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Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else
11

Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

How amazing. A study by an academic finds that the longer you stay at uni the smarter you are (tho at least he doesn't say correlation implies causation). And that a study by a social scientist finds that social science students are relatively bright.


Now let's discuss observer bias, and designing surveys.

Humphrey: You know what happens: nice young lady comes up to you. Obviously you want to create a good impression, you don't want to look a fool, do you? So she starts asking you some questions: " Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the number of young people without jobs?"
 
Bernard: Yes
 
Humphrey: "Are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?"
 
Bernard: Yes
 
Humphrey: "Do you think there is a lack of discipline in our Comprehensive schools?"
 
Bernard: Yes
 
Humphrey: "Do you think young people welcome some authority and leadership in their lives?"
 
Bernard: Yes
 
Humphrey: "Do you think they respond to a challenge?"
 
Bernard: Yes
 
Humphrey: "Would you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?"
 
Bernard: Oh...well, I suppose I might be.
 
Humphrey: "Yes or no?"
 
Bernard: Yes
 
Humphrey: Of course you would, Bernard. After all you told her you can't say no to that. So they don't mention the first five questions and they publish the last one.
 
Bernard: Is that really what they do?
 
Humphrey: Well, not the reputable ones no, but there aren't many of those. So alternatively the young lady can get the opposite result.
 
Bernard: How?
 
Humphrey: "Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?"
 
Bernard: Yes
 
Humphrey: "Are you worried about the growth of armaments?"
 
Bernard: Yes
 
Humphrey: "Do you think there is a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?"
 
Bernard: Yes
 
Humphrey: "Do you think it is wrong to force people to take up arms against their will?"
 
Bernard: Yes
 
Humphrey: "Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?"
 
Bernard: Yes
 
Humphrey: There you are, you see Bernard. The perfect balanced sample.



 

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Thank you Greg.

I remembered a scene where Sir Humphrey rephrased a survey to get the result he wanted, but no way could I remember the details.

I think there was also another between Jim and Sir Humphrey involving workers rights and trade unions.

Regards
Pat
See FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on use of eng-tips by professional engineers &
http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm
for site rules
 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

One 'problem' with being an engineer is that while other people experience what's going on around them in a sort of haze of ignorance, we are constantly looking at things trying to figure out how it actually works.  I'm constantly catching myself touching surface to see how smooth something is, or pushing it to see how sturdy it is, or looking to see how straight or plumb something is.  It's like we can't just walk by without sizing things-up or considering why certain things were done one way and not another.  It tends to drive my wife nuts.  But then she worked over 25 years in dental offices and she still catches herself, when meeting someone for the first time, checking out their teeth and noting whether they appear to have practiced good dental hygiene or not.  Once when I made a comment about her doing this she reminded me that I should be lucky that she hadn't worked for a gynecologist all those years winky smile

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
UG/NX Museum:   http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

The Marketing people have run studies that show that engineers use Spock like logic in their approach. Buying decisions by engineers are made based on analysis of the features and benefits but buying decisions made by everyone else are made based on emotion.

It is an important point when writing articles or presentations.
The presentation/article where you have an audience of non-engineers has to be shorn of technical detail and loaded with emotive stuff but the reverse is true when the engineers are the target audience.
It may be that engineers are by nature or training more logical and rational in everything they do.
This might also apply to such tests.

The author says he can't be sure that the subjects were getting more intelligent or just doing better at tests and it might be that all this does is look at how well people do tests based on their discipline and it has less to do with intelligence than they think.
I suspect there is a strong element of ability at tests in this; for example, if I regularly do the crossword I am usually able to reach a high level of completion but if I don't do it for a while, I am lucky to answer even one or two the next time I try.

PS why does this article single out engineers?
Ok, on specific ability levels the Maths/CS people score marginally better and it is only on General ability that engineers do better but perhaps that is because engineers can bring their way of thinking more easily into other areas than mathematicians can. Not sure that this study is really telling us anything.

Oh, except that educators seem to be proving the old adage about "those that can, do. Those that can't, teach". They appear to be down at the bottom for everything.

 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

The three factors in the experiment exhibit strong correlation, so it seems unlikley he is measuring 3 things, in fact he seems to be measuring about 1.3 independent things.

 

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Are we enough smarter to write a correctly-grammared title to a thread about how smart we be?

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

"400,000 high schoolers" ??

