Monthly Archives

February 2015

Come On, Let’s Ski

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Under a deep blue sky, gliding down a mountain through the fresh snow with the sun glistening on surrounding snow-covered peaks must be one of the most incredible feelings in the world. But how can we get it? Of course, skiing!


Last Sunday, two classmates and I enjoyed this fabulous feeling. As a beginner, to be honest, I was nervous rather than excited at first. However, I relaxed and began to enjoy myself after dozens of falls, and mastering the skills a little bit. Here are some tips for beginners I can share with all of you from my many falls:

  1. Choose equipment that perfectly fits you!

Proper equipment can be a great support during your skiing and help you ski more effectively, while improper equipment can make you uncomfortable and even be dangerous. Proper boots fit your foot comfortably but snugly. Proper skis fit your skiing ability and height. Proper poles fit your height.

  1. Dress up and stay warm.

Your outer clothes should be waterproof, especially your pants. Sunglasses and gloves are needed.

  1. Check the weather before you go.

Rain will be poor weather for skiing. Unfortunately, the day we went skiing was a rainy day, and a heavy rain! Rain makes the ground too slippery, makes you wet, and makes you feel cold as well. It will be harder for experienced skiers to keep control on a rainy day, let alone a greenhorn.

  1. Don’t be afraid of falls and learn to stand up by yourself.

It’s common to fall over when you are skiing. Don’t be afraid. The more you fall, the more quickly you learn. If you fall over, you should learn how to stand up by yourself, although there are many warm-hearted people willing to give you a hand. I still remember that day, every time I fell over, there was always someone willing to help me. And the one who asked me most whether I needed help or not was a girl, only 7 years old, also a beginner. I asked for help standing up at the beginning, until I saw that girl easily standing up by herself when she fell over, which shocked me deeply and pushed me to stand up by myself no matter what the situation. Generally, it’s very hard for a person to stand up when they fall over during skiing, due to the skis and boots making it hard to move as you wish. After I tried many, many times, I succeeded. Once you learn how to stand up on your own, you will never be afraid to fall over.

  1. Don’t choose the level over ability.

It is exciting and challenging to choose the highest level, but getting out of control and alignment at high speed can break one’s bones!


After learning how to stop, turn right, and turn left, keep these tips in mind, and just enjoy your experience!



– Jill Jin ’15 (MS)Jill Jin Pic

Taking a Closer Look: Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

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If you have read my previous posts, you will know that I completed my undergraduate education here at the University of Rochester in biomedical engineering. I received my bachelor’s degree in May and began my pursuit for a master’s degree in September. It is difficult for me to compare the core TEAM classes with undergraduate courses because I did not take any business courses while I was an undergraduate; however, since I have continued with BME as my concentration for TEAM, I have had the opportunity to take a step back and accurately compare and contrast undergraduate-level BME classes with graduate-level classes. For the most part, I have found that the differences between the two levels of courses are typically dependent on the course itself and the decisions of the professor who teaches it.

In the fall, for my concentration, I completed two biomedical engineering courses that each ran for only half of the semester, and one biology course. In September and October I took Controlled Release Systems and in November and December I took Biomedical Nanotechnology. The first difference that I noticed in these graduate-level biomedical engineering courses was that they were much more specialized. These two classes focused heavily on a particular topic, which I really liked. It was great to feel that I was becoming an expert on these two topics because of the small class size and in-depth lectures. So in general, these two classes were pretty different from my undergraduate classes.

On the other hand, the biology course that I took last fall, Developmental Biology, was very similar to an undergraduate-level biology course. In fact, it was cross-listed as an undergraduate course so I was taking it alongside many senior biology majors. I sat in the same lectures as these students and took the same tests. I thought this was an effective learning environment for me because my peers had a lot of biology background. While I do have some biology background, I do not have as much as a biology major so I was able to learn not only from my professor, but also from my peers.

The two courses that remain to complete my concentration are Bioprocess Engineering and Biomedical Ultrasound. These two courses are, in a sense, a combination of the two types of classes previously described. These two courses, similar to Developmental Biology, are cross-listed as undergraduate courses; however, the coursework for graduate students is a little bit different. In Bioprocess Engineering, I will complete an extra project at the end of the semester. In Biomedical Ultrasound, I will complete a project individually whereas undergraduates complete it in groups. Also, in this class, graduate students often have an extra question or two on our homework and tests.

So in short, as you can tell, the differences and similarities are course dependent. I would not say that graduate courses are significantly more difficult than undergraduate courses; however, they do provide more in-depth conversation, learning, and critical thinking – something I truly value about graduate school.



– Courtney Astemborski ’15 (MS)