not a replacement.

Handouts: From time to time there will be handouts given in class via email or on Canvas. To date, we have: 


Illustrative example for vector derivatives

Old Test (quiz 1)

Rigid-Body Contribution to the Generalized Active Force

Example 5.5

Tricycle (illustrating motion constraints)

This information was updated 2/10/2019.