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Are we smarter, or are the tests for intellegence actually about problem solving?

I know how a car works, but I can't seem to actually fix one.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

2
(OP)
Did anybody notice that the article was posted on a business web site, but the article places business majors near the bottom?

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

What's really disturbing is that education resides at the bottom of the chart, and THESE are the people who're supposed to be teaching the new generations.

old field guy

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

I've met some pretty "smart" ditch diggers and some pretty "dumb" engineers....

Don't even/ever ask me to dress myself or pick out the paint for the bathroom.  My wife will assure you that I haven't a clue.

Fix an engine, build a house, repair electrical or plumbing, even fly a plane - those are some of the things I can do in my sleep...

I believe it is in the eye of bee-holder!!

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

I just have to question what the tests are really testing for.
Example; where do you have to go to school to be a perfessional wine (or beer) taster? Or perfume smeller?
I doubt any part of the test gives any review of those abilitys (not that they are useful outside there profession. And I used these extreme examples because I am trying to show a point).

I'm just trying to see how this, test or paper, has any real value, other than to excite, or enrage, people.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

MiketheEngineer, don't be offended if I decline to go flying with you:)

Regards,

Mike

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

SnTMan -

Don't blame you - Last flight I crashed - front wheel literally fell off the plane and we didn't know it until we landed.  Really messed up the propeller and front of the plane!!!  Looked down the end of the runway - and there it sat!!  OH CRAP... Good it was a rental and well insured..

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Wow, I was only jokingly referring to you flying in your sleep!

Glad you're OK
Sorry you crashed
Glad it wasn't your plane:)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote (cranky108):


...where do you have to go to school to be a perfessional wine (or beer) taster?

http://www.internationalwineguild.com/wine-school

http://www.germanbeerinstitute.com/styles.html

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
UG/NX Museum:   http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Oh, and good reason to fly taildraggers, not one ever lost a nosewheel:)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Taildraggers - like some people tend to "ground loop"

Tell you what - I didn't have to touch the brakes - it stopped QUICK

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

SnTMan (Mechanical)

 '''Oh, and good reason to fly taildraggers, not one ever lost a nosewheel:)'''

They do however have a disturbing tendancy to balance on the mainwheels and the propellor if you hit the brakes too hard.thumbsup
B.E.  

The good engineer does not need to memorize every formula; he just needs to know where he can find them when he needs them.  Old professor

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

The ME 262 (in my mind becaue it came up on the spitfire thread) started life with a tail wheel then migrated to a nose wheel design, despite being a jet with no propellers to damage.
I think, somewhere in the States, someone is making these planes (with modern durable engines)....
Ah yes STormbirds and you can have a flight in one.... some great videos there too.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Oh, the price for a flying version is $2.5M USD!
 

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

hmm. very subjective. I do agree that most engineers I know are much more intelligent than most non-technical people I know. But like everything there are exceptions.

Also, I personally am "higher educated" than most engineers. I have observed some of my colleagues that seemingly some days are plainly "dull". Others that are absolutely brilliant. They all have doctorates.

Like I said it is subjective with exceptions just like anything else in life. But, in general agreeable.

 

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote:


Spock like logic

Made my day. smile. Soo true.  

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

An interesting result I noticed from the graph is the declining trend in verbal skills from Math/CD to Physical Science to Engineering. It may well be that the trend is within the noise margin of the data, but if not, it makes for a compelling criticism of Engineer's ability to communicate! Of those three disciplines, I'd argue that the ability to speak effectively is most important in Engineering. The graph suggests instead something that anecdotally I'm aware of - Mathematicians, while often shy, tend to be surprisingly engaging and entertaining. Engineers on the other hand, are often harsh, critical and are not fond of communicating with non-engineers.

I wonder if it has something to do with the Mathematical propensity for imagination and whimsy? Mathematicians in my experience tend to be more willing to converse playfully, while Engineers often concern themselves only with the truth.

Disclaimer: BMath, BEng(Elec)

By the way, I think the conclusion as in the thread subject is a big stretch from the data. All it really shows is that people in mathematical professions perform better in mathematical tests. The graph then lets that result dominate and look, wow - Engineers are smart! If you take the maths results out the graph starts to look a lot different. But it would probably take a STEM person to see that blllttt
 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

What is a STEM person?

I know of STEM cell research...

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Haha. LitYear is logically correct.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

(Someone shoot me for saying this).
If you are an engineer that knows it all, exactly how much communication skills do you really need?

