Use Math Tools in Your Engineering Designs
By Paul Goossens
"As a rookie engineer in my first job, my boss presented me with a pile of notebooks that belonged to a recently retired senior engineer. He asked me to distill the most common calculations in them into a design manual so that others in the organization could benefit from the knowledge that lay within them. This took months of painstaking transcription of the handwritten mathematical content, interpretation of the copious notes that supported certain decisions and assumptions, and correction of dozens of errors in the calculations, the results of which had made it into many final designs."
"When we're under pressure to come up with a solution to a problem quickly, it is always tempting to scribble it down on the nearest piece of paper to hand. When you do that, however, the knowledge you put into developing the solution is lost to anyone else, and possibly even to you when you go back to it a few months later. Also, the scope for mistakes is huge, and that could prove very costly later in the project."
Excerpt from "Use Math Tools in Your Engineering Designs" in EE Times, April 2005.
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