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'[EE] practical course about electronics'
2007\03\20@130443 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
Hi,

I would be glad to hear your opinion about one of my pending projects.
I'm writting a practical course about electronics. Practical meaning
with minimum
math and formulas, covering mostly the aspects which many of you know
only from real life and every day practice. Practical meaning a bag
attached to the CD with all the components described inside, so the
reader could see them with own eyes and design with those parts his
own application or some experiments described in the course.
For example the chapter about transistors is covering everything from
old germanium bipolar transistors to MOS-FET, giving to the reader a
complete image about transistor's evolution since 1928 when the first
patent was registered  till today. Also it's teaching the reader about
how to read corectly a datasheet.
The writting level will be medium (but this means more than usuall
books about electronics you can see on Amazon, I'm talking about those
which are starting with pictures with drilling machine or soldering
irons), giving the possibility for someone not very experienced ( but
tenacious) to catch the microbe of electronics.

I'm interested if such course will be interesting for english readers too...
I want to hear mostly about the students or high school pupils
experience, those which are playing with PICs without knowing exactly
how a transistor really work.
I hope there are such listeners on the list, despite the answering
efforts of old piclisters.

thx,
Vasile

2007\03\20@135439 by wouter van ooijen

face picon face
> I'm interested if such course will be interesting for english
> readers too... I want to hear mostly about the students or
> high school pupils experience, those which are playing with
> PICs without knowing exactly how a transistor really work. I
> hope there are such listeners on the list, despite the

I think this could be interesting to a wide audience, but I am not sure
much of that audience is on the piclist.

A problem with a part of that audience might be that they don't
understand enough English yet...

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



2007\03\20@140752 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face

{Quote hidden}

I'd be interested in seeing what you come up with. I teach some
electronics technology classes at night at a community college
(http://www.hallikainen.org/cuesta) and am always looking for new ideas.
Doing stuff without math (or much math) will be a challenge. I think you
pretty much need algebra and trig to do much useful, but I could be wrong!

Harold


--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\03\20@141530 by alan smith

picon face
This would have been something perfect for Radio Shack in the olden days.  I wonder if Jameco would be an outlet for this, rather than Amazon?  I guess I always look at the marketing side of things.  From a publishing point of view, I imagine you will be self publishing this then.....
 
 There was that one guy lurking on this list some time ago that was from a publisher, gathering comments and ideas about a book.  Wonder what ever happened to him?

Vasile Surducan <spam_OUTpiclist9TakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
 Hi,

I would be glad to hear your opinion about one of my pending projects.
I'm writting a practical course about electronics. Practical meaning
with minimum
math and formulas, covering mostly the aspects which many of you know
only from real life and every day practice. Practical meaning a bag
attached to the CD with all the components described inside, so the
reader could see them with own eyes and design with those parts his
own application or some experiments described in the course.
For example the chapter about transistors is covering everything from
old germanium bipolar transistors to MOS-FET, giving to the reader a
complete image about transistor's evolution since 1928 when the first
patent was registered till today. Also it's teaching the reader about
how to read corectly a datasheet.
The writting level will be medium (but this means more than usuall
books about electronics you can see on Amazon, I'm talking about those
which are starting with pictures with drilling machine or soldering
irons), giving the possibility for someone not very experienced ( but
tenacious) to catch the microbe of electronics.

I'm interested if such course will be interesting for english readers too...
I want to hear mostly about the students or high school pupils
experience, those which are playing with PICs without knowing exactly
how a transistor really work.
I hope there are such listeners on the list, despite the answering
efforts of old piclisters.

thx,
Vasile

2007\03\20@150433 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 3/20/07, Harold Hallikainen <.....haroldKILLspamspam@spam@hallikainen.org> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Harold,

Unfortunately I had some experience with night classes too...
Fortunately those clases have a few people with reasonable or even
high practical level (I'm calling those people "two right hand"
auditors) so the practical activities (called here laboratory classes)
where solved with less struggle than for the common day classes where
most of the students where "two left hands".
Imagine the students using a standard protoboard (not solderless!)
soldering the components and then measuring the results. It was a
successful activity which takes often only two-three hours of class
per project.
But all where very tired after that (including myself).
Most of the electronic courses are using too much math and loose the
real phenomena explanation. You don't need the hybrid equations or the
impedance equations to explain how a transistor works. Even the Ebers
Moll model could be simplified if your goal is to "make" a practical
engineer from a student and not a poet. I mean one which is able to
use any transistor in the right way, without dreaming equations all
the time...

