Before we begin this episode I have a quick announcement. If you are currently enrolled in college we would love to chat with you. We have some ideas for future podcast content that you could perhaps help us with. Also, we would love to get to know our listeners more. Please send a hello email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Third year EE Co-op student at Purdue University
- Last on the podcast episode #146 where he spoke about his time with TechHOUNDS
Modern EE Education
- Stephen – Graduated from Texas A&M with a EE degree in 2009
128 hours required
- Parker – Graduated from University of Texas with a ECE degree in 2011
- Derek – Will graduate in 2024
- Derek’s Current class load
- High school credits that transfer help a lot
- First year Engineering
- Purdue’s way of saying “you need to do basic math and science first”
- General Chemistry
- EPICS (project based design class)
- Calc 1-2
- Physics Mechanics/E&M
- CS-159 Intro to C
- Covid Happens and we go remote right after spring break
- Online summer classes can be nice but its a 16 weeks class in 8 weeks
- ECE 20001 Fundamentals 1 (Basic Circuit Theory/ Mosfets)
- ECE 20007 Fundementals 1 Lab
- Analog Discovery 2 is the main test and measurement tool now
- Calc 3
- First Co-op term at Rheem
- Visiting campus when you have no class responsibilities is fun
- First real “Covid Classes” Purdue managed to stay “in person” for the whole time
- Classes were still mostly online but students could be on campus and some labs were still in person
- Exams were mostly online as well
- ANTH 21000 Technology and Culture
- More interesting than i thought it would be, gave some perspective on how design choices have social and societal implications
- ECE 20002 Fundementals 2 (Amplifiers, Op Amps, AC Circuit Analysis)
- ECE 20008 Fundementals 2 Lab
- ECE 264 Advanced C
- MA 266 Diff eq
- Back to in person classes this fall
- ECE 20875 Python for Data Science
- ECE 270 Digital System Design
- Auto lab system is really cool
- HIST 351
- MA 265 Linear Algebra
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
About The Hosts
Parker Dillmann is MacroFab's Co-Founder, and Lead ECE with backgrounds in Embedded System Design, and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. He also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Host 1 00:10
Welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast. I'm your guest Derek Franek
Host 2 00:15
And we are your hosts, Parker, Dolman.
Host 1 00:17
And Steven Craig.
Host 2 00:19
This is episode 297.
Host 1 00:23
Before we begin this episode, I have a quick announcement. If you are currently enrolled in college, we would love to have a chat with you. We have some ideas for future podcast content that you could perhaps help us with. Also, we would love to just get to know our listeners a little bit more. So please send us a hello email at podcast at macro fab.com. And we'll get a chat started. So Derek, our guest is a third year e co op student at Purdue University. He was last on the podcast episode number 146, where he spoke about his time with the tech hounds.
Host 2 01:00
Thank you, Derrick, for coming on to our podcast. Again.
Host 1 01:03
Thank you for having me back on Good to be here.
Host 1 01:06
So today we want to talk a little bit about modern e education. And I don't know if any of us are experts in that. But Derek is currently going through a his coursework to become a W E. And Parker and I gosh, I graduated in 2009. And what year did you graduate? Parker?
Host 2 01:27
That 2011 and December? Yeah.
Host 1 01:30
So we've got about a decade of difference here. So I'm kind of curious to hear about what's going on now in modern e education and kind of see what's different about when we were there. But also talk about what education is like during COVID
Host 2 01:48
I have a feeling that my anti maths like standing is like going to come to bite me on this episode.
Host 1 01:54
Or or you never know it might be more popular, right?
Host 2 01:58
Could be doubtful though. That's probably the most unpopular opinion I have on this podcast. With our our audience.
Host 1 02:12
Yeah, this slack channel didn't I don't think they agreed very much with you on that. No, they
Host 2 02:16
Don't. Okay, okay, Derek, what is current life? Like? Are we gonna jump right into like, the difference in COVID? Or how do you want to do this, Steven? Well, okay,
Host 1 02:30
So let's start. Derek, what do you what are you even doing right now? It's, it's the fall semester of 21. So What classes are you involved in right now? And you're a junior, right?
Host 1 02:43
Technically speaking, I'm a junior since Yeah, like you said, I'm doing a co op. So I'm working every other semester I'm trading off from doing school. And then I go work semesters worth the time that I work at remanufacturing in their advanced Harbor, Advanced Technology Integration department doing hardware work, but so I'll take five years to graduate so I'm technically a junior, but part of the way I'm like a sophomore and a half, I guess by credit right now. God, this is my third year. So yeah, I'm right now. Well, for one here at Purdue, we're all back in person again. I think some other schools may not be but produced managed to stay in person for the most part during COVID. So we're back here, you know, football games are on. Everyone's doing in person events. Again, we're doing things. And for classes, I'm in a digital systems design class. So basically, you know, doing digital logic, flip flops gate, you know, and OR gates doing all basic Boolean logic stuff came out. Yeah, I actually did came up this morning. Came up, but um,
Host 2 03:56
Alumni, myself some came up.
Host 1 03:57
Yeah. Although the class mostly goes away from doing the traditional logic, logic design, we just focus mostly focus on Verilog. Now. Oh, that's interesting. Yeah. So we're doing Verilog and ice 40s. So pretty. They changed it in the late last two years to do ice, 40s and Verilog. And they have everything set up. So they have their own development kit system they designed. And we run, they made a simulator that runs on the produce servers. So you just log into the simulator to run your code, and you can simulate it from anywhere. And then in the lab, they actually have the real ice 40 dev kits that you can, you can deploy code onto and do do real testing, but it's the same thing as the simulations. It's Verilog. And then what else I'm in Python for data science course. So it's basically a statistics class mixed with a Python course. So you do all your statistics work in Python. So I've I've been enjoying it because I don't really have much of a I haven't taken any statistics classes. So mixing it with Python, you know, kind of keeps me interested a little bit more.
Host 1 05:03
That actually sounds like it kind of aligned with Parker's math ideas there.
Host 1 05:07
Right? Yeah, it's mixing. It's, it's making it practical applications
Host 2 05:12
Like that a lot.
Host 1 05:14
I know that's, that's really cool. Actually Speak, speak more about that, like, what what specifics? Are you doing in that? Like ingesting data set sets? And then doing something to them?
Host 1 05:22
Yeah. So like, I was working on the homework for that class this morning. So basically, like, what I was doing right now was I was doing some data ingest of like, it was like a sample to sample sets, there were like, a couple 100 1000s of data points. And then you do like some, you do some hypothesis, we're doing hypothesis testing. So it'd be like find the find the mean the standard error and the variance of the sample set, and then do like a z test. And then you can create a p value from the, from the from the Z test. And then with the one I was doing, it was you take two, you take the two data sets, and you do it two samples, East Z, Z score calculation. So actual Yep, statistics stuff, but then it was all written in Python, using like, NumPy. And like sai pi libraries for doing like the normal distribution.
