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Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/14/2015 8:09 PM

I've read some of the best answers on this site vs other sites. There's a lot of very intelligent people here and I was wondering if you'd mind sharing your education background with us.

How about listing your college or military education (I'm thinking there are some here without any - that's okay), grad school, the degrees earned, school attended and special honors. I think we can all say that we agree that we shouldn't be modest - I want to hear about each of your accomplishments and a lot of bragging!

Thank you.

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#1

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/14/2015 8:24 PM

you sound like Facebook

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#2
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/14/2015 10:18 PM

Ever heard of the management statement, "...maintain a respectful distance...", well, it also applies to engineers.

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#3

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/14/2015 11:17 PM

Does a PHD from the "School of Hard Knocks" count?

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#87
In reply to #3

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/17/2015 9:32 AM

Absolutely! I have worked with many non-degreed technical people that are far more knowledgeable and competent than many degreed engineers including myself.

I have noticed as the years go on especially when I look in the mirror at my reflection that I must have received a well-rounded education as it is beginning to show in the proximity of my midsection.

I want to stay in shape and I suppose "round" is a shape so I just have to get used to it.

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#138
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/24/2015 10:52 AM

True that Shocki! Round is a shape! You are allowed to change that (just as I am), but the issue is that as we age, it takes more and more of what we have less of to burn that off. Hence the exercise bike I am building from "scratch" and a few judiciously acquired parts to provide 110VAC to a TV attached to an old playstation to play self-defense training videos, and knife throwing. Although I am sure I would pedal faster for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models on the beach!

I have been to grad school, even did a post-doctorate, but I also learned from the schools of "my dad's farm", "my brother-in-law the welder/mechanic/fisherman", and from the school of hard knocks. That makes me about average intelligence AFAICT.

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#4

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/14/2015 11:30 PM

I've never found "school" to make a difference in an engineer. Talent is talent, and an accredited school teaches required basics. There may be some extra benefit from research monies, and experience transfer.

The really gifted professors don't teach the introductory stuff, which BS and MS degrees are. But even there, I've found PHDs (in the working industry) to be so narrow focused, that their lack of being generalists has limited input to a project. Not saying they all are this way, but those super talented folks, didn't end up where I worked, so my opinion of them may be muted.

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#6
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/14/2015 11:48 PM

I'll agree to a point. I worked for the Dept of Defense a number of years ago and the non-degreed engineers would do things in a way that wasn't correct.

For instance, we had software engineers who would write programs for the project. The ones who did not have a formal education would write code in an unconventional manner and when there were problems it would be a nightmare to fix. They also couldn't communicate too well, since they didn't know the formal lingo.

They were very bright and I believe that they would've been excellent programmer if they had a formal education.

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#26
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 6:25 AM

If you or your team have generated software the is not maintainable then whoever was in charge when the software was written is incompetent. I started writing industrial software in 1977 with no formal training. After about 10 years I was employing others to write the software to my specifications. In theory¹ I retired last year and in 36 years no one has ever complained that the software that I have written or specified was not fully annotated, documented and easy to maintain. I took a pride in that I wrote and programmers working for me were not given the choice of generating sloppy work. I have allowed no difference in output from formally trained or self taught programmers. My main comment would be that most of the self taught programmers had previously worked in other engineering sectors, and had a much greater understanding of why they were writing a program, and the consequences of it going wrong. Engineering is not about knowing the theory, it is about knowing how to apply the theory effectively.

¹Engineers never retire, it is not an occupation, it is a mindset.

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#66
In reply to #26

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 6:01 PM

In theory, what you write sounds great. When working with defense contractors, things don't work so well.

I wish I was on the team who wrote the software, because I wouldn't have allowed it. Unfortunately, the software was written years before I got on the project, but when I did speak to one of the people who wrote the software, he saw nothing wrong with the way he and his team coded.

One thing I clearly remember is that he coded in an infinite loop. When I discussed it with him, he had no clue what I was talking about. He didn't know why he shouldn't do this and he told me that it didn't matter since the test result should never reach that point. On the factory floor, it may be true, but in the repair depot, those values are reached when the units age.

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#11
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/15/2015 12:23 AM

What you wrote made me think and I have to agree with what you wrote about PhD's. I think they've not only received too much education, but also many of them have an elitist attitude. Their field of knowledge is very narrow, which limits their effectiveness, however on the flipside, when you have a very specific problem (hard to solve), they can provide the input - something that we've been banging our heads trying to figure out, but we missed a tiny, very specific piece of the puzzle.

I think most Engineer/Science PhD's also work in research, government or teaching, so they're in a very different field.

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#17
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/15/2015 6:26 PM

Be careful calling PhD's elitist. That adjective has a very negative connotation in these times. I'd prefer to simply note that they have large egos.

I'll also add that they typically have every right to a large ego. They've put forth the effort to take on a topic of research, performed that research, written a paper on it and finally defended it in front of a panel of PhD's with large egos. To complete all of that is impressive by any measure.

That being said, having a PhD doesn't make one the best in his field. It doesn't mean their education is well rounded. It certainly doesn't automatically mean they know how to use a screwdriver. I've met PhD's who are well rounded, and I've met some who aren't. There's so much more to it than schooling, experience and involvement, getting hands on, are so important as well.

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#67
In reply to #17

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 6:02 PM

Point well taken.

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#77
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 8:42 PM

The PhD's that impressed me the most over the last 30 years or so have been the ones that I didn't even realize had the degree until much later in our working relationships. Very competent, multifaceted people as comfortable in the board room as they were on the machine shop floor.

I have also run across my share of very well educated people who were not very smart.

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#5

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/14/2015 11:43 PM

I have to agree with the first 4 responses & GAs. You either have or you don't, but a lot of common sense is a big plus toom

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#7

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/15/2015 12:08 AM

Although my "credentials" are reasonably decent, not much in my career has depended on them; instead, what I know and can do from "side knowledge" has mattered more.

I majored in math and minored in education at the U of Washington, class of 1970.

