Tag Archives: Engineering

What is Your Learning style?

I came across the article “There Are 7 Types of Learners: Which One Are You?” recently. Those of us in technology and engineering face life long Continuing Education (CE) to keep current with the state of the art. However as we consider the various means of satisfying our CE needs, we need to understand that there are different styles of learning, and what works well for one person, may not for you.

The styles that have been identified are (from learning-styles-online.com: The Seven Learning Styles):

  1. Visual (spatial): You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  2. Aural (auditory, musical): You prefer using sound and music.
  3. Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
  4. Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands.
  5. Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning, and systems.
  6. Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
  7. Solitary (Intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.

We each probably have an idea of which styles are best for us, but we can find out for sure by taking an easy on-line test at Memletics Learning Styles Questionnaire. The results can then guide you to the most effective types of CE content for your learning style.

Disney Temps Us with Smells

Disney – In today’s issue of “Now I know” titled “The Nose Knows“, Dan Lewis tell about how Disney has for years been using the “Smellitzer”. This device, for which Disney holds the patent granted in 1984, is able to blow odors at the guests.

Many report tantalizing odors near candy stores, popcorn stands and similar venues. The next time I go to Disney I will be on the lookout for these odors. I think that it is interesting that the Disney engineers have been working all these years to immerse us in a variety of ways when we enter the Disney properties.

More of “Pandora” at Disney World

Disney – Disney seems to be taking their Imagineering efforts to an entirely new level with the new land of “Pandora”, particularly with the flora of the fictitious world. “Pandora”, from the glimpses in the video above, looks to be visually stunning during the day. At night the effect will be amplified by some of the plants being bioluminescent.

One thing that seems to be different with “Pandora” is that Disney is attempting to immerse you in the world of Pandora. There appears to be a great deal of engineering effort that has gone into the animatronics for “Pandora”. For science fiction fans this will be a great experience.

I’m looking forward to exploring this alien world the next time I visit Disney World. It will be the closest we can get to visiting an exoplanet.

Celebrating Alan Turing

WWII – This video was produced in 2012 to celebrate the 100th birthday of Alan Turing. Turing is a well known and accomplished Mathematician. He was also an early contributor to the field that we now call Computer Science. He invented the ‘Turing Machine‘ in 1936. The Turing Machine is an abstract machine that reads and writes symbols on an infinite tape.  Turing also played a key role in the rapidly developing fields of Artificial Intelligence and modern electronic computers.

However Turing is probably best known to the world at large for his work during World War II. He, and the other scientists in the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park in Britain, took on the German Enigma Machine. They were successful at breaking the coded messages that it produced allowing the Allies to gather much critical intelligence.

According to Professor Jack Copeland of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, “Thanks to Turing and his fellow codebreakers, much of this information [coded messages] ended up in allied hands – sometimes within an hour or two of it being transmitted.” It is estimated that the code breaking effort, while unknown to the world for nearly 30 years after the war, is credited with shortening the war in Europe by as much as two years and saving over 14 million lives.

Central Texas Section of IEEE April Newsletter

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IEEE – I finished up the April issue of The Analog and got it sent out to our email distribution list yesterday. It contains a list of the meeting and events that will be coming up in the next month. If you live in Central Texas and are interested in Tech, you. may find one of our meetings of interest. All of the technical meetings are open to the public.

If you do not receive the newsletter directly, you can read it on-line here. There are also instruction on how to request to be added to the mailing list.

Engineers Beyond Engineering

I came across this TED talk about Engineers today and I wanted to share it. Basically this speaker, a student at Imperial College, talks about how important it is today for engineers to participate in global debates and to develop the ability to communicate the innovations they produce.

Engineers need to be well rounded, as well as technically proficient in their field of study.

It’s Pi Day Again

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It is time to celebrate once again that incredible number Pi or 3.14159… I had a post that included some of the history last year. Take a few moments today and participate in the 29th annual celebration of Pi!

This is a great opportunity to introduce kids to Pi. They learn a little history, learn some math and it can be capped with a nice slice of yummy pie.

As I suggested last year, try these methods of celebration.

  1. One of the easiest and most fun is to simply eat pie!
  2. Wear or display the Pi symbol
  3. Plan your recognition event for 1:59 PM (i.e. 3.14159)

And of course mark your calendars for next year so you can plan something in advance.

A Look at Special Effects in “Rogue One”

Star Wars – Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) released a short (1 minute) peek at the special effects it generated for the movie “Rogue One”. This was done presumably in advance of the voting for Best Visual Effects at the 89th Oscars. It gives a layer-by-layer look at some of the special effects.

It certainly offers a look at how engineers can have major roles in the film industry.