Winter quarter is almost done, but it does not seem like winter here in California, because the sun continues to shine, and the farmers (including my older son) continue to become depressed. Perhaps it will never rain again and we will return to desert, where we began before building our immense snow-dependent water system.
The course good Products Bad Products is also almost done. The Course outline for this year is here. But since I discussed the course in previous posts, I won’t go into detail again. If you go to the Categories section on the left of the blog below the Recommended books section, and click on "ME 314 Stanford course 2013, you will get some of it. But the web-site for the students “choose a good product and a bad one” assignments is no longer accessible from outside Stanford. Ashish Goel, who was one of the highly competent Teaching Assistants last year, and was in charge of all things having to do with the internet, was kind enough to put it back on an publicly accessible web site. The URL is here. If you would like to look at some of the student choices and short discussions, open the URL and have a good time. If you click on the title of the entries, photographs will appear as well as the complete short description by the student choosing the the products as an example of good or bad.
The course ends with amazingly well designed media-rich presentations of good products and bad ones based on each of the chapter areas of my books. Stanford students are good at media, and Dave Beach pushes it in the course, as you can see from the outline.
I wrote the book because the issue of product quality is extremely complex, subject to personal tastes and judgements, and in general difficult to define in a sound byte. But by spending effort judging products and arguing about them, it is possible to become much more sophisticated when dealing with the topic. Try it.