A philosophy of engineering

A final lecture delivered to the students of VG 100, Summer 2018

To know what one is doing is second only to knowing why one does it in the prioritization of our knowledge. Such a why may be arrived at naturally, self-evidently, or it may arise only after endeavor, heartache, consternation. It may be plainly obvious (why the nose of my face is meant to hold up my glasses, that much is clear) or circle oblivion (such as a child’s sustained attack of curiosity: to hold up my glasses – why?– so that I might see – why? – so that I might read – why? – so that I might learn – why? – so that I might know – why? – so that I might answer your questions – why?). Indeed, why might I want to answer your questions, the questions of burgeoning engineers? To help you learn, to help you know, to help you help the world? To answer any of these whys, I contend, requires a philosophy. That is a structural-functional relationship guided by principles serving the logic of intended ends. And if you give me about one more hour of your time, I would like to explain what has been my philosophy of this class, a subset of my particular philosophy of engineering.

For your entire life, or at least as much of it as you can recall, you have been the smartest people you have ever known. This is true for at least a sizeable majority of you. You are, each of you, too damn smart for your own good. Most every subject probably comes to you with an ease you are not yourself even aware of. You get math and science and all that technical gobbledygook about the world that makes you seem like a phenom to all of your peers to this point. You have understood the world you inhabit very very very well because you are by circumstance and happenstance able to do so. It reminds me of that old joke. “There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?””

My goal in this class, indeed as I believe should be the goal of every engineering class in which you step foot, was to show you just what the hell the water is. Because this thing you took so easily for granted, this thing that seemed so natural, this thing that was so apparent it never occurred to you, is the thing I need you to feel and imbibe and understand in ways others simply don’t, can’t, and won’t. As an engineer you need to know how this world works in ways that are wholly foreign to all others, which is a roundabout way of saying you really need to know how this world really works. Because, and that’s one of those secrets they don’t tell you: most people you ever meet will never know that water surrounds them, let alone how that water works.

I am here to be your older fish.

As such, it was my responsibility to teach you some of the basic and fundamental aspects of this water around you. This has included, but was but not limited to: solving differential equations via our new friend the Laplace transform; working with actual circuits and understanding why they work that way; understanding the basics of both electricity and its biophysical origins within the human body; addressing the interfacial effects inherent in the meeting of two materials; surveying the mechanical properties of the physical world around us; situating the role of intellectual property within the semi-distinct spheres of engineering, business, and law; generating chemistry about chemistry; determining how things are made at scale for those who need them; figuring out ways of making the world without unmaking it in the process (a facet of our design and manufacturing processes we shorthandedly call sustainability); and comprehending that the world around us that delivers us goods and services, water and electricity, materials and everything else, didn’t just get here but had to be made, planned, and executed, like every other thing. This was not easy to do on either of our parts: it was no easier to learn than it was for me to teach for at least two simple reasons: there is much too much to know and what there is to know is much too hard to know fully. Such facts may be thought the twin principles of an engineer’s education: breadth and depth. As engineers, we need you to both get your arms around the world you occupy and we need you to maintain a firm grasp. This is hard. And in this class, I have not made it any easier.

This is in part due to my belief that it is not my role to make the subject easier but rather to make you more able to understand its complexity. The world does not become simpler merely because one’s examples drawn from it are easier to solve. The world “out there” as it were is an ever complexifying thing, mystifying and stupefying many of the greatest minds that have ever sought to ponder it. I suspect yours are among those charging towards such a pondering and as such are in for a similar mystification, stupification, and realization that this thing all around us – this water – is really a little harder to get your arms around than you may have initially thought.

And that’s okay. That’s the truth of the matter: you won’t get it all, but you’ll get some important parts and that’ll be enough.

As well it should be enough for all those whom I’d like to call my engineering peers. To know enough of the world to make at least some portion of it better is the truest and highest calling of every engineer. We may not be the smartest, may not be the richest, may not be happiest, but we are the world builders: it ours to inherent, explore, and change. And if that is not what you are here to do, then I am sorry to say that I think you are here in vain.