Vasile

2007\03\20@150436 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 3/20/07, Harold Hallikainen <haroldspamKILLspamhallikainen.org> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Harold,

Unfortunately I had some experience with night classes too...
Fortunately those clases have a few people with reasonable or even
high practical level (I'm calling those people "two right hand"
auditors) so the practical activities (called here laboratory classes)
where solved with less struggle than for the common day classes where
most of the students where "two left hands".
Imagine the students using a standard protoboard (not solderless!)
soldering the components and then measuring the results. It was a
successful activity which takes often only two-three hours of class
per project.
But all where very tired after that (including myself).
Most of the electronic courses are using too much math and loose the
real phenomena explanation. You don't need the hybrid equations or the
impedance equations to explain how a transistor works. Even the Ebers
Moll model could be simplified if your goal is to "make" a practical
engineer from a student and not a poet. I mean one which is able to
use any transistor in the right way, without dreaming equations all
the time...

Vasile

2007\03\20@152631 by Jake Vickers

flavicon
face
Vasile Surducan wrote:
> I'm interested if such course will be interesting for english readers too...
> I want to hear mostly about the students or high school pupils
> experience, those which are playing with PICs without knowing exactly
> how a transistor really work.
> I hope there are such listeners on the list, despite the answering
> efforts of old piclisters.
>
>  
I know a few people that this may benefit. I probably would have begged
my parents into submission to have gotten something similar when I was
younger.
I think it would be a great idea to be put in English. Depending on
price I may even want one just to see how it's all put together.

2007\03\21@005758 by Hector Martin

flavicon
face
Vasile Surducan wrote:
> Most of the electronic courses are using too much math and loose the
> real phenomena explanation.
Precisely that is happening in my Physics class. We're in the
electronics chapter, and the teacher (who is quite a genius, but a
horrible teacher) seems to think that to understand and use a capacitor
we need to know and be able to use Maxwell's equations, in differential
form. Oh, we all failed the first exam, which barely dealt with such
things as resistors in series and discharging capacitors, but did it in
such a convoluted way that none of us could understand it. Meanwhile,
I'm back home designing microcontrolled monitoring systems and the like,
while we haven't even mentioned transistors in class.

At least I managed to get a deal out of him. If I manage to build a
programmable computer out of 74xx logic that can at least compute a
square and a cube root (in software), I automatically get a 100% on the
next (and probably last) exam. Shouldn't be that hard :)


--
Hector Martin (.....hectorKILLspamspam.....marcansoft.com)
Public Key: http://www.marcansoft.com/marcan.asc

2007\03\21@013626 by Rich

picon face
Just wait until you have a critical design for some scientific instrument or
demanding application and you need to understand the theoretical aspects of
capacitance or resistance, then, you will be very happy to be familiar with
the math.  Or suppose you become employed as a research engineer, do you
think you will need to understand the math?  Find an opportunity to review
some of the articles in the IEEE Journal.  Can you even understand the
articles without at least Ordinary Differential Equations, or knowing what
Curl, grad or Div means? Try reviewing some of the professional journals and
then you will appreciate your teacher.
{Original Message removed}

2007\03\21@014105 by Rich

picon face
Some time ago there was a posting, perhaps by Russell, I am not sure, of a
computer built out of relays.
{Original Message removed}

2007\03\21@195719 by Hector Martin

flavicon
face
Rich wrote:
> Just wait until you have a critical design for some scientific instrument or
> demanding application and you need to understand the theoretical aspects of
> capacitance or resistance, then, you will be very happy to be familiar with
> the math.  Or suppose you become employed as a research engineer, do you
> think you will need to understand the math?  Find an opportunity to review
> some of the articles in the IEEE Journal.  Can you even understand the
> articles without at least Ordinary Differential Equations, or knowing what
> Curl, grad or Div means? Try reviewing some of the professional journals and
> then you will appreciate your teacher.
Oh, I know I will *eventually* need to learn it. The problem here is the
class has a prerequisite of Calculus I and a co-requisite of Calculus II
(both of which I have completed beforehand), yet the teacher tries to
use precisely that: ODE, Div, Grad, Curl, etc. Even the students who are
taking ODE and have taken Calculus III are failing the tests.

