Apr 302014
 
Baker Library, Rauner Special Collections Library, Sanborn Library

Baker Library, Rauner Special Collections Library, Sanborn Library, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

The Library; the heart of any college campus. At Dartmouth, a place where students chat, study, grab coffee, cut through for warmth when it’s cold, and sometimes spend very late nights. The Dartmouth College Library is also a center for building knowledge, discovery, and creativity as students have access to over 2.5 million books and hundreds of thousands of digital resources among other items. Dartmouth has a total of nine libraries on campus, each offering unique services and resources to students of any year or major. During orientation week in September, you can learn all there is to know about the libraries on campus at the Library Open House, but until then, here are some of the best things about our libraries…

1)      Open Stacks System in Baker-Berry, our main library: An open stacks system means students can walk through our stacks and freely browse the collection for any book they may need at any time during the library’s open hours.

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Student browsing through the stacks at Baker-Berry, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

2)      Borrow Direct: Borrow Direct is a rapid book request and delivery system among eight colleges in the North East. By this system, Dartmouth students have access to the combined

library catalogs of Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, MIT, UChicago, UPenn, Princeton and Yale, providing us with an outstanding number of resources for research.

3)      Rauner Special Collections Library: Rauner holds some of the oldest, coolest, and most bizarre things you have ever seen. Rauner holds extensive rare book, manuscript, and archival collections among which are Shakespeare’s First Folio and dozens of elaborate and beautiful copies of the medieval Book of Hours. Rauner also holds originals of our school paper The Dartmouth from its beginning as well as of The Aegis, our award-winning yearbook.

Selection of old rare books from Rauner, Photo by Joseph Mehling '69

Selection of old and rare books from Rauner, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

4)      Jones Media Center: Our media library provides the tools and software for media projects and among thousands of digital resources, holds copies of 7,500 DVDs that you can check out whenever and hold a movie night with your friends, or just with a bag of popcorn.

5)      King Arthur Flour: Which we affectionately refer to as “KAF,” the best place to grab a coffee or delicious baked good as a study pick-me-up or just because. KAF is located in the lobby of Baker-Berry and is a student favorite for their baked goods and delicious brie-and-apple and roast beef sandwiches.

Students in line at  KAF, Photo by Joseph Mehling '69

Students in line at KAF, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

These highlights are only a few among so much more, and with the support of extremely knowledgeable and helpful librarians and library staff, the Dartmouth College Libraries  provide a comfortable and dynamic environment where caffeine quotas are filled and inspiration is born. We can’t wait to meet all you new ’18s in September during the open house! For more on the libraries, check out our website at library.dartmouth.edu

Mar 132014
 

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Just as the weather was warming up a little here in Hanover, a blizzard hit and rendered Dartmouth Winter W onderland again. Say what you will about the cold, but snow- in good times- can mean adventure.

I say good times because the academic term just ended, and the snow storm hit while I was leaving my last final for the term.

Finals are stressful anywhere I suppose, but perhaps more so here because the terms are only 10 weeks long and it always feels like there isn’t enough time to study. That said, a lot gets done to ensure that you don’t get too over your head; study groups, study breaks, and q and a sessions are organized by various offices… My chem prof got us clementines during our chem final- so we won’t “get vitamin c deficiency in case we get stranded in the classroom!”.
In any case, back to my earlier point, being done with finals feels great! And then when the storm started, a few friends who were also done with finals and I headed over to the BEMA and then the golf course to sled. Super cold, snow was too thick, but was so great to be able to go outside and enjoy the nature that the Dartmouth campus offers.

Next post will be about spring term! They go by so fast :(

 

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Mar 102014
 

Winter term is finally coming to a close in Hanover, which means some pretty big changes in my life.  We finished our capstone design project (and it mostly worked!), so we’re anxiously waiting on the review board of professors and professional engineers to decide our fates.  I’m ending my tenure as social chair of my fraternity, which took up a significant portion of my time over the past year.  Even though it was frequently stressful and constantly frustrating, I definitely grew as a leader and learned a lot of real-world skills I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.  The club running team will be gearing up for our spring racing season, and I’ll personally be preparing to tackle my first marathon over Memorial Day weekend.  The days will get warmer, leaves will return to the trees, and the melting snow will combine with the nostalgic tears of the last-term seniors to reduce every non-paved surface to mush.

