Class playlists

One of the minor perks of my job is that I get to sneak in some extra stuff to my classes, including quotes from books, movie suggestions, news articles, etc. to help elevate the material we’re all working on. Of those little bits of extra things have included music that I think is of some (tenuous) relevance to the class or a song or two I had been listening to a bunch at that time. This has led to some quasi-playlists that I think in some way describe the class that was. Below are reported two such playlists for classes that I think are full enough to share. Please do enjoy.


BIOMEDE 211, Winter 2018

  1. Ultimate” by Gogol Bordello
  2. Winter’s Day” by Blood Warrior
  3. The February Train” by Beat Circus
  4. Luna Park” by Sivan Talmor
  5. Early Mournings” by Birdmask
  6. Words I Never Said” by Lupe Fiasco
  7. Fascist Degradation” by Di Nigunim
  8. Get Up, Get Out” by The Weavers
  9. Happy” by C2C
  10. Somewhere in the Between” by Toh Kay


VG 100, Summer 2018 (in Shanghai!)

  1. This is America” by Childish Gambuno
  2. Wait For It” by Lin Manuel Miranda
  3. The Life You Save May Be Your Own” by Beat Circus
  4. The Hands That Thieve” by Streetlight Manifesto
  5. Viva La Persistence” by Kimya Dawson
  6. Legend” by The Score
  7. Lost in the World” by Kanye West
  8. Knucklehugs (Arm Yourself With Love)” by Diablo Swing Orchestra
  9. Nevada City Serenade” by Mischief Brew
  10. Belmont” by Blackbird Raum
  11. Seneca Falls” by The Distillers
  12. Your Country” by Gogol Bordello
  13. Things That Stop You Dreaming” by Passenger
  14. Lean-To” by O’Death

A first year, 210 students

1. Number one. J. G. The first to sign up for this class. This speaks to a certain spark I like to see in a person. May you continue to charge boldly into the unknown with a great deal of forethought.

2. Number two. C. The first to get a 100% on a homework I assigned. As most the rest of us can attest, that’s not the easiest thing in the world. Congrats.

3. Number three. M. I have you quoted as saying “personality and character are the main ways to characterize who a person is.” From the glimpses of each I’ve gotten from you in this class, you have sufficient amounts of both and I hope you are able to put them to good use.

4. Four. S. S. I could always count on you to say something in class. Continue to have smart things to say.

5. Five. S. Given that you came into this class having broken the most bones (somewhere in the double digits), I will count it among my accomplishments to say that, barring last minute accidents to the contrary, we have safely made it through this class with no injuries.

6. Six. B. Or, as your nametag once had it, the Honorable G. You have demonstrated solid judgment in both the engineering-y and humanity spheres of this class. May it only be bettered.

7. Seven. A. Your explanation of cystic fibrosis and its effects on the world ranks among the top I’ve ever personally encountered. You should take pride in and continue to hone your ability to carve out descriptions of biomedical problems.

8. Eight. M. I will remember you for the ease with which you called to mind particulars of Roman history far in excess of what I might expect of the typical engineer. May you always far exceed the typical engineer.

9. Nine. T. You have given voice to a deeply held belief of mine: Quote, “I do not believe these complaints” regarding the modification of biology “should limit the advances of biomedical sciences because public opinion is so fickle.” I might more charitably say public opinion is “flexible” but it largely describes the same thing: that our society’s perceptions of the terrain we tread are awash in naivety and that we must be bellwethers of the truths we discover. May you be such.

10. Ten. A. You will be remembered by me and likely by E. as being the fellow who swooped in for those points in helping with our dying with dignity laws. I like your gumption and I hope you keep it with you.

11. Eleven. N. You will forever live on in my heart as The One Named Man, the one and only: N.

12. Twelve. N. You had an excellent eye for the contents of this class, asking questions with acuity and answering them with clarity. Keep it up.

13. Thirteen. J. I hope I have helped you learn how to conceptualize a statistical problem and how to avoid biasing ourselves prior to and following from our analysis of data. As I have said to you previously, be confident in your methods and you can be confident in your results.

14. Fourteen. T. I’m sorry I did not know more about some of the surgical details of the topics we included in this class. I hope it does not dissuade from pursuing your interest in being a neurosurgeon.

15. Fifteen. R. I listen exclusively for the clarinet when I watch Michigan games because of you. Beyond your instrumental status in the marching band, you have served this class well with your insights and questions. May they serve you just as well.

16. Sixteen. A. S. A man after my own heart in his preference for pens over pencils. May you be ever more certain with the answers you write them in. || Number sixteen. A. You were my first student to try me twice and I take that as quite a compliment. While it somewhat pains me to hear that you are likely going down that electrical engineering pathway, I suppose I can take some solace that I must not have put you off the material too much here. Thank you for spending ~150 hours of your first academic year here with me. Hope you got something out of it.

17. Seventeen. K. I have heard many explanations of the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis in my day and your presentation of the subject in the final oral report ranks among the best. Truly top-notch nut-shelling of difficult subject matter.

18. Eighteen. S. I remember your justification for using a differential benefit of 1 QALY per year as being rather succinctly put as “you’re either around or you basically die.” I have heard no truer description of this life than that.

19. Nineteen. L. I believe you may have been the first student to visit me during office hours. Thank you for that. You are welcome to visit anytime in the future while on your path through the biomedical landscape. You also gave rise my second favorite bulletpoint of this semester which reads quote “Is breeding dogs ‘playing god’?” which is precisely the sort question I want to get to the bottom of in this class.

20. Twenty. N. You’ve got a mind going a mile a minute on a dozen different topics that are all pretty cool. I hope you continue to lend your opinion to our bioethics discussion group and that you win that upcoming video contest. If you need us to spam anything, please do not hesitate to call upon your ENGR 100 section 500 brothers and sisters.

21. Twenty-one. B. P. Thank you for coming to the very first bioethics discussion. You got to see what it was before it was anything at all. Hope you continue to cultivate your curiosity.

22. Twenty-two. E. Thank you for your unwavering participation in this class. You have leant a strong voice to many of our shared opinions and I for one am glad that you shared it.

23. Twenty-three. A. You were quite spirited in just about all aspects of this class. From the project to the test to discussions in class, you had an energy that I urge you to use for the good of us all and our biomedical condition.

24. Twenty-four. Y. Hopefully by this point you have had sushi. If not, might I recommend it in celebration of your excellent final oral presentation or potentially after your sound handling of our up-coming final exam.

25. Twenty-five. A. K. You have demonstrated great abilities in this class from spotting errors in the homework to once describing our work here as an “appl[ication of] a problem-solving, collaborative mindset to help the human race.” May you continue to solve problems with those around you for the benefit of all.

26. Twenty-six. G. You have put well the reason we all should be here: “want[ing] a direct impact on people’s lives and combining the fields of math and science to do so.” Indeed, engineering in one of its purer senses is just such a distillation. May you make ever greater impacts on those around you.

27. Twenty-seven. C. I will remember you for your answer to the ethical use of unethically acquired data and for your notion of its use being accompanied by a message of warning. You correctly noted that we cannot undo our experiments, but we can learn from them.

28. Twenty-eight. J. You had a comment on your latest homework that teachers like me live for. You said, quote, “Thank you for making me question my existence,” which is just about the highest compliment you can give me for a class like this. This is the sort of thing I want to ensure is present in engineering classes that doesn’t quite have an ABET guideline associated with it. This class is but a brief exploration of who we are biomedically speaking. If some of our sites have us questioning our standings in this world, all the better.

29. Twenty-nine. E. You have demonstrated a keen and unique sense of many of the issues we deal with biomedically. I suspect your personal experience and motivations have lined you up for a great career in biomedical engineering. I hope you enjoy the trajectory.

30. Thirty. J. J. I am sorry to hear that you feel biology is not for you now. I hope I can persuade you here by saying my telling of it is but one of many ways and even if you didn’t like my way of doing it your continued investigations of the subject matter will lead you to yours. I wish you luck on the way.

31. Thirty-one. R. You once expertly described the mathematical reasoning behind vaccination within minutes of learning the material. Such quick and thorough understanding of topics will serve you well in life. I wish you well in your desire to become a “doctor [with] a strong intent in making devices that help people.” You have the skills to do so.

32. Thirty-two. A. You had a keen thought on the matter of “playing god” putting it thusly: “Why should we not cure if we can cure, or create what we can create it?” Such practicality will always serve an engineer. Your additional caveat of “certain ethics apply[ing]” will serve you even better.

33. Thirty-three. E. E. You had many great questions in this class and I hope I was able to provide at least okay answers to them all. May you continue to ask the right ones.