 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

So, is that a Meyers-Briggs profile (sp?)?
 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote (cranky108):


If you are an engineer that knows it all, exactly how much communication skills do you really need?

Ever come-up with a really GOOD idea which was ignored by you management because the guy with the second-best idea had better communication skills than you did?

During my senior year of Engineering school, 40+ years ago, our university added to the curriculum a class in 'Report Preparation and Presentation'.  They felt it was so critical that they deemed it mandatory for all students to take it and despite it being offered as ostensibly a 2nd year class, they required all Junior and Senior level (even if you were only one term away from graduation) to take the class.

The class consisted not only of how to prepare and use the standard presentation media of the day, such overhead slides, posterboards, flipcharts as well as graphic art matetials and such, we had to give stand-up presentations which were video-taped and were then reviewed and critiqued not only by the instructor but also by our peers.  This was the first year it was required (1970/1971) and has been a standard part of the courseware since including being added as a part of many of the engineering classes themselves.  I've had the opportunity on several occasions to return to my Alma Mater when I've been invited to judge students in those classes which includes a 'design contest' as part of their final grade.  I've done this for both Freshman level engineering 'survey' type classes as well as Senior lever Design Enigineering classes.  I have to say that the current graduating students have at least a much better level of comfort and skills with using modern media tools, however the personal skills of actually standing up and defending your designs, which was virtually all we judges saw of what the student teams had done since we ONLY saw what they presented and how they answered the questions we put to them and a major portion of their scores was based on both the quaility of the presentation material as well as the execution and their ability to respond when asked to defend or explain in more detail exactly what they had done.

In conclusion, while the tools have improved in presenting your ideas, you still need to be articulate, cool under pressure, confident in what you're saying and above all, give the impression that you are in full control of the 'project' that you were given to accomplish and even if you succeeded 100% if you are unable to convince the 'guys with the checkbook' you effort will be of little value to either you personally or to the organization for whom you work.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
UG/NX Museum:   http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Yes some communications skills are needed, as well as some marketing. However a good talker, with a bad idea will usually get promoted, I mean found out as a poor engineer, in short order.

I have known some very good engineers who were very well respected, and rarely had to give much of a sales speech.

I have known some engineers who were very good talkers, but could not think there way out of a paper bag.

And I have known some who were book smart, but had problems with the real world.

But who does better in an IQ test? The talker, the thinker, or the applications?

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Thinkers will do better in IQ tests, by and large.

I had an interesting conversation just before Christmas with a colleague of mine who (unlike dummy B.Sc. me) holds a PhD in chemical engineering.  He felt - and I completely agree - that insofar as knowledge is concerned, the brain really only understands patterns, and the key differences in intelligence are in the number of patterns recognized, the speed at which they are recognized, their complexity, and the ability to integrate recognized patterns into extrapolative thought processes towards decision-making.

People who do well on Jeopardy! are good at the first two, whereas people with true intellect are good at the latter two.

People with "high IQs" are optimally balanced between the four, with more emphasis on the latter two.

Some slow thinkers might never be able to pass an IQ test (if time was a factor) but might nevertheless otherwise be brilliant people.

While we believe that we are vastly superior to animals insofar as brain function is concerned, that is not necessarily true, in my opinion.  Animals recognize many simple patterns much faster than we do (their survival depends on it); and the "more intelligent" animals can recognize complex patterns fairly quickly.  This is why one often hears the term "pattern training" for dolphins, elephants and dogs.

In short, humans are really nothing more than highly pattern-trained animals.

 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Great post SNORGY. I agree much with the first part.

I don't think of myself as an animal. That part is subjective to perspective, there is a line between animal and intelligent being. The scientific part related to pattern recognition is spot on, this is nonetheless coupled with memory, creative thinking and the like.  

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote:


the ability to integrate recognized patterns into extrapolative thought processes towards decision-making.

There is a better word for this. We do it all the time and every day. Just on different levels.  

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

I guess it depends on one's bias to some extent.  The conversation between me and my colleague eventually ended up in some debate as to whether or not the fourth phenomenon (let's call it creative thinking) was more than just pattern recognition and assimilation, or was it really just a more complex variation that related "patterns" to perceived "cause versus effect" or "problem therefore solution" information which, in turn, were derived from recognition of other patterns.  In a sense, it is akin to some of the philosophical ideas presented by David Hume on the topics of causality and knowledge arrived at from induction from past experience.  In my view, back in the days of academic pursuit, my take on that had been that causality was defined rather than established, and that all that human thinkers were doing in relating cause to effect was defining patterns that fit observations.