This is not a problem of learning the theory, the problem here is the
teacher 1) is trying to teach subjects that are way above our heads at
this point, and 2) is horrible at teaching. This same teacher has been
fired several times from other colleges, and has not been accepted at a
bunch of others. Not only does this teacher try to use higher level math
that we haven't taken yet (his excuse: math teachers are morons, I can
teach you div, grad, and curl in one day, and math teachers take half a
semester), but he can't even explain the final simple equations (you
know, how after a chalkboard full of calculus, he arrives at V=IR).
There was one student who couldn't grasp the concept that these two
circuits are equivalent (and it wasn't his fault):

+----(^)----+
|           | (^) = light bulb
+-(^)-+-(^)-|
|\___/      |
|       |   |
+-----| |---+
        |

+----(^)----+
|           |
+-(^)-+-(^)-|
|    /      |
|   |   |   |
+---+-| |---+
        |

On a related note, this teacher is also extremely lazy. We had our first
exam *after* the withdraw date, it was delayed twice and class was then
canceled *the day of the exam*. We spent dozens of hours trying to
study, yet we all failed (the highest grade was something around a 55%).
He also doesn't grade anything else - we all got 100%s on all homework
and labs, but not because we had it right (we wish!), but because he
just never actually graded it. He postponed the exam twice with the
excuse that he didn't have our homework ready, and when he finally
"graded" it, it was worthless.

</rant>

--
Hector Martin (EraseMEhectorspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmarcansoft.com)
Public Key: http://www.marcansoft.com/marcan.asc

2007\03\21@201543 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> On a related note, this teacher is also extremely lazy. We had our first
> exam *after* the withdraw date, it was delayed twice and class was then
> canceled *the day of the exam*. We spent dozens of hours trying to
> study, yet we all failed (the highest grade was something around a 55%).
> He also doesn't grade anything else - we all got 100%s on all homework
> and labs, but not because we had it right (we wish!), but because he
> just never actually graded it. He postponed the exam twice with the
> excuse that he didn't have our homework ready, and when he finally
> "graded" it, it was worthless.


Sounds familiar.. I had an instructor like this for mathematical analysis.
Several of us students got together, went to the department head, and got
him fired.

2007\03\21@211056 by Rich

picon face
It is a sad thing when a teacher DOES NOT TEACH.  I once had a math teacher
(for Ordinary Differential Equations).  He did not speak a word of English
and all he did was to come to class and write on the board.  We students had
to get together and figure out what he was doing.  I finally had to take
three days off from school because although I knew how to solve certain
problems I did not know why.  Finally after discovering why the procedure
worked I returned to school with a lot of catching up to do.
{Original Message removed}

2007\03\21@211427 by Rich

picon face
I see.  I had misunderstood.  That is an unfair situation.  I thought it was
a complaint against learning the advanced theory.  It is unfortunate when we
are compelled to structure our own learning of very abstract concepts
because it slows us down and steals time from other subjects.


{Original Message removed}

2007\03\21@215338 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2007-03-21 at 19:57 -0400, Hector Martin wrote:
> On a related note, this teacher is also extremely lazy. We had our first
> exam *after* the withdraw date, it was delayed twice and class was then
> canceled *the day of the exam*. We spent dozens of hours trying to
> study, yet we all failed (the highest grade was something around a 55%).

Not going to comment on the other stuff (went through my share of good
and bad profs), however, just because the highest grade was 55% means
NOTHING. One of the BEST profs I had gave us an exam where the highest
mark was 57% (I didn't get the highest, but I did at least pass). Oh,
and all the students agreed this prof was great, so it wasn't just me.

With many schools, in the end the actual mark you get doesn't matter
much, just keep track of how you're doing relative to your fellow
students.

