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The Rule of Thumb

Ruben A. Gomez, PE

In engineering, as in many other human endeavors, man started his trial and error practice which drove him into empiricism and those resulting empirical methods gave way to the rules of thumb that prevailed for centuries and stood the test of time until science developed enough to be able to prove them either right or wrong. Empirical methods are useful for as long as they are temperate by the boundaries of scientific knowledge, so to avoid falling into the extremes of blatant quackery on one end or convoluted never ending mathematical quagmire on the other. In this course the author shows a practical case where the two lines of thought got intertwined to produce an unorthodox solution to a challenging problem. Suction lines needed to be placed across and above a private industrial road by using the minimum of materials, at a minimum cost and with the maximum of simplicity.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.