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    been really doubting since istarted 4 weeks ago if im actually doing the thing i should be, hate maths, love how things work. I don't understand how people can feel ok about the maths , i can just about cope with it but i hate it....!
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    It's going to get worse and Maths is wonderful.
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    (Original post by oo00oo)
    Hmm, yes, I think a lot of Engineering students show up to their degree without fully comprehending how mathematically involved Engineering is.

    Doesn't help that most people think Engineers, Mechanics, Plumbers and Electricians are all the same thing.

    If you can't stand Mathematics then Engineering isn't for you.

    With that said, a lot of people are repelled by complex mathematics before they give it a good enough chance.

    If you're interested in how things work, then Mathematics is an incredibly potent tool for describing how things work, and if you can get the Mathematics under your belt as a tool, then your understanding of what's going on in a system will be unparalleled.

    Unfortunately, without Mathematics you can't gain much insight into Engineering systems, and you certainly can't design, test and analyse anything without Mathematics.

    I love Engineering, got myself a first class degree in Aeronautical and now doing a PhD in Space Systems, so I really can't say I don't love it, and I love Mathematics for being such a potent tool.

    But trust me... skills in Mathematics aren't really all that innate, and with a bit of time and effort you can pick it up and in time you'll learn to love it, and wonder how you ever functioned without it.
    Thanks, the thing is i just have lost my euthusasm of it, and i just don't think i have the knack for maths, doubting myself for a long time. To make matters worse i am much more interested in sociolgy, culture, media degree which is a micky mouse degree compared to this and has no where near as good job prospects as engineering. God im confused :<
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    (Original post by DdotT)
    been really doubting since istarted 4 weeks ago if im actually doing the thing i should be, hate maths, love how things work. I don't understand how people can feel ok about the maths , i can just about cope with it but i hate it....!
    Don't worry, real world engineering is nothing like university engineering. I know lots and lots of professional engineers who disliked their time at university.

    If you haven't had any real world experience then you don't truly know what engineering is. The stuff you do in university is only a fraction of what real world engineering is.

    So hang in there. Besides maths gets easier with practice. And once you've completed the exams you'll never see 95% of that stuff again anyway.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Don't worry, real world engineering is nothing like university engineering. I know lots and lots of professional engineers who disliked their time at university.

    If you haven't had any real world experience then you don't truly know what engineering is. The stuff you do in university is only a fraction of what real world engineering is.

    So hang in there. Besides maths gets easier with practice. And once you've completed the exams you'll never see 95% of that stuff again anyway.
    But what is you really just dislike maths, im guessing theres still going to be alot of maths working in the real world, and if its something i hate is it really worth it?
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    (Original post by DdotT)
    But what is you really just dislike maths, im guessing theres still going to be alot of maths working in the real world, and if its something i hate is it really worth it?
    Depends on what you do in the real world. In my previous placement there was absolutely no maths whatsoever involved for anyone; it was solely projects engineering and projects management.

    In other people that I've talk to's roles, there was more calculations, but nothing similar to what you'd find in a textbook. Whatever you do in the real world, it's going to be completely different to university.

    Remember that at one point engineering was done by apprentices, not graduates, and they could obviously solve all of the equations required (and this was a time before the widespread use of computers).
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    (Original post by oo00oo)
    In the days of apprentices firms would contract academics and mathematicians for complex analysis and design of systems.

    These days, as you acknowledge, ignorance of mathematics is somewhat forgiven by the ubiquity of Engineering software that does it all for you... any monkey can simulate anything with pretty enough software.

    But the software needs to come from somewhere, and if you want to avoid embarrassing (or dangerous!) errors in design, then any Engineering company would do well to ensure that their employees are well-grounded in the theory behind these software packages. Only then can you be sure of its limitations and properly interpret its results.

    There's plenty of room for a strong theoretical foundation in Engineering, and as the scale and risk of our Engineering projects continue to rise, the need for that grounding only increases.

    To make yourself as maximally employable, and maximally effective in employment you need to be able to balance your theoretical groundwork commercial/industrial awareness and experience, and a practical approach to Engineering.

    Unfortunately a lot of firms at the moment DO ignore the theoretical background and prefer experience and industrial intuition. But, as I say, this is an error, and a blunder waiting to happen.

