Presentation at University of Michigan

This weekend was short for me because I spent a day in University of Michigan. I did not have any chance to attend the homecoming events and that was a pity. On Saturday, I got up at 5.30 AM and took a ride with Dr. Smith. There were other engineering students, and Dr. Jianhua Li. When we got there, it was around 8.40. We had a quick breakfast. This event included a lot of presentations, from both professors and research groups/students. We came back at 7.30. I sat by Dr. Smith and we had a great talk. Dr. Smith was my mechanical professor in my sophomore year. His courses were really hard frankly. He is a very knowledgeable man. A talk with him makes me understand what I should do as an engineering student.

University of Michigan is a great university. We have graduates going there every year. Their engineering school is one of the top in nation. It is great that we have the research and presentation opportunities as undergraduates at Hope.

The fall in Michigan is so pretty. I think photos work better than words.

Fall Break

Did I just have a fall break? I did not do anything yet! I think the fall break was too short, but one of my friends cheered me up by saying, “Think about this, we have only three days this week!” Attitude matters!

I just feel it was weird that I had the Monday schedule today, and I will go to Thursday’s classes tomorrow. That means a lot. Normally, most of the professors set Friday as the deadline of assignments… Here comes the problem. I have tons of homework due tomorrow this weekend! And even two more midterm exams next week! My life is so rich.

I am not really going to talk about my fall break today because the main thing I did was… just sleeping all the time. It just reminds me that the Grey’s-Anatomy-Big-Bang-S.H.I.E.L.D Friday night is coming! Being a sofa potato for a couple hours is actually the best time for an engineer.

Let me think about something cool I did last week. First, we went to a Korean BBQ in Tunnel Park last weekend. Great food and people made the food even more delicious.

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Lake Michigan is so beautiful!

I will share more stories this weekend 🙂

It is Friday Again!

Hello people,

I haven’t updated the blog for more than a week. It was a very busy and intense week for me. Thus, even a little break is so precious!

I am a quiet guy, so I would prefer to go to somewhere peaceful when I need a break. Last weekend, I biked to Lake Macatawa with my roomie.

Holland is such a beautiful city that everyone can be a photographer if you have a camera. It is so enjoyable to go to the lake around the sunset time and enjoy the breeze.

A normal night for an engineering/CS student…

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Here is some special content that you will only read here 🙂

Our engineering department put up some pictures about the history of our department last week. Check them out!

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(© Hope College, credits to Engineering Department of Hope College)

Aren’t they amazing? Our department has a relatively short history (“Engineering courses have been offered at Hope College since 1979. In 1994, the engineering faculty increased to four members through the addition of two new hires.”), but this was all built on all the efforts in the last 100 years. Now we have 9 full-time engineering professors and other faculty. Back in the freshman year, Dr. Misovich, a chemical engineering professor who’s been teaching here for around 18 years, told me we did not have chemical engineering emphasis when he came here. He worked with other engineering and chemistry professors to make this happen. 

Now you can be part of this history!!!

Check out this cool page about Engineering at Hope.


If you have ANY question (like are the engineering courses challenging here?), please drop me an email: xiaodong.wu@hope.edu.

By the way, today is really nice day. Friday is always so beautiful! After school, I worked out with my friends and then we played soccer in the field. (Our field now has Wi-Fi coverage as well… just an FYI).

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I forgot to mention a very cool thing happened this week. I signed up for the Taekwondo class, and my calculus professor is taking it as well… I will keep updating for this fun activity.

This is all I would love to share this week. Please let me know if you have any question or want to know more about Hope College. Drop me an email at: xiaodong.wu@hope.edu and follow me on Twitter :)

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A New Beginning

The first week of my junior year is over! Before this year started, I already felt that this was going to be a tough year. This is my schedule for this semester:schedule

The number of the courses is not really too bad; all of these classes are very hard and have a lot of assignments. So my point is that if you choose the right major, you will have a very rich college life 🙂

This year, we have around 50 international and third-culture students. As the orientation assistant for international students, I had the chance to go to the Explore MI trip with them. It was so much fun! When I was a freshman, I went to the exactly same places, so this trip really reminded me of my freshman life.

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We went to three cool places: a camp, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and Mackinac Island! It was so much fun.

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
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Ferry to Mackinac Island
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Mackinac Island
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Bye, Mackinac Island

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The international student community is a significant part of our college. Many of the domestic students are from either Michigan or Illinois, so it is kind of cool to have students from different cultures.

The week of Orientation was amazing. There were a lot of events going on. The Groovin’ in the Grove was one of the coolest thing here. Around 1500 people attended the event. Check out a short video I recorded:

I am so surprised that our college band is so professional.

The last thing… Our Phelps Dining Hall was refurbished!!! See the photos:

It is like a restaurant now, isn’t it?

Well, these are all I want to share this week. Please let me know if you want to know more about Hope College. Drop me an email at: xiaodong.wu@hope.edu and follow me on Twitter 🙂

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How to Make Good Food in an Apartment/Cottage

This past week was actually relaxing for me. I did not have a Materials lab report due. This meant a lot for an engineering guy! Usually I always spend 10+ hours on this kind of report every week. Also, there was no exam around the corner during this week. I joked with my friend, “Without labs or lab reports, I feel that I am just like an art major (no offense).” My friend is a chem major, and she spent all the time doing the lab reports, too.

