Like many other seniors, I am both anxious and excited to be working on my senior thesis for the 2016-2017 school year – but very happy to be working with Prof. A again! I am fascinated by the intersection of architecture and engineering in the design of the built environment. In the past, the two fields were not so disparate – there existed a single profession, the master builder, who both designed and constructed buildings. Many of these builders created amazing masonry structures that we still admire decades, centuries, and millennia later. Because these historic structures are susceptible to changes in the environment such as earthquakes, we need reliable methods of assessment for masonry structures. Intuitive graphical methods are reliable and efficient in assessing stability, but computational modeling of masonry collapse mechanisms is relatively recent. This year I’m working comparing the results of these graphical methods with computational modeling by assessing the stability of masonry arches and vaults.