Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tess: second update: settling in

I am currently modifying a 2D model of the knee under load in ABAQUS. It takes at least half an hour to run a simulation, so I multitask by reading about knee anatomy and other background topics such as finite element analysis and other fun fun fun things.

My lab has around 20 grad students, which seems enormous compared to the 6 or so in my lab in the US. The lab is split into two different groups which cooperate on related topics, which seems fairly common around here. One group does mainly tissue engineering while the other does more mechanics. Many of the students are working on their Master's projects, which they complete in four months after their Bachelor's and Master's classes. The Bachelor's takes 2-3 years, during which students take both general science classes and classes in their major, which can be quite narrow (e.g.: micro technologies, neuroscience...). During the fourth year, students take advanced classes, but are also required to work 12 hours a week on a research project in a lab. I don't know if it would be possible for a student from the US system to do a Master's here; it might be simpler to skip directly to the PhD (~3 years).
Recently we have been eating at the Satellite, a student-run bar where they sell sandwiches, have games available, and indulge in a large collection of comic books. It's a very friendly place which reflects the bohemian student culture that I love.

Is great. We finally went night swimming in the lake last night! This weekend in the music festival, so I hope we will go exploring and discover cool little places to hang out as well as new music. (I will post photos after this weekend).

- tess

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