Engineer for a Summer

Today I spoke to Aniceto Solares, a student in ENGS 3, about his experience in the class

Aniceto is an Economics Major with a minor in psychology. When I asked him why he decided to take an engineering course, he was quick to respond that he is friends with many engineers and had only heard good things about Thayer and the classes it offered. He had always been intrigued by the possibility of taking an ENGS class but hadn’t had the opportunity until now.

Aniceto Solares '15

Aniceto Solares ’15

The class’s title is Materials: The Substance of Civilization. It explores the materials used by humans to make their things, and the role they had in shaping civilizations. The course is taught by Professor Ronald C. Lasky, whose research interests include materials science. Aniceto says that he picked this engineering class because it is taught by a seasoned engineering professor, but it doesn’t present extremely technical science and isn’t very math intensive. He says, “the course is perfect for anyone who wants to get a taste of the engineering department, but isn’t naturally geared towards hard sciences.”

Aniceto’s favorite part of the class has been getting to work in the machine shop, making a pen holder. He says that when was given this assignment, he expected to get to the machine shop, and have a TA build the part for him. “Instead,” he says, “the process has been very hands-on and I’ve gotten to do it all myself. The entire process – researching materials, designing in CAD, taking measurements, and making the actual pieces – are things I wouldn’t normally do, and it has been extremely engaging and rewarding to try my hand at it.”

As an economics major, Aniceto says he has also enjoyed the class’s exploration of the way in which the price of gold fluctuates “basically on people’s whims. It was incredibly surprising to find out that our ability to mine gold, and thus, its supply, are always constant, meaning that the price changes only because of speculation. The class has shown me how materials science is highly relevant in explaining the complexity of our world.”

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