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#9
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/15/2015 12:12 AM

Wouldn't you say that the math has helped you "visualize" what's happening, or better yet, to understand the principles of what's going on?

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#10
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/15/2015 12:21 AM

Yes, very much so.

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#12
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/15/2015 12:25 AM

My follow on question is, if you didn't go to college, do you think you'd be where you are now - in regard to your career?

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#8

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/15/2015 12:11 AM

I hope that nobody takes this as an insult, because it's not intended to be.

Last week, started a discussion about my sister's washing machine. The title is "AC Meter Voltage Readings with Different Frequencies".

The discussion moved to the concept of three phase power and using VFD's to create it. Post 34 mentioned two phase power and in later posts he spoke about making a third phase using the first two phases and a VFD. The man who wrote this seems to be a very intelligent man and I'd bet that he's great in the field, however in college, I took a couple courses in power electronics. What he said is not correct and I believe that when you do get a formal education, you use math to prove (or verify) the validity of concepts that we cannot see (you can't see three phase electricity). The posts further down became a bit heated and some rudeness ensued. I believe it was due to a lack of a formal education - something I've seen many times before when I worked for the Government.

I will say that I was very impressed with the responses posted and the group did help me understand what was happening and I was able to repair the machine.

I did not mean any disrespect to the people here, regarding my post above. I thought it would be interesting to see where people received their education and to what level they achieved.

In closing, I will say that the best entrepreneurs I've known (one's I've personally known) either dropped out of college or never attended. I'm of the belief that being an entrepreneur requires out of the box thinking - heck, I'd say it requires one to live out of the box. Engineering on the other hand, requires mostly in the box thinking, with some out of the box thinking. If you don't agree, ask yourself when was the last time you said "oh heck, let's just wing it!".

Thanks for reading this.

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#14
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/15/2015 11:37 AM

college drop out

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#55
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 3:21 PM

Yes he was and he's one of the greatest entrepreneurs of this era.

I believe his idea of engineering is to hire the best people he can to do the job. It's what he did with Microsoft, correct?

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#58
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 3:31 PM

"I believe his idea of engineering is to hire the best people he can to do the job. It's what he did with Microsoft, correct?"

I believe so, but Gates is not an example of good ENGINEERING, he barely did any of that(1). What Gates did to build Microsoft, and what he is an example of, is good MANAGEMENT.

Notes:

1) I think Bill Shatner has acted more than Bill Gates has Engineered, and Shatner has acted exactly ONE day in his life, near the end of the Star Trek episode with the Guardian of Forever. When Kirk had to stand by and let the woman he fell in love with die, the day that scene was shot, with Kirk mourning her in the street, THAT was the one day Shatner actually acted.

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#61
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 4:22 PM

Not at first! Bill and Paul Allen together wrote the first BASIC interpreter for microprocessors. I started using Microsoft BASIC around 1977, and still prefer to use something akin to it for programming PLCs. I hate ladder logic!

There is no arguing that he has proven himself to be a good manager...

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#64
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 5:22 PM

Didn't they buy the structure for the operating system from someone?

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#81
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/17/2015 12:45 AM

Of course the concept came from Kemeney and Kurtz, but K&K wrote a compiler, not an interpreter, and for a mainframe, not a microprocessor. Bill and Paul may well have paid for the right to use those K&K concepts, but I'm pretty sure they did indeed write the code.

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#162
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

02/29/2020 3:40 AM

1) I think Bill Shatner has acted more than Bill Gates has Engineered, and Shatner has acted exactly ONE day in his life, near the end of the Star Trek episode with the Guardian of Forever. When Kirk had to stand by and let the woman he fell in love with die, the day that scene was shot, with Kirk mourning her in the street, THAT was the one day Shatner actually acted.

[Kirk] You. Mean. I wasn't... actingtherestofthetime?

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#164
In reply to #162

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/06/2020 4:11 AM

Hold on one second!!!

Shatner did some excellent acting in the Priceline commercials! Watch this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhgvk2MZiGo

Now that's acting!

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#170
In reply to #164

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/07/2020 3:33 PM

I am a confirmed "Trekkie", and I like Bill Shatner!

I just copied adreasler's "Note" in my reply to him. I was kindly disagreeing with him.

From Star Trek to TJ Hooker, to your aforementioned Priceline commercials; one of the better actors in the business.

I was trying in my post to write the line like Kirk talked:

[Kirk] You. Mean. I wasn't... acting_the_rest_of_the_time?

Read that line again, and envision in your mind that Kirk is saying it!

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#172
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/10/2020 2:29 AM

That line sounds more like that robot in the Lost in Space tv show. Danger _ Will _ Robinson

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#173
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/10/2020 4:56 AM

Not the response I was expecting, but okay.

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#63
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 4:41 PM

Well, yes, but does that prove anything? You have 4 groups, Successful Dropouts, Unsuccessful Dropouts, Successful Qualified Persons, and Unsuccessful Qualified Persons. The null hypothesis is that an education and success are independent. A simple chi squared test should be sufficient for the statistics.

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#68
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 6:07 PM

I've found what you write to be true. Statistically, people with an education are more successful than without and vice versa.

When you're looking to buy a home, would you rather buy one where there are few college graduates vs many college graduates?

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#30
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 8:02 AM

Some words of wisdom here... It may be valuable to note that in some juridictions, the Engineer is held accountable for the success/ otherwise of the design and the product, as well as safety issues arising, even if the design is put to use by idiots who generally are too lazy to think,(as opposed to being plain dumb), and where the consequences to such a user might be serious injury/ death, the Engineer will normally bear the blame in and out of the courtroom. This generally gives rise to the Engineer not wishing to 'wing it' or deviate from the norm. The other major consideration is the prescription laid down in the standards ie ASME, ISO etc...where these are applicable,and where no deviation is tolerated.

In fact, it is the focus on understanding and implementing such prescriptions that make an engineer desirable to an employer these days, not the imaginative solution- seeker, wishing to display initiative and intellect.

That's my two bits worth, anyhow..from a 3 yr college (post high-school) qualification.

