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Research in Antarctica: My Journey to the End of the World

Hey everyone!

While it’s great being back at USC again, I still find myself reminiscing about my fantastic journey to the end of the world over winter break! While I briefly mentioned my trip to Antarctica in my blog from last week, I wanted to go a little more in depth about the research I was doing and some of my favorite moments from the trip!

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The Parthenon, atop the Acropolis in Athens

I Came, I Saw, I Conquered: Winter Break 2014

As I stepped off the airplane into the cold confines of John F. Kennedy International Airport, I received a text message from my father that would jumpstart my winter break. Without any warning, my father and mother had scheduled a family vacation to Greece! So, five days after landing in New York City, I was off again, this time to the rainy foothills of Athens and Mount Olympus. Continue reading

Snowmobiling

My Last Semester- Classes, Interning, and Fun!

Hi everyone!

I can’t believe I’ve already finished week 2 of my last semester of undergrad here at Viterbi! I can already tell that this semester is going to be the quickest to go by.  Continue reading

At deception island!

From Antarctica to Organic Chemistry: Back to Spring Semester

I’m so excited to be back at USC for the spring! It’s definitely nice to be back to the lovely warm Southern California weather, especially after a very cold winter break spent doing research in Antarctica.

I had the opportunity to travel to Antarctica for two weeks over winter break with a program called Students on Ice, which is based out of Canada along with 71 other high school and university students from around the United States and Canada. For the two weeks, we studied oceanography, tourism in Antarctica, and climate change, along with doing various landings on the Antarctic Peninsula and other islands like Elephant Island and Half Moon Island. It was certainly a once in a life time experience that taught me so much about a part of the world few people get to see.

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christmas1

One Last Semester of Yes, One Last Semester of Biomedical Engineering

Hey everyone! I hope you had a great break. I do have to admit that I was a little envious of winter breaks like Sam’s, where she went to India, or Sarah who went to Antarctica but I had a blast as well. I went back home to Boston for the break and had about three weeks at home. You have probably heard all about the “Polar Vortex” by now but it was COLD when I was home, and I was actually fine with at … well at least for a little bit.  Continue reading

Tea with USC President C. L. Max Nikias!

The Beginning of 2014 – Past, Present & Future

Hey guys!

Well, first of all: happy 2014! There’s something really refreshing to me about starting a new year. I like trying to imagine how my life will be different the next time I watch the ball drop. The last couple of years my predictions haven’t even been close, but I like it that way. College is just a great time for new places, new people, and new experiences.

Anyways, there is so much to write about that I’ve decided to organize this blog into three sections: 1) what’s been happening since I last blogged, 2) my classes this semester, and 3) a few upcoming things I’m really excited about.

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The bone section in front of the Bellagio!

Spring 2014: The arduous countdown to graduation!

I am so happy to be starting my last semester at USC. It seems as though my four years have gone by so fast and I cannot believe I will be graduating in four months. However, before I graduate, I gotta make it through my last semester at USC. And it is NOT an easy one. I am taking twenty units this semester, consisting of six classes. Thankfully, I got some great downtime during my winter recess in order to prepare myself for this tough upcoming semester.

Before I got home for winter break, I actually went to Las Vegas for the Royal Purple Vegas Bowl with the USC Trojan Marching Band. Unfortunately, my first two years at USC, the football team was banned from attending bowl games, and last year, I was not able to go. Therefore, I knew I had to go this year, and I cannot complain about getting a trip to Vegas! It was a really fun trip and I am so happy that we beat the fresno state bulldogs!!

After getting back from the trip, I drove home and immediately secured my place on the couch. I really enjoyed spending time with my family and decompressing from the past semester. Even though I spent a lot of time at home, I was able to get out for a couple fun trips. On New Years Day, I went skiing up at Alpine Meadows. The conditions were not the best, but at a big resort like Alpine, there is a lot of snowmaking, so it was still very enjoyable. It didn’t hurt that it was a beautiful day…

A couple days later, my dad, sister, and I headed down to San Francisco to go for a city hike. We have kind of made it a tradition to do a hike in San Francisco every year, and this year, we tried exploring some different neighborhoods we have not seen before. We drove over to West Portal and met with my dad’s cousin and his wife. We enjoyed walking over to Grand View Park. We then walked through the Sunset District, Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, and had lunch over at the marina. We then walked up Russian Hill, down Filbert Street, through North Beach, and down to the Embarcadero. In total, it was around 16 miles. What a great hike!

Even though I had a good break, I was somewhat eager to begin my last semester at USC. This semester, as I said above, is going to be pretty difficult. I am taking six classes, five of which are technical. CHE 446 is called Mass Transfer and it covers essentially what its name implies – mass transfer. The past two semesters, I have taken a class on fluid mechanics and heat transfer, so this is the last of three transfer classes. CHE 460 is called Chemical Process Dynamics and Control. This class essentially looks into industrial process systems and how to optimize and automate these processes. CHE 480 is called Chemical Process and Plant Design and it is my senior capstone class. In this class, I will work on my senior design project, which should be challenging, but hopefully very rewarding as well. CHEM 430b is a physical chemistry class focused on quantum mechanics. This class seems extremely challenging so far, but should be very interesting and applicable to my pursuits in nuclear fusion research. ANTH 315 is called North American Indians. This is my category II general education class and is focused on looking into modern native american culture and the impact other, outside societies have had on this culture. MATH 245 is called Mathematics of Physics and Engineering II. This class dives into partial differential equations. This class is not a part of the required chemical engineering curriculum. However, I am interested in attending graduate school for Nuclear Engineering and these programs want to see that I have a knowledge of partial differential equations. I am actually really enjoying this class so far. It’s been three years since I have taken a math class, but I think it will be a fun class.

I have a very busy semester ahead of me, but I am very excited to graduate in May and move on to the next chapter of my life!

 

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