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'[OT]:Responding to Students Asking for Homework So'
2004\04\22@133307 by Dipperstein, Michael

face picon face
Over the years I've published some of my non-work related papers and software on
my personal web site.  I have always been receiving e-mail from people that want
to discuss what I've published, and I enjoy receiving that kind of e-mail.

Recently I've been receiving two or three letters a month titled something like
"Urgent.  Please Help!"

The body of the message usually continues with "I am a student at <some kind of
college> studying <some type of computer subject>.  I need a
<C++/Java/Matlab/name your language> program that will <do something similar to
something I've published>.  Please send me such a program."

I've tried to make it clear that I don't do other people's homework assignments,
but if they have some questions about specifics or are stuck on a certain issue,
I would be willing to try to point them in the right direction in my spare time.

I spend a good amount of time finding references to get the author started, but
there's never a follow-up.  I'm assuming that's because they wanted a zero
effort solution.

I know others on the list get similar requests.  How do you handle them?  Are
these types of students beyond help?  Should I just junk the letter and not
waste any time with a response?

-Mike

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2004\04\22@134340 by teven Kosmerchock

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face
Mike,

I was getting such a request from a guy in Europe who was going
to school and an intern at ALCATEL. I designed a AGC using a PIC and
put it on my site so people could use it. He wanted to know if I could
help
him design one that did this or that. He said it was for ALCATEL and
was going to
use it for some school project. I got tired of him emailing me and told
him
this:

"Please do not take this personal but I don't like ALCATEL. I worked
for
a company they owned and their management sucks. They treat non-french
employees like crap and I have no interest in helping them. Just
remember I
have no problems with you, just the company you work for.

Good luck!"

That was the end of his emails. It might not have been the most
politically correct
thing to do but as I have told my boss, "I am a technician not a
politician".

Steve




>>> spam_OUTmdippersTakeThisOuTspamHARRIS.COM 4/22/2004 10:32:48 AM >>>
Over the years I've published some of my non-work related papers and
software on
my personal web site.  I have always been receiving e-mail from people
that want
to discuss what I've published, and I enjoy receiving that kind of
e-mail.

Recently I've been receiving two or three letters a month titled
something like
"Urgent.  Please Help!"

The body of the message usually continues with "I am a student at <some
kind of
college> studying <some type of computer subject>.  I need a
<C++/Java/Matlab/name your language> program that will <do something
similar to
something I've published>.  Please send me such a program."

I've tried to make it clear that I don't do other people's homework
assignments,
but if they have some questions about specifics or are stuck on a
certain issue,
I would be willing to try to point them in the right direction in my
spare time.

I spend a good amount of time finding references to get the author
started, but
there's never a follow-up.  I'm assuming that's because they wanted a
zero
effort solution.

I know others on the list get similar requests.  How do you handle
them?  Are
these types of students beyond help?  Should I just junk the letter and
not
waste any time with a response?

-Mike

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2004\04\22@135211 by Robert Rolf

picon face
You're not alone with this problem.
I generally reply with a "if you have specific questions
feel free to write but I will NOT do your homework for you".
And like you, there is usually no followup reply.
I would suggest a 'canned' reply and only if they actually DO
reply with specifics, point them in the right direction.

I do have one student in Africa who is building a simple
spectrum analyzer as a project, and he seems to 'get it'.
He's using an old VCR tuner and 555 with current source as ramp
generator.

Robert

"Dipperstein, Michael" wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\04\22@135832 by Andrew Warren

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face
Dipperstein, Michael <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@mitvma.mit.edu> wrote:

> I know others on the list get similar requests.  How do you handle
> them?  Are these types of students beyond help?  Should I just
> junk the letter and not waste any time with a response?

   I usually just give them subscription info for the PICLIST.
   They usually don't subscribe.

   -Andy

=== Andrew Warren -- aiwspamKILLspamcypress.com
=== Principal Design Engineer
=== Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
===
=== Opinions expressed above do not
=== necessarily represent those of
=== Cypress Semiconductor Corporation

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2004\04\22@135834 by Dipperstein, Michael

face picon face
Steve,

This may sound twisted, but I actually enjoy helping students learn.  I don't
enjoy doing their work for them.  I've attempted to convert "do my work for me"
students to "can you help me understand this issue?"  students.

My efforts seem about as successful as world peace marches, and I was wondering
if I should try another approach or give up.  Giving up will save a lot of time,
but isn't satisfying.

