From September 1996 until June 1999, I studied for a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree in Computer Aided Engineering at the University of Hull, graduating with third class honours.
As would be expected, the course covers design and manufacture, plus mathematics and science subjects. The science modules cover mechanics, energy, electronics and the structure, properties and behaviour of materials. The course also covers such issues as management and health & safety.
As the course title suggests, computing modules are included, covering subjects such as computer hardware, applications and programming languages. The applications covered include CIMCAD, used in computer aided design, Computer Numerical Control (CNC), used in computer aided manufacture, and MathCAD, which as its name suggests is used for mathematical operations. The programming languages covered are Pascal and C. In addition, the Expert Systems and Finite Element Analysis modules are computer-based.
I initially used notebooks for my lecture notes, switching to A4 paper later in my first year. In my second and third years, I used a different set of sheets for each module. It would have been better still had I used paper with holes; my lecture notes could then have been filed with the printed material.
As part of the course, I worked on two projects. The first, undertaken by a group of three, was concerned with speeding up the process of testing for faults in gearboxes. The second, an individual project, was concerned with stress concentration and residual stresses in metals.
In addition to the academic stuff, I did practical work at Hull College during semester one of my first year, and experiments in a laboratory during semester two of that year.
As a student, I was automatically a member of Hull University Union (HUU, Students' Union). I joined Campaigns - one of its standing committees - and the Chess Club in all three years. During my second and third years, I used each of my Campaigns and Chess Club E-mail lists to share information about the other organisation, as well as sending the messages to my other friends. I relied on people either deleting messages they did not want or telling me they did not want any more; but there is no advantage in sending people messages they neither need nor want. A better idea is for a society to post messages on its website and notice board asking people to tell the president/chairman if they want to be kept informed of that society's activities; I have since seen such a notice on various organisations' websites. Furthermore, only the executive committee members and team captains of a society need a full E-mail list of that society's members (minus those members who do not want to be contacted that way). Approximately half way through my third year, I decided to send messages about the Chess Club only to those who said they were interested in chess, and later decided to include in my Campaigns E-mail list only those members who wanted to be included.
I had briefly used personal computers at Driffield School, but at University I used them frequently. Early in my first year, I took a short course entitled Computing for the Terrified, which covered subjects such as word processing and file handling. In the event, this did not teach me much that I did not already know, although it did contain some useful information.
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