Undergraduate Blog

Adventure a)

Adventure a) Go see the puzzle case

December 8, 2016 -   a) Go see the puzzle case   “I really want to go look at the case,” you say. “I’ll meet you over there soon, okay?”     Your friend goes back to Grainger and you grab your backpack and head upstairs. You thought the puzzle case hadn’t been returned yet, but sure enough, you find it back in its spot in the east hallway. The case stands open and you realize that someone must have solved it recently.
Undergraduate
Adventure a)

Adventure a) Go see the puzzle case

December 8, 2016 -   a) Go see the puzzle case   “I really want to go look at the case,” you say. “I’ll meet you over there soon, okay?”     Your friend goes back to Grainger and you grab your backpack and head upstairs. You thought the puzzle case hadn’t been returned yet, but sure enough, you find it back in its spot in the east hallway. The case stands open and you realize that someone must have solved it recently.
Undergraduate
Adventure b)

Adventure b) Go to Grainger

December 8, 2016 -   b) Go to Grainger   “Okay, let’s go,” you say. You’ll come back to MEL later. You walk across the quad with your friend and trek all the way up to the fourth floor.   “Surprise!” your friend says when you arrive at the group table under the skylight. “We ordered pizzas and snuck them up here! And we got Insomnia too. This is our stay-up-all-night eating and studying party.
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Adventure c)

Adventure c) Go to the basement

December 8, 2016 -   c) Go to the basement   You take the key and the paper and hustle downstairs to the basement. Near the wind tunnel down the hallway you find an unmarked grey door. You try the key and it fits.     “Why can’t homework be this easy?” you wonder as you peer around the door. It’s dark, so you turn on the flashlight on your phone and see a steep narrow staircase whose end is swallowed by the darkness.
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Adventure d)

Adventure d) Keep the key for later

December 8, 2016 -   d) Keep the key for later   You put the key and paper in your pocket. The upcoming studying is looming overhead and you really just want to get it done. You walk over to Grainger and take the elevator to the fourth floor in search of your friend. You spot their table under the skylight and walk over.   “There you are!” your friend says. “We just got two dozen empanadas.
Undergraduate
Taylor explains the amazing forces on a plane in flight.

Stay aloft

December 5, 2016 -   These T-6 Texans are exiting a downward spin.In one of the TAM 335 labs, an airfoil is rotated in the air duct until pressure is lost across the taps. Spoiler alert: the loss of pressure indicates that the airfoil has exceeded its critical angle of attack and lost its lift force. The angle of attack is the angle the chord line of the wing/airfoil makes with the wind passing over the wing (aka relative wind).
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In this continuation of her blog series, Views of MechSE, Taylor shares original photos she captures from around campus.

Views of MechSE: November gallery

November 17, 2016 - Looking at the Engineering quad on a warm early November morning. A cardinal rests in the sun outside Talbot.
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Happy Thanksgiving, from Taylor.

Popcorn, toast, pretzel sticks, and jellybeans

November 17, 2016 -   November 14 sunset as seen from First and Kirby, Champaign.Here’s some interesting Thanksgiving math:    The Guinness Book of World Records lists the largest pumpkin pie at 3,699 lbs. If a standard serving of pumpkin pie is 5.5 ounces on average, that pie could provide 10,760 normal-sized slices, feeding roughly one-fourth of all UIUC students.
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All the numbers you ever wanted to know about student enrollment at Illinois.

Illinois by the numbers

November 10, 2016 - Ever think about just how big our school is? We have 44,880 students registered at school as of September. Of that total, 33,467 students are undergrads. Here’s the breakdown by college:  ACES 2,622 undergrad, 3,207 total students Business 3,102 undergrad, 4,195 total students Education 615 undergrad, 1,201 total students Engineering 7,564 undergrad, 11,069 total students
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Train engineers back in the day had to know the ins and outs of the mechanics of a steam engine.

