A range of generations of the MIT community gathered at Sidney-Pacific for the annual barbecue of the MIT Club of Boston this past Sunday. Alumni, their children, current students, and incoming freshmen mingled amid food and activities under the hot summer sun. The club sponsored the event for prefrosh and MIT affiliates in the greater Boston area, providing activities for children as well as opportunities for alumni to reconnect with each other and to meet current students.
Despite the hot and humid weather, masses from around the world crowded into Boston for one of the most anticipated Fourth of July celebrations in America. Everyone was full of national spirit; children and adults alike wore red and blue foam Lady Liberty crowns and played games on blankets spread out along the banks of the Charles River. Those seeking the best seats for the spectacle arrived early in the morning, stretching clusters of lawn chairs from the Harvard Bridge all the way to the Hatch Shell, where the 38th Annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular would take place later in the day. Other spectators took to the seas, docking their boats around the barge from which the firework show would ignite and release its potential energy into the skies.
Life, the universe, and MIT — how do these relate? At this year’s annual MIT Veritas Forum, four MIT professors answered this question and shared their views on religion. Approximately 550 people gathered in Kresge Auditorium last Saturday to attend the event, jointly sponsored by the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, the Large Event Fund, and the MIT United Christian Organization. In welcoming the speakers and audience to the forum, Anna Fung ’11 — a member of the Veritas planning committee — said that the hope was to “hear more of a personal, philosophical side of professors.” Moderated by Rosalind W. Picard ScD ’91, founder and director of the Affective Computing Group at the Media Lab, the forum opened with each of the professors briefly sharing their views on life at MIT, religion, and life’s meaning.
This year’s freshmen appear to be performing at about the same on the Advanced Standing Exams as previous classes. The more common ASEs are 18.01 (Single Variable Calculus), 18.02 (Multivariable Calculus), 8.01 (Classical Mechanics), 8.02 (Electricity & Magnetism), 5.111 (Principles of Chemical Science), and 7.012 (Introductory Biology).
Many MIT students remember writing their long essay on the freshman application. The class of 2014 will not. The application’s 500 word long essay has been replaced with three short essays between 200 and 250 words in length.
Sometime soon, probably early next year, passersby in the Infinite Corridor will look through glass windows to see a scanning acoustic microscope and cryogenic probe station in the Department for Materials Science and Engineering’s new Laboratory for Advanced Materials (LAM), currently under construction at the intersection of Buildings 4 and 8.
Construction of the new Media Lab is on track to finish in November, according to Arne Abramson, who is managing the project.