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As graduation approaches, I would like to evaluate my strength, weakness and interest in engineering as well as other fields.

Well , to begin with, I would like to address that I will be getting my B.S in mechanical engineering, specializing in mechatronics.

But as I have taken more and more mechanical engineering courses, I found the following:

1. classes in engineering are usually very experimental based, any theories are usually very complex and involve math and physics that are not expected of undergraduate level students.

2. classes such as systems, fluid mechanics, are usually very mathematical based, one could easily learn the terminologies after knowing thoroughly the math behind the course.

for instant, in control systems, it's essentially an application version of differential equations and linear analysis, maybe non-linear too but that falls into numerical analysis.

fluid mechanics is essentially vector calculus and F=Ma, ( bernoulli's principle can be derived straightly from navier stoke's equation which is really just differntial form of conservation of momentum).

my personal strength, weakness and interset:

1. I would begin by saying that, even in "science" classes in engineering I have made serious mistakes that haunt me still (I made some very serious mistakes in one of the lab in heat transfer), I tried to fit experimental data into theory (a no no for any science practice) . But I still believe that I'm more interested in the theory over practical applications, despite that I did make mistakes in a science class.

2. I am usually more interested in the physical explanation behind things other than its application. For instance, in my manufacturing classes, I spent significant amount of researching why climb cutting gives better surface finish over conventional cutting, when everyone else are probably busy making their parts for the project already...

3. I excel all my mathematics and science based class, as I said even though I made a big mistakes in my heat transfer class I did excellent on the exams and I'm confident that I learned the material throughout, I have yet to have anything less than a 4.0 in all my mathematics classes.

4. often I feel like in engineering, engineers are the "organizers" who uses various physics, chemistry principles for practical purposes. They only concern about the physics as much as they immediately need, they are not concern for exploration of the theories.

At first I was hoping that, as a mechanical engineer I would be able to design groundbreaking mechanisms that can change the way certain things work, for different applications, but after having been exposed to engineering, I find that most of the time engineers spend their time trying to make things work rather than exploring what other things could work(new mechanisms, scientific principles). And Now I am getting the impression that the latter are usually only achieved by physicist or mathematicians.

I wouldn't mind going to graduate school while working at the same time, but I really just want to figure out what major really suits me, I want to make new discoveries, or design new mechanisms. If you have read this far, I'm sure you are here to help, any suggestion and advice would be helpful.

thanks!

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# Mechanical engineer to physicist/mathematician

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