34. Thirty-four. A. R. You thus far have the distinction of having created my favorite title for an essay in one of my classes with “Legal rights to biological information: the beauty of capitalism and the trouble it gets us into.”

35. Thirty-five. R. S. In what has quickly become something of a weekly mantra of mine, you once said that biomedical engineers should quote “do something that betters mankind.” Do something that betters mankind. I can think of no better wisdom that I can impart than just that: do something that betters mankind.

36. Thirty-six. J. You once described yourself as “the exact combination of the exact cells that I am right now” and that by said definition of biological identity it would be impossible to describe someone given the zettabytes of information that changing all the time. So far as I am, I am glad that we had you and your million variations in this class. May you in myriad form enrich others.

37. Thirty-seven. R. I hope your aunt’s wedding goes well. And I hope you are able to go on another one of those Disney half marathons during your college career.

38. Thirty-eight. I. You have been wicked smart in this class in just about every way we’ve asked you to be. I can see why they let you on Who Wants to be Millionaire. May you one day get what you want.

39. Thirty-nine. A. K. I hope that you hung up that poster of the Pale Blue Dot and that it gives you sufficient perspective of the world, wherever you may sit upon it.

40. Forty. N. I am sorry that I presumed all here wanted to pursue biomedical engineering. However, I hope I have made as convincing a case as I can that you should pursue a career in biomedical engineering. Look at all the cool stuff we get to do. You don’t get to get to talk about puberty suppression for the treatment of gender dysphoria in the blimp class. We’re doing some pretty cool things here in biomedical engineering and I think it’d be pretty cool if you considered a career in it. All the same, I wish you well in whatever path you take on this campus to get to a better life. …Hopefully as an engineer.

41. Forty-one. I. You and your team were able to pull together a fantastic presentation in forty-eight hours. I liked that you had the confidence to pursue a last-minute change given by the last-minute constraints of your physician and the pesky anatomy of the whole thing. Given that it was you whom I mostly interacted with in the run up to your presentation, I suspect you a had a leading role in the end product. Its quality speaks to some measure of your leadership.

42. Forty-two. E. S. I found most of your written answers absolutely fascinating. For example, you once said of the boundaries biomedical engineers should respect that “nothing should go so beyond the way of nature that it goes against it” which is just downright poetic.

43. Forty-three. R. M. You had a fascinating expansion of the Ship of Theseus metaphor based on a thought-experiment challenging the definition of continuity that I hope you explore more thoroughly. If not here, then elsewhere. Take a creative writing class or something and get it in print.

44. Forty-four. A. You have described your reason for taking this class as “something that would combine what [you] love – biology – with something that runs the world – technology.” May you have learned a bit more of what you love and how to use it to run the world.

45. Forty-five. T. I will remember you for your handle of orders of magnitude. May your grasp be yet refined.

46. Forty-six. A. I take it as something of a compliment that on the very first day of class you were about as far back as could be and here you are right in the front. Means you couldn’t have been too put off by the material or my presentation of it.

47. Forty-seven. S. I feel that engineers are afforded a matter-of-factness missing from all other realms of life. For doctors, every patient is different; for scientists, every experiment unique. Engineers, operating with approximations and fudge factors seem the most comfortable saying “yeah, that’s the way it is” with no hint of abdication. S, you once said “performing […] unethical things should never happen, but to ignore any information from them that could potentially save lives would be stupid and counterproductive.” Most in the humanities will not tell it to you quite that straight. May you continue on your engineering career with an ever-honing bluntness.

48. Forty-eight. A. S. Your work in this class has been exemplary. May you continue to “feel that doing this will allow [you] to help people each and every day.” In other words, may new days make your sunshine anew.

49. Forty-nine. J. One thing I attempted to emphasize in this class was the role of the patient in our whole engineering process. You said this more concisely and yet perhaps more broadly of the matter: “Yes, there are boundaries we should respect; we should respect the patient’s medical wishes.” Such a crystalline formulation will always help you to find clarity in biomedical engineering.

50. Fifty. D. As I did with A, I will take it as a compliment here that you have sat front and approximately-center for much of this course’s duration. Hopefully it has earned your attention to it. May it aid you onward.

51. Fifty-one. M. Your questions during office hours have been some the most illuminating for me pedagogically. That is, you have helped me (I hope) teach better in the future. On behalf of future students who understand the material just that bit better and who owe you debt of gratitude they do not yet know, thank you for participation in this class.

52. Fifty-two. B. I didn’t know there was going to be a category in my brain for Favorite Bulletpoints, but you have provided this year’s best with: “assisted suicide, designer babies.” There is something uniquely magical to our biomedical enterprise when such a bulletpoint can be written. May you continue to find that magic in your further study of the field.

53. Fifty-three. A. Perhaps I best got to know you on our walk from the room we both thought we were supposed to be in to the room we were actually supposed to be in, where you came across as a smart cookie. People don’t just come across as a smart cookie. Keep coming across as a smart cookie.

54. Fifty-four. S. Believe it or not I always mean to ask about your pet tortoise “S” but there’s never the right segue offered in class. “Here’s the mathematics describing a dubious medical trial tense with racial injustice and honest-to-goodness crime against humanity. How is your tortoise, S?” And as there has never been a better time than now, how is your tortoise, S?

55. Fifty-five. S. You have at times demonstrated excellent moral character. If even half of us had that, we’d have better.

56. Fifty-six. S. You have said of your interest in biomedical engineering that you wish to “improv[e] the well being of humans.” I think is just about as laudable a goal as any person can have. And I hope you continue to do so from here on.

57. Fifty-seven. A. The first student to contact me as an instructor of this institution, doing so before the class even began. May you forge ahead with such fortitude in all life’s endeavors.

58. Fifty-eight. M. Upon this class’s consideration of using a controversial medical treatment, you said that “intrinsic distress has to be compared to the extrinsic distress” of said treatment. Knowing that you must balance factors is the critical first step in optimizing those factors as an engineer.

59. Fifty-nine. M. You came to review sessions with questions to ask and answers to pursue. May you keep at that doggedness and answer a great many questions with it.

60. Sixty. D. Thank you for your participation in both this class and in our bioethics discussions. You’ve made substantial contributions here and elsewhere. May you continue to contribute substantially.

61. Sixty-one. K. You are the first (and as of yet, only) student of mine to get over 100% on an assignment. Just as we commended C early for being the first to 100 for its difficulty, here we commend you for skills in being the first to surpass it. Keep doing what you’re doing.

62. Sixty-two. M. Among my favorite phrases describing our biomedical condition in this class comes from your most recently graded homework in which you state that it is “the combination of all of our maybe-not-perfectly-unique characteristics [that] makes us who we are.” I suspect this seed of truth has to be growing in a few more minds if we are to have any hope of world peace.

63. Sixty-three. G. You had many great responses in this class and perhaps my favorite response of all: to having been explained the tin man’s origin you responded thusly. Which I think is something of a contemporary eureka moment. You got something in that moment that I hope stays with you. And I hope you get many more things from many more moments just like that.

64. Sixty-four. A. M. You had one of my favorite expressions of the intrinsic human goodness of our topics here. When asked about the conditions that ought to govern the behavior of biomedical engineers you responded “As long as biomedical engineers are working towards improving quality of life for all […] then there should be no boundaries” and held that we “should aim to help all regardless of who they are.” The world will be objectively better with more engineers of your persuasion.

65. Sixty-five. R. C. You provided me with one of my favorite justifications for the mandated use of vaccinations: “Yep. Herd immunity for the win.”

66. Sixty-six. L. Thank you for your supplemental material for this class on the topics of the angle of our vision and the design of our prostheses. I am glad to see that you pursue the material beyond the confines of this class. May you do so in others.

67. Sixty-seven. K. I am glad your two previous heart surgeries have enabled you to sit through this class. I hope the one you have next year goes well and I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn if I say I am speaking for all us here in wishing you the best and urging you to keep your ticker ticking.

68. Sixty-eight. A. Your motivation for pursuing biomedical engineering was put more succinctly and thus better than my own: “I love the human aspect of engineering. While I love the innovation of engineering in general, biomedical engineering gives me insight on a person’s life and allows me to have a direct impact on their stories.” May you go on to impact many stories hence, telling a few of your own.

69. Sixty-nine. M. You have described the field of biomedical engineering as having “the potential to make a great positive impact in people’s lives and” – more to the point – you “want to do that.” I hope this class has helped expand your realms of potentiality and that you continue to wish to make great positive impacts on the lives of others.

70. Seventy. E. You have, to this point in my life, the best notes I have ever seen taken for a class. May your concise and artistic interpretation of the information before you yield ever more creative fruit.

