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My friends and I at a concert

I'm taking a pretty diverse set of courses this term, so I want to share how each of them contributes to exploring my professional and personal interests. This is one of the more STEM-heavy courseloads I've tackled at Dartmouth, so I was a little nervous to begin with – these courses tend to take up a larger amount of time in the class schedule. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. I've developed deeper relationships with my professors and classmates and can now spend less time out of the classroom trying to understand what I should have in class. It's definitely a trade-off, but I'm loving it. 

(1) MATH/QSS30.04: Evolutionary Game Theory 
This is the course I was most excited about. I remember before the term started, during my spring break, I was researching Professor Feng Fu's work in applied mathematics and data science and how his team built models for things like vaccine efficiency, infectious disease, and human cooperation ... how cool! I didn't think, though, that I would be able to do anything this advanced until I declared a major and took higher-level courses. However, I was pleasantly surprised! Each week in lecture, we learn a new mathematical modeling concept and then apply it to some sort of case study. Whether that be social networks or mutations within an insect population, it has direct and tangible relevance to the real world which is something I've grown to appreciate. I'm then able to test my knowledge of these concepts in biweekly problem sets that allow us to leverage our learned skillset to new scenarios which helps broaden our scope and build our confidence so that after the course is over, we can continue to use such ideas. Apart from these assignments, we have a culminating project where we are asked to answer one large question in the 'mathematical humanities.' I am working with four other classmates to build a model that can help understand and potentially combat digital inequities in education … how the expansion of technology leaves those with limited access behind. I will update you after the term ends on our progress, but I'm enjoying the exploration thus far.  

(2) CHEM11: Honors General Chemistry
This is the course I was most nervous about at the start of the term. With 4 lectures, a 4-hour lab, and a problem set and exam almost every week, it seems very fast-paced relative to Dartmouth's already fast-paced quarter system.  I'm not going to lie to you all ... it has taken a lot of time and effort. However, I feel that I have the necessary resources and community to succeed. Professor Mirica is an awesome lecturer; she takes the time to explain the concepts very clearly and uses a demonstration (sometimes with fire and explosions) whenever she can. It definitely sets my early mornings off to an exciting start! There are a fair amount of assignments in the course, but as I've started to get into the groove of things, it's not as daunting as it seems. The problem sets and lab assignments ultimately serve as another form of studying for the exam, maybe without even knowing it. Each week, they help you extrapolate what is important in the lecture and apply those concepts to practice problems. One of the biggest lessons I've learned in the course (besides the chemistry concepts) is how to critically analyze what is relevant and what is simply exploration within the course content. I'm also developing my problem-solving skills and proficiencies in lab techniques, so I can't wait to apply these when I continue research in a wet lab this summer and next year at Dartmouth. 

(3) ANTH55: Anthropology of Global Health
Global health is a field that I find to be dominated by buzzwords and bureaucracy, so I was very excited to examine its themes in an academic setting with reliable, nuanced readings. The course is pretty similar to what I expected; each week, we must complete a discussion post that synthesizes and relates a few of the assigned readings. We also have three essays that are all different styles and a final case study-type project on a global health issue. I've found Professor Sosin to be one of the most knowledgeable and passionate in her field, but never presents the content in a way that is difficult to understand. We have frequent guest lecturers and trips to the Hood Museum of Art, ensuring that we have refined, grounded perspectives on the issues we study in class. It is my most challenging course this term, considering that it is an upper-level anthropology class, and I am one of the only '26s. However, I'm grateful for the experience as I've learned the value of advocating for myself and attending office hours. I've developed a meaningful relationship with Professor Sosin while she has guided me in learning how to structure an anthropology paper and critically read sources. I find it rewarding to take courses in such specific disciplines, so I'm excited to explore the anthropology department in future terms. 

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