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MIT student blogger Mollie B. '06

Adam makes a guest appearance by Mollie B. '06

Adam's motto: Step one, get it done. Step two, there's always more to do.

Mollie has decided that she doesn’t want to write any more “this is how my interview weekend went” entries. So seeing all she has to talk about these days are said weekends she’s asked me to write something about my terribly interesting life. This is my first ever blog entry…so bear with me.

working on airplane
Me working on one of my planes

There are a few constants in the universe, death, taxes, and MIT students complaining about how much work they have to do. I guarantee you that one day will not go by in your undergraduate careers without someone telling you about their 4 psets, 3 labs, and 2 papers that are all due tomorrow by 5pm. There’s just something therapeutic about complaining. So in keeping with MIT tradition I am now going to tell you about how much work I had to do last week, and you should cower in awe appropriately.

We’ll start with course work. So I usually have 2 psets a week, but this week I also had a presentation in one of my HASS classes. The first pset was for 16.901 “Computational Methods In Aerospace Engineering” but I think a more appropriate name would be “Lots of Taylor series and some MATLAB code that Adam does not understand.” I’d give this pset a 2 out of 5 on the “assume the fetal position” scale. Pset number two was for 16.05 “Thermal Energy” or more descriptively “How to Build Jet Engines.” While this class ranks much higher on the coolness scale (jet engines win over MATLAB any day), it is also proportionally higher on the “assume the fetal position” scale. But after 6 hours of analyzing Brayton cycles and figuring out the delta s of compressor stages, I’m one step closer to being a rocket…errr airplane scientist.

The high point of the week, surprisingly, was my 21W.785 presentation. The class is centered around a semester-long group project where we create a webpage. Now it’s not like we’re just setting up a myspace page and taking a nap for the rest of the semester. Each project is quite involved; our group, for example, is making a customizable virtual tour of MIT’s campus complete with video clips and 360-degree panoramas of select locations. This week we had to give a 20 minute presentation outlining out site and our plans for the semester. The presentation was supposed to include technical specs and mockups of our site. The problem with this was that no one in my group knew HTML, PHP, CSS, or any other form of web publishing short of writing something in Word and saving it as .html. So after 3 hours of trying to learn CSS I went to the Dreamweaver website. 3 hours after that I had a totally sweet looking homepage. Granted, none of the links worked, but there were pictures and a pretty rollover navigation menu. Long story short, our presentation went exceptionally well, and I learned that I’m actually pretty good at web design. (Editor’s note: Except that he doesn’t understand anything else about computers.)

In other news: “Adam Woodworth woke up at the crack of dawn this morning to go fly airplanes.” I have two jobs this semester. One is my internship at Draper Labs which has been ongoing since last June, and the other involves helping the 16.82x (Aero/Astro senior capstone) students finish and test fly their airplanes for the AIAA Design Build Fly competition. Both of these jobs involve lots of flying, and flight tests are best conducted on warm, calm, rain-free days. The problem is that it’s March in New England and most days dont meet the aforementioned criteria. Thus on the few flyable days we had this week both Draper and 16.82 wanted me to fly. Since I have not yet created the technology that allows me to be in two places at the same time, I had to wake up very early to go fly for Draper so that I could then go fly for 16.82 and then go to class. Luckily for me, I like flying more than I like sleep. (Editor’s note: That’s not what he’s singing when the alarm goes off at 7 AM…)

airplane love

Well that was my week in all of its hardcoreness. I hope that you were impressed (I know Chuck Norris was). Provided that you didn’t hate the entry and found me at least mildly amusing, Mollie wants me to write another entry about my research work. So hopefully I’ll talk to you all later…

13 responses to “Adam makes a guest appearance”

  1. Anne says:

    Adam I loved your entry ! If i’m accepted ( hopefully right ? ) I want to major in aerospace engineering. Actually that’s why I applied to MIT : because it’s one of the few universities offering undergrad aerospace courses..

    I loooove space ( though I happen to also have some ( well one ) non space related hobbies…

    It was great to hear from an Aerospace and engineering person !

    thanks !

  2. Dinyar says:

    minh: You can pay the self-help by working on campus (also during semester.. UROP is a possibility e.g.), by your own savings, by scholarships or by borrowing from MIT or any combination of the before mentioned afaik..

  3. Timur Sahin says:

    You are a masochistic individual. This is the stuff you hide so as not to scare away us prospective students!

    But seriously, I think it’s pretty awesome you can get all that done. Or that you even have the option of getting so immersed in something you love (although that is ~in line with the aforementioned masochism).

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say Chuck Norris is impressed. Chuck Norris doesn’t need rocket scientists; he could pick up a rock and throw it to the moon while standing on it.

    Either way, I look forward to your next entry!

  4. Phil says:

    Yeah, on my “Part 1” of the app, i put Physics down for my desired major (why? I cannot begin to tell you). But now, I’ve realized that my obsession with flight and aerodynamics would much better placed in Aerospace Engineering. Unfortunatley I realized this while I was completing part 2 of my application, making for a VERY confusing “Which major and why?” essay.

    Eh, hope they get (got? since they are already done) it.

  5. Minh says:

    Welcome Adam, you’re really a refresher from Mollie’s style (no offense). Okay, so we’ve all known from Mollie that you’re obsessed with airplanes and spent your free time making airplane models. What do you do with them one they’re done? Put them in a research lab? In fact, I can’t wait to read about your research stories. To be honest, I’m quite flabbergasted when I read in MIT Finaid that they value your self-help package to $5,500. I mean, do MIT students make THAT much during summer at the labs and companies where they intern?

  6. rorosen says:

    can’t get enough of the mollie and adam show

  7. rorosen says:

    I just looked at the directory movies of the planes. I can’t believe the control you have over those flying things. Last time I watched model planes, an acre of space was needed for a turn and they were noisy as lawnmowers. Now you maneuver between pillars inside a dining room. Still, I worried about the fragile little guys hitting something,..Mollie should hurry and finish her shrinking ray so you can climb inside. Are these your own designs that you build? The blade runner and the nimble blue one that takes off from a tabletop?

  8. Laura says:

    I shudder at the mere thought of Taylor Series….yuck.

    I love web design. That’s a pretty sweet page. But Explorer? Come on now. =)

  9. Adam says:

    Mollie told me that I’m supposed to answer all these comments/questions when I write my next entry. But, I’m too impatient.

    Minh: Once I build my planes I fly them. Thats the fun part. But I seem to get into a build, fly, crash, repeat cycle. So I’m always building something new.

    Rosen: Most of my airplanes are built from kits, but with heavy modification. The blade runner was a toy helicopter I picked up at the Discovery Channel store, then modified it (alot). The small blue plane was my own design, and uses electronics out of another cheap rc toy. I reorganized my public folder and put all my airplane movies in:

  10. rosen says:

    thanks for the speedy response, Adam, because the movies were cool and informative .. but in the future always listen to your mollie. How then can you go wrong?

  11. Minh says:

    Wow Adam, the flight videos are AWESOME!!!