Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Engineering Materials

What types of materials do I need for an engineering program?

Great Question! The main material you need is your BRAIN. Honestly! You will take certain classes where they will tell you to get such-and-such, and they are important but they don't need to be in your hands before the class. 

It's good to brush up on your math the summer before you start college.  It wouldn't hurt to know your derivatives and integrals and properties and laws of cosines and "Thee" Chart (or unit circle) before you even enter college...you'll end up having to re-memorize everything which is a drag. Which puts me to say: you'll need a scientific calculator and a computer. Laptops are preferable, but definitely not required.

But other things you may end up buying along the years: 
  • Triangles (for drafting)...you can do some cool tricks with these
  • Engineering paper/ graph paper...there are many more lines which makes room for more problems!
  • Compass/Protractor...also for drafting
  • Breadboard...a circuit board for prototyping designs and learning circuits!
And honestly, I can't think of anything else. You'll see it when it comes. Most importantly, you need to be ready to learn ;-)

Monday, April 16, 2012

What is the male to female ratio really like?

"What is the male to female ratio like?"

You know, I don't mind this question when it comes from future female engineer students or their parents. Future male students don't typically ask this question...but it's not uncommon for their parents to ask me...which I personally think is awkward. 

It's like pointing the negative, similar to, "I see you are the poorest person in the neighborhood. What's it like?" I know people are trying to be sincere...but there are other ways you can approach it.... Here's why I don't like this question:

  • Future female engineering students don't ask this question. They say, "how do you deal with the ratio?" because they are putting themselves into this situation in the near future.
  • You could ask me, "I'm glad you are putting yourself out there to become a female engineer." They can allude to the problem, but not force me into an awkward, "I know I'm the only one, but let me count to make sure" way.

My answer:
"Haha, well I think the statistics say that it's 15%, but it seems to get less as less as a go on, haha. What do you think, [major advisor]?"

What do you think about this question?


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blogging from Robotics Conference!

Hey guys!

So this week is the Vex Robotics Conference in Anaheim and it will be covered by yours truly! I'll be there representing Autodesk so if you're going to the conference don't be shy and come say hello.

I've got my camera on me so I'll be blogging and posting pics of our progress as we build and program our bot so keep checking back.


N. Riazi