Host 2 06:21
See, that's stuff that engineers, at least, my experience is most of the engineers I talked to that stuff they do almost all the time, ya
Host 1 06:29
Know, it really, I've been actually really enjoying the class format with that. The professor, they're really good at keeping us kind of relevant, cuz like every homework and everything always has like, here's how you do this in real life. Or here's a like a little blurb like a paragraph about why this matters. The key kind of focused on what you're doing. So it's been it's been a very, like, class have been very positive. Maybe the last exam didn't, was interesting, but the class itself has been really nice.
Host 1 07:00
Are you already at your midterm exams?
Host 1 07:03
I'm, I had my last, my last set of first midterms. So I've had a midterm in every class. Like last night, I had my linear linear midterm. So linear algebra. midterm. So
Host 2 07:19
That's another class you end up using a lot. Yeah, people don't like when you're taking that because you you take like one linear algebra class. Least I did. I was only they only let us I guess, let us not right term. But there was only one in our curriculum. Exactly. I guess that if you can take more, right? But you don't take one. And you think this thing you how much you take, you take like four calculus classes, and then one linear algebra class. I use linear algebra, like every single day in my life. Yeah. As
Host 1 07:49
I'm sitting here learning. Yeah, it was I'm worried in the class. I'm like, This is my very last math course, I have to take in my like, core in my core requirements for my engineering major. And now everything like I really would have liked this five years ago, honestly. In the way it just simplifies doing. Algebra. Yeah. Doing everything. Yeah, it just makes it easier. Because I took it was I committed it backwards. Because last spring, I took my defeat differential equations course, which is technically the course number after linear, but I had to take it as a co rec with my EC fundamentals two course because you need you doing for AC or, you know, a plus trans transform. So you need diff EQ to make that happen. So
Host 2 08:43
That same same scenario happened to me. I took diff EQ before I took linear, and it was for a course requirement that I had take differential equations last semester before.
Host 1 08:55
Yeah, so I kind of had to, I had to force teach myself the basics of linear algebra, because by the time we got to the end of the, or midway through the course, there's like, Y'all remember this from from linear algebra, right?
Host 2 09:09
Yeah, I remember that happen. That note, that was that happened, like halfway through. Mine was like the first week. Oh, my differential equations. I'm like, I have no idea what's going on. Yeah,
Host 1 09:21
It's like, you just open up and like, everyone remembers how to calculate the Eigen vector, right?
Host 2 09:26
Yeah, I was like, I was like, my eyes rolled back in my head. Yeah, I had to go to the TA and like, I did not take linear algebra for this. They were like, oh, no, good luck. No, I got like a crash course in like two weeks and did okay, my differential. That actually might be why I don't like differential equations so much.
Host 1 09:48
It ended up being okay because my quarters limited the complexity of the matrices. So it was basically just two by twos and three by threes. Max in that the DBQ course because is the kind of work just rationalize it after that point in time, it becomes kind of pointless, like, you know the fundamentals of how to do it at that point. So you don't know No need to make it any larger. It just, you can't have an exam, you don't have enough time to do anything larger.
Host 1 10:16
Check this out. At a&m, you take both those classes at the same time. So you're like you bounced between things. In between the two classes, even though they're separate, they have them kind of aligned. And they don't necessarily call it linear algebra. I don't know why they did this. I, Texas a&m tries to make everything sound more engineer II for the engineers. So like, the marketing, in fact, I'm pretty sure they don't even call them calculus anymore. Even though you're just taking calculus. They call it engineering mathematics, which, I don't know how I feel about that. But, and they didn't do that when I was. I took legit calculus. But when you take differential equations, you also take the other math class, which is topics in applied mathematics is what it was called. It makes it just sound more like, Huh, you know, more professional in a way like you gotta wear a tie. Yeah, you got it.
Host 1 11:06
Sounds like you're trying to market the classes, a startup or something? Yeah, everything sound. They're gonna make everything sound fancy.
Host 1 11:13
It is nice, though. It is nice to do both of those at the same time. But they
Host 1 11:17
Were separate course numbers simultaneous, like 100% separate. Yeah. Okay. Because they Purdue here. They offer a linear diff EQ. Simon. Like, it's one course. That's linear. And if EQ on SB Yeah, so I don't know how they teach that I didn't take the course I did the generic way, I guess, you know, work your way through calculus. And then I guess I did technically backwards with a linear and diff EQ thing. But yeah, so Well, we already covered the linear part of what I'm taking this semester. And then I'm taking a history course is a gen ed. So that's, that's been enjoyable. Which kind of history history of World War Two. Oh, that's
Host 2 11:56
Cool. Yeah, it was one of the take. I wanted to take that when I was in college. I ended up having to what did I end up taking? Oh, I took us Chinese relationships. As a history class. That's okay. That was a lot of fun. Yeah, I wanted I wanted a history of World War Two. But it was impossible to get in that class.
Host 1 12:18
Yeah. See, everyone wants
Host 1 12:20
A third try. I had to get into this is the third try I got a attempted to get into this course. Because it always fills up. I'm a huge history buff. So it's been really fun. Although I haven't learned much, unfortunately. I walked into class and every lectures. Yeah, I'd heard most of it. But it's been fun. I mean, the keep it generic, you know, for introductory level, I mean, it's a 300 level course. But you can't go into super in depth topics. But it's been, it's been a fun course. Plus, it's how I think Gen Ed should be is. It has basically no work requirements, you just, at least for me, I just go to the lecture. And then there's three exams that are multiple choice, questions,
Host 1 13:02
Host 1 13:04
It's all the pre he posts videos in extra readings, but none of them are nothing's required. I mean, I go through and read them because they're interesting, I've actually, that's actually been the most fun is than the, than the readings plus, the professor is a really great lecture, you know, he tells a good story. So that's always been fun. But yeah, that was actually the reason I had to take that anthropology course last spring is because I couldn't get into this history course. But that was actually written way more fun than I thought it was going to be. It was it was over basically, what was it over technology and culture. So how like engineering design decisions, basically, you know, have a broader impact than you would think on on society. So it kind of makes you think on, you know, it may seem kind of trivial, but does my board layout impact the future of humanity? But those kind of things, those kinds of things like they were there, she made a reference and like COVID times how like how things can be biased towards different test sets because like, one example she gave was the hand sanitizer dispensers, you know, the the wireless, the infrared ones that do the, the dispensing when you put your hand underneath it, how people have, because they only did testing on a certain set of people, the the people of color, their hands weren't as easily detected by the sensor, because the darker skin tone made it harder for the sensor to detect. So just kind of biases you don't think about that it can have a really large impact on on how life works. So that was that was a fun course.
Host 2 14:52
But so on that topic with you took antha what was the anthropology of engineering or something like
Host 1 14:58
What was it was anthropology 2100 technology and culture? And so it was called,
Host 2 15:05
Um, did Is that so? In my coursework, we had to take philosophy classes, that would be something, or is that just a normal? Like, just generic? Not generic, but you know, a Jax recruit?
Host 1 15:19
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it was just a Gen Ed. It was we have called it was we have cultural requirements, not necessarily like psychology or what are specifically is that but it was like, you have a humanities Gen Ed requirement that you have to do. And you know, pick from a list of several lists. Yeah. massive list of acceptable courses
Host 2 15:41
We had, because that's, that's what we had, then. It's basically Gen Ed is Gen is that general education is
Host 1 15:48
Short for general education. Yeah, yeah.
