Co-op Payout

March 23, 2017 — Leave a comment

Last Thursday was the Wentworth career fair. All the students were doing their best to look appealing and professional. Many still had haircuts from over break, because apparently that’s what people do during breaks. Nearly every one of my peers had donned ties or skirts for the occasion, and it was a treat to see so many of them dressed up.

I went with the intent of talking to employers and scouting their departments. The Friday previous, I had committed to work for the summer doing biological research at Northeastern. I found a host of great companies, but most of them did not know they needed applied math majors yet. Of a gym full of employers, only 4 marked that they were looking for applied math majors. Lincoln Labs was the one that looked most enticing. I had a diverting and semi-fruitful job convincing the employers that they were indeed in need of math majors.

Also during this week, I have been accepted to two more co-ops in California and in Wisconsin as well as the Select Scholars program I was talking about before. I guess my trick is to apply broadly ask Lauren from Coops and Careers to make sure my application materials are hire-worthy. The more difficult task is keeping school priorities straight, but most students know how to prioritize academics.

Last week was spring break and every day was an adventure. Not every adventure was in Boston, because I was home, but many of them were still nearby.

Kicking off the week, I spent Sunday drilling with a reenactment group based out of Dunstable. These were Revolutionary war reenactors, so many men of my age and ethnicity would be soldiers – I drilled while armed with a firelock :). Some of you may know this group as the End Zone Militia for the Patriots. I forgot to ask if I could post pictures, but I will probably get some later.
After drilling with the men for a couple hours, I joined the ladies downstairs. I learned to sew a backstitch and worked on one seam of a gown. There are some nice needle-shaped holes in my fingers now, but the half-seam I finished in an hour looks fabulous.

The next day was First Monday at Jordan Hall, which is less than a quarter mile from Wentworth. First Monday means free concerts organized by the man who used to be the president of the New England Conservatory. For March, we had chamber music from Schumann, Dvorak, and Crumb. I had never heard of Crumb, but his piece in the concert was a real draw for me. The composition featured an electric flute (who ever heard of an electric flute?? Awesome!)

WIT Student Ben Guest and myself #SpottedAround at Jordan Hall before a chamber music concert

Tuesday, I gave blood and was basically too tuckered out to do anything else. I talked with a really cool medical assistant who appreciated that WIT students still organize blood drives, despite controversy with the FDA.

Wednesday, a couple of my Wentworth friends came over and we hiked around south Massachusetts and northeast Rhode Island. We hit seven geocaches in one day without paying a cent for a geocaching membership!

Thursday I had a throwback day to fall semester and did another “escape the room” puzzle. This time I went with my girlfriend instead of a team of engineers and in Providence instead of Boston (we had coupons). We meant to go earlier in the year, and got snowed out, but the manager decided to let us go for free over break! The experience was different, but the result was ultimately the same, of course. We completed Escape Rhode Island’s ExMachina puzzle, which, at the time, had a 13% winrate *dusts off fingernails*.

Notice anything in common with these things I did over break? I’m a college student on a budget; none of them cost money. Admittedly, the escape game was a gift from nice the manager, so something like that takes a little luck and begging. With a couple friends and a little creativity, you will never run out of things to do around here.

HackWITUs So Cool

February 27, 2017 — Leave a comment

A hackathon is a friendly competition for students to network with other students – and sponsor representatives 🙂 – while making hardware or software tools and games. We provide free food, space, power, internet, other hackers, some hardware, some APIs, workshops, and prizes. Free.

One thing: we get a lot of questions about who can and cannot come to a hackathon. Everyone is invited and anyone should be able to enjoy the time. We have some events and workshops planned that require 0 computer science or programming experience. I’m not a computer science major…

Last week, the head of the group that is organizing Wentworth’s Hackathon announced that we have entered CRUNCH TIME. HackWITUs 2017 will be Wentworth’s first annual Hackathon. The planning committee has been preparing since fall semester for this event that lands on March 25-26. One of our members even made a blog just about us! We have our own website designed to spread information and show off our development skillz (even though it’s a static webpage, it’s cool enough that it feels interactive).

