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Ed Kennell

Go Green

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stevasaurus

That thing will tell you where you are before you get there and how long your going to stay.  :confusion-confused:

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formariz
1 hour ago, Ed Kennell said:

It does require an operator with  two hands and a brain.

With those requirements it may be obsolete in these times.:hide:

For those interested in learning:

Sterling_587.pdf (sliderules.nl)

Edited by formariz
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JoeM
2 hours ago, Ed Kennell said:

old college

Image result for abacus definition

:ychain:

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ebinmaine
2 hours ago, Ed Kennell said:

brain

I'm outt.  

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SylvanLakeWH

Abacus cadaberus, I think my slide ruled into my pocket holder...

 

:occasion-clown:

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roadapples

I got 4 of them at a sale and don't know how to use any of them...

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Handy Don
7 hours ago, Ed Kennell said:

No, not a green tractor.

Cleaning out some old college drawers I found this.

 

The NEW green calculator.......no wires, no batteries, no chargers, no fossil fuels.    

It does require an operator with  two hands and a brain.

 

102_2684.JPG.4584a58a64e2ccbb7bde43151b0177cf.JPG

And acute eyesight!

Was taking in an exhibit of old calculating equipment at the London Technology Museum a few years back when a teacher brought in a bunch of high school kids. There was a 3-foot long slide rule mounted on the wall and I suggested the teacher show the students how it worked. She had no idea and asked if I could. So I did some simple multiplication and division and it had the square scale so we did roots. Several of the kids clicked right away on how the physical tool was an expression of abstract ideas. Hope I planted a couple of seeds that day.

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pfrederi

Back in 1974 pocket calculators were getting popular but pricey.  I bought one at the China Fleet Club Hong Kong with a couple other things.  The very nice Chinese sales clerk whipped out her abacus to figure the total...Did it faster than you could on the calculator..

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clueless
17 hours ago, JoeM said:

Image result for abacus definition

:ychain:

Back in the mid 70's a Vietnamese refugee opened a small mostly Asian mom and pop store, he operated it for the next 35 years till he retired. The first few years he couldn't speak our language but got petty good at it, he put both his kid through collage (FSU) and I never saw him use anything but a note pad and an abacus :handgestures-thumbupright:.

Edited by clueless
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wh500special

Love this!

 

I thought "going green" for engineers meant we were supposed the use the natural log function.  Hard to do that with a base 10 slide rule.

 

(rimshot)

 

Back in you AC days, YOU were the computer.

 

Slide rules are really neat little curiosities.  I'm not old enough to have had to use them, but my dad - a mathematician extraordinaire - showed me how to use one years ago.  I don't have any practice with them of course, but I would love to have some proficiency with them just as a fun thing to do.  My coworkers already find me a bit odd, but I am always looking for ways to cement that image.

 

I AM old enough - which seems impossible - to realize that many engineers seem to be losing their ability to intuit and estimate things quickly and decisively.  Many can't interpolate or extrapolate or separate the things that matter from the things that don't.    I think before computers made everything so easy we were forced to engage the brain on a problem more fully.  Part of that was the arduous task of working out a problem longhand and keeping track of the decimal point.  Since the process was so involved, you'd better develop a knack for knowing if you're headed down the right path before you piss away a bunch of time.  Now, it's pretty easy to plug and chug and not really have a feel for if the answer makes sense. 

 

I'm a chemical engineer, so not the kind of engineer who can do anything useful for most people.  But i still had to learn a bit from each of the other easier disciplines, like mechanical engineering  :) and have a pretty good feel for how most things work.  And I can usually claw my way through the math on most topics.  But I am continually disappointed by many of the technical people around me.  Shoot, I even worked with one career ME that still believed in the 100 mpg magic carburetor for pickup trucks supposedly shelved in the 1970's...I guess he slept his way through thermo, but claimed to be an expert on a sliderule,

 

Maybe the sliderule will make a comeback if they can figure out how to do numeric integration with one!

 

Steve

Edited by wh500special
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Handy Don
20 minutes ago, wh500special said:

Maybe the sliderule will make a comeback if they can figure out how to do numeric integration with one!

 

Steve, THAT would have helped me a lot! I was terrific with the slide rule (and mine had, I think without digging it out to check, about 10 or 12 scales). 

But I nearly flunked calculus and when we got to partial differential equations, well, it wasn't pretty. It was, I now know, because I was determined to try to relate something intensely abstract into something physical and didn't have the mental horsepower to do it.

Strangely, it was while auditing a partial DiffEQ class during my daughter's college search that the professor's explanation clicked. I was so excited (yeah, I too am a bit odd) but it was made possible by what I had learned in the meantime and his different approach to the topic. Time, place, and history matter.

Thanks for the memory!

Edited by Handy Don

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wh500special
1 hour ago, Handy Don said:

...when we got to partial differential equations, well, it wasn't pretty.....

 

Strangely, it was while auditing a partial DiffEQ class during my daughter's college search that the professor's explanation clicked....Time, place, and history matter.

Thanks for the memory!

 

Partials are anything but ordinary :)  (another rimshot) 

 

[For those following along who didn't pursue this pathway by wise choice, the simplest forms of differential equations are called "ordinary differential equations" and deal with just one changing variable.  The simplest of these is a derivative with limits in calculus.  Partials add additional variables, all of which are constantly changing and the purpose of solving them is to try to pin them all down at the same time.  Some of the solutions even involve imaginary numbers.  How does this stuff come into play?  Imagine you have a bulbous cone-shaped tub of water that is draining out through a hole in the bottom like a funnel.  We know that the flowrate of water is influenced by the depth of water in the funnel.  Let's say you're interested in knowing how long it will take to drain all the water.  You'll get the wrong answer if you just use the flowrate you measure at the beginning of the process.  You'll also get the wrong answer if you average the flowrates at the beginning and end of the process because the cone shape means that the depth of water changes differently for every incremental amount of water that drizzles out.  Differential equations would let us define HOW the flowrate varies over time with respect to the continuously changing depth of water.  Things like this matter when you shoot a rocket in the air and need to figure out what it's up to as its mass changes due to burning the fuel.  NASA would miss Mars without differential equations.  In Ed's case, it would mean the power generation potential of a turbine is changing due to the height of water falling on it changing too.]