If you came into this class hoping to earn a good salary, you have come for the wrong reason – there are jobs which pay far better for far less effort.

If you came into this class hoping to be famous, you have come for the wrong reason – most of us engineers toil away in team-based obscurity, where only the fruits of our labor are known, not the trees from which they are sprung.

If you came into this class hoping to get a job where you did not have to interact with others and could toil away in quiet on formulas, in secret, alone, you have come for the wrong reason – engineering by its very nature and for its very purpose is collaborative, requiring the communication of many thoughts between many minds for many purposes.

To be an engineer is to want to do something with this world for the benefit of this world. It is to make what you ought from what you can from what you will. It is distinct among the disciplines for both these reasons and for their order. That is, not only are we literally able to do what we want in a way that few others can, but that we fully understand and prioritize such abilities: first and foremost we must act ethically; secondly, what we do must reside within the realm of possibilities (with such a realm generally being circumscribed by time, material, cost, and effort restrictions placed (somewhat arbitrarily) on us, usually by “upper” management); and finally, our wills alone dictate the inertia of our action, as there is no moving an engineer who will not move themselves. In this last regard we are stubborn as mules and yet it is upon mules that we rely for the consistent movement of goods through treacherous terrains and over great heights. Such is too true of the engineer: able to do much, but only so far as the one is willful, capable, and ethical. It is my hope that after this class you are more of all, of each.

Where we differ from the mule (in at least one regard) is our action. Where the beasts will move but in one direction and often with drudgery, the engineer, by and large, cannot accept such constraints nor abide by such tediousness. We need more and we need more in every direction. There is so much that we want to do that even given the option of doing whatever it is we wanted for a project, many (perhaps, even most?) wanted to do something else. Though the subject matter varied from abstract mathematical concepts to international relations, from the tired eyes, long faces, and slumped heads it was obvious (even to one as oblivious as myself) that the 74 souls in this room were screaming for more. Even in the projects, when a laissez-faire attitude was taken, where you could literally do any project you could dreamed up, what was done was a mere and minor subset of what we could have done.

Engineers at base are something of pragmatic idealists. Those with lofty ideals and a sense of how many and how much of those ideals can be brought to bear on a budget. We can make the ideal world, sure, with time and resources. Often we do not have those in sufficient quantities for perfection. With what we have, we can but make an optimal world.

All this to say is that you had much more to say than the confines of this class gave you room to. That’s good. That’s necessary. That’s practically in the DNA of all who become engineers. We are a lot budding with creative solutions to problems. In fact, this is why so many of your introductory classes stress the fundamentals: first you must know what it is you are talking about, then you can put what you know together in any order you would like. That is, first we must teach you enough to know something, then we must give you the freedom to express what you know. After that then is the where the rest of the world out there intervenes as it would then be ideal to give you the resources to express what you know. Here at the University we try to provide you some of those basics (in this class taking the form of oscilloscopes, function generators, power supplies, breadboards, resistors, capacitors, operational amplifiers, a few wires, some connections, and the lab space to mix them all together), but we know it is sadly not enough. It is more than most, but not enough to capture even the smallest fraction of what you can dream. May the lack of such resources never stop your dreaming. As Lin Manuel Miranda points out in the musical Hamilton, “we dream in the dark for the most part.” So we do as humans, so we must as engineers. We cannot know all, merely enough. 


To know much of this world is to recognize that much is yet to be known. Experts, you will find, hedge. They know this, not that, with this certainty, not that much, in this way, not in another. To be an expert is to know one’s limits. To be an engineer is to be an expert of sorts in this world. As such it will require you to know what you know and what you do not know of this world. It will require of you the utmost integrity. More than those around you will be willing to admit. Such integrity is required of even of the meekest of engineers.