Host 2 15:51
And we had to pick a. So basically, something from the philosophy college we had to take. So I think we had to take two of them to 100 level courses. Which were actually interesting. Like, I was like, a freshman at the time. My first one, I'm like, I don't take this. I'm not an engineer. And coming out of that, I'm like, that was actually a really fun course to to do.
Host 1 16:19
It's always the random courses, you'd never think about them being the ones that, you know, really, really kind of stick with you. And
Host 1 16:27
Yeah, defeat, you doesn't stick it
Host 2 16:31
Out. Let's keep going with
Host 1 16:35
What I'm currently doing.
Host 1 16:36
I think, well, that was that's it for this semester.
Host 1 16:40
Yeah, that's all that's all the courses I'm taking. Currently, well, there's a seminar course. But that's, that's just a one credit hour, man. Like, just go and sit and listen. Yeah, go and sit. Although they kind of make us do more writing a little bit. We have to do like discussion posts about different kinds of more humanity style, like giving feedback, and they're doing like job interviewing, stuff. And then we have to do like some cultural requirements. You have to like get, you have to get like a party get with a partner. And you have to find something different about the your partner versus you. And then the partner has to take you to some event. And you have to do a thing and then do a write up. And then you have to trade places, and you take into something
Host 2 17:27
That sounds a lot of fun.
Host 1 17:29
And it sounds like a lot of fun. Also sounds like a lot of work for a lot of work.
Host 1 17:34
It's a lot, it's a lot of fun. It's when it's not forced upon you, it's a lot of fun, but then you kind of get into that you have to rent you know, scramble to find a random person, and it gets kind of it'll be interesting. But yeah, just kind of it's different moreso than some of the summer courses. The one last semester, you have to take three is like Sophomore Seminar, Junior seminar, and senior seminar. And they just all have kind of different. Extra, I guess their point is real life applications maybe like, here's how to interact with people communication skills. But not, but
Host 2 18:13
Not just that, like you had to write down your experience. Everything was different than a route, like, you're not going to go and like meet someone at a bus stop and then go home and write a paper about it.
Host 1 18:26
Right? Well, I guess maybe I should rephrase the meeting someone is someone in the class.
Host 2 18:31
Yeah, I understand that. But I'm saying is what you said there was. They're trying to teach you to be a sociable human being right. Yeah, essentially. But forcing a paper out of it is kind of a weird way to do it.
Host 1 18:45
Yeah. Well, but but but they're also they're also there's
Host 1 18:47
A little bit of analytics in there, like being able to sit down and ask the right questions, and converse with somebody and pull apart the differences. And then I would make how to, how to make something out of that, and then write about the entire situation that's
Host 2 19:03
Big. It would actually make you a better interviewer. That class would,
Host 1 19:09
That's that was exactly what was going through my mind. Surely
Host 1 19:11
We did do interview practice and creating interview questions in that class. All right.
Host 1 19:16
Okay. Well, I could already tell that your school was a lot different than mine away.
Host 2 19:20
It's about it. So because Stephen and I have talked about our college experience a lot. And it sounds like my school is like in between Stevens and Derrick's in terms of what we did, right. So it's, and that's definitely not like, you know, I graduated two years after Steven, but it wasn't like, like I was on the old plans. Not plant what curriculum. I was on the old Kirk Zoll curriculum.
Host 1 19:53
They probably made some like transition after Yeah, I was
Host 1 19:55
I was the last year to do my putting Killer track, and then they dissolved it. And they they turned it into something entirely new.
Host 1 20:05
Yeah, I think 2016 Purdue did something like that. I always see something in like the graduation requirements about students after 2016 have to follow this track versus before. And then I guess if we're still going on that the couple was at the 21st of September, we had to go to attend a story, a stories of success speaker of Zoom meeting at like, sometime at night, with a former alumni, IRA, and alumni, talking about their, you know, real world success story, which was kind of interesting. So that's
Host 2 20:38
Interesting. We did that we was never required. But some white clubs had that.
Host 1 20:48
Yeah, no, this Yeah, this was for the course. And you had a great associated with it. But the story was interesting. The guy had some very interesting experiences in you know, early 2000s, web development and large, large data, you know, multi user web experiences. So it was it was certainly interesting. Talk more about the seminar question, I thought. Yeah. So
Host 1 21:17
It's always the weird stuff. Yes. Always.
Host 2 21:20
Yeah, it will. It's just what sticks with you. And what, what? Because that's so you, because that's what your brain keys off of is. The routine doesn't stick with you. Because it's, it's, you know, it's your habits. You're programmed to do your routine. So it's the stuff that's out of your routine, is what sticks in your frontal lobe, right, yeah,
Host 1 21:41
It's the unique things. Actually, I just kind of thought about this. So in the way we do everything now, you know, when the, I guess, quote, unquote, modern, like inner, more internet connected, where everyone has a phone and all that. Do the way we have every class has a webpage, right? And all the assignments are posted, they're all assignments are turned in via their, I'm assuming that wasn't the case. Back when you guys were in college, or maybe that was just starting to happen.
Host 2 22:09
It depended on the class, right? And so at UT, University of Texas, we had blackboard.
Host 1 22:18
And we just got rid of Blackboard a year to
Host 2 22:21
Write down so we had Blackboard, but only it was optional, okay. For professors. So some professors use it, some professors didn't. And some professors had their own, like, basically an HTML website, right? Which were the best because you could just find information right away. It wasn't like having to go through eight levels of clicking in order to find stuff.
Host 1 22:48
Yeah, that is, you know, so we
Host 3 22:51
Had that too. And some of our professors were really bad at taking off old information. So you can Wayback Machine and see old exams? And oh, yeah, on previous stuff, because like, they would literally just post it and then take the links down at the end of the semester.
Host 2 23:05
Yeah. There's still be sitting there FTP server to Right, exactly. Yeah. So if you knew how the file structure work, you can you can get the old
Host 3 23:15
Exams. So no, but nobody had smartphones, when I was going to school, so it was like, if you had to access something you had to get on a computer somewhere. Right? I shouldn't say that. We all had phones that were capable of accessing things. Yeah.
Host 1 23:30
You wouldn't want to It'd be awful experience. Yeah. And so it was very kind of like the beginning of that. I still had plenty of professors who would walk around and like, put homework assignments on your desk. You know,
Host 2 23:43
I had I had that. Or you turn in your homework assignment when you walked in? Oh, that was almost all my classes. Yeah. Almost all the classes like most time homework. If it was on Blackboard, it was because really, the professor didn't really care about the homework, because it was like multiple choice. And it was like something you do in tech, right. But back to the smartphone thing, which is very interesting, because in just two years, Steven smartphones were a thing. When I was graduating, pretty much everyone had an iPhone. I was weird person and I had a Blackberry in 2010. I think so I got that Blackberry. Before then I had Nokia brick phone, but like everyone had. But yeah, it was just not a Yeah, you had to go find a computer
Host 1 24:32
To do anything. Right. Like I wouldn't have ever thought of looking at a PDF on my phone because it was just such a terrible experience on my old phone. Yeah.
