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maps, grad students as cheap labor

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I am not that far out of school, and it would tick me off if I went to my
professor's office during normal hours and he is in there with his grad
student giving him his latest private project to do. TAs and the like are
for research, teaching, grading papers, etc., not cheap labor as part time
consultants. And they do rob us consultants if they are taking jobs based on
an hourly rate of zero, or worse, using time that the school has paid the
TAs for. Also, my professors seemed distracted enough and were hard enough
to sit down with, I can't imagine if they were acting as consultants too.
NOW, conversely, in their free time, when they were not required to be in
their office, or in the eveninings, or on their off days or whatever, I
would actually like them to do some consulting work to help keep them
current. I guess that is somewhat of a paradox. And if they properly pay
their grad students for supervised design work, that would serve the grad
students well to give them experience and extra cash.

MAPS
Scott may not like me for promoting something by Bill Gates, but I will
check out the program he mentioned for at home. BUT, at work (we already
have it, so too late), I love the program MS Maps and Streets, and find it
100x easier to use and more accurate then those stupid yahoo maps. You can
zoom in and out like an Atlas, down to your own home street, and then back
out to the whole US. It does routing, trip planning, and all other kinds of
features. For lat and long go to "Tools" then "Sensor". I do not know of its
accuracy. This program runs less then $50. And when an SEA member says he is
from "Bangalore" you can go check that out too with the fairly accurate
world map.

For use for wind maps, I use the political map, locate the county, then use
the nearest higher topo line from the wind maps. If it is in the middle or
less, I usually use the average (nearest 5). This is a little conservative,
but not so much as to really effect the cost of the structure, and I think
it is a good "easy sleeping" factor. I don't think it is that important to
get that precise to use the long and lat. In fact, in the Florida Building
Code wind map, they include this interesting note, "This map is accurate to
the county. Local governments establish specific wind speed/win-borne debris
lines using physical landmarks usch as major roads, canals, rivers, and
shorelines." This is ironic to me because I think (working in FL) most local
building departments could barely locate themselves on a wind map, if they
have one.


Andrew Kester, EI
Longwood, FL




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