-Mike

{Original Message removed}

2004\04\22@140920 by teven Kosmerchock

flavicon
face
I enjoy helping them also. But this one person didn't want to learn, he
wanted it done for him. Instead of wanting to know how I came up with
what I did, he wanted me to design one that worked the way he wanted.
After trying to get him to understand that he needed to do this I
finally
had enough. I enjoy helping people also, I still consider myself a
student.
If it wasn't for people like the PICList, I wouldn't know as much as I
do.

Steve

>>> .....mdippersKILLspamspam.....HARRIS.COM 4/22/2004 10:59:22 AM >>>
Steve,

This may sound twisted, but I actually enjoy helping students learn.  I
don't
enjoy doing their work for them.  I've attempted to convert "do my work
for me"
students to "can you help me understand this issue?"  students.

My efforts seem about as successful as world peace marches, and I was
wondering
if I should try another approach or give up.  Giving up will save a lot
of time,
but isn't satisfying.

-Mike

{Original Message removed}

2004\04\22@141129 by Dipperstein, Michael

face picon face
Huffman coding seems to be one of my most popular requests, so I point them to
comp.compression and http://www.datacompression.info.  That mail threads all
stop there.

-Mike

{Original Message removed}

2004\04\22@141749 by Bob Blick

face picon face
> I know others on the list get similar requests.  How do you handle them?
>  Are these types of students beyond help?  Should I just junk the letter
> and not waste any time with a response?

Hi Mike,

Although I have a FAQ that covers this on my contact page, I still get
tons of these. I just junk them. Those types are beyond hope, and only
wish to drink your blood. Why waste time on those hopeless cases, there
are emails deserving of replies I would rather attend to.

I almost feel that I should change my FAQ to state that I reply to
hobbyists, not students. At least a hobbyist is interested!

BTW, the vast majority of worthless student emails I get are from India, I
have no idea why.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

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2004\04\22@141956 by Roberts II, Charles K.

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How do you keep from forgetting things that you learned in school, but
don't use everyday? I just got a B.S in Electronics Engineering
Technology in May of 2003 from Virginia State University and feel like I
am forgetting so much of what I have learned. What can you do to fight
that?  
Charles K Roberts II
ORNL-SNS Project
701 Scarboro Road Oak Ridge, TN 37830
865 576 5036

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2004\04\22@142445 by D. Jay Newman

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face
> How do you keep from forgetting things that you learned in school, but
> don't use everyday? I just got a B.S in Electronics Engineering
> Technology in May of 2003 from Virginia State University and feel like I
> am forgetting so much of what I have learned. What can you do to fight
> that?

This is why we have reference books. The human mind generally finds
it difficult to remember important details that aren't used much
(yet it can easily remember the theme song to Gilligan's Island...).

The best I can say is to try to use what you need. You keep a knife
sharp by honing it when it is not in use; you should do the same for
your mind.
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2004\04\22@142446 by teven Kosmerchock

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face
Charles,

Do hobby projects at home, whatever your weak area is work with
that. I myself have an "analog weakness", so I have been working a lot
lately with analog stuff (TXERs, FETs, op-amps... etc.). Hands on is
still the best way to remember / learn.

Steve

>>> robertsckspamspam_OUTORNL.GOV 4/22/2004 11:20:25 AM >>>
How do you keep from forgetting things that you learned in school, but
don't use everyday? I just got a B.S in Electronics Engineering
Technology in May of 2003 from Virginia State University and feel like
I
am forgetting so much of what I have learned. What can you do to fight
that?

Charles K Roberts II
ORNL-SNS Project
701 Scarboro Road
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
865 576 5036

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2004\04\22@150018 by Herbert Graf

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face
> I know others on the list get similar requests.  How do you
> handle them?  Are
> these types of students beyond help?  Should I just junk the
> letter and not
> waste any time with a response?

       I'm not a prof, and probably will never be (don't have the patience...) but
I personally would just junk the letter and then be very critical of the
result they finally DO end up giving you. It's likely it was just copied or
stolen from someone else.

       I'm pretty "mean" on this front since I'm a recent grad and saw this kind
of cheating. I even know a friend who's work was stolen and THEY got into
trouble (at first) since they thought they were the one that copied. Of
course, 2 minutes of the prof hearing the student describe the code (vs. the
idiot who stole it and couldn't explain any of it) made it clear who the
thief was.

       TTYL

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2004\04\22@150641 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> You're not alone with this problem.
> I generally reply with a "if you have specific questions
> feel free to write but I will NOT do your homework for you".