 

Behold our fancy logo and website!

We’ve been reaching out to sponsors all over the place to gather the resources to put this on for the people that come to the event. So far, we’re getting stuff/help from various departments and people around the school, Microsoft, Facebook, edX, kwidil, goPuff, and a few others. I always bring my resume to hackathons for a shot at jobs with sponsors; some companies sponsor hackathons and send a representative as a way of scouting talent.

Like us on facebook!

hackathon cover

If you can’t come this year, this will be an annual event. So hopefully I can meet you next year :D.

These couple weeks have had two glorious snow days. Normally I’m the first one to detest snow. The cancellations set my education back a day and usually mean a good deal of shoveling at home. Those crystals spell white doom for the long-distance commuter. In previous years, my 90 minute commutes have doubled to nearly three hours.

Man shoveling snow after a heavy snowfall

 

This time around though, the lack of school saved me from a good deal of misery. I’ve been somewhat unwell since Monday, but by the time Thursday rolled around, I’d had more than my share. I had been sniffling and my hands were bone dry from washing them between classes.

On the day off, I caught up on ages worth of work. I closed some ends on my open applications for summer programs and grad school, cleaned my room, started a fitness challenge with my friend, and worked on planning Wentworth’s awesome first hackathon. I did some homework too: numerical analysis a day early, an outline for an essay due soon, and some molecular biology research.

stupidcalm

Later today, my first graduate school application will be complete and submitted. Perhaps students halfway through their second year of an undergraduate degree do not apply for a Master’s, but circumstances are just too perfect.

There are a couple programs out there that accept applications from students prior to their senior year, like Boston University’s School of Public Health Select Scholars Program. Undergraduates in their junior year can gain early acceptance to the graduate program and complete their senior year at Wentworth. The program is a unique opportunity for undergraduates with an interest in public health to enroll in a top graduate public health program and join a cohort of peers through accelerated placement and subsequent graduate training in public health. The program provides early immersion in public health, giving students the opportunity to explore different options that are available in this field and connecting them with faculty mentors for academic and career advising.Image result for public health from https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi39tH0uezRAhXK2SYKHez-CrUQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.healthcaregeorgia.org%2Ffocus-areas%2Fpublic-health.cfm&psig=AFQjCNHB3EJGOd5DxCE_yQj6Ri7t-fRZgg&ust=1485954458954683

Our Applied Math Department invites speakers every week to talk about things someone can do in a mathematics-related field. Late last semester, two representatives from BU were here to talk about public health opportunities and Travis DiJoseph, associate director of academic affairs, came to speak too and mention their Select Scholars Program. There’s a lot of work in statistics and computation to be done in the public health field, and especially interesting to me are the bioinformatics and biostatistics applications.

I was filling out my CV to apply to the program and realizing how much more qualified I am now than I was than last year. Thank you Wentworth!
You can expect more details about building a CV in a later post.

Bio Makes Me Nervous

December 20, 2016 — Leave a comment

Completing finals last Tuesday has been a great relief. Grades came in this afternoon, and were about what I expected – not too exciting, but not embarrassing either. In spring, I will be taking cellular and molecular biology to progress towards my bioinformatics minor, and I’m nervous. So many of my plans revolve around whether or not I hold an affinity for this area of study.

Back in high school, one of my favorite and most engaging classes was bio, but this course was taught with a different style and intent than something I might find at a technical institute. Based on my enjoyment of Miss Mitchell’s high school bio, I have made grand plans involving grad school and maybe medical school that will need to change if I find that I dislike cellular and molecular biology. It’s like a first meeting with someone I will have to work with for years to follow.

Not that I have a love for only the known, but I want to keep my plans, so I’m lining up next semester’s trial to be perfect. The professor will be Ryan Rogers, whom other students have recommended on numerous occasions and I have met a couple times around the school. My younger sister and I are studying up using Khan Academy’s biology track. I’m studying this right now, which links nicely into last semester’s chemistry course.

