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Topic: Q: Engineering or Math?
Replies: 33   Last Post: Nov 26, 1997 8:03 AM

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charles loboz

Posts: 9
Registered: 12/7/04
Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Posted: Nov 16, 1997 4:51 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

As an ex-physicist I wholly second the quote below, which I consider the
most important part of your mail:

> You can't see the connections between engineering problems
> if you haven't first been exposed to the problems. In my personal
> experience early exposure to really valuable mathematics is somewhat
> wasted--I did not have the engineering experience to see where that
> mathematics would apply. I did not really appreciate higher math until
> after I had practiced for a while--a situation you find yourself now.


I have seen numerous times similar situations. Personally I think that
learning much math is a 'leap of faith' - you have to _trust_ your
lecturers that it really will be necessary one day. Plus - you do not
really know what of they tell you is important and _how_ it is important.
During my course I was initially exposed to 'too much' mathematics. Then we
went into physics - which required _different_ mathematics than taught in
the 'pure maths course'. Later then I had to _relearn_ parts of maths from
the pure maths course - because it was necessary. I wasn't alone in this -
at least 80% of my friends had exactly the same opinion. The only good
thing about all these was that we learnt very quickly that you can pick up
any maths you need - if you have to.

So there is a delicate balance between what and _when_ to study. As one of
my lecturers - a pure mathematician, strangely enough - said: this (series
of lectures) is not to make you into mathematicians, but to give you
mathematical _culture_, so later you can go on your own.

Perry Stout <pwstout@pacbell.net> wrote in article
<346E6F3C.6AEE@pacbell.net>...
> kdieudonX@spacey.net wrote:
> >
> > As an electrical engineer with a BS, I'm frustrated by not knowing all

the
> > math I need to fully grasp the theories involved in many areas of my
job.
> > [snip] My question is basically this: I have
> > heard it said from the engineering side that mathematicians are not

worthy
> > of as much respect as engineers because what they learn is far
afield--even
> > the applied math being somewhat suspect. Still, isn't it better to
learn
> > the math first and apply it later? [snip] I ask because I am
considering
> > leaning more toward math and less toward engineering in my future
education.
>
> Engineering education is a balance between a large number of competing
> interests. Degreed engineers are a "product" that universities and
> colleges produce and engineering firms "purchase". Therefore engineering
> education is structured mainly to prepare you to function successfully
> in the engineering workplace. To that end, you are exposed to courses in
> the natural sciences (chemistry, physics), pure mathematics (calculus,
> differential equations, vector analysis), applied mathematics (circuits,
> statics, dynamics) and direct practice (programming, drawing, design).
> For the most part, everyone is relatively happy with the formula.
>
> Obviously there are deep connections between various topics in
> engineering, and the fundamental language used to explore those
> connections is mathematics. In my experience the more mathematics you
> know the more connections you see, which leads to a greater capability
> to solve engineering problems.
>
> So you should study more mathematics first, right?
>
> Probably not! You can't see the connections between engineering problems
> if you haven't first been exposed to the problems. In my personal
> experience early exposure to really valuable mathematics is somewhat
> wasted--I did not have the engineering experience to see where that
> mathematics would apply. I did not really appreciate higher math until
> after I had practiced for a while--a situation you find yourself now.
>
> You sound like a candidate for an advanced degree. Good luck!
>
> Perry Stout
> pwstout@pacbell.net
>





Date Subject Author
11/12/97
Read Q: Engineering or Math?
kdieudonX@spacey.net
11/13/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Ken Davis
11/13/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Chris Griffin
11/13/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Robert Israel
11/18/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Louis M. Pecora
11/18/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Hanspeter Schmid
11/18/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Frank Miles
11/20/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Hanspeter Schmid
11/20/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
John van Veen
11/22/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Edward leibnitz
11/23/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Terry Moore
11/19/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
PeterK@_delete_mvt.ie
11/19/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Frank Miles
11/20/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Hanspeter Schmid
11/21/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
nobody@nowhere.on.ca
11/26/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
SGJ4ASIT
11/20/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Alan J. Livingston
11/13/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Tom Bryan
11/13/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Sam @ The NIMP Team
11/14/97
Read Re: Engineering or Math?
Rui Santos
11/14/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
cbarker
11/15/97
Read Re: Engineering or Math?
Sergio Gonzalez Lopez
11/17/97
Read Teaching of math Was: Re: Engineering or Math?
Herman Rubin
11/19/97
Read Re: Teaching of math Was: Re: Engineering or Math?
Elvis Presley
11/20/97
Read Re: Teaching of math Was: Re: Engineering or Math?
Herman Rubin
11/22/97
Read Re: Teaching of math Was: Re: Engineering or Math?
Elvis Presley
11/24/97
Read Re: Teaching of math Was: Re: Engineering or Math?
Herman Rubin
11/24/97
Read Re: Teaching of math Was: Re: Engineering or Math?
Milo Gardner
11/24/97
Read Re: Teaching of math Was: Re: Engineering or Math?
Jim Carr
11/19/97
Read Re: Teaching of math Was: Re: Engineering or Math?
Pertti Lounesto
11/15/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Perry W. Stout
11/16/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
charles loboz
11/18/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Hubert HOLIN
11/16/97
Read Re: Q: Engineering or Math?
Arvind Kumar

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