RANT ALERT: All the college / uni project questions

my bad they dont say anything about hard work (and the kid only says determination ... hey its a radio ad my bad)

http://www.knowhow2go.org/partners/assets_files/files/1300207075.mp3

who knew, video games and break dancing are college skills

who knew, video games and break dancing are college skills

What's wrong with these kids: don't they drink beer anymore?

Boffin1:
I wonder if one day we will get a poster asking where to start on making a project that flashes an LED on pin 13 every second ?

When I was doing my engineering diploma at a Melbourne technical college (a long time ago), the lecturer told us a tale of this student who used many many NOP’s for a delay loop. Sigh ! don’t they RTFM, was my thought at the time.
Well, having read this thread, I guess he at least tried to be constructive.

JimboZA:

who knew, video games and break dancing are college skills

What's wrong with these kids: don't they drink beer anymore?

And the hard stuff too and think nothing of it in quite the same way that everything else is easy.

Look up an "every 15 minutes" video. That's how often drunk driving wastes another life in the US alone. But hey, at least it's not guns!

A: I'm so thirsty! I need water. B: So get some from the well. A: What well? B: It's right over there. A: Wow, that must be 10 meters away! B: Then you'd better get started. A: Hey, I don't have a bucket. B: Bucket's in the well. A: And I don't have a cup. B: Use your hands. A: Why don't you get the cup and water for me? And some lemon for taste. B: So long....

the lecturer told us a tale of this student who used many many NOP's for a delay loop.

Depending on the circumstance, it could be the smartest decision or the dumbest decision. Without knowing how the student arrived at this decision, it is impossible to assess.

JimboZA: [rant] I know forums are magnets for school / college / uni project help... that's the nature of the beast.

But I can't help but think that right now, there are too many threads started by people who literally don't know where to start.

I can kind of understand that with a school project: with so little knowledge it's easy to underestimate the skill level. I'm spending quite a bit of time helping one such poster right now, and am doing so (reasonably) gladly. [/rant]

I made it through engineering and associated projects before the internet and forums even existed (1984).

I wonder how I did it? :)

Yeah but you're probably competent on your own.

I wonder how I did it?

You probably used the library, the "web" of the "olden days"

Did you win some kind of competition for token cynic?

Hey! Why wasn't I told? I demand a recount.

AWOL:

Did you win some kind of competition for token cynic?

Hey! Why wasn't I told? I demand a recount.

Wouldn't help, the recount would be rigged.

Lefty

GoForSmoke: Yeah but you're probably competent on your own.

Thanks, yes. I worked in engineering for my career (retired now) and have time to play with model RR and Arduinos. In my career I did a lot of data acquisition using LabView and related hardware.

I can actually answer a fair amount of questions I've seen here because a lot are covered by basic engineering and "common sense" but I don't want to be too out front since I'm a newbie here.

And it does seen that a fair amount of these projects seem to be something related to a college lab project or the like - I mean, what have I run across lately: an ethernet controlled coffee pot? Counting chickens and when they lay eggs? I don't mean to say they couldn't be useful "real-world" projects but they sure sound lab-related, something a professor would dream up as a challenge.

Back in the day we couldn't write an email or go to the internet for help or canned answers - no texting, no video chat, and many articles that were useful were just ripped out of the periodical so they didn't exist either. I'd either go to the library or sit at my desk with the related text books and come up with the answer myself, or working with a classmate. Ah the good old days.

I think it's a good resource to have forums for help but I wonder how many students take the time to work out the answer themselves these days?

modeller: I think it's a good resource to have forums for help but I wonder how many students take the time to work out the answer themselves these days?

There are many who will work at it with only a direction given and some 'landmarks'. I give them thumbs up. The others hurt themselves by not learning even simple things. I can't help them. I can only make them more dependent.

What kicks me is how many of that second-type-above dweebs end up in 'management'.

retrolefty:

AWOL:

Did you win some kind of competition for token cynic?

Hey! Why wasn't I told? I demand a recount.

Wouldn't help, the recount would be rigged.

Lefty

Oh damn! REAL competition!

modeller: Back in the day we couldn't write an email or go to the internet for help or canned answers - no texting, no video chat, and many articles that were useful were just ripped out of the periodical so they didn't exist either. I'd either go to the library or sit at my desk with the related text books and come up with the answer myself, or working with a classmate. Ah the good old days.

I think it's a good resource to have forums for help but I wonder how many students take the time to work out the answer themselves these days?

You know, this reminds me of the old "student using calculator debate". It's gonna make them morons yelled one camp It'll increase the time they spend learning new things, yelled the other. Seems like the old "my religion is better than yours" argument, only this time no religious wars. You seem to have a yearning for the past, but the volume of information has changed since them.

greywolf271: You know, this reminds me of the old "student using calculator debate". It's gonna make them morons yelled one camp It'll increase the time they spend learning new things, yelled the other. Seems like the old "my religion is better than yours" argument, only this time no religious wars.

No, not at all.

The calculator debate is not an appropriate analogy. In the case of a calculator, it simply makes the time it takes to solve the problem shorter - the fact being that the student still did the problem by themselves. The students knew how to multiply, divide, add, and subtract without the calculator. The calculator frees the mind to work on more in-depth parts of the problem.

In the case of the internet and forums, it's possible that they will be able to get others to do part of the work for them. In other words, it not only saves time, it replaces the mental work required by one person with ideas and solutions done by another. This is not in any way like your example with a calculator. The same thing happens with writing assignments these days - you know what plagiarism is don't you? Same thing. People get others ideas and substitute them for their own.