I suppose with that last statement that perhaps true intelligence, beyond pattern training, resides within the ability to formulate hypotheses that are not directly supported by analysis of any known pre-existing patterns.  In other words, perhaps it is in the ability to come up with ideas that nobody else has ever even thought about and, indeed, cannot be correlated with any pre-existing thought process whatsoever.  By that measure, when I think about who then might be the most intelligent beings in the world, I am likely to experience nightmares of monumental proportions.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

"By that measure, when I think about who then might be the most intelligent beings in the world, I am likely to experience nightmares of monumental proportions."
That made me laugh.  I assume your nightmares are caused by the "new" ideas of heavy drug users or something. haha.
What you describe in the last paragraph is essentially research in some peoples minds. It is difficult to come up with very new ideas of course. But there always must be some correlation to previous thought, no matter how small it may be. For example, we always must define a problem to be solved first, we then retain all knowledge previously thought about that problem (if exists), then new ideas that relate to the problem are proposed. These new ideas are based upon what you ask? That is a very good speculative question actually.  

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

The subjects of those nightmares Might Be Anonymous.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

MBA hatter to the core. Hahaha. We were having an intelligent discussion for a few posts smile.
But there is not too much we can add to that though.
Really only that many new ideas are not entirely or randomly "new" as the creator must have culminated parts of portions of memory or the like. Or randomly selected things and it just happend to work. But is the latter intelligence? hmm.  

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

I saw a documentary on National Geographic Channel, a portion of which showed how chimpanzees used a touch screen to duplicate patterns that had flashed before them for a second or so, and they were able to do this faster and more accurately than people.  They could certainly recognize patterns, but I assume that they would not be able to "create" patterns for an intended purpose, in a manner of speaking.  They are simply offering a behaviour in response to recognizing a pattern.  (For which a food reward followed.)

Animal intelligence defined from that perspective alone, however, does not explain how some animals teach themselves (or automatically know how) to make and use tools.  Ultimately, perhaps there is a line between pattern recognition and the next step, the synthesis of patterns into ideas.

I haven't taken a lot of IQ tests, but the ones that I have taken all largely revolve around being able to recognize a pattern (which number comes next, which shape is the next most logical, etc.).  In a way, perhaps IQ tests do not test one's ability to "think" so much as to merely "recognize".  Perhaps true genius is defined by a combination of creativity and a non-methodical / non-analytical vision of what form the end product of some abstract consciousness or recognition might take.  That would make artists more intelligent than engineers, and yet, a lot of brilliant artists, if confronted with a series of numbers like 1, 3, 4, 7, 11 would struggle in the determination that 18 is the next number.

Maybe the problem is in the "definition" of what "defines intelligence".  It appears that decision has already been made and, consequently, is biased from the outset.  Even if the test is a test of how well one "thinks", there are distinct boundaries around those things that are to be thought about during the test.

That is probably what other posters above have hit on more precisely than I.
 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Interesting perspective. I thought we assumed engineers should be good with both pattern recognition as well as creativity. We could go on and classify people as has been done in the study roughly, but it is subjective as you imply.
To me it doesn't make logical sense that a person who can recognize a simple pattern but can pain in watercolour very well is considered intelligent. Should not an artist that is innovative be able to do both?
It is true though in society that those good at science and math are deemed more intelligent than those that can write, draw etc. It is a byproduct of the general persons speculative view of things. If person "A" can build a robot, but his neighbour can sing a song and play piano, does that make person "A" more intelligent? Does it take more skill and intelligence to build a robot than to sing a song? To some the answer is obvious, to others it is relative. Just like to all of us we appear on this earth as if it were still, despite the fact that we are whisking our way through space.

One way to possibly destroy this bias is to simply rank based upon everything. Thus, only those talented in all things will be seen as intelligent. ie. the likes of those individuals like Da Vinci. We then have another obvious problem.

The other fact of the matter is that even if one can come to a good conclusion for a definition there will always be those on the other side that will have a bias view. That is the way of the world, bias is everywhere subjective to everything, all the time.

I could say much more...but ..
 

