Day 5 – Brooklyn Bridge Field Trip

When: Tuesday, 9/13/11, 2:00 pm — 4:00 pm (NOTE: we will meet at 2:00, a few minutes BEFORE class starts, and will depart promptly at 2:15)

Where: We will meet in the Atrium Lounge in the basement near the Namm building at 2:00pm and leave as a group at 2:15.  We will walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to the end of the wood planks, and then return by the same route. We should be back at CityTech by 4:00 pm.

What if I’m late? If you are unavoidably delayed, you can catch up with us on the bridge!  You will find directions from CityTech to the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian path below.

What should I expect?
Click here for useful information about walking the Brooklyn Bridge. On the way to Manhattan, we will make 3 stops, at each of the main towers as well as in the center of the main span (i.e., the highest point of the bridge).

What should I bring? You must bring all of the following items with you:

  • Comfortable clothes and comfortable shoes.  We will be walking for almost two hours (if you’ve never walked over the bridge, it is longer than it looks – including the ramps, more than a mile in each direction!).
  • A bottle of water or something else to drink.
  • A camera (if your phone can take pictures that’s fine).
  • A stopwatch or other clock that displays seconds as well as minutes (if your phone can do this that is fine).
  • A copy of these instructions.

Directions from CityTech to the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian path.
The pedestrian path entrance is located just across the street from CityTech at the corner of Adams Street and Tillary Street.  Here are detailed directions:

  1. From the Namm building, go down to street level, exit onto Jay Street and turn left.
  2. At the corner, turn left on Tillary Street.
  3. Walk one block to the corner of Adams Street.  You will see the entrance across the intersection to your right, in the middle of Adams Street.

What is my mission?
First and foremost, enjoy the bridge!  When the Brooklyn Bridge was built, it was a big deal. According to wikipedia, “With a main span of 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m) [What do you think is meant by the “main span”?], it was the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening [in 1883] until 1903, and the first steel-wire suspension bridge.” Bridge designer Washington “Roebling designed a bridge and truss system that was six times as strong as he thought it needed to be.” After inferior steel cables were discovered, he lowered the estimate on its strength to four times as strong as needed. While digging underground as preparation for the towers, many workers died or were incapacitated from the bends or “caisson’s disease” s including Roebling himself. As a result, his wife Emily learned mathematics and engineering and completed the bridge. The PBS documentary by Ken Burns does a good job dramatizing these issues.

In addition, you have four specific goals during your trip.

  1. Determine how long it takes you to walk the City Tech block from Jay St to Adams St along Tillary St (go from the edge of the Namm building to the edge of the Pearl building).
    1. Use a stopwatch (or clock that shows seconds) to keep track of the time.  Record your time to the nearest second.
    2. Walk at a constant speed.  You don’t need to race — walk at a speed that is comfortable for you.  The important thing is to walk at the same speed the entire time, to the best of your abilities.
  2. Make a connection with someone from the other section. This semester you will be forming a group of 3-4 students and working to complete a project worth 20% of your grade. Your group must contain students from both sections (Professor Halleck’s and Professor Reitz’) — this means you will need find someone in the other section to work with.  You MUST have a group by Tuesday, 9/20/11 (one week from the field trip).  This is a great opportunity to make a connection!
  3. On the way to Manhattan:  take a picture of yourself. Look for something interesting to photograph — a view that you like, or a detail of the bridge that catches your attention, or something else.  Your picture MUST satisfy the following:
    1. It must be taken somewhere on our field trip.
    2. It must include the bridge, some part of the bridge, or something that can be seen from the bridge.
    3. YOU must appear in the picture.
  4. On the way back to Brooklyn: determine how long it takes you to walk across the wooden-planked portion of the bridge. We will be using this information to calculate the length of the bridge, so do your best to be precise. Keep in mind the following:
    1. Use a stopwatch (or clock that shows seconds) to keep track of the time.  Record your time to the nearest second.
    2. Walk at a constant speed.  You don’t need to race — walk at a speed that is comfortable for you.  The important thing is to walk at the same speed the entire time, to the best of your abilities.
    3. If you do stop to rest, carefully keep track of how long you are stopped (and subtract this from the total time).

What happens next?
Follow-up instructions for this trip are posted here, due about one week after the trip.



11 Responses to Day 5 – Brooklyn Bridge Field Trip

  1. Andrea Rosario says:

    Professor Reitz, Hi this is Andrea Rosario from your tue&Thur MAT 1175 class. I have been able to log in to Openlab and view notes and print DAY 5 field trip instructions but, I have not been able to join the group nor post a comment because I don’t see the “join the group” on the right side bar and I also don’t see where I go to post a comment. I did meet with Professor Halleck on Thursday to get help but, he was unable to help me because the site would continue to reject my city tech mail username and password. I would greatly appreciate if you would be able to give me a quick orientation of Openlab. I am sorry for the trouble but, I am not that computer savy but, hopefully by the end of this class you will help me get over my fear of computers just, as you helped me get over my fear of math. Thank you.

    • Jonas Reitz says:

      Hi Andrea, Thanks for your message, and I’m sorry for the trouble you’ve been having. I would be happy to sit down with you and do some work on the OpenLab — would it be possible for you to come by my office hours tomorrow (Tuesday 9/12), 12-2pm, room N707?

  2. aeagan92 says:

    Hey professor Reitz, this is Alex Eagan from Tuesdays and thursdays math 1175 class from 2:15pm to 3:55pm, just wanted to say i signed up to the site, and im ready for the trip on tuesday.

  3. Nahim Mishi says:

    Pro. Reitz

    I just wanted to say, this was my first time visiting the Brooklyn Bridge. The view is nice and so far the assignment was easy.

  4. Professor Halleck
    -Shakirah Greenidge T,TH 2:15-3:55
    I’m not even sure if this is only for Pro. Reitz class, sorry if I’m intruding. But the icebreaking activity and the picture taking was fun, even though we will eventually have to apply it to the group project. But I enjoyed my day.

  5. I enjoyed walking the Brooklyn bridge with both classes. The activity was fun and a chance to interact with new people.

  6. awiltshire says:

    Pro. Halleck
    It was fun to be outside of class, nice interacting with the other class, taking pics and enjoying the walk. It was good

  7. Prof. Reitz
    Rahshawn Barber

    The Brooklyn Bridge trip was a nice way to socialized with your soon to be parter for the project.

  8. Andrea Sukhu says:

    I think that the trip was fun, it was actually the first time ive walked the brooklyn bridge. It was a great idea having us complete the handout. It gave us a better chance in meeting with the other students from the other class.

  9. The brooklyn bridge trip was pretty cool even thought it was a little hot we got to socialize with the other class a little bit

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