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[DPRG] engineering/robotics grads&vets, please lend advice.

Subject: [DPRG] engineering/robotics grads&vets, please lend advice.
From: Kipton moravec kmoravec at airmail.net
Date: Wed May 24 09:05:56 CDT 2000

Since I do not know your personal situation or your capabilities I can only
speak in generalities and what I can read between the lines of your message.

It depends on how long you want to wait. What your study habits are. What
you can afford to do.

In your situation, I would talk to the College to see what they will accept
>from the community college.

You will have a lot of catching up to do, especially in Math. I do not know
where you are as far as math goes.  If you are good at algebra, you will
need an additional three or four math courses that build on each other so
they  can not be taken concurrently, before you can start.  If you are not
good at algebra, you have even more work ahead of you.  Math is the language
of engineering.  If you have a good understanding of math, that will help in
all your courses.

The first year physics and chemistry courses assume a good understanding of
algebra.  So if your algebra is good, I would take Physics, chemistry, and
Intro to Calculus, a programming class would be fun, but it would be very
time consuming. A statistics class would probably be better.

It is hard to work and take a good class load.  It takes a lot of time and
determination. This all depends on your motivation. One advantage is that
you will be moving back to the USA, and will be starting over, so you will
not have a bunch of people trying to pull you away from your goal.

It is hard.  I started taking classes to a MS in Electrical Engineering at
Southern Methodist University, but my job at Texas Instruments took lots of
extra hours. The classes were available via television in the facility, so I
would walk down the hall to take the class. Meanwhile all your friends are
wanting you to go out, spend time with them (especially girlfriends), and do
everything but study.

I took three classes, one per term, until I was transferred to Germany for
what ended up to be 7 years.  I never finished.

But I have a BSE in Computer Engineering from The University of Michigan,
and a lot of work experience especially in high tech, defense systems, so it
is not as important now that I have 17 years of work experience. But I still
read a lot of stuff and my technical library is 8 foot by 12 feet, packed
and overflowing.


----- Original Message -----
>From: olio <olio at fornet.net>
To: Jim Brown <jimgbrown at home.com>
Cc: <dprglist at dprg.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2000 8:21 AM
Subject: [DPRG] engineering/robotics grads&vets, please lend advice.

> this is long - but i really need to start a discussion about school -
> i'm sure i won't be the only one interested - unless all of you have
> already finished a masters degree in robotic engineering...)
> here's a little back ground about me which may help you understand my
> situation...
> i'm 30 - a teacher - have  a masters deg in fine arts - nearly all
> course work was related to the humanities (not physics - not math
> intensive - not tech theory related - certainly no engineering,
> electronics, or robotics experience other than home level hobby stuff
> for a year seriously/dedicated, and two years of newly getting into
> things - been teaching about 5 years (kindergarten & art) - life is
> finally stabilizing but i'm changing - interests and focus have changed
> - very interested in technology, robotics, electronics, mechanical
> engineering - feel the need to make a major change in life plans.
> considering returning to school (haven't decided which one) - currently
> living abroad - returning to the states (am american) in a month - have
> job lined up on east coast - not sure if i wouldn't be better off just
> enrolling in school immediately -
> so, what i'm asking for, is some of those vets of engineering grad
> schools (could still be enroled - or planning on enrolling) to lend me
> some advice about some of the following:
> actually, maybe the best thing is just to ask if you'll tell me
> something about what you did - general advice - some thread or lead that
> will assist me making this mega change in my life right now.
> i know a lot about NCI (north carolina state university in raleigh) and
> i may be near the U of Maryland if i take this job - soooo...
> would i be better off attending a community college for getting core
> course work out of the way first (though doing that part time would take
> forever - esp at night)
> or would it be possible to enroll in a robotics program which allowed
> for taking core courses while also getting into the more fun stuff (lab,
> projects, getting hands dirty)
> jees - this is taking so much of your time - i know it - but i will
> really, really appreciate getting some feed back from those who know on
> this one.
> hope you understand that i'm just feeling like i can't sit on the side
> lines watching any longer - i have to make a move toward being involved
> and i want that involvement to be directly related to what i feel is
> going to be (and already is) a major cool and important field -
> robotics.  i like what i do now - but i'm ready to expand.
> thanks so much.
> really.
> miguel
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