[LMB] Old Moldy OT:

Scott Raun sraun at fireopal.org
Wed May 10 17:25:11 BST 2006


On Wed, May 10, 2006 at 01:46:45PM +0000, Joel Polowin wrote:
> And yes, in general people are not good about sanity checks on
> calculated results.  "Okay, you calculated the pressure in the system
> as around -100,000 atmospheres.  Doesn't that number seem... *large*?
> And what *is* a large *negative* pressure supposed to mean?"  "But
> that's what the calculator said!"  <*sigh*>

My college advisor was evil.

I was at Michigan Tech 1978-1980.  The Physics Department was
supported by the fact that EVERY engineering student had to take
Freshman Physics for Engineers, and EVERY nursing student had to take
Physics for Nurses - the professor to students majoring in physics
ratio was something like 1:3.

My advisor gave these ten question quizzes, which the engineering
students _hated_.  All of the questions had ten answers.  Students
were allowed to use their calculators.  One of the answers was ALWAYS
'you did all the math right, but left your calculator in degree mode
instead of switching it to radians mode'.

The engineering students who were in his physics course all hated it.
And every single one of them had good things to say about it two years
later.

-- 
Scott Raun
sraun at fireopal.org


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