    It is increasingly incorrect to suggest that you can forget/ignore your theory and still get away with it throughout your Engineering career.
    You say that in the days of apprentices firms would often contact academics, but I haven't know this to be the case at all. Some of the best engineers I've worked with were apprentices, and they were able to learn the theory and maths required to be able to perform the complex analysis were required. This is because they learned on the job, and what they learned was specific to the job. A university degree isn't a prerequisite to be able to perform certain tasks.

    Simulations and computer results always have to be checked using some sort of theory based on first principles as due to the nature of FEA and other computational methods they are always at best an approximation. Any "monkey" can run a simulation, but if the engineering knowledge behind the simulation wasn't important then companies would just pay monkeys to do it. Engineering knowledge was required to ensure that the results from the software were at least in the right ballpark.

    Besides, every engineering graduate should be well grounded in the theory anyway as it's what's done on any accredited engineering degree.

    Having been in industry I can see why experience and intuition are favoured more than academicia. It's because engineering is a fundamentally practical discipline. There is no getting around this. Theory is useless if it can't be applied, and by extension people who only understand theory are not as valuable as those who can apply it. Academia basically only teaches you how to answer exam questions, not how to actually solve real world problems. This is essentially my point when I say that the real world is nothing like university. Real world problems generally cannot be solved analytically anyway... this is why apprentices who were never taught advanced calculus are now able to be, for example, principle engineers and technical authorities.
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    What topics in maths are you struggling with? You're always going to dislike something you don't understand until you try. If you tell us which topic you're doing then we might be able to help you and provide you with some resources.
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    (Original post by Munchies-YumYum)
    What topics in maths are you struggling with? You're always going to dislike something you don't understand until you try. If you tell us which topic you're doing then we might be able to help you and provide you with some resources.
    Well i would say just in general maths, blergh compared to something like history understanding : oh this Leader done this because in the past his nation was invaded so he acted in caution - Nice i worked that out im enjoying this subject....
    Compared to my understanding in maths: why does this have to go like that, what if you have 2 there etc etc... omg this just doesn't make sense to me, i don't know if my brain can comprehend this.
    Thus I have no confidence in my abillity in maths just generally.

    From the maths related modules im doing, maths 1a (going over alevel maths and adding a bit more detail), thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, Lab experiements and materials.

    the maths 1a is okay, some questions we are given i struggle with because they give the sort of questions that you'd find in last few questions of a A level paper and i just don't excel enough to be able to do those well.
    Thermo is okay, im grasping it but need some proper practise about how i go about answering the questions - which im going to do later.
    Fluids just confuses me, all the modeling and having to see the links.
    Labs is properbly the worst(well most confidence sucking), we have to do prep which involved answering some maths questions to try to make us understand how they got the formulas which i usually have no idea how to go about answering them making me fustrated. when im actually in the lab the assistant explains some maths behind it and im like 'i didn't absorb one word of that'....:confused:
    As for materials, i like it, but when it comes to doing questions after the lecture i struggle to do more then 1 question in 45 minutes lesson we get to practise theory simply because i don't know how to start it, so many things to consider and the doctors don't even do one example.

    What ive noticed about myself is ive lost all confidence in my abillity, i feel like i just don't have the right 'brain'/type of intelligence to understand it - hence why im doubting if im actually doing the right course for me because i feel like im much better at something like history.
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    (Original post by DdotT)
    Well i would say just in general maths, blergh compared to something like history understanding : oh this Leader done this because in the past his nation was invaded so he acted in caution - Nice i worked that out im enjoying this subject....
    Compared to my understanding in maths: why does this have to go like that, what if you have 2 there etc etc... omg this just doesn't make sense to me, i don't know if my brain can comprehend this.
    Thus I have no confidence in my abillity in maths just generally.