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#31
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 8:26 AM

That rarely happens. Unless certain circumstances occur. Such as punitive.

I known projects that failed that was designed by a PE who owned the company (three company's as a matter of fact). That same PE had three large projects one from each company that was produced and failed to perform. That company as of 2007, went bankrupt. As did his previous two company's he own prior.

Now how many company's started since then, who knows, but when doing this, in business, you do it smart and by keeping yourself 'at arms length' away from your business. And your protected, at least personally.

But this is a whole other topic.

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#38
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 10:23 AM

Using two phase (I'm assuming that means 'split phase,' which is what you find with most 120V/240V systems, like the average American home) to generate three phase via a Variable Frequency Drive? Does not seem too hard, in theory:

  1. Convert the Split phase power into DC.
  2. Design a VFD that will generate stable 3-phase output while running on a DC input. This will require a VFD that uses its own internal oscillators to generate the 'seed frequency' to synchronize the three phase to.
  3. Expect a lower power output than just using split phase, due to the power lost during all the conversions from one form to another.

Or you could do what most American companies do to get three phase power:

  1. Contact the local power company and have them run a 'three phase' service to your building. Logistically this is not that hard for the power company to do, since the power at the poles is three phase, they tap into it two legs at a time to make three sets of 'split phase' service to run to the houses.
  2. Have a licensed and Bonded Electrician run the feed into four service panels. Panel 1 will be straight 3-phase, Panel 2 will be split-phase from legs A and B, Panel 3 will be split phase from legs B and C, Panel 4 will be split-phase from legs C and A.
  3. divide the split-phase branch circuits evenly between the three split-phase service panels, to keep from unbalancing your 3-phase load too far.
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#40
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 10:36 AM

Check your GPS, wrong thread.

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#41
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 11:00 AM

Oops, sorry about that, Chief.

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#42
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 11:04 AM

thanks for the status report......carry on

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#57
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 3:26 PM

The person who posted incorrectly stated that you could generate 3 phase power by running the two phases into a VFD to create the third phase. Then add this new phase to the original two phases, which would be untouched.

If one understands the math behind three phase power, then they would understand that you cannot make three phase power this way.

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#59
In reply to #57

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/16/2015 3:43 PM

Yeah, that's patently rediculos. Split phase has the two 'phases' (the two power legs) at 180 degrees to each other, not the 120 degrees needed for three phase. The best you could do with a VFD to make a 'third leg' would be to make a leg that's 90 degrees to the split phase. Now that I describe it, the result is a 4-phase power feed with one leg missing. And qho even uses four phase anyway, aside from people using 4QAM(1), and that's used at low power for data transfer, it's not a power feed.

Notes:

1) Quad Amplitude Modulation, the 4 is redundant, but as higher data densities were achieved, the QAM came to refer to the technique of mixing Amplitude and Phase Modulation, so you had 8QAM, 12QAM, 16QAM, etc. So basic QAM got known as 4QAM to distinguish the data density from the encoding technology.

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#95
In reply to #8

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/17/2015 2:52 PM

"A single-phase load may be powered from a three-phase distribution system either by connection between a phase and neutral or by connecting the load between two phases."

*Wikipedia.

"What he said is not correct and I believe that when you do get a formal education, you use math to prove (or verify) the validity of concepts that we cannot see (you can't see three phase electricity)."

Effete snobbery:"I believe it was due to a lack of a formal education" The same snobbery that let the Officers/pilots treat people, that kept their aircraft from nose-diving into the Atlantic, like second class citizens.

In the intermediate maintenance division, I got to a point in the repair of equipment that had piled up in a backlog where I needed more parts, so when I ordered these parts it raised some sort of a flag and a civilian government worker who had neglected his job (repairing the equipment) accused me of "Taking his job". These civilians where called "Sandcrabs" this one would have made a good meal at 300+.

My "education" is called out in my profile, for all to see.

What was your grade point average, especially for the "couple courses in power electronics"?

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#99
In reply to #95

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/17/2015 5:46 PM

I didn't write or imply that you can't take a three phase source and put a load on only one phase. If you believe I did, show me where.

What I did write is that the block diagram you provided will not power a three phase motor. Here is the reason why:

1. With three phase power, each phase is 120 degrees out of phase from the other.

2. 240 VAC power (to the home) consists of two 120 VAC sources that they are 180 degrees out of phase - also called split phase power.

3. Your diagram shows the two 120 VAC sources going directly to the 3 phase motor.

4. A three phase motor is looking for three 120 VAC sources that are 120 degrees out of phase from each other.

5. The block diagram you provided shows the two 120 VAC sources going into a VFD and the output goes to the third phase of the motor.

6. Since the three inputs to the motor are incorrect, it will not work properly. The motor is looking for three phases of power at 120 degrees out of phase (each phase is 120 out of phase from the other two).

Recall that in your block diagram, this is what you did. And you did state that this was the way things are done.

To me, it's obvious that somewhere you took a shortcut in your understanding of 3 phase power. My point being that a formal education teaches you the concept behind three phase power, the math and proves how it works.

And since you asked, I received an A in all of the power electronics courses I took.

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#101
In reply to #99

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/17/2015 8:48 PM

Your concept of single phase power derived from a three phase source is flawed. I will let you carry on and then I will prove that you can provide power directly to two phases of a three phase motor and then using a dsp, manufacture the third phase so precisely without harmonics, that the efficiency is above 86%. Not requiring de-rating as would be the case for a three phase VFD supplied with single phase power. Let's here some more.

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#111
In reply to #101

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/18/2015 10:28 AM

In what way is it flawed? In every plant wherever I've worked, ALL of the 1Ø power was taken either between two of the 3Ø (usually 208V) wires or between one of the 3Ø wires and ground (usually 120V). We did have at least one 480V 1Ø connection, between two 3Ø wires.

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#119
In reply to #101

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/19/2015 5:29 PM

If you understand what a three phase power source is, then you would understand that each leg of the three phase source is a one phase power source. The way you get to three phase power is that each phase is 120 degrees out of phase from each other.