71. Seventy-one. H. Perhaps the youngest in our class, but no less the wizen. May you continue in stride your education here.

72. Seventy-two. J. A late, great addition to this class. Though I know you likely will be going on to pursue an aerospace or nuclear engineering based program, I hope your brief foray into the biomedical scene has given you an appreciation of what it is we’re up against on this side of the fence. May you ever keep the interests of human beings first in your mind in whatever you engineer.

73. Seventy-three. T. I wish we had gotten to know one another a bit better during the tenure of this class. And that’s roughly true of most in this room I suspect, I really wish I could have gotten to know you all better and please don’t you all be timid about sharing your achievements in life with me. How else am I supposed to take credit? T. I wish we had gotten to know one another a bit better during our time here. I saw you at B. W. (soon to be Dr. B. W., Ph.D) defense and saw that you even got a shout out for his work. The quality of his work speaks to the quality of yours and that’s something I wish I knew more about. All the same, I wish you luck in whatever line of work you do well.

74. Seventy-four. C. I recognize that this is not the parting goodbye that it will likely be for some large subset of this class, as I’ll likely be seeing you at the next XXX. That said, you seem to be riding the line pretty well between biomedical engineering and engineering education. While I will continue to personal try to tip those scales toward the engineering side of things, I have no doubt you will go on through a successful doctorate and help us figure out how to do this act up here better.

75. Seventy-five. C. The beginning of your presentation may have been one of the purest forms of poetry this class has produced. Quote: “So, we are the L. C. B., as you can see. I’m C.” Followed by “I’m C.” – “I’m E.” – “V.” – which has quite a lovely lilt to it. Thank you for making possibly a brief lovely moment in this otherwise dreary world.

76. Seventy-six. N. This might be the single weirdest compliment you get all year. But harken back, if you will, to our first homework when I asked, as the final question, the following: “Find some values of the magnitude and frequencies of the following biological parameters/measuring techniques before they are modified by a system. Be sure to cite your sources and explain why you trust them.” From a purely utilitarian standpoint your answer ranked among the (if not the) best. If your boss asked for what I asked for, they’d be quite satisfied at the quality of your work. That can be said of few in this world. Rank yourself among their number.

77. Seventy-seven. K. J. I believe it was you who noted that it was your team, H. M., that “have the Lamborghini” when prompted about a race with another team’s remote controlled car. I hope such works are backed up by hard work and genuine striving. I suspect that much will get you far. And that much and a Lamborghini will get you farther.

78. Seventy-eight. K. K. I suspect you’ve learned as much as any in this class about our current system of healthcare this semester. I hope it hasn’t put you off the subject too much. And if I remember correctly you’re supposed to be heading to J. this summer for an internship? May such a trip and indeed all such trips you may take in life be both safe and fulfilling for you.

79. Seventy-nine. B. You have consistently turned in good homework, produced good lab work, and demonstrated a willingness to help your team with just about all possible matters in the lab. You have been a good student of the class and I hope some of what you’ve learned here serves you well in the future.

80. Eighty. I. Your answer for the question in Homework II about the ECG vector was inspired. It was a really nice way, without being too messy (but without also being too neat) of showing how the measured dipole will change along each lead. If this is the kind of work you produce on the back of an envelope, I suspect that the skills you employ in a professional capacity will be much sought after.

81. Eighty-one. M. M. P. You did quite well in presenting the why your team’s project, E. It’s a generally underdiscussed ability, but setting the necessary foundations for the presentation that follows is a skill and one you seem to possess. Good job on the last presentation and good luck on your next.

82. Eighty-two. V. There’s something that tickles me pink about a University level project which you once described thusly: “We don’t need a great deal of materials outside of lab other than an RC car.” It is precisely sentiments like these that I know generally get little budding elementary/junior high/high school engineers stoked on entering a program like ours. I imagine if you told a younger version of yourself that not only yesterday you were but tomorrow you will be working on an electrooculographically remote controlled vehicle, you’d be pretty proud. You should be. As should the rest of you.

83. Eighty-three. E. You had the single best looking homework I’ve received from a student all year. I’ve decided, as such, to create an award (of no monetary value) to celebrate such an achievement and to bestow it upon you. The Best Homework of the Year Award, 2018. Your tasteful use of typeface and its font paired well with utilitarian whitespace. It is downright beautiful. Thank you for the art.

84. Eight-four. S. Thank you for attending each of the Quantifying the Self lectures. It really means a lot to me – a first year teacher of all this – to see that there is at least one student out there, at least one, for whom this subject matter is of possible interest and worthwhileness. That, when it comes right down to it, is why a person like me signs up for a job like this. And so in a very real sense, thanks for making that little experiment worth it.

85. Eighty-five. M. P. Perhaps you knew I was a sucker for the big font, but the stark simplicity of your presentation style is fine by me. Sometimes in institutions like this we encourage you all to say too much on a topic. Short and to the point works. I hope it continues to work for you.

86. Eighty-six. R. I feel like you are quite the onion once someone sits you down and talk to you for a bit. At first I thought you were a mostly-maybe-kinda-beyond-this-class type of EECS student, but with time I found both your personal history, such as your time in Germany and China, and your perspectives on history – such as on why languages might get the way they do with time, rhyme, and borders – indicative of a modern day cosmopolitan. To have you counted among our biomedical engineering ranks, even if but tangentially, has been quite an honor. I hope you go on to see even more of this world.

87. Eighty-seven. T. If I recall correctly your favorite show is Black Mirror and as of January of this year you had not watched the latest season. I even joked to make it part of your homework. Have you watched it? [Joke about making him put a slideo on his final presentation to tell me what he thought of the first episode.]

88. Eighty-eight. S. Perhaps you can’t appreciate it now – I’d wager you don’t yet have sufficient distance – but your decision to take up sailing last summer was metaphorically relevant to all of this, to this whole college thing. What is it we’re trying to do here? Who are we trying to become? Where do we want to go? Having literally sailed the seas (or at least a lake probably), has to have prepared you for what’s to come. May you meet it with temerity.

89. Eighty-nine. J. Hailing as you do from C. this year had to be one of the most confusing sports times in recent memory for you. To cap the whole thing off for you and for all of us with a second place finish to an unfortunately and obviously better team. But you know what, I’ve been proudest when my team’s won second place. I like when those who through persistence rise to the challenge, rise through the ranks, rise up to top. Let us recall T. R.’s word on the matter: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because these is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” May you, at times, dare so great.

90. Ninety. A. A. A Bo Schembechler reference in this University will always get you far on this campus. The team is important, the team is the unit of operation, the team drives what we’re trying to do here forward. May each of you recognize in this some bit of truth. Consider but only how much of your opinion of this class has been shaped by the same hearty band of biomedical engineers for the past few months. Those closest to you – the team – has made you who you are and in turn you have made of it what you will. In the best teams, the best of us are brought out. All this to say, keep making those Bo references and you should do just fine.

91. Ninety-one. S. You once said of your project, “Okay, so obviously the big step of this is to get an EEG that actually works.” Such concise nutshelling of situations is a valuable skill to have and to hone. May you keep your wits sharp and about you.

92. Ninety-two. E. S. We saw through our alphabetical investigations of our class composition that your name comprises the class’s average initials. I should say that even were it true that you were but an average student in this class (and nothing could be further from the truth), that among this group, that’s pretty darn good. We’ve got future doctors and inventors and clinical engineers and techs and managers and sales and maybe an eventual accountant or two among us. All this to say, you and everyone around you make up an extraordinary group of individuals. And I hope we all appreciate that from time to time.

93. Ninety-three. C. I feel lucky that I got to get to know you a little bit better at that industry-alumni-university event thing. It’s great when the bounds of the classroom environment (which are often weirdly restrictive, even as in this quasi-rant, listicle format). And but so eating dinner with you and just shooting the breeze for an hour or two was great. If you’re ever at another one of those, come by my table.

94. Ninety-four. P. Thank you for attending the optional lectures. I really did think more students would be interested, but as both you and I and really most everyone in this room knows, not too many people went. Still, you checked out (along with S.) and I hope it was to your benefit. I know it was to mine and having you there to help me was and continues to be appreciated. You appear to have a deep and abiding interest in medical technology and I hope along your trajectory through life you get to engage in some wicked cool things.

95. Ninety-five. B. I know you will go far in life. To begin your presentation or rather to let a rowdier portion of the audience know that their time of rowdiness was coming to an end you did a hand gesture whose power images fail to properly demonstrate the magnitude of. I mean, it looks like you actually blew S. back with it. You commanded an audience of some lofty peers in this class and I hope you continue to do so elsewhere.

