PrattWiki:About

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This wiki is specifically devoted to asking and answering questions Pratt students may have about computational methods, MATLAB, LaTeX, and other software or hardware tools typically used in engineering classes.

History

Michael Gustafson started this wiki during the Summer of 2008, basically as an offshoot of the Duke University Wiki - or Duiki - that was initiated by Andrew Tutt during the Summer of 2006. In fact, most of the initial pages on this site were first written on Duiki and transported over. The main reasons for having this wiki as separate from Duiki are:

  • This kind of information should be "paid for" by the University or its employees, not by a student, and is currently fully funded by Michael Gustafson;
  • This site has a narrower focus - items of interest to Pratt students with respect to their classes, research, etc. but not general items such as dorms, restaurants, and such; and
  • This site should primarily contain objective information.

Acknowledgments

First, to the aforementioned Andrew Tutt for starting Duiki, which was the genesis of this web site. He put a lot of work into creating a site that can host both objective and subjective information that will make a Duke student's career here much more informed.

Second, to William "Corky" Safley, senior systems programmer with the Pratt Office of Communications, for help in getting the initial version of this site off the ground using DokuWiki, for investigating how to get MediaWiki to run on the Pratt servers, and for providing the pointer from pundit.pratt.duke.edu to dukeegr93.com.

Next, to the TAs who've worked on the lab manuals for the past several years, for getting all that information together and into a form that has proven so useful during that time. For some classes, the undergraduate TAs really do form the backbone of the educational experience and I have been fortunate enough to get to know quite a few - thanks to you all.

Finally, to the administrators that made it possible for things like this to by my job - Deans Kristina Johnson and Rob Clark; Senior Associate Dean for Education Tod Laursen; and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Chairs April Brown, Hisham Massoud, and Leslie Collins.

Policies

With respect to the latter, that means critiques of classes, faculty members, or other students will not be hosted here. Individuals are certainly welcome to put their own information in their own user pages but are kindly asked not to post such information in mainspace pages and not to post information about other people... More policies to be added as time goes on.

Disclaimers

The following disclaimers are either directly copied from or paraphrased from the Wikipedia General Disclaimers. The contents of the box below were first directly copied from that site, then adjusted as needed to refer to this site.

Re-tooled Wikipedia Disclaimer Used By This Site

This wiki is an online open-content collaborative project, that is, a voluntary association of individuals and groups working to develop a common resource of human knowledge. The structure of the project allows anyone with an Internet connection and a validated e-mail address to alter its content. Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information.

That is not to say that you will not find valuable and accurate information here. However, we cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. The content of any given article may recently have been changed, vandalized or altered by someone whose opinion does not correspond with the state of knowledge in the relevant fields.

No formal peer review

This site is not uniformly peer reviewed; while readers may correct errors, they have no legal duty to do so and thus all information read here is without any implied warranty of fitness for any purpose or use whatsoever. Even articles that have been vetted by informal peer review may later have been edited inappropriately, just before you view them.

None of the contributors, sponsors, administrators, or anyone else connected with this project in any way whatsoever can be responsible for the appearance of any inaccurate or libelous information or for your use of the information contained in or linked from these web pages.

No contract; limited license

Please make sure that you understand that the information provided here is being provided freely, and that no kind of agreement or contract is created between you and the owners or users of this site, the owners of the servers upon which it is housed, the individual contributors, any project administrators, sysops or anyone else who is in any way connected with this project subject to your claims against them directly. You are being granted a limited license to copy anything from this site; it does not create or imply any contractual or extracontractual liability on the part of this site or any of its agents, members, organizers or other users.

There is no agreement or understanding between you and this site regarding your use or modification of this information beyond the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL); neither is anyone at this site responsible should someone change, edit, modify or remove any information that you may post on it.

Trademarks

Any of the trademarks, service marks, collective marks, design rights or similar rights that are mentioned, used or cited in the articles of the site are the property of their respective owners. Their use here does not imply that you may use them for any other purpose other than for the same or a similar informational use as contemplated by the original authors of these articles under the GFDL licensing scheme. Unless otherwise stated this site is neither endorsed nor affiliated with any of the holders of any such rights and as such those associated with this site cannot grant any rights to use any otherwise protected materials. Your use of any such or similar incorporeal property is at your own risk.

Jurisdiction and legality of content

Publication of information found here may be in violation of the laws of the country or jurisdiction from where you are viewing this information. The Pratt Wiki database is stored on a server in the State of Utah (at [BlueHost.com]) in the United States of America, and is maintained in reference to the protections afforded under local and federal law. Laws in your country or jurisdiction may not protect or allow the same kinds of speech or distribution. We do not encourage the violation of any laws; and cannot be responsible for any violations of such laws, should you link to this domain or use, reproduce, or republish the information contained herein.