    From the maths related modules im doing, maths 1a (going over alevel maths and adding a bit more detail), thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, Lab experiements and materials.

    the maths 1a is okay, some questions we are given i struggle with because they give the sort of questions that you'd find in last few questions of a A level paper and i just don't excel enough to be able to do those well.
    Thermo is okay, im grasping it but need some proper practise about how i go about answering the questions - which im going to do later.
    Fluids just confuses me, all the modeling and having to see the links.
    Labs is properbly the worst(well most confidence sucking), we have to do prep which involved answering some maths questions to try to make us understand how they got the formulas which i usually have no idea how to go about answering them making me fustrated. when im actually in the lab the assistant explains some maths behind it and im like 'i didn't absorb one word of that'....:confused:
    As for materials, i like it, but when it comes to doing questions after the lecture i struggle to do more then 1 question in 45 minutes lesson we get to practise theory simply because i don't know how to start it, so many things to consider and the doctors don't even do one example.

    What ive noticed about myself is ive lost all confidence in my abillity, i feel like i just don't have the right 'brain'/type of intelligence to understand it - hence why im doubting if im actually doing the right course for me because i feel like im much better at something like history.
    Don't worry, everyone goes through that stage from the transition from A-Level to University. You're going to get used to it, it's a big step but you'll learn slowly. You're only 4 weeks into it! Don't expect to know everything perfectly what you have been taught in university, they throw too much information. Start slowly and work your way up, fluid mechanics was the hardest module for me as well and I consider myself to be fairly good at maths.

    You need to be trained to think like that as an engineer, because we solve problems whereas historians just read stories (I don't mean any disrespect to history, it's awesome).

    For your maths module: There's a incredible man on youtube who teaches A-Level&University maths, you can find him when you search: KhanAcademy. Just search on youtube for tutorial videos, there's plenty of people who explain maths very well, most lecturers aren't the best teachers! Go to google, and type in examples with the topic you're studying and definately buy or borrow this book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Engineering-...9726390&sr=1-6 It will immensely help you out since it provides step-by-step solutions.

    You think you lost your ability probably because you're a perfectionist, stop thinking that you have to know everything 100% and start small. Labs confuse alot of people in the beginning but it will get better, you just need to prepare yourself very well.

    What are you currently studying in fluids? Bernoulli's Equation, Continuity?
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    University engineering is primary about rote learning and regurgitation. Very few people overall are "naturals" at it - it all comes down to hard work. People at university always downplay the amount of work that they're doing, nor do they make on that they're struggling as much as they are. The gap between university and college/school is massive, so there's going to be a hell of a lot more people than you think in your position.

    What to do is post some problems that you're stuck on in here and we'll try to help or point you in the right direction.
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    (Original post by Munchies-YumYum)
    Don't worry, everyone goes through that stage from the transition from A-Level to University. You're going to get used to it, it's a big step but you'll learn slowly. You're only 4 weeks into it! Don't expect to know everything perfectly what you have been taught in university, they throw too much information. Start slowly and work your way up, fluid mechanics was the hardest module for me as well and I consider myself to be fairly good at maths.

    You need to be trained to think like that as an engineer, because we solve problems whereas historians just read stories (I don't mean any disrespect to history, it's awesome).

    For your maths module: There's a incredible man on youtube who teaches A-Level&University maths, you can find him when you search: KhanAcademy. Just search on youtube for tutorial videos, there's plenty of people who explain maths very well, most lecturers aren't the best teachers! Go to google, and type in examples with the topic you're studying and definately buy or borrow this book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Engineering-...9726390&sr=1-6 It will immensely help you out since it provides step-by-step solutions.

    You think you lost your ability probably because you're a perfectionist, stop thinking that you have to know everything 100% and start small. Labs confuse alot of people in the beginning but it will get better, you just need to prepare yourself very well.

    What are you currently studying in fluids? Bernoulli's Equation, Continuity?
    Thanks alot i do appreciate i will try to get that book then, as for Khan academy i watch some of his videos before, have to admit he is a good teacher.
    But yes thanks alot!

    Currently we are studying/studied Continuum, Density, Equation of state, viscosity, surface tension and started hydro statics.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    University engineering is primary about rote learning and regurgitation. Very few people overall are "naturals" at it - it all comes down to hard work. People at university always downplay the amount of work that they're doing, nor do they make on that they're struggling as much as they are. The gap between university and college/school is massive, so there's going to be a hell of a lot more people than you think in your position.