Of course, between spring term and now comes spring break in all its glory.  I’ll be travelling to Georgia with the ultimate frisbee team for a week – camping out,  practicing, playing in tournaments, and getting to know the team better.  It’s an important tradition to the team, and definitely one that the rest of campus has heard about.  This trip is really everything a spring break trip should be:  road trip singalongs and spur of the moment detours, late-night swims and early morning jogs, new friends and old.  Also fake moustaches and dyed hair.

I for one think that we are an upstanding group of gentlemen.

I for one think that we are an upstanding group of gentlemen.

Now that I’ve gone and made myself all daydreamy, I need to get back to studying.  One exam and one paper stand between me and Georgia.  And a thousand or so miles.  But really, that’s the fun part.

Mar 052014
 

At Dartmouth there are of hundreds of possible classes one can take, yet which ones are the ones that stand out, the “must-takes”? Every Dartmouth undergrad may have a different list, but one that crops up a lot and is on my personal list is ENGS 12: Design Thinking.

What is this ? Weird name, huh? Well, Design Thinking is actually exactly what it sounds like… you think about how things are designed – anything and everything from objects (ex: a table) to technology (ex: iPhone). And you not only think about design, but think about how to improve design and come up with your own!

My second design project. Can you guess the theme?

Yet what skills do you learn, how does this happen? Main skill: learning to be creative! In class you will find out all types of different brainstorming activities, lateral thinking, and so much more! This is also a project-heavy class, so you get your hands dirty, and group-based – at times frustrating, but an invaluable skill.

Myself modeling one of the many ways you can wear the modular bag – the bag everyone has been waiting for!

This class is not only fun, but the skills you will learn (anything from working intensely in a group to photoshop!) will be invaluable in other aspects of your life: other classes, job interviews, new solutions to old problems… You will not regret taking this class.

The App You’ve Always Wanted: Tinder for Exercise Buddies!

To wrap this post up, this is just one of the many Dartmouth classes that has made an impression on me and changed me for the better. But who knows what gems you will discover? Take-away message: take classes outside your comfort zone – you might be amazed at the rewards.

Feb 242014
 

All these posts about snow – and the several-feet-high snow banks around me – have made me miss a time where there was no snow on the ground… specifically last winter when I flew South to the tropics to avoid the snow.

One of the biggest attractions for me (as a potential Bio-major at the time) was the Bio FSP to Costa Rica and the Cayman Islands. I was determined to go (who wouldn’t want to?), and last year (as a junior) I got my wish. I had already heard all about the amazing adventures I would have from past FSPers, who wouldn’t stop raving about their trip, and though they had also mentioned the harder parts, all I retained was how awesome it was. Little did I know I was about to embark on one of the most rewarding, yet  physically and mentally draining experiences of my life.

First of all, a little background. The FSP is separated into three segments, each led by a different professor, with two 3-week segments in Costa Rica (terrestrial field biology) and one in Little Cayman (marine biology). There are usually about 15 students and 2 TAs on the trip. Fun fact: the TAs on my trip were married and thinking about starting a family… and they did. Nine months after our trip, this little bundle of joy arrived:

Our little FSP wonder: Cami!

Our little FSP wonder: Cami!

The trip was amazing. I saw animals I didn’t think existed (look up tapir. seriously.), witnessed the birth of a baby howler monkey (bloody affair) that was then interrupted by a puma (scary stuff!), and managed to wade into a marsh to look at pretty flowers only to find myself running from a croc with leeches stuck to me! Below is another one of my misadventures…

 

Me stuck in quicksand after a small competition to see which of us could go deepest and still get out... I lost.

Me stuck in quicksand after a competition to see which of us could go deepest and still get out… I lost. They pulled me out.

 

Yet it was not all fun and games. Throughout this time we were also doing incredibly important work – observing nature around us, coming up with questions (and answers!) to satisfy our curiosity, and conducting experiments to discover more about the world around us. We also had to repeatedly come up with solutions to problems on the spot, learn to work in groups (and multiple groups at once!), research and write papers practically overnight, as well as constantly explore the environment around us and take advantage of all the unique opportunities!

Traveling to new destinations - always fun in the sun!

