From: "Harry Dellamano"
Subject: Re: Continuing Equation Question
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 07:49:10 -0700
Organization: Posted via Supernews, http://www.supernews.com
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000
"Chris Carlen" wrote in message
> David Bengtson wrote:
> > Hi:
> > Now that I've been out of school for a while, I'm working on expanding
> > my horizons. I'm curious as to how other engineers do this. For
> > example, I've picked up Egan's book "Frequency Synthesis by Phase
> > Lock". Reading through this is only so productive, and the exercises
> > in the back are only for part of the questions, the one's with numeric
> > answers. What approach do other's take when trying to learn technical
> > material without taking classes?
> I sit down with a notebook, read the text, and write the same thing I'm
> reading in my own words in my notebook. When I get to an equation I
> write it. Then I see if I understand it. If not, I may do some
> figuring (like the steps the book left out of the derivation) until I
> understand it.
> Then do the examples and problems.
> Basically the biggest obstacle to learning is lack of discipline,
> assuming one has the raw intellect to handle the subject. Most of what
> I learn is pretty basic math, science, and engineering concepts, just
> trying to understand the stuff that was all figured out a long time ago
> by the real piilars of human acheivement.
> Often I pull out a book and page through it going "uh, this looks
> interesting," but I don't learn much except a cursory idea of what is
> involved in that subject, because I don't take the time to work out the
> Recently I'm taking a course in Electromagnetics, via distance learning.
> I'm effectively learning the subject on my own through the book, and
> just skim through the lectures looking for oddballs that I might need to
> be able to use on a test.
> I have made it through 120 numbered equations on the subject of
> transmission lines over the past 3 weeks from the textbook. It's taking
> me about 2-4 hours a day, 7 days a week to thoroughly understand it and
> keep pace with the class. It's very difficult, not the subject itself,
> but accepting the time it takes to work through it. Somedays I get
> through only a few paragraphs in several hours, or one problem in a few
> hours. But I tend to go overboard, and develop a program to model this
> concept, or figure out how to use Mathematica to visualize that
> function, etc. Really apply the stuff and ask questions, then figure
> out how to answer them yourself. For example, I didn't just read how a
> Smith chart evolved, I actually worked through the derivations of the
> circle equations, and drew my own basic Smith chart by hand. That
> cements ideas into the mind better than anything else can.
> That's how I do it. Just go for it. Your choices are clear: sit in
> front of a TV or absorb some other form of mind numbing entertainment
> with your spare time, or exercise your brain and accomplish something
> worthwhile. I don't think I will ever stop studying new subjects,
> whether I'm in school or not.
> Good luck!
> Christopher R. Carlen
> Suse 7.3 Linux 2.4.10
Hey Chris, I'm impressed. I just thought that you were smart but now I
realize all the hard work that you put in.
Not trying to be funny.