If you're trying to power a three phase motor, you need three sources of power that are 120 degrees out of phase. You can't run it from a split phase source with a pseudo third phase which is derived from the first two phases. Well, maybe it would work, but it sure would be off balance, not run smoothly and have very poor efficiency.

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#13

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/15/2015 6:39 AM

Mechanical Engineering Degree + PhD disagree with "narrow minded" if narrow minded did not deserve his/her degrees. Engineering is a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience on the base of creativity and curiosity.... if rightly done.

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#15
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Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/15/2015 2:02 PM

Problem is with PHD, they attend school (typically) consecutive years right out of high school. Really no place for them to learn practical experience. And both the MS and PHD years are very narrow focused, for the thesis and dissertation, and directed by tenure PHDs wanting grunt work done.

To me, PHDs are given out like candy. They typically are just high level MS efforts using existing tools, and just analyzing the crap out of some esoteric applied physics area.

I've said in a previous post of working for a PHD on heat pump research, he was the director of the engineering experiment station, and I was just working on my BS. I was a 'technician' as the other MS researchers didn't know what end of a brazing torch to hold onto. Anyway the PHD wanted to make a water (inches of water differential pressure) manometer to measure pressure drop across a R22 condenser coil. He suggested sealing the water from the R22 by floating mercury on the water in the "U" tube. This was ~ 1979. This guy lived in academia. His PHD was based on computer modeling, which he may have been good at, but clearly simple things like understanding mercury won't float on water were outside of any common sense thinking.

The best professors I recall, had spent time before their PHD efforts working in the real world. They produced real world homework and test problems.

So of the maybe ~200 PHDs I've met over the years, I can think of 2 that are gifted with multi-dimension thinking skills.

I retired early, as of the new hires maybe 1 in 20 had any aptitude in the art of engineering. I had no desire to mentor lay people that purchased their degree at some degree mill university, which they all seem to be in the biz these days.

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#89
In reply to #13

Re: Which school did you graduate from?

03/17/2015 12:16 PM

And peppers..

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#16

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/15/2015 5:46 PM

As I tell most people when they ask: I graduated summa cum laude from HKU (Hard Knock University). Otherwise known as 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for a year of electronics training in the U.S.M.C. Plus, (at this point) another 40 years of working with nothing besides electronics, software, and process control.

When you say: "For instance, we had software engineers who would write programs for the project. The ones who did not have a formal education would write code in an unconventional manner and when there were problems it would be a nightmare to fix."

I would have to partially agree. But it is not just those without formal education. Those with formal education, have been trained to at least some minimum standards. So they are less likely to make the rookie mistakes. But the biggest problem is not formal education, it's sloppy thinking, regardless of background.

At one point in my career, I worked as a control systems integrator for a large engineering firm. Mostly doing programming on a major DCS vendor's system. The DCS vendor had a policy: They only hired Chemical Engineers to do programming. They kept on getting their butts kicked, when it came to doing programming work on their own systems. Then they decided to hire either ChemEs or EEs. They still were getting their butts kicked. Then someone at their company had a bright idea: Why don't we hire the programmers who are kicking our butts? That worked. Believe it or not!

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#18
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/15/2015 6:35 PM

One of the SMARTEST guys I worked with, was in the Army, and was trained as a technician. He started out in the company in the late 50's as a technician, they promoted him to engineer. A few years after I started in 84, he became my boss. He had a knack for figuring out how things work, and simplified bad designs. His analog autopilot circuitry was 'spiritual' to look at the schematics of, for taking synchro gyro signals, demoding them (where power normalization had to be done), and running them through the op-amps to create servo signals. This was for fail passive autopilot designs. And back in the days where IC OPs did not exists (I was cognizant engineer on his products of a later era using TO-5 can LM101s and such). Sadly, he developed Alzheimer's after retiring.

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#96
In reply to #18

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/17/2015 3:09 PM

The "op-amps" you mention, may well have been magnetic amplifiers which work very well at 400hz, the MF1 autopilot incorporated airspeed (both pitot and radar derived) air temperature (density) for rate, gyro compass, magnetic heading (three phase "spider") input from Jezebel and Julie. Control yoke input pressure, so on and so forth. Jeez, when I think about, how on earth did I manage aceing the autopilot school on Boca Chica key, being the un-educated slob that I am?

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#97
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/17/2015 3:16 PM

dumb luck

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#98
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/17/2015 3:20 PM
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#19

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/15/2015 8:03 PM

Most jobs that require an engineering degree, don't require a skill greater than high school math; at least that has been my experience.

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#20

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/15/2015 9:31 PM

Looking back, getting my degree was the easy part. After I got it, the real work started.

All what my degree did for me, was open the door just a little bit wider. And that's all I needed.

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#21

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/15/2015 9:57 PM

What's with the reading comprehension on this thread? So far only one reply has answered the question.

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#22
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 12:00 AM

That's abnormal?

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#23
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 12:06 AM

Post 3, by Tom_Consulting. A little vague, but I bet the path was as well.

Post 7 by Tornado. Kudos! Straight forward and to the point.

Post 16 by Kilowatt0. While I did list where I got my formal training (military), what is missing is the education (in mechanics, electronics, and science - albeit informal), I got from my father. No way I could list all of that training.

But to be honest, even Autobroker hasn't answered the question.

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#29
In reply to #21

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 7:51 AM

When I'm done learning, I'll let you know. Otherwise the bio always helps

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#48
In reply to #29

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 12:46 PM

Similar concept here, except that when I'm done learning, I won't be able to let you know; I'll either be incapacitated or dead, and if the first possibility should occur, I hope the second will follow very rapidly!

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 12:53 PM

yep,... you'll probably read mine in the obituary's.

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#53
In reply to #48

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 1:10 PM

I agree with you there.

The way I state it is that the time to stop learning is when the SECOND shovelfull of grave dirt hits you in the face. You can still learn from that first shovelfull of dirt, mainly you learn 'Oh, this is the 'it' people refer to when they say 'well, this looks like it for us.''

