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Dave Palmer
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Re: Simulation in engineering education
Dave Palmer   2/28/2013 9:33:23 PM
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@Charles Murray: I agree that there's a need for both theory and practice.  In the example of the three-year-old learning to use the iPhone, it's very unlikely that the child would learn why capacitive sensors or accelerometers work just by playing around with the phone... and why is something that three-year-olds (and college students, and adults) want and need to know.

Hands-on learning is essential, but it only tells us how things work, not why they work.  The underlying principles are usually non-obvious, which is why it has taken several millenia for people to figure them out. (If someone showed a GPS satellite to Issac Newton, could he have figured out special relativity? Probably not). We need someone to explain these things to us, which is why books and lectures (and copious note-taking!) are so important.

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