Archive for April, 2012

Break in posts until Summer Research

Today starts the last week of classes before a week of final exams.  We are going to suspend new posts until Summer Research begins toward the end of May.  

A Day in the Life of Andrew Wegner ’15

Hello everyone!  My name is Andrew Wegner and I am currently a freshman honors student majoring in Finance and Accounting and minoring in Mathematics and Statistics.  Just about every weekday for me is very busy and I look forward to my weekends to relax and catch up on sleep.

A typical Monday for me consists of waking up around 7:45 am and leaving for Robro Dining Hall to eat breakfast before my 9am class.  From there I attend my Applied Statistics I lecture at 9 am, where I sit and listen to my professor reiterate the text book and then at the end of lecture he will ask “Did you get all of that?”  While pretty much everyone in the class will stare at him with a blank face as they have just woken up from sleeping during his lecture.  Luckily after Statistics I enjoy an hour break where I will do some homework or go into town to run some errands.

At 11am I have my Introduction to Information Systems class.  This class is actually pretty interesting.  You learn a lot about how to use SAP software that is used to expedite tasks in large corporations.  At times the class may seem monotonous, but I enjoy it.  I also enjoy the fact that the class has never lasted longer than forty-five minutes and it is suppose to be an hour and fifteen minute class.

From there I will get my lunch to-go from the Student Center Servery, usually a salad or stir-fry.  Then I will work on more homework while I eat lunch and until I have my Innovation and Entrepreneurship course at 1pm.  This is probably one of my favorite classes I have taken thus far as a freshman business student.  This class is a lot less reading and writing that is common in my other classes.  Instead it is more “hands-on,” and learning by doing type of class.  In this class I was also given the opportunity to start a company with four other freshman business students that we have recently formally filed for as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) with New York State.  We are all very excited by this!

After that class, usually I will then head to Calculus III at 2pm (sometimes I attend the 3pm lecture instead).  During this class I usually play on my phone and pretend to understand what the professor is saying.  I learn more through visual examples and “doing” rather than sitting and listening.  So don’t worry, I brush up on both my Calculus and Statistics while doing homework and through examples that I may practice in the book later in the day after lecture.  I do thoroughly enjoy my mathematics and statistics courses.  After Calculus III I usually head to the gym around 3:15pm to de-stress and take a mental break from school.  I usually return back to my room around 4:30pm.

From this point in the day onward until I go to bed at 11pm or midnight, my day may vary.  Sometimes I will have club meetings to go to, such as Clarkson Strategic Investment Club (CSIG), CEO Club, or Math Club.  I will fit in time to finish my homework for the day and also I usually meet with the four other members of our company for about one to two hours everyday to get some work done and discuss our strategy and goals.  I really do enjoy the fulfillment of starting and running a company with four other freshmen, even though we are still in the early stages.

If I am lucky, when I am finished with the day’s activities and homework, I like to read the latest autobiography or book.  Currently I am reading the autobiography Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

Well that is about it!  My course load is definitely heavier compared to the average business student.  Reasons for this are that I have a double minor and the classes do not overlap per se with my major, however, I enjoy the challenge and the fact that it keeps me busy!  If you have any comments or questions for me I would be more than happy to answer them or just talk about my many experiences I have encountered thus far at Clarkson University!

A Day in the Life of Amanda Borok ’15

Howdy! My name is Amanda Borok and I’m currently a freshman majoring in Environmental Engineering. My typical Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays start with my phone alarm going off at 7:30, leaving me just enough time to roll out of bed (literally), wash up in the bathroom, throw on some clothes, and head off to Statics. The professor throws some diagrams and equations on the chalk board and explains how important it is to know all of the forces acting on a stationary structure.

After statics, my stomach tells me it’s time to go to Java city to pick up a delicious muffin and some strawberries if possible. Next is Chemistry II, and the lecture hall is packed with students hoping for a fun demonstration from the professor. We go through the class with interactive questions and polls, and often an exciting demo involving flames or explosions. Then I get a well-deserved 10 minute break before Physics II. Once physics is over, I head off to Calculus II, looking forward to the charismatic and often sarcastic Professor Martin. This is when I start to count down the minutes until the end of class. The class begins to close their notebooks and pack up with minutes to go, forcing the professor to wrap it up. This is when I jump out of my seat and head happily toward lunch at the Student Center. The lines are long, but boy are they worth it after a solid block of morning classes. My favorite meals are the tortellini soup and the stir fry. I try to meet up with my boyfriend for lunch when we make sure to sit near the sunny windows.