In the end marks are shifted so that the class average is some
"acceptable" number, shifting everyone's marks accordingly. At the
school I went to there were SEVERAL courses where the final mark I got
was only possible if I had gotten MORE then 100% on the final exam (in
one course the final mark I got meant I got almost 160% on the final
exam...).

During my university years I liked one saying (which is derived from a
line from a sci-fi series someone hear MIGHT recognize): we live by the
bell (curve), we die by the bell. :)

TTYL

2007\03\21@223737 by Nate Duehr

face
flavicon
face
On 3/21/07, Herbert Graf <mailinglist3spamspam_OUTfarcite.net> wrote:
> With many schools, in the end the actual mark you get doesn't matter
> much, just keep track of how you're doing relative to your fellow
> students.

Life?

:-)  (ducking...)

Nate

2007\03\21@225839 by Dr Skip

picon face
HA! I took Fields and Waves from a prof who was fresh to the US and
didn't speak much (any as far as we could tell) English... ;)

Stick with it. It's a glorious day when you can sit down with someone
and start from scratch and do the calculus et al and derive what you
need. Knowing and understanding the end result can be a big benefit, so
use it to work backwards too, until it starts to come to you.

-Skip

2007\03\21@232345 by John Chung

picon face
Sigh. When the subject is diff. as it is we have to
worry about the teacher too.....

John


--- Rich <@spam@rgrazia1KILLspamspamrochester.rr.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2007\03\21@232936 by John Chung

picon face
I have experienced quite a few bad syllabus. The mere
fact that one becomes better with MORE work in maths
never caught on to me. Dislike it and hated it. If the
teacher was MORE knowledgable he would perhaps taught
in the line of Calculus Made Easy*Silvanus P.
Thompson* which MAKES my life a whole lot easier! Many
times the maths that were taught did not have links
back to the basis of the work. If there was a basis, I
truly believe we would have understood more in class
rather than merely remembering our syllabus.

John


--- Dr Skip <KILLspamdrskipKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2007\03\22@021830 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
Rich, you have right but he has damn right too !
:)
For an engineer any exceptional IEEE article is good as long it has a minimal
decency and is usefull for something. Some of them are based on pure
simulations and written just for the need of justify an activity (and
advance on the proffesional scale).

I remember the beginning of my school days when the teacher poison us
with laplace transform or FFT. I have never understood what the hell
was that untill I didn't touch the first time a spectrum analyzer and
that was in the last school year. Till then I have learned tons of
silly problems with signal analyses which looks like houses, triangles
or spikes without understanding what will be good foor.

Rich, there are thousens of engineers on this world, how many of them
do you estimate they read such kind of IEEE articles ?


greetings,
Vasile

On 3/21/07, Rich <RemoveMErgrazia1TakeThisOuTspamrochester.rr.com> wrote:
> Just wait until you have a critical design for some scientific instrument or
> demanding application and you need to understand the theoretical aspects of
> capacitance or resistance, then, you will be very happy to be familiar with
> the math.  Or suppose you become employed as a research engineer, do you
> think you will need to understand the math?  Find an opportunity to review
> some of the articles in the IEEE Journal.  Can you even understand the
> articles without at least Ordinary Differential Equations, or knowing what
> Curl, grad or Div means? Try reviewing some of the professional journals and
> then you will appreciate your teacher.
> {Original Message removed}

2007\03\22@085839 by Dr Skip

picon face
I think the problem comes from two sources:
1) There's a fear on the part of the prof that for many, whatever theory
and math he/she is teaching may be the only exposure you'll ever get in
that particular topic, but there's plenty of 'real life' work you'll do,
so with limited time they just cram as much of the math rigor as
possible into the time allotted. That's the noble reason.

2) They had to do it the hard way, so you will too. That's probably the
more common reason ;)  From bricklayer to plumber to EE PhD, there are
still rights of passage to getting the coveted credentials...

