Senior capstone - now minty fresh!

Hey there, blogfans! It's been a little while, so I guess I'd better explain what I've been up to. Like most seniors, I've been up to my ears in work for SCOPE. (I also spent a bunch of time last week traveling and figuring out what I'm doing after Olin, but that's a whole 'nother story.)

SCOPE stands for Senior Consulting Program for Engineering. The basic idea is that teams of Olin students work for a full year on engineering problems for corporate partners. Many of the teams are sponsored by companies, but this year we also have a team working with MIT on the DARPA Grand Challenge, and Olin annually sponsors a team to do good (this year working on products for Alzheimer's patients).

My team is sponsored by Lexmark. We've been working this year on developing applications for their new whiz-bang multifunction printer (the X646e, if you must know). It's a printer-scanner-fax combination device with a large color touch screen and what basically amounts to a small computer inside. The bottom line is that we are for the most part limited only by our imaginations, so it's been a fun challenge.

Even more important than the technical expertise that you gain in the course of the SCOPE program is the work experience. In the SCOPE program, you have to put all those skills you've been learning in your classes to work. You also learn a lot about teamwork, planning, and time-management when you are working on such a large independent project. Fortunately, I've found that Olin has prepared me pretty well.

And even though there's a lot of work to be done, our team at least manages to have some fun. At the beginning of this semester, we had traveled as a team to the Lexmark headquarters in Lexington, KY (the horse capital of the world!). And at our last meeting, we had an animated discussion about my ability to throw fruit (results pictured below).

The bet

Orange you glad I didn't say banana?

One more senior update: we had a party last night for the entire class, and we got our class rings!

Class rings

Olin College class of 2007 rings

That's all for now. Next week is our spring break, so I'll try to squeeze in some time between lounging and laying about to post again from somewhere warm and sandy!

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