Host 1 24:41
I mean, I definitely I don't prefer to do any work on my phone. But you know, the pull up stuff. But you couldn't Yeah, I do. I do. I definitely pull up work on my phone. Like, I'll be in class and we'll be doing something and I'll pull up some notes that the professor posted or You know, some kind of review or something, or I mean even to get on to log into anything, you have to use your phone because it is two factor authentication. So everything you log into for school, it's all two factor. Which is great until you're you don't have a phone because like, last week, my girlfriend dropped her phone and the touchscreen broke. So you couldn't use the two factor. They give out hardware keys. So it ended up being okay. But yeah, the I guess the downside of when the technology fails is you have to find a backup pretty quickly. Yeah. Because
Host 2 25:37
Back then, I actually lost my phone in a lake once. And I was like, Oh, well, it was a phone. Right? Yeah. Right. Then, a couple of weeks ago, my touchscreen on my phone stopped working. And I immediately had to go out and get it repaired because of two FA.
Host 1 25:53
Precisely. Yeah, it was a it was a whole week ordeal to get it all fixed. Because the you break I fix changed their hours the same day. We called them so the next day when I had an appointment at 10 in the morning, the day I the day I came in at 10 in the morning, they changed their hours to starting at noon. randomly. Oh, and then it's like also, we're not open on Mondays now. And we don't have we don't have the phone screen. We said we did. So have to order it. So we'll have to be Monday. Wait, no, sorry, Tuesday. And then it was a whole Yeah, it was a whole rigmarole. So don't drop your phone, put it in the big turn the slim technology piece of technology they designed to make as pretty as possible, shoved in the biggest plastic box you can find. So if you drop it, it doesn't break. So
Host 1 26:41
Where were so I remember 2006 I was taking my first chemistry class and my second physics class, my first physics class, all homework done on paper. Second physics class was like a portal. But it was sort of like the genesis of these online portals. And so everything was horrendous. Like it was just, it was unbelievably slow. You'd click a button and you're like, did it accept my answer? It was just it was absolutely horrible. And I remember the chemistry one. I don't think they audit it. I really don't think they did, I think because it was. So it was chemistry for the entire campus. And there were 45,000 people on my campus. And a good chunk of the majors required chemistry. So you know, on any any given 300 1000s of people taking this Yeah. And I swear they didn't audit it because I would log in and we'd be like, you have 620 You know, homework problems to do. And I'm like, did is this is this correct? And and it was it was just not possible to even do the homework, he would literally do nothing but chemistry every day all day. And I think a lot of us got bad grades, because they just screwed up. And you know, like, they probably had some behind the scenes portal, which is like, How many questions do you want to ask if somebody slipped in extra zero in there somewhere? It was, it was awful. Yeah, I gotta imagine that they've kind of worked out a lot of bugs
Host 1 28:11
Today. Yeah, there's still plenty of bugs. But for the most part, the actual assignment handling is pretty well done. I mean, I'd say most of my views Brightspace. Now they just transition from Blackboard, like, summer that COVID happens year, year ago, I guess you're well more than a year ago. And then so everything assignments are in there usually grades they use. Grade scope is another thing they use is where like, if you have like a written like, usually it's a lot of times for like written assignments that you need to turn in, like a scan, like a scanned PDF, and then they'd be able to annotate and put it you know, give feedback on the answers. You know, comment on things. And once you have oh, like my classes, actually, to my classes, right now, they have their own websites. So they just have like a Brightspace page that exists. And that just links to their website. So one of them's like the to the digital logic class does all the assignments and homework, they make it and they do all the labs and all the automation stuff in the website. So do what you're grading and you do your homework in the website, you turn in your labs in the website. And then they have all like the lab queuing systems in the website. So when you're in the lab, and you need to ask the TA to check off something, you have their little cue system, you click my lab station needs help. And it'll go up on the big board or the big TV screens in the room and it'll be lab station 30 needs assistance. And then they'll walk over out and check out Yancey now. Yeah, now the the two seven, right? I mentioned the auto lab and the 270 course I don't think I don't think we got there. Otto. That's yeah, so this number. So this is the digital logic class. So it's, you know, either it's kind of it's transitioning more to completely Verilog Because the scope of the assignments are getting bigger, but you still do a fair bit of breadboard, you know, using like a decoder chip to do like a seven segment display, you know, do a binary to seven segment display or something like that. So if you're doing the actual physical hardware, every all the W classes so far they are, the main piece of test equipment is the analog discovery to that's the, that is the piece of kit that everyone has to have, which I really liked. Because it's, you know, pretty much a lab in a box kind of deal. So you can just throw it in your bag, I got it before coming to college, but it was convenient that I already had it. But the way they do it is if you do your circuit, you do your circuit complete, build your circuit, test it. And then when you want to get graded on completing that task, they'll give you they have an auto lab tool, which is basically just a piece of software they wrote that connects uses the analog discoveries API to interface with the piece of hardware. And then it will connect to it and then you hook up your the logic analyzer, in this case, to your circuit, you know, connect the inputs to these channels and the outputs of these channels. And then you just hit go, and it'll run through the sequence of tests that your circuit needs to complete. And then it'll give you a pass fail on what you missed, or what you got. All right. And then it gives you like, some kind of encrypted completion code that you submit to the lab. And,
Host 2 31:35
Derek, you'll love this. Yeah. As as a 2010. For that clap for we had to do is turn in, because I'm assuming what it was doing is it was recording the waveforms and sending that up. So states is we had like, I think, at that point, 15 year old, mixed mixed signal scopes in our lab, and you would you would capture your frame of everything you need to be graded. Right. And you would print it off on the dot matrix. Because it because that way, you could turn in a piece of a waveform on one piece of paper. Yeah, yeah, that is that is beautiful. You know, it's like a 50 year old dot matrix in the sitting in the corner of the lab, and its only purpose was to print off these waveforms.
Host 1 32:28
That is awesome. I love it. Yeah, we have a dot matrix printer of the other side of this room here that we love printing out stuff on.
Host 2 32:35
I loved my with the dot matrix in college, too, because it was the cheapest way to print stuff out.
Host 1 32:44
Yeah. And you can get the they can get the tractor feed in bulk. Wow, I totally just trying to thought
Host 1 32:52
That's super cool, though, that that they connect to your little discovery and grade you that way?
Host 1 32:58
Yeah, yeah, that's a really cool idea. And then the way they do it, since they can give it a completion code, and they can format however, each of the logic, like the actual assignment, the way if, depending on whatever, you know, if you're implementing a function or logic function, they made it individual individual to the student. So each student since you have you log into the homework website, so you log into the lab, and you just sign in, so it knows who you are, when you're doing the work. So it'll give you whatever individual function you have. And then the completion code. You in the auto lab thing, you type in your username, and that, you know, checks, it gives the probe, it checks the right function for the ad too. So that way, each student can't look over the other one. Because each person has a different a different function they need to implement.
Host 1 33:50
Do they just say like, Hey, connect channel X to your output?
Host 1 33:54
Yeah, so it's like, you know, WX y, z is your input, and connect channel 1234 or 012341232, w x, y, z. And then, you know, connect the output to F.
