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An Update on Life

January 7, 2019

Author: Bianca Yang
Email: ipacifics@gmail.com

It’s been a busy couple of months since I last posted something serious, so I figured I’d give a bit of an update on what I’ve been up to. This is also a way for me to reflect on the past couple of months and mentally prepare myself for the next couple.

Update 1: Flying lessons!

That’s right, I’m learning to fly planes! Caltech is very fortunate to have a flying club. I’ve just begun flying with David Werntz, who is a Caltech alum, former JPL-er, and current AACIT president. Unlike some other people, I grew up with pretty much zero interest in planes or flying or air related things. I got interested in flying after I took an introductory helicopter flying class in Seattle, during my internship with Microsoft. I liked being in the air, controlling a powerful machine, pumping adrenaline into my blood.

Don’t get me wrong, flying is no walk in the park. You’ve got to know a lot more procedures and a lot more about weather and traffic and navigation than you do when you’re in a car. But I promise you, the 10s of thousands of dollars and 100+ hours you spend learning to fly will not disappoint, especially when you want to beat holiday traffic and fly to see family or go skiing or just get out of town.

I’m still early in my flight training, but I will hopefully get my private pilot’s license in the six months before I graduate. Once that’s done, I’ll hopefully be able to use my license to make weekend getaways to places like Lake Tahoe, or Mammoth. Ah, the life of a pilot.

But learning to fly doesn’t end there. A private pilot’s license is really only the beginning of a journey in flying. Staying current, continuing to learn, why there’s so much left to be done and seen.

Perhaps I’ll see one of you in the friendly skies one of these days.

Update 2: Blender!

I’ve started to learn how to use Blender to 3D model things!

I’m sharing some of the stuff I make on the “Blender Models” page of this website. Enjoy! Please send feedback! I’m a beginner to all things 3d and art and would greatly appreciate pointers in the right directions.

Update 3: Robots!

A couple of teammates and I tried to reverse engineer the Parallax penguinbot for our robotics class.

Here’s our writeup on the machine and two videos showcasing our work!

I worked on Bluetooth and fine tuning servo action so the robot would walk forward. My wonderful teammates worked on designing and building the robot and on the center of mass calculation you can see in the writeup.

Update 4: Juggling

I’m going to take up juggling again. It’s one of those activities I can tolerate repeated, iterative failure in. It’s also a fun skill to have handy.

That’s it for now. As usual, my contact information is at the top of the page and on the resume page. Contact me with questions, comments, and suggestions.