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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

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Student blogs

Max M.

Deerfield, IL
Cornell Engineering Experience
Summer College 2014
Hi! My name is Max, and I'm from Deerfield Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. I just finished my junior year at Deerfield High School and am excited to start the Cornell Engineering Experience. At Deerfield I am one of the top players on our chess team, am a member of the Deerfield Honors Society, hold a leadership position in Human Rights Club, and am the electrician for my robotics team. Electronics have always fascinated me. As long as I can remember I have wanted to become an electrical engineer. I often times find myself building circuits in my free time.

One day I hope to be a great electrical engineer, and I believe the Cornell Engineering Experience will help me realize my dream. I can't wait to spend six weeks at Cornell, learning how to solve difficult problems, making new friends, and getting a feel of the college experience.


Hey everyone! This first week has been amazing. Every day is more eventful than the last. Even though I've only been here a week it feels like I've been here for months.

The community here is very diverse; half my friends are from outside the country. Everyone is very friendly and eager to make new friends. The other day I went to the Harry Potter Library (Andrew Dickson White Library) on campus with some friends for fun. Right next door is Olin Library, a giant library with every book imaginable. I ended up finding a book with illustrations directly copied from Da Vinci's notebook. As an engineer, it was cool to see how such a notorious scientist designed revolutionary inventions.

Going to class itself is a great experience. It's about a twenty-minute walk to class but Ithaca's natural beauty makes up for it. In engineering we have begun to learn about the systems approach. This is a method for designing new inventions. Our instructor is an engaging speaker and the lectures are interesting. Although the workload is hard, we are now applying what we learned to design a more efficient refrigerator and seeing the value of our knowledge. The class was divided into small groups and my group is now developing a design. I am in the process of interviewing officials from a refrigeration company so that we can learn about what they value most in a refrigerator design.

Outside of class there are plenty of places to hang out with friends. There is a bagel store in Collegetown that is delicious. They make every kind of bagel you can think of. My favorite is the peanut butter and jelly bagel. It's a nice twist on a classic sandwich. Overall Cornell has been a great learning experience. The workload is hard but fun at the same time. I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer has to offer.

Until next week!


I've been here for four weeks and adventure is around every corner. Today in particular has been interesting, as I've been stuck in an elevator for the past 45 minutes! Even experiences like that can become fun here at Cornell as I got to meet new people.

At Cornell there are many great opportunities to meet new people with all sorts of backgrounds. The other day I met a kid named Myron, who lives in England. We ate lunch at CTB and I was able to talk to him about what the culture is like in England. He is a real meshuganah.

Classes themselves are fun. In engineering, our design team (The Elsa Project) is assigning people into more specific parts of a refrigerator. I'm working on the general architecture of the refrigerator with two other teammates of mine.

There are lots of cool places to explore as an engineer. Some friends and I found a workshop in Collegetown, designed for college grads to start their own businesses. We met some graduates who were starting an Internet company called Fiber Spark. Their Internet service was ten times as fast as the average Collegetown resident's and cost less then many competing Internet options.

We later met a Cornel professor who had been doing experiments simulating neurons with circuits. He was happy to tell us about his research and explained his experiment process to us. He then told us about some rising technologies that are very cool.

This week I was lucky enough to get to go to the clock tower. There was a concert this week and I went to see the inner mechanisms of the tower with some friends. We then listened to a Cornell Chimesmaster play some songs for us.

I can't wait to see how these last two weeks play out. See ya next time.


Hey everyone,

The final days here at Cornell approach. It's so sad to think about leaving soon. While things are wrapping up, this past week has been great.

This week I was lucky enough to make it on the Niagara Falls trip. After the long bus ride, we were able to go explore the falls, which were beautiful. I was able to spend time just watching the water poor down the waterfall. Then I went on the "Maiden of the Mist" boat ride with a group of people. It was lots of fun to see the waterfall up close. They gave us ponchos but even with the raincoat it was impossible not to get soaked. After the boat ride we were able to eat lunch at a nice pizzeria. The food was very good. We then had a chance to explore the different tourist shops by Niagara Falls. Overall the trip was fantastic. I definitely want to go back to Niagara Falls in my lifetime.

In addition to my Niagara Falls trip I was also able to attend the last day of Ramadan. I was able to try lots of new foods and learn about Ramadan. The food was great and it was fun to meet new people there.

Class itself has become very engaging. In my computer science class we are learning the more advanced functions in MATLAB and how they can be used. While playing around with the code a friend and I accidently stumbled upon an Easter egg in the program called the "why" function. If "why" is ever typed into the code, then a random sentence is outputted. The homework for the class has started to get more interesting too. We have started to use code to prove mathematical theorems that the professor chooses.

In engineering our groups are preparing for the final presentation. Our professor and TA's had a final review session with my group last week. They helped us improve our overall presentation so that we could succeed in the final.

I can't wait to see how the final week at Cornel goes. Stay tuned.


Now that I am home, it feels like the summer went by in an instant. I wish I had more time to spend on campus. The shock of being gone is still getting to me. However, I will always be thankful for all the experiences I gained this summer. My classes have given me a chance to taste what college is like. My professors have taught me knowledge that I will keep forever. Most importantly though, the people I have met have left me with memories of an amazing summer. I hope to stay in touch with everyone I met this summer. Overall I'm glad that I partook of the Cornell experience. I've grown a lot this summer and am excited to see where my new knowledge takes me.