However, the most effective way would be to show enthusiasm, teach the
theory and math, then immediately follow with a hands on example. That's
very tough on the teacher though. In an ideal class, the students would
then return enthusiasm, accept the math even though they may not feel a
need for it, and appreciate the effort. I've found, from High School to
College, that if there's such a mix of content, there is a large
contingent of students who want to dispense with the theory and just go
to the 'practical'. The current 'system' of separating practical labs
from math and theory classes has probably evolved into an equilibrium of
these various wants. I've found that while it can be difficult, those
that pass through it, and who are forced to combine the two sides on
their own, retain an appreciation for the value of each.

The young guy says "I don't need all that! Teach me what I'll need to
get a job." While the old guy says "I can tell you from experience how
it works, but I wish I knew WHY it works that way".

I'm having trouble articulating it, but there may also be a creative
benefit from the way it's done. If taught C follows B follows A in a
neat format, it's more likely to be taken as fact, and perhaps
self-contained. If taught A, then later taught B, it leaves cognitive
room to consider other outcomes and inventions beyond just C, (D
perhaps) since it wasn't handed to you in a neat little package at once.
Trade schools teach the former, but universities the latter. Just a
thought out lout...

And if all other reasons fail, "that which doesn't kill you makes you
stronger"... It holds for ODE, Fields, Waves, Mathematical Physics, etc ;)

-Skip


Vasile Surducan wrote:
> I remember the beginning of my school days when the teacher poison us
> with laplace transform or FFT. I have never understood what the hell
> was that untill I didn't touch the first time a spectrum analyzer and
> that was in the last school year. Till then I have learned tons of
> silly problems with signal analyses which looks like houses, triangles
> or spikes without understanding what will be good foor.
>  
>

2007\03\22@093154 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>1) There's a fear on the part of the prof that for many, whatever
>theory and math he/she is teaching may be the only exposure you'll
>ever get in that particular topic, but there's plenty of 'real life'
>work you'll do, so with limited time they just cram as much of the
>math rigor as possible into the time allotted. That's the noble reason.

Possibly. But if that really is the case, then the course is rather badly
constructed in the way the units are allocated, or selected, against the end
degree.

>2) They had to do it the hard way, so you will too. That's probably
>the more common reason ;)  From bricklayer to plumber to EE PhD, there
>are still rights of passage to getting the coveted credentials...

Maybe, but they could also have done the learning, been out in the world,
and found they needed that math ...

3) They could just be excellent at the subject, and cannot understand why
these dumb students cannot understand what is being taught. Having been
through a level 2 math course last year, with the aim of working towards a
BEng, it was evident that all the lecturers knew the subject every which
way, but some could explain it better than others. In some cases I found the
course materials very confusing, yet other parts of it were excellent at
explaining the concepts. At least I now have a concept of what div, curl and
grad are, even if I don't use them. It at least gives me a starting point on
understanding what some math whiz at work may come out with, so I can see
that it isn't a dose of rubbish, and I'm not being led up the garden path
with a new version of cold fusion ...

2007\03\22@095241 by Peter Bindels

picon face
On 20/03/07, Vasile Surducan <spamBeGonepiclist9spamBeGonespamgmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I would be glad to hear your opinion about one of my pending projects.
> I'm writting a practical course about electronics.

<snip>

> I'm interested if such course will be interesting for english readers too...
> I want to hear mostly about the students or high school pupils
> experience, those which are playing with PICs without knowing exactly
> how a transistor really work.
> I hope there are such listeners on the list, despite the answering
> efforts of old piclisters.

I'm a student/person working for fulltime for just over a year after
graduating from HBO (dutch practical university). I didn't do EE, but
if you'll bring out the book in english for <= 150 euros with a decent
bag of electronics & a breadboard + psu, I'll buy one without looking
back.

I think the idea should be pretty powerful - about the same way
children learn how to build a house. You give them bricks & convince
them it's harmless to play with, they stack them in a dozen ways which
all fail, you show them some ways to make it work and they experiment
to figure out more ways to get it working better. Then you give them
theory, and they'll be able to explain why it works.

Give people water and then biscuits. Don't just give biscuits - it
doesn't go down easily.

