1. Sep 6, 2006

### Cyrus

I had my second heat transfer discussion today and he gave us a pop quiz. Its open book/notes. When he wrote the problem, he wrote the heat transfer coefficient as $$W/mK$$.....I mistakenly took that to mean milli Kelvin. It should have been written as $$W/m \cdot K$$.....I had everything else perfect. So instead of giving me -1 or -2 off, he takes off -3 and gives me a 7/10 on the first quiz. My own damn fault for not looking up the units in the book right in front of me, but still....sheesh what a hardass!

Now I am doing the HW, what a punch in the face. This class got hard in a hurry. Now I'm feeling iffy on getting an A.....hmmm....

My professor is one of those guys who flat out doesnt give a damn, he's like stone. Talk about arrogant engineer's Claus, I got one!

2. Sep 6, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Cyrus, it's a minor bump in the road, a hiccup. Put aside, and just be careful with things like units. You've definitely got a chance at an A.

3. Sep 6, 2006

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
It's also possible he really does give a damn...enough to be sure you'll be a good engineer who doesn't make dangerous mistakes by confusing units.

4. Sep 6, 2006

### Bystander

IUPAP, IUPAC, and a few other "standards" orgs. still have a way to go --- even with SI --- it is considered poor form to use a lower case "m" in ambiguous circumstances (thermal conductivity) without some clarifying comment.

5. Sep 6, 2006

### Cyrus

I'm more mad at myself for making such a stupid mistake when I could have looked it up in the book to make sure.....

To his defense, he's damn good in lecture and very smart. But when you talk to him 1 on 1, he seems not to care. He's helpful if you ask him a question, but he I asked him about the quiz and he just shrugged.....grrrrr...

It was only our second day of class too...

Last edited: Sep 6, 2006
6. Sep 6, 2006

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
What about arrogant physicists? At Virginia Tech, the physics students (all nine of them :rofl:) tried to make a "Top Ten Reasons Why Physicists Are Better Than Engineers" T-shirt for their chapter of the Society of Physics Students. The number one reason?

Physicist : University :: Engineer : Trade School

- Warren

7. Sep 6, 2006

### Cyrus

:rofl: :rofl: !

8. Sep 6, 2006

### mattmns

Pfff one little quiz you messed up? No biggie, you can still get an A!

9. Sep 6, 2006

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
If this were another forum, I'd have pointed out that neither of those two units is correct for a heat transfer coefficient; the first is a unit for conductance and the second is a unit for conductivity...but this is GD, so I'll skip it.

10. Sep 6, 2006

### Cyrus

Sorry, you are right. I should have wrote 'thermal conductivity.' I was being loose with my words, and it got me in trouble.

11. Sep 6, 2006

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
Units of Thermal Conductivity are insane. A few years back, when researching insulation for a furnace I was building. I found that there are enough variations that it seemed no 2 manufactures used the same units! Fortunately my HP28c has very flexible unit conversion capabilities, it saved my butt!

Good luck in your class Cyrus. However, I am on the side of your prof here. Did the units you used even make sense for the problem you were solving? This is a great example of why you need consistent use of dimensional analysis.

12. Sep 7, 2006

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
I will also point out that pop quizzes rarely make or break a grade, unless you're borderline on your exam scores and then good quiz scores can bump you up. They are intended more as a teaching tool than an assessment tool. It gives you a chance to see how you're progressing and learn from your mistakes BEFORE you get to the exam that counts. If you beat yourself up a bit for missing the points on the quiz for not checking that the units made sense, then you won't make that mistake on an exam. And, if you just didn't recognize that there was a problem with the units, you should go back and re-evaluate your understanding of the material presented to make sure you know what those terms are supposed to mean so you'll recognize if the units you wind up with don't make any sense. If the prof only deducted a point for that error, you'd probably be cheering that you still got an A, despite your silly error with units. Because he deducted 3 points, you were inspired to think about it a bit harder than that.

The profs that are tough like that aren't interested in being buddies or winning popularity contests, they're interested in making sure you learn what you're paying your tuition to learn.

13. Sep 9, 2006

### Clausius2

I'm sorry but..... I would have done the same than your professor with you:rofl: .

What mili kelvin???? Watts per milikelvin??. As you will go on your studies you will realise that an engineer is not a source of knowledge at all, we are not proficiency or experts in science. On the other hand, after being completed your degree, you SHOULD be able to SMELL what is right and not beforehand, what sounds good and what doesn't, even if you don`t have any background in the field. Why? because we are engineers, we are so badass....

Definitely a milikelvin sounds too bad than denotes a lack of smell**. So work harder on that part instead of parroting the numbers!!!!. (Just kidding).

**except if talking about low temperature physics which is not this case (I was afraid a physicist may bit me here).

Last edited: Sep 9, 2006