I am back and here to talk about what I am up to this semester!
I ended up only enrolling in three courses instead of four, which may partly be due to the not fun time I had last semester taking five courses (Check out my old post about that), and this extra time has allowed me to really explore things that happen on and around campus and get involved in those things.
Over the summer, I worked with another student and Professor Aaron Hoover and redesigned the Principles of Engineering room. It was really awesome because we got to go through the design process from research to deployable prototype. It has been absolutely amazing to get to see my classmates interact with the room layout and furniture that we designed specifically for them, and to get feedback and see ways that we can continue to improve the space. In a similar vein, this semester, we are continuing to improve the POE room while also shifting focus to improve other areas of campus. The library is a big focus right now because it is severely underutilized by students, and under Jeff Goldenson, our new Library Director, we are aiming to change the library space to fit more needs and attract more students.
Along with that, I am working two part-time jobs. The first one, on campus, is with the Admissions office. I am in charge of coordinating overnight visits for prospective students. This job has been really great because I have gotten to interact with a lot of prospies passionate about Olin, and connect them with Olin Hosts that share this passion and aim to show the prospies how awesome of a place Olin is.
The other job I am doing this semester is off campus, in Needham. Another Oliner worked for a workout facility in Needham over the summer and helped them create a webapp that creates a custom workout for its users when they cannot make it to the facility. The company then hired me this semester to help them 'gamify' their app, to keep the users motivated to use the app over the course of months. I will be implementing gaming concepts such as levels, badges, and awards to keep users engaged. This has been a very fun design challenge and it has been great to see what it is like to work in a professional setting. It is pretty awesome to find a job that I was recommended for because I had experience with both athletics and video games.
Moving back to campus, I am doing research in the Intelligent Vehicles Lab. I am working with a small group of students on a Wall-E robot. This robot is primarily a platform to test and research human-robot interaction algorithms, but I am helping to improve the mechanical aspects of the bot. It has been a challenge to come onto a project in the middle, but it has been a great learning experience and I am working under some very smart students that are helping me get in the swing of things. I am hoping to continue to do design and robo research on campus in the future.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to contact me at Charles.firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have! I would love to chat!