Hit the Ground Running


As I’m sure you’ve all heard a million times by now, welcome (and welcome back) to U of I! A word to our freshman first:

Congratulations on making it here. This really is a great place to be, and you are now part of a huge engineering community. You’ll find that the opportunities here are endless, and the decisions on which to take are all yours. So whatever making the most of this experience means to you, go for it. Just don’t join every single club. Or give them all your email, for that matter. If you need some ideas for places to study that are off the beaten path, read last year’s blog post Oh Great, There Isn’t Any Room.

As this campus is always changing and growing, here are a few things to check out:

The Union is now offering Friday Night Films. You can go watch a movie for free every Friday night at 7 PM in the Pine Lounge (northwest corner of the main floor). Upcoming movies: Tammy (9/19); Think Like a Man Too (9/26). For the complete calendar, go to http://union.illinois.edu/get-involved/illini-union-board/calendar-and-a...

In addition to Friday Night Films, the Union will also continue to host Illinites once a month. Illinites run from 9 PM to 1 AM and provide a slew of free activities throughout the night, such as performances (Second City came to one of the Illinites last year), games, and dancing. This month’s Illinite will be on the 19th and is Harry Potter themed.

This one’s really for freshman: take a good look at the Alma Mater. She was gone for most of last year undergoing extensive restoration. You can see from the before and after pictures what a difference it made. To put things in perspective, when my dad was a little kid living here in Champaign fifty years ago, she was already very green. Seeing her in her original dark bronze again is a pretty big deal. (see MechSE’s post Alma Comes Home http://mechanical.illinois.edu/blogs/alma-comes-home )

The new book list for One Book One Campus will be out soon. For those who don’t know, One Book One Campus is basically a university-wide book club. The Chancellor picks books from a big list compiled by university representatives. Anyone can read the books and join discussions or programs related to them.

The new ECE (electrical and computer engineering) building is finished and in use as of this semester. It’s got a first floor auditorium that seats four hundred, twenty-one labs, and 230,000 square feet of space. The classrooms have touchscreen signs that tell you where you are in the building and show you a map as well as the room number and what the room is used for. Finishing touches are still being added; even the stairwells smell new. So go take the chance to wander a newborn building if you haven’t already. Cool fact: the new building has been built as a net-zero energy building, which means that over the course of a year it will produce as much energy as it uses. The new building is located on the North Quad southwest of the Beckman Institute. Everitt Lab (the old ECE building) still holds electrical and computer engineering classes as well as classes for other engineering majors.

For MechSE students, the innovation studio in MEL has been expanded and now includes both rooms 2009 and 2001.

Lastly, our ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) chapter has created a MechSE courses wiki on their website that everyone is encouraged to use. Students can submit reviews of the classes they’ve taken and read about other ME and TAM classes. You can see copies of the class syllabus , difficulty ratings, prerequisites, recommendations for when to take the class, etc. Anyone who has taken ME or TAM classes is invited to contribute to the wiki. More information about what/how to submit is on the wiki page. https://sites.google.com/site/testcoursewiki/home

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