BETTEZ | How to Work Smarter, Not Harder … From an Engineering Senior

My motivation is absolutely shot. I have absolutely no idea who that sophomore was who took four lab classes simultaneously one semester, but she absolutely wasn’t me. I suppose it’s a combination of COVID-19 making my classes all online as well as my senioritis, but I’m hardly the student I used to be. Instead of reviewing the week’s material in the A.D. White Library on a free Friday afternoon like I did as a freshman (haven’t done that since then), I curl up in my bed after every lecture I attend, exhausted. But thankfully, my grades haven’t slipped too much; I like to think that for every ounce of motivation I’ve lost, I’ve gained a little more savvy in how to work with efficiency.

CHEN | Put Computer Science in the Common Core

I could easily have gone through high school without writing a single line of code. 

The one computer science course I did take was selected on a whim, a simple space-filler for my senior year schedule. Science and math were enjoyable enough, and tech seemed like the next unexplored realm. But I was also on the edge of taking a random biotechnology elective, zoology class or just leaving the space free to take extra naps. There was little to no initiative — or requirement — to learn about computing other than the fact that I found phone apps addictive and played around with Scratch when I was a kid. AP Computer Science had the same weight as my elective journalism or strings classes, not AP Chemistry or AP Language and Composition.

Christopher Alabi’s Polymers and the Keys to Academic Success

With the help of Prof. Christopher Alabi, chemical and biomolecular engineering, our cracked cell phone screens may one day heal themselves. Alabi’s research focuses on polymers, molecules formed from smaller subunits that can be found in many aspects of our daily lives — ranging from almost any kind of plastic to the proteins in our bodies.

Cornell Engineers Turn to Nature for Solving Machinery’s Age Old Dilemma

While machines seem to have boundless capabilities, there has been one factor limiting machines since their inception: heat. Cornell engineers, Prof. Rob Shepherd, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Prof. Emmanuel Giannelis, material science and engineering, sought to battle heat through sweating — the same method employed by students walking up the slope on a hot summer day. Shepherd and Gianelis employed 3D-printing techniques to stimulate sweating in robots, which they are currently testing on a robotic hand. High powered robots currently require maintenance after extended use because of the heat they build up during use. One of the collaborators from Shepherd’s Organic Robotics Lab, Anand Mishra, told The Sun the initial research project was “bio-inspired” — the basic functions of living things influenced the researchers, prompting them to design this multifunctional robotic hand.

BETTEZ | Why it’s Good Fewer White Men are Admitted into the College of Engineering

At the beginning of the fall semester, I wrote an article about the gender ratio in the engineering school, and the ways that Cornell’s College of Engineering could better create a more inclusive environment towards women. I received a lot of supportive feedback on the article, but I was particularly struck by the backlash. The comment section of the Facebook post  was filled with people who claimed that women, and as they inferred, people of color, were stealing valuable spots from white men who were more “deserving”; namely, they had better grades and more previous experience in engineering. They just couldn’t seem to comprehend why it’s genuinely necessary to have diversity in a field that literally shapes the world a vast majority of the population lives in. Even aside from the obvious ethical and moral necessity of student body diversity at a world-class university like Cornell, diversity is crucial for the future and success of the school.