The AE Senior Thesis represents a culmination of what I learned in the AE program and in my past internships. It was a tedious, but yet fun and rewarding experience to design the lighting and electrical system for my thesis building. The breadths were important as well in the sense that they added to my designs in many ways, and allowed me to expand my knowledge and skillset outside of my specialization. I had a blast learning about biomass systems and how to design optimized solar shading using Ecotect. Overall, I was very pleased with my final design, which I felt was a true expression of my values and interests.
That being said, I have the following 10 tips to share with future thesis
victims students (especially the lighting ones!):
1. Actually follow your schedule — or else you're gonna have a bad time (and a lot of all-nighters)! I also use a countdown app on my phone to track deadlines.
2. Choose a small, but interesting building — make sure you actually like the architecture!
3. Start early — why not come up with some rough lighting ideas or even make your website over the summer?
4. Don't use Dreamweaver — speaking of web design, I found it a lot easier and faster to learn HTML and CSS coding from scratch than to learn Dreamweaver. Use http://www.w3schools.com.
5. Pick a project with a good Revit model — will save you many hours of CAD modeling!
6. Get better with Photoshop and Illustrator — these will be the backbone of your graphical department. Use http://lynda.psu.edu.
7. When in doubt, ask the experts — I personally received a tremendous amount of help from the thesis forum mentors, AE professors, students from other options and even professors outside AE and Penn State. Don't be afraid to ask!
8. Spend more time working on things you're actually going to present!
9. Get better at presenting — Read this book, learn from presenters at TEDtalks, join your local toastmasters.
10. Have fun! — Your design is your expression. If you're enjoying the process, your design will be awesome; if you're not into it, your design will suck. It's as simple as that.
Good luck, kids!