I do have canned reseponses (alternate sigs) in both english and dutch.
I use them a lot, both of them. I tried to word them to
- discourage students asking for homework solutions and hobbyists asking
me to do their work
- yet not discourage potential clients who are searching for someone to
do (payed!) work for them

Strange but true, reading a first mail I sometimes not decide which of
teh above categories applies.

Wouter van Ooijen

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consultancy, development, PICmicro products

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2004\04\22@151227 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
>         I'm pretty "mean" on this front since I'm a recent
> grad and saw this kind
> of cheating. I even know a friend who's work was stolen and
> THEY got into
> trouble (at first) since they thought they were the one that
> copied. Of
> course, 2 minutes of the prof hearing the student describe
> the code (vs. the
> idiot who stole it and couldn't explain any of it) made it
> clear who the
> thief was.

I was a student-assistent 15y ago and I am a (part time) teacher now.
Then and now I enjoy finding out whether a student understands the code
(or more general: the work) he is showing me. I say to them that I don't
care much whether they make their homework in groups or even copy it, as
long as they can convince me that they understand it. And I can be very
difficult to convice!

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\04\22@151640 by Roberts II, Charles K.

picon face
Herb Wrote:
>I'm pretty "mean" on this front since I'm a recent grad and saw this
kind
>of cheating. I even know a friend who's work was stolen and THEY got
into
>trouble (at first) since they thought they were the one that copied. Of
>course, 2 minutes of the prof hearing the student describe the code
(vs. >the idiot who stole it and couldn't explain any of it) made it
clear who >the thief was.

Yeah, I had that happen to me too. That sort of thing typically went
down at the end of the semester at my school. I am still missing lab
books and old homework that had been swiped. I was lucky, my stuff was
swiped after I turned it in.

But theses "students", if you can really consider them a student, are
only cheating themselves. It is a tuff market for technical folks and to
be competitive you need to have as broad a base and know the material.
And you have to factor in how much you have to pay for college. People
put out a nice chunk of change for school and you would think they would
want to get there money out of it, i.e. learn the material. But that's
just me.

Charles K Roberts II
ORNL-SNS Project
701 Scarboro Road Oak Ridge, TN 37830

865 576 5036

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2004\04\22@155008 by Dan Oelke

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face
>
>        I'm not a prof, and probably will never be (don't have the patience...) but
>I personally would just junk the letter and then be very critical of the
>result they finally DO end up giving you. It's likely it was just copied or
>stolen from someone else.
>
>
>
I do teach a single grad class and it still amazes me what people will
try and get away with.  Of course when caught most of them have some
excuse about a dying parent or sick child or something along those
lines. When I first started I swallowed those excuses hook line and
sinker, but no more.  Automatic zero.

The one that pissed me off the most was the research paper that sounded
good for the first two paragraphs and then launched into how "The
Lightspan product provides greater flexibility....."  and the next
several pages where a direct copy from a Cisco white paper.

I haven't does research papers for a couple of semesters, but will have
about 10-15 papers in just a couple of weeks to read.  I'm seriously
considering shelling out my personal money for turnitin.com or
mydropbox.com just to help me in detecting problems.

The problem is that when someone else does their work it is very hard to
detect if the student is bright or getting outside assistance.  What I
catch normally is stuff that I can tell is of a different style and then
google for that phrase.

So - please don't help these leeches.  If they succeed in cheating their
way through school they just might be your next CEO.  ;-)

Dan

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2004\04\22@185920 by Robert L Cochran

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Programming is an area where someone who does not know how to do x
himself or herself, and tries to get others to do that x for them, will
simply sink and need to find another profession.

Always was like this, always will be. "You do it for me" students will
lose. A willingness to play with code and do it yourself and keep trying
until successful is vital. And this is true of a lot of other
professions as well.

Bob Cochran


Dipperstein, Michael wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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http://greenbeltcomputer.biz/

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2004\04\22@200353 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Please just forward those to me...

I have a canned system for managing the really annoying ones. And I should
say that I do refer some to the list if they seem like they might be
actually interested in learning something. For the "do my homework crowd"
here is the system:

First, I quote my hourly rate and send a PayPal link for the first two hours
(pay in advance, thank you). Its automated so it takes like two clicks to do
it.

Then, if they come back for more (goodness forbid one of them ever actually
pays!) I complain that I don't really understand the question and ask for
the web site for the assignment, class, or professor.

If they are dumb enough to give me that, then I find an email address and
forward the entire thing to the professor.


