Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year - New Blog! (ish)

So - long time no post eh?  Yeah - we all know that I'm terrible at keeping a blog.  But it is the beginning of a new year, after all, so along with "working out more" and "eating healthier," this year I'll be committing myself to blogging more!  One blog post per week doesn't seem too unreasonable, so I shall henceforth commit myself to blogging at least once a week.

Since I never blogged last semester, you might be wondering what happened.  Well, it was a rough semester for me in a lot of ways, not the least of which was my grades.  Somehow everything turned out okay in the end, however, and I managed to maintain a transcript free of C's!  This semester things are looking like they'll be a little lighter as I'm only taking four classes.  In fact, my schedule seems so light it's almost as though I'm not an engineer!

My classes are as follows:
AME 451: Linear Control Systems - This is the study of how to control systems with dynamic response.  A common example is how to control the temperature inside an oven.  First, you must heat the system to the desired temperature, then apply the right amount of heat to maintain a constant temperature.  Control systems is a highly mathematical field of study and the methods used can be extremely complex considering how simple the concept seems.  Needless to say, this will be one of my harder classes.

WRIT 340: Advanced Writing for Engineers- This is the second of the two writing classes required by the university of all students.  Typically taken by juniors, I put this class off as long as I could.  Thankfully it is a writing class only of engineers and focusing on technical writing, but from what I hear the course varies widely from professor to professor.  This class could be a toss up.

AME 481: Aircraft Design - This class is fairly straightforward from the title - it focuses on the methods used in designing aircraft.  It includes a capstone project which is to design an aircraft to given specifications.  From what I learned in flight mechanics last semester, this class is not going to be easy or fun.  There is a lot of cross over between linear controls and flight mechanics and it involves a lot of complex math called differential equations.  This class will also be hard.

ASTE 280: Astronautics and Space Environment - This course is the one astronautical engineering class required for aerospace engineering majors.  It covers "Solar system, two-body problem, orbits, Hohmann transfer, rocket equation, space environment and its effects on space systems, sun, solar wind, geomagnetic field, atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere" according to the course description but really it's just a catch-all introduction to space dynamics.  It is typically taken by sophomores, but I was abroad spring of my sophomore year and I haven't been able to fit it into my schedule since.  From what I hear it is a fun, interesting class, so should be a nice reprieve.  It also happens to be taught by the adviser of Rocket Lab so that should be fun.

As far as my classes go, it looks like I've got my work cut out for me.  Thankfully, I have plenty of time outside of class to get all the work done :)

Anyway, I'll be posting soon about our trip to the Rose Parade on New Year's Day!  It was really quite spectacular.  

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