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Old 09-29-2012, 06:49 PM
 
7,113 posts, read 8,118,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raze View Post
I've read enough posts of ridiculous opinions now that I think I should chime in having graduated from GT not once, but twice with both a BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering. First off I'm not going to make presumptuous comparisons of Tech vs XXX based on one person's account of the school. Rather I'll give you my opinion based on my experience:
Yeah...based on YOUR personal account...no different.

Quote:
As far as teachers go, sure there will always be some teachers who are less apt to explanation, less hand-holding, less patience, and realistically is that such a bad thing? If every teacher was 'good' and the material was easily explained and understood, then why bother going to college at all, if you can learn it all online. Tech lectures covered anywhere from 60% to 80% of the knowledge you needed for any given exam. The rest was outlined in the syllabus. If you thought everything was taught in the lecture would prepare you to solve A and B, when they are only steps on the road to solve C and D then you're missing the point. Tech was hard because it required extreme discipline in the application of problem solving, not that this teacher only covered A and B but never told you about C which was all that was on the test. If you could solve A and B, C was just the next step, if that was too hard for you, maybe Engineering isn't the best choice.
Yeah, but when you've got 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours or even the 2 hrs 40 minutes final, extending ideas on multiple question exams in such a short time frame is questionable. That approach is better suited to take-home exams and projects. In real life, it's pretty rare you are given a non-routine problem with only 1 hour to solve and it's closed notes and book, and you can't work with your colleagues.

And my favorite one from Tech professors is..."the answers in life are not in the back of the book!!!" Even to this day, I don't look back on that and marvel at its wisdom...but rather its stupidity. At that point, we are engaged in the learning process so it helps to have instant feedback to ensure we are doing it correctly or not. My most productive learning was having the answers available to me so I go back and find out what I did wrong, and correct answers build your self-confidence. After that I could later attack a problem when the solution wasn't immediate.

Quote:
As far as tuition and bang for you buck, GT is up there, and I think the numbers in the report are frankly low in my observation of my friends and I who graduated from there. I know I'm going to offend many a person out there, but I have this to say about Engineering school. If you can succeed in Engineering, and have a good disposition you can frankly do just about anything because you understand the technical side as well as the practical/application. Don't think Engineers don't end up in leadership, they do more often than not because they have this knowledge...
Well...before you get all full of yourself...this is what Steve Jobs related about what Gil Amelio (Georgia Tech BS,MS,and PhD) said as CEO of Apple just before Jobs came back and ousted Amelio as CEO


Steve Jobs Funniest Joke Ever! - YouTube

Granted Amelio was Physics and not Engineering...but similar and his career was typical GT stuff. And I remember when Amelio became CEO in 1996 because GT blasted out an email noting a Tech alum was now in charge at Apple.

And remember that Steve Jobs was not an engineer and a college dropout.
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Dunwoody
32 posts, read 51,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
Yeah...based on YOUR personal account...no different.
That's what I said, and I even said I was going to most likely offend someone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
Yeah, but when you've got 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours or even the 2 hrs 40 minutes final, extending ideas on multiple question exams in such a short time frame is questionable. That approach is better suited to take-home exams and projects. In real life, it's pretty rare you are given a non-routine problem with only 1 hour to solve and it's closed notes and book, and you can't work with your colleagues.
My professional experience has been exactly what you've described, and in many cases it's with highly complex integrated systems running simultaneously such that the solution must be found in minimal time with no help or colleagues. That's usually because each of us is the subject matter expert in our respective areas and we must be able to identify the issue within our area or from the external source since we were designers, developers, and integrators. I've had numerous occasions where the customer is on-site making an evaluation and the answer must be found, or else entire programs have to get pushed. It's more common than you think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
my favorite one from Tech professors is..."the answers in life are not in the back of the book!!!" Even to this day, I don't look back on that and marvel at its wisdom...but rather its stupidity. At that point, we are engaged in the learning process so it helps to have instant feedback to ensure we are doing it correctly or not. My most productive learning was having the answers available to me so I go back and find out what I did wrong, and correct answers build your self-confidence. After that I could later attack a problem when the solution wasn't immediate.
I would agree with you there, wholeheartedly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
Well...before you get all full of yourself...this is what Steve Jobs related about what Gil Amelio (Georgia Tech BS,MS,and PhD) said as CEO of Apple just before Jobs came back and ousted Amelio as CEO


