Author Topic: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm  (Read 13162 times)

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Offline c4757p

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #25 on: October 01, 2013, 12:37:32 am »
Not realizing that N-channel JFET gate voltages are typically negative, when that's the whole point of the lab, is at least an order of magnitude dumber.
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Offline steve30

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2013, 01:09:04 am »
I don't get what the point of these lab assistants is, but I agree that sometimes you have to play at being stupid. I had to do it a little bit as part of my higher education, partly down to some parts of the syllabus being a bit strange. I think higher education is way too fussy about how things are done (e.g. press this button, then press that one, because that's how its done). :bullshit:

Don't think I ever had to play stupid in my further education, but that was more oriented towards useful skills.
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #27 on: October 01, 2013, 01:13:21 am »
Out of curiosity, is the "lab assistant" the only "teacher" in the room?

My stint in EE had a lab instructor with a doctorate and a lab TA grad student.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #28 on: October 01, 2013, 01:19:41 am »
The actual professor is usually nearby. Obviously every single student prefers to receive assistance from him, so it's a bit hard to get him.
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Offline Fsck

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2013, 01:22:59 am »
The actual professor is usually nearby. Obviously every single student prefers to receive assistance from him, so it's a bit hard to get him.

yeah, your school sucks. they should both be in the room helping/watching over your shoulder/checking people.
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Offline TimNJ

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2013, 02:25:42 am »
Sorry REALLY off topic question, but what are all these 'element" avatars I see a bunch of people with?
 

Offline skipjackrc4

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #31 on: October 01, 2013, 02:32:05 am »
I once had a lab TA tell us that the fundamental frequency of a signal is the one with the highest amplitude on the spectrum analyzer.  Nope. ::)
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2013, 02:33:54 am »
Sorry REALLY off topic question, but what are all these 'element" avatars I see a bunch of people with?

You can choose them in the profile settings, they're included. I chose the weird one I hadn't heard of ;D

I once had a lab TA tell us that the fundamental frequency of a signal is the one with the highest amplitude on the spectrum analyzer.  Nope. ::)

Well, that's often true... ::)
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Offline TimNJ

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2013, 02:37:30 am »
Fascinating thanks.
 

Offline skipjackrc4

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2013, 02:47:44 am »
You can choose them in the profile settings, they're included. I chose the weird one I hadn't heard of ;D

I once had a lab TA tell us that the fundamental frequency of a signal is the one with the highest amplitude on the spectrum analyzer.  Nope. ::)

Well, that's often true... ::)

Not in this case.  He was off by a factor of...a lot. 
 

Offline ignator

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2013, 03:25:07 am »
Does anybody else find it weird that I'm a junior and we're still dicking around with the function generators? Are fresh EE grads really this unprepared??
From reading your many posts, you have the KNACK. Just look at the other students you know, who else has aptitude to convert theory to real world stuff? How many things did you take apart as a kid.I just retired, maybe 5%-10% of the new hires have aptitude. The rest paid for degrees, and every university is now a degree mill. You pay them, and get a BS degree. And after working with these kids for 5 years, they never get it. They stay lost.  No trouble shooting skills, they can't read schematics, and couldn't bias an open collector switch.Now when I was in school early 80's, it was the same thing.  This degree mill university concept started somewhere in the late 70's, and it's turned into a real big money pump. I think it starts with high school guidance counselors, "your smart, you can be an engineer". Never mind that they never had any curiosity for science or math, or ever worked on their car, or anything else.
There are people that think you can make a concert pianist out of anyone if you just teach them to play the piano. In my observation, people with aptitude are born, you can't train this into them.
Good luck.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2013, 04:12:41 am »
I would never blame my HS guidance counselor for encouraging people too much!

Quote
How many things did you take apart as a kid.

Approximately everything.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 10:11:10 pm by c4757p »
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Offline smashedProton

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2013, 06:33:42 am »
Thank you , I was actually thinking about going out of state to RIT.  I have decided to go to WSU next year?  Are there any WSU grads around?
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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2013, 10:27:38 am »
Ugh... OK, that was actually last week's lab, which a bunch of us had to finish this morning. Just finished this week's lab. It gets even better!

...

This is the same shit-for-brains with whom I argued about the function generator.

Would it be unfair of me to accuse this blockhead of having cheated his way to whatever grade was required for him to do this?

So there it is, right from the horse's ass. Rote memorization is always preferable to active learning, no matter how idiotic the teacher.

And next time you wounder why we old farts, after decades in the industry, are a tad bitter, think of this guy. These people make it into industry. They won't just magically disappear after uni. You will meet them again and again for decades. Welcome to our world.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2013, 10:33:16 am »
Thank you , I was actually thinking about going out of state to RIT.  I have decided to go to WSU next year?  Are there any WSU grads around?

Wait, are you saying I've discouraged you from going there? I would pretty enthusiastically recommend it. I switched because I could no longer afford to go there, not because this hell hole was preferable...

And next time you wounder why we old farts, after decades in the industry, are a tad bitter, think of this guy. These people make it into industry. They won't just magically disappear after uni. You will meet them again and again for decades. Welcome to our world.

Some of you "old farts" handle it better than others.
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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2013, 10:53:22 am »
This is kind of the only study in this country that does hardware and software in the same study (except a 2/3 universities but if those are better ...)

