It didn’t take long for freshman Brody Conner to get established in
the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Within the first few weeks of his Boilermaker career, he joined
the Society of Physics Students, the Astronomy Club and Physics
Outreach. He’s a regular at the Society of Physics Students Lounge
on the second floor of the Physics Building. He’s also a representative
in Purdue Science Student Council.
“I’ve wanted to do physics since my freshman or sophomore
year of high school,“ Conner says. “I think it’s the fact that you’re
able to define what goes on in the universe around us. I want to
know everything that happens.”
While taking 17 credit hours, Conner somehow manages to
squeeze in games of racquetball at the Córdova Recreational Sports
Center and practice his baritone singing for his next jam with a
barbershop quartet he joined while at the Indiana Academy in
Conner is already thinking of a study abroad opportunity in
Tanzania, and he has his first show with one of Purdue’s improv
troupes, Ad Liberation, all before midterms.
;8: 15 a.m. – Conner wakes up and gets ready for a full day of
classes. He usually skips breakfast.
;9: 30 a.m. – Physics 172 Honors is first in the morning in a
large lecture hall in the Physics Building. A PowerPoint slide
displaying “Modern Mechanics” is already on the huge pull-down
“Today, we started to dive into what physics is about,” says
Conner, a native of Logansport, Indiana.
;10: 30 a.m. – Conner hoofs it over to the Herbert C. Brown
Laboratory of Chemistry for a chemistry recitation, where he
is greeted with a quiz. It was on nuclear chemistry.
;1:08 p.m. – Conner takes a late lunch of some chicken curry,
rice and pasta at Earhart Dining Court.
;2: 30 p.m. – Although an elective, Conner finds his anthropology
class in Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry extremely
;3:42 p.m. – Conner ducks into the Purdue Society of Physics
Students Lounge to relax on a couch at least a couple of decades
older than he is. He finishes most of his chemistry
The lounge is a cozy but popular spot. A chessboard and a deck
of cards are always out. An Albert Einstein action figure hangs
on the wall near some published research papers. Plenty of
snacks and caffeinated beverages are at the ready.
;4: 30 p.m. – It’s all about knocking out the prerequisites some
semesters. Conner wastes no time in attempting to conquer
Applied Calculus II with hundreds of other students in the Class
of 1950 Lecture Hall.
;5:45 p.m. – Conner returns to his dorm for dinner with his
;7: 10 p.m. – Homework time: Conner buckles down to finish
his chemistry pre-lab for the next day.
Physics and Astronomy