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Thread: Aspiring Engineer.

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
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    Feb 2013
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    Aspiring Engineer.

    So, I have finally this semester declared my major as Computer Engineering at the University of Kentucky. Understanding that Engineering is math and physics heavy, I have invested a lot of time studying these particular subjects. When I began, I was simply bad at math, now two years in I'm doing exceedingly well. However, this semester is the first time I have taken a Physics course and I find myself having issues understanding the material. I have invested many hours reading over and over the chapters but grasp the material very slowly.

    I guess my question is, before most of you went on to have successful careers in Engineering, did you struggle in these subjects and is it normal to do so (wanting to be an Engineer) ? What did you do to keep up to date and make good grades? I have managed to keep my GPA at a 3.8 and do very well in all CS and EE classes. Keep in mind that before last year, I haven't been to school in 6 years, have a full time job (IT) and am a full time student. I'm sure some of you have been in this position too, so what is your advice for keeping ones sanity...

    Thanks again for the help!

  2. #2
    Technical Fellow
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    Well more power to you for wanting to become an Engineer. Hate to say it but both Math and Physics came easy to me, in fact if anything I struggled a little with Math. But as you seem to be hell-bent on the path, you appear to have worked hard to get up to speed with Math, and I am sure given a little time and lotsa effort you will get there with Physics. Both are beautifully logical once the basics are understood so do not be put off.

    I did my degree while working a regular 9-5 as a Design Draftsman and then off to class in the darkness, sometimes for four or even five nights in a week. I was (some say still am) a driven individual but I find I enjoy the pressure and I really wanted to get up to that next level. So hang in there, you sound like you have the right approach to do well.

    As for sanity, I am not qualified to speak!

  3. #3
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
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    I had a hard time with the math at first, physics I was pretty good as well as other core course matter.

    Engineering college is hard work and I don't care who you are. Buckle down, change your lifestyle and grind it out.

  4. #4
    Technical Fellow jboggs's Avatar
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    Very similar story here. But my challenge was math. Just could not grasp the higher level stuff. Barely passed Calculus by the skin of my teeth and flunked Differential Equations altogether. Had to retake it in the summer. It was amazing how much more sense the math made once I got into the serious engineering classes junior and senior years.

    I never did become a whiz at higher level math, but the "not-so-high" levels are second nature to me now, especially if I can relate it to something I can see, like geometry.

    Once you have the ability to look back you will see that one of the main purposes of the first two years of engineering school is to weed out those that aren't very serious about it. There were 1200 students in my freshman class, 150 in my graduating class at NC State. Just grit your teeth and hang on for what may be a very rough ride.

  5. #5
    Associate Engineer
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    Feb 2013
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    Engineering is hard

    Quote Originally Posted by snowspeeder View Post
    So, I have finally this semester declared my major as Computer Engineering at the University of Kentucky. Understanding that Engineering is math and physics heavy, I have invested a lot of time studying these particular subjects. When I began, I was simply bad at math, now two years in I'm doing exceedingly well. However, this semester is the first time I have taken a Physics course and I find myself having issues understanding the material. I have invested many hours reading over and over the chapters but grasp the material very slowly.

    I guess my question is, before most of you went on to have successful careers in Engineering, did you struggle in these subjects and is it normal to do so (wanting to be an Engineer) ? What did you do to keep up to date and make good grades? I have managed to keep my GPA at a 3.8 and do very well in all CS and EE classes. Keep in mind that before last year, I haven't been to school in 6 years, have a full time job (IT) and am a full time student. I'm sure some of you have been in this position too, so what is your advice for keeping ones sanity...

    Thanks again for the help!
    The general truth is you won't be a master in all subjects. Some will kick your tail, but these build character and really will tell you how badly do you want this. I struggled with electrical physics, was happy with a C, and got past it. Of course, if you are struggling in the computer engineering related fields, then maybe that isn't your calling. But with regard to physics, reading the book didn't help me at all - solving problems over and over is what works. So you do need to understand your learning style, and keep plugging away. If it was easy everyone would be an engineer.

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