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Knowledge Backround of ANN Users


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What is Your Knowledge Background
Mathematics
6%
 6%  [ 7 ]
Physical Sciences
3%
 3%  [ 4 ]
Biological Sciences
16%
 16%  [ 19 ]
Engineering
6%
 6%  [ 7 ]
Information Sciences
7%
 7%  [ 8 ]
Social Sciences
14%
 14%  [ 16 ]
Law
1%
 1%  [ 2 ]
Finance
4%
 4%  [ 5 ]
Humanities
13%
 13%  [ 15 ]
Fine Arts
9%
 9%  [ 11 ]
Performing Arts
3%
 3%  [ 4 ]
Applied Arts
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Technical Work
4%
 4%  [ 5 ]
Craft Work
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Other
9%
 9%  [ 11 ]
Total Votes : 114

Author Message
Surrender Artist
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 2939
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:19 pm Reply with quote
To continue with the informal demographic survey of forum users that began with age and continued with gender, as well as to act upon a passing remark in the subscriber forum, I offer this poll on our knowledge backgrounds. (I originally used academic background, but I felt that that wasn't a good fit given that I tried to include skills that might be self-taught or learned through apprenticeship, so I created an somewhat inelegant attempt to work around that)

The idea is to get a sense of what ANN members have studied, whether formally or practically. I realize that this might be ambiguous in some cases, such as somebody who studied one thing for years, but now does something else entirely and knows that well, so I invite participants to explain their choices in posts.

I've tried to make the categories fairly broad in most cases. Mathematics got its own because I didn't feel quite right putting it anywhere. I hope that most of them are suitable and intuitive. I'll explain what I had in mind for some of the categories that might be ambiguous. A lot of this is something of a judgement call that I'm not strictly suited to making, so if the definitions go a different way in practice, then so be it.

I realize that I neglected to give Medicine it's own listing, so I would encourage anybody who would've chosen that to choose Biological Sciences, which I realize now should've been Life Sciences, for it's seemingly impossible to edit polls. Mea Culpa. I'm just a dumb political science major, we don't know any better!

Engineering: I envision this as encompassing civil, mechanical and electrical engineering with things like chemical engineering falling under physical sciences.

Finance: This category is meant to encompass things like accounting, actuarial science and business as well as any other related disciplines.

Applied Arts: I wasn't sure how to handle something like architecture, which traipses in a lot of gardens, so I contrived this category, which could also include things like medical illustration, technical drawing and other artistic work meant for purposes somewhat different from the, "truth is beauty," bit.

Technical Work: This is for the machinists, mechanics and other people who work with mechanical systems.

Craft Work: This is for a range of fields from carpenters and builders to tailors and chefs who deal with making things.

And if all else fails, there's other.

For my own part, I have a bachelor's degree in political science and linguistics that was followed by a master's degree in public administration, which puts me all solidly in the social sciences, although I have a food in finance by dint of my concentration in financial market regulation for my master's degree as well as the practical need of anybody in government to understand some finance. I don't do anything practical with linguistics, but I still remember a lot of it and keep a kind of hobbyist interest in it.
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moonie92



Joined: 15 Nov 2011
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:30 pm Reply with quote
Mmmm going with other here.

I'm not really have a skill. I took half a year of music therapy classes which I hated, and my singing skills are average at best. So I quit that. My current plan so far is being a restaurant manager but at the moment I'm not much more than a waitress/cashier. A good one if I do say so myself but only that.

I do get a lot of praise for my work with screaming children. I stash crayons in the back and grab them whenever a someone starts screaming. I stand there and scribble on the paper until the kid calms down. Their parents and my coworkers like that I'm so apt to make it quiet again.
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egoist
Pirate KingPirate King


Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 7665

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:33 pm Reply with quote
The way I see it, chemistry is closer to biology than physics, and physics is closer to maths and farther from chemistry.
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Surrender Artist
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 2939
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:38 pm Reply with quote
egoist wrote:
The way I see it, chemistry is closer to biology than physics, and physics is closer to maths than chemistry.


I was largely going by WikiPedia's notions of Life Sciences versus Physical Sciences, which puts chemistry in the latter category. I know that it's not a definitive sources, but it seemed like an intuitive enough grouping.

Of course now I realize that I made a further gaff by using Mathematics rather than Formal Sciences.
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willag
Crazy FangirlCrazy Fangirl


Joined: 21 Apr 2010
Posts: 2349

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:04 pm Reply with quote
I have a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering and I'm going for a Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering.

I selected "engineering." Because while life science is definitely an important part of my major, there's a learning difference between people with a science background and those with an engineering background (at least, in my experience). And it's probably a bit snobbish to say that I and my engineering classmates considered ourselves separate from those majoring in the sciences, even if we were both biomedical.