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#85
In reply to #48

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/17/2015 9:23 AM

incapacitated + dead = decapitated ?

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#86
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/17/2015 9:28 AM

Let's not lose our heads over this.

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#45
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 12:22 PM

Thank goodness.

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#71
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 7:00 PM

I don't think anyone wants to provide the info.

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#78
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 8:53 PM

I don't, because I largely think it is immaterial. Yes, it was and is an ABET accredited college and gave me a very good foundation from where I began my real learning.

More important is not what classes we took, what degree we achieved or what our thesis was, it is what we DID with that education after leaving the vaunted halls of 'knowledge'.

The most important thing I learned in the six years of college education, was the realization of how LITTLE I really knew.

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#79
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 9:06 PM

I agree with that... My experience from the 80's and 90's, People tend to look at the institution more that the person

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#24

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 12:53 AM

High School- Best grades in Comparative Anatomy by the Braille Method.

College- Yeah, Major and Minor, Engineering Courses

Real Engineering Education- from my father

Most interesting education- Learning the practical side of engineering from older, wiser, and smarter tradesmen in numerous trades. Much more interesting than the profs in school.

Most important education- PhD from College of Hard Knocks

Most important goal in life- live long enough to retire and enjoy the engineering projects of things for myself. I made it!

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#70
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 6:59 PM

So true!

I would watch my dad tinker with stuff. He was a typewriter repairman until he got in a car accident and messed up his back. He then worked at a QA position in a steel mill.

I learned a lot watching him, but I'll say that the most important thing I learned was to try my best and figure out how something works, because most things could be fixed.

To this day, I enjoy working on my houses, my cars and figuring out how things work.

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#88
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/17/2015 9:52 AM

High School- Best grades in Comparative Anatomy by the Braille Method.

I congratulate you, sir ! I know so many that tried that course and failed dismally...some of them bright fellows at that. I myself didn't do that well, but we had a problem with getting the correct quantities (no pun intended) of volunteers for the course.

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#25

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 12:55 AM

I don't quite understand all the reticence to answer the question...

But, I have to start with what at least one other person said here: my most important education was from my dad! I already knew the basics of electricity, electronics, plumbing, pick and shovel, hand and power tools, etc. before I entered high school. My first paid job was building a doghouse for a friend, when I was about 8!

I studied electronic engineering for three years at Cal Poly SLO, before deciding to become a teacher. By far the most important thing I got during those three years was the required machine shop experience. Hands on beats all theory in my book.

The decision to teach required a change in majors, to Physical Science. After 2 more years I got my BS, and was then invited to teach introductory engineering physics there at Cal Poly, which I did for 2 years, while I also got my Master's in Education.

I then went into the Peace Corps and taught Electronics in Chile for 2.5 years, then taught physics, electronics, and computer science for another 28 years. During the later years of teaching, I also worked with a college friend who built robotic materials-handling machines. Shortly after retiring from teaching, a couple of guys starting up a new business found me, and what I expected to be a one-month job turned into a second career in engineering, both electronic and mechanical. I'm still working full time and enjoying it after nearly 20 years in engineering.

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#65
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 6:01 PM

This discussion has reminded me of two sayings having to do with competence;Shaw said; Those who cannot do, teach and those who cannot teach, teach teachers.

The other one was; Doctors mistakes are covered by earth, carpenters mistakes are covered by plaster and paint while engineers mistakes are there for all the world to see.

My education before college was was mostly from doing and reading. Model airplanes and repairing autos helped me learn how things work and high school physics, chemistry and math helped me understand how the earth works...people are another problem.

An AA degree, with a year of USAF RADAR school got me a Electronics tech job at NAA where I assisted on the first monopulse RADAR design. After a year I enrolled at Cal Poly SLO for a year and upon returning to NAA was promoted to Engineer. Soon after, Cal Poly PMA opened an engineering school which I attended part time for another year.

When NAA folded I had become a senior engineer and had worked on several interesting projects. The monopulse experience led to several interesting assignments, one being the monopulse consultant between NAA and General Dynamics on the Vigilante program whose planes were on the Enterprise when it was launched. Another was the design of the built in test generator for the RADAR on the F-111 and another was being one of the three engineers who built the communications test console for the Apollo command module.

During those times I associated with many technicians and engineers and still have not discovered how competence is established

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#69
In reply to #65

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 6:10 PM

"During those times I associated with many technicians and engineers and still have not discovered how competence is established"

This made me think of a retirement ceremony not too long ago where the base CO said of the retiree, an engineer, "You can't replace 41 years of experience." My thought was, "Yes you can, but it takes about 41 years."

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#104
In reply to #65

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/18/2015 12:08 AM

I hope this doesn't become an argument with anyone but: the saying by Shaw: "Those who cannot do, teach and those who cannot teach, teach teachers." indicates a very isolated and biased statement by someone who has allowed it to be used without researching it! He has directly made an incorrect statement and used it to ridicule one of the most valuable professions in this country and many others.

Through my and many others lives we have been touched by many excellent teachers who have not only taught us academic subjects but have also taught us much about life and instilled the methods and desires for us to better ourselves and enrich our knowledge of many things. I doubt there is anyone on this forum who can say they did not have a teacher, whether academic or otherwise, who didn't motivate us successfully to learn more about some subject and enjoy doing it.

Mine was Mr. Smith, a calculus teacher among others. Ex-Marine Cornel but boy could he get the message across and motivate you while doing so. How about you other members? Any "Mr. Smith's" in your lives?

During my life I have met and know many excellent teachers who enrich the lives of their students and make them better people when they get to be adults. "Those who can do and make people better and smarter. Those who can't fall by the wayside." This is applicable to every profession/trade/position in every field.

On a more familiar basis, I am surprised every year at how many students and adults express their "Thank You" and deep appreciation for how the teacher has enriched the students life and therefor the families lives. My wife has been a teacher many years in very difficult subjects, "Speech Therapist", "Hearing Challenged" and "Resource Room" (teaching learning challenged students). In that time I have met many of her peers and almost all of them are excellent in their abilities to motivate students to want to do the best they can and enjoy it. Since she was the best academic teacher I had ever had I married her. Yes, I was her student!