---
James.


{Original Message removed}

2004\04\22@200601 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
Write it all down on piclist.com <GRIN>


---
James.


-----Original Message-----
From: pic microcontroller discussion list [@spam@PICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU] On
Behalf Of Roberts II, Charles K.
Sent: 2004 Apr 22, Thu 11:20
To: KILLspamPICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [OT]:Responding to Students Asking for Homework Solutions

How do you keep from forgetting things that you learned in school, but don't
use everyday? I just got a B.S in Electronics Engineering Technology in May
of 2003 from Virginia State University and feel like I am forgetting so much
of what I have learned. What can you do to fight that?

Charles K Roberts II
ORNL-SNS Project
701 Scarboro Road
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
865 576 5036

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2004\04\22@211523 by Peter Anderson

picon face
--- "Dipperstein, Michael" <RemoveMEmdippersTakeThisOuTspamHARRIS.COM>
wrote:
> Over the years I've published some of my non-work
> related papers and software on
> my personal web site.  I have always been receiving
> e-mail from people that want
> to discuss what I've published, and I enjoy
> receiving that kind of e-mail.
>

I ignore such requests.

I have a web site at http://www.phanderson.com which
is intended to be educational and each day brings many
such requests, along with reqests for free consulting.
Indeed, my mother may have taught me to always answer
the phone and to help folks, but times have changed.
Thier ability to contact you is much easier.   There
just are not enough hours in the day.

Don't let it get you down.  A number of years ago,
David Tait, well known in PIC circles, closed down his
site for this very reason.

On students, I am a full time Professor.  I frown hard
in them soliciting aid over the internet.  There may
be exceptions when a student is doing a senior project
and I know the person they are seeking help from, but
this is rare and the questions must be short and sweet
and convey that they are holding up their end.

With disks, academic dishonestly has become a big
problem.  I interview each of my students weekly which
discourages it in the first place and allows me to
confront the student when it does.

I am full time and thus, I have the time for the
weekly interview which usually lasts less than ten
minutes.  I find it also efficient as I no longer
write anything when grading as it is a whole lot
easier to talk directly with the student.


Best wishes.

Peter H Anderson




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2004\04\23@015051 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Thursday, Apr 22, 2004, at 12:13 US/Pacific, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> Then and now I enjoy finding out whether a student understands the
> code (or more general: the work) he is showing me. I say to them that
> I don't care much whether they make their homework in groups or even
> copy   it, as long as they can convince me that they understand it.

ah hah!  Thank you.  I've been trying to resolve, in my mind, the
contradictions of "don't copy" in school vs "don't re-invent the wheel"
in industry, and your comment fits exactly.  And so simple, too!

BillW

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2004\04\23@061146 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
> How do you keep from forgetting things that you learned in school, but
> don't use everyday? I just got a B.S in Electronics Engineering
> Technology in May of 2003 from Virginia State University and feel like I
> am forgetting so much of what I have learned. What can you do to fight
> that?

I think that's natural, it's a good thing and you shouldn't bother -- as
long as you learn more new things than you forget old things.

I studied a lot of system theory and advanced control in university. Since
that stuff is mostly used in either university research projects or at big
companies and I've been working mostly on one-man projects, I didn't use it
much and actually have forgotten some of it.

But I know that the moment I get in touch with it again, I'll refresh what
I forgot in a short time. It's not really gone. It's just out of sight of
my mind -- because I have to take care of other things. There's only so
much my mind can take care of... :)

So don't worry about forgetting (or not) things. Worry about learning
things :)

Gerhard

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2004\04\23@061808 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face
{Quote hidden}

Unfortunately my brain seems to be like a PIC's stack, small and circular
:-).  I keep trying to put new stuff in, but I get stack overflow and it
overwrites the old stuff.  What I really need is a watchdog timer to recover
from my brain hanging after such an event...

Mike




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2004\04\23@095019 by Mike Hord

picon face
The data will pop out of your brain when you least expect it.

For my part, I kept all of my text books AND I bought a copy
of TAOE.  Between those and the internet, and the PICLIST,
I can be reasonably sure that anything I actually DO forget I
can find easily.

Anyway, the things that you DON'T use frequently should not
be foremost in your mind.  That honor should be reserved for
really important stuff (resistor color codes, etc).

Mike H.