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

One Christmas we all (me, wife, parents, in-laws) all took the same IQ test. I peed all over it, but got the same score as mother-in-law who I rate way down on the intelligence (and oall other) scale. But then I've always been good under pressure and in taking exams.

I know it's management speak, but I admire people who really can think out of the box. Most research (at least in my industry) is incremental and has to promise a profit before it gets funding.

- Steve
 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

FeX32,

Quite uncanny how you have written what I got to thinking about shortly after my last post.

I would suspect that it would be easier to teach calculus to an artist with no mathematical training or aptitude than it would be to teach a mathematician (or an engineer) how to paint a portrait.

People who can "do it all" are truly special.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote (FeX32):

Should not an artist that is innovative be able to do both?
I work for one.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

I also admire thinking outside the box. It is this that pushes us forward technologically.

This researcher is very interesting http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12321
He quit academia as to change his life focus from a "paper producer" to new innovative products involving AI.

Quote:


Quite uncanny how you have written what I got to thinking about shortly after my last post.

Great minds think alike wink

And I didn't know TheTick works for Da Vinci  pipe

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

"I would suspect that it would be easier to teach calculus to an artist with no mathematical training or aptitude than it would be to teach a mathematician (or an engineer) how to paint a portrait."

That is an interesting thought. Personally, I can paint (not amazing well, decently). I never thought of it as difficult, only something that gets better the more you do it, and is hard to set fundamental principles for. It kinda just "is". There are however, those individuals that have natural aptitude that someone who is decent would never really be able to become equal to.
And yea portraits are difficult. smile

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

"I don't think of myself as an animal"

Vegetable or mineral, then?

"They [chimpanzees] are simply offering a behaviour in response to recognizing a pattern.  (For which a food reward followed.)"

At some slightly higher and more abstracted level, that's what I do every day (replace "food" with "beer").

:)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

LOL. btrueblood has a point. smile

What about those of us humans that don't work just for money (or beer) but for the intelectual enjoyment of it? Doesn't quite fit the bill.

"Vegetable or mineral, then?"

Closer to Alien than to any of those pipe, intellectually. At the atomic level everything is the same..

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

I thought of this thread as I went for appetizers and a drink next door to the building wherein I work.  I experienced an uncanny demonstration of the effects of pattern recognition on the human brain (at least mine).

The escalator to the second floor was broken, so we had to walk up them manually.  Have you ever noticed how you do this without thinking on a static staircase, but the minute you first step onto an escalator that isn't moving, you tend to lose your sense of balance and feel like you are falling forward?

Try it some time.  It's your brain arming itself to compensate for the motion that it subconsciously anticipates, even though another part of it has already in advance been made fully cognizant of the fact that there indeed is no motion.

I guess the logical extension of this would be that the truly intelligent people - who are less influenced by pattern training - will feel less of an effect.  Sadly then, by that measure, I must be pretty simple.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Don't feel too bad as I suspect that even Pavlov's dogs could on occasion come-up with a 'new trick' winky smile

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
UG/NX Museum:   http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Talking of Pavlov's mutt, I seem to have trained myself such that when I get in the car leaving work (typically on Thursday) to drive home from out of town (3.5 hr drive) I become ridiculously hungry.

Typically I used to leave 2-3pm, after lunch at 11:30 so used to be genuinely hungry hence the snack I always have with me.

However, now even if I leave early - say straight after lunch - when I should no way be peckish I start to get hungry as soon as I pull out of our parking lot.

Stupid dog.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

So is an art critic someone who picks out patterns they don't like?

Strange how we all seem to see faces in otherwise random patterns. And we can hear words easer than other sound bites (other than baby cries).

Probally just survival tactics, but yet still part of us all.

I still think there is a difference between memory, and intellegence. So how can a test differ the two?

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

It also occurred to me about the comment about teaching art vs/ teaching Calculus. Ironically I taught Calc. for 2 years (uni. calc) as a grad student. Out of a class of 600 only very few could actually understand it properly. The rest memorized it, or plain failed. It is not easy to teach. People just don't "get it", no matter how you explain it sometimes.  

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Some times explaining it differently, more people can understand. Maybe thats why I don't teach.

 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Yes I agree cranky. But not that many more smile. Math can only be interpreted in a limited number of ways.
Whereas painting for example requires less pattern recognition and more "hand-eye" coordination.  Closer to a sport  

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

FeX32,

I think my observation was probably tainted by my own personal bias as well.

