Thursday, June 24, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Grad School Trip

I have been toying with the idea of going to grad school ever since I started my undergrad at VCU, and the time to make a decision is upon me. Sonya has made it her mission to put the many pieces of the process together on a spreadsheet. She has organized the next few months of our lives in order on a handy checklist. Sign up to take the GRE - check! Find out application fees - check! Mark the application deadlines on my planner - check! Figure out where I want to go to school -check, check, and double check!!!
My friend Rachel and I have been on a mission to narrow the grad school options to a more reasonable list. We've been researching the research, and I've got my list narrowed enough for Sonya and I to take our campus-visit road trip. We're hitting The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, The University of Wisconsin - Madison in Madison, Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, and I just added the University of Illinois in Urbana, IL. U of I is on our way home and is highly ranked, so it would be foolish to drive past it without a visit. These schools all offer excellent programs in alternative transportation and energy, and they are not in California or Texas. California and Texas are over-represented in the list of top 50 schools, and I neither like endless heat nor the periodic shaking of earth, so the Midwest is my focus. There are a couple interesting programs in New York, but I really want to get back to the Midwest for a while - even if only for a few years.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Research

I'm lucky enough to have a paid internship this summer which should cover the difference in tuition since it was raised by 20%. This will be my foray to CAD modeling and using the Stereolithography Rapid Prototype Machine. Here's a picture of my design:
I wish I could describe the purpose of this design, but my boss might hang me out a window by my fingernails. The rest of my time has been spent learning some new software and reviewing Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics, and Thermodynamics. Fun, Fun, Fun.

I do feel privileged to be receiving a paycheck, for there are a bunch of students doing this garbage for free.