96. Ninety-six. J. Your 3D printed ear subplot in my life really added to some of my favorite days in recent memory. Days where I’m scrambling to make sure a dozen things are all happening at once and I walk in one Tuesday or Thursday morning and you’ve got what at least in my retelling’s estimation is like half a dozen variously sized 3D printed ears with one of them being particularly large and I think to myself, this is the future towards which it’s all been heading. All this striving and effort, technology and progress, all this advancement to where we can form the very world at our command (albeit in a still limited sense), and it’s led to our being able to make ears of any size in any number at our command. Such is the power of a biomedical engineer. May you wield such power responsibly in all your days to come.

97. Ninety-seven. R. People speak well of your abilities in BMES. Indeed, I believe it was through the demonstration of said abilities – namely some social event with the Department – that we first met. You appear to be an active, participatory, and well-liked student in this community and you’ve done well in this class. That’s pretty remarkable and so I prepared the aforestated remarks. Do well enough in life to do some good.

98. Ninety-eight. A. It perhaps comes as no surprise to you, your team members, or those that have gotten to know you through the course that you were an influential presence on your team. It was obvious that you cared deeply about what it was you were all trying to do and took great pains to try and do it well. I respect that kind of gumption. May you keep at it.

99. Ninety-nine. M. Ninety-nine is one of my favorite numbers. By happenstance you have shaped up to be one of my favorite students (though, in fairness, and in a bid to win back the majority’s affection, you are all one of my favorite students. The work you do on behalf of M-HEAL and within our lab section are both earnest and well done. So far as I can tell. And though you may only wear one contact lens, you seem to able to keep both eyes on the ball. If this class but built up your courage to swing, I will have considered it a success.

100. One-hundred. L. May you appreciate that now part of your life’s trajectory was the straight-faced suggestion for a biomedical engineering project that someone (probably S.) yell in your face while wearing an essentially homebrewed electroenecephalograph to detect “some kind of response.” I’m not quite sure what you’re measuring, but I’m glad you’re looking to measure it. May you measure it and up all through life.

101. One-hundred one. A. I’ve meant to respond to an email of yours for awhile. I must apologize. I am, and fear I am likely to remain, not that great/jazzed/all about communication via email. So if any of you plan on emailing me after this class, which I encourage, advocate, and borderline admonish you to do, know that it might take me a few days to respond to your email. Mostly, as I hope you’ll appreciate, it’s that when I go to write something down, I’m trying to convey something. The conveyance of that something, such as my current respect for you as students and my personal hope for your future successes, is often not possible in an email, whose bounds are so narrowly confined within pieces of glass like this and that. Consider the following, when you are “communicating” with me via the this here electronic mail, I have to read either through this piece of glass or this piece of glass, and then I’ve got to transmit my thoughts on whatever matters I’ve got them on at that moment. As if human beings over eons developed complex syntactical arrangements, context specific tonal shifts, and literal facial expressions to prepare ourselves for a future in which our primary mode of talking to another human being is through some electronic middleman circumscribed, as previously mentioned, by finite, confining glass. Furthermore, I am sorry to have made this little bit I wrote about you to be mostly about me and my daily struggles with communication. This marks the second time email has failed to convey my current respect for you as a student and my personal hope in your future success. First as communication, second as metaphor. This is a larger statement on what it is I’m trying to do here. May you make larger statements than these in your future work.

102. One-hundred two. A. If I recall correctly, you play the bass. I play the guitar. Not well, but “well with others.” So should you find yourself wanting to play a walking bass line to the rather flimsy gypsy jazz I can muster, send me an email.

103. One-hundred three. B. I hope you enjoy Fitbit this summer and soak in a part of the world I myself was personally steeped in for about two years of my life. Right around that area. Literally blocks away. Exercises like these give one time for reflection and those years of my life were formative. I suspect they will form some integral part of your life. And I’m excited to see what you make of it.

104. One-hundred four. B. Someone who sits in the front seat in the front row is going somewhere in the world. This is true of just about every room you walk in. Those that matter, those that count, those that want to be in it to win it, sit in the middle, sit in the front. It is perhaps cliche to point out that some large chunk of success in something is merely showing up. And B. you have shown up again and again. I look forward to each and every one of your future successes.

105. One-hundred five. M. Your consistent and demonstrated performance of our dark electronic arts has been commendable and I hope you pursue your education in it further. While I suspect you have an intuition for electronics, we likely still have to work somewhat against it to fully round out your expertise in these matters. However, rumor has it that you might be more on the “medical” side than the “engineering” side of our enterprise here and might one day end up in med school, be a doctor, serve patients. To that end, you know most the circuits you’ll need and the rest you can pick up along the away. That’s all the rest of this is folks, experience. May you practice these and all the dark arts well.

106. One-hundred six. C. Thank you for your constant participation in many of the aspects of this class from the asking and answering of questions to the performance and refinement of our mathematical techniques, I could always count on you to help when you could. May people continue to count on you in such ways.

107. One-hundred seven. K. There are a few people whose names you learn quickly in a class. As you might suspect, M. back there was one such person. C. was another. You are another. There are many ways to be known in life, many ways to be remembered. In this class, at least to me, you will be remembered as a voice of the people, a man whose question represents a dozen others. You were not afraid to press for clarification or question my explanation. Such will serve you well in every honest pursuit of actual truth. May your pursuits be honest.

108. One-hundred eight. C. I thank you for putting together that presentation regarding wifi last Thursday. It is a topic modern engineers ought to know something about and we in this room now know something about because of you. I hope even in the transmission of that small subset of All Possible Knowledge that you got a sense for why some folks want to do this every day. And while perhaps teaching circuits may not be your calling, I hope you get to where you’re going and are happy on the journey and the arrival. May you go far.

109. One-hundred nine. S. You have been a helpful fellow traveler in this class always at the ready with a question, an answer, a statement, or a furtive glance that I could generally leverage into hearing someone’s voice in the class other than my own. For that I thank you and for that I am sure your fellow student travelers her thank you too. May you continue onward in your travels.

110. One-hundred ten. G. You quietly sit in back and just dominate this class on the page. You are a well-qualified engineer, at the very least in basic circuits and systems, to that I can attest. I hope your confidence grows with time and with it, I hope your voice becomes a larger part of any conversation.

111. One-hundred eleven. J. If we’ve made it through this class without breaking your arms and/or wrist than we will have done better here than when before you got here. May you get through the rest of life with few broken bones, fewer broken hearts, and fewer still broken promises.

112. One-hundred twelve. L. I am sorry to have heard, as I did on the very first day of class, that you missed meeting Barack Obama by 3 minutes. And again, I really do feel that should be thought of as his missing his opportunity to meet you. Well speaking as a fellow bearer of the name Barry, as was our forty-fourth President for a time, may I say it has been lovely to make your acquaintance. Unfortunately, making the acquaintance of this Barry does not confer onto you any sort of political favor or powers. Still, I hope it’s something.

113. One-hundred thirteen. A. You seem to be a remarkable woman. From the mere bits about you this class has allowed me to learn I know the following: you are from the Boston area, you have sat for chickens, you are active in extracurriculars (M-HEAL?), you know something about a mid-eighties American postmodernist novel for some reason. Such are not the facets of unremarkable people. May you continue to draw remarks, most of them good, most of them in your favor, as you make your way through life.

114. One-hundred fourteen. K. Thank you for bringing in a portion of our community’s larger political discussions. While many of us in this room, and indeed many like us in many similar rooms, are not usually the political sort – engineer by and large are typically professionally apolitical creatures – we would all do well here and always to remember the communities we serve and which in turn serve us. Let us make of this world what we will. Or barring that, let us make of it what we can. Or barring that, let us at least vote on who they let us. Or barring that, let us at least get close to winning sometimes. Or barring that, let us at least sit around and play with some circuits. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

115. One-hundred fifteen. M. On the first day of class you were the first to take me up listing your spirit animal. In your case, if I’ve got it right, I believe yours was a fox, due at least in part to the one that comes to your parent’s backyard when you’re around. As far as I can tell, you have used your spirit animal quite well in this class, answering questions with cunning and guile. May you continue to apply such cunning and guile to your life and it entails.

116. One-hundred sixteen. R. You are among the most adept practitioners of our art in this classroom. You seem to “get” electronics in a way that I suspect many envy and if I but speak for myself, that I envy. I’d have not done half as well then as you do now in this class and I’m not sure I know double what I knew then. Students like you help prompt me to learn more, to be better, to think fuller. For that I thank you. May you continue to inspire those around you with your adeptness.

