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'[OT] Re: Multitasking instrucntor'
1999\05\12@004808 by Vincent Deno

flavicon
face
Chris Eddy wrote:

> Patience, Grasshopper.  The gulf between the fresh rosy face and the seen it,
done
> it engineer is measured in years.  When I jumped in the big pond, I had 5 year
s
> of  design experience.  I started out making $25 per hour, and begging to be
> 'trusted'.  4.5 years later, I have hit 50-55 per hour.  It would be higher, b
ut
> western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) is a bit funny about big dollar figures.  In
my
> first year as a consultant, our family income was $14,000, with student loans
and
> debt to boot.
>
> What I am saying is that you may be able to cut down the growth time through s
heer
{Quote hidden}

Here at U.C., it takes _only_ 5 years to get a BSEE.  IMHO, the best part of our
curriculum is our manditory co-op.  So far, I've accumulated over a year and a h
alf of
REAL engineering work.  I agree, I started with the brute-force method.  While I
was
able to MAKE things work, I quickly saw it was the hard way to do things. I know
now
when I return for my final co-op quarter, I'll be able to churn out quality work
which
will stand the rigors of real engineering problems.... I won't complain about th
e
money there anyway.  :)

-Vincent Deno

>
> But don't loose your invincibility cloak, it may come in handy. (will).
>
> Chris Eddy
> Pioneer Microsystems, Inc.

1999\05\12@011153 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
At 00:46 05/12/99 -0400, Vincent Deno wrote:
>Here at U.C., it takes _only_ 5 years to get a BSEE.  IMHO, the best part of
>our curriculum is our manditory co-op.

yes, and that's the reason why i think longer study time won't do much good
for most. who wants a master and do more academic work stays longer anyway,
and the others are better off considering the first year(s) doing real work
as some kind of study time extension. (in fact, you're better off if you
=never= stop to consider your work some kind of study time... :)

ge

1999\05\12@011938 by Vincent Deno

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face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> At 00:46 05/12/99 -0400, Vincent Deno wrote:
> >Here at U.C., it takes _only_ 5 years to get a BSEE.  IMHO, the best part of
> >our curriculum is our manditory co-op.
>
> yes, and that's the reason why i think longer study time won't do much good
> for most. who wants a master and do more academic work stays longer anyway,
> and the others are better off considering the first year(s) doing real work
> as some kind of study time extension. (in fact, you're better off if you
> =never= stop to consider your work some kind of study time... :)
>
> ge

To take this to the extreme, I sometimes feel as though school has hampered my
ability to be productive in the workplace.  Aside from the basic fundamentals, I
was forced to re-learn almost everything I was taught in the classroom.  Only th
e
basic tools I have learned still apply.  (Does anyone want to finish this
take-home exam for me... I won't need it for the workplace)  hehe...

-Vincent Deno

1999\05\12@022247 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
At 01:17 05/12/99 -0400, Vincent Deno wrote:
>> >Here at U.C., it takes _only_ 5 years to get a BSEE.  IMHO, the best
part of
>> >our curriculum is our manditory co-op.
>>
>> yes, and that's the reason why i think longer study time won't do much good
>> for most. who wants a master and do more academic work stays longer anyway,
>> and the others are better off considering the first year(s) doing real work
>> as some kind of study time extension. (in fact, you're better off if you
>> =never= stop to consider your work some kind of study time... :)
>
>To take this to the extreme, I sometimes feel as though school has hampered my
>ability to be productive in the workplace.  Aside from the basic
>fundamentals, I
>was forced to re-learn almost everything I was taught in the classroom.
>Only the
>basic tools I have learned still apply.  (Does anyone want to finish this
>take-home exam for me... I won't need it for the workplace)  hehe...

while i don't think much longer is needed, i don't think i learned much
that didn't help me one way or another. stuff that i chose i wanted to
learn anyway, and most of what i didn't choose (mostly general background
stuff) came pretty handy once in a while. (at least the feeling that i knew
all that stuff once, and that, if i need it, i can revive it pretty
quick... :)  first you may think you re-learn, but you'll get to the point
where it connects with what you learned before (well, if you learned
something decent... don't know about U.C. -- california? --, i went to
university in germany). when it connects, that's the real fun (for me, anyway).

