It has been called one of the most nerve-wrecking courses at USC. Mostly by other AME students, but hey, what’s to be expected when your midterms are upgraded to “terror-quizzes”? Hype aside, Mechoptronics is very quickly becoming one of my favorite classes I’ve taken thus far at USC.
As a 300 level AME course, Mechop delves into the heartier subjects of research, and technical report writing in engineering. The lecture is a short hour filled with information that applies to the lab of the week. For instance, last week we reviewed circuits – Ohm’s Law, Kirchoff’s laws – and we then used our knowledge to calculate predicted values and compare them with the measured values we took from the circuits we built in lab. Why was this awesome? In many labs you are simply asked to follow the guidelines, and ask the TA’s when you get stuck. Here we had to apply our working knowledge of the system to solve problems we encountered. Of course we have helpful TA’s, but they’re mostly there to ensure you’re staying on the right track and that you fix any glaring errors in your experiment.
It’s really cool going from theory to experimentation. Thanks to Mechop’s structure we get a fantastic understanding of how all of the measuring instruments work. Moreover, Mechop has taught me the importance of the verbiage we use in our writing. For instance, in engineering, there is a huge difference between an accurate measurement and a precise one. As Archer might say, “phrasing” is very important.
Mechoptronics sounds a little intimidating at first, but overall it’s proving to be one of the most interesting classes I’ve taken at USC so far.Meet Ian