Diving Headfirst into Engineering

Michelle Michelle 0 Comments

One of the things I love most about USC Viterbi is how as a freshman, I was able to have hands-on experience in my courses. I took courses that allowed me to see the real-life applications of electrical engineering. I built projects and wrote programs to make those projects actually work and serve a purpose! Studying engineering at USC Viterbi is interactive from the beginning, and it only gets more interesting from here!

This semester, I am taking a course called EE109: Introduction to Embedded Systems. While some may think that an introductory course in engineering probably just involves a professor lecturing about concepts that we will be able to apply later in our engineering careers, the reality was that we dove headfirst into building projects and writing programs! Looking back, I realized that I have created some really cool projects that I never thought I could accomplished ever, much less in my freshman year of college! Only a few weeks into the course, and I had written a program for a stopwatch! Check out a video of my stopwatch below!

As I press the first button, the stopwatch starts. If I press it again, it stops. I also have a “Lap” button that pauses the display, but the time keeps running, so that when I start the watch again, the time continues as though I had never stopped. When I press the button below the start button, the stopwatch resets. Pretty cool, huh?

For the final project, we were to build a thermostat. This final project was a culmination of all the concepts we had learned and practiced throughout the semester. It was definitely a new experience, as we were given a short packet and we were told to design a thermostat. The instructions weren’t very strict, so we were given a lot of space to create our own designs for our circuit, which was definitely a new experience for me. It was definitely a challenge, but there’s a reason engineering is known as being a hard major. But, as hard as it is, by far the best moment of my week was when I finally got my project to work after hours of working on it! Those moments of satisfaction combined with elation are the moments I live for as an engineer!


As you can see from the picture above, the current temperature in my dorm room as I’m writing this post is 77 degrees Fahrenheit! Looking at the circuit I built and the code I wrote (over 400 lines), I can’t believe that I have learned so much in only one year here at Viterbi. It’s incredible how I have been exposed to so many new experiences and challenges already, and I cannot wait to see what EE has in store for me!

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