So your grades dropped, what do you do now?

Not everyone can have a great GPA, especially in Chemical Engineering. If you find yourself watching your GPA plummet, and get to your junior year with near or below the crucial 3.0/4.0, here is some advice for you!
1) APPLY FOR JOBS, apply for every chemical engineering job you can find. Some companies won’t look at students with low GPA, but there are some out there who will give you a chance. Most notably, DOW chemical, Idaho National Labs, and University Research Internship programs. There isn’t a penalty for applying to jobs that have higher GPA requirements than you satisfy, just make sure to put your GPA on your resume, and be honest!
2) DON’T GIVE UP! You might find yourself feeling hopeless, feeling unemployable or just plain stupid. Being below the 50% line in school takes a huge chunk of your confidence, but graduating is an accomplishment! Don’t stop, if you need to stop looking at your test scores– DO IT. Just keep going to classes, keep trying to finish your homework, and keep studying for your tests.
3) JOIN A STUDY GROUP! Join a study group, network with your peers. School can be a lot more fun if you do it as a team, and if you are willing to work there are many students who will let you join their group. I would say that one of the greatest opportunities to make a difference in your grades is to study with a group.
4) GET RESEARCH/ WORK EXPERIENCE. Do this at any cost, if you can get some experience in the field you want to work in, you can really improve your chances for getting a job and the salary you will start at when you get that job! If you need to volunteer do it!

Tournament Challenge Flop… (My Poor Bracket :( )

Holy smokes! This NCAA tournament has been fantastic! Unfortunately my Bracket is TOAST! First Pitt lost to butler, I couldn’t believe it! I had them all the way to the final four (and so did pretty much EVERYBODY else!!) The game was ridiculous, especially the end. A foul on a REBOUND to give the other team the victory??? Then Duke lost to Arizona, and I mean LOST. They got their butts kicked in the last half, and it wasn’t that Duke wasn’t playing well, Arizona was UNREAL!! I thought it was bad enough at that point, two of my final four choices were eliminated, but I still had a chance to get half of them! And then, last night Kentucky’s freshman guard Brandon Knight hit a 15 footer with five seconds to go to win a 2 point lead against the Buccaneers, and with 5 seconds to go, Ohio went for the 3!!! They had enough time to get in for a two but they took the risk… and lost! So here I am, three of my final four picks didn’t even make it to the elite 8! I guess that is what I get for picking number 1 picks. The only thing keeping me afloat is that I picked Kansas to win the whole thing, but with the way things are going they could fall prey to VCU!! What did I learn this year, I can’t predict the future… thats for sure!

USPTO Registration Exam

If you want to be involved with patents, you need to pass the United States Patent and Trademark Office Registration exam. This exam is a test of your knowledge of the patent process. The test itself isn’t extremely difficult, qualifying for registration is definatly the limiting step. To qualify for the exam, an individual must display 1) good moral character, 2) Legal, scientific and technical qualifications necessary to provide valuable service, and 3) competence to advise and assist patent applicants in the presentation and prosecution of patent applications.

The second qualification is satisfied by a Bachelor’s degree in a technical subject (and Chemical Engineering counts ofcoarse) such as biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, and physics. You can pass the FE exam to satisfy this requirment as well!

Things that don’t count are soft sciences like philosophy, sociology, psychiatry, public health, etc.

My recommendation for engineering students is to graduate, pass the FE exam and then work to obtain your PE liscencing. After obtaining this liscense, you can take the USPTO Registration Exam and become a registered agent. After you have reached this level, you can choose to go to law school if you fall in love with writing patents, or keep working as an engineer.

Here is a past exam so you can get a feel for what the test is all about:

October 2003 AM

October 2003 AM Answers

October 2003 PM

October 2003 PM answers

March Madness Basketball Tournament Academic Rankings

I love march. I especially love the first round of the NCAA tournament. I spent all week last week distracted by filling out my bracket, and watching every basketball game (thanks to online streaming). I was thinking recently about the schools that have sent the teams to the tournament, and the only thing more competitive than sports between universities is their academic rankings. So we are at the Sweet Sixteen, how do these schools compare with each other??

Kansas: 104,
Richmond : 32 out of Liberal Arts Colleges
VCU: 167
Florida State: 104
Butler: 2 (midwest Colleges)
Wisconsin: 45
BYU: 75
Florida: 53

SDSU: 183
UConn: 69
Arizona: 120
Duke: 9
UNC: 30
Marquette: 75
Kuntucky: 129
Ohio State: 56

So there you have it!