I may have at times emphasized the integrity I think is necessary to our profession. Perhaps even a little too much. Chalk this up much to cultural miscommunication. You have been taught to discard your work in deference to the final product. Such should never be the case in engineering, where every detail must be traceable, ever decision recorded. Hence, in this class, I tried to break you of the habit of “not showing your work” as it is important here in engineering – at times, literally a matter of life and death. Moreover, I hope that it breaks you out of some of the molds you’ve been pressed into in all your life. Can you really, from this sampling, tell me whose work is whose here? Or here? Can you find your own? Can you tell it apart from others? I can’t. And if you cannot tell your work from another, why do we need you? Why you? Because make no mistake, we need you. We need you in this room learning and working as hard as you can. The world needs more of that.

I definitely have at times expressed that the doors to this room are not locked. Nor in any of my classes will they be. You are always welcome to stay and you are always free to leave. This is the liberty necessary for the furnishing of the minds of engineers. Though we operate under limitations, our minds, our spirits must always be able to go where they want, where they will. Only in open fields do our flowers bloom. You are, as an adult, free to do whatever it is you please in this world including but not limited to walking out those doors this very minute. At times, I suspect many of you had no greater desire than to do that very thing. I understand. Many was the time I felt similar thoughts. Sometimes the initial shock of just how hard this thing we call engineering can be can be overwhelming and drive even the toughest of us to want out. I myself have literally wept over homework assignments I could not solve…at the time.

Persistence here, as elsewhere, is crucial to success.

If you would one day like to be an engineer, it does not require a sharp mind but rather a persistent one. Not one of us ia born knowing how to solve the world’s problems. Some of us just try try try at. We may fail a time or two (or three or four or…), but those with tenacity tend to triumph. As the great Bo Schembechler put it: those who stay will be champions.

Those who have stayed in this class have learned at least this much.

We began, as all must, with an introduction.

We tried to establish the who, what, where, how, and why of this course from the outset.

We, the instructors tried to say who we were on this side of things.

Both on the technical side–

–and the technical communication side.

We learned a little bit about who you were–

–and asked you who you wanted to be.

As with all VG100s that came before us, a motivating factor of the class was a term-long project in which you would be prompted to solve some meaningful problem.

To do this, we attempted to learn the basics–

–view a few applications thereof–

–establish a few principles to be guided by–

–learn to communicate–

–and how to approximate our improvements.

While I had hoped that regular approximations would become a part of this class, the fact that none of our teaching assistants could be here put the kibosh on that. The best laid plans… C’est la vie.

All the same, I believe that such approximations are useful and necessary for engineers to improve our lot in life.

Also useful and necessary for engineers to our lot in life is knowing that you need to know more yet.

I suggested a few ways we might achieve this in class, including coming to class–

–taking notes–

–participating in the dialogue–

–working hard–

–studying continually–

–and convincing yourself why you want to be here.

I have suggested here and elsewhere that you are living through historical times and as such it will be necessary for you, the future leaders of the world, to stand and rise to that challenge.

Speaking of challenges, I sought from the beginning to challenge you perhaps more than you ever have been before. We began by proving to ourselves the truth of one of engineering’s most useful formulas – Euler’s formula.

We delved into the advanced application of the Laplace Transform.

We stared into the abyss known as the s-domain–

–and began to understand a few key points within it. Namely, poles and zeros.

We learned a few neat tricks on how to inverse our transformed functions–

–and established the mighty useful principle of linearity.

We partially decomposed–

–while we learned about life.

We established the time-domain result of a bandpass filter–

–and found the stability of arm’s races–

–a topic unfortunately all-too-relevant to our historical moment.

I reminded us a time or two what it means in this context to be honest–

–but more than anything I wanted to help you all–

–as you tried your best.

We looked at the basics of electricity.

Took charge of situations.

Felt the underlying current–

–be it of a direct–

–or alternating variety.

We measured our potential.

And knew when to be wary.

We were told from the beginning that we would be making use of certain biomedical instruments–

–and we learned what those instruments were–

–though only an exceedingly small subset of them (it is after all, a very large world out there).

At times, things were convoluted–

–even when we were told sometimes they were the same–

–even when we were told they were easier.

We asked ourselves why we would do things that way.

We asked ourselves how we would do things that way.

We asked ourselves how we would deal with things that got in the way.

We learned a few basic components of operational amplifiers.