117. One-hundred. Seventeen. E. Having been a longtime fan of the Detroit Lions, I, of course, need not tell you of the soaring euphoria of triumph and the stinging pains of loss. Hopefully here in this class you’ve gotten to experience more of the former than the latter. May that be true of all your days.

118. One-hundred eighteen. H. Thank you for your recent presentation on Bluetooth communication. I know and I hope most of the class found it informative. A couple of weeks back when you originally reached out to me, I was taken by your initiative and was happy to reward it. May life continue to reward the initiatives you take to meet and transform it. This is the most we may ever ask of it.

119. One-hundred nineteen. K. C. Perhaps no one has ever told you, but you keep quite the poker face. Most times, when an instructor scans the room, students’ eyes will dart, immediately become fixated on the newly fascinating hyperlocal phenomenon that is best embodied by the Not Going To Be Getting Called On Today pose. But you’ve gone to some other extreme, you never break eye contact and keep the same generally chipper demeanor about you. It’s enigmatic. Hard to pick up on. We’ve spent over one-hundred days knowing one another and I don’t know too much about you. Other than, as you mentioned on the first day of class, that you binged Gossip Girl at the start of the semester. Hope you’re all caught up on the life of Serena van der Woodsen and ready to make of yours what you will.

120. One-hundred twenty. T. From our initial meeting during that lunch last semester to our upcoming laboratory class next semester, I have enjoyed getting to know you. Though I wish I learned a little bit more about the life of P., your pet bearded dragon, of what I know about your life, you seem to be living it pretty well. That’s more than can be said for many of us. At times the struggle will be much too much, but you’ve got to grapple with it. From what I’ve seen of your character in class, you will grapple just fine.

121. One-hundred twenty-one. K. G. I really am quite sorry for making you stand up at the front of the room the other day for what must have felt like forever. All the same, I respect that you stood up there all the while without one ill-word to say and had a rapid response to Tyrone’s salvation and doom parable. At times, this class’s material has obviously not been your favorite. Just as obvious is the work you put in. May you keep up your efforts and not have to put up with a lot else.

122. One-hundred twenty-two. T. Thank you for putting together our second crowd-sourced set of notes for the final exam. In the short term, I am sure many in this room will benefit from your work. In the long term, I am equally as sure that many more will yet benefit. While I must admit that the extent to which I know you is the sum total number of times I’ve seen you sit approximately there in this class and for half a lab in that Incubator module class – which is about true of your colleague G. back there – you have nevertheless proven yourself both knowledge about capable. Keep at it.

123. One-hundred twenty-three. R. Though you have mostly been the quiet type in this class, if I’ve gotten to know anything about you via your work product it’s that you understand the subject very well. You are able to spot some of the nuances that escape some of our coarser glances. If you don’t already have an interest in the subject, I would encourage you to maybe take a second look at it outside of this class. And talk more in my next class!

124. One-hundred twenty-four. R. I am glad to see that your bilateral hip surgery – which cruelly took away your ability to sit criss-cross apple sauce – has not hindered your ability to sit and analyze circuits. You and at times members of your family have sat in this room and worked well. May that be true of all rooms you enter in life.

125. One-hundred twenty-five. A. Due to some strange sequence of events, I don’t believe A. can join us today, all the same, we speak in her memory. A. was a good student to teach and from what I gather she has been a good student to work / study with. She’s involved in multiple extracurriculars and seems to find ways of occupying her time. While I wish she once occupied some portion of that time at the Engineering Student Government Movie Night, what can you do? C’est la vie. May A. continue to do good at what she tries.

126. One-hundred twenty-six. T. T? I prefer T. to give you my frank and unsolicited remarks on the matter. I figure if the people naming you went to all the trouble to give you the fully thing I may as well go to the trouble of saying it all. But I suppose it is in a sense equally arbitrary to say any arbitrary portion of one’s name, after all, it’s not like saying more of the name says more of the person. Moreover, we are already so foreshortening who you are and what you embody in even trying to “name” you that in a pinch any garble of sounds will do as well as any other. However, T., you have risen above your garble of sounds to become one of the better students of our art. May you continue onward.

127. One-hundred twenty-seven. A. I’m sorry if my explanation of the Laplace transform of zero never failed to properly satisfy. Even to my own ears. We may get it one day yet. All the same, every day you were here I saw you working hard, participating, helping your friends, and then periodically video recording some of them. You were a force in this class it was the better for it.

128. One-hundred twenty-eight. E. You have the single nicest looking homeworks I’ve seen all year. Every single one of them, uploaded to Canvas, each of them, a PDF. They’re handwritten, but computerized, everything is neat and orderly, but it doesn’t look like a technical manual, they’ve even got a color code to them. Such good work consistently demonstrated, even for things as simple as homework, demonstrates consistently good abilities. May you remain ever in possession of such faculties.

129. One-hundred twenty-nine. D. I hope you have had at least some moderate success bringing the fanny pack back.

130. One-hundred thirty. J. You once paid me what I consider to be among the better compliments one can receive in life in saying after having attended one of our bioethical discussions, “this is the kind of thing I always thought college would be.” Perhaps said in the afterglow, still, it meant something to me then. If I can but return the compliment and say that making such experiences possible are why I got into this line of work. I wish you well in your future endeavors.

131. One-hundred thirty-one. B. You have been a constant force in this class: adding your voice to the discussions as they go on and asking questions as they arrive. Everything from puns to jokes to anecdotes to answers to profounder thoughts on the world, you have added much to this class. I can only hope that it has added something to you in return.

132. One-hundred thirty-two. C. I consider you among my most reliable students in class, sitting right against that wall, turning in good assignments on time and without comment, asking a solid question every now and again. I suspect I am not the only one in your life and/or general environment who finds you to be quite reliable. On behalf of those for whom your stability has been a boon (especially in this ever tumultuous times) and of those who know not yet: thank you. And keep it up.

133. One-hundred thirty-three. N. You once said of this class that your favorite material had been mesh analysis given its relative straightforwardness and disliked superposition for its lack of straightforwardness. I can respect an engineer who can appreciate the virtues of simplicity and rue the need for their complication. Throughout this course I have hoped to show the power of said virtues and cultivate the resilience of said engineers. May you be so virtuous and resourceful.

134. One-hundred thirty-four. A. Sometimes the good are forgotten. Many have said plenty on this, let me say this more: sometimes students sit there quietly, do their work well, know what they’re talking about, like the aforementioned C. over there. Your performance in this class has, I’m sorry to say, had the somewhat unfortunate effect of making you “forgettable” in the sense that as I go to grade your work, I’m making so few lines and comments, so few instances I have to point out stumbles – you do such good work, that I hardly have to do any. You get answers right and right answers are often boring, unglamorous affairs. And boring, unglamorous affairs are best forgotten. And while I had originally hoped to turn that phrase around and say something to the effect of “And you, A. are best remembered” I realized that indeed you are better known, talked to, conversed with, than remembered. While I may not have as many opportunities to know, talk to, or converse with you and your colleagues here, we would all do seize those chances we can and to remember those moments we had.

135. One-hundred thirty-five. H. I have appreciated your candid feedback and your thoughtful counsel throughout this semester. You have helped me see better from a student’s perspective, both with respect to the narrow confines of the particular subject matter of this specific class and with respect to the larger world you all are placed in. I can only hope to have returned the favor by teaching you at least a thing or two with respect to circuits and systems.

136. One-hundred thirty-six. E. I’m glad you got whatever overrides you needed to get into this class. You had whatever technical skills or wherewithal necessary to learn and apply this subject matter. In a word, you showed the fortitude necessary to get somewhere in life. I hope you continue to forge ahead with such fortitude.

137. One-hundred thirty-seven. W. X. You once remarked “I think you want us to find [out] how our project […] can be used in real life [and I] realize there are many things we can do based on project 1.” As simple as it sounds, knowing that what you learn can be leveraged to create things to make life better is a concise distillation of much of my thesis here. May you continue to contribute concisely and precisely.

138. One-hundred thirty-eight. D. R. S. W. You pointed to the “trade dispute between China and the United States” and the “frequent” shootings in the United States as problems worth solving in the world. You then went on to propose solutions that are better than most politicians in my country can conjure up. While it is perhaps no great praise to say you did something better than a politician, may you continue to have better ideas than most.

139. One-hundred thirty-nine. C. J. J. You once wished I had asked on a homework “what have you learned through this VG100 so far” because it would “help us review and summarize what has been done so far and set us thinking for [the] next step[s].” It is my hope that this speech will serve as such a summary of what this class has been about and that it is has prepared you in at least some small part for what next steps lie ahead on your path. May you walk them well. 

