Residents in MIT’s Eastgate graduate dorm were forced to evacuate their building on Saturday when a stovetop fire broke out at 1:35 p.m. in the penthouse kitchen on the 29th floor, which is open to all residents. Residents were transported by bus to Sidney-Pacific, where food, childcare, and air conditioning (the temperature was over 92 degrees Saturday afternoon) was available. Most residents were allowed back into the building at 8:30 p.m. (around seven hours after the fire), but MIT had to put up a few residents in the Hyatt overnight. Since this event occurred the week before graduation and summer classes begin on Monday, some residents had moved in just days before the fire.
The 88-day process to make evidence in the Swartz trial public has begun. The government, Aaron Swartz’s lawyers, MIT, and JSTOR submitted a plan last Friday to release certain documents, but identifying information about MIT employees will be scrubbed, among other redactions. The plan was endorsed on Monday by U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton.
U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton ordered yesterday that some confidentiality restrictions be removed from evidence MIT had produced for the case against Aaron Swartz, which was dropped after his suicide in January. This is the first order since Swartz’s lawyers’ motion on March 15, which would have made information collected for the trial public. The judge agreed with MIT’s and JSTOR’s March 29 responses, asking that information including the names of employees be redacted.
Monday’s marathon bombings took a heavy emotional toll on MIT. While no students or faculty at MIT were physically injured at by the attack, the stories that have since emerged show that the bombings have still deeply hurt many in the MIT community. But through the tragedy, we’ve seen the Institute’s strength through stories of inspiration, hope, and community.
A fake email that appeared to be sent by President L. Rafael Reif addressing all of MIT was sent to all MIT dorms around 1 a.m. early Wednesday morning, announcing that all classes would be cancelled that day, due to “threatening requests” regarding the Swartz case. The email followed a letter from Reif on Tuesday to the MIT community laying out the Institute’s plans for releasing evidence from the Swartz case.
A fake email that appeared to be sent by President L. Rafael Reif addressing all of MIT was sent to all MIT dorms at 1 a.m. this morning, announcing that all classes would be cancelled for Wednesday, March 20, due to “threatening requests” regarding the Swartz case. The email followed a letter from Reif yesterday morning to the MIT community laying out the Institute’s plans for releasing evidence from the Swartz case.
In a letter this morning, MIT’s president announced plans to make requested Swartz-related evidence public, with names redacted to “protect the privacy and safety of those members of our community.” However, much of this information is already publicly known and has been published by The Tech and the New York Times, among others.
A large crowd packed Bartos Theater last night for a talk with Nate Silver, hosted by Seth Mnookin and the MIT Communications Forum. The auditorium quickly reached its 190-person capacity, and many wannabe audience members were left to watch the live feed outside the theater.
The Cambridge Police received a false report early Saturday morning of a “male with a large firearm and wearing body armor” at 77 Massachusetts Avenue. The report was declared to be false around 2.5 hours later after MIT and Cambridge police searched each building room-to-room. Students were not notified of the situation until after an hour after the initial tip.
MIT’s network fell to a denial-of-service attack Sunday evening, allegedly by the Internet activist group Anonymous, cutting campus users off from Internet access to most websites for nearly three hours. The attack came in the wake of accusations that MIT’s role in the pending litigation against Internet activist Aaron Swartz contributed to his Friday suicide. On Monday afternoon, MIT spokeswoman Kimberly C. Allen confirmed that the outage was due to a denial-of-service attack (DoS).
Undergraduate Association President and Vice President candidates met at the Student Center on Sunday night to debate and share their platforms. The three candidates this year are Jonté D. Craighead ’13, and Michael P. Walsh ’13, Narendra “Naren” P. Tallapragada ’13 and Andrew C. Yang ’13, and Brendan T. Deveney ’13 and Mary A. Breton ’14.
This is a transcript from an interview with Jorge Cham (creator of PhD comics), Margaret “Meg” A. Rosenburg ’07 (producer of the PhD movie), Evans T. Boney ’06 (actor playing Mike Slackenerny), and Scott Elmegreen (composer). The full transcript is at and the video is at .
MIT’s Zesiger Center is the center of varsity, club, intramural, and recreational sports. Serving around 2200 users per day across the four-building sports complex, the Z-Center is home to a competition-sized pool, fitness center, indoor track, and space that can be configured for nearly any sport. The Z-Center was voted “Best Gym” by Boston.com’s A-list in 2010 — even Mark Wahlberg has stopped by several times while shooting films in the area. Tim Moore, the director of recreational sports and fitness, gave The Tech a tour of Z-Center facilities.
The MIT150 celebrations ended with a literal bang at Toast to Tech last Saturday. The event, open to the entire MIT community and guests, included champagne, ice sculptures, dancing, an impressively large cake modeled after the MIT campus, and a 12-minute fireworks show over the Charles River.
The familiar sound of bells has been resurrected at the Kendall T Station after a 13-month restoration effort of Pythagoras by the MIT Kendall Band Preservation Society. The swinging set of aluminum chimes — controlled via handles mounted on the walls of the station — was created by local artist Paul Matisse for the station 23 years ago. It deteriorated to the point where the platform controls became dysfunctional in 2007 due to wear and tear.
