A Columbia College-based Bwog writer tells you all about the wonderful majors offered at SEAS.
As a CC student, I’ve read the Iliad, written long-winded papers, and tried and failed to get into a good section of Art Hum every single semester. But, do I, your cliché CC student, know what my engineer peers are up to?
Well, here’s an easy one. My SEAS friends majoring in Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics are spending their time laboring over complex equations. What, you might ask, is the point of all these numbers and variables and strange symbols? Simple! It is all part of these students’ applications to be engineers. If they succeed, they will not only have applied physics and math—they also will be accepted by physics and math.
Meanwhile, Biomedical Engineers need not apply. They’ve accepted their fate of building bodies. Have you ever seen an arm? You probably know some people who have them. Well, guess who made all those arms? Biomedical Engineers! These folks are often confused with bodybuilders. But while bodybuilders selfishly only build upon their own bodies, Biomedical Engineers build all of the bodies.
Then there are the rebel children of engineering: Chemical Engineers. These are the mad scientists of the world. They build chemicals and make explosions and are all sparky boom boom people.
With so many Chemical Engineers out there, the world would be a crazy place if not for Civil Engineers. Civil Engineers are very polite and courteous. With their kind and gentle nature, they prevent Chemical Engineers from causing too much damage.
Oh, Electrical Engineers like sparks too, but since they don’t make too many explosions, they don’t interact with Civil Engineers all that often.
Meanwhile, those majoring in Engineering Mechanics and Mechanical Engineers are the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of engineers. They can’t tell themselves apart, because they’re basically the same. What are these engineers like? Well, they like motion, so they move a lot. They are very energetic, just like particles and machines. Oh, and these people also are big fans of machines.
Computer Engineers also like machines, but only a very specific category of machines: computers. They like to build computers and also to compute engineers. You know, like adding together engineers and subtracting and dividing them too. Computer Engineers and Computer Scientists are good friends, because they bond over their love of computers. Computer Scientists like to do experiments with computers, though. Some past experiments that Computer Scientists have conducted include spilling coffee on computers and seeing if they still work, falling asleep on top of computers and comparing that to sleeping on a bed, and eating microchips.
Earth and Environmental Engineers steer clear of those computer people. They prefer to engineer outdoors, directly on the earth. They build rocks and stuff.
Students majoring in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, on the other hand, hardly step foot outdoors. They’re super industrious, so they work fast. Once they graduate, these students will build factories and do some sort of research.
What do factories make? Materials! Materials include velvet, polyester, and cotton. But materials aren’t just fabrics. Food is material and so are bricks. Material Science and Engineering are the makers of material. They conjure something from nothing; they create and combine materials to make new concoctions and inventions.
There are two other majors in SEAS: Operations Research: Engineering Management Systems and Operations Research: Financial Engineering. These two are way more conceptual than materials or rocks or bodies. Those researching Financial Engineering study what makes the typical finance bro. They’re pretty secretive about their work, but I get the impression that they wear backwards baseball caps.
The real bosses, the most engineer of all engineers are those majoring in Engineering Management Systems. They control all engineers like puppeteers. Once they graduate, these students have the ability to control all other engineers like a sort of army of mindless robots. SEAS students quake when people studying Engineering Management Systems pass them by on College Walk. They can’t help but wonder what favors these bosses will demand from them someday.
So, there you have it: SEAS life summarized by major. It’s quite a world, full of stormy SEAS and numbers and algorithms. No outsider can truly understand the life of an engineer, but now I hope all CC, GS, and Barnard students get the gist enough to appreciate all the nuances, from materials to mechanics.
Math via Bwog Archives