don't worry -- knowledge doesn't hinder half as much as ignorance does... :)

ge

1999\05\12@105304 by Matt Bonner

flavicon
face
Vincent Deno wrote:
>
> Here at U.C., it takes _only_ 5 years to get a BSEE.  IMHO, the best part of o
ur
> curriculum is our manditory co-op.  So far, I've accumulated over a year and a
half of
> REAL engineering work.  I agree, I started with the brute-force method.  While
I was
> able to MAKE things work, I quickly saw it was the hard way to do things. I kn
ow now
> when I return for my final co-op quarter, I'll be able to churn out quality wo
rk which
> will stand the rigors of real engineering problems.... I won't complain about
the
> money there anyway.  :)
>
Five years?  Luxury.  ;-)

In Canada, we also have the option of a technology diploma which takes 2
years (3 in some institutions).  I originally went this route and then
worked in electronics design for 5 years.  After a while, though, I
found that I had to compete for jobs with you engineers <g>.  Back to
school the co-op way (5 year degree).  From diploma start to degree
completion: 12 years.

I don't regret at all the time "wasted" getting the technology diploma,
though: the practical experience was invaluable.  Engineering school
just doesn't have the time to teach the basics of soldering and other
mundane (and extremely important) tasks.  Co-op does a good job adding
at least part of the practical experience required for a graduate
engineer to make it in the "real world".

--Matt

1999\05\12@195524 by Brian Kraut

picon face
I also bailed on my EE degree after my first semester ad opted for an ET degree.
 I did this
when I realized that I knew more about electonics design going into college than
most of the
engineers that were graduating.  They just knew all of the math and physics that
I wasn't
interrested in.  Most of them forget the math and physics a few years after grad
uation
anyway.

Before a hundred engineers jump on me for this comment I do need to say that I h
ave respect
for anyone that makes it through an engineering degree.  The problem is that mos
t programs
spend three years teaching the "necessary" basics and a year on real job related
engineering.  This is why employers complain about the skills of new engineers a
nd the pay
is so experience related.

Fortunately, some colleges are waking up and shifting the emphasis to real engin
eering and
co-op, etc. and away from other areas.  I think that today students and employer
s would be
better served by a semester on how to apply MathCad to solve real world problems
than 5
semesters of advanced calculus.



Matt Bonner wrote:

> Vincent Deno wrote:
> >
> > Here at U.C., it takes _only_ 5 years to get a BSEE.  IMHO, the best part of
our
> > curriculum is our manditory co-op.  So far, I've accumulated over a year and
a half of
> > REAL engineering work.  I agree, I started with the brute-force method.  Whi
le I was
> > able to MAKE things work, I quickly saw it was the hard way to do things. I
know now
> > when I return for my final co-op quarter, I'll be able to churn out quality
work which
> > will stand the rigors of real engineering problems.... I won't complain abou
t the
{Quote hidden}

1999\05\13@104520 by Matt Bonner

flavicon
face
Brian Kraut wrote:
>
> I also bailed on my EE degree after my first semester ad opted for an ET degre
e.  I did this
> when I realized that I knew more about electonics design going into college th
an most of the
> engineers that were graduating.  They just knew all of the math and physics th
at I wasn't
> interrested in.  Most of them forget the math and physics a few years after gr
aduation
> anyway.
>
That's why my old textbooks are right now only 4 feet away from me.

As both a tech and an engineeer, I see where you're coming from.  But:
in all my levels of schooling I always placed a high value on the math
end of education.  In fact, I always tried to stay one level of math
(calculus, statistics, etc) ahead of the rest of my courses - this aided
in the comprehension of the other courses (why memorize all those
equations for an exam when you can derive them on the spot?).  In
university, my electrical engineering field was communications - not
because of any great interest, but because it was the most math
intensive.

> Before a hundred engineers jump on me for this comment I do need to say that I
have respect
> for anyone that makes it through an engineering degree.  The problem is that m
ost programs
> spend three years teaching the "necessary" basics and a year on real job relat
ed
> engineering.  This is why employers complain about the skills of new engineers
and the pay
> is so experience related.
>
Traditionally, the goal of university was to "teach you how to learn";
i.e., give you the skills to apply what you learned to a wide variety of
potential jobs.  Technical college, on the other hand, gave you
immediate job skills for a narrower range of employment.

This distinction has blurred in the last decade or so (at least in
Canada) with the advent of co-op university degrees, private colleges
granting degrees (e.g. DeVry), and community colleges offering 2 year
programs that let the student transfer directly into 3rd year
university.  These are good things.

> Fortunately, some colleges are waking up and shifting the emphasis to real eng
ineering and
> co-op, etc. and away from other areas.  I think that today students and employ
ers would be
> better served by a semester on how to apply MathCad to solve real world proble
ms than 5
> semesters of advanced calculus.

