The long, cruel winter is over. The maple sap is running. The Swan Boats soon will grace the Public Garden. And Boston’s beloved Red Sox, forever the symbol of spring’s renewal in New England, will open their home schedule Friday at Fenway Park as the preseason favorites to win the World Series.
“OMG” was the response I received from my father when I texted him that MIT’s CPW events last until 4 a.m. It is almost midnight during my first night of CPW, and I already feel like I just ran a marathon while indulging in a three-Michelin star buffet. CPW, quite simply, is a sensory overload. Where else can you experience a smorgasbord of offerings ranging from liquid nitrogen ice cream to East Campus hacking culture? My body aches and yearns for sleep, but I know that there are still four exciting hours of molecular gastronomy cooking and Firehose Lectures — events which I have been looking forward to partaking in ever since MIT posted the CPW schedule online. After those four hours, I have an equal amount of time to recharge before beginning another propane-charged day of activities. After tomorrow, I have yet another full day of events until I can relax on the plane ride home.
The sheer magnitude of MIT’s Campus Preview Weekend is as awesome as it is frankly ridiculous. Its schedule — a document the size of a novel — lists over 750 events slated to take place over the next four days. One rapidly realizes that there is much more to do than could ever be possible for an individual more or less bound by the laws of physics.
Hello! My name is Stephanie, and I am a senior at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. When I first drove over the Charles River this afternoon, I had my first glimpse of MIT — a fleet of at least fifteen sailboats gliding smoothly down the river, the dome in the background, the setting sun gleaming off its top. On the other side of the bridge, I was startled to find a combination of city and campus life, with restaurants and strolling students on one block, and labs on the next.
The line between cyberspace and the physical world is blurring with a new search technology being demonstrated by Autonomy, a British software publisher.
One hundred and fifty years ago this Sunday, Massachusetts Governor John Andrew put pen to parchment, signing a charter to create the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The April 10, 1861 charter, as passed by the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives, called for an institute to advance “science in connection with arts, agriculture, manufactures and commerce.” A century and a half later, those words greet students as they make their daily passage through Lobby 7. Though the 1861 charter’s words continue to inspire the Institute’s mission today, the MIT of 2011 is the product of 150 years of development, evolving from a small tech school across the Charles to the world’s leading research university.
With about five months left until its opening, Maseeh Hall’s dining facility now has a name. The 360-person dining hall was named Howard Dining Hall by the anonymous donor whose contribution set the renovations of the former graduate residence hall into motion. According to an April 7 MIT News Office article, “‘Howard’ has significant personal meaning for the donor, but it is not the donor’s name.”
Prefrosh, beware! SAT scores and monthly newsletters may not be the only thing College Board puts in your inbox. Last weekend, hackers broke into Epsilon Data Management LLC’s systems, gaining access to customers’ names and e-mail addresses. Epsilon, a marketing company for large companies like Best Buy, JPMorgan Chase, and College Board, sends more than 40 billion emails annually. While no financial information — like credit card numbers or social security numbers — was compromised, Reuters reports that this data breach could be “one of the biggest such breaches in U.S. history.”
This week, Alpha Phi Omega hosted its annual charity fundraiser, the Big Screw, which recognizes the MIT faculty or staff member who “screws” students the most. Each cent donated to each nominee’s charity of choice counts as one vote, and the winner is awarded a 3-foot-long left-handed screw engraved with their name, which is passed down from year to year. Heading into its last day, the Big Screw has raised just over $745, with Professor of Mathematics Pavel Etingof maintaining his lead with $149.94 for the American Cancer Society.
Hi everyone! My name is Paul Harris (yes, there was a movie that just premiered entitled Paul, but I advise you to wait until the DVD comes out). I am in Boston for my first time for CPW, and I must say, it is a huge change from what I am accustomed to. I’m originally from Atlanta, Ga., where the spring and summers are sweltering and the AC is always broken, so being in Boston — where the temperatures can drop as low as 50°F in April — is a huge change for me. My experience during my first day at MIT (where I’ve been enjoying the seemingly infinite amounts of free food and dance parties) has been idyllic! I’ve never seen so many people willing to just hand me food!
