It’s Crunch Time

Next week is the last week of classes of the 2017 Spring Semester! This also means that “It’s Crunch Time” before we head towards summer. It is time to finish those last semester projects/presentations and study for finals.

On Monday, I have a presentation in my Social Responsibility and Ethics Management class. During the semester, we had to volunteer and do ten hours of community service hours as part of a project called Civil Engagement Project.

The following day, I have a group presentation in my Strategic Management class. We will report on how our company did during the eight rounds simulation. During those rounds, we produced sensors and sold them on the market. We were competing against other groups in our classroom.

Thursday will be my last day of classes at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University!

There are no classes on Friday as this day is dedicated to studying. My professor in my Aviation Labor Relations course will post our final exam on Canvas (online); we will have two days to complete it.

I will have a total of four “real” final exams that will take place during finals week (Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). My other exams for my other three classes will be taken online.

In just about two weeks on May 8, I will be graduating!

Here are 10 Study Tips to help you prepare for your final exams:

  1. Do not look at the course material for the first time the day before the exam. Most professors mention the dates of assignments, quizzes, and exams during the first week of classes.
  2. Take notes in class and review them on the same day you took them.
  3. Start looking slowly at the material a week or a few days before the test. You will learn and memorize a lot more if you study a little bit every day.
  4. If you created a study guide, try to break it up and study one part at a time. It will be easier if you study it in small chunks instead of reading the whole study guide again and again.
  5. Create a short song or a series of letters when you have to memorize things involving steps or chronology. One time I had to memorize the 6 types of religious conversion. So I just remembered the first letter of each word and it sounded like this IMEARC.
  6. Repeating things loudly or writing them down many times on a sheet of paper will help you to remember the information for the exam.
  7. Quiz yourself or get a friend to ask you some questions. I often use Quizlet to test myself. There is a test option where the website generates a set of questions from the data you have to learn.
  8. Get all the information possible you can from your professor. Sometimes, they will tell you the format of the exam (multiple choices, true or false, short answers, short essays and/or long essays) and the number of questions.
  9. Take a break. Don’t study for hours in one sitting, but take some short breaks and move around.
  10. The night before the test, don’t stay up late at night to study. You should have studied a few days before and be ready. You will do better on the on the exam if you have a good night of sleep.

Good luck on your exams!

Nicolas

Don’t Get Behind

Last week was so busy and it felt like it was finals week. I had a total of four exams during those five days, including three exams on Wednesday.

I had a test in Social Responsibility and Ethics in Management, Aviation Labor Relations, Elements of Biological Science and Business Quantitative Methods. Most of the tests I had were multiple choices. My Science exam was take-home and it was online so it was not that bad!

Before last week, I didn’t really have a lot of work to do, but I can now say the workload officially kicks in.

Don’t Get Behind

Do your homework and other assignments in advance instead of doing everything the day before it is due. If you don’t understand a question from the assignment, you’ll have time to either meet the professor or send him or her an email. You won’t be confused and on your own at midnight before the assignment is due the next day. Sometimes, the homework can look easy at first, but it can require more time than you think to complete it. It happened to me a couple of times where I thought simply answering questions from the textbook would require less than 30 minutes. I was wrong.

I’m not saying you have to study weeks in advance before an exam, but you shouldn’t teach yourself the material the day before the test. I think the best way to learn the material  is too study a bit every day. Writing stuff down also helps you to remember it.

On the days you don’t have anything to do, think about if there was anything you could do to get ahead of the game. This is my piece of advice for this week.

Until next time,

Nicolas

From Spring to Summer

Wow am I tardy on writing! Sorry about that – I promise I’ll keep up this summer, especially because I’ll have plenty to write about.

Spring semester went out with a bang. The Semester of Death has been vanquished, and not a moment too soon! I had four final projects to do, four final exams to take, and my senior thesis proposal to write. Combine that with moving to a new apartment and putting on a musical and you get one stressed out future-rocket scientist. But as I am writing this from the end, I’ll skip ahead and tell you that it all works out okay.

I figured I’d tell you guys a little bit about some of the cool final projects I worked on in my junior year at ERAU. For Optics we designed a satellite-based camera that can take pictures of Mars rovers from orbit around Mars. This was done using some math and some CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, and the end result turned out excellent. In my Microcomputers class we had to design, build, and program a sun sensor with a ton of other features. That one didn’t turn out amazingly – you know how it goes, it works great for you and then you present it for the professor and it just decides not to work for no reason – but it was definitely a very cool project. I also wrote and submitted the proposal for my undergraduate thesis, which you can read here if you’re interested.

I was also inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma – the national physics honors society – this semester! So… yay!

3D

3D CAD drawing of the telescope lenses used in our camera design for Optics.