Take that to another level: calculators in elementary school.  I think
that general concepts must be learned and understood before tools (like
calculators or MathCad) are used to speed up the application of those
concepts.

--Matt

Didn't Mark Twain once advise: "Try not to let school get in the way of
your education"?

1999\05\13@110157 by Tjaart van der Walt

flavicon
face
Matt Bonner wrote:
>
> That's why my old textbooks are right now only 4 feet away from me.
>
> As both a tech and an engineeer, I see where you're coming from.  But:
> in all my levels of schooling I always placed a high value on the math
> end of education.  In fact, I always tried to stay one level of math
> (calculus, statistics, etc) ahead of the rest of my courses - this aided
> in the comprehension of the other courses (why memorize all those
> equations for an exam when you can derive them on the spot?).  In
> university, my electrical engineering field was communications - not
> because of any great interest, but because it was the most math
> intensive.

Now I can't help myself anymore ;)
I agree here. Most PIClister will agree that the technology
changes very fast, right? Some of the, ermm, chronologically
advanced folks on this list probably still played with vacuum
tubes. So, why waste a few years just to get up to speed when
the technology changes anyway?

Varsity gives you a foundation to base (and bias) your
viewpoint of technology. Just knowing that a 10k base resistor
for a transistor will work ok isn't enough. You have to know why.

Those same graduates that 'know nothing' after graduation, catch
up sooner or later.

>
> Take that to another level: calculators in elementary school.  I think
> that general concepts must be learned and understood before tools (like
> calculators or MathCad) are used to speed up the application of those
> concepts.
Exactly. Well put.

<boast mode=shameless>
I handed my master's thesis in last week, so I *have* to be
biased in favour of an academic education ;))
</boast>

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1999\05\13@130539 by Matt Bonner

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face
Tjaart van der Walt wrote:
>
> <boast mode=shameless>
> I handed my master's thesis in last week, so I *have* to be
> biased in favour of an academic education ;))
> </boast>
>
Congratulations, Tjaart!

What was the thesis subject?  Perhaps: "Scenix: Virtual Peripherals for
Virtually Everyone".

;-)

Let us know how your thesis defense goes.

--Matt

1999\05\14@005531 by Tjaart van der Walt

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face
Matt Bonner wrote:
>
> Tjaart van der Walt wrote:
> >
> > <boast mode=shameless>
> > I handed my master's thesis in last week, so I *have* to be
> > biased in favour of an academic education ;))
> > </boast>
> >
> Congratulations, Tjaart!
>
> What was the thesis subject?  Perhaps: "Scenix: Virtual Peripherals for
> Virtually Everyone".
...and get virtual marks for it? <G> There are *some* times
when the 'hardware' is preferable.

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1999\05\18@202225 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
As a hobbyist who is also a full time student in EE at a large research
institution, I feel I must comment on this :-)

At 08:47 AM 5/13/99 -0600, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I really do agree with this. It never hurts to understand the system one
level deeper.

This extra understanding is primarily what college has done for me so far.
The majority of practical electronics that I know is still coming from my
own independent work,but my analysis techniques and grasp of the problems
are enhanced GREATLY by my experience in math and science courses.

I AM,however,disappointed with the way that EE teaches electronics design.
It is my firm belief that the reason why I remember all the stuff that I do
from my classes is because I see applications beyond the
classroom,applications that I can only see because I have run into similar
problems in my own work. At least here at Cornell, I find little emphasis
on real design. Just throwing a little problem at a student is NOT real
design,you have to actually take something from scratch to some level of
working completion WITHOUT the help of an instructor every minute along the
way(although a question here and there is very good and helpful).

Yes, they do encourage a senior design project,etc., but I think that
hands-on work should be a constant all the way along,ESPECIALLY as a tool
for teaching the theory and concepts at the core of the curriculum.

I also agree with what was said before: "it has to be in your blood". I
really don't think somebody can be a good engineer without having a passion
for it,which no education alone can convey.

[SNIP]
>Take that to another level: calculators in elementary school.  I think
>that general concepts must be learned and understood before tools (like
>calculators or MathCad) are used to speed up the application of those
>concepts.

I agree completely. All one needs to do is just run into round-off error on
the calculator,and without a basic understanding of what is going on, they
won't know that the answer is wrong.

>
>--Matt
>
>Didn't Mark Twain once advise: "Try not to let school get in the way of
>your education"?
>


Sean

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| Sean Breheny
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM
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