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William Anderson
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
UTD Richardson, TX
11:00 AM

Interview Assessment #5
One of my shortest yet most helpful interviews was with another
professor at University of Texas at Dallas. He, like Dr. Choi, worked with fluid
dynamics but worked on a completely different area. Both Dr. Choi and Dr.
Anderson work on fluid dynamics and both have their independent labs that
they work in with graduate students. Since my interview with Dr. Anderson
was after Dr. Chois, I was able to compare both of the fields to each other,
especially since they were so similar. Dr. Anderson started out as a
mechanical engineer at Baylor University but decided that it wasnt for him.
He ended up switching to mechanical engineering and ended up completing
both his Masters and Doctorate at the Johns Hopkins University.
When I first walked into Dr. Andersons office, I immediately noticed the
differences from Dr. Chois office. His office was much busier and filled with
much more activity as there were many more students there. The second
obvious thing was the environment, Andersons office lacked the labs that Dr.
Choi relied on. It turns out that both professors worked on completely
different sides of the field and also had different focuses. Dr. Anderson had a
primary focus in large scale movements of wind and their effects and solely
worked on theory and simulation. He and his students would take raw data or
a scenario and then send it to Austin so that a simulation can get run on their
supercomputer, as the amount of data they have to process is ridiculous.

Dr. William Anderson

Professor of Mechanical Engineering
UTD Richardson, TX
11:00 AM

Once it is run, they get back huge amounts of data and results and then they
just analyze it looking at their effects and why it happens. This procedure
was completely different from the process that Dr. Choi explained. I asked Dr.
Anderson why simulation over experimentation. He said that he liked
working on a larger scale than he could experiment on and her preferred
more solid statistics that were less prone to error.
I asked Dr. Anderson more about his research and he talked about one
of his largest ones that involved the movement and changing patterns of
sand dunes. He talked about their apparent random order and how he
wanted to see if there was some form to them at all. So he worked on
simulations for a while and then he had the opportunity to travel to sand
dunes around the world and actually run tests, so in a way he has some
experimentation but in a sense it is more trials. One of the biggest things I
took away from this interview was the importance of completing research as
soon as possible. He offered me many places that I could apply to after
undergraduate the will offer to fund my research based masters. Overall this
interview was a good look at how different one field can be and how drastic
the scales are.