Life, the Universe and Engineering
©1999 Zhan Huan Zhou, Fall 1997, Issue 5
Well, this is my last article for this term's publication of the Iron Warrior. What I want to do now is sum up all the topics I've discussed in previous articles and address any questions that you may have had throughout the term about either myself, my column or Engineering.
Q: How do you pronounce your name?
A: Zhan Huan Zhou. Hope that clears the confusion.
Q: Why is this column entitled "Take A Zhance"?
A: There are three reasons. The first being that my name is embedded in the column and it can be easily identified with me. Who else do you know with the name "Zhan?" The second is that I had "Take A Chance On Me" by Abba stuck in my head when I was trying to think of a name for the column. The last reason is that it is fitting for the content of my articles.
Q: How did you get a column in The Iron Warrior?
A: As always, IW is always looking for writers. I wanted to volunteer some of my time and share some of my thoughts with other students in the faculty. I've submitted articles in previous terms and I thought it would be fun to have a recurring column.
Q: What are the point of your articles?
A: None specifically. The general theme of my column is that you, as an engineer should be more aware of things other than just engineering. For instance, "Why Did van Gogh Cut Off His Ear?" from IW#1 I was encouraging you to take non-technical electives so you can see that engineering is not the centre of everything, even if you many think it is. My next article "What Rhymes With Engineer?" examines creativity and ability to think. The rules of the world aren't written in a textbook. The next article bothers me. I wrote it hastily while skipping a lecture to meet the submission deadline. I forgot to put a title so someone put the title "The Real World" at the top of my article. All that aside, I emphasized the importance of teamwork. During an exam, there are a hundred engineers solving the same problems independently which seems silly in my mind. Finally onto the article I wrote for last issue, "The Road to Nowhere." Many people find themselves in engineering not knowing what it's all about and choose it simply so they can find a job after they graduate. What these articles mean for me is discovering why I am in engineering at UW. What they mean to you may be completely different.
Q: "Why Did van Gogh Cut Off His Ear?"
A: Art historians have speculated on this for decades. Some say his ear was infected and he wanted to cure it. I heard that he cut it off to give to his love. Regardless, he must of been one psychotic individual to paint something as boring as sunflowers. Oh, he was also admitted to an insane asylum. I guess that would make him officially wacko.
Q: "What Rhymes With Engineer?"
A: The only words I can think of are "buccaneer" and "moutaineer." And how can you forget, BEER! If you find any more words, please e-mail them to my address shown at the end of the article.
Q: Do you actually live up to your words in your columns?
A: Considering I write them from personal experience and values, I should hope so. Here is a quick and incomplete list of some stuff I do: write for IW, started the Waterloo Quiz Bowl Club and current co-president, badminton club executive and write poetry. As you can see, only one of them is remotely related to engineering - writing for IW and that's trying to convince you to be more non-engineering. I started the Waterloo Quiz Bowl Club after doing five years of Reach for the Top in high school and realized that we had no academic trivia competitions for Canadian universities. If you want to get involved with this, drop me a line via e-mail at the address shown at the end. There are also a couple of my poems in this issue that you can take a read through.
Q: Why did you do this in a Q&A format?
A: Just for variety. I've seen it done many times before and I've always wanted to do it. This was my last chance to do it so it seemed to be the perfect opportunity.
Q: If p = e^(3*PI*f(x)/4) and q = sin(4y+g(x)), where p & q satisfy the delta-congruency theorem, why are you reading this?
A: I really don't know.
Q: When are you going to stop asking questions?
A: Right now!
I hope this answers any questions you may of had about either myself or the column over the term.
Hopefully this column will return in the summer'98 edition of The Iron Warrior.
Good luck on finals and have a very joyous workterm.