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Re: open house

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At 20:42 10/21/97 -0700, Lynn Howard wrote:

>For undergraduate work, none of the supposed big name schools will give you a
>descent education.  You are taught by graduate students in very large
classes,
>or at the very least, the professors use teaching assistants to do all the
work
>except the actual class.

As an "old Blue", I must disagree with Lynn.  Berkeley had the "general"
reputation of doing just that prior to when I attended (mid to late '60's).
 What I actually found in engineering was that most of the very big name
professors actually taught (and enjoyed teaching) undergraduate classes and
were quite accessible to the students.  Teaching assistants were used, but
primarily in support roles (grading problem sets, additional tutoring once
the professor identified the area where helep might be needed, etc.).
Lynn's comment, however, does apply to the non-engineering courses (I had a
California history course at CAL with 940 students (It was a delightful
course, but that's another thread)).


>For a California undergraduate school, I would suggest a school like Cal Poly
>San Luis Obispo.  You will get a lot more personal attention from the
>professors and get and education that is gear toward actual engineering
>practice.

>From my ovbservations, there seem to be two types of schools: 1.
Theoretical (CAL, "Stanfurd", CAL TECH, etc.) and 2. Practical (CAL POLY
SLO, San Jose State, etc.).   

Observing engineers ten years into their practice, I find little difference
between engineers based on what school they went to.  I have worked with
both excellent and lousy engineers from both types.  I must say on the
whole, California schools (public or private, practical or theoretical)
seem to turn out the best graduates (I'm sure our Texas friends will
dispute this ;<),  and I admit I am somewhat biased on this subject ).

Early in a career, the practically educated student gets started a little
faster and easier but struggles more with the theoretical side (yes, most
of us have to do theoretical stuff some of the time).  For theoretically
educated students the reverse is true.  However, once in practice, I
believe the distinction RAPIDLY blurs.  It seems to me that it is more of a
function of individual initiative and willingness to keep on learning
throughout their career (not because of continuing education requirements
but because they want to) than what school one went to.

>Once you have finished an undergraduate school education and feel you want to
>go on to graduate work, then I would consider one of the big name schools.
 And
>really you should shop around for the professor you want to work with who
>teaches the specialty you are interested in and go to whatever school he is
>teaching at, big name or not.

Regarding Graduate level, education I strongly agree with Lynn.


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BILL CAIN, SE
OAKLAND, CA
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