As a BME major, sophomore spring is when you really begin to delve into the classes that teach you the practicality of biomedical engineering. Real engineering courses with a biological impact that begin to build the foundation of the major. It does seem a little late in the game for that, but it’s interesting nonetheless. The two classes that we take are Models & Simulations and Systems & Controls.

My bad, did I say two? I meant four.

Basically each “class” is really a combination of two classes, each of which lasts half a semester. Each grade in half of the overall course totals to be your overall grade. What are these courses? I’ll do my best to explain.

1)  Signals/Systems.

This is class that teaches you about the fundamental properties of actual electric/physical signals. The math here is entirely new and relies on previous experience in all your other math classes. Once you start to understand it though, it’s really interesting how the signals that make up our world can be broken down into these equations.

2) Controls

This course I’m taking right now. Essentially it’s using what you learn in signals to model the control of more complicated systems as a whole. A real world application would be like the control variables of a plane in the air. Interesting stuff.

3) Models

This course is more biologically focused. It’s meant to teach you how to model various biological processes with differential equations. Playing with the parameters and what not will yield various results within the body, and this class teaches you what all that means.

4) Simulations

This latter half of the ModSims class teaches you about taking those one-dimensional linear models from the first half and using them to simulate higher order nonlinear systems that are more biologically accurate. Essentially, not many things in real life are linear, so this teaches you how to use more accurate simulations  with the tools you have.

All in all, this is where the real aspect of biomedical engineering starts to come into play, and I for one am loving it.