Thursday, September 20, 2012

Soo you are an engineer you say?

Before you start out, watch this:

Blog intro:
I have been accused of being overly nonchalant about my major to an extent that people remind me that its time for a change....that I should go listen to DT's Change of Seasons over a billion times and get some inspiration. I do agree that I tend to listen more music than lectures, spend more time in the kitchen than on the study table, work on my personal relations than on engineering mathematics, doing things for genuinely likable people rather than doing the troublesome assignments, reading more about Arsenal than the given lecture notes, drinking more beer than diluted equations and last but not the least, writing emails to professors requesting them to upgrade my grade more than writing on the exams itself.
You could well argue that everyone feels the same way, that NO one actually wants to sit down and work their brains off on some amazingly not-understandable, complexly written text books on even bizarre engineering topics that were discovered a century ago but the reality is that there are such people. There are people who actually enjoy overclocking their brains. Their existence is vital; who would do all those research? Who would bring on the next breakthrough in technology? Who would then bring science fiction into something tangible, something usable? Again, there’s a valid argument that money could play a hand, not to mention the fame and everything that our mundane society demands for. Yet I see an abundance of such genuine characters that have actual interest in stuffs that we frequently tag as “boring”.
Upon a recent “forced” (there was a typhoon outside, what was I supposed to do?) volunteering work in a conference, I got to meet Min as we were the awesome duo responsible for the information desk. Currently doing her PhD in Stanford, she talked about how she actually loves to sit down and study and do research and stuffs. When asked what motivates her to do that, she replied, “I don’t know, I just enjoy it”. No wonder she published her first research paper with some top notch Prof when she was still in high school. Imagine all the work she has already accomplished by now.
The “Technical” Blog, will be something different to what I usually tend to write on my other one. I will try my very best to be more technically oriented, writing about my specific field of study allowing you to have a glance on what kind of courses that I am taking. In the future, I will try to incorporate lecture videos, notes and assignments as part of social responsibility of sharing information that might be of use for students globally. Let’s see how far this goes.
You might be curious, as to why a guy from one of poorest of countries would do aerospace engineering, or rather simply, what the f^&* is wrong with me?
Mechanical and Aerospace Prof(s), SNU
As Prof always say, “that’s a good question”. What they don’t say is “I don’t really know why”
I have- in the past- answered this question several times, most notably in the annoying college application form. I would simply answer that I dream, eat, sleep, eat more, chew, spit, shit aerospace and how I loved to make aeroplane models and throw them out of the window as if it would somehow magically fly and reach my dad who lived somewhere very far. Touching yes, element of, crap 90 percent. I got into this school anyways so these stuff does seem to work fine.
The thing is, I do love aeroplanes. I mean who doesn’t. You can’t be sitting on some chair 30000ft above the ground and STILL not be amazed. Have you not done the most ridiculous thing of jumping as high as you can to reach out to a flying aeroplane? (No? oh shit). Have you not enjoyed your ears getting all crazy as the pilot changes altitudes at lightning speed? Or don’t you remember your first puke on the I think I should rather not touch on that. I created a bloody mess on my first Bon Voyage.
Add to the fact that I was a huge fan of Yuri Gagarin after a brief video stint at the Russian Culture Center and the crazy dog who flew into space and came back alive (As far as I can remember I didn’t attempt anything cynical on my dogs. Throwing from the top of the roof with just a helmet on would have been experiment number one but of course, you don’t need to be an Einstein to figure out the result) and everything slowly starts making sense. I did try making my own models of aircrafts; One, a copy of the 1903 glider and the other, an actual arm length moody glider which met its end after somebody humbly put his fat ass on top of it.

So its not that I don’t have a history with what I am studying. Its not that I took a lottery which had “aerospace” and wallahh! I had to take it. I like it. Just that I didn’t realize studying it was a huge pain. Making models is one thing- I could have just gone to carpentry instead-, watching a video about fastest stealth airlines is one thing, but learning the actual mechanism behind is another. Maybe, just mayyyybbee I might be able to put everything in peace when I start working. But we all know how that will end up.
So hanging on to the optimistic rope, I will start out with the courses I have taken this semester. Our university has a GPA system of 4.3 where each student is allowed to take 18 credits per semester. A semester consists of three and half months, so considering how much shit we have to learn each semester, the time factor is pretty intense. One day you have nothing to do and then suddenly everything to do on the other.
Bottom to up 
Engineering Mathematics 2: 3 credits
Jet Propulsion: 3 credits (in Korean btw)
Engineering Economy: also 3 credits (in Korean too. Complete Torture. I have no clue what’s happening here)
Aerospace Structures: 3 credits (continuation of Solid Mechanics)
Engineering Ethics and Leadership: 3 credits
CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing) : 3 credits.
Would have loved to write more, but looks like my empty belly requires urgent attention. I will provide details about each course work and how they are being designed and taught next time so that you will have an idea about how the curriculum is developed here in Seoul National.
Time for ham and cheese.

No comments:

Post a Comment