Hey : )
I finally finished my lab report!
Only one more experiment to go this year and I am hopefully getting a lab partner again! I said I would tell you my final value of e so here goes: (1.93 ± 0.13) x10^-19C, within which you may notice, the currently accepted value does not fall. Oh well. Hurray for unknown sources of systematic error (potentially the oil droplets acting as a dielectric in the capacitor and changing the value of E?). My estimates of the Earth’s magnetic field were better I promise…
Now that that’s over it’s party time! And by party I mean making use of South Kensington’s proximity to sushi, Nutella pancakes and dinosaurs. I think me and Alex’s regular trips to the museum gift shops is single-handedly paying for exhibitions by this point—but really how can you resist buying dinosaur shaped ice-cube trays and ant robots that change direction when you touch them?
In boring house news, everything has been broken, the washing machine, the internet and most definitely my will to spend hours on the phone complaining about things.
Anyway, I thought I would spend a little bit of time in this blog talking about Imperial Horizons, which are courses Imperial runs that aren’t necessarily directly related to maths, science or engineering. They can be taken for credit as a module in some courses (Chemistry and Biology are the ones I know of), or as an optional extra after lectures.
They are a term or two terms long, and range from learning a language like Japanese, from scratch or to a higher level, a humanity like Creative Writing or Music Technology, introductions to business or Global Challenges. Like anything, in general I think they can be a bit hit or miss—some people love their courses and some people find them a lot of extra time spent for something not so fun. I think last year was the first year they were introduced, so I am sure the courses are still being improved upon—Imperial are usually pretty good at taking feedback.
I love my Horizons though! As I’ve mentioned before I do Communicating Science, which involves studying how science is presented to the public, and how effective each method is. So far we have seen a museum exhibition, written a press release, looked at science in the newspapers, and in pictures, seen how science communication can go badly wrong and a lot more. Next week we are analysing science in literature—I am re-reading Solar for it tomorrow.
No matter how hectic my Monday, I always look forward to Horizons and getting to argue about how apt a choice Professor Brian Cox is for every possible form of TV. Though I enjoy a nice differential equation as much as the next person, it is also comforting to know that every so often I get to think about writing an essay or taking notes about philosophers.
I am now quite nervous of catching my EM lecturer’s eye after blogging about how cool he was— so I won’t be too effusive about my professor this time—but it is great to be taught by someone with such an interest and background knowledge to each topic that we study. She almost convinces me to transfer to the Science Communication Masters!
Last year I did Ethics, which I also enjoyed, but didn’t always actively look forward to like Communicating Science. Each week we studied a different philosopher’s take on how we should live and finally wrote an essay on an ethical dilemma at the end.
In conclusion, if you are coming to Imperial, you should definitely check out the Horizons programme.
On a final note, hello to Aunty Lizzy and Dorothy who came to visit me this week! It was lovely to see you and to show you my house a little bit. Hopefully next time it will be less horrific weather!