Assignment 10: Due 04/16/18

Chapter 06: Engineers and the Real World

Answer each of the following questions briefly, but completely. Use your textbook and any additional references you may need. Typewritten pages are preferred, but not required. You may submit handwritten pages, but they must be completely legible. Handwritten responses which cannot be read will receive no credit.

Keep your responses brief; there should not be a need for a multi-page response to any of the questions. A few sentences should be sufficient.

Please do not copy/paste paragraphs from Wikipedia; you will be discovered instantly, and you would never insult the intelligence of your boss or a paying client by handing them poorly written and possibly incorrect information. Not to mention the damage you do to your own credibility and reputation.

  1. (7 points) Cite an example of an engineering or scientific misconception or misrepresentation which drives you bananas. You might draw inspiration from the examples cited at the beginning of Chapter 06, but do not duplicate them. Explain the “wrongness” clearly, and briefly analyze whether it is typically an unintentional error, or a deliberate misrepresentation (and if deliberate, do you think it’s also malicious?). For example, every time an intergalactic space battle erupts on TV or at the movies and I can hear the ships exploding, I shout at the screen, “In space, no one can hear you scream!” The “wrongness:” Because sound waves cannot propagate through a vacuum, no one on Star Destroyer A would hear anything when Star Destroyer B exploded. Sure, they could see it (if they were looking), but there would be no noise; the people making the show probably know that there wouldn’t be any sound, because they have probably been bombarded with angry e-mails from fans. However, because TV and movies are fiction, meant to be dramatic, and most people probably expect to hear a big boom whenever something explodes, the producers include dramatic sound effects. There’s no malicious intent, just dramatic license.
  2. (6 points) Every now and then, the conspiracy theory that the Apollo moon landings were a hoax seems to gain popularity. For the record: the landings were not a hoax, and the arguments made to prove that they were have been debunked, thoroughly, credibly, and repeatedly (google Bad Astronomy and/or Phil Plait; also, never tell Buzz Aldrin to his face that he did not walk on the moon, and if you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you need some ice for that black eye?). Discuss what you think are possible reasons why some people might want to believe this idea. Without resorting to fisticuffs, how could you convince someone that the landings were genuine (and do you think this would be an easy thing to do)?
  3. (7 points) At the beginning of the semester, Assignment 01 asked you to consider the UCA Core courses and summarize how you perceived these core goals and values making you a better engineer. Revisit your original response, and update it. Now that you have gained some experience with this and other courses, how has your perception of the UCA Core and its value altered? What insight(s) have you gained over the semester with respect to the impact of your non-technical courses on your science and engineering classes?

You can download a .pdf copy of these questions, or find them in the ENGR 1301 course folder.

© Nancy Jo Getson 2015-18