So you decided to study something that is neither fish nor fowl. A bit of this, a bit of that. And you are surprised that neither is taught sufficiently? In fact you aren't even getting 50% of each of both subjects, because there is friction and overlaps.

I know this kind of study subjects became popular in recent years. Yeah, well, everything that is advertised with BS like working on the interface between <subject A> and <subject B> or bridging the gap between <subject A> and <subject B> is dangerous ground. Universities offering such studies are often interested in winning a kind of popularity contest. They invent "exciting", obscure combination of subjects instead of providing a solid education. A solid education these days is considered boring and yes, well, it just doesn't feel right ...
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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2013, 10:53:59 am »
Some of you "old farts" handle it better than others.

It doesn't sound like you will become one of those.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #42 on: October 01, 2013, 11:13:44 am »
There's a difference between passively venting about something that happened to you, and extending that to actively being rude to people who haven't done anything to you because they remind you of people who have.

In a way, I think you have a point, in that I probably shouldn't do that either. Coming on here and ranting about somebody at school might feel good in the short term, but really isn't a good habit to get into and certainly won't amuse an employer. Yes, I have faults. But I would never wantonly insult newbies because they ask me a question.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 11:17:41 am by c4757p »
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Offline steve30

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2013, 09:47:35 pm »
What's the purpose of these lab assistant people? How do they differ from say, the teacher/lecturer?
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2013, 10:06:38 pm »
They are paid less and more plentiful.

They're basically budget undergrad TAs who don't give a damn.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 10:15:27 pm by c4757p »
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Offline Spikee

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #45 on: October 01, 2013, 10:51:37 pm »
This is kind of the only study in this country that does hardware and software in the same study (except a 2/3 universities but if those are better ...)

So you decided to study something that is neither fish nor fowl. A bit of this, a bit of that. And you are surprised that neither is taught sufficiently? In fact you aren't even getting 50% of each of both subjects, because there is friction and overlaps.

I know this kind of study subjects became popular in recent years. Yeah, well, everything that is advertised with BS like working on the interface between <subject A> and <subject B> or bridging the gap between <subject A> and <subject B> is dangerous ground. Universities offering such studies are often interested in winning a kind of popularity contest. They invent "exciting", obscure combination of subjects instead of providing a solid education. A solid education these days is considered boring and yes, well, it just doesn't feel right ...

A fun fact: my uni just got the award for being one of the best in the country :P

I also looked at the Electrical Engineering study at the same uni (i already have an degree as an industrial electrician(House installation , S7 PLC, SCADA etc...)
but that is not what i wanted. They do a lot of simulation + circuit design which is good. But the tools they use like Multisim for pcb design don't really compare with Altium that we use. Also they don't see any ict stuff like programming , micro controllers (except Arduino). A friend of mine did that study for one year and even the teachers say that what they are learning is waaay outdated, so that's not what i was looking for.

I was hoping (and was promised) a good mix between embedded programming and hardware design but what i get now just doesn't cut it.
Before i made the decision to do that study i followed some classes and an AVR programming course there and they looked good a the time.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 10:54:47 pm by Spikee »
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Online IanB

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #46 on: October 02, 2013, 01:22:50 am »
What's the purpose of these lab assistant people? How do they differ from say, the teacher/lecturer?

If you let loads of students loose in a lab where they are all working on many different lab experiments at the same time, then there aren't enough lecturers to go around. So they engage lab assistants (usually postgrad students) to help people when they get stuck.

Based on my experience they didn't actually grade or mark work, they just helped you understand the experiment and complete it successfully. You were supposed to write up the lab afterwards and submit your lab book for marking by the professional teaching staff.
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Offline skipjackrc4

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #47 on: October 02, 2013, 01:32:32 am »
What's the purpose of these lab assistant people? How do they differ from say, the teacher/lecturer?

If you let loads of students loose in a lab where they are all working on many different lab experiments at the same time, then there aren't enough lecturers to go around. So they engage lab assistants (usually postgrad students) to help people when they get stuck.

Based on my experience they didn't actually grade or mark work, they just helped you understand the experiment and complete it successfully. You were supposed to write up the lab afterwards and submit your lab book for marking by the professional teaching staff.

Here, the TAs run the entire lab, including the grading.  Sometimes this works well, other times it doesn't at all.  Thankfully, I have no more undergraduate labs to do--all my lab work is done in a professional research lab now.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #48 on: October 02, 2013, 01:48:07 am »
I'll take your experience any day, Ian. Mine do grade, sort of. (It's all or nothing, you have to call them over to check your work after each section. You may not proceed until the lab ass decides you have perfected the current section. You either get it 100% right, or keep trying until you do.)
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Online IanB

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Re: [Rant] Lab assistant facepalm
« Reply #49 on: October 02, 2013, 02:01:31 am »
I'll take your experience any day, Ian. Mine do grade, sort of. (It's all or nothing, you have to call them over to check your work after each section. You may not proceed until the lab ass decides you have perfected the current section. You either get it 100% right, or keep trying until you do.)

We were expected to keep a hardcover lab notebook and write up each lab in detail: Objectives, apparatus, experimental method, data gathered, analysis of results, conclusions. The lab book had to be handed in for assessment each week. And this was in the years "BC" too (before computers), so all diagrams had to be done with pencil and ruler and all notes written by hand.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 02:03:41 am by IanB »
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