February 2011

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How to Make An Engineer’s Head Explode

How to Make An Engineer’s Head Explode

I grew up in a family of engineers, so I’m used to the way engineers think. It wasn’t until I was older that I began to appreciate how lucky I was to grow up in a household where problems were normally handled in a straightforward manner, and most discussions were highly logical. In college I found it mentally exhausting to spend time in soap-opera-drama circles of people, and it baffled me that some people in the world go out of their way to speak in code. I mean really, who has time to parse every sentence for additional meaning?? So when I see people who are not familiar with the engineering mindset interact for the first time with a set of techies, I just have to smile a bit. In particular, people trying to TEACH engineers. For instance, in undergrad I took a basic statistics class. The teacher was a lovely […]

My personal hardware store

A Place to Tinker

It has been my pleasure to read the excellent posts on Engineer Blogs since its inception – and I’ve been following the posts on tinkering and its place in engineering education with particular interest. I’m excited to join Engineer Blogs as a guest blogger, and I thought I’d join in by sharing a bit about my experience with tinkering. First of all I’d like to point out that “tinkering” means different things to different people. To electrical engineers like our own Paul Clarke and Chris Gammell, it may mean playing around with 555 timers and Arduino controllers. To a computer science major, it may mean learning a new programming language. To engineers on the mechanical and aerospace side, like myself and FrauTech, it may mean something different. As a little kid, I played with Erector sets and Tangrams. But no matter what flavor of hobby you get into, the activities […]