We are just finishing up the fourth week of school, and I can confidently say that summer has reached its end. I had a busy summer travelling around Europe, studying in Florence with Viterbi, and finally meeting my friends in Chicago to attend Lollapalooza. This was exhausting, challenging, and the most fun I could have ever had. While my whirlwind summer was the summer of a lifetime, I am glad to be back in the swing of things on campus.

This semester I am taking what I think is my most exciting course load yet: MASC 310 (Materials Behavior and Processing), AME 201 (statics), ITP 365 (Managing Data in C++), PHYS 162 (Advanced Principals of Physics II—AKA electricity and magnetism), EALC 150 (Global Chinese Cinema and Cultural Studies), and one unit of ASTE 491 (This is RPL!). I am definitely encountering some of the most challenging material I have learned in college so far. However, I am really looking forward to this semester because different classes are finally starting to converge. In high school and my first semester of my freshman year, my classes felt mainly independent from each other: in calculus class, I did calculus; in chemistry, I did chemistry. The material overlapped marginally. This year, all of my classes involve me applying what I learned previously. Now, in PHYS 162, I am fully applying my skills from Calc III, Calc II, and Calc I. In MASC 310, I am building upon what I learned in MASC 110. AME 201 builds on mechanics. ITP 365 expands my prior programming experience. Sometimes it can be a challenge to recall material from a while ago, but it’s a great way to keep skills current. I also love my schedule this semester because I love my professors, which always helps to keep classes engaging!

Besides classes, I am looking forward to a lot this semester. First, in my research lab, I am going to be working on some data analysis for speech patterns, in addition to doing some mechanical design work with CAD and 3D printing parts. I have also already done an illustration for a paper my lab is publishing, which is really fun for me as it keeps my art school skills up to date! Second, RPL is planning to launch our space shot vehicle, Traveler III, in just a few short weeks. This is truly a milestone in amateur rocketry and I am so excited to be a part of it. Finally, I am so happy to be back on campus and back with the Trojan community. I always look forward to spending time with my friends, and now that we are all back in one place, this can happen a lot more frequently!

Look out for future blog posts with more details on what I am up to this semester!

Audrey Roberts

Audrey Roberts

MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2021 HOMETOWN: Denver, Colorado PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @audrey.roberts On campus, I lead outreach for the USC Rocket Propulsion Laboratory, do materials research in the M.C. Gill Composites Center, and am the Academic Chair of my sorority.