Abby Frankart, Senior, Mechanical Engineering
Athens, OH 29 February 2012 – This past weekend I traveled to Newark, Ohio with several other senior engineering students to participate in STEMFest. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. STEMFest is a series of competitive events in which middle and high school students compete. I participated by judging for the airfoil competition.
The competition was sponsored by Boeing and Goodrich. They made a wind tunnel with speeds ranging from 10 to 15 mph. The competition was based on the performance of the airfoil (greatest lift/drag ratio) and presentation skills. Each competitor had a PowerPoint presentation of their design process and anticipated results.
It was a really great experience to talk with these students and watch their design process. Other competitions included a water filtration competition and a toothpick bridge competition. All of the students really impressed me with their designs.
Bradley Lang, Senior, Engineering Technology and Management
Athens, OH 29 February 2012 – It is two weeks before finals and the most important part about engineering is time management. All the time the last couple of weeks before finals the teacher gives everybody a final project that ties everything that was learned over the quarter and puts it all together to see if you have learned anything. In my classes I have two huge projects that I am currently working on. One is dimensional metrology using all of the calculations that we have learned over the quarter. In another class my group is putting together a prototype of our nightstand that we have designed in my senior design class. We are checking our design concepts to see if this product is actually able to make in production run. So we are actually having to look forward into the future and try to predict what will make our production run smoother and achievable next quarter.
David Parisi, Senior, Electrical Engineering
Athens, OH 27 February 2012 – Video games and engineering seem to go hand in hand, however the engineering workload can be very time consuming. Last week I had three midterms and the week before I had another one. All of the studying can take away from playing time intensive video games such as Skyrim. I was forced to set down my controller and take some time to study. It was worth it because I have done well on the ones that I’ve gotten back. I have rewarded myself already with a few hours of Skyrim and almost making it to level 70.
Even though engineering can be a difficult major, many of the engineers that I know make time to play a good amount of video games, ranging from first person shooters (Call of Duty and Battlefield 3) to MMORPGs. First person shooters usually win out because they do not take as much time to play as other video games do. I have always been more of a fan of any kind of RPG and still do my best to keep playing them in the few weeks of school that have a lighter workload. Being an engineer doesn’t mean that you have to stop playing video games, you just need to improve your time management skills.
Wish me luck on hitting the level cap.
Leesha Blake, Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Athens, OH 27 February 2012 – The end of the quarter is getting closer, so now things are getting into crunch time in engineering. I’m going to have a busy two weeks, but I’m hoping to have some fun as well. I have a few reports to finish up for various classes, like unit operations and design. Luckily, a couple of my reports should be fairly easy to write.
One of the reports that I will be writing is actually pretty interesting. In my unit operations class, we perform 4 different experiments, and use the data that we collect to develop relationships and equations that define the systems that we worked with. Then, for the final report for the class, each person in a unit ops group focuses on a different lab that was done during the quarter and uses the equations and relationships that were developed to design an industrial size system. This sounds pretty intimidating at first, and I’ll admit it can get frustrating at times, but overall it’s actually pretty fun because at the end you have this system that you designed yourself. It really gives a sense of accomplishment to look at what you were able to design by bringing together what you have learned in various engineering classes. The professors are also very helpful if you run into problems while you are trying to design your system. They want you to succeed, so they do everything they can to help you understand your system and find the best way to design it (short of writing the report for you anyway).
Senior, Computer Science
Athens, OH 26 February 2012 – It seems to me that the further I get into earning my degree, the more awesome the lessons get and, particularly, the more awesome the projects get. We started out with simple input/output projects, with simple calculations: a calculator, a “find your magic number!” quiz, etc. We moved on to code which was more difficult to write but was still composed of simple conceptions: a two player checkers game, a snow plowing simulation, a really basic GUI (graphical user interface – an interface that allows a user to interact with buttons instead of just text), a simple string parser (our parsers separated sentences into words, and then generated a grammar from those words). The code was difficult, but the ideas were easy to visualize.
Recently, though, my programs have become both conceptually deep and difficult to code…as well as really, really awesome. Most recently, we were assigned to create our own command shell. (If you don’t know that a command shell is, think Jurassic Park. A shell provides a command line interface with the computer, and a user uses an input to give commands to the computer, including running programs and manipulating files.) This is particularly cool, because we’ve spent our entire times here using the shell to run our programs…and now we were writing a program to create a shell, and then running that shell inside of another shell!
Anyway, this may not sound as awesome to you as it is to me, but believe me—the stuff we do as computer science upperclassmen is awesome.