>How do you keep from forgetting things that you learned in school, but
>don't use everyday? I just got a B.S in Electronics Engineering
>Technology in May of 2003 from Virginia State University and feel like I
>am forgetting so much of what I have learned. What can you do to fight
>that?
>
>Charles K Roberts II

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2004\04\23@095852 by Mike Hord

picon face
Where do you teach?

Sounds like a school I'd like to attend. ;-)

Seriously, I'm taking one class at an unnamed large
public university, and I have been utterly disappointed,
basically because I feel like the professor doesn't really
have an interest in teaching.  It's a complaint I've
heard from other students at said university.  I didn't
experience that at my undergrad college...

Mike H.

{Quote hidden}

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2004\04\23@102521 by llile

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face
I have wondered about this as well.  School mentality teaches us to work
alone, independantly, and not to collaborate.  This is absolutely the most
inefficient way to get anything done, and mostly anything I have been paid
to do was a collaboration on some level.  Only my hobby projects are done
alone, and I don't even do that any more.

Once I had a class where they divided us into groups for a group project.
I was doing extremely well in the class, actually could have taught a bit
of it,  so the professor put me with the two biggest rumdums, guys who
were nearly flunking.  I made sure they contributed plenty to the effort,
they learned a lot, even came up with some really creative ideas.  Our
project got top marks, and I specifically made sure the professor knew
that they pulled their own weight.  Their grades spiked dramatically after
that.  What they needed was encouragement, a role model, and they actually
had personalities that did better work in a group setting.

My daughter in High School collaborates a lot.  It is encouraged in many
classes, for the same reasons - some people learn a lot better in a group
setting.

My wife, who has a PHD, said her strategy was simple:  on the first day of
the class, she would pick out the brightest student in class (except
herself) and make friends with them and offer to study together.

My high school electronics class was all about collaboration - lab
partners studied together and built stuff together.

There is this myth, most prevalent in America, that we should be these
lone independant cowboys, clinched and closed with the Frozen North, alone
on the Prairie in our sod house braving the elements.  We have these
images of Einstein working alone solving the mysteries of the universe, or
Edison working alone in the lab inventing the light bulb.  Einstein had an
active correspondence with many scientists, and Edison had a whole staff
working for him and big money behind him.

Sure, students need to do the work, "do the math" to get their heads
wrapped around problems.  But our schools focus on this so much we produce
generations of engineers with spiny social skills that could work a lot
more efficiently in groups.


-- Lawrence Lile





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       cc:
       Subject:        Re: [OT]:Responding to Students Asking for Homework Solutions


On Thursday, Apr 22, 2004, at 12:13 US/Pacific, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> Then and now I enjoy finding out whether a student understands the
> code (or more general: the work) he is showing me. I say to them that
> I don't care much whether they make their homework in groups or even
> copy   it, as long as they can convince me that they understand it.

ah hah!  Thank you.  I've been trying to resolve, in my mind, the
contradictions of "don't copy" in school vs "don't re-invent the wheel"
in industry, and your comment fits exactly.  And so simple, too!

BillW

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2004\04\23@103149 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> I have wondered about this as well.  School mentality teaches us to work
> alone, independantly, and not to collaborate.  This is absolutely the most
> inefficient way to get anything done, and mostly anything I have been paid
> to do was a collaboration on some level.  Only my hobby projects are done
> alone, and I don't even do that any more.

Agreed. Every work environment I've had has involved large projects with
other people. I never had a class where I was forced (or even encouraged)
to work with a group. In that respect school gave me no preparation
for the real world.

OK. I generally write alone, but even with that there are editors and
reviewers who help to direct my work.
--
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2004\04\23@105446 by Tom

flavicon
face
At 09:25 AM 4/23/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>I have wondered about this as well.  School mentality teaches us to work
>alone, independantly, and not to collaborate.  This is absolutely the most
>inefficient way to get anything done, and mostly anything I have been paid
>to do was a collaboration on some level.  Only my hobby projects are done
>alone, and I don't even do that any more.
>
>-- Lawrence Lile

Of course, Lawrence, you must realize you are "preaching to the choir".

The piclist is a good example of the opposite of working alone.  Most of us
come here to solve problems in a group setting - and it works quite well!

I solved a puzzling problem yesterday by asking "What would the piclist
say?"  The answer came to me that the piclist would say to watch out for
R-M-W instructions.  A quick re-write to use a shadow register to read some
input pins fixed my buggy program.

In the grand scheme of things, you are very correct about collaborating.
Two or more people will always have different ways of viewing a problem and
thus have different ways of solving the problem.  Just talking things over
now and then helps to keep fresh ideas coming in.

