Monday, January 20, 2014

A New Semester

After the MLK Day holiday today, the time has come to start my second semester at the U of I with the end of the month-long Winter Break. It was nice not having classes and being able to concentrate on research, but the process of learning cannot be detached from coursework. And even if you don't believe in such high sounding things, classes give you a reason to get up in reasonable time!

I have not finalized my courses yet, though I have registered for a fair number. After the big fear of CEE 512 last semester, I've kept some CEE 599 credits on standby. I do hope to adequately work on my research and get that paper out and if my courses are hampering that, then these credits will act as a backup for my visa requirements. As for my courses, CEE 515 will remain on my portfolio as a natural corollary to CEE 416. The course, being a graduate-level one, will involve a project component and supposedly a good deal of computer applications, which I look forward to.

Among the courses that, either of which, could be dropped, CEE 417 has the reputation of an extremely simple course. I'm not one to buy into hubris and will remain on my guard. The course is actually UP 430 from the Urban Planning Department and will be a new experience for me. A last-minute decision was to take up CEE 598CPS, an interesting, research-based course from a postdoc of the CS Department. Before anything else, I'm not trying to slide in CS for a plump salary in California. The reason I took the course was because it was oriented towards research methods in Civil Engineering and how embedded systems enable those, something I see as potentially useful in the future.

Having two 500-level courses will be a huge challenge, although the surprising A in CEE 512 has given me some confidence. As if that were not enough, I have to sit-in ATMS 313 for my research. This will not involve doing any homework, but it will be another three hours of the week in class. Well, for the sake of one's research, one must make sacrifices.

So, after the successful 4.0/4.0 in the first semester, I look forward to another semester, my tenth consecutive one, full of opportunities! 

No comments: