The Immigration Course was basically a crash course in all the research that is being done at CMU. Every day from 9:45 to 4:00 we would listen to several professors give thirty minute snippets about their research. The point of this mentally exhausting task? FIND AN ADVISOR! From the thirty minute snippet we are supposed to decide if the prof is someone we want to do research with. If so, we schedule appointments with them and discuss. On September 30th, professors hand in their pick of students, and students hand in their pick of professors. They all get sorted and that's how you end up with an advisor. Then the real work can begin.
Along with organizing technical talks by professors, the Immigration Course exists to perform a sort of social hazing. Almost every night there is some activity (usually involving alcohol) to coax us timid first year students out of our shells. These have included: two potlucks, a boat cruise, kayaking on the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio river, and several parties and bar nights. Tonight is our very last organized event. We are headed to a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game at PNC park.
A couple pictures of activities during the last two weeks:
The boat cruise people made us split into groups and take awkward pictures as we boarded, no doubt hoping we would buy the photos from them later.