No matter how hard I try, without a straight edge, circle guide, various templates and several erasers, I can't draw worth a tweet.  You really don't want to see anything that I try to free-hand sketch; it will look like a toddler's Play-Skool project.  That said, I have tremendous admiration for people who can take a drawing tool like a pencil and actually make the strokes look like something at the end of the day.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Well put SNORGY. I know we all have our own personal bias smile

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

<<Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else
they are not

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

loki3000, what is your basis for that comment?

The IQ tests don't bear that out.

I still stand by that the IQ tests are not 100% accuriate, but they do have some basis. They do measure something.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

cranky108,

   Read The Mismeasure of Man, by Stephen Jay Gould.  It is all about the practise and abuse of intelligence testing.  

   The basic assumption of intelligence testing is that human intelligence can somehow be reduced to one number.  Gould questioned this, and took a close look at the mathematical models used by the researchers.

   You would be surprised at how many claims about intelligence date from World War I IQ testing.  Most if not all of this work was repudiated by the researchers in the 1930s.

               JHG

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

So it goes back to the golden age of classifying people. The preaty baby contests, and the master race ideas.

Seems like a bunch of things from that time seem to be comming back. Can we thank Carl Marx for that also?

 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

cranky108?

   Did Carl Marx do racial classification?

               JHG

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

I flunk IQ tests as well as personality tests.  smile

When I was in first grade, I could do third and fifth grade level work.  That always dismayed my teacher because I shouldn't have known that stuff.  She told me to stop and wait for the appropriate grade.  My older sister taught me a lot.  She still does.  My older brother helped some.  It wasn't hard stuff yet there were things my little pea brain couldn't grasp.  I don't consider myself to be much above normal.  There are many, from all walks of life, who blow me away with their minds and I admire them quite a bit for their pure mental abilities.  It's a beautiful thing to see regardless of their station in life.  smile

I'm with Pat and drawoh...

Sincerely,

Stunted Pea Brain

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

This is all predictable (as was stated way above many times). Personal bias is ingrained in humans. Period.  

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Fe

It's pretty strongly implied in the title.

One large factor in measuring IQ which is supposed to be brain power is that it depends on physical attributes that strongly contribute to reading and writing skills.

One factor is fine motor skills.

Our eyes actually focus on a much smaller area than our field of vision and scan like a TV screen to rapidly impress the small images into appropriate on the retina to build the field of vision and continually rebuild it.

Poor fine motor skills slows down the rate we do that and leads to dyslexia or in it's milder forms just slow reading with a tendency to lose your place.

There is a gender bias with this, with a tendency toward boys being worse than girls at fine motor skills but better at gross motor skills. ie reading and writing vs playing football or needle point work vs shovelling earth or assembling fine intricate circuit boards vs lifting 100# transmissions into place.

Good grief, now my evolutionary, hunter/gather based hypothesis will get me into trouble with both genders and the creationist.

hmmmm this might end up appropriate

Everybody hates me, no body loves me

Think I'll eat some worms

Long ones, short ones

fat ones, skinny ones

worms that squiggle and squirm

bite their heads of suck their guts out throw their skins away

nobody knows how much I like my worms

at least three times a day.

 

Regards
Pat
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RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

haha. I get it Pat.
All the best,

cheers

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Stunted Pea Brain...

Ya, you say you flunk personality tests.

Sorry, I don't buy that for a second.

Good try though.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Lacajun, that seems to go along with schools trying to turn lefties into righties.
The schools can't handle anything disruptive like smart kids.

Still I wonder what the orginal purpose of the IQ test was. If not for classifying people for some purpose.


 

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote:


Still I wonder what the orginal purpose of the IQ test was. If not for classifying people for some purpose.

I read a long while ago that it was for testing the intelligence of people in order to deem them viable to be sterilized. No joke.
Back 150 years ago or so.

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote:

bite their heads of suck their guts out throw their skins away

We do that to mudbugs, too!  I knew you were Cajun at heart, Pat.  smile

SNORGY, I am as dull as a doorknob.  winky smile

cranky108, we have an innate need to categorize people and labels are needed for categories.  Of course, some use labels for bad ulterior motives.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

I have seen IQ tests I had to do used in two ways.

1) When going from primary school to high school, to determine which subject stream and level or even which school. Unfortunately I was classified as slightly below average and was denied access to high stream maths which was one of my better subjects and was very lucky to be made an exception and allowed to do high stream science.