Traveling to new destinations – it’s always fun in the sun!

This was one of the most exhausting experiences of my life – severe lack of sleep (and privacy!), constantly on the go (your “off” days were travel days… not very relaxing when you’re lugging around all your equipment), prolonged separation from family and friends… yet it was all worth it. I came out of this experience with a small close-knit group of friends, some memorable stories, and with more strength of character and determination that I had before. I encourage everyone to embark on one of these adventures before graduating, for though you may complain along the way, you will always look back on it fondly afterwards. For you, BIO FSP 2013!

Our attempt at spelling out BIO FSP 2013

Our attempt at spelling out BIO FSP 2013

 

Feb 172014
 

I’ve found that engineering conjures up a different picture for just about everyone I’ve talked to, from the Dilbert-esque cubicle dweller staring at a computer screen, to Tony Stark welding together some awesome new robot suit to save the world.  In my experience as a engineering major at Dartmouth, it’s a mix between the two extremes.  Sometimes it’s long hours trying to find a misplaced semicolon in my Matlab code, sometimes it’s high-fives and hugs as an hare-brained experiment held together by duct tape and desperation finally works, and sometimes it’s even a little bit of world-saving.

First things first – the coursework part of the major can be confusing.  There are two undergrad degree programs at Dartmouth: you start with the Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Sciences, which is a standard 4-year Liberal Arts degree.  Then, about two thirds of these ‘AB’ students go on to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering degree, which traditionally takes a fifth year.  The AB as a solo degree is usually geared toward students who aren’t planning on becoming professional engineers (consulting, medicine, etc.), while the BE is geared at students who are interested in professional engineering or advanced degrees in their field.  The AB has been an awesome experience thus far, especially since it requires you to explore a variety of different engineering disciplines rather than specializing early.  You start with intro classes in math, chem, physics, and computer science, then move on to core engineering classes, usually in sophomore year.  These core classes are really cool, since you get to see how a lot of problems in seemingly different scientific areas can be modeled and tackled with the same set of problem-solving tools.  There’s also plenty of lab and project experience, even that early on.  After the core classes, you move on to distributive and gateway classes, choosing from a few different disciplines.  A lot of these classes have useful applications regardless of what you eventually want your career to be.  In my case, I’m a chemical engineer hoping to go into energy, but I still took materials science and environmental engineering classes along with the standard chemical engineering and thermodynamics courses.  From there, it’s on to higher-level specialized classes and a thesis or capstone design project.  If you plan on the BE, it’s an extra year or so of advanced classes in a concentration of your choosing (mechanical, electrical, etc.).  You can finish the BE at the same time as your AB and graduate in four years, but it’s tough.  I’m taking two extra terms next year and I’m really glad I have the chance to take more electives and liberal arts classes while I’m at Dartmouth.

This year, I’ve been spending a lot of my time working on my capstone design project:  a cheap, home-scale device to remove arsenic from drinking water in rural areas.  Like almost every other project in the engineering program, it’s in a small group, which is great because it’s a way to share ideas and learn from each other as you learn more from your own research.  These senior design projects are always in collaboration with another company or organization who is interested in bringing Dartmouth students in on the project.  We’ve been working with VillageTech Solutions, a non-profit out of California, and it’s been really incredible to do engineering work this in-depth and important this early in my career.  One of our group members even travelled to Nepal over winter break for a field study!  I still haven’t really processed the fact that this project has the potential to legitimately improve or even save lives when it’s eventually deployed, but it’s easily been my most personally rewarding academic experience of that last four years.  Hopefully I’ll post a picture in the next couple weeks when we get our full-size prototype working.

My capstone project team with the dean of the engineering school and Skip Stritter from VillageTech

My capstone project team with the dean of the engineering school and Skip Stritter from VillageTech

Another great thing about a Dartmouth education is how much the professors care about undergraduates.  I’ve had several undergraduate research experiences already, either working as a Presidential Scholars research intern (not as pompous as it sounds) building a device to measure the permeability of snow using sound waves instead of digging core samples.

My permeability sensor (remember that experiment held together by duct tape and desperation?...)