Host 1 34:05
Oh, this thing is also putting the stimulus in as well. Yes. And the PA, that's cool. It controls anything it has no, right.
Host 1 34:14
Yeah, it'll be it'd be it is the buttons and it is the checking the output. And since they control the power of the power supply, and the thing, they'll turn it on, and then shut off when they're done.
Host 3 34:24
I've got a story about this. And I will preface this by saying we did the work. Everything we did was was proper, but I had a lab partner for one of my labs once I don't remember which one it was. But we we
Host 1 34:42
The class was not particularly difficult. And it was annoying because we had one TA for like 10 pairs of people and every single pair of people had to build something on a breadboard in the lab at every step of the way, you had to have the TA come over. And they would approve when you're done with each step. And so some of our labs were like five or six steps. And you'd have to wait. And you know, like, Hey, we're ready for this step. And these labs would be three or four hours long when they could be like one hour, right? So get this, we get, we built this entire circuit. And then at the very last step, it was like, okay, add this chunk to do this extra thing. We did that we checked it. And we knew 100% It worked. And I was just like, You know what, I want to see if we can get away with this. So I deactivated a whole bunch of the rest of the circuit. And I just plugged a function generator into the output, just so that the TA all they would see is the output of the function generator. And the TA Kimo came over. He's like, looks great, guys. That's exactly what I was looking for. And it was literally just a function generator plugged into this. And I just tuned it to get whatever the the output was supposed to be. Yeah. And he was just like, Yep, great. You guys pass. I'm like,
Host 2 36:02
Steven, that sounds something like I would have done too.
Host 1 36:05
I mean, like, I made sure we actually did the work and like, we knew what we were doing. You're just cheating. It was more just to see like, I wanted to see if the TA would would check. He looked at the breadboard and there was crap on the breadboard. And he looked at the scope, and there was the signal he wanted to see. Yeah.
Host 1 36:24
Yeah, actually, we do have scopes, we do have regular like Keysight MSO. It's the larger four channel scope with the it has the logic.
Host 2 36:35
Susan's mixed signal, that's those are good scopes.
Host 1 36:38
No, they're really nice scopes. And they are hooked up, they also got, I think they must have got to deal with Keysight because everything in the labs Keysight stuff, they probably had some education package, but they haven't hooked up. So everything's plugged in with the the Ethernet control for all the stuff. So you can the lab which Yeah, the each of the lab stations has a computer, and then that's hooked up to the scope. So then you can pull, you can pull data from the scope directly. And then you can put that into the some of the lab reports, especially early on, at least in this class, we were doing like propagation delay measurements for the for your like an AND gate. So you need the you'd need the larger scope that has the higher bandwidth to be able to actually pull that kind of stuff out. So that's yeah, it's they've done a lot to integrate the class into something pretty efficient.
Host 2 37:28
It's so what's interesting is it sounds like as Derek is progressing through his classes, stuff is getting more and more automated and integrated. Whereas my experience was the exact opposite. Like my freshman year, a lot of stuff was in Blackboard online. Automated stuff. And as I was getting to my senior level classes, it became more of writing stuff on paper and turned into it in hundreds, I think it was because those professors, my senior year, like half of my classes were half the class was graduate students, right. And so those professors are never going to change what they're doing.
Host 1 38:09
Or two in they don't have the amount of students they have to push through exactly
Host 1 38:13
What it is. Yeah. Are you going to are you going to spend a lot of time building up an automated system for nine people or? Versus of 5000? Their first class? Yeah.
Host 2 38:25
My chemistry one was because it was everyone you know, has a chemistry. Absolutely. At least that first one that was like an auditorium. Yes, we
Host 1 38:37
Filled an entire we filled the every Chem exam, we fill all three balconies of the auditorium because my class had 2700 people and my chem class freshman year. One class that was one class, like, it's just the lectures were like, 500 people a piece, so they broke it up. Okay, yeah, these 350 the exams were all sections of the once. So it was every floor of the auditorium filled, it was like 3000 people, or 20, something like that. Well, I mean, obviously, it's an exam, see the space people out. So it wasn't like, Pat, you know, still the back to back. But it was, yeah, it's a it's a weird experience going, you know, spending your whole day and then going to an 830 exam in the auditorium with 3000 other people.
Host 2 39:19
And you know, like, 30% of those people are going to fail. Yeah,
Host 1 39:23
No, it definitely
Host 1 39:25
Wouldn't. Because of that exam.
Host 1 39:27
It has the odd feeling of like lambs to slaughter everyone's just kind of everyone's kind of, you know, we're just all packed together being funneled into the funnel into the, into the auditorium.
Host 1 39:38
It's a real fun part is when you're leaving the exam, and when you see some people are like, oh, yeah, that was great. And then so My God, my life is over.
Host 1 39:47
I kind of make every time anytime I do exam, I walk out and I just leave and I don't even I don't want to think about it. And I'm just headcase myself into a into a box. Did I do this right to do that wrong? I don't I don't want to I don't want to tell Talk about it.
Host 2 40:01
Yeah, I do what there are I did what there does is I leave the exam and like because you know, some people that were hanging out, yeah talking about, I'm like, No, I'm going home and going to take a nap. Or sometimes I gotta go to my next exam.
Host 1 40:16
Or it's Oh, shoot, it's 1030. I'm going to bed now. Because those exams I had, I had nine o'clock start exams freshman year, which was kind of rough. But what else? 9am? Yeah, 9pm start,
Host 1 40:30
Start, oh, we had a few of those as well. I mean, it's really hard when you have, you know,
Host 1 40:35
A few 1000s. And you got to treat the auditorium, that your only option is the big auditorium, because you have that many people. Oh, but I actually, I should mention with the whole, the whole autolab thing that was always result of COVID that it didn't that didn't exist before COVID. And then they had to go online with the labs. So they had to figure something out. So that's,
Host 1 41:01
That's a good segue into, yeah, what, how is COVID affecting things.
Host 1 41:07
So there's an example. But big thing would be, at least they stopped it this semester, since we're back in person. So but obviously, during COVID When we were, we were still in person, but you could, if you chose to, you could do remote. And then everything was designed to be remote classes. So like all your majority, your lectures were Zoom, zoom meetings, basically are recordings, and then your recitations war zoom meetings. And I had like, one or two classes where the lectures were in person, but it was like the big lecture hall, and there were 30 people in there. So it was very heavily spaced out. Some exams were still in person on paper. But doing online exams was a whole, you had to do you have to download the LockDown Browser, which was like a, a web browser that would only let you have one screen open and only let you open certain things and it would, basically a rootkit, but it would disable it would disabled.
Host 2 42:18
You have to let them control your computer.
Host 1 42:20
Yes. You have to give them control your computer. Oh, yeah. No, it hurt.
Host 2 42:25
I had to buy it my it that it would have to be its own computer.
Host 1 42:29
I have a $50 appliance. I use when when that happens. But um, yeah, so that was that was definitely a COVID thing. Was the LockDown Browser exams? What else? COVID?
Host 1 42:48
Because you don't have multiple computers or phones or anything else you can use, right?
