Learning by teaching

I am not an expert in the topics on this site. I write these articles because I want to learn those subjects, and what better way to learn than to teach?

I choose the articles mostly by whim, the same way I choose which articles to read in anything from SciAm to Nature to deep in the maze that is the university library's technical journal archive: the subject matter caught my attention that day. Because I have declared that this is a chemical engineering site, I will try to keep things at least somewhat chemical engineering related. Or chemistry. Or engineering. Sometimes.

Fear not the equations

I use equations in my articles. Equations are useful; they explain things compactly which would take long paragraphs to explain in text. They may not be "worth a thousand words", but they're easily worth a couple hundred!

I'll try not to do math that's too complicated, I'm not going to bother deriving or proving the equations I use since lots of them are empirical anyway, and I'll try to only skip steps that involve simple algebraic rearranging. But I'm not writing fluff pieces, except when I am, and I'm the kind of geek who thinks it's fun to calculate cloud heights.

I assume that you, my dear reader, remember enough of your high school chemistry to follow my discussions - and that where you don't, you are willing to follow my links to Wikipedia or other sites with decent explanations, which I will try to remember to include when I use chemistry jargon. (Feel free to tell me I forgot a link.) Sometimes I will include a short definition or reminder in the text, because I can't always remember what was in high school chemistry and what was university level, due to taking some university level chemistry in high school. I will, however, define acronyms whenever I use them, usually using mouseover text. I don't like it when people don't define their acronyms.

Ultimately though, I'm trying to write stuff at the level that I wish science magazines would do: somewhere between the actual research paper and the "remember the human interest angle!" instruction in the submission guidelines for science magazines. I don't need a "human interest" angle to be interested in science. Yeah, my articles may not be for everyone. That's ok, because I'm not trying to reach the widest possible audience, I'm writing them for my own fun.

This is not advice

It's a sad fact of life that engineers are sued a lot, so I suppose I have to say that I'm not dispensing engineering advice here. This is a space for me to geek out about chemistry and math and similar topics. I'm writing this site just for the fun of it, and it has nothing to do with my actual job other than drawing on the same chemical engineering background. If you want to repeat any of my experiments or base something on any of my math, you do so at your own risk.

At least I'm not a structural engineer. That's possibly the most sued profession ever.