Thursday, May 22, 2014

We're off to Uni!

Today we went on our first university visit to the University of Sydney. We had the opportunity to tour the beautiful campus and sit in on a lecture. After, we mingled with the students and compared student life on both sides of the world.
Today we went on our first university visit to the University of Sydney.

The University of Sydney (or "Uni," as the Australians call it) was the first college established in the country. Uni is comparable to the University of Minnesota in the number of students.

The campus was built to mimic both Cambridge and Oxford University. This was evident in the Quadrangle where the courtyard was not symmetric and had two different styles of buildings on either side.

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On campus is a tunnel filled with graffiti. The graffiti is perfectly legal, however, and allowed by the university. During the Vietnam War, the university wanted to stop students from defacing the historic sandstone buildings with graffiti so they gave them a location to do it instead. The tunnel has been repainted so many times that the paint is inches thick in some places. Our tour guide explained that the large bumps on the walls were actually from staples long ago and had been painted over so many times that they were unrecognizable.

Some of us left our marks by signing our names on the wall, soon to be erased by the next graffiti artist.

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After our tour of campus, we had lunch before sitting in on a lecture entitled "Fundamentals of Neuromodulation Circuits for Implantable Simulators."

At the lecture, the professor used the example of the bionic eye to explain the different components of the implantable simulators. This included explaining design parameters such as types of transistors and finding ways to power to simulator effectively.

Some of these design parameters and limitations were similar to the ones explained by the representative at Medtronic. This is because a bionic eye, like pacemakers, needs to be implanted in the human body.

After the class, we got to meet the Australian students in the class. We had the opportunity to sit and chat with them and ask them what it's like to be a college kid in Australia.

We were surprised to find that they were just as interested in what it was like to go to college in America as well. There were many subtle differences in our daily lives but at the core, we realized we were very similar. Our classes were structured in very much the same way and we found out we like to do similar things on the weekends. We realized that even on the other side of the world we were able to connect and relate to people so well.

Pictured below: our new Aussie friends and us.

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