We learned a few of their basic properties, including infinite open-loop gain–

–infinite input impedance–

–and zero output impedance. Rules of life and of circuitry.

We learned to invert–

–and to not invert–

–to sum–

–and to subtract.

In all things we tried to be active participants.

We had our lows–

–and our highs–

–and the band played on.

We tried to follow a few rules–

–and do things as fast as necessary.

We recognized a few parts of the whole–

–and saw where it all comes from.

We ate and were energized.

We had a capacity for that energy–

And we were dynamic with that capacity.

Sometimes we rested.

Sometimes we let something leak, but usually just to stabilize ourselves.

We saw ourselves as the sum of the many individual currents within us.

We sang the dynamic song of the body electric–

–and, again, found our potential.

We saw what ions at rest could do for us–

–and what the rest of our ions contribute.

We found our baseline–

–and saw the dipoles dance in our chests.

At times, we met fellow biomedical practitioners and their test subjects.

We simplified things–

–and established what was necessary.

We mapped movements of our hearts–

–and were compelled to offer them to the world.

We divided tasks so as to accomplish more.

We met at interfaces–

–so as to understand both sides.

We saw many layers–

–and their diluting effects on one another.

We were there at the meeting of different materials–

–even when tensions arose.

We saw our world refracted.

We connected devices.

We connected the world.

We took a moment to ask ourselves in the quiets of our own hearts–

–who am I?

We asked about the basics of engineering–

–and got basic answers in return.

We compared different types of feedback and control–

–tested our mettle–

–and went with the flow as much as we could.

We saw the faces of the unborn.

And tried to understand each generation.

We were cast into this world–

–joined with others–

–cogs in machines–

–molded to specifications.

All for what? All things fall apart.

Yet we must try to make the most of what little time we have remaining.

We tried to use our intellect to make something more–

–but often things grew to be immensely complicated.

We went straight to the source–

–and tried to understand the requirements.

This enabled us–

–to define–

–our unique aspects–

–and to shirk the obvious.

We armed ourselves with swords–

–and shields–

–so that we might answer yet again, why?

We saw how things were done–

–and even tried to do a few things ourselves.

We went to far-off lands–

–where truths and lies could be determined by mere logic alone. Truly a strange land.

We looked into matters–

–got in phase–

–bound ourselves–

–to those with the energy–

–to react–

–without getting too salty–

–to the current equilibrium of things.

All this to say, we tried to balance ourselves.

We stared closely at the fundamental building blocks of the world around us.

And I mean, very closely.

We saw these fundamentals–

–established fundamental truths–

–and tried to put them as accurately as we could.

We went through cycles–

–and spoke for ourselves and others.

Sometimes this class could be a little bit intense.

Okay, maybe a lot a bit intense.

But it was so that we might learn to conserve–


–converse all the energy we had for the subject matter.

Because sometimes things got hard–

–maybe a little too hard for this first-year engineering level.

But still, I think you could understand the general picture we were tracing out.

And when we made a few key assumptions–

–we could yield useful, yet simple, results–

–results we could apply to many situations.

We attempted to strengthen our ideas–

–and get to know our teams.

We saw how things were done back then–

–and how even now such ideas bring prosperity to nations.

We took our turn learning different aspects of machining–

–even the boring parts–

–even the parts that reamed us out.

We tried to drill down on the specifics–

–and determine what factors influence our work.

We milled about–

–and some of us were just finished with this class early.

Others continued to assess their abilities–

–see their dynamism–

–felt what resonated within them–

–controlled themselves–

–and made proper decisions.

Sometimes the interface between their tools and their mechanisms was complicated–

–but they sought to optimize the situation as best they could.

For those of us who kept at it, I urge you to keep your world turning.

Because it is important that we not destroy what we have–

–that we maintain balance in the face of change–

–that we see the sun dawn on new days.

Engineers, as it turns out, are not alone in this endeavor.

The economy must be fair–

–society must not be corrupt–

–it must not trap us–

–and the environment must be maintained.

This happy loop–

–constitutes the triple bottom line that we must be ever mindful of: the past, the present, and the future.