140. One-hundred forty. H. J. I have you on record as saying you “want to learn how [I] look at these problems in our life and want to know how a mature engineer solves these [things.]” I’m not sure I can speak to the maturity aspect of your desire, but this class (and its distillation into this philosophy) is approximately how I think this thing called engineering is done. It is the creative applications of fundamental knowledge in collaboration with other smart folks and compassion for all. May you find something resonant in such an approach.

141. One-hundred forty-one. H. P. M. You have at times demonstrated a particular aptitude for nuance, once noting that you believe that “sympathetic neural outflow is not proportional to the neural impulse” but rather “the rate of change [that is] proportional” in response to producing a a block diagram describing cardiovascular dynamics. Such a statement is both true and indicative of an intuition for the reality of the reality around us. May you continue to hone such nuance.

142. One-hundred forty-two. M. J. To one of your homework questions you once responded “To be honest, I had a hard time answering this exercise. […] It’s still a long way to go before becoming an engineer who can change the world.” Such candor is enviable, such truths are universal. We all have still yet much to learn and there will be many times when it we have “a hard time answering”. But so long as we endeavor “to be honest” we will find ourselves going “a long way”. May you continue to truly to strive and to strive truly.

143. One-hundred forty-three. G. J. One of your teammates once remarked, “G. didn’t get angry even if someone did make a large mistake. He only focused on how to improve our device.” Such a singular focus on taking to the task rather than taking people to task will serve any engineer and your example shines as a beacon for all here. May you continue to help others as you help the world.

144. One-hundred forty-four. L. X. P. You have said that you “think learning something should be closely connected to its daily use.” You may yet tie X. for the best distillation of my philosophy here: we are here to learn what we can to make our days and the days of those around us better. If we will not use what we learn (nor use it regularly), why ought we to bother? May you use at least some portion of what you have learned here to make your days better and better.

145. One-hundred forty-five. H. X. To be praised by one’s teammate’s is, I believe, the highest honor one can receive for team-based activities. Of you, your team has said, “She was always ready to help when the team needed it. Whenever I asked for help she was willing to help me. […] She had an excellent attitude.” These are high praises and I hope you feel honored to receive them. May you always be “ready to help” any team of which you are a part.

146. One-hundred forty-six. M. S. You once conceded “We did not do a perfect job [on our project] because noise was still very strong.” Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you wish to perceive it), this is the stark reality of our profession: there is no perfect, only better. And while you correctly note that “our experiment[s] can strengthen […] what we have done” it will do you good to recognize that problems will always exist. Though not perfect, may you always do better.

147. One-hundred forty-seven. X. B. It has been said of you that you are “really smart”, “willing to help other groupmates”, “an outstanding team member”, and that you “worked perfectly.” As you were part of the same team as H. X., I think it is safe to assume that you all worked well together. More than anything else it is the goodness of the team within that matters. May you continue to to add to the goodness within and may no team be without you.

148. One-hundred forty-eight. F. J. S. Rumor has it that you were responsible for much of the technical communication portions of your team’s efforts including the reports and the much of the editing for the presentations. As your team’s technical communication was among the best in class, I suspect it is in no small part your doing. Good job. May you continue to communicate technically and effectively.

149. One-hundred forty-nine. S. Y. In one of your homeworks you once commented that you “find engineering involved with many subjects [and that you] want to combine [your] knowledge of these subjects and comprehend them more deeply.” You are as true here as truth can be: engineering is the synthesis of many disparate realms of knowledge and their deep comprehension is both the frustration and joy of every engineer. May you know your subject yet further and delve ever deeper.

150. One-hundred fifty. T. X. You once acutely noted that “our VG100 is largely different from [your] friends in other classes.” This was largely by design as there is much much much more to this world than what you will be exposed to in a single section of VG100. Indeed, as you also noted “as engineers, we will end up designing new things to help improve people’s life, so we should pay attention to the knowledge [of] other field[s].” May you continue to experience the largely different and use it to design better lives for others.

151. One-hundred fifty-one. H. Y. Remarking upon solutions you posited for news articles I once made you cite, you stated “I feel like my solution[s] are not really good enough [… .] I can make [them] better if I have more time (but unfortunately not 🙁 ).” Indeed, time is the final arbiter of all our work here. It is our chief resource and the ultimate currency we trade in. With time enough at last we could shape this world to our liking. Alas, we have but so little time. (Ours in this class is nearing its end.) May you do what you can with what you’re allotted and hope to do ever more.

152. One-hundred fifty-two. L. J. You began this class “sure that engineering will drive everyone mad.” And while that might be partly true, engineering is also the thing that allowed you to move a remote control vehicle using nothing more than the electrochemical firings of your muscles and a reconfigure biopotential amplifier you learned a couple months ago. Such a madness is peculiar to the engineer: seeing the world not merely as it is but how you want it to be. May you be so mad all the rest of your life.

153. One-hundred fifty-three. F. J. J. I have yet to see you without a smile throughout all these many days of class. Where many of us engineers are disposed to grumpiness, contorted frowns, and furrowed brows, your positive attitude in the face of adversity is a lasting triumph few of us achieve. It is a preternatural ray of sunshine in our often gloomy world. May you continue to provide such sunshine on the many cloudy days ahead.

154. One-hundred fifty-four. L. J. Though you were one of the many students at the beginning of this semester who claimed to be “not good at engineering” you demonstrated proficiency in the technical portion of this class has proven otherwise. You grasp well the material as far as I can tell. I hope you internalize such proficiency and bolster that confidence a bit. May you never say again that you aren’t good at engineering.

155. One-hundred fifty-five. X. M. When looking through the peer evaluations, people generally notice the same features of an individual. However, in your case your team recognize that you did much, contributing to the “3D-modeling and printing”, “the hardware part” and “the communication part”. I am inclined to agree with one of your teammate’s who said you “contributed a lot and regularly.” May you continue to regularly contribute a lot to all you try.

156. One-hundred fifty-six. Y. G. You told us all at the beginning of this semester you weren’t able to finish The Vampire Diaries because this class was starting. I know the feeling all-too-well of not being able to get through a show you love because of academic commitments. But here’s hoping you were able to sneak an hour or two for yourself each day to watch what you enjoy. May you always finish what you start.

157. One-hundred fifty-seven. Z. Z. J. Throughout this course you have shown a natural curiosity and a rousing passion, demonstrating on occasion both excellent work and a tireless work ethic. May the former continue to blossom via the energies of the latter.

158. One-hundred fifty-eight. G. B. You began this course by saying you were tired but that you hoped by the end of it that you would “have a good experience.” I hope I have sufficiently awoken within you a desire to become a good engineer and encouraged you along that path with just such an experience here in VG100. But on the chance I haven’t, recall that this but one’s man way of doing it. There are many others. May you find your own way.

159. One-hundred fifty-nine. J. Z. “Biomedical things and mechanical things, combined with each other” as you pithily put it, “that’s what I would like to do in future days.” Such were your thoughts on the first day of the semester. Here we are on the last day of class, you have helped develop both an electrocardiogram and a sign language translator, and I hope you still like their combination. May you fill your “future days” with all you like.

160. One-hundred sixty. L. J. Without a doubt, you have drawn some of the prettiest figures and drawings a student has ever submitted to me. Combine this with your growing familiarity with LaTEX and you have turned in some of the nicest looking homeworks I have ever seen. Such a presentation underlines my contention that it is not merely enough to know something, but you must be able to convey what you know to others. This is a talent I hope you continue to cultivate. May you always find a good way of showing what you know.

161. One-hundred sixty-one. M. Z. You have been a consistent participant and dynamic presenter in this class, with one of your teammate’s even going so far as to call you a “force of […] fabrication”, “the leader of our group”, and that “our group is lucky to have him.” I think I speak on behalf of the class when I say we too were lucky to have you as a part of it and may you continue to be a force leading to the betterment of this world.

162. One-hundred sixty-two. Q. X. J. While we did not end up getting a chance to combine board games and PowerPoints within this class, your teammates praised your communication skills and a man who thinks to use a non-default font – in your team’s case, Microsoft’s new Bahnschrift – will always have a special place in my heart. May you continue to communicate well, all the ideas you have yet.

163. One-hundred sixty-three. S. J. I have you quoted as saying “As an engineering, just hav[ing] an idea is not enough. If we [] go through some principles and basic structures of [] devices, we can realize [them] more easily and have inspirations.” Truer words have yet been spoken. As one of our colleagues pointed out early in the semester: a philosopher may have 100 ideas, but it is only with the realization of one of them that we may call ourselves engineers. May you be continually inspired and realize many ideas yet.

