)Yay!  It’s about that time again, time to plan out my schedule and pre-enroll for classes next semester.  This one’s particularly special as it’s the first time my class gets first pick since seniors graduate this semester.  It’s a big glaring sign saying, “You’re getting old, what are you planning to do with your life?”  I don’t really have to figure out my schedule until classes start in August, but planning ahead is fun.  Even then I’ll shop around a couple weeks until I settle on what to take.

Since I’m looking at courses from various departments, scheduling conflicts are inevitable.  Getting conflicts this time is especially frustrating as this will be my last chance at fall classes.  Most higher level courses are offered spring or fall only, some even only once every two years.  So it’s my last chance at taking certain classes.  I only have two semesters left and I want to get as much out of it as possible.  It’s nice that my major only has one required class next semester, it gives me room for lots of other classes I’m interested in taking:

So here are some of the classes I’m looking at:

My one required class is AEP 4230 Statistical Thermodynamics.  This is a really interesting subject that shows up a lot. While I get little hints of it from other classes, it would be nice to learn is properly.

And then there are lots of classes I’m interested in taking that aren’t required:

PHYS 4445 Introduction to General Relativity. Finally I’ve taken enough physics to take a try at learning the insanity known as GR.  With my interest in astrophysics it’s kinda natural for me to learn GR.  I expect this to be really hard as it deals with a lot of advanced math physics that I don’t know as well as I should.  Well at least it isn’t the year long graduate level GR class.

CS 4210 Numerical Analysis and Differential Equations. I would like to know some numerical analysis as I figure it would always be useful down the road.  Likely to bore me death though, as it’s only about solving hard math equations and not about awesome physics.  Conflicts with GR, GR wins.

AEP 3300 Modern Experimental Optics. This is a lab based class and I really could use more lab experience.  Also, optics is a huge area of research now.

AEP 4500 Introduction Solid State Physics. This one isn’t really that high on my list, but it’s also a big area of research and has tons of useful applications.

MAE 4570 (457) Space Systems and National Security.  I’ve been getting more interested in space technology and this course sounds really cool.  Seems like it’s more about politics than engineering.  Sadly, this conflicts with my one required class and graduating would be nice.

ECE 4300 Lasers and Optical Electronics. This class is intended for senior Electrical Engineers.  While I am taking electrodynamics this semester, it might not be enough to keep up.  I took an intro lasers class my first semester at Cornell and I think lasers are so awesome that I should try out this class.

New Physical Sciences BuildingASTRO 4410 Experimental Astronomy. This is a small lab class that does some really neat Astronomy experiments.  Among other things they use the Hartung-Boothroyd Observatory and a radio telescope on the top of the Space Sciences Building (awesome!).  This is some serious stuff and I should only take this if I’m really serious about astro.

ASTRO 2280 Space Exploration. This doesn’t sound very heavy on engineering or science, but nevertheless very interesting.  A not too serious type class could be a nice break in my day.

Even though it will be my last year, I’m still trying to narrow down what I want to focus on.  There is just too many cool things to try out.  Too bad I can’t simply absorb the knowledge of all these classes without doing all of the extremely challenging work associated with them.