We’ve had roughly three weeks of classes so far and I think I’ve learned a lot already –  in and outside of the classroom. Here’s a small sample of what I’ve learned so far my sophomore year, which is mostly just a bunch of random, somewhat useful non-academic pieces of knowledge I’ve picked up since the end of August.

  1. How to find the general solution of a first order linear differential equation
    • I’m taking Differential Equations this semester with Dr. Brown (who taught Calc III last fall!) and honestly, our first problem set was pretty tough. I am, however, looking forward to the fact that differential equations lean more towards the real-life applications side of math (aka my major) and hopefully I do well in it.
  2. It’s hard to keep a living space you share with three other guys clean all the time
    • I’m sharing a room again this year, and also sharing a suite with three other guys in total and while I don’t miss using a communal bathroom, it is an adjustment to have to take turns showering and then also keeping the bathroom clean. Our kitchenette also tends to remain on the messy side… it’s a work in progress. Nonetheless I’m really enjoying living with my friends in McCoy! It’s definitely a completely different vibe than AMR II.
  3. Tamber’s take-out every night for dinner is not a sustainable lifestyle
    • But it’s so, so good.


      The view from my room is yes, Tamber’s

  4. How to find the sensitivity and specificity of an HIV screening test
    • Finally, I am taking a statistics class. Although I technically did not need to take Public Health Biostatistics because I am double majoring with AMS, which waives the PH statistics requirement, I’m taking it to a) re-learn everything I forgot from statistics in high school and b) learn how to use R and use it in a public health setting by taking the co-requisite Advanced Biostatistics Lab.
  5. How to cook quinoa
    • A couple of my friends living in Charles Commons and I cooked dinner one night in their kitchen (which comes with a full-sized fridge, might I add). We made an Eddie’s Market run to get ingredients and made a surprisingly good quinoa salad with loads of veggies and chicken. Definitely made the right choice doing that over getting Chipotle for dinner again.


      Domestic livin’

  6. That a half-space is one of two parts that a hyperplane divides
    • Ah, yes – something we just covered in Intro to Optimization – an Applied Math requirement and taught by Dr. Fishkind, easily one of my favorite professors this semester.
  7. There is an annual FlowerMart that takes place in Mt. Vernon where local vendors sell flowers, food, art and crafts
    • I went to get a haircut in Mt. Vernon and actually ran into this community festival by accident right around the Washington Monument. It usually takes place in May, but was postponed due to the Freddie Gray protests. The FlowerMart has vendors and performers and fair food – what more can you ask? On my way back to campus, I stopped at a succulent vendor’s stand and bought a really dope aloe plant for my room.                                                                                                                                                             IMG_2117
  8. The FFC was taken for granted last year
    • You never know it until you’re not a freshman anymore.
  9. 32 boxes of EasyMac is not enough for dinner for 40+ guys
    • Over Labor Day weekend, the Betas went on a brotherhood retreat. It was great finally seeing all the guys again and we spent time around a campfire, singin’ songs, making an insane amount of food for dinner, hiking and playing Kabaddi in the sand.                                                                                                IMG_2035
  10. If I plan it out right, I might be able to graduate at least a semester early
    • Talking to a friend who is a junior Applied Math/Public Health double major, she was telling me that it is definitely possible for me to graduate early. The bigger point though, is that I have more leeway in terms of degree requirements than I originally thought. Who knows? Maybe I’ll graduate early, or start a graduate program, or find a job, or study abroad – I have options.
  11. Where to find the most efficient combination and quantity of two goods/services on the production possibilities frontier
    • I’m also taking Elements of Macroeconomics this semester, despite it not being a requirement for either of my majors. This past summer, I talked to someone who had my dream job working with data and public health at the nonprofit I was interning for and asked her for any advice for someone who was interested in her career field. She said to take economics in college because what you learn about in economics and the skills you gain from studying it are helpful in any similar career.
  12. Paper towels and toilet paper are expensive
    • Now I understand why my parents don’t ever want me to waste the paper towels.
  13. How to make slab serif fonts look good in my graphics
    • I just got into using slab serifs in graphics (I used to be a sans serif guy, all the way) and feel that my design skills are definitely improving. Maybe I’ll take a graphic design class at MICA next semester?


      Slab serifs and the HOP – they’re both cool.

  14. How to reserve a study room in the library or Brody
    • This might surprise you, but I have never reserved a study room myself until just now. But now I have and that’s another useful thing to know!
  15. You can also reserve the dance studio in the Mattin Center
    • Yeah, this is a thing as well, apparently. Hello stress-relieving dance sessions in a place that’s not my room!