Because come what may, we will be called upon to supply what others demand–

–and sometimes those others can be a powerful bunch.

But if we keep our heads about us, we can sustain our efforts–

–and achieve our goals.

Ironically enough, we can learn to spiral ourselves into control–

–and grow the world around us.

Such growth requires infrastructure–

–to meet our human needs–

–(even if some of us turn them on their head)–

–ensuring that we are protected from the elements to achieve our most intimate aim: self-actualization. The answer to perhaps that greatest why.

At times such needs will be hard–

–at others, soft.

In all cases, we are connected–

–often in very complex ways–

–in which the effects of individuals element is spread across all.

We will try to minimize our wastefulness–

–but accidents will happen–

–and we must be prepared.

Because all people, everywhere, deserve the same shot at the good life that you and I do.

At times, I must say, I have found some of the general educational policies of China to be to the overall detriment of you as students. The idea that showing your thought processes (such as those necessary to complete your homework) would be undesirable (variously described to me as “messy”, “sloppy”, “unnecessary”, “distracting”, and “unusual”) is to my mind literally unthinkable, as I and every engineer you will ever meet must know what it is you are thinking, how you are thinking it, and why it is you think that way. The expression of your ideas, the actual communication of your thoughts to another human being, is exactly the profession you have signed up for. It is not enough to have good ideas, you must convey those ideas to others, to many others in many contexts. And the idea that you would simplify your work to the point where the actual mechanics of your machinations would be hidden from another of skill in your arts makes next to no sense to me nor I suspect to any of my fellow engineering brothers and sisters who desperately want to understand what the heck it is you are thinking. Hiding details from me, from others, will not help any of us to join in the enterprise of reshaping this world for the betterment of all its inhabitants and it is my hope that you, from this point on, get in the habit of saying what you mean clearly, concisely, and exhaustively. While this triad of attributes will periodically be at odds, in general, they will triangulate what it is you need to say in any given situation which can be put plainly as:

enough to express sufficient detail.

Not one word too many, nor one word too few.

Another, if I am to go on such a rant, of the policies I believe the Chinese educational system has unfairly burdened upon your minds is what I have taken to calling “The Sameness Principle”. There seems to be a widespread notion that to get along is to get along. That is, to be as others are is to be as best you can be. While from a distant perspective of cultural appreciation I can understand how such a principle could become manifest and indeed lead to the thriving of a populous civilization, I cannot, no matter how I squint at the situation, understand how it could be to benefit of that subset of individuals we call engineers. Engineers, every single one of them, is a distinct individual, with different thoughts, notions, preferences, ideas, and circumstances. We are not any one of us the same person. Nor should we be. In point of fact, if you had only the same ideas I did, I would have no use for you as a truly capable engineer. If you can do but what I can do, what more can you do? Obviously, nothing. And that isn’t anything we want out of our world changers, our engineers. We want people who cast their own shadows. Who stand and speak their own minds. Who shape the world with their own hands.

The final gripe I will take with the Chinese educational system of which you have hitherto been a part is the lack of an emphasis on the actual, tangible world you will be interacting with for the rest of your lives the moment you leave this institution. There is, beyond this ivory tower, a quote real world out there. A real world full of real people with real desires. A real world with real limitations, real restrictions. A real world really in need of your real help. You will, in this institution, as you have no doubt in your others, get to play with what we call “toy problems” – problems to which the suppliers already know the answer. You’ll learn some fancy mathematics, some highfalutin theoretical concepts, some noble and truly beautiful things along the way. You will unfortunately not be exposed to as much of that quote real world as you ought to be. Many of you will not have to hold down jobs, give appreciable taxes, or pay your way through the world as just about all others must through the majority of your time on this earth to this point. You are, by writ of your presence here, getting to experience a world of privilege you may not yet have any sense of appreciation for. You are in one of the foremost institutions of learning in all of China, getting to experience a form of education that is truly groundbreaking, all in a manner that rarely accosts your person to any extent beyond tiredness, boredom, apathy, and stress. While such ennui is indeed a weighty chunk of the human condition, it is as nothing compared to the toils necessary of all those who made your presence here possible. And the further you are from the reality of that situation, of that quote real world, will be ultimately to your detriment. Should you choose to become an engineer, your professional responsibilities will require you to understand, engage with, and craft this world around you in a meaningful way and the sooner you partake in such activities, the better you will ultimately be in participating in them.

