Is anybody else scared?

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Is anybody else scared?

Post by JPKNHTP » Sat Mar 25, 2006 7:18 pm

-God Bless

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Chris Smith
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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by Chris Smith » Sat Mar 25, 2006 8:16 pm


Welcome to the real world!

I did all my electronics studies on my own, no formal studies at all.

I also passed the tests in college on my first try simply by challenging the tests.

Formal blinders, a.k.a. US schooling has shown its results here as well as in the real world, and yes, you should be scared.

Thinking out side the envelope is not encouraged, and some are too scared to even burn out a 10 cent chip, because the manufacture doesn’t recommend it?

Others think the web will save them as far as a data base, history, and all the rest they don’t know. Just do a google to catch up??

NET, which actually stands for “Not Entirely True” and the real books and a real education can never compare, let alone the wisdom passed down from the past or elders.

Like all else in this country, were deep in doo doo because no one wants to push the envelope and develop a brain or thought of their own.

Just do a Google for any word that is demeaning and our “best” at the top of the heap in DC keeps coming up, and for good reason!

Were sheep, and damn proud of it?

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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by dyarker » Sat Mar 25, 2006 8:38 pm

If you mean the apparent lack of high school algebra among college students in technical majors; yeah, it's scary.

I got the impression from the teacher who asked for help in last issue of NV, that electronics was not his usual subject. That he got "stuck" with teaching the electronics class. (I can't re-check right now, because I've already given my NV copy to my son (a high school freshman) to read.) If this is the case, then my congratulations to the teacher for trying, and to the school for adding the class. It is implementation that wasn't well thought out. My suggestion would for him to find an electronics teacher at a nearby community college.
Dale Y

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Chris Smith
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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by Chris Smith » Sat Mar 25, 2006 9:02 pm

When in doubt, just ask the Chinese or Indians, our new motto.

Were outsourcing our thinking as well.

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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by NV185864 » Sat Mar 25, 2006 9:07 pm

I do believe it was Kennedy who got schools funded for big science and math programs. India and China are spending money on educating there children. Soon people in the US will aspire to attend univerties in India and China rather than our US schools. I guess the good news is the US will always be a tourist destination. We are on the fast path from number one to two, three, four........ We can always open a restaraunt or hotel. Make all the noise you can to promote math and science education. And if junior comes home crying from school because school is hard, make him study instead of getting mad at the teachers. Math is hard. There is only one way to get good at it. Practice! Fear is a good motive. What was Kennedy afraid of?

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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by cato » Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:32 am

There is very little Lab work in an Engineering curriculum. Everything is taught in a very isolated why (here's how to bias a transistor) etc...and a lot of time is spent considering ideal components....with everyone nodding off when they get to non ideal aspects....additionally, there are a lot of other distractions...English, History, Calculus, Chemistry, work, Girls...theres a lot of crap crammed into 4 years...and not everyone gets A's on every tests....

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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by Robert Reed » Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:07 am

On an even earlier learning level, I was having a discussion with my neice ( a ninth grader) . She said she had gone through all the algebra,.geometry and trig. courses and was now doing basic calculus. I was blown away, as I couldn't even take triganometry until my senior year in high school and that required all the pre-requisites had been met. Later on while doing some computer cleanup work with her, she didn't seem to understand that 30000 Kbytes equaled 30 Mbytes. She simply did not understand the simple ratio between Kilo and Mega. A little more prying and I discovered many more "holes" in her math education. I am appalled and dissapointed that a school system would progressively advance students to higher and higher math before they ever knew the fundamentals of the prior. It seems that students today are more interested in putting feathers in their hat (been there, done that) than actually learning the subject in front of them.

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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by sagitarius867 » Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:32 am

i am a college student, i am also studying laplas transform and integration and all that,
i feel to ignore that sub because, i think " what would be the use of this stuff?, where it would be used practically?" so i just ignore it,
but now when all u guys are saying so, i thing einstine was right, i should look at maths,
thanks for the guidence, i ll follow ur path.
yours shiva

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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by Engineer1138 » Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:20 am

Laplace transforms? You'll be hard pressed to understand Control Systems without them.

Integration? It's the basis of just about all the calculus you'll do. I don't even remember how to do integrals, but without a deep understanding of them (well, years ago :-) there's a ton of more important stuff that I *do* remember that I would never have understood.

