It’s always a question people normally ask to engineers: “Are you good at Math?” But for civil engineers and electronics engineers, they are also often asked, “Are you better at math than engineers in other engineering fields?” Of course, no one really knows who is better than who but some would justify why their field is harder than the others and why they’re often better at math. You just can’t help but take pride in the field you’re in – that’s why.
For civil engineers, it’s never just easy calculations that are plugged in effortlessly in Excel sheets, while for electronics engineers, math is applied in the fields of electronics, electronics design, and communications. But who is better at math? Have you ever thought of that?
Here in GineersNow, we had a little fun and had two of our editors defend why their field is better in math than the other. While we won’t pick out who the real winner is in this short debate, take a look at a civil engineer and an electronics engineer’s perspectives are on why the engineers in their field are better than the other one.
From algebra, trigonometry, geometry, calculus, probability, statistics, and even engineering economy, mathematics is central in the field of civil engineering. Students who take this course are often drained with numbers mixed with formulas and analysis to solve real world problems. This is always carried over when they become civil engineers in the field.
The scope of civil engineering is so wide, requiring holders of such degree to be knowledgeable in the vast applications of mathematics on the job. Subfields like structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, surveying, environmental engineering, water resources engineering, and construction management, among others are embedded with mathematics at the core.
Note that the mathematics in civil engineering are not simple calculations – meaning values are not just plugged in in Excel sheets as variables significantly change the engineering of systems and structures.
But in every subfield, there are only two ways that civil engineers use the mathematics: design a system or structure by starting from scratch; or analyze existing designs and test for failure. The critical factor to consider in both is safety.
In most parts, civil engineering is an exact science. The results of calculations should be accurate as much as possible so that they serve their best purpose in mankind. Sometimes, a millimeter of error can be dangerous especially in building construction; hence it is imperative for civil engineers to not make mistakes when performing computations.
For such a field that is mathematics-intensive in almost all aspects, civil engineers are bound to meet the qualifications of being good at math – if not just handle it – and work according to their mandate.
This does not necessarily speak against the electronics engineers and the rest of the engineering professionals, but if that doesn’t convince anyone that civil engineers are superior in math, I don’t know what will.