My permeability sensor (remember that experiment held together by duct tape and desperation?…)

I also spent my off-term junior year on campus doing full-time research on ice samples (I just couldn’t get enough of the Hanover winter, so I decided to spend it working in a literal freezer) and I surprisingly learned a lot about theoretical science even while a lot of the job was building things and working with my hands.

It turns out ice is really pretty when you shine some polarized light through it.

It turns out ice is really pretty when you shine some polarized light through it.

Even though engineering has been a lot of work, I’m really glad I chose to stick with it.  The opportunity to learn from amazing faculty, give back to the community, and build some really cool stuff has been completely worthwhile.  It’s also a really collaborative environment, where nobody is terrifyingly competitive or overly concerned with a few hundreths of a point on their GPA (oh hey pre-med).  It’s a real community, doing really awesome things.

Anyway, sorry for the long post, I’ll be back next week.  Happy Presidents’ Day!

 

 

Feb 102014
 

Hello Prospies!

I’m Emilia Hull, Dartmouth ’14 (senior year!), a Biology major hailing from Brussels, Belgium, yet I’m actually half Greek half American. Bit of a mouthful, huh? I’m excited to join the Dartmouth Direct Bloggers for my last six months here at Dartmouth (*tear*) – the wildest, craziest, most amazing experience of my life. So far…

Me with one of my favorite 15's (Emily Leede) earlier this year

Me with one of my favorite 15′s (Emily Leede) earlier this year

So there have been a few posts on Winter Carnival, and the fun events you can participate during this four-day extravaganza (ex: Polar Bear jump, human dogsled races, etc.). Yet the reason for Winter Carnival for me is because we ALL need a break after midterm madness. The 1-2 weeks before students are packed into the library cramming those last few quotes into their brains before rushing off to take a midterm, or typing like crazy to make that midnight deadline for a paper.

My Design Thinking group's final whiteboard presentation for the modular bag

My Design Thinking group’s final whiteboard presentation for the modular bag

Personally I had either a midterm or presentation every day leading up to Friday. Did I sleep very much? No. Did that stop me from going out and enjoying Winter Carnival? Absolutely not. I employed one of the many skills I have developed while at Dartmouth – the ability to function on little sleep, whether I’m studying or socializing with friends :) So get ready for an intensive journey upon enrolling at Dartmouth, where you will go straight from the library where you’re cranking your last sentence for a paper to the Green to cheer on your floor mate in Human Dog Sled races and grabbing Chili to go to warm yourself up.

With a few friends (including graduates!) on the Ice Sculpture of Winter Carnival

With a few friends (including graduates!) on the Ice Sculpture of Winter Carnival

Good Luck!

Oct 202013
 
Sep 222013
 

First week of classes has been an overwhelming flurry of new textbooks, new classmates, and new introductions. Everybody is back on campus and all the activities, clubs, and info sessions are in full swing!

Although we only take 3 classes per term, it feels like more, because there is a lot to do, but it is also really great because you feel totally immersed in the subject you are studying. Professors are super friendly, super knowledgeable, and being in class here is different from being in class in high school, in the best way possible.

There has been many big decisions to make this week, from class registration, to choosing clubs and activities, to deciding where to eat or how to spend a free afternoon… That said, it is so easy to feel totally at ease with however you decide to spend time here, because everything is a great opportunity to learn and meet new people.

I posted pictures of my studio arts class and my biology class building, both of which are top-notch facilities.

Off to hit the books, week 2 is coming up!

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Dec 062012
 

This post goes out to all the Dartmouth students that are now home for the holidays with this year’s new Academic Calendar extending from Thanksgiving to New Years as well as to the brand new ’17s that are, as of today, part of our Dartmouth family! Congratulations! I am excited to meet the DC- area ’17s at the Dartmouth Club of DC Holiday Party coming up next week.

As I finish up my time at home in DC this fall quarter, I have realized how crazy fast the time has gone by. After having this “real life” job, I am ready to go back and enjoy my time as a student for a little while longer. Although I have learned so much more in these past ten weeks than I could have imagined I would, I also miss my friends, my sorority and my classes that didn’t start until ten and were only a few steps outside my door. Get ready ’17s, for a fantastic college experience, whether you are in Hanover or taking off-terms in cities all over the world, take advantage of all of it! We’re all waiting to see what you’ll do.

Also, say ‘Hi!’ on campus!