How Not to Raise Money in College

NCPA During my second semester, while I was filling out transfer applications for other schools, I was offered a job at the National Center for Physical Acoustics. They do all kinds of cool research there, from listening to bugs in grain silos to mapping catfish ponds. I started out by listening to sound waves bouncing off a steel rod. This consisted of pushing some buttons, walking into an anechoic (soundproof) room, turning a platform, going out, and pushiing some more buttons. This was done for hours at a time in a room without windows for five dollars an hour. (I joke. In reality, I got experience doing research and writing papers, which was invaluable.)

Array Although it isn't really obvious, there are some good applications for this stuff. Think of how sound gets dampened in a forest. Perhaps if we listened to some noise being blasted into the forest from outside we can determine the percentage of foliage, the hardness of the ground, and the thickness of the tree trunks. Likewise, corn farmers could learn more about their crops using such a system. By the way, the guy pretending to be working on my experiment was one of my high school assistants. He wasn't wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt and shorts that day.

Later I worked on an acoustic motor -- when the volume is turned up, a cup placed in the box on a pin would begin to rotate. Supposedly, the effect is not caused by any streaming of the air which would drag the cup into motion, but no one is completely sure of this yet.

I also tutored sophomore physics for a while, but eventually got tired of missing Sienfeld for a measly five bucks. The last semester I was there I went freelance at ten an hour, and actually had three or four steady clients.

Back Back to my personal stuff.