Settle the West

October 31, 2016 -   They’re more of a novelty now, but steam locomotives (we call them steam engines) had a huge role in our country’s development, taking part in the Industrial Revolution, spurring the growth of countless towns along the tracks and assisting in the transformation of the west.   Despite its large size, the mechanics of a steam locomotive are fairly straightforward.
Undergraduate, Taylor
In this continuation of her blog series, Views of MechSE, Taylor shares original photos she captures from around campus.

Views of MechSE: October gallery

October 27, 2016 - Looking out at the engineering quad from the fourth floor of Grainger. Berry bush next to Engineering Hall.
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MechSE's annual event drew top students from around the state and region.

Photo gallery: MechSE Open House and High School Visit Day 2016

October 17, 2016 -   On Friday, October 14, the MechSE Department hosted its annual Open House and High School Visit Day in Mechanical Engineering Laboratory. Prospective MechSE students—top high school students from around the state—visited to discover many of the exciting educational experiences the department offers, hands-on lab demonstrations, and opportunities to talk with current students and faculty.
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Taylor teaches us the science behind the colors of leaves.

If trees taught coloring

October 13, 2016 -   Illinois Arboretum, fall 2014.I like to press fall leaves so that they dry out and keep their color. Every year I’ll pick up leaves that are especially striking and stuff them in heavy books until further notice. Sometimes at the end of the school year I’ll find some still hidden in the back of a textbook.
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In this continuation of her blog series, Views of MechSE, Taylor shares original photos she captures from around campus.

Views of MechSE: September gallery

October 2, 2016 - Lightning over Beckman at sunset.   Someone left a friend for the engineer.  
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Taylor explains the science and theory of aeroacoustics.

Songs over water

September 21, 2016 -   Air flowing over an airfoil and cavity behaves differently when a spoiler is present.If you’ve ever blown over the top of an open water bottle and heard the bottle make a humming noise, you have produced what’s called an Aeolian tone.  Aeolian tones are sounds made by wind passing over or through objects.
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Looking for things to do this month? Taylor's got the scoop.

Jump in

September 5, 2016 -   To all our new MechSE students: welcome to Illinois! And for those returning, welcome back!     We’re two weeks into the semester and, for many of us, right back in the swing of things.  Here are some upcoming events to think about planning ahead for:      
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Hundreds of engineering freshmen, including MechSE students, were welcomed on the Bardeen Quad to celebrate their first days at Illinois.

FreshmanFest welcomes class of 2020

August 22, 2016 - The College of Engineering hosted its annual FreshmanFest on Saturday, August 20 for all new engineering undergraduate students. The event serves to welcome the class of 2020 to the Illinois family. Students enjoyed food, inflatables, and music on the Bardeen Quad.
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Armed with a car for the summer, Taylor takes time to venture out of Champaign-Urbana to experience what the surrounding small towns have to offer.

The world around us

July 6, 2016 -   With so much to do on campus, there might not be a lot of incentive to venture far from Champaign-Urbana, especially if you don't have your own transportation. All the same, I encourage you to explore central Illinois if you have the chance. It's always good to be familiar with the landscape where you've been living. And when you actually take a look around, you will find a lot more than corn and soybeans, as you will see in the pictures.
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Bored this summer? Try these.

Lazy days of summer (maybe)

July 4, 2016 -   This print was made by pressing paper on top of shaving cream colored with food dye.If you happen to find yourself bored and need a low-key activity to pass the time, consider trying some of these.     Make miniature popsicles using an ice cube tray.  Try experimenting with combinations of pieces of fruit, fruit juice, and yogurt or pudding.
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Practice this skill and you'll survive any situation.

Telling apart the Olsen twins

June 21, 2016 -   An obvious difference between these two cars is the arrangement of the tail lights.Having an eye for detail is a useful thing. Getting in the habit of paying attention to what you’re looking at and noticing some characteristics can be helpful for identifying the object later in a different context as well as for spotting abnormalities or potential failures.
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