Author Topic: Uni: What do you do when your professor knows less about a topic than you do?  (Read 4827 times)

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Offline uwezi

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One thing I learned quick in school and even college is that you are graded not on your own creativity but on your ability to recite what was learned in class. 

That's too bad, but it seems to be too true - since students very often come with this attitude into higher-level courses. If it's not on the list for the exam it's not worth learning or questioning. This appears to be rooted already very early in school and highschool and it is not very productive!

However, "creativity" also has its limits...

Offline TheUnnamedNewbie

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One thing I learned quick in school and even college is that you are graded not on your own creativity but on your ability to recite what was learned in class.  Suppose even in the real world it's like that, companies have their own weird ways to do stuff sometimes and you just have to roll with it, even if there's a better way.

I'm glad that almost all of the Professors in my Masters are people who used to (or still do) work in industry. They are very good when it comes to not caring about memorization or knowing the material in the course out of heart and focus more on understanding (which is why almost all of our exams have at least some oral component to them, if they are not completly oral). They are often delighted when you can expand on the topic coverd in the lecture!
The thing is that this is not so much a matter of "a different sollution" or "more in depth" but "wrong" - some of the things he said is contradicted in literature. That said, it's only a small portion of the course and I've decided to just go with what the book said and in the oral part I can see if I need to expand on it - if the specific topics even come up in the questions in the first place.

Thanks for all the tips guys! I know I was late to approach this problem but this course was "easy" and I waited with studying for it untill the days before the exam (this afternoon).
The best part about magic is when it stops being magic and becomes science instead

Offline yada

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So I have an exam about multimedia technology tomorrow. The course is broad and covers a lot - from psychoacoustics (how do humans percieve sound) to virtual-reality oriented standards to how does a printer work. The problem I'm having is the following:

Due to my hobbies, I know a /lot/ more than some of the depth some of the topics go into (notably photography and sound recording). The professor himself is not exactly an expert on these fields and doesn't know much more (or at least he seemed to) than absolute basics when it came to the operation/strong and weak points of image sensor types (CCD vs CMOS) or display types (basic knowledge of TN, but that is about it). He even made some errors on some points.

Now what I'm wondering is, how do you deal with this (in general or during an exam)? Should I try and memorize what is covered in the course slides, even if it is outdated or incorrect? How do you approach the professors about this without coming across like a know-it-all snob? An example in this course: is, "CCD is used in modern DSLR cameras, CMOS is not good enough" which is just not true anymore, I think pretty much any DSLR in the last 5 years, even in medium format cameras, uses CMOS sensors because they have surpassed CCD in most, if not all respects). Similar examples exist when it comes to microphone technologies, and it gets worse when it comes to display technologies (suggesting all LCDs are TN,...).

Any tips/experiences of similar nature?

Go with whats right and argue your point if you get a bad grade on the test. No sense learning something that wrong. Put explanations with your answers.

I had a test that asked what came first the virus or the electron microscope. I argued the electron microscope because even though the scientists had found the tobacco mosaic virus first, They used a fine clay filter to identify it by its size. I told the professor that just because it was at least as small as a virus  isn't proof it was a virus. I said the pathogen they passed through the clay filter could have been a prion or any number of things that could have fit through its pours. Maybe even RNA with a self replicating molecule that could have infected the leaves that we still don't know about.

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