Back to Baby Math

It's rather funny: the higher up in mathematics you go, you often revisit "duh" topics, usually to illustrate a point. Today, in my diffy q's class, copied from the blackboard verbatim, was written this:

a + x = b
-a + (a + x) = -a + b
(-a + a) + x = -a + b
0 + x = -a + b
x = b - a

ax = b
a-1(ax) = a-1b
(a-1a)x = a-1b
1x = a-1b
x = b/a

I was chuckling inside as my professor explained about opposites and inverses and associative properties, etc.

Despite this seemingly easy revisitation to 7th grade math, this course is very difficult. Right now we're learning how to solve systems of nonhomogeneous higher order differential equations. My head is swimming with linear operators, matrix multipliers, LaPlace transforms, and superposition.

Come March 10th, I will fall into a deep sleep for 10 days.


Crunch Time!

Our University Student Launch Initiative entry has encountered a little bump in the road. We decided we had to abandon our old rocket due to some structural issues, so we're going to have to build an entirely new launch vehicle. The really challenging piece? Our first launch is going to be in the first week of March. So we need to build the rocket, put together a prototype for our electronics, purchase a motor (K1100), and FIND A LAUNCH somewhere in the Midwest. As soon as the parts for the rocket arrive we will be working on building it every night. Then there's another interesting bit. We might not have a level 2 certified member able to go along to the launch. We have three level 2 certified members in the Iowa State Space Society, and at least one of them can't go. So... if worse comes to worst and none of the level 2 members can go, I might be able to launch the rocket as a certification attempt, since I am already level 1 certified. That is, of course, a last resort.

So we have to do all that in about fifteen days. I believe we can do it.


FORTRAN Game -- It Actually Works!

I finally finished the FORTRAN game for my aerospace engineering 161 class... the test was last Thursday. Apparently I did pretty well on it, because I scored 120%.

FORTRAN is a beast to work with if you're trying to make even the crudest of graphics, but with patience and creativity, you can get it to do most of what you want it to.

This is my 200th post. I have been in the blogging business for nearly three years now, and hope to continue to blog about awesome adventures in aerospace for years to come.