The new HMC blog has been moved to http://newwww.hmc.edu/admission/connect/blog/. You could also access the blog by going to hmc.edu/admission and scrolling down to find where it says “Latest from the Blog.”
So don’t worry, we’re still blogging, just on a different page!
(ji_su_lee at hmc dot edu)
In the lab during research, I hear at least two tours going by every day. The guides especially like to point at all the research posters outside professors’ offices and show all of us working in the labs. If you’ve taken a tour this summer, trust what they say because it’s all true. Mudd only has undergraduates, so all research positions go to us. The posters are all from research done over the summer, during the semester, or from Clinic. Every year Harvey Mudd students earn patents for their work, publish a paper with their professor, and/or attend a conference (sometimes as the only undergraduate team).
Unfortunately, during the summer not all the facilities are open/accessible for viewing during the tour. This includes the machine shop, which is my favorite place to visit for a tour. Only student shop proctors and some staff have card swipe access to the shop rooms and there are no regular shop hours during the summer.
To make up for that, here is a blog post about the machine shop, a source of much excitement for our visitors as well as us Mudders. We have 4 student shops, and you can use 3 of these starting your first semester of freshman year. The other one is used during E80, or Experimental Engineering (better known as our rocket science course).
Once you pass the mandatory safety quiz and go through some training with the shop proctors (all students, not staff), you can use any of the machines during any of the shop hours. We have a sheet metal shop, wood shop, and just a general shop with 3 lathes, 2 mills, 1 CNC mill and 1 CNC lathe.
Most of the time freshmen go through shop training for either/both of the following courses: E11 (Autonomous Vehicles) and E4 (Intro to Engineering Design & Manufacturing). E11 is offered during the fall to only freshmen, and you learn some coding, robotics, and machining to build your own autonomous vehicle. E4 is the first required course in the engineering core, and I took it during the past spring semester.
In E4, you complete team design projects, one of which is a project assigned to you by an external client. Three friends and I worked on improving a mixer for 21 Choices, a frozen yogurt store with branches in Pasadena and Claremont. This machine mixes hard pack frozen yogurt and any ingredient ranging from Snickers and Reese’s Pieces to strawberries and sprinkles. At the end it produces a customized frozen yogurt flavor. My team and I decided to focus on the lever system that controls the spinning auger, which mixes the ingredients together. We spent quite a few weekends and late nights working away in the machine shop to create a very rough prototype to send to our client at the end of the semester. We also give a presentation to other teams working on the same project as well as our professors, and prepare a CD with a 3-D model of our prototype and our final report for the client. And hopefully 21 Choices has benefited from our recommendations! (I also wrote earlier in the semester about this project component about E4 – see here. If you have other questions, my e-mail is at the end of every post I write!)
In addition to the design projects, we have E4 lab. This is where we receive training for the machine shop, learn a bit of Solidworks (3D design software), and how to read diagrams & tolerance measurements of different parts. E4 lab culminates in the creation of the famous hammer. Over the course of 6 weeks known as the hammer season, we headed down to the machine shop to work on our hammer head, handle, and faces. This is something all Mudd engineers, past and current, can talk about – everyone who has graduated with a Harvey Mudd bachelor’s degree in general engineering owns/owned a hand-crafted hammer.
You can also complete two extra credit assignments – the sheet metal tool tray and the screwdriver. I didn’t complete the tool tray, but I had a ton of fun making the screwdriver. I got to work with different kinds of equipment and tools on the mill and the lathe, as well as clear acrylic for the handle.
I show prospective students the machine shop because it connects to some unique characteristics of Harvey Mudd. Firstly, the shop reflects our honor code. The shop is more or less student run – the school hires student shop proctors, trains them in the beginning of the year, and assigns head proctors who oversee the management of the shop. You can work in the shop whenever there is a shop proctor there, and I myself have asked my upperclassmen friends to open up the shop past regular hours so I could clock in extra hours for my hammer.
Second, the shop shows how hands on our assignments tends to be and the benefits of that kind of work. Before coming to Mudd, I had no background in machining, engineering software, or the design process. However, I received exposure to engineering work early in my college career. Through E4 I gained personal experience in making my own prototype, collaborating with my team, and working with clients, and not so much of the theoretical aspects of engineering design that I had expected. The practical nature of this class provided me with much more realistic expectations of what a major and possibly a career in this field could look and feel like.
Last, but not least, I show the machine shop because…well, who doesn’t think making your own hammer and screwdriver is the most awesome thing ever?
(email@example.com for comments, questions, suggestions)
Mudders like fun. Mudders like water. Mudders like sand. Mudders sometimes like piers with burgers, milkshakes, and pelicans.
So some of us Mudders made the 58-minute trip to Newport beach that happened to have these things to experience. It was a great day.
Thanks to HMC’s Committee for Activities Planning (CAP), several other Mudders living on campus over the summer and your 2 summer tour guides (Risa and I) got to spend the day at the beach. With CAP, Mudders can take excursions off of our beautiful campus at discounted prices! There have been CAP trips to musicals, hockey games, Disneyland, the aquarium, midnight premieres of popular movies, paintball arenas, …, and the BEACH!