Tom

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2004\04\23@112040 by Edward Gisske

flavicon
face
.
>
> There is this myth, most prevalent in America, that we should be these
> lone independant cowboys, clinched and closed with the Frozen North, alone
> on the Prairie in our sod house braving the elements.  We have these
> images of Einstein working alone solving the mysteries of the universe, or
> Edison working alone in the lab inventing the light bulb.  Einstein had an
> active correspondence with many scientists, and Edison had a whole staff
> working for him and big money behind him.
>

To take this all further OT....

RE: Edison & collaboration

There is a whole subculture out there debating the Edison vs. Tesla "Who is
the purest inventor?" argument. Tesla worked at Menlo park for Edison, and
some (me included) put him in the category of "way too bright to work for
Tom". Edison fits the mold of the master promoter, but maybe not the master
technologist that he was made out to be in the popular press. Remember how
he was absolutely convinced that all power had to be distributed as DC?

Menlo Park has been described as an "inventor's sweatshop" with some
justification. TAE had over 1000 "collaborators" at one point toiling in the
trenches. See
http://www.4reference.net/encyclopedias/wikipedia/Thomas_Edison.html for
some info.

All of this is not to gig collaboration. It is the only sane way to work if
you actually have to deliver product to the customer. The PICLIST is a fine
example of collaboration at it's best.

I taught engineering at a major university for about 10 years. What I
brought out of that experience is a lot of frustration at how expertise in
the creative area of design is measured. The traditional way to measure
skill in the university setting is how good the student is at regurgitating
arcane facts and how good he/she is at dealing with complex mathematics.
Neither of these skills mean much when you get out of school and actually
sit down to create something. Knowing where to go to find an answer (or who
to ask) has a lot more to do with design productivity than performing
first-principle analysis by solving partial differential equations. That is
called collaboration and is the way the world actually works most
effectively.

My observation over three decades of going into companies big and small as a
consultant: There is usually only one person in any company (regardless of
size) that comprehensively knows all the products of that organization from
theory through production. He/She is the guru. All others are collaborators.
It is interesting to note how many companies "lose the recipe" when that
person retires or goes off to start their own company.

Ed Gisske

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2004\04\23@113344 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Friday, Apr 23, 2004, at 03:11 US/Pacific, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>
>> How do you keep from forgetting things that you learned in school,
>> but don't use everyday?

I had a look at my old college physics textbook some time ago.  This
was a 4th semester "honors" physics class, reliant on LOTs of calculus.
 It was full of formulas containing symbols whose NAMES I barely
remember, much less how one would DO them anymore.  Fortunatey for me,
I've never had a reason to use that sort of math since I graduated
(although the vague understanding of vector multiplication by a set of
operators is occasionally useful.  I guess.)  Sigh.  None of them are
typable, anyway :-)

I guess the point is that sometime you have to decide which things you
learned are less important compared to the new things you're learning,
and you let them go.  Other things you remember by keeping in touch
with "the literature", whether that's new books, magazines, or online...

BillW

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2004\04\23@133137 by Aaron G.
picon face
Unfortunately, this is example is the exception and not the rule.

I always hated group projects because I could never get the 'rumdums' to
pull their weight and work to my expectations.

Aaron

On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 09:25:41 -0500 RemoveMEllileTakeThisOuTspamspamSALTONUSA.COM writes:

> Once I had a class where they divided us into groups for a group
> project. I was doing extremely well in the class, actually could have
taught
> a bit of it,  so the professor put me with the two biggest rumdums,
guys
> who were nearly flunking.  I made sure they contributed plenty to the
> effort, they learned a lot, even came up with some really creative
ideas.
> Our project got top marks, and I specifically made sure the professor
> knew that they pulled their own weight.  Their grades spiked
dramatically
> after that.  What they needed was encouragement, a role model, and they

> actually had personalities that did better work in a group setting.

________________________________________________________________
The best thing to hit the Internet in years - Juno SpeedBand!
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2004\04\23@174313 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I have wondered about this as well.  School mentality teaches
> us to work
> alone, independantly, and not to collaborate.  This is
> absolutely the most
> inefficient way to get anything done, and mostly anything I
> have been paid
> to do was a collaboration on some level.  Only my hobby
> projects are done
> alone, and I don't even do that any more.

