Understanding Engineers
 Cittasanto
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Re: Understanding Engineers
What about the number 2 isn't that a prime number?
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill
Re: Understanding Engineers
That's prime. It's divisible by 1 and itself and he left it out . I've seen enough!
I've seen too much...
I've seen too much...
_/\_
Re: Understanding Engineers
It's known as "the oddest prime number".Manapa wrote:What about the number 2 isn't that a prime number?
Fig Tree
Re: Understanding Engineers
I would like to point out that I was not implying that the mathematician, the scientist, or the engineer ever get anything right!Dan74 wrote:1 is not prime  it has only one divisor.
Oh the ignorance!
_/\_

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 Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:46 am
 Location: Essex, UK
Re: Understanding Engineers
... except Physicists do
Re: Understanding Engineers
catmoon wrote:I would like to point out that I was not implying that the mathematician, the scientist, or the engineer ever get anything right!Dan74 wrote:1 is not prime  it has only one divisor.
Oh the ignorance!
_/\_
Adding insult to injury!
You know this is truly hellish karma, if you mess with mathematicians. Most likely you will be reborn as one!
_/\_
_/\_
Re: Understanding Engineers
Neither did I imply they never get anything right. For example, when a physicist gets something right, they give him a Nobel Prize. Mathematicians don't rate a Nobel prize, since nothing they do is actually useful, so they invented their own prize and called it the Fields Medal. This has been awarded on several occaisions to mathematicians who got something right, or at least their computers did.
Engineers don't rate Nobel Prizes or Fields Medals, since there is no known case in which an engineer got something right. However there have been near misses, for which the traditional award is a tanker truckful of Budweiser.
Engineers don't rate Nobel Prizes or Fields Medals, since there is no known case in which an engineer got something right. However there have been near misses, for which the traditional award is a tanker truckful of Budweiser.
 RayfieldNeel
 Posts: 38
 Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:05 am
Re: Understanding Engineers
I remember that one; great cartoon.
 Dhammabodhi
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 Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 12:25 pm
 Location: New Delhi, India
Re: Understanding Engineers
Hello!
I've been gone for a while and people are making fun of Mathematicians!
Whatever happened to the Scientology thread?!
To be sure, Israel Gelfand, one of the greatest minds in mathematics of the last century passed away a few months ago, and his research in pure math lies at the heart of medical imaging/ tomography, besides his far reaching contributions to the mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics for which everyone of us should be thankful.
Hmmph.
I've been gone for a while and people are making fun of Mathematicians!
Whatever happened to the Scientology thread?!
To be sure, Israel Gelfand, one of the greatest minds in mathematics of the last century passed away a few months ago, and his research in pure math lies at the heart of medical imaging/ tomography, besides his far reaching contributions to the mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics for which everyone of us should be thankful.
Hmmph.
"Take rest, take rest."S.N.Goenka
Re: Understanding Engineers
catmoon is obviously capitalising on our good humour and a forgiving selfdeprecating nature. so his/her jibes are actually backhanded compliments and we can happily return to our respective thrones as the kings and queens of science (like true monarchs we don't get our hands dirty like the lower nobles  physicists, chemists and don't even mention the engineers  the hoi polloi).
Seriously though in my field (probability) there have been quite a number of former engineers and many ideas came from people inventing things before mathematicians actually made sense of them. Same thing happened with physicists from Dirac to Ed Witten who contributed to maths.
So it's basically all bollocks but may help us feel superior which is sort of soothing on those dark nights of the soul (like when we discover an irreparable gap in a proof, or life once again presents a irreconcilable paradox, etc)
_/\_
Seriously though in my field (probability) there have been quite a number of former engineers and many ideas came from people inventing things before mathematicians actually made sense of them. Same thing happened with physicists from Dirac to Ed Witten who contributed to maths.
So it's basically all bollocks but may help us feel superior which is sort of soothing on those dark nights of the soul (like when we discover an irreparable gap in a proof, or life once again presents a irreconcilable paradox, etc)
_/\_
_/\_
Re: Understanding Engineers
One afternoon Gel'fand was sitting in the front row at a talk when he decided to close the window. The handle of the window had swung some distance away from the window sill, and Gel'fand was not all that tall, so for a moment, he was perched in a somewhat precarious way, leaning out of a window several floors above a glass atrium. Nearly everyone present was too absorbed in the talk to notice. One person in the audience, however, was only there because his daughter, a mathematical prodigy, was there and he went with her everywhere. He noticed what was happening, stepped up, drew Gel'fand away and closed the window for him.Dhammabodhi wrote: To be sure, Israel Gelfand, one of the greatest minds in mathematics of the last century passed away a few months ago, and his research in pure math lies at the heart of medical imaging/ tomography, besides his far reaching contributions to the mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics for which everyone of us should be thankful.
Who can say what would have happened if he hadn't been there? I doubt Gel'fand would've fallen out of the window, but can we really be sure of that? His life would've been cut just a bit shorter.
The moral of the story is: you don't even have to be an engineer to make a contribution to the progress of mathematics, both by guiding your offspring into the field, and through mindful acts of kindness directed at mathematicians. "Each life has its place."
Fig Tree
Re: Understanding Engineers
How to know who you are talking to:
Just ask for pi.
An engineer will quote pi to a handful of digits at most. Whatever he thinks you need.
A physicist will quote it to twelve or so places and then proudly explain the apparatus he built that actually requires that precision.
A mathematician will simply begin to quote all the known digits of pi, be offended if you interrupt, and puzzled if you are not vastly entertained.
Of course, if shortly after the question you find yourself holding a plate with a slice of cherry pie on it, then you are talking to a real human being.
Just ask for pi.
An engineer will quote pi to a handful of digits at most. Whatever he thinks you need.
A physicist will quote it to twelve or so places and then proudly explain the apparatus he built that actually requires that precision.
A mathematician will simply begin to quote all the known digits of pi, be offended if you interrupt, and puzzled if you are not vastly entertained.
Of course, if shortly after the question you find yourself holding a plate with a slice of cherry pie on it, then you are talking to a real human being.

