04 February 2008


Hubby has started another semester of grad classes. Finally, he has gotten past most of the fru-fru courses and is on to the "good stuff." This semester he is taking a DOE class. No, that's not a department in the State of Minnesota. It stands for Design of Experiments.

To me, this is nirvana. I love this stuff. It's not about how to set up equipment to do experiments, but how to create a statistical plan to test for and block variables in your design and eliminate noise. It's all about statistics. Statistics. Statistics. A real class, with a real answer, not just the "I'm OK, you're OK" mentality and not the kind of "statistics" you hear about in the news. Not any touchy-feely stuff either. Down and dirty numbers. This is where my true inner geek thrives. For a time one summer before I graduated from St. Thomas, I pondered being an actuary. However, even I wasn't geeky enough for that.

Bad news is that one of the books for hubby's class, a paperback, is not even an inch thick and it costs $45.

I did some DOEs at Boeing. Nowadays, if you work for most medical device or chip manufacturers, they are big on DOE. They even have programs for Six Sigma and if you climb high enough in the stats world you become a Black Belt. I never took any of these classes, but would've loved to have made it to Black Belt.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my sweet daughter has been working to rid our home of bad influences. She's almost two and a half, so isn't teething any more and certainly isn't hungry, so the only reason I have for her trying to eat the library copy hubby used of The DaVinci Code for his prior class, is that she is trying to take one for the team, sacrificing her own well-being so that we don't read this drivel.

I just hope the library finds her actions as noble as I do.


gemoftheocean said...

As far as DaVinci -- perhaps in pencil discretely you can pencil in somewhere "in case of fire please throw this book in."

Marilena said...

i never did like the cost of books for school! i think they are over priced. its simply ridiculous for schools to charge that much money, or book companies!

gemoftheocean said...

I've tagged you for a Bloggers of the World Award.

Sanctus Belle said...

You LIKE statistics?? Oh my...
I remember in grad school, I had to take the dreaded "advanced statistics" - whatever advanced means, is there such a thing as easy statistics?? Anyway, I found it so difficult and so tedious that I would have to literally hold onto my desk to keep me sitting down, forcing myself by sheer will to keep working those infernal calculations. I once wrote my professor a note on a chapter test that went something like this:

"Dear Dr. So & So...I am quite sure that in hell there are required courses in statistics."

He wrote back "Oh c'mon...its not THAT bad is it?"

Oh Yeah...it is! :)

curiouscat said...

There are lots of great design of experiments material online, for free :-)