Here are my professors for spring!! They are as follows:

Top Left: Professor Stephen Lu who teaches Ipodia, a class joint with Peking University and the National Taiwan University about Global Innovation. So far I’ve been really enjoying the class because instead of just talking about how important innovation is to the industry and trusting us to come up with some brilliant product, the class talks about the real market trends and how they can be interpreted and expanded into the next big technology. The class is also largely discussion-based, and that is a completely different learning style that I find really engaging and effective.

Top Right: Professor Martha Townsend teaches WRIT340, the writing class for engineers. I just finished my first paper for that class today which was about programs for women in engineering and how they’ve helped (or not helped in some cases) promote equality. Professor Townsend used to be a lawyer in a small Vermont town, and I love hearing her put together words and sentences that just sound so dang good! This is one of the skills that I lack confidence in, and I believe this class will help me write faster and more clearly (let me know if you can tell the difference).

2nd row Left: Professor Joseph Kunc teaches Thermodynamics for Astronautical Engineers. This is my second semester in Thermo, and its so fun! We talk about politics, the history of rocket science, and of course, thermodynamics. Although the material is dry, Professor Kunc is great, engaging the class by pacing among us, gesturing wildly, giving crazy examples that usually involve grenades, and saying funny little German anecdotes.

2nd row Right: Dr. Grases conducts the University Concert Choir (check out one of our performances here I really enjoy being in choir, because its excellent way to wind down after hours of engineering classes and homework. The group of about 50 singers has music students, composing and conducting students, and then us oddballs from engineering, neuroscience, biology, or whatever. I’m really excited for some of our concerts coming up this semester including one of film music with the Golden Pops Orchestra. We’re doing scores from Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars!! I absolutely adore film music and always do my homework to the soundtracks of Inception, Batman, Transformers, etc. We also have our choir retreat coming up on Saturday, so its going to be a fun weekend!

3rd row Left: I just started taking voice lessons this semester, and this is my teacher, Sewan. She’s this beautiful Polish soprano who’s teaching me to really unleash the beast! She says “expand your ribs!” “loosen your jaw!” “sing your vowels like you’re yawning” and then smacks my tummy to make sure it is tight! I’ll be a bonafide Prima Donna before too long!

3rd row Right: Professor Staelens teaches “Computer-Aided Design for something….” where we learn how to make Solidworks and SolidEdge drawings. I’m finding this class especially useful, because my experience at Boeing this summer showed me how often engineers refer to drawings like this, and I’d had no experience with these programs. They are pretty easy to use, but there are so many functions that its very helpful to have someone walk me through everything that I can do with the program. This week I am drawing some interesting looking brackets, wish me luck!

Bottom: This is a repeat picture for a continuing class from last semester. Professor Spedding and Radovich teach Mechoptronics, notoriously the hardest class for aerospace/mechanical/astro students in the 4 years here. I’m not being a suck-up when I say that these professors are the best teachers I’ve encountered at USC (except for Professor Bickers who teaches the Honors Physics program). Even though I sometimes think this class will give me ulcers, the material is so useful and applicable that I never miss a class. For example, this week we are examining strain guages and thermocouples and its so gratifying to finally know exactly why and how they work! As an engineer, we are often handed cool gadgets and tools without really understanding what makes them work so well. There is a lot of science behind the instrumentation we use to collect our precious data, and I find it really interesting (does that sound too nerdy?)

Aside from that, I’m keeping busy this semester with Society of Women Engineers as usual. We have a HUGE event coming up next week that I’ll be sure to blog about where we’ve brought 16 companies to come and mingle with 90 students. We’ve had to do all the work of registering over half of our members, converting people so they can attend this members-only event, making them turn in deposits (so they don’t flake out), and having them sign up for the company they want to have dinner with (which is the main point of the event).

Other than that, I plan to keep working out (Yoga at the Lyon Center, $75 a semester for as many workout classes as your want), doing smaller choirs on the side, and I’m trying to get involved with the USC Equestrian Club right now, so I’ll let you know how that turns out.


Hope your spring semester is as fun as mine is going to be!! Fight On!