Look at it this way - why bust your a** for 8 hours trying to figure out a program when you can just go to a forum and ask somebody else to solve it for you? How many students are going to do the former instead of the latter? Just ask somebody how to turn on a coffee pot over ethernet and save all the problem solving. That's not like your calculator example at all.

What are we going to do in 50 years when a student can just ask an A.I system how to solve the problem from start to finish? Maybe there will be no need for higher education then at all ...

You seem to have a yearning for the past, but the volume of information has changed since them.

Not at all. I just stated [u]I wonder[/u] how many students take the time to work out the answer themselves. I didn't imply the internet wasn't a good resource. I would never want to go back to the 1980's. You know what a TRS-80 is? If you don't Google it. I wouldn't wish that on anybody! :) And saying "Ah the good old days" is just a humorous quip.

There's calculators that do algebra now right up to calculus. Why bother memorizing indentities and the properties of equations when you can push a few buttons and have -an- answer? Especially when you don't know what you'll see and understand because you never did?

Why bother doing labs? Just look up the answers and fake a report. But then I watched the same basic thing happen in school lab groups where dummies copied off doer's and got that enough credit to balance D's and F's on tests. I understand that in colleges people paid others to take the tests too, back before PC's and maybe before I was born.

But will we get the average here? We won't see the ones who don't even try. We do see a lot of learners and helpers. So getting some slackers is only to be expected, and they're the ones I should feel sorry for. Why I don't.. I've known too many that end up in charge and the word then isn't slacker. I know people who'd rather steal a dime than earn 10 bucks with the same effort.

modeller:

greywolf271: You know, this reminds me of the old "student using calculator debate". It's gonna make them morons yelled one camp It'll increase the time they spend learning new things, yelled the other. Seems like the old "my religion is better than yours" argument, only this time no religious wars.

No, not at all.

The calculator debate is not an appropriate analogy. In the case of a calculator, it simply makes the time it takes to solve the problem shorter - the fact being that the student still did the problem by themselves. The students knew how to multiply, divide, add, and subtract without the calculator. The calculator frees the mind to work on more in-depth parts of the problem.

In the case of the internet and forums, it's possible that they will be able to get others to do part of the work for them. In other words, it not only saves time, it replaces the mental work required by one person with ideas and solutions done by another. This is not in any way like your example with a calculator. The same thing happens with writing assignments these days - you know what plagiarism is don't you? Same thing. People get others ideas and substitute them for their own.

Look at it this way - why bust your a** for 8 hours trying to figure out a program when you can just go to a forum and ask somebody else to solve it for you? How many students are going to do the former instead of the latter? Just ask somebody how to turn on a coffee pot over ethernet and save all the problem solving. That's not like your calculator example at all.

What are we going to do in 50 years when a student can just ask an A.I system how to solve the problem from start to finish? Maybe there will be no need for higher education then at all ...

You seem to have a yearning for the past, but the volume of information has changed since them.

Not at all. I just stated [u]I wonder[/u] how many students take the time to work out the answer themselves. I didn't imply the internet wasn't a good resource. I would never want to go back to the 1980's. You know what a TRS-80 is? If you don't Google it. I wouldn't wish that on anybody! :) And saying "Ah the good old days" is just a humorous quip.

"We stand on the shoulders of Giants", I thought Neil Armstrong said that, refering to how the Apollo program achieved what it did. I looked up Wiki. Blaise Pascal supposedly made that famous, but it actually goes further back in time. You don't seem to get the analogy I'm making between the Calculator debate and using someone else's ideas. Forget specifics, because if you bring specifics in, I can talk about using OpAmps as opposed to discrete component circuits. I can talk about microcontrollers as opposed to sequential digital logic blocks. Get the idea ? I fully understand what you mean about where will we be in 50 years time. I grew up learning electronics by collecting parts and building crystal sets, winding my own electromagnets, etc... not a pre-packaged Radio Shack kit. Programming on the SYM-1 (look it up). Am I a better person for it ? I would like to think so. Then I read the blogs of some of the younger 20'ish engineers who have posted on this forum and elsewhere. I don't think we should worry, the engineering world is in good hands. (if only governments were made up of engineers and we shoot all the cowboy lawyers)

greywolf271: "We stand on the shoulders of Giants", I thought Neil Armstrong said that, refering to how the Apollo program achieved what it did. I looked up Wiki. Blaise Pascal supposedly made that famous, but it actually goes further back in time. You don't seem to get the analogy I'm making between the Calculator debate and using someone else's ideas. Forget specifics, because if you bring specifics in, I can talk about using OpAmps as opposed to discrete component circuits. I can talk about microcontrollers as opposed to sequential digital logic blocks. Get the idea ?

Sure. Thanks for the explanation.

I fully understand what you mean about where will we be in 50 years time. I grew up learning electronics by collecting parts and building crystal sets, winding my own electromagnets, etc... not a pre-packaged Radio Shack kit. Programming on the SYM-1 (look it up). Am I a better person for it ? I would like to think so. Then I read the blogs of some of the younger 20'ish engineers who have posted on this forum and elsewhere. I don't think we should worry, the engineering world is in good hands. (if only governments were made up of engineers and we shoot all the cowboy lawyers)

I did much the same, I did the ham radio thing - morse code - and built many electronic gadgets. I hope you are right about the younger generation.

Now if I could only get that Arduino kit I've been waiting on I cold build my own ethernet coffe pot. 8)

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. Isaac Newton

Do you think that's because he didn't bother working through the proofs of those who came before him?

retrolefty:

AWOL:

Did you win some kind of competition for token cynic?

Hey! Why wasn't I told? I demand a recount.

Wouldn't help, the recount would be rigged.

Lefty

{Throws in towel. Mutters something about not being in the same league}