Welcome back to SP2016!

Second semester sophomores have Mudd life a little different from their first three semesters here. While we initially take a majority of required core classes with the rest of our year, second semester sophomores switch gears to take a set of courses almost exclusive to their majors and HSA (Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts) concentrations.

All engineers take E80 Experimental Engineering, a course that mandates three hours of lecture and six hours of lab every week, and a couple of the E80 series’ courses which range from E82 Thermal and Chemical Processes, E83 Continuum Mechanics, and E85 Digital Electronics and Computer Engineering, among others. Computer science majors often take CS70 Data Structures and Program Development, while computer science-math majors might bring some variation to their schedules with Math55 Discrete Math, and CS105 Computer Systems. Physics majors often take Quantum Physics and Modern Lab.

This semester, I’m taking the required engineering courses in addition to two HSAs: Introduction to Philosophy at Scripps and Worlds of Buddhism at Pomona. I am really excited for both of them! They seem intriguing and it’s a refreshing change to learn something non STEM related off campus. Taking a combination of technical classes and HSAs always reminds me of why I chose to come to Mudd; I love being able to explore my other interests, and having classes across all 5Cs to choose from makes the class selection process more exciting and fulfilling.

Many of my friends are taking HSAs with me or other technical electives. Anji, for example is taking Manufacturing, E182: “The class interests me because it uses our experience in E4 [Introduction Engineering Design and Manufacturing] to understand how we can make products in volume, at low cost and efficiently.

Richard and Emily are taking Epistemology, the study of knowledge, at Pomona, and enjoy pointing out how guessing what time it is, among other statements I make, “is not true knowledge because knowledge requires some kind of physical, empirical basis.”

Some sophomores are completing their 1 credit core lab requirements with exciting classes offered only this semester. This includes Sleep Deprivation Lab, where a group of students evaluate the psychological and physical effects of fellow sleep deprived students: “A perfect class for a Mudder as sleep deprivation is something we boastfully talk about with others.” Preethi describes Cooking Lab with the chemistry department as “preparing and eating delicious snacks like guacamole and salsa in teams.

It’s nice to get into more technical depth with our major classes, but also get a broader feel for the humanities, social sciences, and arts classes we’re in. This spring semester is going to be different, but just as exciting!