Just remember the statement could have just as easily said "Those who cannot do, engineer and those who cannot engineer, become senior engineers".

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#105
In reply to #104

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/18/2015 12:17 AM

Re your last paragraph: Actually, they tend to become anonymous posters.

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#106
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/18/2015 12:25 AM

Certainly better than mine! GA for yours!

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#107
In reply to #104

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/18/2015 2:32 AM

A great story Old Salt, and without wishing to detract from it, on a lighter note altogether, I wish to state that I too fell in love with a (female) teacher, and I am sure that I am only one of millions, world-wide.

Now that lady could motivate! One whiff of her perfume was all it took, although I must say, crowding close up where I could feel her body heat was just insane.....My Old Man had to administer a flat-hand across my left ear to make me understand that she was not the meaning of life itself! Held that against him for years....(not my ear).

Anyway, I eventually married for what I thought were all the right reasons....twice!(shoulda waited for a teacher ??) Got a fantastic wife now though...

Cheers,QBA (qualified by experience)

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#129
In reply to #107

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/20/2015 4:30 AM

Sounds like its an excerpt from that story by Nabokov ... except switch the sexes. And don't tell us you were 14 at the time!

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#114
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/19/2015 1:20 PM

It's interesting that you bring this up right now. I believe that most teachers have the interest of their student as their priority, that is, when they're just beginning their career. As they become seasoned teachers, they run into the school board and administration. New rules, which don't make sense, poor planning, job threat, etc. Many lose their drive to excel and they do enough to keep their job and the glimmer in their eyes.

Our school district is in a huge financial mess right now, so they are laying off 30 teachers. The administration has blamed the state, falling enrollment, the local economy and everyone they can for the problem. The average class size will grow from 18.7:1 (kids/teacher) to over 24:1.

Last night at our Town Council meeting, I asked them what the impact to the quality of our kid's education will be. The answer was ... are you ready for this ... NONE. If this is true, then why did they overstaff for all those years at an 18.7:1 ratio? They've run $4.1M in the red, borrowed money from their "rainy day fund" and are now bordering on default and a state takeover. And if it isn't true (which is my belief), then it just gives us another reason to not trust them.

As a Councilman, I wish our Board has control over the school district, because with all of their excuses for their poor job of planning, I would make a motion to bring in a new administration.

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#116
In reply to #114

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/19/2015 2:54 PM

Your entry is very true, MOSTLY THOUGHT. Teachers are like most any other profession/trade/position. Somewhat like the old movie title- THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. Someone who whittles the Lord's Prayer onto rabbit's teeth as key chains is not in a critical position like teachers are. Teachers are though. As in engineering there are people who do not have the necessary attitude, knowledge (and I don't mean education) or desires to accomplish the task they are given. The conception is that teachers digress as they advance in years of experience. There are many fine and excellent teachers within each age and experience level. Age or experience isn't the determining factor, it's what I call "the give a damn factor". Those that do give a damn are the ones who take what they are assigned and perform well above the levels expected from them. The "don't give a damn" are going to be poor performers no matter what they do. As for an example, my wife and numerous other teachers I know are involved as mentors to those taking "practice teaching" college student prior to their graduation. She and many others are requested by the student teachers to be the mentor because these students know that they will encounter an excellent mentor who will get the subject across to them, just as the classroom students do. It isn't the "beginning their career" teachers that are the good ones, it is the good teachers of all ages and experiences that are the good ones.

School Boards: More and more are being run by those that have won a "popularity" or "fixed" election with no knowledge of what the qualifications and needs of a school system is. For example, the superintendent for the local schools hired a guy of questionable skills but was hired by the school board. In question was an incident of plagiarism during earlier years. After a few years he left for other school system, the one that my wife teaches in! Lasted two years until he was fired for becoming too familiar with certain personnel within the staffs. Bad Choice! Who hired him? The school board, not the teachers. Teachers didn't want him hired because of his previous problems. School Boards and administrations are just as bad, if not worse, as the teachers. I say worse because they do not have as much constraints upon them as the teachers do.

Within my wife's school most teachers are personally driven to make the students learn the curriculum and learn how to learn more and like doing it. As discussed numerous times in other replies to this thread, they are ones who students learn from and learn how to learn more on their own. Similar to those who learned from the "older more experienced person without the fancy letters after their name".

Expressed in simple math, how can an excellent school system with a 24-30/1 student ratio produce more knowledgeable students than another system with a 12-14/1 ratio? Different teachers no matter what the teachers ages and experiences are.

There is also a frequent tie-in with the attitude of the citizens and the available money for education. One system I know of has a high $/student cost but also has a 97% acceptance to further education rate. Why? Town has a higher standard for the necessity of education for their children. Higher income standard because the parents have experienced higher education and want even better educations for their children. Town has a higher per capita income so their is more $ available for education. Overall, the homeowners know the value of a excellent education therefore they pay for it and especially hires excellent teachers to facilitate that.

On a personal basis, my wife is old enough that she could retire with full benefits. She loves working with the students and seeing the amazing progress they make so she hasn't retired. She hates the idiocy of the school boards, administration and state mandates that are so frustrating, discouraging and hinder the true education of the students. That's why she may retire after this school year.

The school systems will only be as bad as we, the taxpayers, allow them to be. Make them better by election and attention to their activities. Same as counties, states, counties, towns and corporations do!

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#117
In reply to #116

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/19/2015 3:58 PM

I like the last paragraph especially. Your comments and the latest ones by Autobroker are about issues that translate perfectly to around where I live, and I'd bet a lot of other places.

It looks like something's happening that's not apparent and there's no political will to find out what and address it. I count myself lucky that at this point I have no skin in the game.

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#121
In reply to #116

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/19/2015 5:53 PM

I'm going to guess that you're not in California.

I grew up outside of Chicago and I'd say that our education system was pretty good back then. Even though I didn't put much effort into school (prior to college), I did learn the important things.

