Oh, how quickly time passes. It feels like only yesterday when I felt like a lost child wandering around campus on a warm summer’s day; now, I feel the same, only it’s colder out!
In all seriousness, it’s been a fun first eighth of my Yale undergraduate experience. I made lots of friends, took lots of interesting classes, and had a blast just being myself in a new environment! The general consensus among my friends concerning the Omicron variant and a potential remote spring has been… less than optimistic, but I’m still positive that things will work out in the end.
But enough about the future; what happened this semester? Well, classes happened. Here’s how I would rank the ones I took:
ASTR 080: Current Research in Astrophysics
This was my first-year seminar! Professor Bailyn was one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met, and listening to his lectures and discussions with us was extraordinarily engaging. We got to explore a huge variety of subjects in Astrophysics/Astronomy, like dark matter/energy, the expansion of the universe, exoplanets, black holes, and also had a research project at the end of the term where we looked at Astro2020, a decadal report of the current state of the astronomical society. Overall, a super fun class that didn’t have an excessive workload, yet I still learned a lot.
EENG 200: Introduction to Electronics
Despite all the pain some of the labs caused me, I really enjoyed this class. Experimenting around with electronic components for hours was incredibly fun, albeit tiring, and in retrospect the labs weren’t that much work and I just procrastinated. Oops. The p-sets were reasonably difficult and never took up a significant amount of time, but that might be to compensate for the labs. Professor Han was a great lecturer, and all the concepts covered in the class were interesting, like op-amps, MOSFETs, BJTs, and more!
PHYS 260: Intensive Introductory Physics
I love physics; it’s like math, but easier! Joking aside, Professor Girvin taught this class really well, even if I sometimes got a bit lost during lecture and the p-sets were a bit challenging at times. The concepts weren’t extremely novel, since I studied physics decently extensively in high school, but they were presented in an interesting way and the problems in the psets derived from the concepts still took a fair bit of thinking to solve.
MATH/S&DS 241: Probability Theory
As the math kid, this was my mandatory math class for the semester. Professor Wu was pretty great, and the concepts were all explained very clearly, but the one main drawback of the class was that it was a 9:00am class. No matter how interesting the class subject was, 9:00am is a cursed hour that seems to suck all life energy out of me. Thankfully, lectures were all recorded and the lecture slides were extraordinarily well constructed, so it wasn’t too bad.
CPSC 201: Introduction to Computer Science
OK, so it’s not that this class was bad, but just that it wasn’t really really good. Another complaint is that it met on Fridays. However, the content was still somewhat interesting, especially the parts on computer architecture.
As of now, my planned classes for next semester are GLBL 195, PHYS 205L, CPSC 223, MATH 255, PHYS 261, and MATH 320, so I’m continuing my STEM theme. I think it will probably be considerably more work, but hopefully, with better time management, it’ll be a fun time!