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View Poll Results: How wouold you describe yourself
Engineer/scientist 68 56.67%
Artist/writer etc 3 2.50%
other 49 40.83%
Voters: 120. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-14-2009, 02:36 PM   #41
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Spending money on that stuff is suboptimal.
Not if it helped you attract a spouse who had a lot of money and/or a high-paying job. Then it's a good "investment"....
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Old 08-14-2009, 03:38 PM   #42
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Not if it helped you attract a spouse who had a lot of money and/or a high-paying job. Then it's a good "investment"....
Hmmm... that is an adjustment to the system constraints. We might need to re-run the model.
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:19 PM   #43
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Applied mathematician turned brain-ologist by accident.

Edit: and I love differential equations -- parabolic ones in particular. Linear algebra, of course, every mathematician has a very soft spot for.
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Old 08-14-2009, 05:59 PM   #44
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If I say saddle point, nice and sloooooooowwwww, who's gonna start salivating ?
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:06 PM   #45
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:23 PM   #46
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I wonder what the rest of the forum members are thinking about this thread. Something along these lines?

Truth of the matter is...I'm not much of a theoretical person. I couldn't derive my way out of a wet paper bag.

I was the person who the theorists went to for designing experiments, getting the components all together, doing the data collection via lab equipment control programming or doing imaging and capture, analyzing the results, and then asking the geeks theorists to fine tune their boundary conditions. Rinse and repeat.
I wrote the majority of the published papers as a co-author because I was really good at it.

I was the "put together the connections" person. Give me a piece of digital test equipment and a user manual and I'd figure it out in under 30 minutes, tops, on a bad day. That was the FUN part and it was all self taught.

This is the only stuff I miss. But I've gotten over it.
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:43 PM   #47
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I loved differential equations, and still do. I enjoyed all my calculus classes, too, and linear algebra was really cool! But diff eq was more challenging and so much fun. I still have my old textbooks and I think they have half the answers in the back of the book, so I can have a lot of fun re-doing all those problems.
Differential equations were ok, but when they started to throw in integral equations too in magneto-hydrodynamics I decided I'd reached my mathematical limits. It was at the same time that set theory got really hard and I retreated to the lab.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:24 PM   #48
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:03 PM   #49
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I never really thought about this before, but I think you've got to love thinking analytically to really succeed in accumulating a bundle of money. Avoiding income tax by understanding the details of the tax code is another area. Someone who is able to grasp the details of the tax complex code system and fit them together to cut your income tax will save a lot of money.

I love to play with the laws of physics and the laws of income tax code just to see how I can get the best possible outcome. Designing a building is just as challenging as tax planning. I get a real sense of satisfaction if I can figure out a better, and cheaper way to solve an engineering problem. I get the same satisfaction out of using the tax code to save money.

BTW, theoretical mathematicians may be in the same family as engineers, but distant cousins. I've got to picture things in my brain to solve a problem - and infinite vector spaces were too abstract for me. Thanks to linear algebra I changed from a math major to a civil engineer in college -
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:10 PM   #50
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My brother is an M.B.A., C.P.A., former C.F.O/V.P. and his net worth is many times mine. As a little boy, he was the kind of kid who never spent one penny out of his 25 cent per week allowance. He put it all in the bank. He loved money and he loved to save it.

But anyway, he did not pursue engineering or science.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:18 PM   #51
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From what I saw with this sub-prime mortgage mess, most Americans (including artist and writers) can't do even the most basic economic calculations.
I don't know if you are representative of engineers or other tech types. But, if so, then I'd say that engs tech types are extremely poor observers of their fellow man, at least artists and writers.
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:15 AM   #52
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I also feel that engineering is basically a young person's game.
Yeah, but some of us never grow up.
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:20 AM   #53
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Lordy, lordy...

I don't see how these geeky people can ever retire. In fact, it sounds like some of them are ready to head back to work, the way they talk about it.

I disagree with many of you about geeks being financially savvy. Among my own geeky circle, it is the reverse that's true. We were so engrossed in our work that I am the most financially literate among the geeks that I have worked with, and that should tell you something. I only got involved with this stuff in recent years after I already downshifted to part-time work and was able to have some free time.

The LBYM philosophy and the bull market in the 1990-2000 decade helped me, although I could have done significantly better had I took some time off from my work to spend a bit of time with my investments. I was lucky to have some equity exposures during that long bull market run, the era of "irrational exuberance".
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:58 AM   #54
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Engineering background - part owner of Civil Engineering/land surveying/planning/landscape architecture firm with business degree. I work almost entirely on highway geometrics and land acquisition / land surveying projects for new highways
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:44 AM   #55
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Me! Me!



I have to admit that I LOVED diff eq and got an A in it. One of the things I might do in ER, is to brush up on diff eq just for fun.
I don't even know what a differential equations is (and don't want to). Does it bite?

This is the guy who had to take Algebra 1 twice in HS.

But I always liked taking machines apart, working with tools, fast machines like airplanes and motorcycles. I never had problems understanding the basic concepts, but when I came to doing the math I froze.
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:51 AM   #56
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Walt,

Stay away from differential equations. Yes, it bites.
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:18 PM   #57
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Although I have a Master's degree in Process Engineering, after automating an Exxon refinery, I switched into sales and then executive management, so I answered Other.
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:52 PM   #58
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Although I have a Master's degree in Process Engineering, after automating an Exxon refinery, I switched into sales and then executive management, so I answered Other.
I always have a dilemma when answering these questions for a similar reasons. Despite an EE degree, I only spent 5 years as pure engineer, before transitioning into marketing. I always kept one foot in the technical areas, mostly because my friends told me that engineers who became marketing pukes had to have a full frontal lobotomies . (Their descriptions of what was required to move from Engineer->Sales or Journalism were even scarier).

Once I got my MBA, I submitted to the procedure. I found it relatively painless and it had two surprising benefits. First and foremost a lobotomy fully qualifies you for management and second it erase all the painful memories of differential equations, except remembering the class was at 8 AM, the professor was boring, and that I was never as happy to recieve a C- as I was for that class.

Since retiring, I have rediscovered my inner geekdom and I so I end up selecting Engineer on the poll.
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:58 PM   #59
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I wonder what the rest of the forum members are thinking about this thread.
Spouse says she has no idea what came over me, but she doesn't sound like she's complaining!

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Yeah, but some of us never grow up.
I don't miss the "staying up for 25 hours to get this finished" parts.
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:24 PM   #60
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Although I have a Master's degree in Process Engineering, after automating an Exxon refinery, I switched into sales and then executive management, so I answered Other.
Red Rover, Red Rover, we call "kcowan" over.

We need all the geeks on this side that we can get our hands on.
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