164. One-hundred sixty-four. X. W. I am told that you were “responsible for every preparation of ou[r] presentation” making PowerPoints that I consider some of the best the class has seen. Perhaps it’s merely because I am a sucker for pretty fonts and bright colors. All the same, I am not alone in thinking you have done this well. May you continue to present yourself, your team, and your results well in all your future doings.

165. One-hundred sixty-five. Z. J. A. In the peer evaluations, one of your team members threw you quietly under the bus, claiming it was you who “mistyped our team name”, leading to the infamous “Team C” debacle. However, that same team member said it was “still fun to work with him.” And as you are in a band with another student, collaborating with another, playing games with others, I suspect many thing you are still fun to be around regardless of your typing skills. May you continue to be fun, even when the days are long and the work arduous.

166. One-hundred sixty-six. Z. Z. B. I am a firm believer in calling out people for extraordinarily good work. You were the first student in this class to earn over 100% on a homework assignment, which the rest of your peers in this class know was no easy task. Though you have at times described yourself as “shy”, may your competence give courage to your convictions.

167. One-hundred sixty-seven. H. L. You have been described both as the leader of your band, “S”, in that case playing the bass, and as the leader of your team, “E”, where you were vital to the software. I suspect these are not the only two instances in which you have taken on such roles, nor do I think they will be your last. May you continue to lead the world.

168. One-hundred sixty-eight. Q. J. Though quiet in class, I have heard your voice roar beyond it. You’ve got a passion for what you do and a certitude driving you forward. May your harness that passion and strengthen that certitude with experience, patience, and understanding.

169. One-hundred sixty-nine. T. C. Each of your teammate’s singled you out as doing a “good job” and “a lot” to make the reports that your team submitted as good as they were. As your team’s reports were consistently of high quality I suspect that was in large part your doing. May you continue to consistently do a lot of good work.

170. One-hundred seventy. C. G. J. Thoughwe never got a chance to hear your band play in this class, you once said something that was remarkably profound as a result of it: “If you practice hard, you will find it’s not very difficult.” Of course you said this with respect to playing violin, but I believe it is true of most everything in life. None of us are born knowing how to do this engineering thing, none of us are congenitally disposed to it. It requires determination, rigor, and perseverance. May you continue at your practice, even after you find it easy.

171. One-hundred seventy-one. L. H. I am told that without your excellent programming skills identify the operations of gyroscopes and determining methods of inter-device communications that your airdrums would have been more air than drums. Couple this with many of the clever ways you have described finding various signals (such as the heart rate from an electrocardiogram) and it seems obvious that you have a keen mind for problem-solving. May you continue to keep that mind keen and solve all problems you come across.

172. One-hundred seventy-two. W. X. I have you on record as saying “professional communication requires a variety of skills and [] successful professional communication gives every member equal respect and trust, makes every part of the work efficient and innovative […]. It is something that has an irreplaceable place in doing project as a group in this course.” It is my hope that you have learned such communication skills during this course. May such skills spur you on to greater and greater things.

173. One-hundred seventy-three. C. Y. Though perhaps not emphasized by me enough in this class, you once remarked that “the importance to ensure safety of [oneself] and other users […] is one of the most important feature[s] an engineer should have.” I could not agree with you more. It does not matter if our solutions clever, cheap, or work if they are not also safe to use in the process. Such concerns should rightly be foremost in the minds of engineers. May you continue to prioritize what is important in life.

174. One-hundred seventy-four. H. Z. Members of your team have said that you were a “reliable partner” on the project and that and you “overc[a]me [many] problem[s] together.” This is the very best we can expect of an engineer: to reliably overcome many problems. May you continue to be a reliable problem solver.

175. One-hundred seventy-five. Y. X. I am a fan of concise code. It’s akin to solving a puzzle in the fewest steps possible. It’s doing what you can, optimally. It’s engineering. The software needed to make your “fatigue driving test glasses” work, software that your team says you are responsible, is code concision done well. You should be proud. May you so solve all problems yet to come.

176. One-hundred seventy-six. Z. S. S. I saw you work tirelessly to make the electrooculagraphy portion of your eye-movement controlled wheelchair system work, troubleshooting problem after problem after problem in lab before others arrived and after they left. Such efforts do not go unnoticed nor unappreciated. You have worked hard and achieved much in this class. May you continue in your efforts and see what else you can do with them.

177. One-hundred seventy-seven. R. Y. Whether you appreciate it or not, your skills in mathematics are beyond the typical talents of us mere mortals, able to solve the hard with ease and demonstrate the complex in a breeze. While I urge you to continue doing the hard work well, may you take the time to show the rest of us how it is done.

178. One-hundred seventy-eight. Z. W. You have said that your parents “initially expect[e]d [you] to care for the public” but that you don’t want to work for the government because, and I won’t quote you here with relish, “they are not as cool as Barry.” While I suspect the gist of what you meant was that “they are not as cool engineers” – a fact with which I wholly agree – I appreciate that personal touch. But I suspect your parents may have seen sufficiently far into your future as it is the truest calling of engineers to serve the world around them. May you serve well and one day be as cool as me.

179. One-hundred seventy-nine. W. J. On the first day of class you stated that “engineering is quite a new field” to you but that you would “try it as hard as possible.” This is all anyone can every ask of anybody: that they try their best. Your best, as it turns out, was lauded by your teams who noted that you participated “with enthusiasm”, “gave some good ideas”, “contributed great[ly]”, and “helped [with] a lot of things.” May you continue to try as hard as possible at all you set out to do.

180. One-hundred eighty. C. T. K. You have been a constant source of great input, good work, and a cheerful attitude in this class. Your teammate’s have lauded you, many in class have come to you for help, and I personally have relied on you both in class and in lab to answer my otherwise unanswerable asks. I am not alone in believing that you contribute greatly to most any situation you are part. May you contribute ever greater to this world.

181. One-hundred eighty-one. S. S. You have demonstrated an exceptional ability to combine many facets of your learning together. The example springing most apparently to my mind being your fascinating question midway through the semester regarding the feedback control of a steam engine governor that you had learned about in your physics class. Such clever combinations of fundamental knowledge are crucial to the life of an engineer. May you continue both in your fascination and in your cleverness.

182. One-hundred eighty-two. S. D. S. S. You began this class by saying you were about “half as energetic as our instructor.” However, by reports of your effort on the project, in lab, and out of class, I suspect you’re at least as energetic and probably more. As this engineering thing takes quite a bit of effort, may you continue to have the energies for it.

183. One-hundred eighty-three. C. M. The questions you aksed in class show a keenly observant mind. Your questions focused on the inherent differences of human physiology, the wide spectrum of human experiences, and the practical applicability of technical implementations. Though I would have liked to hear from you more, I (and the rest of class) are glad to hear from you when we did. May you continue to keenly observe and participate when you can.

184. One-hundred eighty-four. L. D. Members of your team have variously described you as “a responsible group leader and a capable programmer” who “contributed greatly” and was “always […] the one to check and improve our progress reports over and over again.” And, as one member points out, “[a]lthough he burn[ed] some of the material we bought, it doesn’t matter. The result matters. It turns out that we successfully complete our project due to his great contribution. :D” Having seen such results and heard such praise, you should feel assured that as you had wished at the beginning of this course, you have “improved yourself” sufficiently. May you continue to earn such praise and achieve such results as you have here.

185. One-hundred eighty-five. L. S. C. On the very first day of class, you were the first student to introduce yourself to the class, saying “I’m a student who is not really confident with myself, but I always try to perform as if I were a confident student.” Such an approach – shorthandedly referred to as “fake it ’til you make it” – is one I myself subscribe to. Ask anyone before I came here and they’ll tell you I was a complete, nervous wreck about teaching some of the best students China had to offer, you among them. But with time, patience, and practice that feigned confidence turns to the real thing. May you be evermore assured of your own confidence, standing shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world.

186. One-hundred eighty-six. S. X. S. You have mentioned having traveled to about 20 countries since before taking this class.However, it is my hope that this course has helped expose you to the vast and growing lands of engineering where you will meet many peers and countrymen, all of whom have seen much but not all of the landscape. May your journeys continue to be broad and fruitful.

187. One-hundred eighty-seven. X. K. A teammate of yours recently commented that you “Contributed greatly to the software part of the inflatable coat we made, [was] always [on] time and [had a] good attitude.” You have stated that you wish you could take up engineering as a profession: with endorsements like this (doing what you can, on time, and with a smile), you will always be warmly welcome and greatly received. May you find a rewarding life in our rewarding enterprise.

188. One-hundred eighty-eight. Z. S. J. You began this class by stating you “hope[d] you would survive.” By the end of it you had your team saying you “contributed greatly.” Short of floundering you have flourished! May your abilities exceed your hopes time and again.

