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362 Syllabus

At the end of this course, students will have an increased understanding of how basic mechanical principles influence human motion in everyday life. Concepts that will be discussed during this course include force and torque (kinetics), linear and angular motion (kinematics), fluid mechanics, and mechanical characteristics of some biological tissue. I have designed the course so that I expect the average student to spend about six hours, outside of classroom time, to succeed.


Matthew Seeley, PhD, ATC

120E RB


phone: 801.422.4970

Instructor Hours:

M/W/F: 11:00--noon

If you cannot see me at these times, call or email me to make an appointment for another time.

Teaching Assistant:

Blake Ellis

295 SFH


phone: 801.680.8750

TA Hours:

M/W: 5:00--5:50 pm

Thurs: 11:00 am to 12:50 pm

Meeting Time and Location:

M/W/F 10-11am; 255 SFH


A textbook is not required to succeed in this class. If you are naturally uncomfortable with this kind of material (i.e., math, physics, basic musculoskeletal anatomy), you should consider purchasing the following textbook as supplementary material: Biomechanics of Sport and Exercise, by Peter M. McGinnis. This is an good text that explains basic biomechanical principles in a straight-forward fashion. Also, this text contains numerous practice problems that you might find useful in preparing for the exams. I do not have a preference toward the most recent edition (yet), so if you can save money by purchasing an older edition of the text, feel free to do so.

Class Website:

The class website can be accessed through my BYU biomechanics website: This website provides the learning outcomes (listed as learning objectives) for all concepts, outlines for some concepts, and links to other relevant information. This will be an important source of information throughout the semester.

General Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this class, students are expected to have developed (1) a better understanding of how mechanical principles influence human motion during everyday life, (2) an increased ability to read and write, and (3) an increased ability and desire for lifelong learning. Specific learning outcomes that are related to each course section are located at the top of each concept website.

Course Requirements:

During this course you will be required to complete 9 small assignments that each correspond to different reading assignments and classroom material (see schedule and the assignments tab on, four midterm exams, one group project/presentation, and one final exam. Related to your final grade, each of these requirements are weighted differently (see the Assessment Breakdown below). The course requirements are described in more detail below. Except under extraordinary circumstances (life-threatening illnesses, car crashes, etc.), I do not accept late work.


Throughout the semester, you will be required to complete 9 small assignments (see schedule and the assignments tab on Each of these assignments will count for 2% of your final grade. It is my intent that these assignments will evaluate your understanding of the reading assignments and corresponding classroom concepts, as well as your ability to organize and articulate ideas in a written format. Each assignment will be turned in electronically, via the BYU Learning Suite ( The due date for each assignment is provided on the class schedule at BYU Learning Suite.


You will be assigned to work in a small group and measure some biomechanical characteristics of a human movement of your choice. You will then work with your group to prepare and deliver a presentation to the rest of the class. More details concerning this assignment on given within this document. I recommend Kinovea software to perform the motion analyses required for this project.

EXAMS: Four midterm exams and one comprehensive final exam will be given. Each exam will consist of free response questions. The midterm exams will be administered in the testing center. The final exam will be administered in our classroom on the date provided in the class schedule. You must take the final at the scheduled time.

Assessment Breakdown
8 Small Assignments18%
Group Presentation10%
4 Small Exams40%
1 Final Exam32%

Grade Ranges


Other than on the final exam day, I do not require or record attendance, however, I sincerely hope that you will attend class regularly, and find that class time is worthwhile and interesting. Generally, students who attend class regularly understand the material better and more fully appreciate the significant role that the laws of mechanics play in our everyday lives. Not surprisingly, students who regularly attend class and participate in class usually earn better grades. When you come to class, bring a calculator with you, as we will be performing some practice problems in class.

Academic Honesty:

The first injunction of the BYU Honor Code is the call to “be honest.” Students come to the university not only to improve their minds, gain knowledge, and develop skills that will assist them in their life’s work, but also to build character. President David O. McKay taught that “character is the highest aim of education” (The Aims of a BYU Education, p. 6). It is the purpose of the BYU Academic Honesty Policy to assist in fulfilling that aim. BYU students should seek to be totally honest in their dealings with others. They should complete their own work and be evaluated based upon that work. They should avoid academic dishonesty and misconduct in all its forms, including but not limited to plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, cheating, and other academic misconduct.

Preventing Sexual Harassment:

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an educational program or activity that receives federal funds. The act is intended to eliminate sex discrimination in education. Title IX covers discrimination in programs, admissions, activities, and student-to-student sexual harassment. BYU’s policy against sexual harassment extends not only to employees of the university, but to students as well. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender based discrimination, please talk to your professor, or contact the BYU Title IX Office at 801-422-8692.

Students with Disabilities:

Brigham Young University is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere, which reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the University Accessibility Center (UAC) Office (422-2767). Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified, documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the UAC Office. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures. You should contact the Equal Employment Office at 422-5895, D-285 ASB.


A classroom is similar to the workplace. In the workplace, it is illegal to discriminate based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or age. Furthermore, we believe Christ would never belittle anyone based on their race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or age. Therefore, we feel strongly that no one in a classroom should be belittled for any reason. If you experience such an offense in any class in this Department (caused either by the instructor or a fellow student), we strongly encourage you to contact the Department Chair.

Dress and Grooming:

“The dress and grooming of both men and women should always be modest, neat, and clean consistent with the dignity adherent to representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and any of its institutions of higher education.” Students understand and have committed to obey this policy, thus instructors or other students should never be placed in the uncomfortable situation of having to remind someone of adhering to the sacred honor they have pledged.

Use of Technology in the Classroom:

Technology is an essential part of today’s learning environment. However, technology, when used inappropriately, can also hinder learning. Most students have, at some point, sat next to students who use their laptop or phone inappropriately. Unfortunately, other people who are sitting around such students are often distracted by this behavior and classroom learning decreases. Please respect your fellow students and professors and refrain from distractive behavior.

Course Syllabi