Potentially the three scariest words to hear in an engineering class, “this is intuitive.” These were some of Professor Dailey’s welcoming words in Heat Transfer (a 300 level Mechanical Engineering class.) Having taken Thermodynamics with Professor Dailey previously I know her teaching style, and I really appreciate her approach in the classroom. However, being told that a hard class is intuitive is both comforting and concerning. It begs the thoughts what if I don’t understand this?? Am I just dumb? Even in my last year of college first day of class jitters still exist. I’ll admit I even panicked on the first quiz and had to take a couple of deep breaths before doing the problem.
Professor Dailey is talented at taking abstract ideas and making them relevant. So far Heat Transfer has been dealing with exactly the title, the transfer of heat. Specifically that heat is transferred by conduction, convection and radiation. To keep things fun and light in class she admitted that since being married she and her husband have disagreed how milk should be treated. Her husband left it out during breakfast and returned it to the fridge only after finishing breakfast. Professor Dailey said growing up her family was militant about using the milk and promptly returning it to the fridge. We then did the engineering and math to prove it was beneficial to return the milk to the fridge quickly to help with the shelf life of the milk. It ended up being very relevant to my personal life.
Living off campus although I have no problems with how my room mates deal with their milk, but I think they stare blankly into the fridge way too often. One girl has struggled with chunky milk twice now before the expiration date. Now, I probably won’t do a heat transfer problem for them because they’re not engineers, but I could.