2007\03\22@121007 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 22, 2007, at 6:31 AM, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> But if that really is the case, then the course is rather badly
> constructed in the way the units are allocated, or selected,
> against the end degree.
>
It does seem that for a typical "hard science or engineering" program,
a school has to carefully coordinate their math and physics classes.
I vaguely remember a heady time when my physics, math, and ee classes
were all pretty much well-aligned, but that required being a semester
or so ahead in math (due to AP class), AND having the
physics/engineering
classes teach some math.  (yeah, this was all curl/grad/div and
matrices and Maxwell and such.)

On the dim side, most of that got "simplified" into phasors and smith
charts and stuff in the advanced EE classes, and those particular bits
of math and physics have been among the LEAST used bits of my college
education since graduation (but then, I went into software instead of
one of the hard EE fields...)

BillW

2007\03\22@212955 by Rich

picon face
Thank you, Vasile. I did not intend to sound as admonishing.  I belong to
IEEE and have for some time.  And yes, you are absolutely correct, much of
what is presented is a bit esoteric.  I had earlier misunderstood the
complaint.  But still I meant helpful advice and not a caustic admonition.
Later it was explained to me and I then understood.  But I hope I did not
offend anyone because that is not my nature.  I am so pleased that you were
thoughtful enough to mention it to me.
Regards
Rich


{Original Message removed}

2007\03\23@014134 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
Very good point and totally agree with it.
I'm surrounded by ph doctors, most of them being ably to explain why.
>From them, very few are able to go down in the real world from their
simulation and doctoral articles...
If do you think someone is able to write a course about practical
electronics without having solid theoretical background (your phrase
with WHY) you deeply wrong.

so, we are agree.
:)

Vasile

On 3/22/07, Dr Skip <TakeThisOuTdrskipEraseMEspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\03\23@014516 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
Rich, come on! It was no offended, I'm agree with you.
Unfortunately I have a limited english vocabulary, so my thoughts are "straight
foerward" and someone my answers sounds rush.

Vasile

On 3/23/07, Rich <RemoveMErgrazia1spamTakeThisOuTrochester.rr.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2007\03\23@040825 by Hector Martin

flavicon
face
David VanHorn wrote:
> Sounds familiar.. I had an instructor like this for mathematical analysis.
> Several of us students got together, went to the department head, and got
> him fired.

Unfortunately for us, he's friends with this particular teacher. We'll
all get decent grades anyway, since he gives out loads of extra credit
to make up for it (it would be way too obvious if students actually
failed, wouldn't it?), it's just extremely frustrating.


--
Hector Martin (hectorEraseMEspam.....marcansoft.com)
Public Key: http://www.marcansoft.com/marcan.asc

2007\03\23@041713 by Hector Martin

flavicon
face
Herbert Graf wrote:
> Not going to comment on the other stuff (went through my share of good
> and bad profs), however, just because the highest grade was 55% means
> NOTHING. One of the BEST profs I had gave us an exam where the highest
> mark was 57% (I didn't get the highest, but I did at least pass). Oh,
> and all the students agreed this prof was great, so it wasn't just me.
Well, all of my fellow student friends agree that this is a horrible
profesor (extremely smart - yes, but he can't forward the information on
to others effectively), so it isn't just me either :)

> With many schools, in the end the actual mark you get doesn't matter
> much, just keep track of how you're doing relative to your fellow
> students.
>
> In the end marks are shifted so that the class average is some
> "acceptable" number, shifting everyone's marks accordingly. At the
> school I went to there were SEVERAL courses where the final mark I got
> was only possible if I had gotten MORE then 100% on the final exam (in
> one course the final mark I got meant I got almost 160% on the final
> exam...).
Oh, I know we'll all get decent grades on this class. This particular
teacher gives out a lot of extra credit (sometime shard, sometimes
trivial), which should make up for it. The problem is not the final
grade (hopefully), it's the frustration caused by the class.

--
Hector Martin (EraseMEhectorspammarcansoft.com)
Public Key: http://www.marcansoft.com/marcan.asc

2007\03\23@105615 by David VanHorn

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>
> Unfortunately for us, he's friends with this particular teacher. We'll
> all get decent grades anyway, since he gives out loads of extra credit
> to make up for it (it would be way too obvious if students actually
> failed, wouldn't it?), it's just extremely frustrating.