Here in California, the kids are taught things in a manner which I think is wrong. My sister was a teacher and she told me the following: Schools are fighting for money from the state and every day a child is not in attendance, the school does not receive funding. When there's a behavior problem, the child rarely gets suspended or expelled, because that means he's not in school and the school doesn't get money. The principal doesn't want these kids in his office, so he sends them back to the class, where he can disrupt the lesson plan for the day. Special needs kids are to be placed in "normal" classes. The teachers must make a special effort to teach these kids and if the entire class falls behind, it's the teachers fault. Teachers are also told to teach their kids to pass the state test - that's their job. It's not to have the kids learn something - they just need to pass the test.

I was offered the Board seat a couple years ago. I know the founder and I like the methods they use to teach, so I took a good look at the school and I accepted the position. I have learned a tremendous amount about how a school operates, which tests are important, gaining accreditation and school financing. Being a Charter School, we still are required to follow state and federal law, but we are given much more leeway in the manner we choose to do so.

Kudos to your wife for doing a great job and caring for her kids. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it's not the norm.

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#133
In reply to #121

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/20/2015 2:01 PM

Good Guess! Not Chicago but a similar environment.

The state I live in isn't quite as bad as California, but really close. Could never understand how CA, with all its proposition balloting, could be allowed to vote approval of them with no idea where the funds to pay for them will be coming from. Are those political Houdini's?

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#135
In reply to #133

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/20/2015 10:07 PM

All those propositions on the ballot! My goodness ... what was suppose to be a more democratic way of initiating new laws has turned into a complete mess.

The props are given a nice shiny title. Then the advocates flood the media with their propaganda. Most people don't read the prop, so they go by what they hear on TV, the radio or at the grocery store checkout line or at work. The new law gets passed and they find out what the prop was really about.

I've even seen some that are voted in, but they can't be enacted, due to being illegal!

I do know a few good politicians, but they are few and far between. I wish we could do something to overhaul our political system, but I don't know if it'll make things better or worse.

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#134
In reply to #114

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/20/2015 3:04 PM

Leaders become leaders because they want to run things. Rarely do they possess the talent to perform effectively.

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#136
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/20/2015 10:10 PM

They also like being catered to and acting like they're someone special. Not all of them, but there sure are a lot that fit the bill.

I think the closer you get to a grass roots movement, you get more regular people who are trying to make a difference.

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#126
In reply to #104

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/20/2015 3:07 AM

In thinking about your response to the Shaw comment about teachers where you ridicule engineers by stating that those who cannot engineer become senior engineers I feel after 20 years engineering that more often those who cannot engineer become supervisors or possibly teachers.

Engineers that can't produce don't last. You can't say that about teachers.

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#130
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/20/2015 4:40 AM

How about this. Engineers who cannot engineer cause DC10's to crash, cruise ships to sink, air bags to fire too harshly, ignition cylinders to lose contact making the car shut off (sometimes at highway speeds and with no air bags), bridges to sway and fall, Christmas lights to overheat and burn down homes, nuclear plants to melt down, dams to burst (and kill hundreds), etc.

Maybe it would be better to give them tasks where they can't cause trouble.

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#132
In reply to #126

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/20/2015 1:51 PM

"Ridicule", NO! Have an opinion based on what I have observed and been confronted with during my life time, YES. I'm sure that yours is shared by some as mine is also shared by others. In the state where I reside now the statement of "more often those who cannot engineer become supervisors or possibly teachers" is very untrue". It has an "Alternate Route to Teaching Program". Anyone with a major in needed areas can take a few teaching methods courses and become a teacher, provided they had a 3.5 GPR in college! It only takes a passing grade from academia, if that was the start of your career path, of usually 2.0 to become an engineer. To go from engineering to teaching takes a lot more. Oh yes, I was an excellent candidate for this program until I found out about the grade requirement.

A guy more well known than many of us is the guy who developed the principal I based my comments on. He's probably more well know to engineers than Shaw. Laurence J. Peter author of the book, Peter Principle. Although originally written as a satirical evaluation of modern businesses, 50 years ago, it still holds true.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle

The Peter Principle is a concept in management theory in which the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate's performance in their current role rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Thus, employees only stop being promoted once they can no longer perform effectively, and "managers rise to the level of their incompetence."

I believe in this because I have seen it occur frequently during a much longer personal career span. There are numerous others, including many engineers, who see it as true in numerous situations. My comment was not intended as a detraction from engineers but as a matter of fact within all occupations.

There are also some axioms that have been developed based on the Peter Principle:

THE 1ST. ADDENDUM TO "THE PETER PRINCIPLE" STATES: IMPOSTERS TEND TO CONGREGATE IN THE MID TO UPPER LEVELS OF LARGE ORGANIZATIONS BECAUSE ONE IMPOSTER CANNOT SPOT ANOTHER IMPOSTER.

THE 2ND. ADDENDUM TO "THE PETER PRINCIPLE" STATES: WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE UNTRAINABLE IN A LARGE ORGANIZATION? THEY ARE PROMOTED TO THE HEAD OF THE TRAINING DEPARTMENT.

THE 5TH. ADDENDUM TO "THE PETER PRINCIPLE" STATES: THE PATH TO CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT IN A LARGE ORGANIZATION IS ACTUALLY A CIRCLE.

THE 6TH ADDENDUM TO "THE PETER PRINCIPLE" STATES: NEPOTISM IS A CAREER PATH, NOT A BUSINESS STRATEGY.

Based on my observation that there are CR4 participants who insist on citations before they will even consider reading postings and a few in particular, I am providing the following in support of the previous verbage:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/peter-principle.asp

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/peterpr.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robasghar/2014/08/14/incompetence-rains-er-reigns-what-the-peter-principle-means-today/

An EXCELLENT EXAMPLE of the Peter Principal is a discussion of the Hurricane Katrina response and FEMA-- http://money.howstuffworks.com/peter-principle.htm

Words to the wise: Next time you are offered a promotion, do you really want to accept it?