Host 1 42:53
Yeah. And then obviously, everything. You know, since you're sitting in your room taking exam by yourself, you have to have a webcam. So they could monitor. I'll say, either some classes did it where they didn't use the LockDown Browser and you'd have like a Zoom meeting. And then someone was like watching your camera. But other ones use the LockDown Browser. And it would like it would record you. And then it would also do some kind of vision processing to like, watch your eyes and see where like, are you looking not on the page kind of deal.
Host 2 43:23
So we went from like the awesome thing that came out of this. You two likes to be in two big brother testing still come to my brother University? Yeah. Oh,
Host 1 43:33
I didn't know they were going that hardcore.
Host 1 43:36
Yeah, I mean, they evolved, obviously. When it first started everything, and no one knew how to do anything. So there'd be like quizzes on Brightspace or exams on Brightspace or something. And then it would be a lot of there was a lot of honor system because they didn't have better options. And then as things moved along, they found quote, unquote, better solutions.
Host 2 43:56
Better solutions are just make your exam open book. So it doesn't really matter.
Host 1 44:01
Is surprised? I really wish I had some classes do that. Others just buckled down on
Host 2 44:09
Some professors do not like that at all.
Host 1 44:12
They don't like the idea. I think it makes it harder for them because then they have to make it more free open response and more effort on grading other than I can run it through a scantron Yeah, no, it definitely, it definitely is. That's why I like my calculus, calc one to calc three, all multiple choice exams. And then you get once you get the diff EQ and linear you kind of the requirement the amount of people required to take the course drops. So the like my diff EQ exams, half the exam was free response, and the other half was multiple choice. So since they have less people going through, they had the time to grade and things got a lot better because you could miss the end result that you could show 90% of the work. Yeah, get that much credit back.
Host 1 44:59
Wow. was interesting because I've never had a multiple choice. Mathematics exam. Yes. 100% all open. All my math classes were
Host 2 45:07
Host 1 45:10
I envy that.
Host 1 45:13
I had a lot of multiple choice physics class. Yeah, a lot of multiple offers. And I had I had some professors that were were, frankly, jackasses about it, where they give for answers. And they would be like, 99.4 99.5 99.6. So they would they would test you like, you'd have to get you'd have to get in the right place, but significant figures and you'd have to round properly to get their answer. That's rough. Yeah. Come on, guys.
Host 1 45:41
I had a multiple choice exam. A couple of weeks ago. For three the answers were actually none of the above.
Host 1 45:48
Oh, no. Yeah, that did that mean,
Host 1 45:51
They did that? Yeah. No, that was that was terrible. But, you know, the multiple choice exams, I guess I've noticed they've been going away is my class size gets smaller. I mean, again, with like, with calculus, it's kind of the same thing as the chemistry, the general chemistry, where you have that, you know, a couple 1000 people, you get a pump through the class. So doing multiple choice is kind of the only way that makes sense, I guess. But I mean, Stephen, you went to a large school, so I don't know. It just priorities, I guess.
Host 1 46:24
I guess they lumped all math students together didn't matter if you're a math major engineer at whatever, it was all math. And when it came to the exams, the entire math department would get together, and they would write the exam together. And they just had armies of TAs that would write
Host 2 46:40
Okay, that's all my school
Host 1 46:41
Was just great. Good grade. Yeah, yeah. So
Host 2 46:43
When I went to my calculus class, or any of my math classes, it was with other, like, half your class or more, more than half the class is just actual, like mathematics students, or it's or from other colleges. Like, there would be like one other, like, electrical engineer in there. Or actually, when I was taking those, I was actually a petroleum engineer at the time. So there'd be like, two petroleum engineers, and then like this 40 other people in that class? And yeah, it's same way though. It's like the entire department has written that, you know, math what M like 314? L? Yeah, like one of the
Host 1 47:24
Title departments course, it's not the double E's, not the double E's math. Class.
Host 1 47:29
Right. So that's how they call it a different name. Yes. All the same. Also, you know, they graded pretty binary, like your work, didn't your work? Was there too, for you? Not for them? It was
Host 1 47:42
It was there. Yeah. It was not to just to give you partial credit, it was did you get the end result? So ours
Host 2 47:47
Was when you were doing those, there's like, certain, like, milestones when you're working through those problems. And they will check those milestones.
Host 1 47:58
Okay. So at least you had some,
Host 2 48:00
So if you got 90 away percent way through it, and then you just fudged a number on your calculator at the end?
Host 1 48:07
Right. Minus five. Yeah, yeah.
Host 2 48:11
The, you will get 90% of the credit still.
Host 1 48:14
Yeah. So you instead of looking I circled the wrong answer in the multiple choice. And sorry, there it goes to half your grade.
Host 2 48:22
I did have a multiple choice test that had three questions on it. Oh, what class was that? It was like chemistry. I don't think it was any of the ones that class. It was one of my what we would call a general education class. Right. I remember what it was, though. I just remember that just sticks out in my head. Because it was just like questions. Yeah. Yeah. And it was that test was 40% of our grade.
Host 1 48:51
I had a class last semester, that the, I think it was my it was my fundamentals ECE Fundamentals course where the course was. The it was three exams and a final and that was the course no homework or anything that was graded. And then each exam was only 10 questions. And each question had, you know, 10, multiple choice options, and then none of the above? And then that was the course.
Host 2 49:22
So it wasn't natural sciences class. I can't remember which one might have been geology. No, it was weather. Whether it was like weather patterns. Or some kind of weather tech class I was taking I can't remember.
Host 1 49:41
Which of these options,
Host 2 49:42
Was it? It was weird. It was a weird because I like it was like engineering, weather or climate, I should say. It was actually very similar to Derek's class on when he was talking about how like engineering effects like it. Yeah, but it was not that it was slike like, the climate and, but also a little bit like that to me, I completely forgot about that class until now. Because that's the only thing I remember was that, oh my god that tests, I got all three right thankfully. But I just can't believe that was a was a test that was like that
Host 1 50:24
I had classes last semester give up exams during COVID They just didn't have exams, they everything was homework, they all the grades were homework, because they didn't they didn't want to do exams during COVID It was my advanced C course. So make sense? Yeah, that that makes a lot more sense. He turned out, here's the C project and do it. And if they were, they were, I love that course because I hate I hate getting stressed for exams, but I will tackle you know, give me a problem, I'll do anything I can to solve it. But I hate the dread of going into exam and not being able to like prepare, and you know, actually be able to work the problem to solution I just had to, you know, show up with the best I got and see what happens that I don't know that just kind of I don't want I don't like doing it that way I like to be able, here's the problem. And I'm just going to work my way through it and take as much time as I need to just find solutions and you know, make mistakes and actually sign you know, get a solution in the end. But it doesn't have to be that feels more real than our Yeah, so it certainly it certainly is more applicable.
Host 2 51:27
So it's interesting. So David Len festy in our slot on our Twitch chat, Derek, is he he or she is mentioning that oh god programming courses that require writing code on paper. I had those classes. Yep. Have you? Have you ever had a turn in a piece of paper that you had to actually write code down on with a pen or pencil? Yeah,
Host 1 51:53
My exam last week?
Host 2 51:55
They actually had to write it down, though. I totally thought they would just have you write it in a computer and turn that in?