Since I was pretty free this week, I was addicted to a soap show that I watched 10 years ago. It was so classic. I finished all the 30 episodes in one week… Thus, I did not sleep that much though I was free most of the time. Besides that, I tried to make some good food. Rice is not a primary food in America, bread instead. In my country (or most Asian countries as far as I know), rice, noodles and soup are major types of food every day. I really missed the Chinese food I usually had back to high school time. Thus, I spent the whole week learning how to make the best egg fried rice in my apartment.

I have to say life in an apartment is so great. I can get access to the kitchen every day. I can make whatever food I want (in my ability of course…). The problem is that I am not good at making fried stuff. To be honest, I never made any authentic Chinese dishes by myself. Though my mom did teach me before I went to college, I was actually watching instead of doing. Now it is time for me to learn it. There are many recipes online but it takes a long time to comprehend and make it.

First try
First try

Egg fried rice is a classic Chinese dish. The first time that egg fried rice was recorded dates back to 200 B.C. It was said that an emperor liked egg fried rice very much and he named it as Fragmental-gold Rice because good fried rice looks like gold. Anyway, I chose this because it was fairly easier to learn than other advanced dishes.

I steamed some white rice at first. When it was done, I waited a night to let the rice dehydrate. This is the most important part to make fried rice that many people are not aware of. If you make fried rice using the hot white rice, then it will taste like a pasta… It is kind of gross. After a night, the rice would be hard and dry. It’s not supposed to be that soft. There are two ways of making egg fried rice: egg WITH rice or egg AND rice. This is subtle because they are very similar but the result will be totally different. Egg WITH rice is like golden rice, and you can barely eggs. Egg AND rice may be white and there are pieces of eggs. The first time I made that was Egg WITH rice. Actually I think making them seperate is better.

Second try
Second try

To make Egg-AND-rice style, I put three eggs in the pot and after one minute, I added the dry white rice. Adding some other veggies like cabbage and carrot is a good way to make the rice colorful and healthy. Also, it will be better if the ham is added. After frying everything for 20 minutes over medium heat.

Lats try. The best one so far :)
Lats try. The best one so far 🙂

Cooking is such a nice thing.

Meet the Coolest 3D Printer

This week was pretty easy for me. Both of my engineering labs were cancelled because of the winter break, so I did not have any lab or report on Thursday. Technically, I just had two school days this week. I also realized what my life was gonna be without labs. This was called a real life 🙂

Last week, the TA in my lab told me that everyone could use the 3D printer in the engineering lab. I was thrilled to know that because operating a 3D printer was so amazing! I never saw a real one before. If you do not understand the significance of this, then let me try to explain this. 3D printers get very popular in recent years. They are not just used for demonstration or teaching; many universities even made it possible to print skeleton and bones for medical uses. In short, 3D printing is a cutting-edge technology. That also means, the printers are ridiculously expensive. Sometimes, the 3D printing materials are way more expensive than many high-end laser printers. It is hard for an individual to afford that. As far as I know, we have about two 3D printers in Hope College. One of them is the guy I used, which was relatively cheaper, and the other one is mysterious… I know nothing about that. It is sure that the other one should be extremely precise, and it is only used for research purposes.

Anyway, it was a great chance to operate the magic 3D printer.

3D Printer

I planned to make a key chain tag at the beginning. However, things always happened in a different way… The product was too big… Apparently, we can call it a disk.

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This “little” guy took me one hour to print it. It was hard to believe. I also record a video to introduce the lab and this printer. It was very unofficial and informal because I made the video just for fun at the beginning.

The final product was all right. I learned how that machine worked after designing and printing the “pancake” by myself. I think it is so cool to be an engineer now 🙂

I will write another post later about my college life (of course, unnerdy version) later this weekend. There will still be many beautiful pictures that I took this week. Keep following and enjoy this weekend.

The Coolest Winter I Ever Had

This week is so still so freezing. Many people said the campus should be shut down, but I think the college cannot do this too frequently because it seems this weather will last for a couple weeks. It is hard to go anywhere. This situation will not be strange if you are from Michigan, while this is a good chance for you to see the snow if you are from California.

At the weekend, I went to a gathering for the coming Chinese New Year, which is January 31st. This new year will also be celebrated by other Asian countries including Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and so on. Our Chinese new year has a very simple name in Chinese: the Spring Festival. This name implies that the new year always starts as the beginning of Spring. If it also works in America, then we will probably say bye to the annoying accumulated snow in one week 🙂

Dumplings are a traditional food we have in Chinese new year.

Chinese Dumplings
Chinese Dumplings

It looks tasty, and it tastes even better than it looks. However, like other Chinese food, dumplings are a not easy work to do. When I was in high school, my mom always have to wait till a free day to make it. There are many procedures to make it. The modern technology makes it possible to make dumplings in 

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It was a great day. And for this coming Friday, we, some Hope students, decide to have a “party” in some Chinese restaurant around here to celebrate the new year. I am pretty hopeful to this event because we did not have much chance to meet each other since we are always busy.

Stay warm.