Reading too many I Saw You MIT posts making you feel angsty? If you feel like you’re still going through the same tensions of high school over and over again, you’ll probably fit right in with The Postelles and The Kooks, two bands whom, although grown-up now, are still rehashing the trials and tribulations of their young romances. They certainly don’t take those pains too heavily though, both bands pairing their cheekily tortured lyrics with upbeat rock and roll.
Professor Richard R. Schrock somehow manages to do it all. He has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, teaches, does research, has a family, a woodworking hobby, and is starting his own company. At the undergraduate level, he’s taught 5.112 (Principles of Chemical Science). Here, he gives his thoughts on what actor he thinks would be able to fit this role in the movie of his life and explains how he got his start in chemistry at eight years old while making banana-scented esters.
Elizabeth Vogel Taylor PhD ’07 loves her role as an instructor at MIT. Since MIT instructors don’t run their own labs, they get to focus all of their time on teaching, which Taylor does, both in the 5.111 (Principles of Chemical Science) classroom and also in her work developing chemistry teaching tools. She spoke with The Tech about why she enjoys teaching chemistry and trying to teach German to her baby daughter.
Woodie C. Flowers PhD ’73 is best known as one of the founding members of the FIRST Robotics Competition, a high school science and technology competition. He is also an Emeritus Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MIT. I got a chance to talk with Flowers over the phone, as he’s currently on the road for various FIRST competitions. He told me about the MIT class that started the competition and tells potential freshmen how to succeed at the Institute.
John D. Gabrieli is known by many as the 9.00 [Introduction to Psychology] professor. He also heads up a lab in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, which seeks to understand the organization of memory, thought, and emotion in the brain and how experience can alter brain function. After giving me a brief tour of the MRI machine in the Martinos Imaging Center in Building 46, Gabrieli explained why tired people cheat and why children who can make themselves wait to eat a marshmallow end up being more successful later in life.
When I participated in a conference call with Donald Glover on Tuesday, I was so excited for the opportunity to talk to the actor who plays Troy on the show Community. Little did I know that I was also going to be talking to Donald Glover the actor, writer, rapper, comic, and awards show host. Some may recognize Glover from his work as a staff writer on 30 Rock, and more recently, his gig hosting the mtvU Woodie Awards this past Wednesday. The awards honor the biggest names in indie rock and hip-hop by bestowing them with a chunk of wood.
Carol Livermore is one of three professors who teach 2.001, Mechanics and Materials I. Her research investigates power microelectromechanical systems, which are devices that manipulate large amounts of power but in a small package. Her lab also explores the self-assembly of microscale and nanoscale systems. This week I had the opportunity to sit down with her to discuss why she became a mechanical engineering professor after getting a PhD in physics, how to get a job in MechE, and even her favorite MechE joke.
Catherine L. Drennan is head of a chemistry laboratory investigating medically- or environmentally-relevant enzymes here at MIT. She is also co-professor of 5.111, a popular freshman chemical principles course, in the spring. In December, I had the opportunity to sit down with Drennan to find out more about her strange connection to Lisa Kudrow, why she thinks purple is the best kind of dinosaur, and why she wishes students would ask questions at her office hours and not in her shower.