ZUEITINA, Libya — The commander of the Libyan rebel army said it was “likely” that NATO warplanes conducted an airstrike against a convoy of rebel tanks early Thursday, killing at least four people in the second case of friendly fire in less than a week. The commander, Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes, said the tanks — deployed by the rebels on Thursday to the frontlines for the first time — came under “a fierce attack” around 10:30 a.m. “It is likely it is NATO by mistake,” he said, adding that the rebels had notified NATO well in advance that the tanks were headed to the battlefield.
WASHINGTON — The House voted 255 to 172 Thursday to halt the Obama administration’s program to regulate industrial air emissions linked to climate change, delivering a rebuke to a central tenet of the president’s energy and environmental policy.
It’s not just an estimated 800,000 federal employees who would feel the financial pinch of a government shutdown.
SHANGHAI — The Walt Disney Co. placed a huge bet on China’s shifting approach to Westernized entertainment on Friday as it broke ground here on a $4.4 billion theme park — even if it is one without classic American features like a Main Street.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — It has taken on the predictability of an annual ritual, like parents’ weekend or commencement: the outburst of raunchy male behavior that has shaken the Yale University campus in each of the last few school years.
You should trade in the umbrellas for sunglasses today and tomorrow. The gloomy, rainy weather of early this week has given way to cool, sunny conditions. A high pressure center will slowly move through the area today, keeping skies clear and winds light. Saturday looks even better, with temperatures climbing into the lower 60s°F (15–17°C) under fair conditions once again. However, clouds will be rolling in on Sunday along with a chance for some rain. A low pressure system, expected to form in the Midwest, will bring this rain. The rain may even be accompanied by some thunderstorms late Monday. Otherwise, the weather is looking just fine through Sunday for the CPW events. Wetter conditions will stay away until the new workweek begins.
TOKYO — The strongest aftershock to hit since the day of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan rocked a wide section of the country’s northeast on Thursday night, prompting a tsunami alert, raising fears of further damage to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and knocking out external power at three other nuclear facilities.
As attendees of CPW, you have all been admitted to MIT. Congratulations! You now have an important decision to make, and hopefully CPW will help you do so.
CPW! As one person — famous for her truly insightful and thought-provoking lyrics — would say, “It’s Friday, Friday … fun, fun, fun, fun.” She’s got excellent grammar, too. But this article is not about Rebecca Black, it’s about you. More specifically, it’s about why you should choose MIT over any other school you may have been accepted to.
I am not going to lie. If your goal is to go to college, take the easiest classes possible, and get into medical school with perfect grades, then MIT is not for you. However, if you want to excel in science and engineering and live among brilliant peers and professors, all in an environment that is unrivaled, then keep on reading. Not only is it possible to be a successful premed at MIT, but I would also argue that MIT is one of the best places for shaping future doctors.
CPW is a time for celebration, confetti, and cake. As a prefrosh, you will be welcomed with hundreds of MIT events that will entertain, pamper and feed you. I guarantee that you will overbook yourself. You will scratch your head deciding which event to attend. You will wish you could be at two places at once, maybe three, or even four. At night, you will party (dry) on Baker’s rooftop with newly-made friends drinking (unmixed) Monsters. Then you will sleep with your body fatigued but your mind restless. Your day will have gone by in a split second.
I know you, for I have seen you dozens of times before. You think you want to be a scientist or an engineer. But be realistic — what do you, a teenager, know of science and engineering? You have applied to this institution, not out of any sophisticated understanding of the choices you are making, but because society has sold you a lifestyle brand. You want to be able to call yourself a scientist for the same reasons trendy youths want to buy clothes with swooshes or cigarettes with cowboy mascots. You crave, as any human does, the respect and admiration of your peers. You see the status that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have achieved, and hope that a career in technology will be your salvation. But you will find none here.