On Mondays, every other week I have Chemistry lab from 3-5pm, so I usually spend my free time hanging out with the TA’s and checking my pre or post-lab worksheet. On Wednesdays, I have my honors discussion class, where we usually work on our group projects. Then at 6pm, I have Honors Matlab, a computer programming class that may or may not be the death of me (I try to stay away from programming). Tuesdays and Thursdays are much more relaxed for me, where I only have a few classes (honors and recitation classes).

Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t just spend all day going to class and doing work. This fall I was a member for the Women’s Cross Country Running team, which was a challenge but a great way to learn how to balance fitness, sleep, and nutrition. I’m also the co-chair of the Honors Service Committee, where we come up with fun service opportunities (like baking, trail clean ups, etc.). I’m also a Student Ambassador for the Honors Program and the VP of the Charity Knitting Club. These commitments keep me pretty busy during the week, but Friday afternoon until Sunday, I get to relax both stay up late and sleep in. I’ll admit that I probably have more relaxing time than I account for because of all of my weeknight homework procrastination, but hey – it keeps me going. I live on the Honors Floor so I’m surrounded by my friends all the time so all I have to do is knock on some doors and someone’s usually home. Over the weekend I’ve been trying to get off of campus by at least walking into town or driving to Lake Placid just to get some variety. And that’s how my weeks generally go!



A Day in the Life of Tim Kopp ’12

Greetings!

I’m a second-semester senior majoring in Computer Engineering and Computer Science. I woke up at seven o’clock this morning so I could be ready in time for my 8am class: Honors Senior Seminar. Today’s class was devoted entirely to working on our group papers, which meant we were able to hold class in the lounge instead of the classroom. After that, I went to my 9:30am class: Symbolic Logic. Today was a big day in Symbolic Logic as we proved Goedel’s Incompleteness Theorem.

My next scheduled class was Formal Methods for Program Verification at 11am, but since it’s near the end of the semester, we stopped holding lecture in lieu of working on our final projects. My colleague and I spent the class time working on our simulation of a traffic light system using NuSMV. We expanded the system to model an arbitrary even number of roads going into and out of the intersection, as well as a pedestrian crosswalk.

I walked back to my apartment and cooked rice for lunch and watched Scrubs. At his point my friend sent me a text message notifying me that my next class, Materials Science, was cancelled. So instead of going to class at 1pm, we walked to the bookstore in town and picked up our caps and gowns for graduation. After returning my apartment, I worked on homework until about four o’clock.

After homework it was naptime. I awoke to the sound of an angry alarm clock at 7 o’clock pm, ate dinner, and walked to the Clarkson Open Source Institute (COSI) labs. They are the only computer labs on campus that is maintained by students instead of Clarkson’s IT department. After greeting everyone and making a cup of tea, I sat down and began my night’s work. I am presenting my thesis research at a conference this Saturday, so I spent this time putting the finishing touches on and rehearsing my presentation. My research is on new algorithms for the Propositional Satisfiability Problem, a problem of great importance in applied and theoretical computer science.

At 11 o’clock pm I decided it was time for a break. I found that the classroom portion of the COSI labs was empty, so I retrieved my guitar from the server room and practiced for about half an hour. Then it was back to work. I worked on preparing my final presentation for my Symbolic Logic course until about two o’clock am. At that point, Chris Lynch, chair of the computer science department and my professor for Symbolic Logic, strolled into the lab. After discussing the finer points of various logic systems and recent events in the department, Chris left to go home.

After finishing up my work, I convinced a couple of my friends to come play catch with a frisbee in the atrium of Snell Hall. After we were done, we locked up the labs and headed home for the night. It was about four-thirty am, so I straightened up the area around my desk and went to sleep for the night.