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Engies: Spy be sappin mah' [STATICS]

XanoXano Registered User regular
edited September 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Hi guys, I'm currently studying engineering right now as an undergrad - and it's come to the point where I'll be taking a class in statics. I've heard many engineering students have had a difficult time throughout this course, so i want to prepare early by gaining some "pre-knowledge" i guess.

So H/A - Anyone know any resourceful websites i can hit up? I have like a month before class starts.

Also, I wouldn't mind spending a few bucks online for some sort of supplemental book or something.

Personal experience and plain advice on the course if you've taken it would help too!

Thanks for reading such a boring post guys!

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Xano on

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    IrohIroh Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Xano wrote: »
    Hi guys, I'm currently studying engineering right now as an undergrad - and it's come to the point where I'll be taking a class in statics. I've heard many engineering students have had a difficult time throughout this course, so i want to prepare early by gaining some "pre-knowledge" i guess.

    So H/A - Anyone know any resourceful websites i can hit up? I have like a month before class starts.

    Also, I wouldn't mind spending a few bucks online for some sort of supplemental book or something.

    Personal experience and plain advice on the course if you've taken it would help too!

    Thanks for reading such a boring post guys!
    What school? If I may ask, anyway.

    I took statics as part of my gen-ed. stuff before I started into Electrical Engineering curriculum, and really it consists of nothing more than systems of equations. If you know how to solve for two or more unknowns using two or more equations, you'll be solid, I think.

    Iroh on
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    Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Just learn to separate the theory and the math. That was the hard part for me. Step 1) use the theory to determine all your variable and unknowns. Step 2) solve for the required unknown.

    There's a few books by Hibbeler out there that might be helpful. Sorry I don't have a link.

    Iceman.USAF on
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    XanoXano Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    school: cal poly

    anyone know where i can grab some material to get a feel of what i'm up against?

    Xano on
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    BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Damn it I just typed a long response and realized you were talking about statics, not statistics right before I hit the reply button :( 15 minutes wasted.

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

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    XanoXano Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    i'm soooo sorry there was that confusion haha.

    Xano on
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    ProPatriaMoriProPatriaMori Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Statics is largely free body diagrams. Once you know how to draw your free body diagrams, you cannot lose.

    You just take away anything that's exerting a force on your body and make it a force. The ground? That's a force. Touching a wall? Force. Jet engine? Force.

    Then there are three equations that you'll solve (usu. as a system in a cartesian plane):
    The sum of the forces in the X direction are 0.
    The sum of the forces in the Y direction are 0.
    The sum of the moments on the object are 0.

    It's actually a pretty simple course. And rightfully so. You just have to get in the mindset for it.

    EDIT: Solving for systems of a couple variables is greatly improved by being able to do linear algebra. If you can pare your system down to the appropriate amount of unknown forces then knowing how to put it in matrix form and solve it can save you a lot of time. Or not, if you're not comfortable with it, but I know it's helped me. If you ever have to take a structural analysis course it will probably be what you end up doing there.

    ProPatriaMori on
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    BoutrosBoutros Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    The things that I saw tripping people up when I took statics was:

    a: People forgot how to do trig, or never understood in the first place.

    b: People couldn't figure out a consistent method for keeping their signs and directions in order for members in tension or compression.

    c: Shear-moment diagrams. Seriously this messed so many people up, most of the people I had statics with never got the hang of these until they took mechanics of materials or even structural analysis. And it helps so so much. If you can figure out the difference between internal and external forces, and the sign conventions for shear and moment and the differential relationship between them you will be way ahead of the curve if you take upper division civil courses.

    Boutros on
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    DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Statics, when compared to your other classes, is really very easy.

    Just pay attention in class, take notes, and do the homework. You should be okay. The math never goes above algebra (and it maybe reaches calc 1 once or twice, you might have to integrate or solve a derivative at some point).

