My first entry
My name is Pawel and I am a Junior in Harvard College, studying Mechanical and Materials Science and Engineering.
The only course in solid mechanics I've taken so far is the Harvard's undergraduate intro course ES 120 - I guess it's similar to intro courses offered at other universities. Bits and pieces of solid mechanics also appeared in some other courses, but mostly in a very basic form.
One of my strengths (although not a very important one) might be the fact that I took the intro course relatively recently, and still remember some of it. In this category I could also add interest in solid mechanics in general.
Among the weaknesses there are lack of experience with appropriate mathematical tools and techniques, and lack of any experimental experience (and hence intuition) related to solid mechanics.
Since I'm an undergraduate, I don't really have a research group. I worked a little bit for a grad student in prof. Vlassak's group, although I doubt that's relevant.
Per the above, I don't really have a research interest/direction. Perhaps this course will give me some idea of what the most interesting topics are.
If I ever decide to pursue research, it will most likely be in the area of solid/fluid mechanics or materials' science. In this context, ES 240 seems like the absolutely necessary miniumum of knowledge one must have to be able to gain some insight into those areas of engineering.
As an undergraduate, I think that ES 240 will greatly enhance my understanding of solid mechanics and will provide me with insights into behaviour of materials that I could use in other classes. I am also hoping to become more fluent in mathematical techniques most frequently used in mechanics in general.
Thanks for reading,