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What makes you an expert?

  1. May 18, 2003 #1


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    What makes you an expert in your science/math/whatever area that may be? What are your qualifications in here, what do you do for a living and what do you do for fun?

    Lets spice it up!

    Dx :wink:
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2003 #2


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    Ill post first!

    I dont want this to be negative, i am asking merely what everyone does for a job, your expert field of study. I shouldnt have been so vague with my question i was hoping to get to know everyone better here with asking this question.

    Anyways... i am in the militray and i fix hospital equipment, i guess as repairman you could say. I fix computers, lasers, x-ray units, you name it. I love it but want more outtta life. My fav color is blue and i love pizza.

    I watch movies and play games for fun.
    Dx :wink:

    dont be shy fella and gals post so we can all know you better!
  4. May 18, 2003 #3
    I would consider an expert to be someone who is

    1. Familiar with the entire history, development etc.. of every piece of knowledge in a given field (preferably a small field)

    2. Must constantly keep up with the newest information and theories and know them by heart.

    Those requirements are pretty widely accepted. I am of course an expert in nothing.

    In the personal note. I'm good with science, math, logic, and music.

    I would (with proof backing me) consider myself highly intelligent; I am somewhere above the 95% mark. But, I would in no way consider myself smart/knowledgable. Meaning it seems alot of people retain alot of information they learn in areas they don't study, like history and generalized "useless" knowledge.

    Maybe I'm too hard on myself, but I know people who know some much more general information than I retain, as I think my brain likes to keep only whats gonna be usefull.
  5. May 19, 2003 #4
    I'm an expert at ... well, nothing! I like to build model rockets and fly them, but the govt is cutting off model rocket engine shipments because of security mumbo jumbo. I even built a little camera timer to take pics 1 sec apart for 30 seconds out of a walkman and foam core. I work at the geodata center at university, so boring.
    studying physics etc. forever.
  6. May 19, 2003 #5


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    Well, I have my own project that I work on in molecular biology. I am particularly interested in researching the biology/genetics of human diseases. I am just starting thought at 22..

    A great thing is: I will be presenting the work of our research in a meeting in Italy!!! http://www.genosconference.it [Broken] which is pretty cool.
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  7. May 19, 2003 #6


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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  8. May 19, 2003 #7
    I'm a nuclear fuel physicist/modeller working at an OECD research reactor in Norway. Probably going to start my PhD sometime around about February next year. I'm just starting out in the field so my knowledge is somewhat limited although I did my degree in theoretical physics. I wouldn't regard myself in any way as an expert.
  9. May 19, 2003 #8
    I am 20 years old, and I have been a network administrator/remote setup guy for 4 years now.

    I'm headed to college this year for a math major, after which I have no idea.

    Pretty boring compared to some of the other posts here ;)
  10. May 19, 2003 #9


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    i have heard if you even study a subject for 10 or more years with or without formal education, you are considered an expert...
  11. May 20, 2003 #10
    I don't consider myself an expert in any field. I do however consider myself to have a reasonably deep knowledge of Evolution.
  12. May 20, 2003 #11
    i am 22 and dont consider myself an expert at anything, however i have a-levels in all 3 major sciences, i have read up on a lot of theoretical physics, i have read up on psychology, marketing, advertizing, business studies, and next year i plan to go to uni to study business administration with a marketing minor, ive also taugt myself computer programming, and level design. my hobbies are ..... see above. and ive tested as having an IQ of 128.

    so who thinks im boring, and who thinks im an expert, [zz)]
  13. May 20, 2003 #12
    I hope it is true.

    I'm an expert at ..... knowledge seeking. That's why I'm here.
  14. May 20, 2003 #13
    I heard a similar thing. That if you read two good books on a subject you can be considered an expert. I believe this is not enough. Ten years or more seems a reasonable amount of study.

    I've been doing Mechanical Engineering without a degree for about 20 years. It took me 5 years before I could talk intelligently on the subject, and 5 more years to feel I truly understand the basics, then after 10 more years I have started going back to school for my degree:smile:

    I'm an expert fine artist. I've been painting for more than 30 years. Even in art school I called myself an artist, not just an art student, because I've always felt like I understood it.
  15. May 22, 2003 #14
    How does one break into engineering without a degree? I only ask because I am currently an English major who will be graduating next year. Considering options such as going back to my local university for some 2 years to get a physics degree. The engineering thing has been lurking in the back of my mind for a while, ever since my prof. (english) said he was an electrical engineer without having gone to school for it.

    Really curious about this, and looking for all possibilities to increase the amount of people who might possibly want to hire me when its time to get out there...

  16. May 22, 2003 #15
    I began as a draftsman and gradually learned design. When my first employer retired, he closed his business and I had to find another job. The whole field had gone through a major shift from manual drafting to CAD. I knew nothing about CAD, so I had to find a job as a designer. The job I finally got was for a company that needed an engineer, I had 14 years experience in drafting and some design, so they thought I could do the job. My first month I had to teach myself computer programming; design the mechanical and plumbing systems for a ten story apartment building, including the complicated process of stair pressurization for smoke control; learn to write specifications and learn how to select equipment (all the while I was teaching another guy who worked at the same place how to do his projects and he had a masters degree in engineering, but no experience).

    How to break in? Learn CAD to get in the door, then ask questions so you understand exactly what every part of a project is for. Ask questions about the processes of equipment selection and sizing and offer to do the next similar project. Take notes and make photocopies of every sizing chart and method you encounter and keep them in a binder that you can carry with you if you leave that job.
  17. May 22, 2003 #16


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    It can be done, but keep in mind that the degreed-engineers will be paid more and promoted faster for the same work you might do. You also won't be able to get certifications (or if you can, it would take longer). Not the end of the world, but it may be a source of frustration over the years.
  18. May 22, 2003 #17
    Absolutely correct! That's why I'm back in school for my degree.
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