Steve Jobs Funniest Joke Ever! - YouTube

Granted Amelio was Physics and not Engineering...but similar and his career was typical GT stuff. And I remember when Amelio became CEO in 1996 because GT blasted out an email noting a Tech alum was now in charge at Apple.

And remember that Steve Jobs was not an engineer and a college dropout.
Every Physics major I knew at Tech was pure theory, and in that shared only a small portion with Engineering. They prepped you for reality, at least in Aero. I offered up an opinion and my personal observations and experience and you respond that I'm full of myself and proceed to quote Jobs on Amelio as your knowledge of teaching at Tech? Instead of hiding behind someone else's words why not speak from YOUR experience at Georgia Tech...
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:34 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,398,343 times
Reputation: 891
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esperanita View Post
My experience at MIT was nothing similar to what you described at GA Tech. Granted you have a ton of high achieving people and most inherently want to do well, but it was not competitive and the few "dazed" kids I remember would have been that way anywhere as it was their nature.
I didn't say anything about Tech students competing with each other and I didn't say anything about anybody being dazed. What I did say were there were too many professors who lacked teaching ability and there were too many professors who graded on a curve so that a numerical B might turn out to be a C or D, ie. grade deflation- and that made things unnecessarily difficult on students. I think you got something totally different out of my posts from what I put into my posts.
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:57 PM
 
7,113 posts, read 8,118,048 times
Reputation: 1772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raze View Post
My professional experience has been exactly what you've described, and in many cases it's with highly complex integrated systems running simultaneously such that the solution must be found in minimal time with no help or colleagues. That's usually because each of us is the subject matter expert in our respective areas and we must be able to identify the issue within our area or from the external source since we were designers, developers, and integrators. I've had numerous occasions where the customer is on-site making an evaluation and the answer must be found, or else entire programs have to get pushed. It's more common than you think.
It's probably more routine than you realize. Not necessarily the same problems but the same methodology.

I had one math prof at Tech give us an exam and afterwards he said that on some of the problems, if we got it right...not only would we get an 'A'...but also a PhD! Yeah...I wasted time trying to solve proofs that neither he nor anyone else knew the answer to. And it might happen in just an hour?


Quote:
Every Physics major I knew at Tech was pure theory, and in that shared only a small portion with Engineering. They prepped you for reality, at least in Aero. I offered up an opinion and my personal observations and experience and you respond that I'm full of myself and proceed to quote Jobs on Amelio as your knowledge of teaching at Tech? Instead of hiding behind someone else's words why not speak from YOUR experience at Georgia Tech...
No, Amelio is offered as a product of Tech's education with perhaps up to 10 years of GT's nurturing. And I offered one experience when I spoke of the often stated "the answers are not always in the back of the book". I didn't have the prof but some 20 years ago a GT prof was telling his CS students that "Enjoy programming for now boys because soon...programs will write themselves!" Uh...no. And another GT prof was predicting that analog clocks would disappear and we all would tell time in digital format.

