This semester I’m actually really excited about all of my classes! I have amazing professors and am starting to delve into my emphasis classes and get a feel for what nanotechnology really is! Despite this fact, my favorite class is hands down my materials science class, Nanostructured Materials: Design, Synthesis, and Processes.
This class is my favorite for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the content is fascinating. Nanotechnology is still a really new field, so instead of a textbook all of our readings come from current science magazines and scientific journal entries. This means we are learning about what is cutting edge and new in the field. Learning about how nanotechnology is made and also utilized is also super interesting.
Also after working in a lab for two years in the field of nanotechnology, it’s really interesting to take a class about it and understand the implications of what I was working on in a larger scope. In research you get really focused on one particular project, and this class has brought me back around to seeing the big picture of the field.
Third, my professor, Doctor Armani (watch our Meet the Faculty Video about her here!) is one of the best instructors I’ve had at USC. She has a ton of real world experience and knowledge in the field, and is a really interesting lecturer. The class is really small too, only about 15 students, so we really have a chance to ask questions and fully understand this field.
Finally, this class is awesome because it is lab based, and we get to utilize what we learn in the classroom and actually make all the nanomaterials we talk about. So far we have focused on gold nanospheres and nanorods as well as cadmium sulfide quantum dots. The TA’s for all of these labs are PhD students who are currently conducting research in these areas, and have a ton of experience to pass down to us. We get to use all sorts of nice lab equipment, and getting your hands dirty and performing the tasks versus just reading about these materials makes them so much more interesting. All of our labs also have a lab write up along with them, written in the style of a scientific journal. This has been a really great learning experience as well, and a valuable skill to practice.
I can’t wait to see what kinds of cool technologies and experiments we perform throughout the rest of the semester.