Hello, my name is Jake Gross and I am a freshman from Glen Rock, New Jersey, a small town 25 minutes outside of New York City. I am currently in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, but leaning towards studying something business related here at Penn State. I was drawn to this course after doing some research and finding an interesting TED Talk by the professor, Andrew Read. I also found out that he is from New Zealand, just like my uncle Peter Jackson (not the producer of Lord of the Rings, but rather a former Olympic table tennis player).
In high school, I excelled in subjects like History, English, and Psychology. While I found science interesting, it did not click with me as much as other subjects, so it is not something I would consider majoring in. My perception of science is based on how the material was presented in high school. I am more interested in the practical aspects of science, rather than memorizing facts, as was the case with classes like biology. The most intriguing aspect of science is that while progress is constantly made, there are so many questions yet to be answered. My grandfather was a rocket scientist who built the guidance and navigation system for Apollo that put man on the moon. I am now excited about the possibility of man traveling to and potentially inhabiting Mars. As a big baseball fan, I have been fascinated by the recent rise of sports science, whether it is to help prevent injuries with wearables or evaluate performance using player and ball tracking technology. Statcast technology captures interesting measures such as the spin rate of a pitch (in revolutions per minute), as well as the exit velocity and launch angle of a ball off of the bat.
I believe that this course will offer me an opportunity to see science in a new light and explore how the subject is relevant to our everyday lives. I am excited about the class’s emphasis on critical thinking. I am someone who enjoys going beyond the work that is required for a course, trying to truly learn and understand the material and apply it to the real world. I look forward to using the class blog to share my thoughts and experiences with others, as well as learn from and engage with fellow classmates. I think it will be a great tool to supplement the classroom experience. I am looking forward to a great semester!
Here’s the link to the picture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_mission_to_Mars