One really good professor I had at Tech lectured and derived everything, but never gave example problems. You had to figure that out on the homework which was required to do but your homework grade could only help not hurt your final average (which seemed fair). I don't know if you had Dr Osborn for math but he managed to place high expectations on you in his class. He as well as that other prof would be the two profs I would want to emulate. Very good lectures, well thought out, and very fair in testing and grading. And that doesn't mean they were easy...far from it. But their expectations were reasonable.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:00 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,398,343 times
Reputation: 891
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raze View Post
As far as teachers go, sure there will always be some teachers who are less apt to explanation, less hand-holding, less patience, and realistically is that such a bad thing?
Yes. A teacher is supposed to TEACH. People pay lots of money to go to schools so that teachers TEACH knowledge to help them get further in life. Less apt to explanation is just another way of saying being lazy in their teaching work, being awful teachers. Explanation is the BASIC function a teacher is supposed to supply. As far as hand holding and patience, that is another matter completely because often the hand holding and patience was the job of TAs. But a professor who doesn't explain things in a way that TRANSFERS knowledge is an awful professor, plain and simple, and one who puts things on tests that weren't covered in class and that the professor didn't tell the class to make sure to go investigate on their own- is a waste of a student or parent's money- because that student's grade will more than likely not reflect their ability or work. In the REAL world, businesses let employees know what is expected of them. This garbage of telling you 70% of what is expected and torpedoing you with 30% that was never mentioned bears NO resemblence to the working world.

So yes, because so much money is paid for an education, awful teaching IS such a bad thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raze View Post
If every teacher was 'good' and the material was easily explained and understood,
Two totally different things. I experienced good teachers, but them being good didn't mean the material was easily understood. IT STILL REQUIRED WORK, it still required spending hour after hour working problems in the dorm room and in the library, studying and studying to get all the concepts. But the good teachers put you further along that path, whereas the awful ones were basically ripping you off for the hundreds of dollars you spent to enroll in their class. Good teacher and easily understood are two different things. We do all this talk about how the bad grade school and high school teachers really need to go, how we want our school systems to only hire teachers who are competent at TEACHING, and then when our kids go to college, teachers who are incompetent at teaching run amok, and schools charge you an arm and a leg to enroll in those teachers' classes. If every teacher was 'good' at these highly touted engineering schools, then they would be more worthy of being highly touted.

Research and changing the world through engineering is a totally different thing than teaching and imparting knowledge effectively to masses of students. Universities are supposed to support BOTH functions, but parents pay BIG $$$$ for the imparting of knowledge. And many a parent or student is getting ripped off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raze View Post
Tech lectures covered anywhere from 60% to 80% of the knowledge you needed for any given exam. The rest was outlined in the syllabus.
Then good for that professor. I am talking about when the rest that appears on the test ISN'T outlined in the syllabus. I experienced that personally. I'm talking about when you score 80% on a test and it's called a C because too many other students scored in the 80s on a test. That is a waste of parents' or students' money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raze View Post
Tech was hard because it required extreme discipline in the application of problem solving
Tech was harder than necessary for many because of instances of grade deflation and instances of testing on material never covered and never mentioned in a syllabus. Lots of schools exist which require extreme discipline in the application of problem solving to get a degree but ALSO have professors which actually have TEACHING skill and which does not purposefully try to give students lower grades than what they earned on a test just because too many students studied hard and did well on the test.

Lots of engineering schools are hard. But many don't intentionally try to torpedo students, and many have professors who actually, gasp, EXCEL at instructing students. Amazing that paying parents would want professors teaching their children who can actually INSTRUCT, isnt' it? Why should they care in grade school, care in high school, when school is typically free, and then all of a sudden NOT care in college when they pay out of pocket? Answer- they should care, and they pay enough to EXPECT quality teaching.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:09 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,398,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atltechdude View Post
Not sure what your major was but mine was CS and I graduated with a VERY low GPA.

Yet, just recently I was looking for a new job and found a good one within 7 days of posting my resume.
New job fresh out of college, or new job fresh out of gaining experience on another job?

My point about lower GPAs is that in many cases they don't reflect a student's ability and potential, particularly in an environment where grade deflation goes on.

