Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Seth Kintigh
Box 313
EE3303

Poetry in EE

     The article "Poetry in Engineering Education" described Drexel
University's program of combining humanities into engineering (much
like WPI has been doing for decades).  Drexel University's approach
was to have freshmen engineering students write a poem about a
research subject they had studied.  Through the sheer volume of
references made in the article it is obvious that the emphasis was
on two very important concepts: creativity and the wrongfulness of
stereotypes.
     Any student can score well in class and graduate given enough
time to prepare, but this process has no bearing on the realities
of being a "good" engineer after graduation.  If an answer already
exists then there is little use for an engineer.  A good engineer
is one who can come up with creative, innovative and new solutions
to problems.  This requires an entirely different form of thinking
than the rote-rehearsal required to memorize facts before a test.
     Another form of thinking is not thinking at all.  When this is
done we fall back on old and often incorrect prejudices or
stereotypes.  This is far from creative and can have far-reaching
adverse effects.  It is therefore important that an engineer look
beyond his stereotypes, whether dealing with new people or old
problems.
     Engineers writing poetry are faced with these two concepts.
First the engineer must give up the notion that all poems must
rhyme.  Next they must use creativity to come up with a original
poem.  This entire process shows non-engineers that the stereotype
of engineers are incapable of writing to be false.  The result is a
new breed of engineers who think creatively, reject stereotypes,
are willing to try new and daring ideas and who appreciate the
sacredness of life, all through dabbling in the art known as
poetry.
 
---

"The plight of data damaged by analog to digital conversion at the
Nyquist rate and the following digital to analog conversion."
By Seth Kintigh

A continuous stream
rushing forward infinitely.
A mighty river, yet like an ocean
with no beginning,
end,
nor bounds to its volume.

A moment is stolen!
Chaos trapped, it's instantaneous magnitude
measured in captivity,
translated into binary
and shuffled into discrete,
unnatural order.

Perhaps to be filtered or transmitted,
its identity convolved and convoluted,
or maybe spared further harassment.
It cannot be free in this preternatural state:
its transience is held stationary by transistors
or by the atoms of conductive elements.

Through spastic procedures
it is finally released,
however, it is not quite the same.
Despite all attempts by the captors
it now has a ring, a shrill cacophony of unintended tones.
Once removed, it is lacking more.

Still it must be let free
whatever its inadequacies
to flow amongst the pure
as best it can.