Eight MIT students — Vanessa C. Bowens ’12, William D. Drevo ’13, Paul G. Hlebowitsh ’11, Michael T. Lin ’11, Ronan K. McGovern G, Matthew R. Rodriguez ’11, Jacob S. Sharpe ’11, and Xindi Song ’10 — will be competing in the Regional Rivals event against Tufts University in the 4th Annual National College Comedy Competition this Thursday at Mottley’s Comedy Club. The eight students were chosen by a preliminary competition held at MIT last month. This is the second year MIT has participated in the competition, which is sponsored by TBS and Rooftop Comedy. Thanks to the team’s performance last year, MIT was invited to compete this year, along with 31 other schools from across the nation.
The terms of Phi Beta Epsilon’s suspension have been changed as a result of a new agreement between MIT and PBE. MIT recently granted PBE the privileges to stay in their house at 400 Memorial Drive, to remain members of the Interfraternity Council (IFC) — although under probation — and to participate in rush starting in fall 2012 provided that they abide by the terms of their suspension and avoid future violations. The IFC did not sign or agree with the wording of the joint statement.
MIT and Phi Beta Epsilon (PBE) released a joint statement today stating that they have resolved several issues that were raised last fall regarding PBE’s suspension from the Interfraternity Council (IFC). On Sept. 21, 2010, PBE was given a four-year suspension by the IFC for violating no-tolerance policies on hazing in PBE’s new member program.
The MIT Squash team came in second (3-6) to Vanderbilt on Sunday after three days of matches at the 2011 Men’s National Team Championships this weekend. In squash, the scores indicate the number of match wins of one team’s top nine against the other team’s corresponding nine. The squash team won 6-3 against the University of Washington on Friday in the first round of competition and 5-4 against UC Berkeley during Saturday’s semifinals at Harvard.
The efforts of various academic task forces over the past several years have led to major changes in MIT’s curriculum, including the introduction of Course 20 as Biological Engineering in 2006 and the elimination of double degrees in 2009. This year, these changes continued with the implementation of a new HASS system, and a new degree program combining Courses VI and VII that will begin accepting students next fall.
A bachelor’s degree in computer science and molecular biology was proposed by the Departments of Biology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at the Nov. 17 faculty meeting. At the faculty meeting, Eric L. Grimson PhD ’80, head of the EECS department, said that the EECS faculty “basically unanimously endorsed” the proposal. Commentary at the meeting was so positive that at the end of the discussion, MIT President Susan J. Hockfield asked, “Anyone else want to join the love-fest?”
The number of undergraduate early action applicants has again increased, by about 14 percent over last year. Though the admissions office does not have an exact tally yet, they predict that there will be nearly 6,500 early applications, which would be 800 more than last year’s 5,684.
The suspect who stabbed his fellow Anna’s Taqueria employee outside Stratton Student Center on Wednesday was taken into custody by the police late this morning. The suspect was arrested in East Boston and was scheduled to be arraigned on several charges this afternoon. The charges are unknown at this time.
An employee of Anna’s Taqueria was non-fatally stabbed right above his navel by another Anna’s employee outside the Student Center) around 4:20 p.m. on Wednesday. After the stabbing, the suspect left, heading towards the Kendall T Station. The suspect has not been found as of 6 p.m. yesterday. It is unclear whether he has since contacted his family or his coworkers.
An employee of Anna’s Taqueria stabbed a coworker non-fatally right above the navel at 4:25 p.m. on Wednesday outside W20 (Stratton Student Center).
Several details have surfaced regarding the Phi Beta Epsilon (PBE) suspension. PBE alumni continue to send letters to <i>The Tech</i>, Dean of Student Life Chris Colombo, and President Susan Hockfield. IFC president, Ryan Schoen ’11 said that the PBE hazing took place between last fall’s pledging, through and including initiation (January 2010).
Boom! TD Bank Garden erupted in cheers as the lights went down and pyrotechnics fired off on Monday night. “Sports” entertainment company World Wrestling Entertainment aired their 900th episode of Monday Night RAW. Since its debut 17 years ago on January 11, 1993, the WWE has produced the most episodes in the history of primetime TV. In fact according to a fun fact displayed during a commercial break, if MTV’s Jersey Shore continues to run at its current rate, it will reach its 900th episode in 2083 when Snooki is 96 which is older than Betty White’s current age.
For students living in New Ashdown and Sidney-Pacific, a common (if risky) route to class takes them across the railroad tracks, popping out on Vassar Street parking lot near the West Garage and Steinbrenner Stadium. MIT has for years considered building a formal foot crossing there, and those plans may finally be solidifying.
Starting next Monday, August 9, the Tech Shuttle schedule and route will change, and the Northwest Shuttle’s route will be replaced by the EZRide Shuttle, which runs from North Station to Cambridgeport by way of Kendall Square.
At a quarter to three on June 26, hundreds of people ran through the doors of Boston’s TD Garden and rushed up the escalator stairs to the balcony of the stadium to watch the first of five stops on the 2010 Dew Tour and IFC Skateboarding World Championships. General admission ticket holders were not guaranteed seating and therefore contributed to the dog-eat-dog situation. Why choose to risk your life in the mob? Because tickets were only $15 (cheap when compared to the $100 action zone tickets), they were perfect for the moderate fan as well as the monetarily-challenged college student.