This semester, I have two favorite classes: AME305 (Mechanical Design) and CTCS466 (Theatrical Film Symposium).  These classes are, of course, very different because AME305 satisfies an elective credit for my Mechanical Engineering degree and CTCS466 satisfies an elective credit for my minor in Cinematic Arts.  I love how different these classes are, because I constantly get to exercise different parts of my brain!

AME305, Mechanical Design, focuses on using principles from statics, physics, and strength of materials to create appropriate designs to solve problems.  So far in the class, we have studied forces and moments applied on beams and frames, and we have also discussed the stresses and strains acting on sections of a machine part.  I feel as if this class is very practical for work in the field post-college.  I am learning essential principles of design, and I am understanding the factors I need to consider when making a machine or a machine part.

Aside from the content of the class, I truly enjoy learning from my Professor, Professor Safadi.  He is very thorough in his explanations and provides tons of examples to make sure that we all understand the material.  He also makes jokes and makes the lectures fun and interesting.

CTCS466, Theatrical Film Symposium, is a Critical Studies class within the School of Cinematic Arts.  Each week, we watch a film that has not yet been released in theatres.  After watching the film, someone who worked on the film, typically the director or producer, will come to do a question and answer session with the class.  So far in the class, we have watched Space Station 76, God Help the Girl, Hector and the Search for Happiness, and This Is Where I Leave You.

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My favorite session so far was the class where we watched Hector and the Search for Happiness.  Not only did I love the movie, but I was also able to stay after class and discuss the film with the director, Peter Chelsom, and my professor, Leonard Maltin.  The fact that the directors are willing to bring their films to USC before they are released to the public speaks highly to the quality of a USC education and a USC audience.  Beyond that, the fact that Leonard Maltin, a renowned film critic, is a professor at the school also indicates how respected USC is as an institution.

If the rest of the semester continues in the way the first part has, I think I’m going to love it!  I’m learning and growing in ways that will advance me in my career and in life!

Samantha Kaplan-2015

Samantha Kaplan-2015

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