Hi Marcus, welcome to Math Help Forum!
Your background sounds interesting and exciting! What brought you from nutrition to mechanical engineering?
hi, glad to have found this site. I have a degree in nutrition, work in a molecular bio lab and am going back to school (after a very short break) to study mechanical engineering. right now i am taking advanced engineering mathmatics which includes a review of vector, diff eq, and linear alg. even though i have passed all classes before these, it seems i am only really proficient in algebra enough to teach it well heh.
Well, I have always been good at math and science. I do like using a basic physical intuition to design simple but powerful things. Because of this I strayed away from "formalized" engineering because I knew it was much more important to have a good working understanding of whats going on rather than being able to crunch numbers in a cubicle. I guess I have a more "global" grasp of engineering and didn't want to get bogged down in the precise calculations that may be exact, but most likely completely miss the mark as they are typicaly applied in industry. For example, why analyze the ultra complex pressure gradients (both positive and negative at various points) on a car and think you have it all figured out when a car with much more uniform (and therefore more efficient) pressure gradients can be designed? My thought is don't even think about running the equations until you have drastically improved the design, then run the numbers to see how to tweak it further.
I can be the guy that drastically improves the design, not really the one running the numbers. But, the fact is if I do want to be the guy who drastically improves the design, it looks like I also have to know how to run the numbers first to get hired, because the people hiring (or programs nowdays lol) don't recognize the value of someone who can see the big picture.