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RE: Engineering Education

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David:

Why should it matter that they can't produce a hand sketch?  A piece of
paper and pencil are just a TOOL just as a computer with a CAD program.
Who cares if I present a drawing in "computer" as opposed to "hand"?
Maybe I understand how to use the computer program, but don't really
understand how to use a paper and pencil effectively _AND_ I still get the
"message" accross by way of the computer.  After all, I can tell you that
I understand how to draw a nice round circle on the computer, but hell if
I can draw a nice round circle purely by hand (which some, including good
manual drafters can do).  But, then I can also get a compass or a circle
template.

The point that I believe you really want to make is that many "kids out of
school" don't know how the building would really go together so they are
not able to illustrate such a thing on paper, either by hand OR by
computer.  Thus, I would argue that your "kid out of school" who can't
produce a hand drawn skectch likely can't really produce a computer drawn
sketch either.  I am sure more such a people could likely produce hand
drawn sketch more readily than a computer drawn sketch because not
everyone knows how to use a CAD program, while just about everyone should
be able to hand sketch with pencil and paper (but it might look like
crap).  The real problem is that the sketch (either by computer or hand)
may not really show what needs to be shown for a third party to understand
how the "thing" in the sketch goes together or exists.

So, I would argue that CAD and DRAFTING should be interchangable in use
(CAD = Computer Aided Drafting).  The ONLY difference should be one means
"drawn" by computer and the other by hand.

Regards,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Tue, 2 Dec 2003, David L. Fisher wrote:

> Bill:
>
> I sit corrected...you are correct, what I meant to say was indeed DRAFTING.
>
> Heck, VERY few kids out of school these days can really produce a hand drawn
> sketch!
>
>
> A computer is exactly as you indicate, a TOOL, no matter if it's being used
> For "drafting" or finite element analysis.
>
> As we all know, just because something was produced on or with the use of a
> computer, does not make it right.
>
> Too many young engineers (and a few experienced ones as well, for that
> matter) think that the
> Computer is sacrosanct and don't even really LOOK at the analysis results or
> the DRAWING.
>
> "Well, the computer says the beam is going to deflect 6", so it must be
> right..."
>
> What's that saying??? "Garbage in, garage out."
>
>
> What I try to do, sometimes successfully and sometimes not so successfully,
> is make these kids
> Really THINK about what they're doing before they do it.
>
>
> I've had mixed results, to say the least.
>
> Cheers,
>
>
> David L. Fisher, SE, PE
> Director
> Head of Design and Construction
>
> Cape Cod Grand Cayman Holdings Ltd.
> 75 Fort Street
> Georgetown, Grand Cayman
> British West Indies
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc]
> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 10:46 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: Engineering Education
>
> I loath the term "CAD Training" because I associate it with those thrilling
> days of yesteryear, when the focus suddenly shifted from the work actually
> being produced, to how to use the tool (CAD).
>
> The rising generation grew up with computers. There is no need for "CAD
> Training" any longer, because the software is both cheap and easy to use.
>
> What is needed is a return to DRAFTING, and a shift in focus BACK to the
> actual work being performed and away from the obsession with how to use the
> tool.
>
> Computers are no longer "new technology." They are old hat, and we need to
> recognize that and get beyond the "how to use the tool" mindset.
>
> BTW, not implying that's what you are doing, personally, but the
> disappointing failure of CAD to live up to the hype from fifteen (even
> twenty!) years ago has much to do, I think, with a loss of skills that used
> to be common with the "board draftsman." Too many of the youngsters (and
> even the not-so-young) have never been given the opportunity to learn the
> principles behind what they are trying to achieve.
>
> We still pretty much use Euclidean geometry, even if represented by pixels
> instead of graphite. We should never have lost sight of that.
>
> William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
> Polhemus Engineering Company
> Katy, Texas USA
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David L. Fisher [mailto:dfisher(--nospam--at)fpse.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 10:12 AM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: Engineering Education
>
> Well Mike, I invest at least one year (sometimes more) waiting for them to
> be truly productive.
>
> During that time, they learn how to:
>
> - Draft (very few have any REAL CAD training...)
>
>
>
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