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大学英语精读 ---- Book I. Unit Six. Unit Six. I. Background Information II. Pre-reading questions Ⅲ. Words & Phrases IV. Language points V. Text Structure and Analysis. Background Information. 1. What is industrial engineering?
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大学英语精读---- Book I Unit Six
Unit Six • I. Background Information • II. Pre-reading questions • Ⅲ. Words & Phrases • IV. Language points • V. Text Structure and Analysis
Background Information • 1. What is industrial engineering? • Industrial engineering is the detailed analysis of the use • and cost of men, materials and equipment in organization, • with a view to increasing its productivity, profit and • efficiency. Those who are involved in this kind of analysi • are called industrial engineers.
Originally the analytical techniques of industrial Engineering were used mainly in manufacturing industries to improve production methods, establish production control procedures, determine work standards, and develop wage payment plans. Gradually, the use of industrial engineering techniques has been extended to non-manufacturing areas such as construction and transportation industries, farm management, and restaurant and hotel operations. Although the field of industrial engineering has continued to grow, its primary application still is in the manufacturing industries.
2. What does an industrial engineer do? Engineers in the proper sense of the word can be classified into many types, such as construction engineer, production engineer, design engineer and industrial engineer. An engineer may work in any one or a variety of these jobs for a career. As for an industrial engineer, his duties are primarily to coordinate personnel, materials and machinery and determine the most productive and efficient use of each. He helps plan the production line, designs or adapts details essential to the manufacturing of a product.
In the text, Sam Adams, after graduation from college with a degree in industrial engineering, works in the capacity of a consultant, who offers advice on the overall efficiency of production throughout each phase of the manufacturing process.
3. A word about the American educational system In the United States, education is the responsibility of individual states, not of the federal government, so requirements may vary from one state to another.
The following is a generalization: Kindergarten Grade 0 5 years old Elementary school Grades 1-6 6-11 years old Junior high Grades 7-8 12-13 years old or middle school (Senior) high school Grades 9 - 12 14- 17 years old College (four years for a B.A. or B.S. degree) University (2-3 years for an M.A. or M.S.; 2-8 years for a Ph.D.)
4. Background music Background music is music which is played quietly yet audibly. Such music is soothing with a relaxed rhythm and is often played with a reduced volume. It permits a person to continue shopping, working or talking without being distracted. Muzak / mu:'zaek / is the name of one of the earliest companies to produce this type of music. They sold or rented tapes which factories and other businesses played for the benefit of their employees or customers.
Occasionally background music is generally referred to as Muzak. Some peoplecriticize the use of background music, claiming that it numbs a person's brain and turns him into a robot-like worker. However, for many Americans who are accustomed to background music, it has almost become part of their life.
5. related information Judging from what is described in the text, the story must have taken place in the early 1950s. The US came out of World War 11 as a "winner", with its industrial capacity intact. As a matter of fact, its industrial manufacturing potential was tapped to the full during the war with an efficiency unknown before. After the war the idea that efficiency in operation was the key to profits and success continued within industrial management. Small factories would occasionally hire a consultant on a temporary basis in the conviction that an industrial engineer or an efficiency expert could make them operate more efficiently.
Pre-reading questions • What is the main idea for the first 4 paragraphs? • What is the main idea for the paragraphs 5&6? • What is the main idea for the paragraphs 7-10? • What is the main idea for the remaining paragraphs?
Words and Phrases 1. neat: (1) tidy Examples: Mrs. Frank keeps a neat house. A neat scientist always puts his equipment back into place. Premier Zhou Enlai was neat about his appearance. (2) cleverly said or done Examples: The Foreign Ministry spokesman gave the reporter a neat answer. You have done a neat job. Congratulations!
2. efficiency: the ability to do sth. well Examples: She booked plane tickets for us with great efficiency. Father increases efficiency by shaving with two razors at the same time. Man's biological clock decides at which hours he can work at peak efficiency.
3. expert: (n.) a person with special training in a certain field Examples: Prof. Smith is regarded as America's expert on Asian economy. Nie Weiping is expert at chess. (a.) skillful Examples: Nie Weiping is expert at/in playing chess. This handbag was made by expert hands.
4. quality: (1) hign degree of goodness Examples: Where is your manager? I want to complain of the poor quality of your service. It is quality, not quantity, that is important. All the products in this factory are produced according to international quality standards.
(2) special characteristic of sth. or sb. Examples: One quality of this kitchen knife is that it can also be used to scale fish. The Chinese people are praised for their qualities such as bravery and diligence.
5. basis: foundation Examples: The two countries established diplomatic relations on the basis of equality and mutual benefits. On the basis of students' score in this exam, we can tell that the exam is too difficult.
6. look around: look right and left; examine one's surroundings; consider the situation, circumstances, etc. before making up one's mind Examples: "Can I held you? Is there anything you particularly want?" No, thank you. I am just looking around. "Have you got a job yet?" "No, I'd like to look around a bit before committing myself."
7. be amazed at (or by): be greatly surprised (often pleasantly) at (or: by) Examples: The teacher was amazed at her rapid progress in studies. The children were all amazed at the feats of Superman.
8. whatsoever: (more emphatic than whatever, usually used in negative construction) at all Examples: He will come for the meeting. Nothing whatsoever can prevent us from carrying out this plan.