2) When conscripted for national service I was classified in the top 10%ile and selected for officer training.

Why a jump of about 40%ile. My only explanation is, my eyes felt good and sharp on the second test.

Really significant decisions affecting the rest of my life where made on these once off individual tests with no retesting to confirm repeatability or cross referencing.

I did the higher maths at night school, but it was never as deeply entrenched as the science which was reinforced as the maths was taught for the first time in a catch up scenario. In fact I can still remember most of the science in detail and use it effectively in the field, but the maths I can remember the terminology, but not how to do the complex calcs like simultaneous equations and differentiation.

Regards
Pat
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RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Unfortunately, everyone has a bad day here and there for different reasons. Also unfortunately, most tests don't have "do overs".
Over here we didn't have to take tests to do higher level maths. Just as long as you passed the prerequisite course, it was considered fine.
There were some "competitive tests" related to math though. These were fun and the teacher selected the top 2 students to write them (elementary school, and some grades in HS). I remember these tests being some type of math but in a word problem that really tried to test your fundamental logic and mathematical abilities. I wish I could find some of those problems now to look at them again haha.  

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Pat, sorry about the bad experience in school with the denial of advanced math. I like the US system because my experience was like FeX32. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have taken advanced math either. I think people are better off pursuing their interests rather than being forced into a track based on one-time, impersonal exams.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Don't worry Pamela. I pretty well got over it many years ago and did OK most of my working life

Regards
Pat
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RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Pat, you certainly did and how!

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

This is certainly a motivational/ego boost.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote:

What about those of us humans that don't work just for money (or beer) but for the intelectual enjoyment of it? Doesn't quite fit the bill.

I suspect there is a more subtle reward mechanism going on there. Display of creativity/intellect could arguably be linked to attracting of mates? Is "intellectual enjoyment" the brain's way of getting us to show off?

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Good point imcjoek. I still think that this "attracting mates" won't fit everyone. Although for some this certainly is true.

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Possibly all behavior is really, down at root level, about attracting mates. Stephen Gould's "selfish gene" theory and all. Certainly beer drinking might qualify as behavior intended to attract mates, or perhaps make available mates appear more attractive.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote:


Certainly beer drinking might qualify as behavior intended to attract mates, or perhaps make available mates appear more attractive.

haha. Too true.

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

But then with all this beer drinking we wonder why birth rates are way low in western society.
Unfortunately, life is much more complicated then we would like.

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Stephen Gould did write some interesting books, but he wasn't behind "The Selfish Gene". That honour goes to Richard Dawkins, good friend of the late Douglas Adams. More known these days for his "other" persona.

- Steve

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Rats, you are right Steve. Shoulda fact checked my post, but was busy cracking open another beer.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

How can anything engineering be to impress a mate?

Working in excess of 40 hours a week, while being paid less than a minor sports star. And can you even explain what it is you do to make all those loads of money?

OK, the pay thing maybe wrong, but free electricity is good.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote:

How can anything engineering be to impress a mate?

I'm suggesting the drive to create and innovate is likely built in via evolution.

The fact that some of us get confused and use that inspiration to create full scale replicas of the Starship Enterprise out of macaroni noodles is merely a 20th century debasement of that drive.

In summary: if peacocks were self-aware, they would wear funny hats.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

May I suggest that some of the behavior is for social status. And that the social status need is for attracting a mate.

Given that each of us values our social status among the community of our peers.

So maybe a good question is, why do we choose the community that we do (and I am not talking about our location)?

This comes from watching women, who (not all of them but some of them)will try to compete with dinner clothes, and makeup. The whole thing made me sick because I though it a total waste of money. Then again I have also seen about the same thing with men and power tools.

Then again as an engineer I tend to be sceptical, and on the practicle side. I would rather think of as deeper thinkers.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

"May I suggest that some of the behavior is for social status. And that the social status need is for attracting a mate."

If I tell a girl at a bar I have a doctorate in engineering she will give me the "duh" look. If I tell her I am a lead singer in a band she will drip.

Not sure where attracting mates comes in in the sciences, maths, engineering. haha.

Just a thought.

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote:

If I tell a girl at a bar I have a doctorate in engineering she will give me the "duh" look.
Or she will just laugh in your face.

