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What They Didn't Tell You in Engineering School, Part 1

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markino
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Re: a few more things
markino   2/4/2014 7:26:34 PM
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Jim Blinn was working at Microsoft and is now retired somewhere in the Seattle area. He's pretty easy to contact from his website if you want a few more moments on memory lane. Thanks for checking out my book.

jimfordbroadcom
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Re: a few more things
jimfordbroadcom   2/4/2014 6:24:44 PM
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Great stuff, markino!  I've copied it down for future use.  I'll check out your e-book as well.  Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


BTW, I've not heard the name Jim Blinn since the mid-1980's when I attended one of his talks at the (now unfortunately defunct) Computer Museum in Boston.  Took me back ~30 years momentarily.  Thanks!

henry..12
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Re: Using knowledge...
henry..12   2/2/2014 6:29:21 PM
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@LiketoBike   makes a good point about having tghe ability to get back up to speed on subjects learned long ago.

There's another aspect of having been a practicing engineer decades ago - the old stuff becomes new as new engineers re-discover what we once took for granted. Sometimes the old skills are exactly what is needed to solve today's oroblems.

 

MWagner_MA
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Re: BJT's not dead yet ...
MWagner_MA   2/2/2014 3:22:15 PM
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Yes, you are right.  thanks for the correction.  I understand the circuits, but I guess I need to brush up on the terminology. :-)

LiketoBike
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Some of us DO use calculus...
LiketoBike   2/1/2014 11:53:17 AM
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I fall on the other side of the do-I-need-this-math debate.  I'm an RF/microwave guy, with an electromagnetics background.  I work at a small firm where we do lots of things.  We do a mix of signal processing, RF, antenna, electro-optics, modeling and simulation, mechatronics, embedded, and a host of other things.  I still work with Maxwell's equations (you CAN do useful quick-and-dirty things with them, believe it or not!).  Others are doing matrix-heavy DSP that requires derivations. We use Matlab a lot.  (Tools like that mean that I can use a function - after reading its documentation and making sure I'm using it where it is valid, with the expected level of accuracy, with arguments in the right range, etc - rather than having to code the function up myself.) 


So don't count on NOT having to use higher math.  Working at my employer requires it.  :-)

seaEE
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Re: BJT's not dead yet ...
seaEE   2/1/2014 12:41:23 AM
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I remember my first interview.  I mentioned somthing about a pot core transformer which we had considered for our design project, but the truth was, I knew little about the component other than its name.  Yep, I was name-dropping, trying to score some interview points. :)  I didn't realize that the person interviewing was in charge of transformer design for the company (which built T&M equipment).  "So tell me more about this transformer," he said.  Suddenly I was wishing I had not brought up the subject.  Gulp.

 

That said there are some subjects I wish I had studied harder, such as transmission lines.  Perhaps someday I'll reread that text book.  I should also dig out my Halliday and Resnick physics text and reread the electromagentism chapters.  The recent news on the synthesis of a magnetic monopole has got me interested in physics:

http://phys.org/news/2014-01-physicists-synthetic-magnetic-monopole-years.html

emulder
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Re: BJT's not dead yet ...
emulder   1/31/2014 10:33:17 PM
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You are right about BJT's. Common emitter is NOT a voltage follower, common collector is ...

JeremySCook
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Re: Be inqusitive
JeremySCook   1/31/2014 6:21:18 PM
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Yeah, common sense and basic knowledge is probably one of the most important things to know as an engineer.  Unfortunately that's not really taught either...

JeremySCook
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Re: BJT's not dead yet ...
JeremySCook   1/31/2014 6:19:44 PM
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Ha, wow, whether you know it or not, "you've got to be kidding me" isn't a good answer.  That being said, I am certain I said some really dumb things in my first few interviews.

JeremySCook
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Re: calculus, do you really need it?
JeremySCook   1/31/2014 6:18:10 PM
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Hi Kevin,


Thanks for reading!  I'm sure some engineers need to use it, but I think it's pretty rare.  As "liketobike" alluded to, understanding how to go back and relearn things is possibly the important part.  That and the process of learning it is probably important.

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