Friday, September 16, 2011

3 Classes to End them All

Classes have been going now for 3 weeks, and I can say with a high degree of certainty that I am going to enjoy all of my courses. And I can also say to a high degree that I am going to have a far less stress semester.

This round of class getting I knew what I was doing. I knew the system. And I knew how to get what I wanted. I also only needed two classes: One Grad level course (in any department) and One General Course (somehow I have made it to the end with the easy courses).

So here is the list:

Leadership for Engineers. (MW 3:30 - 5)
I know this sounds kind of silly (and it is) but it fills a requirement and it is going to be an easy A. For once in my college life, I get to take a class that fits that description. For my Dad it was Astronomy. For all I can tell it is a class about the non technical things an engineer needs to know about corporate citizenship in America. So far we have covered basic accounting, what is wrong with Management Goal Oriented corporate cultures, and.... well that is about it. Moving on....

Microelectromechanical Systems (MW 12:30-2:20)
If you have never heard of Microelectromechanical Systems (also known as MEMS) you most likely have used one. These are devices that are made on the micrometer and smaller scale, that consist of both electronic components and physical mechanical components. Examples: Inertial Sensors (ie what makes iPhones and Wii-motes so fun to wave around), DLP (digital light projection) Cells (ie what makes modern projectors work (fascinating really, there are thousands of little mirrors on little motors that flick back and forth, some times reflecting light, sometimes deflecting light, hence giving you the appearance of pixels)), Really Small Antenna, Ink Jet Printer Heads, and just about any type of sensor imaginable. This class is a Grad Level intro to such devices and manufacturing techniques. So far it has been really interesting. This micro machining stuff it fascinating.

Intro To Mobile Robot Programing (TR 12:00 - 1:30)
Thursdays are lecture days and Tuesdays are turn in days. This class is an undergrad course that covers the basics in mobile robot programing. I feel like I should have taken this before working on R2GU (my senior design project for Gonzaga). We have already programed more advanced obstacle avoidance in two weeks then we ever got for our robot. We are using Nomad Scouts:

Miniature R2D2s
These robots are about the size of a small, office garbage can. They are really fun to work with. This is a team class, but unlike last year with my crappy team for Distributed Embedded Design, my team for this class has so far been great to work with. Everyone shows up for team meetings, people are doing more than they need to. Our hand ins are working... you know good stuff. I am really looking forward to the rest of this class. I am sure come the end of the semester I will post some video of the robot in action.


  1. Thanks for the Skype with my class. I know they will want to hear more about the robots!!!!

  2. Hey, Astronomy was not just an easy "A". Interesting set of classes.