Wait, Free Time?

3/31/2019

For the first time in a long while, I managed to have a relatively low-stress week of school. Homework was light, and we had no tests.

In Signals, we have been working our way into Chapter 5. This chapter deals with the "z domain", which is the result of viewing a discrete-time signal in terms of frequency. It is similar to our earlier work of transforming a continuous time signal into the s-domain, but is more applicable to implementing signals digitally (on a computer or microcontroller). It comes with its own set of oddities that need to be considered in due to the discrete nature of the signal.

In Energy Conversion we have bee learning about AC induction motors. This broad class of motors is popular in applications where efficiency and power are important, particularly in electric vehicles. We also have lab again this week, where we get hands-on experience using AC lab equipment.

I was able to register for my classes Monday, which was a huge relief. I spoke with my adviser, and I should still be able to graduate on time - May of 2020. This would mean that I accomplished my four-year degree in four years, which is ideal. My last two semesters should be much more fun than this one, since they will be almost entirely comprised of electives and tech electives. In particular, I am looking forward to an optics (lasers) class taught by my adviser, Ivan Lima. He had favorable things to say on the class, so I am very excited.

On Friday, my friend and I drove to Grand Forks for the first meeting of the Grand Forks Linux User Group (Grand Forks LUG for short). A LUG can be thought of like a "Linux Club": a group of people get together every so often to share their interest in Linux based operating systems. LUGs also provide a place for new users to find help and guidance from more experienced users of Linux. For more information on meeting times, you can visit gfklinux.org.

The fish tank changes ended up being a huge success - the tank on the middle shelf now successfully drains without problems. Drilling holes in the side of the tank was definitely the right call, and it allows the water to flow much more nicely down into the bottom tank. We are hoping to order and receive some expanded clay later this week, which will (hopefully) perform much better than the perlite in terms of drainage. We will probably be able to make these changes sometime next weekend.

With all this warm weather, Fargo is apparently at a pretty high risk of flooding. The last few days have been cooler though, so the latest projections are saying it shouldn't be too awful.

Picture of water in Fargo    Has the flooding already begun? Image by Thor Hanson.

Overall, it was a fun and exciting week. Hopefully Fargo doesn't flood too bad, and homework stays light.

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