I think I always have been a realy good team worker, but for my
technical contributions I have relied a lot on what I learned at the
university. Godel's theorem, NP-completeness, B+-tree algorithms, the
student (t) distribution, arc welding (!), algebra, LL(1) parsing, you
name it. Even from filtering and feedback loop techniques (which was my
worst subject) I got sufficient ideas to know what the robot control
guys in a project needed, so I could press the software group to deliver
that (in essence: a jitter-free communication channel with as little
delay as possible, which would not have been what they had made
themselves).

The school I am working for is changing is education program to ~ 50%
learning-by-experience. One of the things I am worried about is that the
studenst will not get a decent foundation of knowledge in math, algebra,
C programming and the other basic skills that are best learned through
simple hard work and difficult exams.

> Once I had a class where they divided us into groups for a
> group project.

At the moment my school has a few group projects and in most cases there
are no fails given. I think when group projects get more numerous we
shoudl not refrain from giving fails, and - very important - the groups
should be able to from themselves. I think the students themselves will
soon find out who to group with and who to avoid.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
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consultancy, development, PICmicro products

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2004\04\23@183007 by Eric Bohlman

picon face
On Thu, 22 Apr 2004 13:59:22 -0400, Dipperstein, Michael
<EraseMEmdippersspamspamspamBeGoneHARRIS.COM> wrote:

> Steve,
>
> This may sound twisted, but I actually enjoy helping students learn.  I
> don't
> enjoy doing their work for them.  I've attempted to convert "do my work
> for me"
> students to "can you help me understand this issue?"  students.
>
> My efforts seem about as successful as world peace marches, and I was
> wondering
> if I should try another approach or give up.  Giving up will save a lot
> of time,
> but isn't satisfying.

My approach is to first see, from the initial message, whether the student
seems to have *any* understanding of the topic.  If not, I don't bother
replying.  If so, I simply ask them "what have you come up with so far and
where are you getting stuck?"  Only a minority will respond; if the
response shows that they're doing the work and that they understand what
it's about, I'll give them hints and point out obvious errors.

I will not apologize for pointing people to appropriate references rather
than giving direct answers to certain questions.  I simply tell them that
if you're a newbie to a subject, you don't yet understand it well enough
to tell if the advice you're getting is good or bad, and until you reach
such an understanding, your only realistic option is to get your
information from authoritative sources like specifications, datasheets,
language references, and standards rather than from some stranger on the
Internet who only *sounds* like he knows what he's talking about.

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2004\04\23@211858 by Eric Bohlman

picon face
On Thu, 22 Apr 2004 14:20:25 -0400, Roberts II, Charles K.
<RemoveMErobertsckKILLspamspamORNL.GOV> wrote:

> How do you keep from forgetting things that you learned in school, but
> don't use everyday? I just got a B.S in Electronics Engineering

You can't.

> Technology in May of 2003 from Virginia State University and feel like I
> am forgetting so much of what I have learned. What can you do to fight
> that?

What you need to do is not try to remember all the details, but rather
remember

1) That the area of knowledge exists and
2) Where to look to refresh your knowledge when the need arises

You'll actually find that when you start to refresh your knowledge, most
of it will come back.  Don't be afraid to crack open a book or manual:
"real geeks don't read the manual" is just a variant of the "boys don't
read" stereotype that J.K. Rowling has managed to drive into near
remission.  Nerdismo doesn't solve real-world problems.

Of course, this presumes that you initially developed a *conceptual*
understanding of the particular area of knowledge, rather than just
memorizing words _qua_ words and numbers _qua_ numbers.  As other posts in
this thread have pointed out, too much engineering education is based
solely on the latter.  So you have to do a lot of it on your own, but it
will pay off.  After all, database technology is pretty close to the point
of being able to replace an "engineer" who simply memorizes equations, but
AI is a long way off from being able to do true conceptual modelling.

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2004\04\26@070501 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
Wouter said

> Then and now I enjoy finding out whether a student understands the
> code (or more general: the work) he is showing me. I say to them that
> I don't care much whether they make their homework in groups or even
> copy   it, as long as they can convince me that they understand it.

and then Bill said

>ah hah!  Thank you.  I've been trying to resolve, in my mind, the
>contradictions of "don't copy" in school vs "don't re-invent the wheel"
>in industry, and your comment fits exactly.  And so simple, too!

Having read through the whole discussion I will now put my question into the
ring (or is that the lab or the adjudicators office?)

How far do you go in determining what the pupil can use as a "black box" for
inclusion in the project? Obviously you don't expect them to write the HLL
compiler, or the FTDI USB chip driver. But do you expect them to design
every FPGA internals from scratch, or how far do you expect them to know the
internal workings of some VHDL code they find? Is understanding the outside
interface enough?