But it also helps engineers and comp sci majors that the national supply of candidates is not meeting the demand of jobs available, at least by what is reported via news outlets. And actually, to the extent that demand continues to outstrip supply (America high schoolers are WAY behind in the world in math and science), it could be more and more the case that it doesn't matter if you go to a highly touted engineering school or what is considered a typical school and graduate as an engineer, like a University of Florida or a University of South Carolina- job opportunities may await regardless. If you don't have to get kicked around at a school known for kicking students around, it could be that you really don't have to and you can STILL get the good job after you finish.
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Old 09-29-2012, 09:26 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,398,343 times
Reputation: 891
Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
And my favorite one from Tech professors is..."the answers in life are not in the back of the book!!!" Even to this day, I don't look back on that and marvel at its wisdom...but rather its stupidity. At that point, we are engaged in the learning process so it helps to have instant feedback to ensure we are doing it correctly or not. My most productive learning was having the answers available to me so I go back and find out what I did wrong, and correct answers build your self-confidence. After that I could later attack a problem when the solution wasn't immediate.
Totally agree, and that is EXACTLY how things work in the real world. You face problems, things fail, you have to find solutions, sometimes the first solution doesn't work, you analyze and find out what went wrong, you use resources to gain information on the subject matter, you work as a team to correct errors, and you work towards a solution that does work. Lots of times you can consult an expert, consult the manufacturers of the equipment that you're installing, consult others within your organization who have experience on the issue, look online for this particular problem and what other have done, etc.

So most of the time in practical engineering applications, the answers ARE available to be found with a little investigating. The times answers are not readily found like that are when you're doing cutting edge things that have never been done before. The professor you mention there sounds like a professor I had in grad school. He was appalled that every person in our class simply wanted to get through grad school to get a high paying job, NOT to go on to solve abstract problems and make contributions to "the field." I think that mindset may be a big part of the problem- researchers research and are trying to accomplish something completely different from why most students are in college and why most parents send their kids to college. Most engineering graduates go into jobs where it's about practical application, problem and solution, next problem and next solution. But too many researchers are in a world where solutions aren't readily available even with hard work, so they want to make them not readily available to students even with hard work- they want them to feel the angst of a researcher when the bulk of them are going to use a totally different skillset in the real world after graduation because they are going to earn a living helping to make products for the companies that manufacture them. So the professors say stupid things like what you quoted and behave in obnoxious ways towards students, having a sort of mental disconnect from the way the engineering manufacturing work world works.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:42 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 3,398,343 times
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Lynn O'Shaughnessy writes at thecollegesolution.com:

It bugs me that families assume that the Ivy League institutions are the best schools for undergrads. If you want to be on the same campus with brilliant researchers, the Ivy League schools are a great destination, but these vaunted professors are not going to be teaching undergrads. In fact many superstar researchers are dreadful teachers.

This is the same concept I am speaking of in regards to highly touted engineering schools. The 'tout' ends up being about something that the bulk of parents are NOT sending their children to school in search of- being on campus with brilliant researchers. The bulk nontheless incorrectly assume that the 'tout' means their kid is automatically (ie. by default, ie. implied by the tout) going to get GREAT instruction and a much better shot at a good job as a result versus if they went to a school without as much 'tout.' It simply is not so.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:30 PM
 
2,599 posts, read 2,976,792 times
Reputation: 1421
I went to GTech on the Hope Scholarship - my tuition was exactly the same as at each of the other in-state schools. Yes, more employers hire engineering grads from GTech than from other schools. It is true. I think GTech puts out more engineering grads than most schools in the country...and good ones at that. For relatively cheap (in-state) tuition, it's a real good deal. I think that was the OP's point.
You could go to just any school but what's the point if you will struggle for a job with the economy the way that it is and folk at higher caliber places are going to take the few that are avail. The same goes for the lawschool world. I know both.
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:31 PM
 
2,599 posts, read 2,976,792 times
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I thought the name of the game was go somewhere where you can get the job you want when you graduate. Maybe I've got it wrong but I'd be pretty PO'd if I worked hard for four years (which you will do at most any college, no matter how it is ranked) and couldn't get a job when I graduated - or couldn't get the one that I wanted.
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