help me

bfollinprm
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Re: help me

Post by bfollinprm » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:55 pm

While the mathematicians just laugh at all of us....
Image

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grae313
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Re: help me

Post by grae313 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:05 pm

TheBeast wrote:On the flip side, the past couple of years, I have TA'ed undergrad physics majors in a lab course. While there have been a few exceptional students, I was somewhat disappointed by the average student performance in the class.
This may well be a problem of averages. As current, past, or prospective PhD students in physics, we are a self-selected bunch who are used to performing well in academics. We probably surrounded ourselves to some extent with similarly capable friends and were potentially ignorant of the deficiencies of the average student in the class. Most of my peers here complain about how dumb the students are in every single class they have to TA whether it's a class for engineers, pre-meds, or physics students, so either people were way smarter when those TAs were undergrads or they just didn't realize how much they stood above the rest of their class.

At any rate, I know plenty of graduate students and post docs here with engineering backgrounds and they are some of the smartest people I've ever met.

tady
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Re: help me

Post by tady » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:10 pm

bfollinprm wrote:While the mathematicians just laugh at all of us....
Image

Nice cartoon. Maths. That IS a difficult field.

michael
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Re: help me

Post by michael » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:29 pm

tady wrote: There is a reason why US engineering is considered the best in the world.
Really? I think this is the first time I have ever heard anyone say that! I would have thought that the general consensus would be that German or Japanese engineering was the best.

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grae313
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Re: help me

Post by grae313 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:51 pm

michael wrote:
tady wrote: There is a reason why US engineering is considered the best in the world.
Really? I think this is the first time I have ever heard anyone say that! I would have thought that the general consensus would be that German or Japanese engineering was the best.
Yeah I don't agree with that either (though I'm actually not an expert in international opinion, despite what I know you all think ;) ).

tady
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Re: help me

Post by tady » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:04 pm

I was talking in terms of productivity and engineering practice in general. I could be wrong, but I thought the US pioneered many relevant engineering technologies today. German engineering is probably on par with you guys as well (Siemens and auto manufacturing come to mind). Also, I'm convinced there are lots of classified technologies that the US govt has developed which other countries can't even begin to compete with.

Anyway, no numbers to back this up.
Last edited by tady on Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bfollinprm
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Re: help me

Post by bfollinprm » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:17 pm

tady wrote:
bfollinprm wrote:While the mathematicians just laugh at all of us....
Image

Nice cartoon. Maths. That IS a difficult field.
I just love how smug the physicist looks. And the octopus, and goatee-d psychologist.

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HappyQuark
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Re: help me

Post by HappyQuark » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:37 pm

michael wrote:
tady wrote: There is a reason why US engineering is considered the best in the world.
Really? I think this is the first time I have ever heard anyone say that! I would have thought that the general consensus would be that German or Japanese engineering was the best.
I think it really depends on what field within engineering we are talking about. In terms of Aerospace and aviation it seems that the general consensus is that the United States, at least currently, can't be touched by most other nations. However in the automotive industry, for example, the United States is a joke. In terms of architecture I've been told the Japanese are leading the charge in that field but I don't know nearly enough about it to say it with much confidence.

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HappyQuark
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Re: help me

Post by HappyQuark » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:38 pm

bfollinprm wrote:
tady wrote:
bfollinprm wrote:While the mathematicians just laugh at all of us....
Image

Nice cartoon. Maths. That IS a difficult field.
I just love how smug the physicist looks. And the octopus, and goatee-d psychologist.
One of my undergrad math professors had exactly the same square glasses and goatee look as the psychologist.

tady
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Re: help me

Post by tady » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:45 pm

HappyQuark wrote:
michael wrote:
tady wrote: There is a reason why US engineering is considered the best in the world.
Really? I think this is the first time I have ever heard anyone say that! I would have thought that the general consensus would be that German or Japanese engineering was the best.
I think it really depends on what field within engineering we are talking about. In terms of Aerospace and aviation it seems that the general consensus is that the United States, at least currently, can't be touched by most other nations. However in the automotive industry, for example, the United States is a joke. In terms of architecture I've been told the Japanese are leading the charge in that field but I don't know nearly enough about it to say it with much confidence.
Definitely. Also consider petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, as well as software engineering. I thought the US also developed the modern computer and home computer.

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quizivex
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Re: help me

Post by quizivex » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:20 pm

Haha that cartoon was hilarious... makes perfect sense! (except if the mathematician was supposed to be a female).

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grae313
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Re: help me

Post by grae313 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:21 pm

tady wrote:I thought the US also developed the modern computer and home computer.
Indeed. That was a long time ago though.

pqortic
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Re: help me

Post by pqortic » Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:46 pm

grae313 wrote:
tady wrote:I thought the US also developed the modern computer and home computer.
Indeed. That was a long time ago though.
In fact, U.S. is foremost in many technologies and also management, but one factor that made it to it's current state, is the multicultural nature of it. talented people from all over the world gathered and developed things.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: help me

Post by WhoaNonstop » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:38 pm

grae313 wrote:So now we just have to hope that the industry has measures in place to keep the dumb ones from building bridges.
Hilarious. I told my students this semester that I wanted them to understand physics as much as possible because I wanted to feel safe crossing bridges designed by them.
TheBeast wrote: As an undergrad, in a four year engineering program, semesters with 6 or 7 classes (many of which had lab components) were not uncommon.
I'm unfamiliar with engineering programs. That is a lot. Even if those courses were easier than physics courses, I still couldn't stand going to that many classes.

Of course, I realize that it differs from school to school. However, I took a materials science engineering graduate course this semester and it was much easier than any of my upper level undergraduate courses in physics. I was amazed at how poorly the other students understood the topics. But then again it's a "midwest" school! ;)

-Riley



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