8 responses to “Quitting engineering”

  1. paul hopwood

    I’m not saying it makes it any better or even that it was done intentionally but I bet the ones who stuck with it became better than average at maths because of the extra work needed.

    I always did better than expected in my tougher subjects & often worse with the ones I didn’t need to apply myself to.

  2. An old engineer

    Your post brings back memories of the one of the hardest classes I took when I was a undergraduate at UC-Berkeley. This was a undergraduate elective course in Statisical Thermodynamics.

    I did fairly well in my junior thermo classes, so I thought this should be a reasonable course to take. Boy, was I wrong. Out of the 20 or so students signed up for the class, about 3 of us were undergraduates, another 15 were graduates, and the remaining two were doctorate students.

    As you might expect, the course was taught by a world expert at a graduate or doctorate level. All of the undergraduates were totally lost. One guy quit after 2 lectures and the professor just told us to try and hang in with the homework and lectures. It took me hours just to get through the text and trying to see how the lecture material fit in.

    I think I only got one of the homework assignments done right. The rest were disasters.

    I got a “B” in the class. I think the prof gave me a “B” just for trying to get through the class. Afterwards, I switched my major emphasis from thermo to machine design.

  3. Ron Amundson

    I’d guess almost every engineer or scientist has had similar experiences. If you want to see chaos theory at work, consider the above scenario amongst a bunch of undergrad pre-med students with an entitlement attitude, even more so, if their parents are major donors.

    The bottom line pretty much comes down to conflicts between educational philosophies / goals of the student, professor, and institution. Its especially challenging as on the surface, most of the parties involved view them to be identical, when in reality, they are often in conflict, and rarely if ever are stated in a concrete manner.

  4. Jon S

    I have definitely been in a similar situation. I recall my differential equations class had a 75% failure rate. It was always extremely irritating to study for days on end only to be stumped by the exams since it had nothing to do with the homework or the lectures. I find that many professors feel that there should be a huge delta between the lectures/homework and the exams, while my belief is that you should teach what you want the students to know and test them on what you taught them. No more, no less.