Year 1: Semester 1 Week 7

Hello all,


This week on campus lots of people are studying for next week's midterms. Lots of people are also procrastinating for next week's midterms. The library is more full than usual at night, and there are a lot of last-minute study sessions, assignments, meetings with the professors during office hours, and group projects. Good luck to everyone! The end of next week is the start of Fall Break, so the thought of that is a lot more exciting than the thought of exams. This week was a lot of work. I constantly have the Les Miserables movie soundtrack stuck in my head because that's my hardcore study music and I play it on repeat... and then walk around singing it all the time...

If you're as much of a college admissions nerd as I am, our school posted a cool infographic with some statistics about NYUAD, updated with Class of 2020. I'm proud to be part of this. 

In Foundations of Science, we're still focusing on thermodynamics: entropy, enthalpy, Gibbs free energy, and the energy changes associated with heat engines. Another interesting thing is the research project we're working on this semester- it involves sustainable building design materials and the Urban Heat Island effect, and this week we're finally beginning to plan out and implement our research. This means that we get to use this $35,000 infrared thermal imaging camera to study different surfaces on campus, and we got to try it out this week. I was so afraid I would drop it but it was pretty cool, haha.

These weird trees on campus are getting white flowers on them which seems strange given that it's October
Another fun demonstration in Foundations of Science was using ferrofluids! They are magnetic liquids, and when they're mixed with water, you can use a magnet on the outside of the jar to make the droplets flow around or suspend themselves in the middle of the water.
I study in the floor lounge pillow fort a lot, haha
In Programming for Engineers, we're covering functions, arrays, and matrices. In Faith in Science Reason in Revelation, we read a book about Galileo and had a nice discussion about the interaction between Catholic scholars and members of the Catholic clergy in Galileo's time... all the factors that led to his trial, the Council of Trent, the interpretation of Biblical scripture, and the misconceptions people have about the Galileo case as a classic church vs. science argument.

Highlights of the week:

Cycling at Yas Marina Circuit
This is a 5 km formula one racing track in the middle of the city, but when it's not racing season, the city opens it up for bike rentals and running/walking. One of my friends from church invited me and it was a lot of fun.


Interfaith Dialogue
I discussed this last week, but I was really glad I got to go again. It's so interesting to listen to other people share their experiences with religion and discover similarities between different world religions that I didn't even realize we shared. It's a nice break in the middle of the week to refocus on the things that matter most like connecting with God/spirituality and connecting with those around you. 

Panel Discussion on Migrant and Refugee Crisis in Europe
This was a really interesting seminar with a panel including the EU ambassador, an NYUAD professor, a Princeton professor, a UNHCR chairperson, an anthropology postdoc, and two NYUAD students who traveled to Greece last summer to help refugees directly. They answered questions about the refugee crisis and the political implications of accepting refugees in Europe, and it was really informative and inspiring. I'm happy to hear that the U.A.E. has decided to accept 15,000 Syrian refugees in the next 5 years, which sometimes seems so little compared to the total number of refugees, but at least it's something.

Sadly, I wasn't able to have more adventures this weekend because of midterms, (except a quick excursion to Al Wahda mall for necessary shopping and some also necessary ice cream!) but I spent some time planning next weekend's Fall Break trip, so I'm really excited for that and hopefully will have some more exciting things to share next week.

Here's a quick throwback photo to high school graduation. Love my family :) Seems like this was ages ago but at the same time it seems like I just got here...

Goodnight from Saadiyat,