There's nothing wrong with high standards, actually I like it that way, but
when the instructor marks you wrong for perfectly valid approaches "because
I don't like that way", then something's wrong.  Believe me, this guy was an
ass at many levels.  We found out later that he'd been sent to our college
from UH because he was doing the same thing there..  :-P

2007\03\23@111115 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 23, 2007, at 1:17 AM, Hector Martin wrote:

> In the end marks are shifted so that the class average is some
> "acceptable" number, shifting everyone's marks accordingly.

Yeah.  Grading "on the curve"; hit the average grade and you get
a C (or somewhat higher for "advanced" classes), even if that's
only 50%.  Standard procedure for most college/universities, but
quite a shock to all the "smart" people used to getting 90% without
having to exert much effort.  And as you say, it can be frustrating
if the low grades are because the teacher isn't getting the material
across (at my U, it tended to be more due to material on exams that
was never covered in class, or just exams that were too long to do
in the time allotted.)  In any case, a class where everyone gets 80%+
all the time just isn't hard enough to weed out the pre-meds that
shouldn't be there (which is, perhaps sadly, sometimes one of the
goals of intro-level science classes in university.)

(this doesn't mean that your teacher is better than you think, it
just means that you can't necessarily tell from the exam grades.)

BillW

2007\03\23@115626 by Rich

picon face
Vasile, you are one of my favorite people on this list.  You are truly  a
very good engineer.  I have great respect for you and I always welcome your
comments.  But I always try to be kind also and sometimes I just want to
make sure :-)

{Original Message removed}

2007\03\23@120119 by Rich

picon face
Believe me, Vasile.  Your English is pretty good.  You are usually to the
point, but I think that is a good thing. You make an excellent contribution
to the list and I am sure many of us look forward to your participation.  I
certainly do.


{Original Message removed}

2007\03\23@171422 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Fri, 2007-03-23 at 08:07 -0700, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> On Mar 23, 2007, at 1:17 AM, Hector Martin wrote:
>
> > In the end marks are shifted so that the class average is some
> > "acceptable" number, shifting everyone's marks accordingly.
>
> Yeah.  Grading "on the curve"; hit the average grade and you get
> a C (or somewhat higher for "advanced" classes), even if that's
> only 50%.  Standard procedure for most college/universities, but
> quite a shock to all the "smart" people used to getting 90% without
> having to exert much effort.  

It's funny that this is the ONE thing they DON'T tell you when first
starting. I know the first time I got a 2/10 on an assignment I almost
collapsed. That vs. my reaction a few years later of complete and utter
euphoria when I received 53% on a mid term exam... :)

Now, an informal survey for the list's engineers:

Recently I asked some of my engineering colleagues the following
question:

Do you still sometimes wake up (often in a cold sweat) completely
convinced that you have a final exam today and have either missed it,
forgot to study, or are simply late for it?

EVERY person I've asked (about 8/8, yup, not scientific, but telling)
has answered yes to this question, often associated with a laugh. Some
have been out of school for only a few years, others have been working
for over a decade, and they STILL have this! :)

I found that interesting. TTYL

2007\03\23@181723 by wouter van ooijen

face picon face
> Do you still sometimes wake up (often in a cold sweat)
> completely convinced that you have a final exam today and
> have either missed it, forgot to study, or are simply late for it?

YES, YES! Even for highschool assignments, and very rarely even for the
school before that (dunno the US word for it). I thought I was the only
one!

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



2007\03\23@192622 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face

>> Do you still sometimes wake up (often in a cold sweat)
>> completely convinced that you have a final exam today and
>> have either missed it, forgot to study, or are simply late for it?
>
> YES, YES! Even for highschool assignments, and very rarely even for the
> school before that (dunno the US word for it). I thought I was the only
> one!
>
> Wouter van Ooijen
>


Or just remembered you signed up for the class and haven't been there in
months...

Harold


--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\03\26@043402 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
> Do you still sometimes wake up (often in a cold sweat)
> completely convinced that you have a final exam today and
> have either missed it, forgot to study, or are simply late for it?

These days it is more like missed the tax deadline, or some deadline for
getting an important report done for work ...

or should be at the airport picking up the in-laws or ...

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