University Rankings 2011

1 Harvard
2 Princeton
3 Yale
4 Columbia
5 Stanford
6 U. Penn
7 California Institute of Technology
9 Dartmouth
10 Duke
11 Chicago
12 Northwestern
13 Johns Hopkins
14 Washington University in St. Louis
15 Brown
16 Cornell
17 Rice
18 Vanderbilt
19 Notre Dame
20 Emory
21 Georgetown
22 Cal-Berkeley
23 Carnegie Mellon
25 USC
26 UVA
27 Wake Forest
28 Tufts
29 University of Michigan– Ann Arbor
30 UNC
31 Boston College
32 William and Mary
33 NYU
34 Brandeis
35 Georgia Institute of Tech
36 UC San Diego
37 Lehigh University
38 Rochester
39 UC Davis
40 UC Santa Barbara
41 Case Western Reserve
42 Ransselaer Polytech
43 UC Irvine
44 University of Texas- Austin
45 University of Washington
46 University of Wisconsin– Madison
47 Penn State
48 Illinois — urbana-champaign
49 University of Miami
50 Yeshiva University

Universities of My Interest

George Washington: 51
Purdue: 56
BYU: 75
Baylor: 79

The Worth of a Chemical Engineering Degree Discussed

Its been a long two years. I have accumulated debt in the form of student loans, seen my stellar GPA plumit, and witnessed the job market shrink. When I was a freshman, I was told that Chemical Engineering was a straight road to success. Everyone had a job offer, and my future seemed easy. Now I look around and the graduating class, a group of individuals facing low prospects. This group has put themselves through 4-6 years of intense education, refusing to shy away from the most difficult classes. They once dreamed of being employed by a huge oil company, making large paychecks while being enrolled in the best insurance and building a massive retirement. This dream has, for most of them, been crushed. Those who have jobs, approximated to be lower than 50%, aren’t being paid what they expected, and those who are find themselves in high risk sales atmospheres whith limited job security.

I entered Chemical Engineering because I loved the challenge, but in the beggining the challenge was exciting. I have sent my resume to over 20 companies, and one got back to me for an interview. That interview took place over 3 months ago, and I havn’t heard back yet. I feel discouraged, not by my ability– I am a great engineer and could make an incredible contribution if hired. Rather, I feel discouraged by being constantly classified as insufficient. I feel devalued, and thrown aside by the companies who sent reqruiters to my freshman level courses to convince us that they needed more of us. In the beginning, it was inevitable that I win the game. I had control over the game, and it was only a matter of being patient, of waiting until the game was over and my great life began. Now I realize that the game is much more difficult that I thought, and losing is begining to look like the norm.

This expereince has forced me to ask myself whether or not studying the incredibly technical field of chemical engineering was worth it. There is no procrastinating the evaluation of your degree’s value, because the bachelors of chemical engineering is the professional degree in this feild. In this way, it is easy to guage the worth of my studies by the number of job offers I have recieved (0), or the amount of money I will make (currently unkown). But as I continue my struggle towards graduation, and move closer to a possibilty of working in an unrelated feild, I realize that my experience in chemical engineering is much more valuable (currently rated at 0) than its ability to improve my earning potential. I am smarter than I was, I know more than I did, and I understand how the world works more clearly than I could have ever imagined in high school. When I was in high school, I looked great on paper: great GPA, stellar test scores, and more extracurrecular activites than college admissions would believe. But I felt that my application was a bit of a facade, that I had been proped up by teachers, and didn’t actually have the ability to solve, or innovate in the real world. Now I feel empowered, I feel smart and extremely capable. I may not look great on paper, but I know that once an opportunity presents itself (and sometimes I wonder if it will) I will shine.

I can only attribute this intellecutal gain to my studies in chemical engineering. While this is not the only major to accomplish sizeable intellectual improvement in its participants, I can say full heartedly that regardless of the job market, and no matter what the BS or BE in chemical engineering is worth in dollars, it is worth a great deal in personal satisfaction. Basic Concept list

Many students tutor to supplement their income during college. In order to be a good tutor, (and sustain business) you need to know your stuff. So the question “Do you know enough to charge?” naturally arises. Here is a baic concept list for tutoring high school subjects from () concept-list
My next project is to go through each of these concepts in the Category “ Concepts”. At the completion of this project, all these concepts will be addressed.

Putnam Exams (2003-2009)

Here are the Old Putnam Tests and Solutions:

Conan O’Brien Visits Google

Check this out, it is a real treat!

Logic Books: Free Legal Downloads

Here are 3 great Open Domain Logic books: Just click on the PDF and download them!

Tractutus Logico-philosophicus
An Investigation of the Laws of Thought
The Algebra of Logic