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Engineering lectures boring?

  1. Nov 19, 2012 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2012 #2
    Yes, those videos pretty much sum up engineering school. Dry, rarely a derivation, and a lot of technology talk. Get out while you can.
  4. Nov 19, 2012 #3
    sorry i really can't tell if your serious or being a troll. (i apologize but there are a lot of trolls on the internet)

    i also took a look at some lectures on MIT's opencourseware and found those pretty dull as well.

    i'm just wondering if i were to go into engineering... will this be the next 4 years of my life?
  5. Nov 19, 2012 #4
    I am not an engineering student but as far as university lectures go those intro to digital integrated circuits lectures don't seem that dull to me. They are actually very good . A lot of lectures can be dull but in the end lectures are just a small part of a course. If you like the material you can get over bad or dull lecturers.
  6. Nov 19, 2012 #5


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    Yes. That's the simple answer. You might have one or two lectures who can really speak well and motivate students, but most professors were at one point just kids who lived the subject, wished to learn more about it, became experts and now teach it. Learning how to teach this subject well or interestingly was never a requirement.

    *Note I was not an engineering major, but from my time as a math and physics major, I've found that most classes in any majors are the same. What makes them 'interesting' is the quest to understand the topic and apply it. Most of my lectures were not things that were 'fun' or interesting, but rather tedious.
  7. Nov 19, 2012 #6
    well i am planning on majoring in physics but i have been interested in engineering.but after watching these and a few other engineering lectures i just don't think its for me.
  8. Nov 19, 2012 #7
    Some people find engineering cool but it's just OK to me. It's mostly because I can't stand the way engineering is taught and I just find physics and math much more interesting.

    Although, the best thing about an engineering degree is the amount of skills you will learn and those can be dumped onto resumes. I went to a career fair a couple months ago and the employers I talked to really liked my resume because it was full of skills I learned from EE. Embedded stuff, FPGA's, C/C++ programming, circuit design, etc. I'm not sure what I would have on my resume if I was a physics major besides "problem solving" and some programming skills. It's no surprise that a large chunk of physics majors intend on continuing to grad school (see link) so I doubt "skills" are important on their list of to-do's.

    Anyways, going back to your original question, I would suggest you take an engineering class asap in college to see if you like or not. Since I was a transfer student I took my first engineering class when I was sophomore and it definitely shook my confidence in that I was making the right decision. I'm a junior now and don't really regret foregoing in engineering because I had doubts that if I wanted to ever go to grad school so in that respect engineering is a much better 4 year degree in my opinion.

  9. Nov 19, 2012 #8
    I agree with this.

    If you're interested in engineering then don't let the lectures dissuade you, the labs in engineering are pretty cool and you will learn a lot of things in those. Don't let random people on the internet push you away from what you want to learn. Me personally, I've never been interested in engineering I just want a technical job, so for me engineering is the easiest path for that especially from a 4 year degree standpoint.
  10. Nov 20, 2012 #9
    That is pretty much an engineering course and actually that is better than the basic digital design course I took.

    While I didn't take higher level physics courses, the required physics courses I took were very similar as well. If you find lectures like this boring then you probably aren't going to enjoy science or engineering classes in general.

    I would say during my undergraduate EE degree I had one professor that I would say was astounding, but that was in Computer Architecture which lent itself to student ideas/interaction which the professor was really good at. But if you are expecting a bunch of Feynman style lectures I am afraid you are going to be disappointed.
  11. Nov 20, 2012 #10
    They won't be boring when you get into the difficult curriculum. Sure, they're dry, but it isn't liberal arts. If you want to get into engineering, you take engineering classes for the technical and mathematical instruction (and you grin and bear it), and you use your free electives for more creative or culturally stimulating courses.

    That's not to say many classes in engineering aren't fun. I think, while I was in school, every semester I had at least one class that I was excited to go to every time. Whether it was interesting material, a great professor, a good lab, or whatever, you'll usually find you enjoy something about the classes.

    If you don't find the course material interesting (beyond intro levels) then maybe rethink why you got/want into engineering...
  12. Nov 20, 2012 #11
    Your experiences do not match mine at all.

    My engineering lectures are usually pretty engaging and often very informative. Derivations are only skipped if they require math that we as students have not used yet (and sometimes not even then - hello, stress tensors). Often the lectures are spent discussing how a messy equation that has just been derived can be simplified under certain conditions, and discussing when those conditions no longer become appropriate assumptions. Sometimes the lectures are pure theory. And yes, some lectures are devoted to problem solving techniques.

    Don't get out while you can. Just go to a good school that challenges you. I don't know where DrummingAtom went to school, but maybe he didn't get his moneys worth.
  13. Nov 20, 2012 #12
    I go to a good engineering school and I am challenged ( I never said I wasn't..). Also, if you read my other posts in this very thread you'll see that I refined what I meant, seeing that my original post was tongue-in-cheek. In all honesty, I don't really find lectures in general interesting because the material is just given away. It's usually a struggle to even pay attention when someone is literally telling me step by step methods. Even the theoretical stuff in a lecture is more or less handed out like candy; there's no element of discovery. That's why if I really want to learn something I'll grind it out from books on my own because then I do get that discovery feeling, especially from difficult problems.

    Oh, and it's not my money paying for school it's the government's money (military). But I will let them know if they're not getting their money's worth, hopefully they can let the tax payers have that back. :smile:
  14. Nov 20, 2012 #13
    thank you for all the responses everyone!
    in my situation i am planning on majoring in physics. i prefer physics by a long shot. i find the idea of engineering very intriguing but i do not plan on going into engineering. i was just curious if lectures are usually like this.
    every lecture i watched(didnt list all of them some were from mit) they talk too much about devices and technology which doesnt interest me. i was very very bored watching the lectures. not because i didnt understand, but it was simply not my thing. i even watched some circuit lectures and it just doesnt give me the same feeling as when i do physics.

    i do still find aspects of engineering very interesting. but i would much rather be doing physics. i am glad to have had all these responses from different points of view. but if engineering lectures are like this in university, i am relieved to have found out sooner then later that its not for me
  15. Nov 20, 2012 #14
    thanks for the response! but i have to disagree with the part about science courses in general.
    the reason i find these very boring is all the technology talk which i dont find all that interesting.
    i watch physics lectures alot and i always get excited and am always on the edge of my seat.
    i am teaching myself calculus and i get very excited learning about it as well!
    dont get me wrong, engineering is terribly difficult and i have nothing but respect for engineers. i just do not think its right for me.
  16. Nov 25, 2012 #15
    The core purpose of someone studying electrical engineering, is to become a problem solver in the field of electrical engineering. As an EE student, we use a lot of mathematical formulas and procedures to analyze/design electrical systems that perform specific functions. We're not primarily concerned of how a mathematical model was deduced as much as how it can be used for modelling different systems, be it in circuits or applied electromagnetism, to serve our purpose of analysis and design.

    The lectures that you posted are about digital integrated circuits and digital design and that's a very small part of what makes electrical engineering. There are more challenging topics that require more mathematical skills and some deduction and derivations. We're not doing the whole thing by memorizing only.
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