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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by haklesup » Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:25 pm

There is nothing like getting paid to teach one how to finish projects.

Until graduation, money flows out of your pockets while you are required to work hard. only motivation for money or to please family keeps them going. It is easy to take shortcuts because the penalty comes much later.

Upon taking a job, you quickly learn, unfinished projects don't get paid for and engineers who fail to complete them don't keep their jobs long. (exception: software startups funded by VC)

The EEs I know who wrangle the most math are actually writing code for EDA and other CAD programs that alleviate engineers from needing to remember all of it.

The more math you master, the more opportunities you will have, you can get by without it but you get by better with it.

BTW, its not unusual for a competent engineer to seek advice outside their specialty.

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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by Dean Huster » Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:14 pm

Our public educational system is going down the drain. I've been teaching in it for 20+ years and have watched too many things happen to NOT be scared. There is less and less time allotted to each course being taught. The current trend is to teach four courses during the first semester of a year and four more during the second semester for a total of eight courses finished in a year vs. the usual five. The school day wasn't lengthened; the hour still contains sixty minutes and 3600 seconds; and the school year still has the same number of days. Ergo, less time spent per subject, so the teacher cannot possibly cover as much or cover as much in detail.

A friend's son asked his math teacher, "Why do I have to learn to do [whatever it was they were doing at the time]?" Her answer? "Because you need it to do the higher-level math courses." Wonderful. Learning math for math's sake rather than showing the student a practical application. And that's not uncommon.

Who teaches our college courses? Not teachers. Your college professors are whizzes (usually, if I give them the benefit of the doubt) at their major subject, but have never, ever had a single teacher education course, so (with the exception of a few with the natural gift of teaching) cannot transfer their knowledge effectively to their students. They don't know how to construct a course based upon tasks and objectives. They don't teach against those objectives and they don't test against those objectives. That's why you get these professorial clowns (especially in the math and hard sciences) who devise test items while saying, "Heh, heh, heh! They'll never get this one right!" We've all had those clowns. And those are invalid evaluation instruments that they're creating.

Few engineering students have had practical courses. The typical engineering student can design the circuit on computer but can't build one on a breadboard to save his life. The color code is a mystery to him.

It is scary.

Dean Huster, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing Editor emeritus, "Q & A", of the former "Poptronics" magazine (formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines).


L. Daniel Rosa
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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by L. Daniel Rosa » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:18 am

My first quarter calculus teacher was pretty good. We didn't get numbers on the graphs we were shown, we had to draw a graph of an integration or differentiation without an equation.

Much better than the prof I had the quarter before- all equations. I didn't get it and didn't think I would in time to make the quarter worth while.

It's been so long that I'll probably have to take it all over again now that I'm more motivated to finish it.

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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by Sambuchi » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:22 am

A guy that I work with has a kid in 6th grade.. His kid had a take home project to program a PIC to run a couple of stepper motors for a rotating solar panels... hehehehehhehe. I couldn't believe it! 6th grade! Granted the kid was in AP classes... But still!!

My opinion is that some schools push and teach better than others... and will produce better thinkers when they graduate.

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Re: Is anybody else scared?

Post by SwamperGene » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:20 pm

Wow does this topic hit home. My seven year old son is struggling in second grade, as I'm finding most of his classmates are. They have touched on everything from basic addition/subtraction to multiplication, division, fractions, and geometry that half of my generation couldn't figure out in 7th grade. Forget teaching them the skills needed and the desire to learn. Homework is looked at by the teacher to verify that it was done, very rarely is it checked to see if it was done correctly or if the kids had problems with it. And this district is in the upper crust of salaries in my state, it's pathetic.

It all boils down to money, in my case the second graders are "shown" advanced math, so the school district says the kids are advanced, the teachers get better salaries and the schools more funding. Their last concern is education, it's truly sad...and very scary.

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Post by Geo99M6Z » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:56 pm

What is interesting is my father builds some very interesting electronic projects. Some very cool things that he takes current circuits for a purpose and redesigns them to do what he wants. (If only I could convince him to submit it as an invention)...

But his electronics experience is all self-taught.

So, scared, no. What is tough for students to do is apply theory after they have learned it. Many schools don't teach practical engineering, just theory. What good is what you have learned if you can't apply it to something useful?

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