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End Hiatus January 9, 2010

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Well, hello everyone, I’m finally back from the cold snowy north. It was a long drive both ways, but I’m here, and I’m alive. Classes have started, and most of them look at the very least interesting. The MilSci 102 class may prove to be my best course, for all of the 0 credits that I will be getting out of it.

I have a lot of work to do, and may not be able to update the blog as much as I would like, but I am at the least going to try to put up a book collection link.

Hiatus December 19, 2009

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I may be on a somewhat reduced post frequency over the next two weeks.  I am headed home to the cold snowy north…

And there’s no internet at my house, so I have to drive about 20 miles to the nearest coffee shop (there’s not even a Starbucks).

Concrete Theory Has a Mini Library December 17, 2009

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So I have been looking at expanding my library lately.  I already have quite the excellent selection of books that I would consider ‘permanent library’ material – books that I will utilize for years down the road.  I would call it a library, because I have a large number of friends who borrow my books and take obscene amounts of time returning them.  The book list that I have been adding to to the right is predominantly books I own.  I am also receiving a Kindle over the holidays, I believe, so it will become less of a loaning library for some books.  I do intend to continue purchasing paper books – perhaps not the first time I read them – for the majority of the books of this style, but my lighter reading will likely become entirely electronic.  It would be nice if Amazon included the Kindle book with each physical book purchase for free.  I think that’d be a great way to boost physical book sales, and Kindle sales.  Here’s a list of a few of the books that I own off the top of my head that fit into the ‘permanent library’ category.

Key: Electronic Books in Green, On Loan in Red

  • The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
  • Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman
  • Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
  • Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling

I will be adding another tab to the top of the page, titled My Library, since the sidebar book list may get a bit long.  I’ll keep the sidebar book list pared down to the last few, or the most influential.  I may re-title it ‘The Essentials’ or something.

I feel like using ‘Concrete Theory’ as a title for the book-related and non-book related thought posts works quite well – thoughts on paper are concrete theory – and just dividing them between ‘book analysis’ and whatever else seems to be working well enough for me.

Concrete Theory Outlines My Education December 9, 2009

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Next semester will be my final at the University of Michigan for undergraduate, as I will be graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Materials Science Engineering.  Over these four years, I have taken a multitude of courses in and out of my major.  Here’s an overview of every course I’ve taken at Michigan.  The few most influential have notes attached to them..

Fall 2006

  • Engineering 100: Design and the Real World
    • Professor Jason Daida
      • Still in contact, a strong influence on me – I will mention him at times.
      • Has prompted several of my book purchases over the past few years.
    • Case-study course that introduced me to the merits of teamwork.
  • Math 116: Calculus II
  • Physics 140: General Physics I & Physics 141: Lab I

Winter 2007

  • Chemistry 210: Structures and Reactivity I (Organic Chemistry I) & Chemistry 211: Organic Lab 1
  • Economics 101: Principles of Economics I – Microeconomics
  • Math 216: Introduction to Differential Equations
  • MatSciE 220: Introduction to Materials and Manufacturing

Fall 2007

  • History 200: Greece to 201 B.C.
  • MatSciE 330: Thermodynamics of Materials
  • MechEng 211: Introduction to Solid Mechanics
  • Physics 240: General Physics II & Physics 241: Lab 1

Winter 2008

  • ClCiv 341: Classics & Cinema
  • MatSciE 242: Physics of Materials
  • MatSciE 335: Kinetics and Transport
  • MatSciE 490: Research Problems: TWIP Steel (Amit Ghosh)

Fall 2008

  • ClCiv 376: Emperors of Rome
  • GeoSci 380: Mineral Resources, Economics, and the Environment
    • Professor Steve Kesler
      • Still in contact, regular advisor on various things.
    • Sparked my interest in the mineral resource industry.
  • MatSciE 350: Principles of Engineering Materials
  • MatSciE 360: Materials Lab I
  • MatSciE 490: Research Problems: TWIP Steel (Amit Ghosh)

Winter 2009

  • ClCiv 375: War in Greek and Roman Civilization
  • History 201: Rome
  • MatSciE 365: Materials Lab II
  • MatSciE 470: Physical Metallurgy

Fall 2009

  • ClCiv 499: Independent Reading: Mining in Ancient Rome (David Potter)
  • MatSciE 420: Mechanical Behavior of Materials
  • MatSciE 489: Materials Process Design & MatSciE 493: SmartSurfaces
    • Professors Karl Daubman, John Marshall, and Max Shtein
    • Multidisciplinary/antedisciplinary design course for developing heliotropic smart surfaces
    • Sparked my interest in design and business.
  • Stats 412: Introduction to Probability and Statistics

Winter 2010

  • ArtDes 100: Drawing for Non-Majors
  • ClCiv 380: Antiquity
  • MatSciE 440: Ceramics
  • MatSciE 480: Materials Engineering Design
  • MatSciE 514: Composites
  • MilSci 102: Introduction to Leadership
  • MilSci 202: Leadership in Changing Environments

Of the seven courses I am taking next semester, four (12 credits) are required for my graduation, and the drawing and leadership courses are completely free electives.

In order, SmartSurfaces, GeoSci 380, and Engineering 100 are my three most influential courses.  I don’t think that what I learned in the classroom specifically was most important in these classes, however – instead, the advice from the professors, as well as book recommendations I have been given by them, have helped me evolve both as a student and as a professional.  Make sure to check out the website link to SmartSurfaces, it is really quite interesting.

Concrete Theory Introduces Itself November 22, 2009

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Hello, and welcome to the grand tour of consciousness that I have titled Concrete Theory.

The idea is to solidify my abstract thought through the medium of this blog.  Hence the oxymoron.This blog will focus on a wide variety of topics, barely outlined for your convenience in the FAQ.  To start with, I will be moving a couple of posts over from a course blog that I have written.  This blog is not course related, and is something that I intend to carry with me beyond school.

Enjoy the ride.