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 Location: Essex, UK
Re: Understanding Engineers
Oh my, I DO know Pi to 11 significant figures! (I used to use a code that DIDN'T have Pi included as a fixed constant, so I had to define it in each program to a degree of accuracy determined by the other variables)
Re: Understanding Engineers
Insight, grasshopper. Deep meditation. There is no try. Simply do.
 Dhammabodhi
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 Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 12:25 pm
 Location: New Delhi, India
Re: Understanding Engineers
Since the ignorance about mathematics and mathematicians of our dear friend catmoon is beyond redemption, I'll let him continue with his rants and thirdclass jokes without any more interruption from my end.
"Take rest, take rest."S.N.Goenka
 RayfieldNeel
 Posts: 38
 Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:05 am
Re: Understanding Engineers
Yep, if I'm using pi I'll use either 3.1415 or 22/7, depending on the situation. Plenty of accuracy for an engineer.catmoon wrote:Just ask for pi.
An engineer will quote pi to a handful of digits at most. Whatever he thinks you need.

 Posts: 1286
 Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:46 am
 Location: Essex, UK
Re: Understanding Engineers
Typical engineer. Pi is 3.1416 to five significant figures (3.1415926535... thus round up the 5 to a 6)
 RayfieldNeel
 Posts: 38
 Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:05 am
Re: Understanding Engineers
LOL..yeah, the funny thing is I was much more inclined toward the theoretical, and liked lots of digits before engineering school and my career in the same. Making realworld stuff out of the numbers kinda worked that need out of me.
Re: Understanding Engineers
That's silly! http://abstrusegoose.com/23catmoon wrote: A mathematician will simply begin to quote all the known digits of pi, be offended if you interrupt, and puzzled if you are not vastly entertained.
Once a friend was at a party which had some science and engineering types from the host's workplace, as well as various other people. One of the guests was for some reason talking about circles with one of the mathematicians, and asked, "What's the difference between the diameter and the radius?" The mathematician answered immediately, "the radius".
My friend seemed to find the audience reaction even more amusing than the joke itself. The science and engineering types laughed at it; the mathematicians and physicists first, and then the engineers after a small pause.
Fig Tree
(The radius is the distance from the center of the circle to the edge. The diameter is the distance from one edge to the opposite edge. Diameter  radius = (2 times radius)  radius = radius, deliberately misinterpreting "difference" to be "difference in value" rather than "difference in meaning".)
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