Category Archives: Engineering Curriculum

Benefits of an abstract engineering education

My prior post was critical of the abstraction-based, mathematics-heavy, and computation-focused eduction served up to today’s engineering students. It has been my experience has been that the most successful engineers in industrial practice are very hands-on, with years of practical experience, and insights that have little to do with academic equations. That’s not to say […]

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Along the engineering spectrum

My prior series of posts (part 1, part 2, and part 3) proposed that a common characteristic of all engineering activity was the use of abstract models to search a solution space before implementing a new method, device, or system. Engineers fill the gap between science, which seeks to generate accurate models, and manufacturing, which […]

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When to introduce the matrix exponential?

In the study of linear systems, a familiar relationship is the homogeneous state-space equation , where is an -vector, and is an matrix. The time-invariant solution, (i.e., when is a constant matrix), is . When this subject is first introduced, the solution is often assumed, rather than derived. The thinking is that since the solution […]

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Career, Teaming, and Entrepreneurial Methods

Well, now that the fall semester has started at Purdue, I’m going to make an effort to post more regularly. Of course, just one post a month would be more regular than my recent performance. Anyhow, today’s e-mail brought a brochure for a course (IE 590 & ChE 597) titled, “Career, Teaming & Entrepreneurial Methods […]

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A Narrower Focus

As I enjoyed lunch with a friend today, he described a teenager that he has been counseling. The young man that my friend has been advising wants to be engineer. When asked why, the teen replied that he wants “to build things.” That’s certainly why I wanted to be an engineer. It’s also why I […]

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Adding to the Curriculum

While trying to get more informed on how engineering education can be improved, I thought I’d post my “newbie” perspective on what subject material needs to be added to the core engineering curriculum. As illustrated above, there are at least six areas that I think deserve greater attention. These are, in no particular order: Software […]

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