Jump to content

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World - David Epstein


Xaston
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just finished this as my first book of 2021 and I very much enjoyed it.

 

It had the type of thesis statement that I was worried I'd read the introduction and feel like "I get it," and then after that find the entire thing repetitive, but it kept the examples and angles fresh.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought it, the kindle version is only $4.99.

 

This is an argument I am constantly having with my colleagues about our ECE curriculum. Many want our undergraduates to specialize and I argue for a broader base with their undergraduate degree. They are already specializing a lot by studying ECE.

 

Vannevar Bush said something like specialization was the death of genius.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's really not about the curriculum, it's about the inability to apply.

Example: Engineers are forced to take electives utterly unconnected to engineering, to 'round them off'. So when the engineer shows up in a music appreciation course, looking for an easy grade, and the professor asks what 'music' is, it often doesn't go well. Citing music as just a bunch of EM waves at different amplitudes and frequencies ....... is not the desired 'answer'

 

SD

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's really not about the curriculum, it's about the inability to apply.

Example: Engineers are forced to take electives utterly unconnected to engineering, to 'round them off'. So when the engineer shows up in a music appreciation course, looking for an easy grade, and the professor asks what 'music' is, it doesn't gone well. Citing music as just a bunch of EM waves at different amplitudes and frequencies ....... is not the desired 'answer'

 

SD

 

Can confirm re: Music Appreciation students.

 

I was required to take music history, and I got a lot out of it. It provided great evolutionary context for a lot of the archaeic things we were being taught in Music Theory (Renaissance polyphony and Baroque, for instance). Our class met right before the music appreciation guys and a lot of them seemed to think they were going to sit around and gab while listening to mp3s. Surprise, you get a dumbed down version of music history.

 

One of the many things I learned about higher education is, there are no easy courses. Many students may find some subject matter "easy" to comprehend, but there will always be work involved. If there's no work involved, the instructor needs to be fired.

 

The purpose of higher education is:

 

to learn new material,

to learn how to work,

to learn how to separate fact from fiction.

 

edit: I haven't read this book, but definitely agree with the concept.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's really not about the curriculum, it's about the inability to apply.

Example: Engineers are forced to take electives utterly unconnected to engineering, to 'round them off'. So when the engineer shows up in a music appreciation course, looking for an easy grade, and the professor asks what 'music' is, it often doesn't go well. Citing music as just a bunch of EM waves at different amplitudes and frequencies ....... is not the desired 'answer'

 

SD

 

I wasn't referring to courses outside of engineering, such as liberal arts courses. I was referring to specializing too much in ECE. For instance, if a student is interested in software engineering I have colleagues who think the student doesn't need to take any circuits courses, fields, or even all the math we currently require. They should just take more programming courses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...