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Purdue Graduate School ('06-'07) - Semester V

Well, I never thought I would reach this point, but I'm getting pretty sick of school. Purdue University is great, but I really don't think I can deal with taking too many more classes. Thankfully I only have one semester left after this...

ECE 606 - Solid State Devices

So there is this requirement in ECE that you take two "core courses." ECE 608 was obvious - it was the core course for my area (Computer Engineering). That left, basically, ECE 600 - Random Variables and Signals or ECE 606 - Solid State Devices. ECE 600 sounded like EE 302 except possibly worse, and the undergraduate version left me with a solid fear of random processes and anything related to signals. So, I took ECE 606. The class was, admittedly, very interesting. We went through an incredibly detailed analysis of some of the more common semiconductor devices (PN junction diodes, BJT's, and ultimately MOSFET's). An analysis which, not surprisingly, involved the use of quantum mechanics among other things.

As I said, the class was incredibly interesting. The professor also did a reasonable job teaching the material. Sadly, I just didn't get a lot of it. Probably one of the biggest things I struggled with was the growing number of terms in equations used to model anything from carrier concentrations to depletion widths. Regardless, I don't need to go into a dissertation justifying my own failures. Suffice to say, this class will be showing up on next semester's page as well. Core courses 2, Jeff 1.

ECE 697 - Engineering Pedagogy

This is actually a generic course number that takes on different titles and credit hour values depending on what the student and advisor decide to do. This course was called "Engineering Pedagogy" for me and involved reading many papers covering just that. It was actually pretty interesting, and I learned some useful things for the future. I also gained some needed insight into the assessment world and how it relates to accreditation.

ECE 694A - ECE Seminar

And I thought I was done with courses like this once I left the world of undergraduate studies. Apparently not. This was another 0-credit-hour-find-random-people-to-talk-to-a-large-group-of-sudents-who-have-to-take-this-class-to-graduate kind of course. On the upside, it wasn't nearly as boring as its undergraduate cousins. We actually for the most part had very interesting researchers come in to discuss their work. One week we even had a manager for the new Birck Nanotechnology building come in and talk about all of the cool state-of-the-art stuff that went into its construction. That one I stayed awake the entire period for :-). So, I guess ECE wins with this one. It was worthwhile after all.

BAND 110 - Marching Band

Ahh more marching band. One can never have enough marching band in their life. This year I took on a more secondary and behind-the-scenes role, however. For the first time I did not march with the Purdue "All-American" Marching Band. I decided that since Dr. Leppla retired last year I would almost certainly struggle dealing with the changes that the new director had in store for the band. That's not to say the changes were bad; it's just that when you do something one way for six years and someone comes along and tells you to do it differently well, it's generally difficult and I have a tendency to reject change unless I fully understand the reasons behind it.

Nevertheless, I was instead one of two videographers. It was a really fun and interesting experience - one that I hope to be able to continue having until I leave the Lafayette area. I was permitted access to the press box and from the photo deck recorded the band's pregame, halftime, and postgame shows. I traveled with the band to most locations (sadly, things were not planned well enough for me to go on the bowl trip this year) including Notre Dame, which was quite interesting. I greatly enjoy remaining associated with the Purdue "All-American" Marching Band and Purdue Bands in general.