One of the reasons I was drawn to USC in the first place was that Viterbi advertised an “Engineering +” initiative, and told me I would be able to pick up a major or minor outside of Engineering.  I am very lucky to be both a Mechanical Engineering Major, and a Cinematic Arts Minor.  When I thought about what my favorite class is, it was really hard to do because Engineering and Film are very different academically.  My favorite Engineering class this semester is AME 309, Dynamics of Fluids.  My favorite film class this semester is CTPR 457, Creating Poetic Cinema.

AME 309, Dynamics of Fluids, is an awesome class – partially because of interesting subject matter, but mostly because my professor, Veronica Eliasson, is really knowledgable and passionate.  Her research is related to shock waves in liquids and gases, and she frequently shares information about the research she is doing during lecture.  She is also very good about relating the information, so that it is easier to understand.

In 309, we are expected to complete weekly homework assignments, in addition to two midterms and a final.  We also will have a final project where we actually create a rocket, using information we have learned throughout the semester.  I am most looking forward to the final project, because it will be a good real-world application of what I am learning in the classroom.  It will also be fun to work in a group; Viterbi is a very collaborative environment.  Collaboration is extremely important in Engineering, because in the real world, Engineers do not work alone.  Collaboration is encouraged both inside and outside of the classroom.

CTPR457, Creating Poetic Cinema, is a very liberating class, where we get to explore poetry as it relates to cinema.  In the class, we create 4 short films over the course of the semester.  There is a lot of freedom to use the camera in unique and experimental ways.  Additionally, we get to use the editing software in the film school, AVID, because we get production numbers, which entitles us to camera and sound equipment, SAG actors, and room rentals to hold auditions.  It’s very exciting because it is a class of all different majors and experience levels.

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A series of images from a film I created for CTPR457.

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Overall, I think this is going to be a really challenging, but really rewarding semester.

Samantha Kaplan-2015

Samantha Kaplan-2015

Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2015, Learn more on her profile here!