This week sees the beginning of the new semester here at USC. I’ve been easing into my new class, which is a graduate level electromagnetism course. It is fun material to teach, and so I expect to enjoy it. I taught it back in 2009, and you can find some posts I did on some of the material if you dig into the archives.
It is going to be a hugely busy semester, and in fact has started out that way already. I’m on far too many committees, boards, and working groups, both within the university and beyond, and have been invited to be on a number more that I’m thinking about, some of which probably I should say yes to. This is all in addition to all the projects I want to do, such as the USC Science Film competition that I expect to run again since it was such a success last year. (There’ll be more on that later, so stay tuned.)
Also, I’ve got to keep ringfencing time to work on The Project, where ever I can find it. For example, in finding time to work on the current set of panels I am redoing (see earlier posts), I made progress while on the train to work by doing the sketches I needed to experiment with (of a surprisingly tricky angle to sell) of one of the characters lost in thought (or just coming out of being lost in thought). Eventually I got what I wanted (see the scanned sketch), and then early this morning (I got up at 5:00am for some reason) I inked it and put it into the page with some colour work. The result is top left.
It is good to be back on campus and to walk around and see the changes that have taken place with all the Summer construction. There has been some sprucing up of some of the main walkways, and I note with some satisfaction that one of the changes includes putting in some cycle lanes on one of the busiest walkways to protect both pedestrians and cyclists from the busy cycle traffic. I’ve been suggesting this for years to whoever will listen (I imagine others have too) and so it is good to see implementation. (Now maybe they’ll consider my idea to have a bike share program?) I’d have made the lanes a solid separate colour from the pathway to make it clear to all where to walk and cycle (as opposed to the little run of cycling symbols at intervals), but what do I know – I’m just a theoretical physicist. (But I can’t see what will stop cyclists from wandering all over the map as soon as the numerous public safety officers standing there, along with their portable barriers, are moved on – a continuous clear road-within-the-road colour scheme seems to me to be better…)
Anyway, happy new semester everyone!