View Full Version : Interesting website

07-22-2004, 11:54 AM

Try the Engineering and Technology link on the side.

07-22-2004, 01:48 PM
Some really neat stuff. Thanks for posting the link Evan!


07-25-2004, 09:46 PM
Thanks Evan!!

I really enjoyed the statistical mechanics part of the website. I had two courses in stat mech back in 1969 while completing my coursework for a PhD in chemical engineering. They were graduate physics courses, but to have the requisite 9 students to "make" a class, I got drafted to attend! Otherwise, the prof would have not been able to teach them. They were taught by Dr. Prigogine who later received the Nobel prize in physics for nonequilibrium thermodynamics work. He was also on my graduate committee.

What is alarming is that not much work has been done in stat mech since 1969!!! It was hard work - we were the results of an improved and toughened engineering curriculum compliments of Sputnik and Admiral H. Rickover. Stat mech requires the higest form of human thought, in my opinion. Also, it is the most difficult from a mathematical standpoint. I can see where modern-day shorter attention spans, dummed up curriculua and lack of discipline in students has made inroads in advances in theoretical physics.

Even in 1969, I would never have considered physics as a major because it was too hard to find a good job. I have been out of touch with it for 35 years because I now practice law!! I guess I have "outed" myself and no one will speak to me again - posters here only hate lawyers more than they do engineers!

Anyway, thanks for the site! Also thanks to everyone who posts here - I have learned a lot. My lab in grad school for 5 years was directly across the hall from the machine shop! Learned most of the little I know from the two machinists.

J Tiers
07-25-2004, 10:09 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ttok:

I have been out of touch with it for 35 years because I now practice law!! I guess I have "outed" myself and no one will speak to me again - posters here only hate lawyers more than they do engineers!

Don't feel bad, even engineers hate lawyers.

"Lawyers, the new snack food"

But this year politicians will be hated more than lawyers.

Wait, I forgot, most politicians ARE lawyers....

Oh well, see what being an engineer does to mental processes?

BTW, the "bad kind" of lawyers don't even know which end of the screwdriver to grab, or which end does the work.

That's why they want to ban so many things. They want to ban anything that they don't understand!

You have already proved yourself different from the bulk of them. Congratulations on joining the GDHR club.

[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 07-26-2004).]

07-26-2004, 10:45 AM

I would say that statistics must be the single most poorly understood area of mathematics by even some of those considered trained in the science of mathematics. My favorite saying is "There are lies, there are damned lies and then there is statistics". http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Paul Alciatore
07-26-2004, 01:06 PM
My favorite saying for many years has been that,

You can prove anything with statistics. ANYTHING!

Example: There is a exact, precise, never, ever violated correlation between one simple factor and every death that has ever occurred. If we could just stamp out this factor, there would never be another death. Really there is. And that factor is life. So life is the principal cause of death. Lets stamp out all life.

Stupid example? Of course. But undeniably statistically correct. Statistics MUST be used wisely. I doubt that there are even 10 people in the government who have the slightest clue in this area. To most researchers and decision makers, statistics is a sacred bible. They don't understand it but they trust it totally.

Paul A.

J Tiers
07-26-2004, 01:15 PM
While we are educating folks, lets get rid of one little phrase.

"At risk".

This means "member of general group" usually. If you can be classified as "x", then you are "at risk" for "y".

Your circumstances don't matter. The statistics say "y" may happen to you at a higher rate than someone found acceptable.

Many older people smoke, having got the habit back in teh day. So if you are above a certain age, you are in a group which is "at risk" from injury due to smoking in bed, according to that reasoning, EVEN IF YOU DON"T SMOKE.