9. inspect: (1) examine Examples: The policeman stopped his car and demanded to inspect his driver's license. Her job is to inspect the service quality of all KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) chainstores in Shanghai. (2) visit officially Example: The troops are ready for the visiting President to inspect.
10. miss: (1) (usually in a continuous tense) lack Examples: Our team is missing a guard. my wallet is missing.
(2) fail to see, hit, hold, catch, reach, etc. Examples: He fired but missed the target. Ms. Wang missed her father in the crowded railway station. Hurry up, or you will miss the bus. It is a pity that we missed the first part of the performance.
(3) realize and feel sorry about the absence of Examples: Janet missed home a lot when she was studying in France. All of us miss you. Come back as soon as you can.
11. except for: apart from; with the exception of Examples: The room was bare except for a few chairs. Except for its high cost, this type of machine would be very suitable. The house is in perfect condition, except for a few scratches on one of the doors. Note: Compare the usage of the word "except": Everybody understood except me. I couldn't do anything except just sit there and hope. We can accept all your suggestions except (for) the last one.
12. relieve: (1) make less or easier Examples: Aspirin usually relieves a person's headache/ a person of headache. Washing machines and microwave ovens relieve the work of housewives. We are relieved to hear that he returned safe and sound.
(2) give help to those in need Examples: A special fund has been set up to relieve the war refugees. Keep fighting for an hour or two. More soldiers will be sent to relieve you.
13. boring: uninteresting and tiresome Examples: The lecture was so boring that half of the students fell asleep. Fed up with her boring job, Mary is trying to find a new one.
14. dull: uninteresting and tiresome (1) not bright nor clear It is fashion for young girls to be dressed in dull colors. The candle give out a dull light. (2) uninteresting Examples: a dull lecture / book / film / play / party / speaker
(3) not sharp Examples: a dull knife / pain / blade / axe (4) slow in understanding Examples: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Her mind is dull after years' of suffering.
15. go (or: be) on strike: begin (or: be engaged in) a trike Examples: Most of the workers voted to go on strike. The students are out on strike.
16. flow: (n.) smooth movement Examples: I picked up the phone and was amazed at a flow of angry words from the other end. Workers on the assembly line have signed their names in the flow chart. If there is any mistake, you can easily find out who made it. The spring has a daily water flow of 50 tons.
(vi.) (1) move smoothly Examples: Tears flowed down the champion's face when she watched the rising national flag. Little traffic flows around the school. (2) hang loosely Examples: The flag flows in the breeze. She stood on the plank and let her hair flow.
17. absent-minded: so concerned with one's thoughts as not to notice what is happening, what one is doing, etc. Examples: The absent-minded Ampere threw his watch instead of the stone into the river. Because you were absent-minded, you made more mistakes than others.
Note: The word "minded" means "disposed or inclined". It is often used together with an adjective, adverb or noun to form a compound adjective. Examples: tough-minded / narrow-minded / lazy-minded academically-minded / mechanically-minded tradition-minded / business-minded / career-minded
18. assembly: (1) putting things together to form a whole piece Examples: It takes a huge hall to finish the assembly of an airplane. Ford moves a number of assembly plants overseas to save labor cost. (2) getting people together Examples: They held an assembly outside the White House to ask for more relief funds.
19. recognize: know from past experience or knowledge Examples : I could hardly recognize my hometown; it had changed so much. I recognized the girl as (or: to be) my friend's daughter. She recognized at once that it was Mrs. Smith's voice on the phone.
20. hold up: (often used in the passive) delay; obstruct Examples: The liner was held up by a thick fog. Ships were held up by the strike at the port city. The building of the road has been held up by bad weather.
21. fire: (1) dismiss sb. from his or her job Examples: Sam was fired for inefficiency. A company can't fire or hire anyone at its will. (2) discharge a gun; shoot Examples: The soldiers fired a 21-gun salute. Policemen fired rubber bullets to disperse crowds.
22. findings: (1) (usu. pl) the result of any research or injury Examples: Unlike most researchers, Prof. King keeps his findings to himself. The investigation committee published its findings in Washington Post.
(2) discovery or a thing that is discovered Examples: Beauty in daily life needs finding. The police is to present findings on the crime spot to the court this afternoon.
23. cover: deal with; report the details of Examples: This book does not fully cover the subject. I don't think I can cover all the questions in my talk.
24. major: (a.) greater or more important Examples: The major part of her life was spent in China. Major roads to the Capital were destroyed by the flood. Heart surgery is a major operation. All major figures in the banking circle are present today.
(n.) specialty or a student specializing in a certain field of study Examples: What is your major at college? Accounting. Timothy is an accounting major at college. (v.) specialize in Example: Timothy majors in accounting at college.
25. achieve: (1) get by effort Examples: It's impossible to achieve fame / success / distinction without efforts. She finally achieved her purpose / aim / goal and left satisfied. The candidate achieves support mainly from the young.
(2) get sth. done Examples: An idler never achieves anything. At the end of each year, we'll look back and see how much we have achieved.
26. decrease: (v.) (cause to) to become less Examples: I want to sell this house before its value decreases. The number of serious books published every year is decreasing. The Government tries really hard to decrease inflation.
(n.) decreasing Examples: There is a decrease in crime rate. The decrease of his importance can be seen by the decreasing number of reporters following him.
27. management: (1) all those concerned in running an industry, business, company, etc. Examples: It is time for labor and management to sit down and talk. Decisions are made by the management.