Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Faculty Politics

It's my second day of uni, and I'm currently sitting in the library in hour 3 of my 4 hour break until my next lecture. My timetable will fill out when labs and tutes start, but for the time being I have lots of long waits :(

Because my degree spans over the faculties of Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, I've been part of three very different environments since the start of uni. I've never quite been able to figure out what makes engineers so different from mathematicians and computer scientists, but I think I've finally put my finger on it.

I figured it out when I didn't understand something in my Electromagnetic Theory lecture. We were doing a supposedly simple example (according to the lecturer, not the students), and I was lost quite early on. After the lecture, all the people around me had the same problems as I did, and so we had a chat and figured it out to some degree, during which there were several exclamations of "oh my god this unit is going to kill us".

So I was thinking about how that would have gone about in a maths lecture. Well first of all no one would readily admit to not understanding, and during impossible parts of the lecture people would put on a "hrmmmm I seeeee" face as opposed to an "oh my god hahah what the hell is that" face. In a computer science lecture the discussion would have probably not have happened at all since comp sci students would have either been too asleep to notice the lecture at all, and regardless, seem to have pride about not understanding things for some reason.

I guess engineering is where I've made the most friends because of this, since we work through the crazy together rather than pretending we understand, and rather than not caring at all.

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