Archives For December 2016

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.