Simulation tools in the engineering classroom are a good thing, given the ubiquity of these tools in modern engineering practice. When I was in school a decade ago, there was minimal coverage of simulation techniques. In school, finite-element analysis was still considered a specialized topic for graduate students, while in industry, it was already well-established as a regular part of the design process.
While it's good to see students being introduced to simulation tools early on (especially in core courses such as circuit analysis, rather than specialized courses focused on computational methods), it's also important for students to understand the limits of a given simulation. They need to learn not to believe things just because they see them on a screen.
I hope that the use of MapleSim in this class is not intended to replace a more traditional electronics lab. It should not be an alternative to building the circuits on a breadboard. That's an inductive learning approach that has been around for a long time.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
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