    Demerdar on
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    Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    yeah statics isn't too big a deal... just know your matrix math, and study the shit out of shear-moment diagrams if your course includes them (don't think i touched those until dynamics). For those diagrams, each level you go down is like an integral or derivative of the next one so if you are alright with calculus you shouldn't have too much trouble.

    Like other people have said, be good at drawing free body diagrams. Saves you so much confusion.

    Al_wat on
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    TaximesTaximes Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Hey, I'm taking Statics right now. Actually, I'm taking it a few semesters late, so I'm looking forward to it being my easiest class. :P

    Have you taken an elementary physics course? My physics class might have been a little extensive or something, but flipping through the Statics book, we already covered a lot of it in Physics I.

    Taximes on
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    XanoXano Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I wonder why i keep hearing rumors about statics being so dreadful? I suppose it's just because some students can't handle the sheer-moment diagrams? I haven't been able to get hold of a textbook yet, wish i could *chuckle*.

    Xano on
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    ProPatriaMoriProPatriaMori Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    If you find statics difficult, engineering is going to be pretty hard. Though I admit I don't remember doing shear moment diagramming until we got into "Mechanics of Solids" (which was about deformation), not statics (which was about force-balancing). Those still aren't hard though.

    What flavor of engineering are you going for, Xano?

    ProPatriaMori on
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    TaximesTaximes Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Yeah, I wouldn't trust what people say about a course unless you know them well and you're in a position to relate their skills and abilities to yours.

    Another offender was Calc 3...I heard so many times that it was both way easier than Calc 2, and way harder than Calc 2.

    The answer? I thought it was way easier, but I had an incredible professor. And I'm interested in/pretty good at math, so people who hate math shouldn't trust what I say. :P

    Taximes on
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    SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Statics is a 'super practical' course. If you have problem tieing together the real world with a bunch of equations, you will find it difficult.

    I was a TA for statics, and people either 'got it' or 'didn't get it'. On the midterm, half the class failed. half the class got about 2/20, the other half got 18/20.

    Serpent on
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    UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    EFunda.com has been a lifesaver for me many times over as a reference guide. If you prefer paper, Schaum's Outlines are great guides and come in many flavors, with the added bonus of additional problems to solve.

    Your best bet is simply to go to class and any study sessions and ask if you don't understand something.

    Usagi on
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    XanoXano Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm majoring in Biomedical Engineering.

    That's kind of funny Taximes, i heard the same thing about calc 3 - and it wasn't really that hard. You just gotta know your divergence/convergence tests really well. Well anyways, i finished calc 4 and linear algebra a bit ago, and thought calc 4 was harder. I'll be entering my 2nd year of schooling come late September.

    After statics comes dynamics right? At least it does for me.

    Xano on
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    ProPatriaMoriProPatriaMori Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Biomedical. Statics for me was always "screw this up and your bridge/plane falls down." For biomedical, are you growing your bridge in a vat?

    And yeah, dynamics usually follows statics. Also a fun class.

    ProPatriaMori on
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    As my Lecturer used to say. No statics, no engineering, know statics, know engineering.

    Statics is not hard. It is however the most fundamental knowledge you can learn and a solid knowledge of it makes everything else easier also.

    It would probably be best not to actually do any self learning as it will stop you from accidently learning any bad sign convention which is probably the most important thing you will learn in the course.

    Blake T on
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    Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Biomedical. Statics for me was always "screw this up and your bridge/plane falls down." For biomedical, are you growing your bridge in a vat?

    And yeah, dynamics usually follows statics. Also a fun class.

    Biomedical includes biomechanical, with applications such as prosthetics.

    I took bioengineering, but didn't finish.

    Al_wat on
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    ProPatriaMoriProPatriaMori Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Ah good, prosthetics.

    Since I don't know what else to say I guess I'll offer help if you need it down the line in the form of you PMing me and me saying things back assuming I still read the forums. I will try to make the things I say helpful, even though I totally failed structural analysis and while I got an A in statics and a B in dynamics I don't really understand how either of those happened.

    ProPatriaMori on
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