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Should I be a Scientist or Engineer? Can I be both?

  1. Jan 19, 2013 #1

    I am a biomedical engineering sophomore student at City College and I am not liking the way science and math are taught here. This is mostly because I find it hard to accept things as granted without evidence or real-world demonstrations. The science and math (especially math) courses that I have experienced came off as dogmatic, authoritarian, and meaningless.

    Don't get me wrong, I find science and engineering to be fascinating, and I feel that math should be no different. Though in the classroom, it is just not presented as such. I don't know how much longer I can hold out. The thought of changing majors has crossed my mind a few times already despite the fact that I haven't taken any engineering classes yet. From your experience, will the engineering classes be taught in the same manner as those aforementioned?

    Some have suggested, upon hearing my dilemma, that I switch to a science major, as it allows for more free-thinking and values explanation, and is not as conservative and technical as engineering. Perhaps though these people are confusing engineering with math. Perhaps I am jumping the gun here myself.

    I don't want to believe that I must switch majors from engineering to science in order to get a science education. I don't want to lose the potential know-how I will get from engineering just to make that switch. Can I get both while studying engineering?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2013 #2
    It all depends on how technical your school is. Talk to some of the seniors in your school. Ask them what projects they did. The project development is where the nature of engineering begins to manifest.

    And what specifically don't you like about math/physics? The words you have described them with show a limited understanding of them. You don't like the way your professors present the material. Well tell us how they present it first. Do you read textbooks? Do you like how textbooks present the material?

    In my school, every engineering course involves projects, i.e. either building something physical or writing a computer program. Some schools don't emphasize this aspect, and their engineering courses will be like watered-down math/physics courses.

    I find it funny but am not surprised how many engineers complain about math/physics. I am an EE myself.

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