I am an engineer first. I selected biomedical because I was fascinated with the human body and I wanted to be a part of the medical field and help people (I figured a biomed degree would give me a greater chance at getting a job within the field).

But, yeah, biomedical has a lot more to do with chemistry than it does biology. The main separation between being in the pre-med program vs. undergrad program for biomedical engineers was having to take the Biochem I and II courses. I heard many horror stories about those.

Laughing

At least with my college, biomedical engineers could go the pre-med route and immediately get accepted into the local med school (they were required to take more courses than the rest of us just getting our bachelors). One could also get into med school from the sciences route (which I'm not as familiar with). But the route taken ended up creating med students with different skill sets. The biological/life sciences courses I took relied a lot more upon memorization of facts/terms/body functions, while the biomed engineering courses I took focused more on problem solving and being able to figure out solutions when given inputs.

It's funny, the amount of snobbery and elitism that can occur between the colleges/fields of study. Laughing


Last edited by willag on Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:14 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Takokujin



Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 266

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:08 pm Reply with quote
I have a B.A. in English and am certified to teach English Language Arts 4-12 in the state of Texas.
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larinon
Collector ExtraordinaireCollector Extraordinaire


Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Posts: 991
Location: Midland, TX

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:23 pm Reply with quote
B.A. and M.S. in Mathematics. It's not as if I've tried to hide it or anything.
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Spastic Minnow
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 02 May 2006
Posts: 2961
Location: Milwaukee

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:33 pm Reply with quote
Did you by chance mean "Information Technology" instead of "Information Sciences"?

The first is computers, the second is library.
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Sailor S



Joined: 20 May 2009
Posts: 2818

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:02 pm Reply with quote
Well, I got my BS degree in Business Administration, and you can take that BS part to have either meaning since I've never once used my degree nor have I really applied anything I learned in that course of study. So, I selected Engineering because I am currently an assistant engineer on a tugboat. I've learned far more with a practical application like this than I would have learned in a classroom just from the fact that they cram way too much in in most curricula for me to actually remember. The stuff I learn on the job here is practical stuff that I'll actually use instead of stuff that I may use if I go on ships or various other marine vessels.
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 3359
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:41 pm Reply with quote
I have a BA degree in Sociology, but that was a long time ago. I have had nothing to do with that field since graduation.

After I got out of the service I obtained a civil service job and continued with the same office through retirement. The last 25 years before retirement I did disability evaluations. A college degree was a requirement to be hired (any four year degree).

I currently read and watch anime.
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Tenbyakugon



Joined: 11 Jan 2012
Posts: 574
Location: Ohio, United States of America

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:48 pm Reply with quote
Sailor S wrote:
Well, I got my BS degree in Business Administration, and you can take that BS part to have either meaning since I've never once used my degree nor have I really applied anything I learned in that course of study. So, I selected Engineering because I am currently an assistant engineer on a tugboat. I've learned far more with a practical application like this than I would have learned in a classroom just from the fact that they cram way too much in in most curricula for me to actually remember. The stuff I learn on the job here is practical stuff that I'll actually use instead of stuff that I may use if I go on ships or various other marine vessels.


It'd be easy-peasy to find something for you with such a degree, especially if my manager can walk right off the graduation stage at Western Michigan and right into my employer's front doors as my manager (one year my junior, I may add).

(What a joke Laughing )
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Surrender Artist
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 2939
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:15 pm Reply with quote
The inadequacy of my research design notwithstanding, I'm pleased to see the results so far. It's a bit more balanced than the stereotypes anticipate. So far there are about seven respondents in the STEM categories, but five of my fellow social science majors and a little in other categories.

willag wrote:
I have a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering and I'm going for a Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering.

I selected "engineering." Because while life science is definitely an important part of my major, there's a learning difference between people with a science background and those with an engineering background (at least, in my experience)...

I am an engineer first...

But, yeah, biomedical has a lot more to do with chemistry than it does biology...


I confess that I was particularly curious to see what you would choose (and that something you wrote made me think of this poll) and the prospect of your answer is part of why I separated engineering out. The Wikipedia article groups biomedical engineering with Life Sciences (which I have carelessly labeled as Biological Sciences), but I understand your point. Besides, it would be rather silly for me to be telling you what box to go in.

willag wrote:
It's funny, the amount of snobbery and elitism that can occur between the colleges/fields of study. Laughing


There's plenty that can go on within a field. I never tasted it firsthand, but my syntax professor sometimes to how little regard adherents of different syntactic theories could hold for one another. Especially along the fault of Chomskyites versus everybody else. I believe that he once told us something to the effect of, Generative Grammar Catholicism, MIT is the Vatican and Noam Chomsky is the pope, so we're a bunch of filthy protestants. He preferred and taught Lexical-Functional Grammar and I once heard him dismiss some theory, it might have been Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, as silly.

