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[cm3110-l] Help with CM3110: please make appt with TA Thursday, November 03, 2011 9:37:02 AM
From: fmorriso@mtu.edu
To: cm3110-l@mtu.edu
Good morning class,

Just a reminder, the TA has office hours by appointment.

The best preparation for the final (and Exam 4) is to work through problems.  If you are having some difficulty, I recommend that you work through problems and make an appointment to see the TA to get some feedback on your methods.  

To study in engineering, here is my suggestion:  use the worked problems in the texts as "tests," that is, try to do the problems without looking at the solution.  Reading through the solution is not the same as doing the problem as a "test".  If you read through a problem, you have seen it done, but you have never faced those critical moments when it is hard to decide what to do next.  It's like watching snowboarding on TV and then going to the top of Mt. Ripley because you "know how to snowboard".  I think we all agree that watching it done by an expert is not the same as doing it, although it's a way to start.  After watching it once (lecture) the best next step is to try easy problems on your own (snow board on a gentle hill, fall, get up, try again), and then gradually work your way through harder problems.

I recommend the following approach.  Look at the problem but cover up the solution.  Do the problem.  If you can do it, fabulous. If you cannot, peek at the solution, but don't read the whole thing.  Just see what critical next step you're missing.  Go back to solving the problem without looking.  Keep doing this until you are done with the problem. If you had to peek, put the problem away and do it again the next day.  Do this over and over again with the same problem until you do not need to peek to do that problem.

Imagine if one had followed this path for Exam 3 preparation.  Possibly you would have done the pressure-driven flow in a tube problem a few times.  Maybe you would have done the U-bend problem a few times.  Such a preparation would have given a very good result on the exam.  And if the problems you practice are not on the exam, you would still have done well because you would have practiced figuring out what the next step is.  That's what we're trying to learn.

Again, please make use of the TA's office hours.  The TA is very smart and can help you learn how to problem solve in transport.  My office hours are as usual:
http://www.chem.mtu.edu/%7Efmorriso/office_hours.html. I am also happy to help, but sometimes there's a line.

best wishes,
Dr. Morrison

This page maintained by fmorriso@mtu.edu.  
Prof. Faith A. Morrison, Associate Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931-1295
Phone:  906-487-2050
Fax: 906-487-3213
Messages: 906-487-3132