Hi all,

The National Academy of Engineering is fairly new to the site here but we look forward to getting involved in the discussions.

I find it interesting that there is no forum here for engineering education. Is this because most participants here are practicing engineers and are not as focused on it, considering it behind them?

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I must say I have never heard of the Academy either.

I am a recent engineering graduate who had a late start in the engineering game. I am interested in any ongoing educational opportunities that might be available, in my area internships are hard to come by and competition is fierce. My lack of on the job training has made it challenging to find a job this past summer and I'm looking for anything that can give me an edge in a tough market.

Paul
I do appreciate your comment here but you must remember; school is NO substitute for real experience. If you started off in the "real" world and returned to school then you are in a whole different category then someone coming right from high school. You are quoting wisdom, not education. I find that the real problem isn't just budget cuts and bad high schools. A serious problem with universities, especially those in the sciences, is that professors spend all of their time doing research. It's a burden to most of them to have to teach so they look at the task as a chore, not an opportunity. Another problem I found is that even when one of my professors TRIED to incorporate projects into the curriculum he was shot down for being to "experimental". He got EVERY excuse they could think of so that the didn't have to spend any more money on students. He was a GREAT guy and ended up quitting over this.
I don't know. The one thing I WILL agree with is that this country is in some serious need to beef up our "science" related degrees that actually get people jobs. STOP SELLING KIDS USELESS DEGREES!!!


Aaron Weissner said:
I'm currently a designer for a structural engineering firm (I am also going to college part-time majoring in Civil Eng.) but I sadly have to agree with the professor to an extent. The young engineers that I have recently worked with that are coming out of college seem like they can not do their jobs without a computer program to do structural analysis. They are either lazy or simply refuse to use anything other than what the program spits out. Its a real shame. I personally much prefer to work with older engineers than young ones. I want to get my BS so I can farther my career but having started at the bottom working in a fab shop I know to look at a building from more angles than just will it stand. The program that my company uses will tell an engineer they need 500 lbs of gusset plates and hours of shop/field welding for a bracing connection that could be detailed cheaper with clip angles and bolts, limiting the cost for fabrication and erection but the structural engineer and the analysis program are not looking at from that angle. This is just my two cents but I'm sure I'm not the only person that feels this way.

aw
I have seen similar examples on Jay Leno shows and other places where they are making fun of todays math ed. But you are completely serious?? No Joke???

Phil Jones said:
Nathan:

I skimmed through that report - it's a handful. I plan to read through it when I get the chance.

My daughter just graduated from high school, and was a victim of the "Integrated Math" experiment. If I hadn't taught her and her friends math, they wouldn't understand it at all. They certainly were not taught math in school. My daughter's favorite example-

Joe and Bob were playing in a basketball game. Joe got 3 rebounds in 5 minutes. Bob got 2 rebound in 3 minutes.

The question? "What is a rebound"?

I am completely serious. It's criminal.

Phil
I thought I would copy my response from the EE discussion board to here, since it mainly applies here:

I am from the old (literally) school. I got my EE education at a traditional 4 year univ back in the late 50s. There were few junior colleges at the time and no such thing as tech degrees. Engineering education, at the time, had just gone thru a huge curriculum revision, all over the country, emphasizing more math, physics, and theory. This movement was spearheaded by MIT, and most engineering schools moved to follow the leader. At Wayne State Univ in Detroit, the so called 4 year curriculum was so intense, that it took most students 4.5, to 6 years to complete successfully. It, in fact, should have been a BS plus MS result. As somebody above mentioned, it was aimed more at preparing graduates for more education, masters, Phd, or teaching, research, then for practical job training.

Post WW2 industry demanded employees who could take much of the "new" technology developed during the war, and apply it to new apps, as well as the upcoming space and moon programs. They needed that theoretical approach to succeed. Also there was much gov research money available, and litttle "foreign" help available.

The technologists were the drafters, machinists, technicians, who learned their trade, in high schools, trade schools, and in the military. They satisfied the need for the people to actually build the stuff, and do the practical work.

This lasted thru the 70s until society put a stigma on people working with their hands. Then society demanded everyone have a college education. The colleges wanted more students and more money, so they started the engineering tech movement. At first it was just a 2 year curriculum past HS. Then later 4 years.

Most of the demand for help is controlled by industry. It is surprising that the HR people don't even understand who or what they are asking for.

My career has lasted over 45 years (still working at 70) with a specialty of Power Electronics. I bet that confuses those who have divided the electrical world into power and digital. In fact, it incorporates power semiconductor physics, analog, digital, embedded programming, thermo-dynamics, mechanical structures, emi-emc, controls-feedback loops, packaging, etc. Currents from milliamps to thousands, voltages from millivolts to thousands.

Projects have ranged from hybrid vehicles (presently), aircraft power systems, shipboard power systems, diesel-electric locomotives, industrial motor drives up to thousands of hp, welders, process power supplies, etc.

All of my career I have read about the half life of an engineering education. BlSt. It is because of my general purpose, math and theory laden education, that I have felt comfortable doing so many different things right up to the moment. But was I ready for work the moment I graduated? No - it took many years of practical experience applying my knowledge, and mainly, continuing to learn, and keep up to date - a life long challenge.
Absolutely serious.

Stu Brown said:
I have seen similar examples on Jay Leno shows and other places where they are making fun of todays math ed. But you are completely serious?? No Joke???

Phil Jones said:
Nathan:

I skimmed through that report - it's a handful. I plan to read through it when I get the chance.

My daughter just graduated from high school, and was a victim of the "Integrated Math" experiment. If I hadn't taught her and her friends math, they wouldn't understand it at all. They certainly were not taught math in school. My daughter's favorite example-

Joe and Bob were playing in a basketball game. Joe got 3 rebounds in 5 minutes. Bob got 2 rebound in 3 minutes.

The question? "What is a rebound"?

I am completely serious. It's criminal.

Phil

That is pretty criminal that they write those sort of questions for mathematics. I really do wonder how I managed to understand math. It took a student friend of mine to explain to me negatives and positives. They chose green and red dots to explain that in math class. My friend gave me the example of debt owed to someone.This was K12. Pretty interesting. Though, I blame the textbooks a bit.

 

They show us how to work the problems but not necessarily how to dissect the math problem and figure things out on our own. Rather follow the system of elminiation and you should be alright.

 

There's more than one way to teach something.

 

Where does the education appreciation begin?

 

For me, it was at home. My dad was a former math teacher, and he had to teach me how to read a hand clock.

 

Now, I am in Calculus II.and I don't like how the textbook skips steps.

 

Which is more valuable? The professor or the textbook?

 

The professor is valuable, but what can they do with the substandard materials that they are given?

 

Textbooks should be friends with the students, not a hindrance on comprehension. It's like a technical manual for the not-so-math-capable. If we knew math that easily, we wouldn't need the textbooks now, would we?


Phil Jones said:

Nathan:

I skimmed through that report - it's a handful. I plan to read through it when I get the chance.

My daughter just graduated from high school, and was a victim of the "Integrated Math" experiment. If I hadn't taught her and her friends math, they wouldn't understand it at all. They certainly were not taught math in school. My daughter's favorite example-

Joe and Bob were playing in a basketball game. Joe got 3 rebounds in 5 minutes. Bob got 2 rebound in 3 minutes.

The question? "What is a rebound"?

I am completely serious. It's criminal.

Phil

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