 

Any questions or just want to chat? Leave me a message in the comments section.

The Close of Chemistry

December 14, 2016 — Leave a comment

This evening, my chemistry course concluded with a final exam. In the journey of an applied math scholar, chemistry is not the strangest thing, but nor is it in the standard package.

This course was outside my major requirements, but stimulating enough that I jumped at an opportunity to take it. Though other applied math students were doing cool things, I’m convinced none among them took home biodiesel and a tie dye shirt after their last classes.

dyed in indigo from Wentworth’s own wet chemistry labs, this shirt will soon define modern fashion

Dyed in indigo from Wentworth’s own wet chemistry labs, this type of shirt will soon define modern fashion. 😀

Many students, given time, would enroll in chemistry, but the fast-track applied mathematics program does not afford so much wiggle room. For me, the course was possible because transfer credits from high school allow me ~6 more choice classes than my contemporaries.

But why take chem and not something mathy? Two big reasons. One, a fellow can be overloaded by math. Two, my childhood dream of saving lives as a surgeon became a step closer.

The first reason was perhaps not the wisest. This course was a major challenge for me – turns out I’m a math/compsci guy for a reason. I did appreciate the break from more complex math, but I was not prepared for all the memorization and new ideas without my other supporting classes. Chemistry was a worthy way to broaden my horizons, however, and I recommend the course to anyone with free time and a hard-working spirit.

Yesterday evening, the mathematics department held its biannual Applied Mathematics Poster session. Being a student, I had the inside scoop on a lot of the project teams, and many of them were anxious as the poster session approached. Some of these posters represented months of teamwork and late-nights in front of MATLAB, and everyone wished they had more time to crystallize and improve their projects.

The night of, however, was a big party with chips and salsa and dignitaries. Finally, I received the opportunity to see what my friends had been working on for so long and to show off my own work.

Ichiryu Con Poster

My teammate Ichiryu Nakashima ready to present our research. Nakashima is one of the masterminds behind our poster design and instrumental in our success story.

I wish I had snapped a picture of the scene from above, but I was so engaged by friends, admirers, and examiners that I didn’t think of it.

Coop Outing

November 28, 2016 — Leave a comment

Last week, ENE Systems (my summer 2016 co-op) invited me on one of their outings. The engineering and integration groups all went out for hibachi and a puzzle game. The invitation to meet up with the group was a real honor and the outing itself was a blast.

If you ever get the opportunity, Trapology in Boston is an awesome adventure for a group of engineers. Not all Wentworth students are engineers, but I think all of them would be entertained by the experience.

The ENE Systems Engineering outing squad

Our group rejoicing after glorious victory (only 17% of groups manage to make it out of the room in time)

Entrants are dropped in a room and have to escape by solving puzzles and finding clues in the room. As a player, I was able to use skills developed by my Wentworth education: leadership, communication, attention to detail, and looking at a problem with multiple perspectives.

 

 

 

Opportunity and Engagement

November 4, 2016 — 1 Comment

Just going to say this straight up: I love my on-campus roles. There are so many on-campus responsibilities, and they pretty much all rock.

I completed Phase I the Wentworth Leadership Institute and did well in my classes last semester, and that opened up so many doors for me and my career. My roles with the Institute grant me all sorts of experience before I need to look for permanent employers. The opportunities I have as a sophomore are things that not every student gets to see, and Wentworth made opportunity knock. Students who have completed the first phase of WLI can become RAs, join the Student Alumni Association, give tours to prospective students, sit on the Community Standards Board, and more. The opportunities are abundant for anyone willing to grab them.

I get to meet all the cool people and do all the cool things because of my roles and they are the primary reason that I engage well on campus. I’m getting teaching experience as a Learning Lab Tutor, networking and event planning experience as a Commuter Assistant, and other perks from my additional roles.