Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Economics and Engineering

I had another midterm today. I thought I came prepared, but totally didn't bring this chart that we were allowed to use that included useful formulas and other stuff. Hopefully I passed, but it added to my concern that I'm slipping behind on my grades. :(

In my Critical Argument and Discourse class today we each spoke for a minute about any issue we wanted to (the first time our teacher didn't assign us a topic to deliver an argumentative speech about). I went first, saying that I think we need more engineers in America. We need more people in science and technology fields. I spoke about how the job market for engineers is good, yet the largest majority of college majors are in liberal arts or business related fields.

I explained what I learned in Economics my senior year of high school. This was really the time I figured out a rough idea what I wanted to do with my life:
AP Macroeconomics quickly became my strongest class. I found out that I had a passionate thirst for knowledge about economics.  I was studying the history of economics on the internet for fun. I began reading economics books not required for class. I was hooked. I had finally felt like I had found a field of study that interested me and I would not only excel at, but also enjoy.

You see, the most important principle to the study of economics is scarcity. It addresses the question: How do we use scarce resources for unlimited human wants/desires? I was fascinated by this. In the first quarter of the course we studied the "Production Possibilities Curve" which can be seen as a simple example: A country has two resources to produce: guns vs butter. You pick a point along the curve and have a mix of output, how much butter and how many guns you can produce is decided at that point.

If we wanted more guns, we could pick a point to the top/left side of the curve, and vice versa. But how do we produce more guns AND butter? How do we expand this curve? 

The answer is of course: more resources, or better technology. Better technology means you can produce things more efficiently, cheaper, etc. In particular, what always interested me was more efficient energy. A childhood dream of mine has always been to break away from the world's dependence on fossil fuels and help find a cheaper, cleaner, and more abundant supply of energy.

This is when I realized something: Despite my love for economics, I knew I needed to become an engineer. You see, I didn't want to be the economist that's always telling people what needs to be done, how we need to do it, etc. I want to be the guy who took the task upon himself, even if he knew it wouldn't be an easy journey. Math isn't my strong point. Calculus isn't coming easy to me. But I know it's importance, and will learn it as best I can.

As of now I am a freshman at my university double majoring in Economics and Nuclear Engineering. My hope is that some day in my life I will be able to feel like I benefited the world. That I made everyone's lives easier or more comfortable. I just want to help people. I want to make the world a better place to be.

That's the end of my discussion, thanks for reading. Hope I didn't lose you in that wall of text.


  1. I LOVE economics. But I am a finance major :P
    Hoping to hear more of what you have to say.
    BTW, engineering is crazy hard but I bet you know that!

  2. I wasn't lost in the text, but mesmerized by it's decor. You make some great points about engineering. Your thirst for knowledge and tenacity to have a dual major gives me hope that we will all benefit from your bringing us closer to ridding the world of oil dependency.

    I'll follow along as well.

    1. Hahaha yeah my 2 minute art that I produced on paint usually mesmerizes people. Thanks man I appreciate it. :)