Host 1 52:02
I think it was just because for exams, they have it in, in person in an auditorium. So you know, I'm sitting in an auditorium with a piece of cardboard in my lap, right in the exam. They don't want to have I guess it takes more effort to to actually do the have people have computers and stuff? I don't know. I don't know. I mean, maybe it's just the way they decided to do it. But the rest of the course is the rest of the course is actually administered through GitHub uses GitHub classroom to score. Yeah, to do all your code submissions. So it was fun.
Host 2 52:34
We totally triggered chat right now. Everyone is like just remembering writing code on paper,
Host 1 52:45
Or the ones where it's your you know, here's this very terrible formatted for loop that has three recursive elements. What is the output? And here's the
Host 2 52:59
Assembly class all over
Host 1 53:00
Again. Oh, yeah. And then they say, like, fix it. So it does that. And you also
Host 2 53:05
Fix it. So does this output? Yeah,
Host 1 53:07
Yeah. Or you be or you be the compiler and decide what happens when this code runs?
Host 1 53:15
Yeah, that, and we're going to trick you and write tons of errors and warnings, right? We had
Host 2 53:22
One where we had C code, and we had it was my assembly sembly and compiler class. And you had they give you C code, and you had to write an object code, and then convert that to ORS assembly, the object code assembly, then into object code. And I'm just like, why is this? We have computers that do this for us. Why are we doing this by hand?
Host 1 53:47
Because that you must know the fundamentals of how it works. So they say.
Host 2 53:54
So in real life, though, you forgot to put a semicolon somewhere. And a computer's just like, hey, you know, you're able
Host 1 54:02
To semicolon there, you run it through your test algorithm and you're Miss
Host 2 54:05
Severe, you missed a semicolon on a test in college, you might have to retake entire class. Which is why I really love levels of scale of of, of risk there is out of balance.
Host 1 54:20
Yeah, I mean, I love like that love that advanced C course because the since the entire class is homework, I did all of that, that I would do on the exam, but there was no pressure, because I just was working my way through solving the homework. And you know, I feel so bad for the people who didn't know debuggers existed in that course. Because they would just like write their code in Vim. And then they would just hit run in put like print debugging on stuff and just see what happens. That would have hurt
Host 1 54:51
A whole bunch of, I'm here. I'm here. I'm here. What
Host 1 54:56
Is the value of Adam here? What is the value of x? I'm here. Yeah, no, I had a, I set up a, a C debugging setup in VS code to run through everything. I mean, it was just, you know, your standard debugger that gives you variable. And once you step through each line and put breakpoints and do variable, you know, see the state of variables and edit them. But even that, since they're mostly simple assignments, being able to see how, you know, I stepped to this line, and it was this function and my, you know, in the value of this variable changes and your expect, you know, if you're not expecting it to do that, then you can change it instead of Where's x at this point, but where is X? How is x? Yeah, that was x doing tonight? So did I cover all my classes?
Host 1 55:52
Well, okay, so real quick, I don't, I don't know. Remember, if you said this, but sort of back to the that exam methodology that was happening during COVID, are they still doing that where you do individual exams, and you're monitored with a camera,
Host 1 56:07
Um, for I haven't had any that have done that they've kind of, they've kind of gone back on completely to the clinical standard. I do know other classes where they do still do online exams, or it's an open note exam, and they can do it wherever and they turn in their work, you know, to you have two hours, and it's open note, and then submit your work on grade scope, or whatever, are online. And you can just do as you please. Which is, you know, it's kind of one of those, they write it, so you better know what you're doing. Because otherwise, there's not a chance in the world, you're gonna find it in the two hours anyway. So I mean, that's honestly more we're world to because you could, you know, you forget one tiny detail, you can go look it up, and then you're back on track, which you do, and you're doing the date, day to day. But yeah, they pretty much reverted to pre COVID academic policies. So you say it's pretty
Host 1 57:08
Much back to normal. Yeah,
Host 1 57:09
The sucky part is they finally got all the professors to record their lectures and post them online, so you can rewatch a lecture or if you missed the lecture, you can watch it. And then the second, we went back to non COVID stuff, they just dropped out like a bad habit, unfortunately, so no one records their lectures anymore, like they used to not, which is really unfortunate, because I enjoyed being able to have the flexibility to watch it at my leisure. You know, that I want to, you know, I wake up early, and I don't want to have to do the lecture at three o'clock. But it's already recorded. So I'll just watch it at eight in the morning, and then I'll do the work. And then I don't need to go to that class that's online, because I already watched the lecture. So it just gives you more flexibility. But I guess they decided they didn't want to do that anymore. But I think that would be something that should stay is being able to, you know, keep those lectures that way. I mean, just like if life happens, you know, I have a doctor's appointment at this lecture, you get sick? Yeah. I mean, they've clearly proven they have the technological infrastructure to make that happen on a daily basis with every professor because we had to do it during COVID. So there's I just don't see any reason why they shouldn't anymore.
Host 1 58:25
Yeah, so another question I saw earlier in chat that I'm curious about is from from looking at what you've what you've said already, and what what you've put on your fundamentals here. I didn't see you've taken this already. But do you have to take an engineering ethics course sometime?
Host 1 58:43
In engineering ethics course? Like what kind of do you have something like that? When
Host 1 58:48
I think I did, I think you had to as well. Parker? Yeah. What were
Host 1 58:52
Those classes like maybe I either
Host 2 58:55
It's very similar to or idea of your like engineering affecting the world. This is more of like, how, so my class was more of I was a petroleum engineer. At times I took the the PGE version of this class, which is so at UT like each the partment had their own engineering department had their own one of these. And the PGE one was more of a how to cover your ass so you're not the one that gets sued. Oh, gee, as an engineer, okay. Yeah, they covered some of the stuff like the net like the, the space shuttle, the to space shuttle. Or is it one at a time? When was the second one discovery was discovered like
Host 1 59:50
Early 2000s. Was it?
Host 2 59:53
What was the Challenger then there's then there was the I can't remember what was the one with the foam hitting the wing.
Host 1 1:00:00
Or like like in the heat shield block or whatever. Yeah. And then
Host 2 1:00:05
Whether or reentering it exploded over Texas was that Challenger and Columbia? He it's been a while since I've looked at the stuff. Yeah, Columbia was the one that got way off topic. Columbia was the one that the heat shield damage. And I think Columbus was the one that was the booster rocket that exploded on liftoff. The Columbus one is, I think is the, like, traditional one for that class where it's like the engineer, it got lost, like all the stuff got lost in spreadsheets, and, and slideshows. Okay, all that information, like the engineers are like, don't watch when it's this cold. And then like it got it just got lost.
Host 1 1:00:52
Someone didn't expand the Excel tab to read it.