 

Tough stuff for almost anyone, although there is always that one guy who gets it and frustrates the rest of us.  Systems of those equations are horrific.  You soon start to realize that all the matrix math learned in high school actually has a purpose and that you hadn't paid enough attention.  I had never struggled in any math before; PDE's were a rude awakening that I wasn't the genius I thought I was.

 

Differential Equations in general is rough.  Shoot, the prerequisite calculus is rough.  I don't really have any appreciation for what's beyond Diff EQ since engineers don't really touch on those things...whatever they are.

 

Time, place, and history do matter immensely.  I suspect there is something still developing in the brain when you're 18-21 that isn't quite ready yet for some of these abstractions you encounter in these courses.  At some point - and when you're not under the stress of needing to get a passing grade - things have a chance to sink in.  I know I went back to school for a few classes about 10 years after graduating and the math seemed easier then.  But the instruction process had also moved on to using more computer solvers to do the hard stuff.

 

It's neat that you and your daughter both did something that requires heavy duty math.  My daughter who is entering high school next year really has a love for physics.  From the math standpoint, I know what she's in for in a few years.  She's way smarter than either my wife or me so maybe it won't be the same experience, but I would think if she's like almost everybody else she's gonna equate pain with Diff EQ..

 

It's funny the things that can excite a person later in life.  We had a structure outside that used  inflated tubes (airbeams) to hold up immense loads.  Each day, we'd  do a pressure check to make sure all was good.  Because I am a supreme dork, I was logging the daily data and also monitoring the temperature.  Soon enough I thought it would be interesting if i could predict the pressure in the beams based on temperature.  Well, wouldn't you know it, the Ideal Gas Law works.  It's not that I didn't expect it to, but it's really neat when you figure out all this abstract and seemingly inapplicable-to-daily life stuff  works.  I was so tickled, and it was such a trivial thing.

 

Steve

Edited by wh500special
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roadapples

They should  have stuck with  sliderules. No one on the  other side of the world  could hack them...

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RJ Hamner
3 hours ago, pfrederi said:

China Fleet Club Hong Kong

WOW! that brings back some memories.  GOOD TIMES!!!!!!!

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Handy Don
48 minutes ago, wh500special said:

You soon start to realize that all the matrix math learned in high school actually has a purpose and that you hadn't paid enough attention.  I had never struggled in any math before; PDE's were a rude awakening that I wasn't the genius I thought I was.

Yes, it was quite a comedown. Yet, I went on to find good success as a quantitative analyst. Tons of simultaneous equations and too many variables--yet it made sense to me! I got to use it optimizing computer storage/performance in designing applications, for example. I, too, was tickled that it worked!

 

When my daughter first declared an interest in being an engineer I told her "Don't be doing this because you think it'll make me happy." Her reply, "Don't worry, I'm doing it because I want to build stuff." Okay, good answer. She did get to use lots of solver applications and as a result she passed my math limits by the middle of her second year. She's now a composite materials manufacturing expert.

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Ed Kennell
2 hours ago, Handy Don said:

professor's explanation clicked. I was so excited (yeah, I too am a bit odd) but it was made possible by what I had learned in the meantime and his different approach to the topic

 

My off to college good by speech to  both my sons and all four grandsons  always included this.     

You can learn anything you want.   If you don't understand what is being presented, the teacher is not doing his job effectively.  There may be more than one answer to a problem and more than one way to find the answer.      The one being presented may not be the best.    

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wh500special
8 minutes ago, Handy Don said:

Y.. She's now a composite materials manufacturing expert.

Hey, that's my thing too!

 

Well, maybe not the expert part...

 

Steve

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WHX24

High school electronics... 1975 .... we were required to use one for Ohm's law. Maybe why Mr. Ohm and I occasionally  go to fisticuffs these days! :)

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Handy Don
6 minutes ago, wh500special said:

Hey, that's my thing too!

The multi-dimensional aspect of the materials (fibers and resins), temperatures, and interfaces with other materials is quite the problem. I learn something every time she and I get to discussing it (and I'm thankful that she finds me worth the time to have the discussions)!

Edited by Handy Don
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stevasaurus

So that is why I think the way I do.  I got a "B" in Calculus, but they tried to lose me in Differential Equations..."D".  The light clicked on, but it was only about 5 Watts.  Abstract is my specialty.  :confusion-confused:

 

How come a hole gets larger, the more you take out of it??  :occasion-xmas:

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dcrage
1 hour ago, wh500special said:

Well, wouldn't you know it, the Ideal Gas Law works.


Damn that is good news. That means I wasn’t BSing those high school chemistry students I taught back in the eighties. 
 

And I had the same experiences/feelings about Physical Chemistry and Thermodynamics as you had with Diff Eq. Us chemistry types really couldn’t understand you engineering students who breezed thru our Thermo classes. 

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SylvanLakeWH

This whole conversation reminds me of when my son was learning binary code in college... to ease his frustration, I told him:

 

There are 10 kinds of people in the world... those that understand binary code... and those that don’t... :handgestures-thumbupright:

 

:twocents-twocents:

Edited by SylvanLakeWH
Corrected typo
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