Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Wheel has been invented, Engineer you are supposed to use it..

During the time of my undergraduate, one of my professor took a great effort to teach us the difference between a mathematician and an engineer. To his credit, he almost did it in a 100%

Mathematics is paramount in engineering. But Engineering is not all about  the mathematics.

Engineer is always a practical,solution provider and most importantly see all the (most of) aspects of the problem in solving the issue.While doing so , he should not be restricted in specific theoretical framework but should be an out of box thinker.

 As an engineer one does not need to immersed in rigorous theories always, how it invented, but he should be able to use the theory creatively  in  day to day problems....

What they need is creativity  blended with a sound technical background.......and essentially unframed imagination skills......

See this

who ever wrote this answer, I see a different person behind this, ..for sure he has seen a different aspect of the question that conventional thinker, a framed mind will never find .. He should be given full marks...

again the above answer shows the creativity which is handy in an engineering (or civil engineering?)

Answer may be wrong in an eyes of a mathematician. But answer gives an indirect indication of a creative thinker......

the following is a good lesson for the teachers. Picture says thousand words


  1. Im sorry but Im kinda confused. I didnt know
    you are tyring to point out here. Though you may
    have stated the first argument, I didnt see the
    difference between the engineer and the
    mathematecian. I had appreciated the first the
    thought that engineers is more a solution
    provider, I didnt see how. I hope you can give
    me more light on this matter.

    Keep on writing
    Original anonymous

  2. Yasela,
    I agree upto some extent...
    The above answers for those questions may be right in one angle. But if those answers are provided by an engineer, I suppose he/she is no longer be considered as an engineer.

    Anybody can change their way of thinking in front of the different categories of people. For, engineer can give those answers in front of grade 6 student for fun....even in front of engineers purely for fun.
    But I don't think that it add any creativity for the name "engineering"..

    lets talk here, Im ur senior at Mora.

  3. @original Anonymous

    After reading it again i understood that my message is not well discribed in the article. Thnks for pointing it out. I will write a another post relating to this in future.

    Thank you

  4. @anonymous

    Been an enginner, i hope you have much better undersatand to the topic which i am trying to exlain here.

    My point is that an engineer should not necessaraly be a conventional thinker. He should be able to understand the maximum possible aspects of the problam. His answer should be creative..It consisit with half science & half art. ( here i m speaking about Civil Engineering)

    On the other hand mathematician is restricted to particular frame which he can not go out of that.If he do then he is not within the mathematical system.

    Contrary,an engineers are not restricted by such a frame. But unfortunately our education system is such that, different thinkers will be screened out in their eraly ages and lebelled with them 'fool'

  5. Again interesting ayya,like the post on women and money. I agree that an engineer should not bother how some formulas and theories come.( in fact sometimes we are unable to to figure out how they have been derived). But for a better understanding an engineer should have a better understanding on these things.( I think!!!)

  6. @leks;

    you have touched what i tried to is good to understand the throires..But without the skills, dedication and enthusiasm to apply those things to real life (which is lagging in our sysytem)..No use of theories...

    here education system is such that ' problams comes first then the answeres (theory) '

    But in SL ' the solution(theory) comes first..sometime student does not know the problam for ever'

  7. Picture says thousand words
    ඒකනම් ඇත්ත.කතා කරන පින්තූර කිවම හරි.යසට පේන්න තියෙද්දි ආයෙත් හොයන්නෙ මොටද?
    චුත වුනා කියන එක විස්තර කරන්න තිබ්බ ප්‍රශ්ණ පත්‍රයකට ළමයෙක් ලියල තිබ්බලු "මේ උන්න මේ නැහැ" කියල. සරලයි ,පැහැදිලියි.... උත්තරේ හරි.

  8. @වත්,

    ඔයාත් එක දවසක් චිත්‍රයක් ගැන පොස්ට් එක්ක් ලියලා තිබ්බා මතකයි..
    ඔව්..පින්තුර කතා කරනවා..'ඩා වින්සි කොඩ්' චිත්‍රපටය බලලා තියෙනවද?

  9. Interesting article indeed.
    I have similar interesting answers from our A/L's.
    Q:give a simple experiment to explain the reasons for corrosion?
    A:Get two nails. fix one in Udarata Manike and one in Ruhunu kKumari.
    Let the train leave fort station.When they come back to fort the nail in Ruhunu Kumari is corroded and the other is not.Salt increases the speed of corrosion
    Q: Give a process to produce Carbohydrate.
    A: Take a plant. Water it. Keep it in sun. Carbohydrate is produced in the plant.

    Those two answers got full marks (hats off to the marker) yet both the students failed the paper.

    This tells us two things. One is whatever we say our education system give freedom for creativity.

    Second, to give such an answer the situation must prevail that we do not know the preferred answer and desperate to give one. Put yourself on test for a let say history module. You will be surprised at how much you can stretch your creativity.[ I did a economics paper that way and passed it]

    But I recently found out one person who answered, not to mock the system or in desperation.
    This was an essay type question(probably of 150-200 words)
    Q: What is courage?
    A: This is courage.


  10. @ KIUN

    Thanks very much for the comment and the the stories you have shared. even though my post give a vague picture which I try to seems to be you have taken the correct message..

    yea.. as teachers.. they should not compel students to think in traditional way or more orthodox way..Even it seems to be rubbish , new ideas should wellcome in correct sence..

    certanly the paper marker have rightly understand in the first to incidences while on latter occasion i think last two words i,e > this is courage..correctly describe what courage is by sitting on a exam which he haven't prepared.Anyway he has missed the instruction of 150 words..if he described the what he intended in words,, im sure he will escape with a reasonable marks..

    thanks again for your interest to put a comment


  11. the actual question in the later case was just "what is courage". i just stated that it was an essay type question for the sake of clarification [ as what we have as essay type questions in our A/L's are not well and truly essays.

    I certainly took interest in civil engineering from my childhood [ it was inevitable for me who has a generation of civil engineers]. I have an interesting detail collected on civil engineering which i would like you to share with the rest. if you care mail me on


  12. @ KIUN

    thanx for you interest. sure i will contact you regarding this.


  13. Awesome post! Love it, IMHO you are bang on! Engineers are problem solvers, not mathematicians. I tell people I get paid to solve puzzles all provide solutions. I come up with mulitiple 'correct' answers to a given situation and depending on other outside factors (time, $$, climactic & physical limitations, shipping constraints, jobsite restrictions, etc) one answer will prove more 'right' than the others. In math we are traditionally taught that there is only ONE correct answer to a given problem.

    What I see in the examples you've given are correct creative solutions. None of those answers are wrong, they may not be the best solutions, or the one sought after, but they are not incorrect.

    The word Engineer comes from the Latin word ingenerare, meaning 'to create'. Many seem to think of engineers as rigid thinkers, but I don't believe that is the case at all. Thank you for sharing!

    Lori Z
    (Structral Engineering Technologist & Artist)

  14. @ Lori

    thanks for insightfull comment. Yse indeed we provide solutions to real world which essencially includes human and nature...we can not escape from our responcibles to the enviornment and human only just by relying on numbers....numbers tell only one part of the problem...

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