Friday, December 26, 2008


I have been quite lazy about updating my blog lately, but now that I'm on Christmas break, I have time, so I will have to catch up. The obvious things have happened: I was really busy at the end of the semester ... I finished finals ... It snowed ... It was cold ...

The exiting news, however, is that I am finally on a research project. My original understanding was that I would be doing the numerical modeling for the cutting surface in a plasma cutting situation. However, because of the way funding is working out, it looks like I might also be doing experimental work for it, which I find quite exciting, because both the modeling and the experimental work look really interesting. The only downside (or benefit, depending on how you look at it) is that I now have a lot of stuff to do over break. I am reading the theses of my predecessors to get familiar with the project. I also need to learn as much as possible about the equipment from another student before he graduates in a few months.

A rather exciting perk that came with the research position is that now I have an office in the Mech E building. I feel like I'm really moving up in the world now. It isn't a particularily nice office but still, it is nice to have a place to dump my stuff when I come in to school. I also don't have to carry everything back and forth between my apartment and school anymore. I also have 2 office mates, which I've found that I really enjoy. Previously, I never talked to anybody at school. It was a classic case of being very alone even though there are a lot of people around. But now, I have someone to say hi too in the morning (other than the bus driver). Unfortunatly both of my officemates will be gone within a few months.

Speaking of people at my school, another exiting thing about my research group is that I am the only American. It is kind of a weird experiance after being at St. Olaf, where "diversity" means only a different color of skin. Here, my advisor is German and the other students in the group are Korean, Indian, Egyptian, and Japanese. Communication sometimes takes a little effort because they have varying degrees of fluency in English.

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