Thursday, September 07, 2006
Start the engine
The classes have finally and officially started. Today, I decided to write my observations from the somewhat strange experiences I've had in these three days, beginning with the most strange and craziest of them, the Advanced Engineering Electromagnetic which there is no escape from.
I believe that Electromagnetic is the toughest course in the whole EE courses. It is so vast and deep that it should be put in several course(which it has been actually) but still, looks scary. The teacher is an Indian professor with a very thick nice accent and an strange sense of humour. Just in the first class he called us a brave lad to have taken this course with him(I already was scared, guess how I felt afterwards). The Digital Communication course has also a very humorous teacher. I always get a good laugh in his class. He is an American professor which makes fun of every one in the class but in a very pleasant way. The third one is the most crowded one. The stochastic processes course is every one's either major or minor in the coming candidacy exam. And the candidacy exam which is supposed to be in the end of this semester seems a bit frightening. I have to be well prepared.
And just like the good old undergrad days where we used to do a tough homework for every course every week, this has started again for me in my PhD studies! Actually it felt really good when I sat down on Sunday and managed to solve the electromagnetic problems.
Another good thing which has happened to me is that for the first time during my long period of studies I managed to make it for the very first day of schedules (most importantly the orientation). I remember going two days late to school in the first year of elementary. Then showing up two weeks late for the registration in the university. And three weeks late in my masters because of visa delays. But this time everything went well and I got here on the first day of orientation and did most of the paper work done in the first week, got acquainted with the campus and most importantly met lots of good people and made friends with them, specifically among them my french friends, and some Indian and Chinese students I met. And the fact is as they are in different areas of study I would have never met them or even walked pass them in this huge campus if I had missed the orientation.
But the only thing which made me a little worried was the housing problem during the first week. As it seems a huge number of students have applied for Penn State and they have accepted a great number comparing to previous years, so almost everywhere on campus and off campus was full by the time I got here, and as I didn't know anyone it took me a few days to realize that the situation is harsh. Fortunately on the fourth day by the help of Orkut(which can actually be of a great help some of the times) I found a familiar face which was in the same year with me in university in Iran but in a different major, so we only had a physical education course with each other during which didn't quite get to know each other. But as soon as I sent him a message he treated me like an old friend and saved my a.. by helping me find an apartment using his car.