That said, you have all here achieved greatness.

You have created electromyographically-controlled tanks (though stated for war, I hope used in peace).

You have created gyroscopically-facilitated electric drums sets so that our air drumming might actually become musical.

You have created electrophysiologically-guided exercise assistants to assess muscle fatigue during training.

You have created sign-language-translating devices that can spell out what people think, do, and say.

You have created electrophysiological emotion detection systems.

You have created lines to demarcate regions of danger even in the most pedestrian of situations.

You have created electroencephalographic vehicle-mounted prewarning systems to identify and alert fatiguing drivers.

You have created new and interesting ways to play games using electromyographic signals.

You have created electrooculographic means by which to control cellphones.

You have created automatic jalousies which can adjust their shade according to weather conditions.

You have created electrooculographically-controlled wheelchairs.

You have created inflatable-coats to protect the elderly from falls.

You have created electromyographic devices capable of remotely controlling systems.

You have created electrooculographic means by which to detect fatigue.

You have created multimodal electromyographic and electrooculographic mechanical manipulating systems.

You have created devices which can produce inks of scanned colors.

You have created electromyographically-coupled creation machines to gamify physical rehabilitation processes.

And you have created electronic glasses that help the visually impaired to navigate through life.

You have created much. And much more than I think you may have thought at the beginning of this course.

Yet even with all that you have done, even if you hadn’t made a single one of your ideas work, it would have been enough to simply try. To try, to try sometimes, is enough. To strive, to struggle, to persevere. To be what you can, what you want, what you must, in the face of difficulty, is to be who are at your best. I am reminded of a quote by Theodore Roosevelt on this point:

“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 there is no effort without error and shortcoming; 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 every single one of you take solace in your attempts in this class: you have dared greatly to take a class from as of yet still developing engineer such as myself. You have done great here.

With that, I hope you are willing to listen to me for another half an hour yet. As each and every one of you were important to what this class was and I think I as your instructor ought to acknowledge that. What follows is an individual thought for each of you. You were my first students in China and I hope I have taught you well. I have listed you here in the order of your student ID and numbered you sequentially with the rest of the students I have taught.

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 without a little 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.

That was it. That was us. That was the class. And while this is what I have made of it, out there, in you, exist at least 74 variations of it. This is not a fact which can be overemphasized: this is but one man’s opinion. One man whose peer you are. One of the things they do not tell you enough upon entrance into a fine institution like this is that each and every one of you is as smart, as talented, and as capable as any person, any professor, you are liable to meet. You are each other’s intellectual peers, sure, but you are also mine. Some of you came to this conclusion earlier than others, but here in this last lecture I would like to underline it for everybody: I am no smarter than you. I am no more talented than the person sitting next to you (in fact, a mere ten years ago I would not have had entrance exam scores sufficiently high enough to occupy one of those seats). I am no more capable of great things than you are – and yet I have achieved a great many great things in my mere three decades of living. I have loved, I have created, I have won awards and received merits, I have taught many (approximately 210 by last count) and learned from many more, I have earned a high degree from a world-renowned institution and traveled across the globe to help others do much the same: I have done much with my time on this earth. And that is all I have on any of you: time. A little head start, a little experience, a glimpse of things to come. I am proud of what I have done and will do yet.

But the thing that makes me proudest and will yet make me prouder still is knowing that each and every one you in this room will do so much more. You are naturally talented, blessed by circumstance, and I hope with my effort and a little of yours, further driven to achieve what you want in this world. I hope with this delineation of my philosophy here and throughout the course to have inspired you with the will to do much, the will to do more.

With that, I thank you for the opportunity to dismiss this class one final time. I hope you all do well on your fast approaching Design Expo and on your ever-to-the-horizon journeys. I’ve done what I can for you here and I trust that you can do more. Good luck.