engineering mathematics - "You can't push a rope"

"You can't push a rope" is a wisdom saying that some engineering teachers pass along to their students. Since I'm not an engineer, I can only guess at what they mean, but it sounds to me like code for a mathematical principle (but from control theory? numerical analysis? ergodic theory? dynamical systems? statistics?)1) I would appreciate having any mathematicians who work with engineers hazard a general framework for a rigorous formulation of what the engineers mean by this slogan.2) I would like to know of any deep theorems that (of the no-g...Read more

engineering mathematics - What Should be there in a Single Variable Calculus course for Engineers?

Thought a little background is required. The place I teach students learn Calculus in school, not the theory but only the computational aspect.I am trying to teach Calculus to first year Engineering students using Apostol but there is huge resistance from my own Department. The arguments range from Engineers don't need this, they won't understand theory and its useless for them, they should focus more on concepts and visualization (geometric intuition). I am feeling a bit defenseless and cornered as I never been part of discussions where people...Read more