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Well done on fulfilling your offer and obtaining your place to study engineering at Cambridge. Being a member of Sidney Sussex, Newnham or Wolfson College automatically makes you a member of the Stephenson Society, which with out doubt adds an extra dimension to your study at the university and makes us one of the best group of colleges to be at.

Engineers are by far the most diverse people you will ever meet. We are the largest single subject at Cambridge, making roughly 10% of the student population. Unlike some subjects, which are predominantly college based, we spend half of our academic time at the Engineering Department CUED. CUED itself has a lot to offer engineering students, but when it comes to 'keeping it personal' a department of 1200 undergraduates just cannot compete with a close-knit college community, which is why we have our own collegiate engineering society.

So placing StephSoc to one side for a moment, what does engineering at Cambridge actually involve?

Lectures

2/3 hours of these per day, 5 days per week. Don't worry if you don't understand them all; although, if you think you do, you probably don't. They say, if you understand 30% of the material during a lecture you're bang on target.

Labs

2/4 hours per day 3ish times a week. Laboratories aren’t too taxing, usually you just need to turn up and follow the instructions on the laboratory sheet and if you have trouble there's a demonstrator to point you in the right direction. Your performance in these contributes towards your end of year mark, but the majority of students score very highly in these, so there is no need to worry yourself.

At college:

Examples Papers

Every Wednesday you pick up a handful of problem sheets from CUED and work through these in your spare time. They're essentially all maths. They're supposed to last 8 hours each, but it varies. In a way, seeing that they are the brunt of your work, they're a testament to how theoretical the course is.

Supervisions

These are one of the best things about the course. You get several hours a week in pairs to go through problems you had with the examples papers (and you will have problems) with a supervisor. This could be a Ph.D. student or an expert in that topic. We are very lucky to have some supervisors who are world experts in their subjects and in supervisions, they deifnitely let that show.

Tripos Classes

Some colleges offer extra lessons to they're students to help prepare them for the end of year exams or Tripos.

What you may need

Textbooks

There aren't any really, but some people like to use the following
Kreyszig - ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATHEMATICS, 9th Edition
Riley, Hobson, Bence - MATHEMATICAL METHODS FOR PHYSICS AND ENGINEERING, 3rd Edition
K.A.Stroud - ENGINEERING MATHEMATICS, 6th Edition
K.A.Stroud - ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATHEMATICS, 6th Edition

Calculator

This will become your best friend after the CUED data-books. You can get one at the department, or if you're savvy you can get yourself a better one off Amazon. It has to be a certain model, the best is the CASIO 991 ES-PLUS. It can do most of those A-Level nuisances, like solving cubics, inverting 3x3 matrices, complex number manipulation etc...