Blog > Senior spring semester

As I had been taking an extra course almost every semester, I’d fulfilled practically all of my degree requirements by fall semester. Therefore, during the spring I tried to take more courses that interested me. One of my favorite classes of spring semester was Introduction to Autonomous Robotics, taught by Prof. Chad Jenkins.

A screenshot of my robotics project, showing my implementation of inverse kinematics using the Jacobian Pseudoinverse method.

The course was extremely well taught and the projects covered 3D geometric transforms, compositions of matrix transforms, forward kinematics, axis-angle rotation by quaternions, proportional-integral-derivative control, inverse kinematics, simple collision detection, and RRT motion planning, along with coverage of potential field navigation, Monte Carlo localization, and Newton-Euler dynamics.

One of the figures included in my report on bowed string motion
One of the figures from my report on bowed string motion

Another interesting class I took was Computational Physics, taught by Prof. Robert Pelcovits. Course topics included: initial value problems, chaos and dynamical systems, boundary value problems, computational quantum mechanics, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo methods, and Ising models.

Pictured above is a figure from my final project where I simulated bowed string motion, using my background as a classical violinist as inspiration. You can read more at

One of the exciting things I got to do during my spring semester besides classwork was to autocross a Ferrari F430, a 21st birthday present from my friends. I still can hardly believe it happened and it feels like a childhood dream come true.

Block Island

As the semester came to a close and graduation drew nearer, I began to try and complete all the items on my college bucket list. One of those was to bike ~50 miles to Point Judith and take the ferry to Block Island. One of the pictures from that trip is shown above.

Before I knew it, graduation was upon us. I have to say that graduation was one of the most intriguing parts of college and also one of the hardest. In those four years, we really grew together and saying goodbye was difficult beyond words. Despite this, I’m extremely excited to see how we all uncover our “sky dreams” (per Nalini Nadkarni in her Baccalaureate address). As for myself, I am staying at Brown for a fifth year Master’s in Computer Science and hopefully will experience another wonderful year in Providence.

Carl Olsson

Engineer, musician, and lifelong learner. Loves building things