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Classes, Day 2

Posted by on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 in Academics, College Life, Engineering, General Information, Teachers, Undergraduate Research.

Readers, would you be thrilled if I posted every single day? I imagine not. Nevertheless, I am updating to follow up on my article from yesterday, to talk about the next of my classes (I still have a class that won’t meet this week, which will merit its own article next week!).

When I look at Prof. Goldfarb, I see Stephen Colbert staring down an evil robot.

After a productive morning, which included a run to the SRC and reading ahead in a few of my classes, I packed my backpack to go to ME 204: Mechatronics. I’m not going to lie – this class scares me a little. Technically, System Dynamics is a required prerequisite for this junior- and senior-dominated class, but I spoke to the professor and my adviser who agreed that I could proceed and take System Dynamics later (it’s not offered in the Spring). Because of the average age of the enrolled students, I knew virtually no one and suddenly felt very first-year again. Mechatronics is team-taught by Dr. Kenneth Frampton and Dr. Michael Goldfarb, the latter of whom is one of the world’s most prominent prosthetic researchers (SO COOL.)

Together, we will build Robocop.

Frampton spoke in the class today, introducing himself and the four TA’s (evidently we’re going to need a lot of assistance), as well as giving a basic idea of what the course would consist of: Do-it-yourself projects! Students get a kit containing a breadboard, soldering iron, wires, motors, servos, and a wealth of other robotics equipment (FYI, they still haven’t arrived at the bookstore, so I’m only going off the picture he showed us in class), then complete assignments on different functions the systems should perform before embarking on a final project of our own choosing. I really like the idea of the freedom and exploration we’ll get, as well as robotics as whole – definitely one of the coolest parts of Mechanical Engineering. Expect to hear more about these assignments, and especially about my final project later in the semester!

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