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#109
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/18/2015 5:08 AM

With the bad, I had excellent teachers also.... That I experience to this day, thing they taught me 40 years ago outside of class. In other word, the point I was trying to make in my earlier post, good teachers or bad, it's up to you to get the value out.

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#113
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/19/2015 12:47 PM

Well said!

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#27

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/16/2015 7:30 AM

Texas A&M. However my real education came from the old timers who knew what they were doing.

I have worked with PHDs who were so lost in their thoughts that they missed the whole point.

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#118
In reply to #27

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/19/2015 5:28 PM

GA,

Once had a professor for Advanced Inorganic Chemistry who performed in a similar way. He always wore loafers because if he wore tie-up shoes his wife had to tie them. Would fall asleep while driving, fall asleep standing up at the black-board, extremely forgetful, would forget what he was talking about, drop the chalk and continue to write with his fingers, sometimes very unkempt, etc. Department head told us to ignore these things that he was an excellent chemist and gave very relevant examples to us. He was soon labeled the absent minded professor.

Only at the end of that class did we learn that he had done many Hg experiments (vapor ones) at Purdue for his PhD and his condition was due to the mercury.

Yes, he was so lost in this thoughts that he would miss the whole point. He had a medical reason so I can't say any negative comments about him. Before we knew though it was very comical. I once read his dissertation at the Purdue library and even I could understand it!

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#122
In reply to #118

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

03/19/2015 5:58 PM

I took two Chemistry courses in college and both professors were what I'd call dingy. They were brilliant and not as absent minded as yours, but they were very different from the other professors we had.

They were both excellent teachers and I learned a lot from them - things I should've learned in high school chemistry, but I didn't. I thoroughly enjoyed both classes and I almost changed my major to Chem E.

I do recall thinking about the odd correlation between chem teachers and their absent mindedness and I came to the conclusion that they were sniffing too many chemicals and their brains had been affected. The other thought is that the field of chemistry may attract absent minded people, but I don't think that's the case, because the Chem majors seemed pretty normal.

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#140
In reply to #122

Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

02/25/2020 1:12 PM

Autobroker-

Ironically, I spent part of my career at a company where the major product was a mercury based product. The concentration of this was extremely high so extra precautions had to be taken when in the facility. If you got one of the finished products on your skin and didn't wash it off almost immediately you would get the most painful burns imaginable. Even worst was the treatment for them. They have to be "debrided" where the skin that contained the blister had to be cut away. To say the least the whole experience was extremely painful. I got into the habit of washing my hands so much my wife accused me of being OCD.

Also, the plant closed years ago but more than half of the employees have experienced severe health problems. One guy who was a "Muscle Man competitor" became the "95 lbs weakling" and withered away. Others have had similar experiences. Fortunately I haven't.

I also took many chemistry courses. When I was packing for my freshman year my mother gave me a choice. Use the money they had for the one year they were going to pay for or else use it to buy a truck and tools to become a plumber. Often I wonder if I made the best choice.

Old Salt

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#141
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

02/26/2020 4:38 PM

Mercury poisoning! When I was a kid, I remember playing with those little balls of mercury when a thermometer broke. Breaking the balls into smaller balls, then combining them into larger ones!

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#142
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

02/26/2020 5:42 PM

Oh for those childhood memories. We used to take the Hg and put it on a silver coin, quarters usually. Boy did it make it shiny. Next morning it would be a very dull silver-grayish color. Only after the innocence of childhood did we learn that continued exposure to Hg could cause poisoning and the silver in the coin was turned to an amalgam just like the silver of the mixture used for filling teeth (showing my age on that one).

A little bit of trivia about mercury used in manufacturing; the traps that are used to separate any Hg vapor or liquids from process piping (vents on reactors, storage tanks, other assorted piping, etc.) are a glass or metal container that functions like a beaker with a side arm and half full with water. The mixture goes in the top, the Hg goes to the bottom and the water goes out the side arm. Very simple application of a law of physics: lighter immiscible stuff sits on the heavier stuff.

Old Salt

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#143
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

02/27/2020 9:44 PM

I didn't put mercury on silver coins - it would've been an interesting experiment! I do remember the silver amalgam for fillings. I remember the dentist putting the rattling pellet in the shaking machine, then scraping out the filling material and placing it in the hole he just drilled out.

I've been told two stories about those fillings.

1. They're completely safe, as long as you don't disturb the surface.

2. They're unsafe and need to be removed from my mouth or they'll kill me (and make me sick).

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#144
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Re: Which School Did you Graduate From?

02/27/2020 11:36 PM

That shaking machine was sometimes called a "Jitter Bug" because of the sound it made. It shook a capsule containing the amalgam mixture until it was sufficiently dispersed. The amalgam mixture normally contained 50% mercury, silver, tin and copper (also zinc sometimes). This theoretically will last 10 years or more. That is longer than the white composite materials generally is stated to last. (I don't know about more recent information though) The white composite certainly looks better though.

The use of the amalgams started in the early 1800's. The particle size of the solid silver, tin and copper is very important. In those early days the dentists would cut/scrape the small part of the outer edge of silver coins and use those scrapings/cuttings for the silver part of the solids part.

The condition of the tooth that the filling is within is the most important factor about how much Hg poisoning you could get. If the filling is poor fitting and saliva, drinks and food can get in there the chances of free mercury and poisoning is much higher than if there is a tight fit.

At one time the highest levels of Hg vapors were found in the carpeted floors of the "work rooms" where the dentists or technicians would mix the amalgam components together and shake them in the machine. Hg would sometimes spill and get in the carpet and wasn't able to be seen. Since the technicians worked in there a lot their exposures were fairly high.

There is an expensive instrument called an "H N U" meter that can detect Hg vapors. Many people are surprised where it will find Hg and Hg vapors.

There are many other things unique, interesting and/or controversial about dental amalgam. Usually it is the "tree huggers" vs. "its ok if it doesn't hurt me" vs. the manufacturers/money makers".

Have a good one!

Good Luck, Old Salt

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