A picture of our sun sensor. It may not be pretty, but you can see how complicated and totally awesome it is.

A picture of our sun sensor. It may not be pretty, but you can see how complicated and totally awesome it is.

Hitting the books for finals! This was the stack on my desk for a couple weeks.

Hitting the books for finals! This was the stack on my desk for a couple weeks.

 

Back behind my saxophone to put on a production of Jekyll & Hyde!

Back behind my saxophone to put on a production of Jekyll & Hyde!

Oh, I mentioned I played in a musical. The Riddle Players Theatre Company put on the first musical in like 9 years or something along those lines…. Jekyll & Hyde! The story of the aspiring scientist who splits into two personalities: one good and one evil. It’s a great show; I’ve been addicted to the soundtrack ever since. I got to play my saxophone in the pit, and it was a ton of work but a ton of fun. We put on a fantastic production, and I loved having the opportunity to get back into playing some music, which really doesn’t come too often at ERAU, unfortunately. It was also cool to see a bunch of engineers/scientists/pilots/left-brain people put on a musical, and do such a great job of it – we really have a lot of undiscovered talent hidden within all of this math and science.

I’m not going to write a ton of words in this entry. I’ll just throw a bunch of pictures at you to show some of the cool things I’ve been up to….

 

I moved out of my own apartment and into a two-bedroom with a friend of mine. It's cheaper, and she makes me breakfast sometimes. So no complaints there. It's also much nicer - same complex but new appliances, cabinets, and I have a giant bathroom and closet.

I moved out of my own apartment and into a two-bedroom with a friend of mine. It’s cheaper, and she makes me breakfast sometimes. So no complaints there. It’s also much nicer – same complex but new appliances, cabinets, and I have a giant bathroom and closet.

Sally the Space Hamster is still doing well. She likes to watch me do homework and climb all over my books and notes.

Sally the Space Hamster is still doing well. She likes to watch me do homework and climb all over my books and notes.

 

These are the kind of problems we did in Classical Mechanics. Quite whimsical, but they lose their fun once you start to work through the math!

These are the kind of problems we did in Classical Mechanics. Quite whimsical, but they lose their fun once you start to work through the math!

With school being done, May is a fantastic time of year to hit the beach in Daytona!

With school being done, May is a fantastic time of year to hit the beach in Daytona!

 

My roommate and I made a Pi Pie after finding rhubarb at the Daytona farmer's market. Strawberry rhubarb - it was yummy!

My roommate and I made a Pi Pie after finding rhubarb at the Daytona farmer’s market. Strawberry rhubarb – it was yummy!

I drove my boyfriend up to Savannah, GA for his internship with Gulfstream and stayed up there for a couple days. It's a neat place. But I think he's going to write a blog so I'll let him talk about that!

I drove my boyfriend up to Savannah, GA for his internship with Gulfstream and stayed up there for a couple days. It’s a neat place. But I think he’s going to write a blog so I’ll let him talk about that!

 

Back home in Minneapolis for a couple weeks. The longer you spend away from home the more you appreciate it, even if growing up you thought it was the worst place ever and wondered how anybody could ever live in such a frozen tundra. But now I'm like "hey, the summers aren't death, and the city is shiny and pretty."

Back home in Minneapolis for a couple weeks. The longer you spend away from home the more you appreciate it, even if growing up you thought it was the worst place ever and wondered how anybody could ever live in such a frozen tundra. But now I’m like “hey, the summers aren’t death like Florida, and the city is shiny and pretty.”

My little brother graduated from high school this weekend! I guess he's not so little anymore. I tried to recruit him to ERAU, but he wasn't interested - darn!

My little brother graduated from high school this weekend! I guess he’s not so little anymore. I tried to recruit him to ERAU, but he wasn’t interested – darn!

 

I head out to Mountain View, California on Sunday to start my summer at SETI, so you’d better believe I’ll be writing about that. I just wanted to pop in and give a quick update on all the things I’ve been doing since my last entry. As always, feel free to shoot me an email or comment on this post if you want to ask questions or just chat with an awesome Riddle student.

Until next time!
-Lynsey
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Fall Semester Comes to a Close

Greetings, everyone!

