Four finals, three projects, two presentations, and one massive sleep deficit later: the fall 2018 semester is finally over. I’m sitting at the Ontario airport waiting to board my flight home and looking forward to the restful month ahead of me.
Although sophomore fall is reputably the most challenging, it’s been the one I’ve enjoyed the most so far. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights:
I arrived early to Mudd to lead an Orientation Adventure with my good friend John (check us out under Chasing Waterfalls!). We hiked to Sturtevant Falls, did a workshop at the Hive, adventured in the village, and completed a ropes course…. well sorta.
It must have been at least two hours before our session at the course was over when our group’s collective focus shifted. In classic Mudd fashion, we became deeply invested in playing mind teaser games instead of climbing the ropes (ie. Green Glass Door, the Stick Dance, Black Magic). Our course leader got a kick out of it and had more than a few tricks up his sleeve. I’m sure it wasn’t the average day at work for him, but I hope he had as much fun as we did.
It was a great experience getting to know and welcome some of our newest Mudders on campus. Just a couple of weekends ago John and I grabbed dinner with most of our OA frosh at a restaurant we visited during our trip. Our faculty member, Prof Van Vleet, was even able to join us! It was awesome to catch up with them and hear about how their first semesters at Mudd are going. And the Thai food, that was also awesome.
Friends + Sunsets!
Coming to campus for orientation as a freshman is exciting for many reasons, but returning to campus every subsequent year is exciting because it means reunions with friends who live in other nooks of the country. I was definitely excited to reunite with my friends and we spent one of our first evenings back together atop a nearby mountain that has great sunset views to offer. It was the first Baldy trip of many this semester.
And then of course, there was school… Here’s a screenshot of my weekly class calendar for this semester. I took care of Math 60 and 65 during summer math and so my only core courses were Electromagnetic Theory and Optics (AKA E&M or physics 51), Intro to Systems Engineering (AKA E79 or baby STEMs), and practicum for E79. Due to scheduling restrictions, I have one more core requirement to complete next semester, physics lab.
This semester I took my first 80: E86 or Materials Engineering (80 = slang for engineering core courses at Mudd). I also chose to take CS60 or Principles of Computer Science at Mudd and a humanities course at Pomona, Social and Political Movements. This summed up to 15 units, which is about average for a semester at Mudd.
I participated in my first hackathon in September with friends Trevor and John. We traveled to MIT for the weekend, learned a lot, and slept little.
I also participated in the 5C hackathon hosted at Pomona in November with friends Danny, Kaleb, and Sam. I am proud to say that was the only time I have gone to sleep past 7am (SLEEP=IMPORTANT).
Living so close to LA has a lot of perks, but by far my favorite is the number of artists that come to perform within an hour of driving distance from Mudd. I took full advantage of the concert selection this semester and had an epic time.
Aside from many concerts here and there, this halloweekend I attended the Escape Psycho Circus music festival held in San Bernadino, a mere 30 minute drive from Mudd (without traffic of course). The list of artists we were able to see is too long to include but among my favorites were W&W, A-Trak b2b YehMe2, Alan Walker, and Snakehips.
Other artists we saw in concert this semester include Kasbo, San Holo, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Louis the Child, Manilla Killa, Hotel Garuga, DeVault, Taska Black, Slow Magic, and more.
Over the summer I declared my major as engineering and came into the school year ready to live it up.
In September I attended a talk at Loyola Marymount University given by the president of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell. I went with a group of SWE members from Mudd and had the privilege of meeting the president of the Society of Women Engineers at the event.
In October I attended the Society of Women Engineers Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota (read about my experience here). I bonded with a lot of awesome Mudders and even scored an internship for the upcoming summer.
Recently I went with a group of students from Mudd’s Amatuer Rocketry Club (MARC) on a tour of SpaceX in Hawthorne, CA. My group of 4 Mudders was led by 2 alums who work at SpaceX now. They both graduated in the class of 2013 and were apart of MARC when they were students.
It’s safe to say that my path towards becoming an engineer has been lit with friendly faces of people who have embarked on the journey before me. My education at Mudd has been complemented by many unique and exciting opportunities to immerse myself in the STEM field beyond the classroom.
Here’s some photos of miscellaneous adventures from this semester. It’s been a wild ride and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m glad to be recharging over the break and know I’ll be excited to come back when the time approaches. Happy Holidays!