A sports article published last Friday on NCAA championship predictions incorrectly referenced two team rosters. Jerome Dyson no longer plays for the University of Connecticut, and DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe no longer play for the University of Kentucky. Dyson is now with the Tulsa 66ers, Cousins plays for the Sacramento Kings, and Bledsoe is with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Ever felt that going to the opera is old-fashioned? Fear not. With his latest dramatic work Death and the Powers: The Robots’ Opera, MIT composer Tod Machover attempts to bring the operatic art solidly into the 21st century and a little beyond. Machovers’ opera is the most recent and most compelling display of technology-enabled art and technology as an art form. The show, which had its American premiere on March 18 in Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theatre, is a remarkable artistic achievement, enabled by cutting-edge MIT Media Lab technology that permeates all aspects of the production. The audience is exposed not only to stunning visuals and lighting effects, but also to innovative soundscapes generated by a mix of traditional instruments and electronic hyperinstruments — one of Machover’s pioneering inventions. The opera features human singers and, as the title suggests, robots (which are indeed real, sophisticated robotic machines, not just stand-in props). All performers, human and machine, interact seamlessly and compellingly. However, Death and the Powers also remains true to the operatic tradition and features a challenging, thought-provoking story, which persists in our minds long after the music has stopped and the technological flash has faded away. The opera was enthusiastically received at the sold-out premiere, with the audience engaged in a frantic, standing ovation at the end.
For those of you who are hosed with psets, are busy promenading awesome prefrosh around, or have particularly short attention spans, I can summarize the long-awaited Strokes album Angles with a quick Facebook-centric anecdote, generated in the weeks leading to the album’s official release this past March:
As I sat nervously in my seat in the enchanting Boston Opera House, many thoughts about Elo Experience raced through my mind. Would I be able to comprehend his work with my limited knowledge of ballet? Would I know what he is trying to say? But Elo’s words dissipated my concern: “I hope the audiences come with no expectations. I want them to arrive at the theatre with open hearts and open minds.” So I sat up straight, put on my glasses, and immersed myself in the magic of movements that were about to happen on stage.
The MIT Sport Taekwondo Club recently competed in the Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference (ECTC) West Point Tournament. Despite the 3 a.m. bus trip down to Princeton, N.J., the Engineers — coached by Dan Chuang and led by captains Jason J. Uh ’10 and Erika Lee ’12 — achieved a landslide victory. MIT is currently leading the conference with 1589 points — 164 points over the second-place Cornell and several hundred points ahead of 28 other universities.
The Men’s Volleyball team finished up their postseason run this past weekend, advancing to the quarterfinals of the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) Championship tournament and collecting many awards along the way. Seeded No. 5 in the tournament, MIT swept No. 12 Stevenson University (25-18, 25-17, 25-19) but lost to No. 4 Philadelphia Biblical University (17-25, 19-25, 26-24, 25-17, 15-6). Timothy R. Lee ’11 and David R. Thomas ’12 represented the nationally-ranked No. 10 Engineers (29-7) on the NECVA All-Tournament Team.
This year’s Division I NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship game featured the third-seeded University of Connecticut Huskies against the eighth-seeded Butler Bulldogs. Despite possessing the lead after a brutal, defense-dominated first half, the Butler team completely fell apart in the second half, losing their second NCAA Championship game in a row in what will no doubt be considered one of the least memorable finals in the history of the tournament.
MIT’s offense, rendered dormant by WPI pitching last week, erupted for 22 runs in two games as the Engineers took two of three games from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy this past weekend, improving their overall record to 14-6.
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.
This February, MIT: The Game was unleashed on the public. Now boasting an user base of over five thousand players, the Facebook application is an addicting and entertaining experience — in other words, don’t start playing until you’re done with your psets. Victor Hung ’14, the programmer behind the game who dedicated about two hundred hours to its creation, and Chris Peterson, the admissions officer who recruited Victor, sat down to talk with The Tech about the inspiration behind the game, ghost roller coasters, and those players masterful enough to hack its code.
It’s kind of a thing at MIT to dye your hair unusual colors. Okay, I clarify: the colors are unusual by outside world standards, but not by MIT standards. Many people at the Institute have their hair dyed in an interesting assortment of colors, including hot pink, fire-truck red, construction-sign orange, Lady Gaga yellow, neon green, bright blue, deep purple, and ultraviolet (kidding about this one … I think) — it’s enough to make a rainbow, maybe even a double rainbow.
Most of us are familiar with 77 Massachusetts Avenue (Building 7) — it’s our gateway to the Infinite Corridor. We just hurry on through without looking around or thinking too much about the place. I was the same way until I decided to take a midnight walk after a long day and looked up. The lighting and contrast reminded me of the various effects that can be achieved with long-exposure photography and inspired me to try it out.