What would you expect from one of the most technologically advanced companies in the world? One of the most technologically advanced campuses in the world. From a fully networked campus and modern library to your own personal computer, you’ll have access to information everywhere on campus. From classrooms designed to encourage interaction to labs where you can build a satellite, design a military vehicle or operate a jet engine — at the United States Air Force Academy, it’s all possible.
The McDermott Library serves your academic, research and recreational reading needs. Professional librarians staff the library 88 hours a week. It maintains over 1.5 million items, including books, scientific and technical reports and audio collections and subscribes to both national and international periodicals and newspapers and a web page with links to a number of online indexes, abstracts, and full-text document services.
The library’s integrated computer system provides access to library holdings and is accessible from all floors of the library, faculty offices, and cadet rooms. Wireless capability throughout the library allows you to work online from any location you choose using a notebook computer.
Cadet Personal Computers
Continually updated computer equipment means you’ll use one of the finest undergraduate computer centers in existence. A local area network connects every dormitory room, faculty and staff office, classroom and laboratory at the Academy.
You’ll receive a brand-new computer right after Basic Cadet Training (BCT). You will use your computer in virtually every class you take at the Academy. Consequently, typing skills are a necessity — not a luxury! We strongly recommend that you learn to accurately type at least 25 words per minute prior to your arrival.
Classrooms and Halls
Most classes are held in small classrooms, as the average class size is just 19 students. Some classes are held in larger, tiered lecture rooms designed to allow plenty of interaction between students and instructors. There are also large lecture halls available for assemblies.
Laboratories and Learning Centers
Beyond the core classroom setting, at the Academy you’ll experience laboratories designed to let you get hands on with cutting edge technologies.
Aeronautics Laboratory: Use a subsonic–continuous wind tunnel, a trisonic blowdown tunnel, an F109 high-bypass turbofan engine, J69 and J85 operational turbojet engines, a rocket test cell and internal combustion engines.
Applied Mechanics Laboratory: This is one of the most modern and best-equipped undergraduate labs in the country. Cadets are encouraged to learn how to use a variety of wood- and metal-working equipment such as a lathe, computer-controlled mill, welding equipment, material testing systems and composite material fabrication tools.
Among many other projects, cadets design and fabricate an off-road vehicle and a formula car for national intercollegiate design competitions. A separate garage facility, complete with a full-scale chassis dynamometer, provides a unique opportunity for cadets to apply skills learned in their courses.
Astronautics Laboratories: Three astronautics laboratories contain items unique to an undergraduate school, including workstations with digital and analog computers, facilities for small satellite design, fabrication and testing, rocket design and build-up areas and high-fidelity orbital analysis software — all to support research and classroom activities.
Computer and Multimedia Laboratory: Contains desktop computers, servers, flatbed/sliding scanners, regular printers, color printers, a copier, a one-gun overhead projector, a binding machine, a laminating machine, drops for laptops, a wireless access point and on-site help. The NCL PCs are upgraded every two years to ensure that they are capable of handling new and large software.
Distance Learning Center: Uses state-of-the-art video teleconferencing equipment to support a variety of academic courses. Cadets “join” classes at other educational institutions, including other service academies, interact with guest lecturers and participate in dialogues with students from other colleges and universities.
Foreign Language Learning Center: Utilizes interactive videodiscs and a sophisticated local area network. Research and teaching innovations place the Department of Foreign Languages among the national leaders in using leading-edge technologies for foreign language instruction.
Observatory: Cadets study astronomy in the Academy observatory using both 24- and 16-inch telescopes configured with state-of-the-art computer-controlled drive systems. Cadets learn how astronomers explore the universe by various detectors: two CCD (charged coupled device) photometers, a photo electric photometer, a CCD spectrograph, and film.
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