It’s official: Fall 2013 has ended and winter break is upon us. Although here in Daytona Beach it certainly doesn’t feel like it, with temperatures continuing to hover around the low-80s. Everybody back home loathes me this time of year, when they’re starting to get the big snow falls and I’m just wishing I could wear a sweatshirt. I suppose nobody is really ever happy with the weather they have. I got this photo from my aunt, taken outside her window:

and responded with this one, taken outside mine:

Usually my Facebook posts about the weather aren’t well-recieved. But it’s just so much fun. 😉

My last post was right before Thanksgiving break, so I suppose I can start there. I had a good time spending a few days back home, even though I spent a lot of the time working on homework and final projects. The end of the semester was poorly timed this year, because the week after the break was the last one, so everything is due. I don’t know what the general opinion is, but I think that the last week of classes is way more stressful than finals week. Finals week is actually pretty chill – you only have to go to school for finals, and have a lot of free time. Which is, of course, deceiving, because you really *should* be studying, and not staying up until 5 am playing Pokemon Y or anything along those lines. But I digress. Nonetheless, it was nice to see my family and friends back home, even though I’ve adapted to Florida and spent the whole three and a half days perpetually cold. It’s only funny to make fun of them for the weather when I’m not there, I suppose.

This is what was happening in my simulations for my Spaceflight project – the blue is the orbit of the Earth and the green is the orbit of the moon. Which isn’t so much an orbit, but a beeline straight out of the solar system.

I got back to Daytona early on Saturday, and had a massive homework assignment due at 11:59 PM that night. So much for having a break. I think I turned it in at like 11:58:43 or something like that – oops. Then it was final projects, papers, and exams for the next week and a half. My biggest project was probably the one for my Spaceflight Dynamics class, which involved simulating a three-body orbital problem in MATLAB. It was going well until I made some calculation error and was flinging the moon straight out of the solar system. But I ended up fixing that, woo! Aside from that and the ten page paper on black holes that I had to crank out in one night, everything else wasn’t too bad. I had finals in thermodynamics and astronomy that I thought were pieces of cake (not that I didn’t study, mind you.) The only thing that gave me real trouble was my EP 501 final exam – I only needed a 62 on the final to get an A in the class, thanks to my midterm exam and homework successes, and I was legitimately worried I didn’t even get that. But I managed to pull off a 78 (don’t even know how I scored that high, to be honest) and thus managed to secure my 4.0 Master’s GPA for another semester. Still waiting on grades for my undergrad classes, but from my calculations I am looking at straight A’s! Not to brag 🙂

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch as seen from campus!

Another cool feature of last week was SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch, which scrubbed on the first two launch dates but went off the third time. And I got to see it from campus! It was super cool; we went up to the top of the AMS building where there is an observation deck for watching planes go in and out of the airport, and got a really great view. Even saw the stage separations of the rocket!

Stage separations of the rocket as it went up into space!

This week I’ll spend some time helping pack up the labs to move over to the new College of Arts and Sciences building, and then I’m homebound on Wednesday for about a week and a half. It’s crazy how quickly this semester went; I feel like it just started yesterday. But that’s life I guess!

That’s all I have to talk about in this entry. Haven’t gotten word if I will be writing again next semester, but I hope to be able to continue to share my stories with you! Feel free to always email me questions, or just to say hey, and I wish you all a happy holiday season and a successful rest of the school year!

Also before I close out, I’d like to dedicate this entry to my dog, Skip, who passed away last Friday. We got Skip as a rescue in April of 2001, when he was thought to be 2-4 years old, so he had a long life, and was always very happy and full of energy. He was a really great dog, and we all miss him very much.

My brother and I with Skip, 2004

 

 

July 2009

This one is for the geeks in the room…

Hi, again. Since I have been at Glenn Research Center (GRC) now since January, I want to mention some of the things that I have worked on here already before talking about my current projects. Initially, I was hired to work on a design for a test chamber able to simulate the environment on the surface of Venus. That was one of two main projects I worked on last semester.

On that project, I met with test engineers, materials engineers, mechanical, and electrical engineers to consult on my design. The work I did involved doing stress calculations, researching materials, researching existing test chambers and industry as well as doing Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis. I ended up producing a preliminary design for the test chamber, able to test an entire Venus lander at surface conditions, and co-authoring a paper in the works for publication. I also wrote a program in Matlab to calculate the deceleration loads seen during ballistic entry into the atmosphere of Venus at varying velocities and entry angles.

The second project I worked on last semester was great, because I actually ended up doing hands on work with electronics and was able to see hardware built from my design. The project was to design a battery and enclosure along with charging circuitry. The battery was to be charged using the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) simulator, a spacecraft power system my branch developed, as a power source. This battery and charging circuitry, combined with the ASRG simulator, will be part of a demonstration unit showing that ASRG technology can be used to charge batteries on lunar vehicles or rovers.

The picture shown of me was taken next to the battery and enclosure I designed, and the little black box containing my circuitry. This project was absolutely awesome to work on, stretching my electrical and mechanical education and skills to the max. Between these two projects I used nearly every bit of knowledge I have gained at Embry-Riddle.

Thanks again for reading, more to come in a week or two.
Geoff