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Why Americans don't study engineering

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
This is preaching to the choir consider the audience makeup of QuantNet ;)
One thing for sure, the majority of job opportunities in the next few decades are for those with STEM degrees, not liberal arts.

With the exception of Finnegans Wake, of course. Not enough has been done. I have not got beyond page 4 (see my interview on QN from 3 years back).

And everyone should learn History.
 
With the exception of Finnegans Wake, of course. Not enough has been done. I have not got beyond page 4 (see my interview on QN from 3 years back).

I managed Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I managed Dubliners. I threw up my hands with Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake.

And everyone should learn History.

"History is bunk" (Henry Ford), and cited many times in Huxley's Brave New World.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
I read Ulysses when I was 16. 2nd time was very easy. Speaking of STEM, I almost considered Celtic Studies at university. But maths was better, chance to become an actuary ! and those guys made good money :) If only ..

Dubliners is really very brilliant. Joyce was very perceptive.
 
I read Ulysses when I was 16. 2nd time was very easy. Speaking of STEM, I almost considered Celtic Studies at university. But maths was better, chance to become an actuary !

Dubliners is really very brilliant. Joyce was very perceptive.

Dubliners is a bunch of short stories, and designed to give a flavor of Dublin. Portrait is a Bildungsroman written by an Irishman (just as Of Human Bondage is a Bildungsroman written by an Englishman). Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake just seem like abstruse and empty literary virtuosity -- "See how clever I am!" But yes, they're more interesting than the chain rule and explain why engineers and scientists have such a hard time getting laid.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
Well, FW and Ulysses are deeper. BTW I have a 1st and 2nd editions of these books.
Yeah, knowing some of this stuff gets you into the liberal arts clique, especially in a place like TCD :D

Speaking of TCD :)

 

GoIllini

Market Crises= Gray Hair
This is an interesting article, but the suggestions suck.

1.) STEM can be cool. (CC nearly every astronaut, test pilot, many F1 drivers)
2.) You cannot teach an engineering degree in four years if you have to take a bunch of liberal arts classes.
3.) The dropout rate in Engineering is a matter of pride to graduated Engineers, Engineering Professors, and schools. This may be sadistic pride, but it's pride nonetheless. We treat dropout rates as adding to the selectivity of the program.
4.) The author may not be aware of the fact that after engineers graduate, they need to work somewhere, and they need to be able to do their job well. That the fact that they earned a degree from a given school and now cannot do their job reflects negatively on the school. Suggestions that courses be made easier and engineering courses be replaced with liberal arts courses don't really make sense in the context of STEM.
 
2.) You cannot teach an engineering degree in four years if you have to take a bunch of liberal arts classes.

I agree. Only a liberal arts graduate would think it's possible. To these types all higher math is just "calculus" (something that terrorises them).

One topic which some of us were discussing in desultory fashion is that STEM types don't get laid. Something to do with their single-minded focus on STEM (which requires it else they flunk), something to do with them being seen as "geeks" and "nerds" in an obdurately anti-intellectual society, something to do with their lack of social skills (small talk, humor, etc.).
 
The sad truth is: Engineering is tough. Engineers need to be somewhat focused in order to meet the demands of the modern engineering world. With each passing year, more and more is demanded of engineers, and now quant masters programs are trying to cram even more information into one short year. But that doesn't mean that engineers have to be boring. I know a lot of successful engineers that would enjoy a good drink, attend regular parties, and read good books, and are rather promiscuous--and more often than not, they are the top people in the class! So I don't consider antisociability a necessary evil at all. Many will find that the truly antisocial ones eventually run into career problems, and communication problems at work. Those who are more well-balanced will have a greater potential to succeed.
 
... STEM types don't get laid. ... something to do with them being seen as "geeks" and "nerds" ...

Here's hoping change is on the horizon :-P

Talk%20Nerdy%20To%20Me%20T-Shirt%203-400x400.jpg
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
That was a very uncomfortable movie...if I do say so myself.

Great movie, Simon and Garfunkel songs. Anne Bancroft was a great Broadway actress.

I saw it in Ireland in 1968 after the Censorhip Board got theirs hands on it. LOL

By today's (lack of) standards and style it was pretty tame.

In 1996, The Graduate was selected for preservation in the U.S. NFR as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Initially, the film was placed at [HASHTAG]#7[/HASHTAG] on AFI 100 Movies list in 1998. When AFI revised the list in 2007, the film was moved to [HASHTAG]#17[/HASHTAG].
 
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Great movie, Simon and Garfunkel songs. Anne Bancroft was a great Broadway actress.

It was a nod to the counterculture of the era, which was sick and tired of bourgeois hypocrisy and double standards. Of course there has to be middle-class security and affluence to be had for the taking before you opt to "rebel" against it. That era is gone and today's insecure and indebted youngsters want to be part of the system (or what remains of it) rather than "rebel" against it for some years before becoming part of it.

Hopper's 1969 Easy Rider was more of a counterculture film.
 
Great movie, Simon and Garfunkel songs. Anne Bancroft was a great Broadway actress.

I saw it in Ireland in 1968 after the Censorhip Board got theirs hands on it. LOL

By today's (lack of) standards and style it was pretty tame.
I suppose you are right. Only saw it because someone mentioned Simon and Garfunkel.
 
You have a higher percentage of women obtaining 4 year degree and we have all seen the data showing how few women are in STEM fields. Maybe this is bias against them, maybe this is personal preference, who knows, but if more women are getting BS degrees then there will be fewer STEM grads overall.

Also, somewhere along the line people lose interest in STEM subjects. You need a solid foundation in math and science at the high school level to prepare you for a major in that during college. I can't remember where I read it, but I believe there is a certain grade where kids disengage. Maybe the subject needs to be taught differently, who knows.

I see little issue with a lack of organically grown STEM graduates. My issue is with the current immigration policy in the US regarding educated immigrants. The US provides freedom and economic opportunity, along with a world class educational system. The fact that we entice people to come here, educate them and then throw countless roadblocks up when it comes to finding a job and becoming a citizen is nothing less than a travesty.

Another thing to keep in mind is that other countries churn out engineering graduates, but it isn't apples to apples.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
You have a higher percentage of women obtaining 4 year degree and we have all seen the data showing how few women are in STEM fields. Maybe this is bias against them, maybe this is personal preference, who knows, but if more women are getting BS degrees then there will be fewer STEM grads overall.

Also, somewhere along the line people lose interest in STEM subjects. You need a solid foundation in math and science at the high school level to prepare you for a major in that during college. I can't remember where I read it, but I believe there is a certain grade where kids disengage. Maybe the subject needs to be taught differently, who knows.

I see little issue with a lack of organically grown STEM graduates. My issue is with the current immigration policy in the US regarding educated immigrants. The US provides freedom and economic opportunity, along with a world class educational system. The fact that we entice people to come here, educate them and then throw countless roadblocks up when it comes to finding a job and becoming a citizen is nothing less than a travesty.

Another thing to keep in mind is that other countries churn out engineering graduates, but it isn't apples to apples.

I think I know.

It seems to be an Anglo-Saxon/Northern European thing that few women study exact sciences.

NASA cannot put a rocket into space anyone. In 10 years time China will probably be mining on the moon.

The issues are cultural IMO and it is not the fault of how maths is taught. The problem is almost everywhere in the Western world.

I see little issue with a lack of organically grown STEM graduates.

I think you should.
 
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