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Studying I graduated some time ago, it was a mess

  1. Dec 9, 2016 #1
    The overall aim I have is to go over information I learned in college but at the same time learn to program at the same time.

    I graduated college with a GPA that wasn't so much the best. I got a degree in Electrical Engineering. I feel as if I should just go back to college and go over the whole thing again, but then I realized from looking at my habits that I would just be memorizing the formulas to just pass a test.

    I saw a pattern to it, when I was taking the normal 17-20 credits a semester I was mentally spread to thin. Juggling so many classes and trying to deal with so much distraction from what I would call 'life'.

    When I only took 8 credits a semester I was focused and capable of doing well it wasn't so much better but you could see it. This however was during the summer and the semester was shorter. This is suggesting had I taken 8 credits during a longer semester giving myself more time I would of done exceedingly well.

    I can put this another way, picture a 12 inch diameter pizza. Now I can eat the whole thing at once but I can only cram so much into my mouth at once and after that from eating that whole pizza at once I will cause indigestion because there's only so much my digestive system can take.

    The approach I want to take is take a small slice of the pizza, eat it, digest it in a more efficient way, but at one slice per day. But at the same time I do not want to always be eating pizza.

    I've saved most my textbooks, because I had reasoned during my bid at college that I wasn't going to distill all the information in that one whole sitting. I unknowingly set it up that I will get through the program, gain a perspective as to what I figured out via a GPA score and then try again.

    Right now I would like to eventually take the FE, or EIT exam.
    For those not familiar with the FE or EIT it's this,
    But it's not so critical that I actually go and do it, it's more that I when I take it I can see that I actually know the subjects.

    I already have a review book, but I am afraid I'm just going to just memorize how to do something as apposed to actually re-learning it.

    So instead of actually reading the review book , I'm going to grab a random text book, and master it.

    Right now, I'm going over this textbook,
    and at the same time I'm learning how to use sci lab in conjunction with the textbook:
    Please note the sci lab PDF is for a different edition of the textbook.
    I also have a chegg account so I can go over the answers

    And so far I'm finding that I probably need an in-depth review of calculus. In addition to that I am having a hard time understanding the language a problem is written in.

    But then I understand I could just through the equation into wolfram alpha.

    But I do not want to abuse this tool.

    Also understand as well, as much as I maybe using the computer to calculate I'm not trying to avoid doing it by hand. I'm doing it this way so I can also learn how to program at the same time re-learn the material.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to PF!

    What language are you planning to learn?

    It seems from what you posted regarding Scilab that a numerical choice like MATLAB, Julia or Python would be good although some other languages like Java with the Open Source Physics toolkit (www.compadre.org/osp) might be useful as well.

    Personally, I would think you'd want to master the programming language first and then tackle doing actual computational work. You will run into a mound of difficulties and will have trouble deciding if its a programming problem, numerical error or conceptual understanding of the problem you're trying to solve.

    The OpenSource Physics website is a good resource for a variety of simulation problems. Basically the authors developed a java library to do physics simulations in java and wrote a book about it. Starting with this book and your background, you might get jump started into programming with numerical Java.

    What is the end goal? getting a job as a scientific/engineering programmer?
  4. Dec 9, 2016 #3
    My main focus is in power generation.

    I see a big end goal that I make something beneficiary to someone or a great many of people.

    That's a big goal so I have a hierarchy of goals.

    I first want to figure out how to properly apply Faraday's Law, and model a Faraday flash light in a computer program.

    I then want to investigate how to store the energy. I know how it works, and have idea why, but I don't have it yet mastered in my head.

    Then I want to think of ways to get the magnet to move through the coil without having to shake it. Example maybe have a mechanical engineer/tech/builder join the team.

    As much as I want to get a job, it's not so important that it be exactly in the field I was trained for, it's more that I make the money to fund my projects, and or have the ability to hire people.
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