October 9th, 2016
As you can see I’ve been having so much fun, but rest assured I’m putting in just as much work into courses. I do find my classes interesting which is a plus so the work is less of a drag. Just a reminder all of my classes are taught in English, I didn’t have to learn Chinese to study abroad here. I actually tried to sign up for a non-credit class that taught the Chinese basics, but of course it didn’t fit into my class schedule (*sarcastic smile). I briefly mentioned before the classes I’m taking, but I’ll go over them for the sake of it. So I’m taking Product Design, Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM), Design and Manufacturing, and Computer Science. This is the lowest amount of classes I’ve taken in a semester, but considering the experience outside the books I feel like I’m at a pleasant 20 credit load.
Each of my actual courses are pretty hands on though which I love. For my product design class we’ve been grinding out in every lab session. We’ve had some serious sketch workshops, learned how to use Rhino, learned more about 3d printing and printed out different mini projects, and for our final we’re designing our own products. I also attended about 3 extracurricular design-thinking workshops. Yea I’ve been learning a lottt about design and gaining some new skills that I’m excited to put to use. In Design and Manufacturing we’re studying mechanical design. This is another project-based class where we will design and manufacture a beam for the first project, and then design a car bumper system for the final. We’ve been using Solidworks to model different beams and structures to run Finite Element Analysis, and we’ve also learned to formulate some of those calculations by hand. In CAD/CAM we’re studying the math mechanisms that underlie in modeling systems such as Creo Parametric, Solid Works, Rhino etc. It’s a really cool class. I’ve been using 3D modeling systems for quite sometime now, and haven’t given much thought to how thugs like curves and surfaces are actually formed. So far we’ve learned about 2D curves and the math behind producing 3D surfaces through the use of Matlab. This is probably my toughest class, but what I’m learning is quite helpful. Lastly, in Computer Science we are learning how to code in Python, pretty straightforward.
Overall the schooling system isn’t too much different from back home. You have lectures, some classes have labs, and some may have recitation or what they call here tutorial. I find my professors to be more approachable, maybe because all of my classes are fairly sized and my professors have a good sense by now of who we are. I also stand out more as an exchange student here, which I kind of expected. During the first week of classes all of my professors and random students asked, “Hey are you one of the exchange students?! Where are you from?!” … “Uhh Brooklyn.”