Rated 5 out of 5 by wxman An Exceptional Course!!!
The universal acclaim this course has received says it all. Those accolades are well-deserved for this is a truly outstanding course.
The presentation is excellent. Professor Ressler moves about the stage during his delivery but the camera follows him well. He is animated and enthusiastic. His voice is clear and his style concise. His love for structural engineering is obvious. He reduces structural complexity into basics, explains them, and then uses them to reconstruct the original complex structure. It is a structural engineering course for the lay person.
As many others have pointed out, it is the models that set this course apart. Structural design all boils down to mathematics and physics…and a structural engineering course would be loaded with both. The professor does briefly discuss the math and physics but then moves on to explain those principles visually. He could have relied solely on graphics but chose not to. Instead, he constructed working models to demonstrate those principles. Seeing is believing and those models make math an unnecessary prerequisite to the understanding of structure. A picture may be worth a thousand words but, in this course, a functioning model is worth a thousand pictures. Rest assured this course delivers on its promise. You will understand structure.
Those models Ressler constructed are works of craftsmanship and some are quite detailed. His preparation time for this course must have been huge.
Not only will you understand the engineering of the world’s greatest structures, but as a bonus, you will get a visual tour of them…buildings, bridges, and monuments. There’s history here also. You’ll learn how an ever-developing understanding of structural methods and material allowed for engineering advances from the Egyptian pyramids to the modern skyscraper.
Even if you feel you have no interest in the subject matter, I still recommend this course. The presentation and material are so good that they will likely create that interest. That is the skill of a master instructor and I believe Professor Ressler to be one. I would hope that he provides a fit for a future TGC course. I, myself, was interested in the subject matter beforehand and was doubly rewarded by being treated to one of the best courses TGC has ever produced.
December 7, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by NYNM WOW! One good course!
I am very impressed, starting with the first few minutes.
Although the course is about engineering, the prof actually starts with poetry! He reads Walt Whitman's poem on engineering. He reads from Vetruvius, references , discusses and shows models and photos of the Brooklyn Bridge, The SIstine Chapel, The CN tower in Toronto, the longest bridge in the world, in Japan, Scittish and Spanish bridges, Eiffel Tower and the White House. He presents the importance of Form Function and Structure.
Oh, and this is in the first 20 minutes!
Ressler has an excellent presentation style, very lively, enthusiastic, actually not "geeky." He seems experienced to speaking to "lay" audiences and is thereore quite accessible. Yet, this DVD would delight higher level science and engineering buffs. The way Ressler includes issues like history, culture, and the arts integrated with engineering is exciting.
However, he doesn't just show pretty stuctures, the lecturer has many tabletop models where he explains the working principles of engineering. You learn about properties of concrete, iron and steel, arch, suspension and cantilever bridges, accounting for wind, load, curvature, buckling and tension. He explains how columns, trusses, domes, arches, beams and and parabolas work and which are best for which function. Thus you learn mechanics as well as aesthetics. And there are extensive case studies, contextualization of history, materials and design. There is even a bit of math and science, for those so inclined. The course guidebook contains excellent photos, drawings, quizzes, and challenges.
You will learn so much, and be entertained. And you wil think. And you will notice engineering in the world around you in your daily life.
This is one of my favorites, and I have over 100 courses!!
May 27, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by WestWatcher Helps us know what we're looking at.
I have recommended this course to professionals in two fields, education and structural engineering.
Professor Ressler has gone around the world selecting structures unique in appearance, but with common structural elements as their base. His selection ranges from the pyramids of Egypt to modern towers in Malaysia and Dubai. For each of the example structures, he explains the engineering basis for the primary structure.
Making sure that everyone can understand the discussion, he begins by introducing the basic structural elements (columns, beams and arches) and stresses (compression, tension, and bending). The first few lessons in themselves are a respectable course in engineering mechanics, introduced in a beautiful intuitional manner that won't leave anyone behind.
I hesitated to take this course. My first university degree was in civil engineering, with an emphasis on structures, and I really wondered if I would get anything from the course. The worry was misplaced and, I have to admit with a bit of chagrin, a bit arrogant. First, my university background had introduced me the the mathematical rigor of the structural systems, but none of the beauty, and without a deep understanding of, or feeling for, the the integration of the subsystems. This course gives the student the ability to look past the facade (or see it as part of the structure) and into the loads the building is supporting.
I have recommended ths course to the architects I know, and would recommend it to a any professor teaching structures. Professor Ressler's models are things of beauty in their own right. They demonstrate the mechanics in a way that is obvious to the casual observer.
I recommend this course, not only as a tool for learning the mechanics, but as a tour of some beautiful and wonderful structures around the world, and those you see will be seen in a new light.
May 17, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by GDoc Best Course I have ever taken
If you want to understand structures, this is the course to take. Professor R takes you to beautiful structures, from antiquity to current times and helps you to understand how they were designed and constructed. The math and formulas used were elementary and very well explained and the models made understanding the structures intuitive.
this was a really fun and maximal education experience!
May 17, 2015