Most Helpful Review
Before you take Engineering 98, you need to have honest expectations about the class. He will share with you about engineering careers, advantages of getting an engineering degree, and some practical tips about engineering in industry. It is not his goal to be your academic adviser and walk you through the different majors and help you decide between them. The class grading is simple: go to class, work on his one project, you will get as much out of it as you put in. So if you are curious about engineering careers in general, good class; if you already feel like you know that stuff or dont need it right now, not the class for you.
Most Helpful Review
This course has a split personality-- the bad kind. Professor Silverstein lectures 4hr/wk about careers in engineering (mainly centering around his own star-studded career which will occupy 4-6 hours of class) while the TAs and Professor Browne cover the vast majority of the writing and ethics material in the 3hr Friday discussion. The result is an incredibly disorganized course that consumed a shocking amount of my time. I am a relatively high-scoring student and was able to get an A in the class without learning much beyond the case studies presented in discussion. Note that case studies and two eight page papers represent approximately 20% of this "Ethics and Writing" course's effort. The rest is consumed (as is your soul) by gadget project in which you and your randomly assigned team must create a business plan around a consumer gadget with minimal relevant in-class instruction. Success requires office hours (i.e. more time)!
In truth, Professor Silverstein needs his own class which should be incorporated in the management technical breadth. His portion of the course is an inadequate core curriculum for an "Ethics and Writing" class. However, his information is useful to any student looking into engineering careers(and looking for an EXTREMELY optimistic outlook thereof). If you want to learn the career material, take Engr98 and stop there.
As a final note, many friends asked me which class to take (183EW vs 185EW)and I hope I succeeded in sending them all toward 183EW because their time is valuable, as is yours. Case in point: Silverstein takes attendance daily. If the lectures were worth your time, wouldn't you attend voluntarily?