So far, one of my favorite parts about being a second semester senior is FINALLY having the first choice for all my classes. This semester has brought the most exciting lectures yet because OHMYGOSHILOVEALLMYCLASSES which can be a rare thing when you’re anxiously awaiting a registration date while all the good GE spots fill up (aww, freshman year memories). Behold, my perfect schedule!

CSCI 420 – Computer Graphics (4)

Also known as THE COOLEST TECH ELECTIVE EVER!! Building off Video Game Programming coursework and linear algebra, Computer Graphics teaches students basics of the standard for graphics libraries, OpenGL, in-depth. Applications of Computer Graphics include gaming, animation, and scientific modeling so there’s something for everyone, and the programming assignments are relevant to real-world work. I’m most excited for the lectures near the end of the class focusing on Virtual Reality!

ANTH 202 – Introduction to Archaeology (4)

To satisfy my childhood self that dreamed of becoming an archaeologist, I chose Introduction to Archaeology as my last GE. The class covers both archaeological methods (sites, excavations, artifacts, documentation) and a more historical timeline of archaeological findings including human skeletons, animal skeletons, material remains such as jewelry or pots, and physical remains like the foundation of a home. Archaeology has been even more relevant to engineering than I imagined—for example, our TA uses Virtual Reality software to model archaeological sites.

EE 459 – Computer Engineering Capstone (3)

Electrical Engineers can choose from various capstones in each area of emphasis (Electrical Sciences; Circuits, Signals, & Systems; or Computer Engineering), and as a big fan of software with a Computer Engineering emphasis, I chose the Computer Engineering capstone. In this class, we independently work on an Internet of Things project in small groups of three. This year, the focus is creating a product that would be used at an outdoor residence (for example, a smart sprinkler system).

EE 490 – Directed Research (2)

Directed Research means that you can suggest whatever kind of research project you want if you find a faculty advisor who will serve as a mentor and make sure you stay on task. I have written past papers in philosophy courses or GEs focusing on consciousness and technology ethics, and I am continuing down this path researching Brain-Computer Interfaces as an ethical case study for engineering ethics.

The brain is so cool! Shower thought: it named itself…

MUSC 255 – Songwriting I (2)

I love playing piano, guitar, and singing in my free time to de-stress but have never actually been able to compose a full song, so I have especially been enjoying Songwriting this year! I love taking classes to get outside of my comfort zone and make me use my brain in a different way than engineering, and even as a music lover, Songwriting has made me hear music in completely new ways.

DANC 185a – Hip Hop Dance (2)

I’m auditing Hip Hop Dance this semester with friends. We have learned a variety of moves like the Smurf, the Cabbage Patch, and the Charlie Brown (and how can you forget dance moves with names like these).  Be prepared to leave the class sweaty and out of breath, and to make a ton of new friends as the class is super social 😊!

MGPU 300 – Non-Major Individual Instruction (Guitar Lesson) (1)

Last but not least, some of my best experiences at USC have been taking individual music lessons (I’ve done piano and voice so far); the one-on-one instruction with great teachers has challenged me to become a better musician and singer. I started teaching myself guitar a few months ago and figured I needed to learn some actual technique at some point—so far it’s been great!

Some of the chords I’ve learned so far (I cropped out the evil/hardest chord, F major)

MUSC 255, MPGU 300, and DANC 185a, Oh My! The best part is that even with three completely fun electives, I am right at 18 units and therefore can stay sane while enjoying all my coursework (fingers crossed). If you’re stuck registering for a class you’re not dying to take, remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel—your last-semester-of-college-perfect-schedule will be here before you know it!

Madelyn Douglas

Madelyn Douglas

MAJOR: Electrical (Computer) Engineering YEAR: Class of 2020 HOMETOWN: Bethseda, Maryland PRONOUNS: she/her/hers