189. One-hundred eighty-nine. H. Q. L. On our second homework you remarked “I feel [like] I’m always detecting electricity on [the] human body with small items. I’m confused [by] that.” Fear not, you are in good company! The human body is sea of electrical currents awash in an electromagnetic ephemera of this, that, and other things. Rather than be confused by it, I urge you to “sing the body electric” and understand its potential. May you find your own potential within.

190. One-hundred ninety. Z. Z. You once astutely observed that “Answers from students will give the instructor a general idea of how well they learn [a] topic. The instructor can compare the answers collected with [] expectations to see which part needs consolidating.” This is, in point of fact, part of the reason we assign you all this work: we need to know what you know and know what still we have to teach you. Judging from the myriad answers you have given on a multitude of assignments, I think you have probably learned all I can teach you. May you yet learn more.

191. One-hundred ninety-one. C. X. I have made no secret of my belief that the active participation of engineers is crucial for vibrant and sustained collaboration. To participate is to be part of the precipitate of the alchemical process we call learning. Perhaps more than any other student in this class you have actively participated and contributed significantly to our in-class discussions. May you continue to contribute significantly and participate actively in all your endeavors. It has helped us all learn.

192. One-hundred ninety-two. Q. S. R. You once said that you “learned that engineering is [the] creative explor[ation of] things you don’t understand.” I can think of no better definition of engineering myself and if you have learned this much, there is little else I can teach you. May you continue to creatively explore all the things around you you don’t (yet) understand.

193. One-hundred ninety-three. J. Y. While many teams produced video demonstrations and many team members lauded the work of the individuals who created such video demonstrations, by last count I believe it was your video editing skills that had earned the most praise. You clearly, logically, and concisely compacted the complexity of your project – an electromyographically and electrooculographically controlled mechanical gripper – into one simple and easy to understand minute of video. May you always distill the complicated to the essential.

194. One-hundred ninety-four. S. Y. M. You were the only person from your team to come up and present your results for the Part A portion of our term-long project. The presentation was vibrant and colorful (though it could have done with fewer notes) and the results were shown clearly and logically. What perhaps no one except you, me, and the rest of your team knew was that your team accidentally misread the prompt from the lab memo and prepared an entire report in addition to the presentation slides. Such accidental overachievement coupled with professionalism in the face of adversity will serve you well in whatever you choose to do. May you always do more than is expected of you.

195. One-hundred ninety-five. D. M. At one point, you once said, “before taking [my] class, [you were] a typical “Chinese student” who [didn’t] like to talk much in class even [when] I kn[e]w exactly the correct answer to the questions,” giving the what I now recognize are the typical reasons of personal shyness, perceived aggression, and habituation from previous schooling. I am glad to hear that you have appreciated my forcing you to talk in class as a means by which to enrich your “Global Dexterity”. While that initial cultural interface between the American and Chinese ways of doing things may have shocked you, me, and many others, I am hopeful it has been to the benefit of us all. May you be further enriched and far from typical.

196. One-hundred ninety-six. F. W. R. Initially you said we ought not to call you Richard as we might mix you up with another student in this class or a previous TA of yours. In fact, you even wrote your name on another board here so as to stand out from the rest of the crowd. I support such individualism. Especially when it is paired with a team-oriented attitude, which the other members of your team see and recognize, going so far as to call you, “the most reliable person [] in our group.” May you always be such a reliable individual.

197. One-hundred ninety-seven. H. X. S. At the beginning of this course you stated that “with our combined effort, hopefully we can find our journey [] exciting and inspiring.” Loftily I would take these sentiments as my own as I believe all of our engineering journeys ought to be filled – fulfilled – with excitement and inspiration. May you continue on yours with renewed vigor and a greater desire to achieve more.

198. One-hundred ninety-eight. S. Y. P. Few are the individuals who at the end of a long and arduous engineering process can be described by their team mate’s as “warm-hearted and very active in taking up responsibilities.” And yet, you are one such individual. May such praise warm your heart even more. And may you go on to warm the hearts of many others.

199. One-hundred ninety-nine. S. X. S. You have at times mentioned your love of video games in this class, so it was to my great surprise that in your second homework when pointing out a problem in the world “that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a mental health condition” your suggested solution was to “punish [the individual] with [] more homework or physical training.” While such a solution is in-line with my feelings as an instructor, you rightly noted that “it needs great perseverance.” So too all great things. May you continue to persevere in this world.

200. Two-hundred. X. C. Maybe T. Maybe J. Maybe F. “Nobody cares about that” you said of your own name, “you will never take [it] down in your notebooks.” Well, here I am to say that some of us do care, some of us do take your name down in our notebooks. Indeed, how many times our names are said give some indication of our impact on the lives of others. X. C., X. C., X. C. And this is but a small example of the impact you’ve had on our lives here. May go “from nothing to something, just like that.”

201. Two-hundred one. Y. X. You once remarked that you “want to be a magician in the future, instead of an engineer.” I contend there is not much difference between the two. Both call upon skill, forethought, attention to detail, and more practice than non-practitioners would ever imagine. In fact, I have heard that the secret to all magic is practicing at something more than you thought any human being ever would. To be a good engineer requires much the same. Regardless of the path you take, may you add a bit of magic to everything you touch.

202. Two-hundred two. Z. S. While some of your homework could have been presented a little neater, what is obvious is the orderliness of your thinking. Your reasoning through of the “knights and knaves” problems of our third homework was practically straight out of a logic textbook, taking the form of concise syllogism. May reason well and present neatly.

203. Two-hundred three. J. X. I feel like I did not get to know you well enough in this class. This is a sad fact of life: when dealing with a great many people, sometimes we do not get to know them as well as we should. Even now, I feel I might have a hard time picking you out from this crowd. There is, as I said, much too much to know. All the same, going forward, may you better know and be better known.

204. Two-hundred four. W. Y. J. At the beginning of this course you said you saw last year’s VG100 project and said you wanted to do “a cooler one.” You cited having “the best colleagues […] imagination and passion” as reasons for believing you could achieve just a feat. Having helped develop a biomechnical robotic arm, I hope you feel satisfied in your goals. May you continue to have good colleagues, great passion, and an ever better imagination.

205. Two-hundred five. S. Y. K. You were the only student to complete the fourth homework assignment – you were the exception, not the rule. For that alone, your work and abilities are commendable. However, within that homework, when asked to explain why you thought the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies was critical for sustainable development you said “Peace ensures safety, sustainability ensures [the] future, and justice provides equality. [… T]hese three are the foundation of a better world.” With masons such as yourself laying such a foundation, we may rest assured they are sure and level. May you continue to do exceptional work in promoting the world you want to live in.

206. Two-hundred six. X. X. You once correctly identified that “all [the] meaning of the homework is to help us learn better and have a better understanding.” You sent still further to emphasize the importance of “review[ing] seriously what we have learned.” You have perhaps understood more than most what it is I was trying to do with this class and I can only hope you got something out of it. May you continue to better learn and better understand.

207. Two-hundred seven. J. Y. You have been variously described as “skilled in hardware”, “very responsible” and “the most motivated among the group”, “often [taking the] initiative”. Skilled, responsible, and motivated – what more could be asked of an engineer. May you continue to initiate the change you wish to see in the world.

208. Two-hundred eight. S. W. K. D. Your teammate’s have had nothing but ultrapositive things to say about you: “He was crucial in designing out circuits”; “He was a good team player”; “He did everything.” Praise like this does not come without effort or commitment. May you continue your commitment to such positive efforts.

209. Two-hundred nine. C. J. T. You may be the only person to ever listen to my before-class ramblings. Perhaps it was because you were in earshot, perhaps it was because you hung on my every word, regardless of the reason you demonstrated a consistently caring in this class: diligently attentive, gracious in the face of several bad jokes. May you continue with grace and diligence as you chart your path across our engineering landscape.

210. Two-hundred ten. N. J. A late great addition to our class. You have traveled far to be here with us in this class and I thank you for your genuine commitment to learning (sitting approximately front and approximately center for the majority of this class). I hope the journey has been worth it. May your travels across this world be safe and may you go yet still farther.

Dick Sarns, medical device legend, retires

Dick Sarns, founder of NuStep and designer of the heart-lung machine that revolutionized cardiac bypass surgery from the 1960s onward, has retired. Having celebrated his 91st birthday back in June and done more for medical device innovation in Ann Arbor than perhaps any other human being, Sarns has more than earned such a respite. I hope you will join me in wishing him all the best, he has given us plenty of his.

Lon Horwedel |