Hello all! I am writing to you from my new laptop (yay!). It’s good to be connected back to the interwebs from my own laptop especially since the school semester is starting to pick up.

While my semester’s been pretty easy so far, the workload is only bound to increase. Thankfully the load is not anywhere near the level that it was in the fall. And I really like the classes that I have, along with the projects that I’m doing outside of them. First of all, I’m taking a class called I-Podia in which the lecture is directly broadcast to students in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Throughout the semester, we will be working on various assignments with them via Skype and then, at the end of the semester, the students from Hong Kong and USC get to travel to Taiwan to finish up the semester project!

I’m also taking AME 341B, which is the second Mechop Class. While I know the work load is going to be the same as last semester, I look forward to the labs because they actually serve a practical purpose. The other engineering class I’m taking is AME 436 Energy and Propulsion. Like the name implies, we learn about propulsion systems for all sorts of vehicles. However, I would have to say that my favorite classes are Yoga, Improv, and The Science of Happiness. Since I took so many classes early on in my college career, I am able to fit these fun courses into my schedule, and I am so happy that I can because these classes are a welcome change of pace from my engineering ones.

Outside of class, one of the projects I’m working on is measuring the radiative heat effects of different gases on a flame in a microgravity environment. To do this, my group submitted a proposal to NASA to test our experiment on the Vomit Comet. The Vomit Comet is an airplane that travels in parabolas so that simulated zero gravity occurs at the peaks and twice Earth’s gravity at the troughs. Thus, someone can use the peaks to test in a microgravity environment. So, since my group got chosen, we get to fly in June and test our experiment on the airplane! Getting the project ready is going to be a lot of hard work but definitely worth it.

Be sure to read my future blogs for exciting updates on my microgravity research and my spring semester in general!