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An engineering program is the best preparation for your college-bound child’s future as a doctor, lawyer, corporate manager, best-selling author, management consultant, high school science teacher, mayor, senator, police detective, touring musician, factory production manager, pharmacist, banker, financial advisor, small business owner, CEO, CFO, COO, university professor or administrator. The student in question may not have to finish the degree to reap the benefits. The idea is to learn how to think and make decisions "like a GOOD engineer". Depending on where a person starts at, and the freedom to chose classes, this can happen sooner for some than others. FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a strong believer in personal wellness management and simplicity so I personally avoid anything that involves regulation, legislation, litigation, medication, or invasive surgery. But when I need help with any of the above, I prefer that the party coming to my aid, started their... read more

I remember going to school and feeling like something was wrong with me because I was good at mathematics. Especially, since nearly every teacher felt the need to re-iterate how girls were not as good at mathematics as boys based on what ever random statistics at the time.   However, I excelled and kept going. I got a degree in mathematics. So, what made me different from all the other girls that got discouraged. Natural ability for mathematics; however, when I reflect that's not the whole story. As I went to college, there were other girls that were great at mathematics, but once again got discouraged. So, what made go on to pursue degrees is Computer Science, Mathematics, and Computer Engineering.   I got the same discouraging information as everyone else, but I kept going. Why?  1) "Fighter" Personality My personality is such that when someone tells me that I can not do something, then I wanted to fight that much harder to prove them... read more

Today I showed a student how to use Robert Cooper's stage-gate process to brainstorm, formulate and define a product to improve something they hated in school. She immediately went to the whiteboard and started to write down pros and cons of the tool they were using and started thinking of how to make it better. Than she started making requirements and product features. If I hadn't brought it up while studying for my master's class in research and development she never would have grabbed onto the whole idea! Check it out at:

You can find some really good resources for math test prep in the used bookstores in a college town. Some examples that I like are: (1) Humongous Book of ______________ Problems (fill in the blank with your math topic);  (2) the REA Problem Solvers series; and (3) the Schaum's Outlines. If you don't live near a college town it might be worth a Saturday trip just to buy books. Alternately, all of these are available (used) through the Amazon Marketplace sellers at really low prices.   You should preview each title of these book series that you might be considering to be sure you like the authors style. Each one is different. You may like one series' treatment of Pre-Calc but prefer a different series for Calculus.   So how do you use these books ?   They are an alternate resource for explanations of basic concepts and problem solving techniques. You should use them as 'hint mills' and sources of problems to make... read more

You'd think that, "If I'm paying for tutoring, he should be answering MY questions. Not the other way around." While I can sympathize with the general sentiment, I'd say,"you're way off base there!"   I think that the tutor/teacher/coach should never ask the student directly,"Do you understand __________ ?" Not knowing the subject matter, how would the student know/evaluate/determine if they understood or not ? Generally they can't, that's why the need a tutor. Rather than ask about specific content, directly, I ask questions to determine if the student understands the material and how the pieces fit together. Sometimes that's five or six questions.   Here's my general GAME PLAN: Find out where they are. Tell them, show them, then see what they heard and saw.   When your tutor's asking you questions, he/she is probably working the same kind of plan. You can help them help you by always providing the syllabus... read more

0. Many STEM problems involve manipulation of a set of constrained equations. Identify the set for the problem you are solving. 1. The numbers don't matter; so, ... plan on always deriving the formula or mathematical expression for your answer, first. 2. Never operate on or write dimensionless numbers in a derivation or problem solution. 3. VARIABLE = Quantity x [Units]. This is always true, even if its not presented this way in introductory courses. 4. Only variables with the same units can be added (or subtracted). 5. The result of multiplying two variables is has units that are the product of the multiplier and multiplicand: VARIABLE_1 x VARIABLE_2 = Quantity_1 x Quantity_2 x [Units_1 x Units_2] . Sometimes, units in the numerator(denominator) of one variable will cancel out units in the denominator(numerator) of the other. 6. For details, Google "Dimensional Analysis". That's what I'm talking about! 7. Corrects answers come from derivation... read more

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