Host 2 1:00:57
But like the engineer, that was like, the lead on that, like, like, that was the whole big thing. Okay. Challenger, Challenger and Columbia. That's
Host 1 1:01:06
Okay. Yeah, I don't see any requirement. I have, like a social behavioral requirements are in a quantitative reasoning requirement. But no, kind of like engineering, ethics kind of required mean. Yeah. And there's just Gen Ed and advanced Gen Ed. Like you have to take like a written communication course and an oral communication course. But I got I transferred those in from high school credits. So I didn't actually have to take those while I was at
Host 2 1:01:40
Purdue. Any technical writing,
Host 1 1:01:43
No technical writing, which I think is a shame. You have to take an engineering breath elective. So like a different engineering major discipline, like take statics or nucular engineering or environmental engineering, that kind of deal
Host 2 1:01:59
I took, because I was a petroleum engineer, I took statics, okay, and the worst thing is, when I went to law school, that didn't transfer over, I like an entire year's worth of stuff that just didn't transfer over because it was petroleum engineering is very specialized as right, obvious. Whereas electrical engineering is like the exact opposite. It's just like, it's you ever the E. everyone that's listening, an E c, e degree, you can pretty much almost do anything besides like, build bridges, like civil engineering has kind of like the same thing. But for concrete. I might have offended a civil engineer there. But that's what it feels like. We're the civil engineer, you can do a lot of things. Send them the ECU degree.
Host 1 1:02:48
Yeah. Water plus equals mud. And you have a civil engineer degree, right? Yes, sir.
Host 2 1:02:59
Yes, engineer, Bob in Twitch chat. statics is triggered with forces. Exactly. It's it was a lot of fun. Actually, I use that class a lot in designing and building things. You build a weld up a bench, you know, you're tackling all your forces, right, making sure you're using thick enough
Host 1 1:03:18
Steel, the solution is use triangles,
Host 2 1:03:21
Use triangles for everything and then weld the snot out of it.
Host 3 1:03:26
You know, so we got we had an option to take statics and dynamics, at least there was there was a grouping of like, eight classes that you could take. And statics and dynamics was one of them.
Host 1 1:03:38
Or you one of the other classes, or two of the other classes were 400 level math classes. And if you just as an electrical engineer, if you just took one of those, you got a math minor. So it was like, why not just do that. And it's like part of the, you know, like statics and dynamics, I thought about it like that would be really useful. But I'll get the minor so I took, right, it was a class called waves and wavelets. And it was everything behind the Fourier transform. And lots amazing, it was super
Host 2 1:04:06
Great. That's why you're so good at that stuff.
Host 1 1:04:08
I love that class. And it was project based. So you know, it would be like I remember even one of the one of the, they gave us like multiple projects, you pick one and do it. And one of them was you had to get a microphone and put it somewhere in your engine compartment in your car and develop an algorithm that would basically tell you the RPM of your car. So it was like very simple like reading in data taking the Fourier series finding a peak and going
Host 1 1:04:41
It was doing RPM counting not like noise cancellation, okay,
Host 1 1:04:44
Well, the best part was is like all of that stuff. You have to you have to do noise canceling. You have to figure out all the other stuff to make the fundamentals work, right, like right, it would be engine compartments are pretty noisy. So
Host 1 1:04:57
You know, there's a lot of lot of other things going on. Yeah, so it was a bunch of
Host 1 1:05:01
Fun stuff like that. That's released actually get a math minor out of it.
Host 1 1:05:05
So right. And project based courses, I think are always really fun.
Host 1 1:05:10
Well, it was also there was some pretty brutal proofs in that because it was a math class. So
Host 1 1:05:15
They, first and foremost, it was a math course. Yeah, I've
Host 2 1:05:18
Told this story before. But I took one of my math classes I did take was a proofs class. And the I think I've told the story, at least that I've told the story to Stephen before, maybe not in the podcast, but the book. Like, the each class was like a chapter in this book. And we were following it. And about like the fourth week, so we're a month into this class, because it meant once a week, I realized that basically like you do the proof the hard way. And then like the next week, you learn more about proofs that makes the previous easier previous weeks easier. And so it builds that way, which is actually kind of a good way to, to structure the class. Yeah. But so I did. I'm like, I'm like the only engineer in this class. Only everyone else's math majors. I read the chapter head. And then I solved that week's problem using the knowledge I know from the next week, and my professor called me a cheater in the class.
Host 1 1:06:26
Like your college students, you barely work on schedule.
Host 2 1:06:33
Yeah. Yeah, man. I did not like that class at all. After that. I'm like, Man, that's fucking bullshit.
Host 2 1:06:43
Yeah, I'm purposely making the proof harder, because we don't have the tool set yet. Is what what? Cut your teeth
Host 1 1:06:51
You kind of cut your teeth.
Host 1 1:06:52
Yeah. I love going in the project based courses. I have more coming up, obviously getting more into senior design and more higher end courses that do want a project stuff. But can't can't wait for that. Because definitely love doing a good project. It's always it's the best way to do things.
Host 2 1:07:15
So I know we have a loss of in here for like they're talking about his projects. But I think we should just have Derek back on the podcast again.
Host 1 1:07:21
I think so too. Yeah, I was about to mention, we could probably double or triple the length of this podcast.
Host 1 1:07:28
Yes. For sure.
Host 1 1:07:33
Cool. That was an interesting look at what's going on now. And I know there's a lot of reminiscing, but I was I was really curious to see are things starkly different than when we did it? And what's interesting is looking at what you're doing now, I think you were you're, you're perhaps a bit more advanced than where I was at the same time as you. But looking back at your fundamentals, not much has changed whatsoever, the fundamentals are still the same. Yeah,
Host 1 1:08:02
I think most of the stuff like the actual course content, for the most part is probably the same. I think I think the difference we've noticed is how they go about either teaching it or giving you the, you know, giving you the information or how they grade the information. I think that's where the shift with technology is kind of first and foremost, kind of apparent. But yeah, I think the core content is still pretty much the same. Maybe you know, some of the programming courses, they use different languages or more, more up to date stuff. But other than that, like math has been around for a while. You know, logic design has been around
Host 1 1:08:38
Well, not even just math, but the method through which math is taught. That is very set.
Host 2 1:08:46
I don't think that's going to change anytime soon.
Host 1 1:08:48
Yeah. Or I guess, progression like, yeah,
Host 2 1:08:51
It does sound like your statics class is moving forward in the right direction, because like my science class, and probably like Stevens was like, you are doing everything by hand. Yeah, there's no computer or anything there to help you out. Now, of course, you also not dealing with you. We're talking like a dataset with like, 2000 entries. We're dealing with, like a data set. That's like 10. Yeah. Numbers.
Host 1 1:09:16
Yeah, there's no there's no z score calculation there. You're only doing T school t score, because you're less than 30 on that. But yeah, cuz you can use Python and then you just just let it handle handle the handle the hard part of actually doing the number crunching. And you just yeah. So yeah, thanks for thanks for having me on here. And thank you, Derek. Just kind of rambling. But that was that was fun. Yeah,
Host 1 1:09:38
Well as you progress, you know, keep in touch. I'm sure we'll be happy to have you on again. Yeah,
Host 1 1:09:43
Yeah, no, um, I'll stay stay in the Slack channel and keep keep chatting.
Host 1 1:09:47
Great. Well, with that, would you like to sign us out? Yeah.
Host 1 1:09:52
Yeah, so that was the macro fab engineering podcast. I always your guest, Derek Frolik.
Host 2 1:09:56
And we are your hosts Parker, Dolman and Steven Craig will later everyone take it easy
Transcribed by https://otter.ai