Maui

www.EngineeringMetallurgy.com

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

The only women I know who would react favourably to a bloke with a science/engineering education are also in that business. However, the proportion is much less than 50/50.

- Steve

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

The usual course of events is to hide ones capabilities from friends, acquaintances and bar pick ups. It is even advisable not to reveal one's abilities to co-workers or management lest the feel threatened.
Just pretend to be thick and barely capable of doing the job so you can do it well but never reveal how easy it was for you.
Plus, telling people you have a doctorate is likely to say Saying you are in a band is good one though but Howard Wolowitz's "Come drive my Mars Rover" worked for him so it should work for anyone. (Or, "come and drive my underwater camera vehicle" and link up to one of those sites that let anyone do that. There is probably some mileage to made out of using Google earth on people who have never heard of it.... e.g. bar pick-ups.)

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

So here's a question about practically.

What type of car (or other) do you drive most of the time, and why did you choose it?

As for me I drive a 25 year old S15, which is just large enough to carry a 4 X 8 sheet, and still get good millage.

No sports car here.


Besides if you say you have a doctorate won't you also get asked about some health problem? I guess that won't be so bad, as you will know the relationship won't last long enough for you to get sick of her ........
Really that's why you were in the bar for anyway.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote:

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.
Mediocre engineers discuss how much smarter they are. Great engineers are too busy with ideas.

batHonesty may be the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.bat
http://www.EsoxRepublic.com-SolidWorks API VB programming help

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

I drive a 2001 2-door 2WD Chevy Blazer (very much like in the image below), which I consider to be my 'sports car':

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
http://www.siemens.com/plm
UG/NX Museum: http://www.plmworld.org/p/cm/ld/fid=209

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

I drive an '04 Ford Focus diesel - the one with the 115 PS engine. Bought it because I love diesels and was partly involved with development of this particular engine. It just happened to appear on a dealer's forecourt when I needed it and is spec'd to the nines. I found out yesterday that the published top speed is probably doable - only got to 115 mph, but it felt like there was a lot more to come if there had been more road.

- Steve

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Quote:


Mediocre engineers discuss how much smarter they are. Great engineers are too busy with ideas.

Good point. However, the same can be said about this whole forum. pipe

In regards to the topic change. I drive a mk6 VW GTI. Sweet car.

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Got her to about 235km/h. Probably 10-15km/h left until rpm gutter.

peace
Fe (IronX32)

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

A retired colleague of mine was married to a woman who wanted an engineer because they're stable. They're not exciting but they're stable, they provide for their family, they're handy to have around, and they can pass on their "smart" genes to the kids. She made no bones about her selection for a mate. She selected a great guy, too. smile

My neighbors have a friend who recently applied for a completely non-technical job. He's completely non-technical. They had him take a personality profile and an algebra test. He was shocked because he's not taken algebra, ever. I haven't heard if he passed or not.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

They now start simple algebra in 6th grade. I don't remember it when I was in 6th grade, so it might be new.

Some how I think there is a price to pay for being so logic minded. We (or I) seem to be often undercut by some swift talker, who has no idea what they are talking about. It would be helpful if sometimes we (or I) could understand the world of rainbows and unicorns.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Cranky, We were taught simple algebra in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade.

There is a price to pay. I worked with a lot of older engineers who couldn't remember calculus but they could save your bacon on a project. They had experience and intuition gained through that experience. I was grateful for their help. We'll never be rid of swift talkers.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Engineers need to be reminded what engineering is. If the numbers don't match reality, you're doing it wrong.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

As some anonymous engineer once stated (and which is recorded on a poster on the wall of my office):

Blessed are those
Who bring forth
Marvelous devices
Through precise calculations
Plus the necessary fudge factor
For they shall be called
Design Engineers

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Dosen't exactly fit. I'm more of "bringing good things to life".

The problem we seem to have is, they want it for free. And I would assume we are expected to not be paid for our work.

I just don't understand how economics is not tought, or understood through living for a few years.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Thanks John, I'll add that to my list of sigs for work

Cheers

Greg Locock


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RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

Greg,

If you like that, perhaps you'll want this one as well:

Lazlo's Chinese Relativity Axiom:

No matter how great your triumphs,
or tragic your defeats,
approximately one billion Chinese couldn't care less.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Just How Smarter Engineers Are Than Everyone Else

HAHA! That's funny John, and soo true.

peace
Fe (IronX32)

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