February 21, 2011: Engineering requires the ability to solve problems creatively. Engineer 1: Engineers solved the BP oil spill! Engineer 2: But didn't poor engineering cause that spill? Engineer 1: Only because businessmen insisted on drilling with faulty equipment! Engineer 2: Genius! Problem solved! Engineers Week 2011.
February 23, 2011: Engineers Week story problems, super-size edition! 1. IBM's Watson was able to use its cluster of 90 servers to beat human beings at Jeopardy. Assuming one of these servers is affordable, and also assuming Moore's Law (roughly, the speed of computers doubles every 18 months) is correct, how many years will it be before one affordable server will be able to beat all human beings at Jeopardy? Watson: Loser! 2. The Angry Birds app has made its creators so rich that they decided to build a life-size model in their backyard. At the given angle, what speed do they need to launch themselves in the bird suits to land on the pig life raft in their pool full of caviar? 3. Hosni Mubarak, Moammar Gaddafi, and 14 members of the Wisconsin Democratic party are all hiding out in a restaurant in Illinois when they decide to share a meal, but since they all lack foresight, they forgot to tell the waitress to split the check. Four orders of hot wings at $9.96/each and four pitchers of Coors Light at $5 were consumed by everyone, but Mubarak and Gaddafi, being Muslim, both passed on the two orders of $7.98/each pork stickers. The Cheeseheads insist on giving the buxom waitress a five percent tip. What they don't know is that Gaddafi has a bomb and will set it off if he has to pay more than the $11.32 he has in his pocket. Will this group of failed politicians make it through the evening?
February 25, 2011: Mitch: Bring the popcorn, Al. The stars are coming out! Al: Be there in a sec! Dana: Pre-show for the Oscars? Al: Oh, please... it's Engineers Week. It's the final launch of space shuttle Discovery. Mitch: You think that spacesuit makes Commander Steve Lindsey look fat?