I don't 'practice' linguistics anymore; there's not really much to do outside of being an academic, which I was neither intellectually adequate to nor interested in. There's a certain romance to thinking of myself hiking the Guatemalan highlands to study the tongue of the Kaqchikel, something I at least go to sample in miniature in my field methods class, but it wasn't meant to be.

You know, when I was a child, you'd've thought that I'd be a physicist or an engineer.

Yeah, I wonder what went wrong too.

Sailor S wrote:
Well, I got my BS degree in Business Administration, and you can take that BS part to have either meaning since I've never once used my degree nor have I really applied anything I learned in that course of study. So, I selected Engineering because I am currently an assistant engineer on a tugboat. I've learned far more with a practical application like this than I would have learned in a classroom just from the fact that they cram way too much in in most curricula for me to actually remember. The stuff I learn on the job here is practical stuff that I'll actually use instead of stuff that I may use if I go on ships or various other marine vessels.


That's an interesting choice. When I drew this up, I imagined that falling under my 'technical work' category, but I can see why you chose as you did. At any rate, emphasizing your work on the boat over your formal training is exactly what I had in mind.

Spastic Minnow wrote:
Did you by chance mean "Information Technology" instead of "Information Sciences"?

The first is computers, the second is library.


I really should stop making these polls before I go to dinner; I'm too hungry and impatient to get them right. Ah well, just another case of my brain's ambitions exceeding its abilities, as is so easy for me to do. It's just a rat runny on a squeaking wheel hooked up to a brain stem, but bless him, he's got big dreams.

At any rate, I might have meant information technology, I might not. This illustrates a problem that I had in devising the list of choices. I had a very hard time trying to think of categories that were general, but not so much so as to be vague. I tried to pare them down because I was worried that I'd hit some limit on the number choices allowed and even if wasn't near that, too many would make the data produced awkward to interpret, perhaps even obfuscating trends.

I was trying not provide a choice that encompassed a range of things related to computers and I worried that Information Technology would exclude Computer Science, although those people might prefer to choose the Engineering category as my friends, most of whom have degrees in computer science, have given me the impression that their work resembles engineering, some even have that in their job titles. That seems doubly relevant in light of what willag said when explaining her choice.

larinon wrote:
B.A. and M.S. in Mathematics. It's not as if I've tried to hide it or anything.


Boy have you not! You people should see what he posted on the subscriber forum a little while ago. It's pornography! Pure pornography!

Alan45 wrote:
I have a BA degree in Sociology, but that was a long time ago. I have had nothing to do with that field since graduation.

After I got out of the service I obtained a civil service job and continued with the same office through retirement. The last 25 years before retirement I did disability evaluations. A college degree was a requirement to be hired (any four year degree).


Which state's civil service where you in?

Hah. The program that I'm in now just needs a master's degree (any old one will do). Mine is actually of a relevant kind for the work, but we've got a mess of MBAs, one with some degree in music, another with one in playwriting and even a doctor of cellular biology.
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egoist
Pirate KingPirate King


Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 7665

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:20 pm Reply with quote
Surrender Artist wrote:
larinon wrote:
B.A. and M.S. in Mathematics. It's not as if I've tried to hide it or anything.


Boy have you not! You people should see what he posted on the subscriber forum a little while ago. It's pornography! Pure pornography!


I can confirm that. larinon you maths pervert. Laughing
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Sailor S



Joined: 20 May 2009
Posts: 2818

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:20 pm Reply with quote
Surrender Artist wrote:

That's an interesting choice. When I drew this up, I imagined that falling under my 'technical work' category, but I can see why you chose as you did. At any rate, emphasizing your work on the boat over your formal training is exactly what I had in mind.


To be honest, I chose that because Engineer is my job title, and I guess just reading your Engineer category I saw mechanical which falls under what I do. So, I didn't continue reading the options. If I had, I may very well have decided that the Technical Work category fit the bill as well. It's more a matter of taking the term engineer to its strictest meaning I guess. But yes, while I've had no formal training (meaning that durn book learnin) in the field of maritime engineer, I more readily relate that to my field of study than I do the business administration that I spent 7 years getting my degree in. Hey, a lot of people go to college for 7 years...(and the people with good taste in movies know the response to that)
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Past



Joined: 14 Feb 2006
Posts: 3114
Location: Seattle bound (soon)

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:40 pm Reply with quote
Ahem, I have a degree in kicking your ass.
That was uncalled for.
Actually my I attribute most of my secondary academic knowledge to Biological Sciences, but I also have delved in Engineering, Japanese studies and a bit of law and public policy.

The title of my actual bachelor's degree is Environmental and Forest Biology. Basically I've always wanted to be a professional tree-hugger Mr. Green
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