Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Matlab and classes

All four of the classes I'm taking uses Matlab. I have a feeling that I will become very good at programming with Matlab by the end of this quarter. I hope I will anyway. When I took 1.00, I seriously did not really "learn" how to program. I just did things by example. As in, take the example and apply it to my situation. I do not understand 'for loops' for the life of me. I spent 15 minutes yesterday explaining to one of my TAs that I understand perfectly what's going on mathematically but just can't write the for loop. My brain just doesn't think that way...

I feel lost in a couple of my classes. I really need to sit down and read the material and go over stuff on my own. I can't learn anything listening to things once. I have to re-write all my notes in order for things to start to sink in. But my hydrologic response class goes pretty fast and it's getting to be a lot of material that I need to go over.

So of all my classes, the one that is remotely related to geotech is the structural geology class. But after attending a couple of week's worth of lectures, I don't think I like structural geology. The scale of things is always too large. Maybe it's just all these geology terms that I don't understand and I don't see the point of all this projecting coordinate system business. Another part of this class focuses on rock mechanics. I hope we get to do more of that soon. I was so happy when I got the rock mechanics book in the mail. I flipped through it and realized that it was an engineering book! I can't describe how happy I was to see an engineering book instead of all these math, geology, and hydrology books I've been reading lately.

Splash is this weekend! I need to find out where I can make copies and such soon... And since I'll be really busy this weekend, I need to do put in some major effort to do more work before the weekend. I still can't believe all my classes give weekly assignments. I feel like grad classes should give assignments every two weeks instead. I don't mind if they're harder. It's difficult to have time to go over stuff and do independent reading if we have to keep meeting these deadlines every week. We got an extension on one of our homeworks today since the professor was getting ahead of himself.

I'm going to an ASCE geotech seminar in a few weeks. The topic is advances in soil liquefaction. I'm excited since the topics seem really interesting and it will be a great networking opportunity. Hopefully I can repeat what happened last Friday (find out about a local geotech company, get business cards, and possible internship offer)! My department is going to reimburse me for the registration fee. Good things happen when you ask! Anyway, I have to miss a couple of classes but I'm sure I can get notes from other people and I think it will be worthwhile.


X said...

So far only one of my classes really use Matlab since the first assignment. Another class needs it for the current one. I feel like for the classes that uses Matlab, you're spending most of your time debugging than in learning the concept.

I think my assignments are generally due everyweek (with some exceptions though). But you are on a quarter system so it kinda makes sense that they would prefer weekly assignments.

yalu said...

Hmm X's comment about quarter system makes sense...but yeah, I know what you mean about stopping and reading stuff. I wish I had had more time to do that at MIT, and now I wish I had more time to do that at work also. At MIT I always wanted to do more and try more new things, but I kind of also wish I tried to do more in the depth sense.