Forbidden Things


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A list of tools, materials, behaviors and methodologies not used in the EDS.

Forbidden Things

The list below has evolved over many years of work with undergraduate students on course projects, research, and competitions. The EDS encourages ways of working that should not require any of these things.

  1. Duct Tape / Duck Tape
  2. Hot Glue
  3. Nails
  4. Super Glue
  5. Design Thinking
  6. Constructive Solid Geometry
  7. On-campus manufacturing
  8. Closed-source, expensive software
  9. Breadboards
  10. USB Sticks
  11. Producing Meaningless Proofs-of-concepts
  12. Not thinking hard enough about what to work on and why
  13. Showing up thinking you know everything
  14. Waiting until Capstone for your time to shine
  15. Thinking you can compete on price alone
  16. Valuing "correct" answers over "good" answers
  17. Leaving dirty dishes in a sink
  18. Pretending to wash a dish, without using soap, and putting that dish back into circulation
  19. Having Loud Conversations
  20. Having Loud Conversations in a language people around you don't understand
  21. Using the phrase "I don't know how to..."
  22. Bargaining to receive full or partial credit for objectively bad work
  23. Waiting to take a course before learning something
  24. Worshipping humans with the title "professor"
  25. Saying "I ran out of time" instead of "I didn't dedicate enough time"
  26. Searching in the ocean for a child lost in the woods
  27. Valuing academic research over industry research and development (in engineering)
  28. Trying to compete, head-to-head, with industry while in academia
  29. Thinking that semesters mean something to adults in the real world
  30. Thinking that summer vacation is a normal thing for adults in the real world
  31. Sprinting to be a unicorn with an glaringly obvious idea
  32. Tool Training Sessions / SOPs
  33. Getting paid to work in the EDS
  34. "Borrowing" tools from EDS
  35. Using COVID-era excuses and mindsets for not working hard enough
  36. Thinking a presentation or pitch deck is the hard work
  37. Weekly "check-in" meetings
  38. Claiming to be working with someone remotely (even just across campus)
  39. Blaming tools for your bad choices
  40. Being busy for the sake of being busy
  41. Mistaking a weekend project for a serious project just because you've let it baloon into a monster waste of time
  42. Virtual Reality, blockchain, crypto, metaverse, NFT, etc.
  43. Worshipping any one social media influencer
  44. Asking time-wasting questions because you're socially anxious about silence
  45. Thinking that the classroom is the source of knowledge
  46. Thinking that the value of a University Education is the courses taken
  47. Demanding that the leash stays on
  48. Commuting home between NYUAD and Dubai / Abu Dhabi on evenings / weekends
  49. Treating NYUAD like high school
  50. Chasing trends you've read about in the news
  51. Refusing to waste time on things you're passionate about