I guess the answer here is "it depends". My guess is that the dependency of
the "depends" has some relationship to the size of the project. Small
projects they should know the whole thing pretty intimately. Building a full
robot then having a lot of "black box" motor drivers is acceptable.

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2004\04\26@080603 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> How far do you go in determining what the pupil can use as a
> "black box" for inclusion in the project?
>
> I guess the answer here is "it depends".

Of course. On
- student level (1st y .. 4th y)
- project objectives!

And better be clear about this upfront. Last project we required a
manchester decoder (small part of the overall project). Taking a design
from some appnote was OK (whether SW or HW), but understanding was
required.

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\04\26@102737 by llile

flavicon
face
> How do you keep from forgetting things that you learned in school, but
> don't use everyday? I just got a B.S in Electronics Engineering

A friend of mine in College showed me a book he called the Kumquat manual.
It was a 3 ring binder, and every time he came across a juicy piece of
info that he figured he would have to look up someday, he organized it
into the kumquat manual.  Kumquats are a juicy kind of fruit.

I started keeping such a book, and when I was doing lighting and power
design it expanded to 15 thick volumes, now gathering dust since I am not
in that industry anymore.   At one time I used them every day.  My
electronics stuff is organized into a big directory on my hard drive,
which nearly fills a CD with stuff that I might need to look up someday.
90% of it I will never need again, but it is easy to throw stuff in there
as I run across it.  For example, just today I appended several threads on
Tantalum Capacitors into a text file from another thread on the PIClist.

I have made no effort to preserve intellectual property ( it is for my own
use) so I really could not share this legally, but the technique is
simple.  If you run across a concise text on a subject you might want to
learn about later, save it in an organized way.  Need an ASCII Chart?  Why
look it up on the internet every time, save it where it is handy.  Can't remember the formula for using a flat
panel aluminum heat sink?  Next time you look it up, jot your notes in the
Kumquat manual. Found a web page with a bunch of useful Links?  Save it as
a web archive file in an organized way so you can find it later.

--Lawrence


Jake Anderson wrote:

<...>

> Is there some nice page that talks about the different kinds of caps in
> something like a "caps for dummies" style with examples of use perhaps?
>

Capacitors on bypassing.
http://www.glencoe.com/ps/ee/williamson/bypass.html#introduction

Picking Capacitors.
www.capacitors.com/picking_capacitors/pickcap.htm
e


-- Lawrence Lile





Eric Bohlman <ebohlmanSTOPspamspamspam_OUTEARTHLINK.NET>
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04/23/2004 08:21 PM
Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list


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       cc:
       Subject:        Re: [OT]:Responding to Students Asking for Homework Solutions




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2004\04\26@104536 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I started keeping such a book, and when I was doing lighting and
>power design it expanded to 15 thick volumes, now gathering dust
>since I am not in that industry anymore.   At one time I used them
>every day.  My electronics stuff is organized into a big directory
>on my hard drive, which nearly fills a CD with stuff that I might
>need to look up someday. 90% of it I will never need again, but it
>is easy to throw stuff in there as I run across it.  For example,
>just today I appended several threads on Tantalum Capacitors into
>a text file from another thread on the PIClist.

I do the same with emails. I have an archive file for most of the email
lists I am on, and nay interesting thing like links to interesting pages, or
other hints and tips, get moved to the appropriate archive file. Some like
the PICLIST archive have several subfolders, just to try and keep the chaos
in some vague sort of order.

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2004\04\26@152755 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
You can also use PICList.com as that sort of thing. Just log in and post
with the little form on the bottom. You can even mark posts as private so
that other people will not see them and there is no danger of violating
copyright.

Also, local copies of the site are available for offline use. This is not a
sale of the works on the site (they are always available free of charge via
the internet) but only of the media and service of physically transporting
the sites content en mass.
http://www.piclist.com/dontripthissite.htm#CD

Send me those notebooks if you ever decide to get rid of them.

---
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EraseMEjamesspamEraseMEmassmind.org 1-619-652-0593 fax:1-208-279-8767
All the engineering secrets worth knowing:
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{Original Message removed}

2004\04\26@153505 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Monday, Apr 26, 2004, at 12:25 US/Pacific, James Newton, Host wrote:

> Also, local copies of [piclist.com] are available for offline use.
> This is not a sale of the works ...

huh.  I never noticed that this had happened.  Does this include the
piclist archives as well?

BillW

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