One time I saw some jellyfish on a CAP trip at the Aquarium of the Pacific – notice Madeline rocking the overalls.
Hope all of you guys are having a great summer! I haven’t posted in a while (more specifically, since ASP), so I thought I’d update y’all on what’s been going on in my Mudd life first:
May 11: DONE with finals! Yay! We celebrated by attending a CAP event for Raging Waters. CAP is a group of students elected by the student body that manages a $27,000 budget annually. This money goes to off campus events, organized by any Mudder and for participation by all Mudders. These can be watching Wicked in LA, an LA kings game, going to the Color Run, eating out at Din Tai Fung in Arcadia, Six Flags, Disneyland, etc. The point is that your cost will be subsidized so that you can go out and explore the Southern California area at a low price. You just have to tell CAP about your idea, and they’ll discuss it as a group, and will come up with how much they will allocate from the budget to your event. So yeah, Raging Waters was SUPER fun and I only needed to pay $10 for a ticket to this awesome water park Great way to celebrate the end of my freshman year.
May 14-June 1: Summer math begins! A hectic three weeks – 100something freshmen took two math core courses – Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra/Differential Equations Part II – in half the usual time it takes to complete them. Lots of math for a crammed three weeks, but we had a lot of fun working on homework together, as always.
One of my favorite moments during summer math was when Dean Jacobsen related systems of differential equations to romance, using the famous characters Romeo & Juliet as independent variables. He modeled Romeo and Juliet’s love as a function of Romeo’s love for Juliet, and vice versa. For example, Romeo’s love would increase if Juliet’s love for him increased, and Juliet’s love would decrease if Romeo’s love increased. Then, by adjusting the signs on the coefficients in front of these variables, he showed that if both were too cautious about making moves, their love ‘results in mutual apathy.’ Basically, the lesson of the day was to take risks in love. Oh, the things you learn in math class.
June 4-July 30: Summer research in the chemistry department! So right now I’m about a week and a half into my work with Professor Karukstis, and I’ve already learned to use three different instruments to examine chemical structures. As a broad overview, our research is in supramolecular chemistry, a study of how molecules spontaneously organize themselves into different structures through some weaker intermolecular interactions. It’s exciting to dig deeper into a specific field, which is a change from the core where we are getting a solid background in a variety of disciplines. I’m very fortunate to have experienced learning in general about lots of different subjects, as well as a very specific, independent approach and discovering new knowledge, all during my freshman year.
So yeah, that’s my summer on Mudd campus so far. I’ll be posting again soon about International Orientation, which is an awesome pre-Mudd orientation event sponsored by I-Place. It’s been exciting to see that this blog has views from Singapore, Korea, South Africa, New Zealand, and India, so I thought that would be the most appropriate blog topic. Stay tuned
*^Update on the above (July 17). I will be posting in general about opportunities available for international students, but without too much focus on international orientation. That’s only relevant if you are an international student of Class of 2016, which is only around 10% of the incoming class. In retrospect, I believe a post about resources/events as an international student will be far more useful, for both pre-frosh and prospective students.
And as always, feel free to email me for topic suggestions, questions, concerns, etc. Have a great rest of the week everyone!
(email: ji_su_lee at hmc dot edu)
I’m a new blogger here, the name is Risa Egerter. I just finished freshman year and I’m currently hanging out in the Admissions Office all summer as a summer intern! Here’s something pretty cool that happened during this last school year:
Harvey Mudd students have made their own Rube Goldberg Machine before (see Harvey Mudd College’s Rube Goldberg Machine -2010), but this particular time, it wasn’t just for fun. Some of our students, along with a group of professional engineers and Caltech students, created a Goldberg Machine for Coca-Cola in the gym of our very own LAC (Linde Activities Center)! As they were filming the commercial, they invited all Mudd students to become part of the super excited crowd, seeing the machine in action for the first time. Watch the Coca-Cola commercial here!
So apart from researching and working to answer unsolved problems during the summer days, Mudders like to check out things like the Venus transit , which was visible to us yesterday afternoon. Some professors, students, staff members, and even alums gathered on campus to look through telescope lenses for a close-up glimpse of Venus passing in front of the sun. Thanks to Professor Lyzenga ’75 (one of our awesome physics profs) for making this happen!
Many of you admitted students on the Facebook Mudd app have been asking about what campus actually looks like. So…here are some photos from around Ac End as well as Residential End!
Anyway, I hope those pictures gave all of you a better sense of what the inside of Harvey Mudd looks like. During our tours we try to show at least one student room – for my tours, we show my tour guide partner Christian’s Atwood double, but during Admitted Students Weekend I showed my group my own room. The set up is a little different for each of the outer dorms – usually in suite style, except for Case, which has indoor hallways called L’s and has everything from singles, doubles, triples, and quads, but no suites. South is made of suites and doubles, and each suite comes with a common area, a bathroom, and 3-4 singles in it each.
When you enroll at Mudd, you will fill out a 4-5 page roommate matching form that will help the three orientation directors (all students!) decide who will be the best roommate for you and which dorm will be the best for you.
If you have any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions about my posts or anything else about Mudd life, please feel free to shoot me an email or any of the other bloggers! Enjoy the rest of your week!
(ji_su_lee at hmc dot edu)