Gerald Recktenwald's Teaching Page

Current Teaching Schedule

During Fall 2012, I am teaching ME 370: The Mechanical Engineering Profession

Engineering: What is it? What is it Good for?

Teaching Philosophy and Advice on Learning

I have a separate web page where I discuss my grading philosophy and practice. Most of the links and ideas apply to both undergraduate and graduate studies. A separate set of links is provided for advice on graduate school.

Dr. Richard Felder, Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University has some excellent articles containing advice for engineering students. In particular, I suggest you read:

And for some good ideas (some would say advice) on living life:

I think engineers should be fearless in the way that a good artist is fearless. Not fearless=stupid or fearless=careless. If that idea interests you, try this:

Advice for Graduate Students

Graduate school is not a simple continuation of learning at an advanced undergraduate level. The intellectual demands and expectations are significantly higher. The structure of graduate programs is significantly looser. The definition of "done" is much more elusive.

Strategies for Studying

The University of Guelph has a nice collection of advice called Investing in Excellence for college students. Check out the podcasts:

Robert Bjork, a cognitive psychologist who studies learning compiled this list of advice from students on how to study. (PDF). It's a quick read. Don't let the technical language put you off. The article is practical and has useful recommendations.

Steven Chu at Samford University has a good series of videos on how to study effectively. The videos are short (7 to 8 minutes each) and are based on our scientific understanding of how people learn. You should at least watch the first video (via YouTube) on "Beliefs that Make You Fail".

Preparing for and Taking Tests

Staying Calm

Here's a list of tips adapted from a a web page at Texas A&M University on keeping calm during an exam.

Making Good Use of a Practice Exam

Often I give practice exams. When I do, I usually provide the solutions. Many students do not use practice exams well. For example, many students will look at the solutions and think to themselves, "I understand", or "I could do that". These students make the mistake of not using the practice exams to actually practice.

If you have access to a practice exam use these steps to make the best use of it.

The basic idea is to practice both the material and the self-management that will help you do your best on the real exam. Your study-only notepad is the exception. The study-only notepad allows you to have the experience of "If only I had studied that before the exam" before you actually take the exam.

Advice on Writing

Miscellaneous Notes

Internet Info

I've collected a few miscellaneous links about electronic communication and the Internet.

Courses with Web Pages

Notation: "F" = Fall Quarter, "W" = Winter Quarter, "Sp" = "Spring Quarter"

As Chair of the department my teaching duties are reduced.

Number   Title  Last Taught  Next Taught

EAS 199A   Engineering Problem Solving 1   F 2011   F 2012?
EAS 199B   Engineering Problem Solving 2   W 2011   W 2012
EAS 361   Engineering Fluid Mechanics   F 2006    
ME 322   Applied Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics   W 2007    
ME 352   Engineering Numerical Methods   F 2008  
ME 370   The Mechanical Engineering Profession   Sp 2012   F 2012
ME 441/541   Advanced Fluid Mechanics   Sp 1997    
ME 447/547 Transport and Rate Processes W 2000
ME 448/548 Applied Computational Fluid Dynamics W 2012   W 2014?
ME 449/549   Thermal Measurements in Electronic Equipment Sp 2006    
ME 488   Design of Experiments F 2009    
ME 492-493 Mechanical Engineering Design Projects W, Sp 2003