Spending summer on campus

June 23, 2014, by Ji Su

Hey everyone,

I’m back! I just spent three weeks on holiday in Singapore with my family, and we made a big move out of Singapore back to our home country, Korea. It was a fun-filled and very humid three weeks, and I’m excited to be back on campus for the summer and am ready to work again.

I apologize for the unintentionally long hiatus from blogging, but am happy to report that I will be writing for the summer as a senior intern at the admissions office. My primary duties include leading tours and conducting interviews with prospective students. If you’re visiting this summer, maybe we’ll run into each other!

The view from my desk in the Admissions Office. That’s the Founding Classroom, and that’s where most of our info sessions will be held during the summer.
The view from my desk in the Admissions Office. That’s the Founding Classroom, and that’s where most of our info sessions will be held during the summer.
Here, you can see Jamilla ‘bossing around’ Risa and Sophia, fellow senior interns.
Here, you can see Jamilla ‘bossing around’ Risa and Sophia, fellow senior interns.

In addition to full-time work here, I will also be working on a paper with Professor Cha. Last semester I took his class on advanced structural dynamics (E278), in which the final project was carved out  from his current research interests. I worked with my partner, Anthony Chung ’14, to explore effects of design uncertainties or changes in the dynamic behavior of structures. Simply put, we analyzed how structures vibrate and how these natural frequencies are affected by seemingly small changes in a structure that may occur due to factors such as design changes or wear and tear.

After we submitted the project report, Professor Cha told us that the project could be turned into a paper by the end of the summer and if we wanted, we could submit it for publication in a referenced journal (!!!).

I was thrilled when I heard the news. For much of the past 3 years, I kind of, sort of, not really knew that I wanted to be a mechanical engineer, but I had absolutely no idea what specific area I wanted to work in. Taking structural dynamics with Professor Cha gave me confidence that working with the dynamics of buildings and bridges would ideally be my area of focus, and I know that I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct in-depth research already as an undergraduate.

Because the research will be rather theoretical, I will spend my evenings simulating different structural systems to supplement the work we have already completed during the school year. I’m pretty excited for this summer because it’s a combination of all the things that I’ve enjoyed over my years at Harvey Mudd – structural dynamics, MATLAB, and admissions work.

My summer room, which is a single in Sontag Hall. Sontag suites come with a kitchen! Also, note the huge monitor peeking out from behind my laptop. Ideal for multiple windows of MATLAB and LaTEX.
My summer room, which is a single in Sontag Hall. Sontag suites come with a kitchen! Also, note the huge monitor peeking out from behind my laptop. Ideal for multiple windows of MATLAB and LaTEX.

I’ve worked on campus during my freshman summer as well, and it was one of the most fun summers I’ve had because of all the free time I could spend with my Mudd friends. Because a lot of people are here on campus for the summer (25% of our entire student population = 200 students), it’s a great opportunity to make new friends as well as spend time with old friends that you didn’t have the chance to hang out with during the busy school year. During the summer, this means more off-campus excursions as well as on-campus relaxation time.

Sophia, Philip, and Michelle enjoying their Half & Half Boba teas! If you’re in SoCal, these are a must-have. No excuses.
Sophia, Philip, and Michelle enjoying their Half & Half Boba teas! If you’re in SoCal, these are a must-have. No excuses.

I hope to see you guys on campus if you’re visiting during the summer – I might even end up giving your tour or interviewing you! Also, please feel free to comment and let me know if there is anything specific you would like us senior interns to blog about in the coming weeks.

Thanks for reading, and as always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions at ji_su_lee@hmc.edu.

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