    What to do is post some problems that you're stuck on in here and we'll try to help or point you in the right direction.
    Thanks for the advice it has helped put my mind more at rest. will positive rep u when i can!
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    Dude, whatever the thing is! I am only going to do engineering because I have immense love for maths and physics and if i dont become an Engineer then i dont what i am going to do with my life! being curious for how things work is one thing but loving what you do for a living is a dream come true!
    you might hang in their and go through but are you really sure you want to do the same thing for the rest of your life. Oh yeah, one more thing! if you are going to compare your earning with what you do, i would chose what i love to do rather then how much pays because when you love your work success comes after you
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    I enjoy the course, but Formula Student is much more fun.
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    (Original post by oo00oo)
    I have to disagree with you. Rote learning and regurgitation is ONE method people may use to get by exams in an Engineering degree, but it's not the only way, and it's certainly not the best way.

    I personally don't have a GREAT memory for equations and concepts, and most of my learning at University was focussed on understanding the basic principles.

    There was one subject that I could never quite master, and my strategy for that exam was just rote learning. But if I forgot an equation, that was it, I couldn't answer that question.

    Whereas in other subjects I strived to understand the basic concepts and then all the rest of it would follow from there. So if I forgot an equation in an exam for a subject that I had understood properly like this, then I would be able to derive it quite quickly from first principles without ever needing to go into my poor memory bank.

    I think you're right that most people attempt to hide how much work they do and how much they struggle, but I have to say that I didn't struggle too much during my undergraduate degree, I found it rather easy to be honest. I did work hard, but I never 'struggled'... apart from with that one subject (which showed up every year!).
    Rote learning is definitely not the best way to go through university, I agree, because you won't understand the actual concepts being used and this will show through in technical interviews and on the job too, assuming it's a very technical role.

    But, it's effective in getting top grades whilst minimising study time. And since an engineering degree (increasingly an MEng nowadays too) is mandatory for pretty much all engineering jobs, even the ones that barely even require multiplication, quite a lot of people are drawn into using this method.

    I believe that many people would be far more enthusiastic about university engineering if it wasn't primarily based on a closed book exam at the end of the semester or year. It would also help if employers were to recognise that there are plenty of jobs that can be done with just highers/A-levels and some on the job training. This would ensure that only the people who require and would benefit from an advanced technical education would be there.

    But sadly "prestige" is an issue and now that engineering is exclusively a graduate position (for people of our generation) it has became slightly more prestigious in the eyes of the public. Were positions not requiring an advanced technical education open to school leavers then engineers will never be divorced from plumbers, mechanics, electricians etc. (not that I am capping on these people as they all perform vital work but it's not engineering as such).
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    (Original post by oo00oo)
    I did that for a week then left it.

    Was awful. On day 1 we were handed a massive book of rules and regulations, designs that were illegal etc.

    Just stifled the creative process which was supposed to be fun and unlimited.

    This is also why I hate F1. All the cars are near enough identical because of the ruels and regulations. If they eased off them, the cars would be much more diverse, innovative and exciting, and maybe every lap wouldn't be identical.
    You have to be creative to work within the restraints of the rules. If you go to competition the cars are in fact very different. I'll admit that introduction is probably not the best, but it is useful.

    It seems like your looking for reasons not to enjoy your course.
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    (Original post by DdotT)
    Thanks, the thing is i just have lost my euthusasm of it, and i just don't think i have the knack for maths, doubting myself for a long time. To make matters worse i am much more interested in sociolgy, culture, media degree which is a micky mouse degree compared to this and has no where near as good job prospects as engineering. God im confused :<
    how about doing a history/economics/politics/philosophy degree then?
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    Mech. Eng is the best thing ever

    Although fluid mechanics is a mindf uck
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    (Original post by oo00oo)
    I prefer to work to real constraints, not constraints dreamed up by some committee.

    Engineering shouldn't work to committee, it should work to it's own physical limits based on resources, etc.

    ... and I enjoyed my undergraduate degree immensely. So much so that I'm now doing a PhD, so don't give me that nonsense.
    Don't take this the wrong way, but I semi-agree with him - not that you're looking for excuse not to like your degree, but your posts do come across quite bitter and defensive. He likes formula student, you don't, leave it at that?
 
 
 

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