Life at Olin: Round 2

Hey there!

It's Haley again, now reporting to you as a sophomore!  (Weird how that happens...)  I've noticed that I tend to direct my posts towards Prospies, but I realize that not everyone who reads the OLINsider is one.  So, if you aren't actually a prospective student (hi mom!), just pretend that you are.  It'll be fun.

If you're anything like I was when I was a Prospie, then you've probably been dying to know what the schedule of a typical Oliner looks like!  If that's the case... well, you aren't exactly in luck.  Despite our small size, there is a lot to do here.  I don't know the actual numbers, but I do know that our club-to-student ratio is ridiculous. Factor in classes, co-curriculars, passionate pursuits, research, and a whole assortment of other activities, and you've got endless scheduling possibilities!  So, while I couldn't possibly show you a "typical" schedule, nor tell you about every single thing that's going on here, I can show you my schedule, which will hopefully allow you a sufficient glimpse into at least some aspects of student life here at Olin.


I'm really excited about my schedule this semester!  Not only do I never have a class before 10:50am, but I also have "Weekend Wednesdays."  Woohoo!  Beyond this wonderful occurrence, however, I am genuinely looking forward to my classes.  Now that I've moved away from first-year requirements, I have more wiggle room to take some that I'm really interested in.  This semester I'm taking:

  • Game Programming   So far, this is my favorite class.  It's exactly what it sounds like.  We're three weeks in and I've already made a text-based version of the game 2048 and recreated the game Rush Hour with my partner Bonnie Ishiguro '17!  As an aspiring E:C major (Engineering with a focus in Computing), this is exactly the kind of stuff that often feels more like "fun" than "work" to me.


Remember this?

  • Mobile Prototyping   In this class, we're learning how to create Android apps, and in the coming weeks we will be starting to work on projects with outside collaborators. Basically, this means we'll be meeting with company liaisons to help design apps for them!  While I'm a bit nervous about this, it will definitely be a great chance to get some real-world experience.
  • Linearity II (which is a math class)   We are currently learning about optimization, and the project I've just started with fellow blogger Charlie Mouton '17 is about minimizing the number of steps it takes to get from any given point on campus to another.  (Thus we shall reclaim our place as The Princeton Review's Easiest Campus to Get Around!)
  • Principles of Engineering (or POE, as we like to call it)   For the first half of this class, we're working on some labs (for example, our current lab involves constructing a 3D scanner).  The real fun, however, starts once we embark on our final project, which is what the second half of the class is devoted to.  Teams of four are tasked with building a device of their own choosing, so long as that device involves a mechanical system and an electrical system with both hardware and software components. (More info:
  • Five More Topics for Software Designers   This is technically not a class, but a 1-credit seminar that meets once a week.  Taught by Olin alum Ben Salinas '10, we're learning skills that will help us design software that is both beautiful and usable.  For reference, the five topics are graphic design, designing with real data, rapidly prototyping software experiences, data visualization, and software development.


As much as we all love classes (which is actually a true statement more often than not), there is so much more going on here!  I'll give you just a taste by telling you about some other things that I'm involved in:

  • Local Massachusetts History   A co-curricular activity in which we take field trips to historically significant locations in Massachusetts and learn a bit about their history.  As a Massachusetts native, I am all over this kind of stuff.  This past Saturday we took a walk around Walden Pond, and even took turns reading Walden on Walden!


  • Couch to 5k   This is a co-curricular about getting your butt off the couch and running.  At least, that's what it's about for me.  We'll be following a running schedule for the next 8 weeks, and at the end, we'll finish it off by running a 5k!
  • OVAL (Olin Volunteer Ambassadors League)   This is the group that organizes campus tours as well as hosting overnight guests.  I'll be giving weekly tours on Wednesdays and acting as a host, so if you're a Prospie, I may very well get to meet you!
  • OFAC (Olin Fire Arts Club)   I occasionally dabble in the arts.  By which I mean fire arts.  I have been known to swing balls of flame around my body when the mood strikes me.
  • Anime Club   We meet on Saturday nights to watch anime!  We're currently watching JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, which is indeed both bizarre and quite an adventure.
  • Game Development Club   Because I can't get enough of game programming, I also just joined this brand new club!  We started pitching ideas for games at our first meeting on Saturday, and soon we'll be breaking up into teams to make those ideas come to life.  It's gonna be really, really cool!
  • Cryptography & Cyber Security Club and Computing Conversations   Two more awesome new clubs that I just joined!  I can't say too much about either as they haven't officially met yet, but they promise to be a lot of fun.  Starting a new club for something you're interested in is super easy, which is one of countless great things about Olin.

Pretty awesome, right?  And I haven't even scratched the surface!  There are so many other clubs and activities whose members would jump at the chance to tell you all about what they do.  So, Prospies: if at any point while reading this you were even slightly intrigued, consider coming to visit!  We tour guides love to answer your questions, and if you think you'd be down for an overnight stay, we'll do our best to bring you to any classes/clubs/co-curriculars/other activities you might be interested in.

I hope this post inspires at least one visit!  At the very least, I hope you've learned something about what it's like to be a student here.  While it can be hectic at times, it's also a tremendously fun, exciting, and rewarding experience.

Happy Olin-visiting!

Haley Pelletier '17

Posted in: Haley '17