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How do you find/organize equations and info?

  1. Sep 22, 2010 #1
    I was curious as to how different mechanical engineers found/organized the equations and information they need. So how have you organized equations or how do you go about finding them? Which options below apply to you and in which order?

    a) Who needs equations?
    b) Software does the calculations
    c) I have everything I use memorized
    d) I know which book I need to look in
    e) I have my books tabbed
    f) I use a quick reference guide (i.e. Gieck's Engineering Formulas)
    g) I made my own excel/powerpoint equation sheets

    For me it was mostly a), occasionally b) and if neither would do I typically go on to f) and if it doesn't have what I need I jump to d)/e) depending on whether I tabbed the book in college.

    Mostly I am interested in whether a fair amount of people make their own equation sheets. I saw several of my college peers making and consistently updating their equation sheets, but I have no idea what most actual engineers do. I personally have a horrible memory and am a visual person so quick reference guides usually aren't very useful for me. I started making an excel sheet but it was too limited for my visual needs. I am going to start making powerpoint slides for different topics and I can convert it to pdf so I can have it on a smart phone, tablet or most anywhere.

    Also, does anyone know a good site that has good visual explanations of a wide variety of equations/topics? Or if some of you have made your own equation sheets, mind sharing?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2010 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I use D and E in that order with a very small smattering of A and B. Books are your friend. Invest in a bookshelf. I have to admit, the idea of doing that on your smart phone is intriguing, but it would be pretty cumbersome I would imagine.
  4. Sep 22, 2010 #3
    In my experience, the company I work for keeps the most often used engineering equations. Most equations are completed using proprietary software, or within excel spreadsheets. The reason is that many of the equations I use have been empirically derived over the years and aren't in text books. The company databases are for the purposes of ease of use, ISO certifications, and in the case that a customer wants a design audits. I also frequently develop my own spreadsheets to repeat calculations. So, b, d, and g.
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