Chris M. '12
Apr 30 2012
Posted in: Miscellaneous
Another CPW has come and gone, and with it the throes of prefrosh staring wide-eyed with smiles plastered on their face being carted from free food and festivity time and time again. It's always an energizing event for me, seeing all you guys excited to be here and the prospect of studying here reminds me that I'm pretty fortunate to have had the opportunity myself. That's an easy thing to forget when you've got your head down in your work day in and day out.
Of course, CPW brings out the best in a lot of people: facilities pays extra attention to make sure things are just so, professors and students organize tons of events to show off all the nifty things they can do, and hackers – MITs clandestine purveyors of engineering spectacle–are no exception.
This year, there were a number of particularly impressive hacks throughout the weekend. For starters, Lobby 7, the entrance to MIT from the road, was transformed into a circus ring!
Mar 2 2012
Posted in: Miscellaneous
All around North America, it's been a pretty snowless winter. Some people are excited by that, because the cold, bleak winter is a tough time for them and the less snow, the more they can deny winter exists. For me though, it's tragic. Snow is one of my favorite things, and winter is probably my favorite season. I'm just not built for the beaches and heat. Sunburns suck, sand doesn't do it for me, and the heat is just tougher for me to handle. The cold though, especially up in the mountains, is invigorating. The hush, the electric cold tingling your lungs with every breath; soft fluffy powder (you NE folks will just have to imagine what I mean) and vistas unrivalled. Yes, I was meant for the mountains.
So imagine my disappointment when I'm eagerly waiting for a huge storm to blow in, skis in hand, and it never happens. After the massive amounts of snow we had around here last year, it was torture. I had resigned that this would be the year we had no winter. And for a long time,... read the post »
Feb 21 2012
Hard to believe but my time at the institute is starting to wrap up. I'll save the sappy gushing for a later post though. Most people's last terms are comparatively lighter, with lots of time to focus on all sorts of projects.
I, for better and worse, am not most people. My term is the heaviest one yet for me, both in terms of academics and non. So lets take a peek into my day:
6.002x (Circuits and Electronics)
One of MITs pilot online courses for their new high-quality online learning initiative, MITx, 6.002x is actually open to the world for registration. You could all take it with me if you wanted to (and you should! It's fantastic). The kicker is classes for the rest of the world start first week in March, and ours have been going since the beginning of February, so we'll stay 4 weeks ahead to blaze the trail, stomping bugs, talking about ways the class can be improved, and generally preparing it for mass consumption. The class itself is all about circuit design,... read the post »
Jan 23 2012
Posted in: Miscellaneous
A critical factor in getting outdoors is having something to do, and for most people, they go through a rotation as the year goes round and temperatures and conditions rise and fall. For me, summer and fall mean rock climbing, and winter and spring mean skiing. But I've become more and more interested in adding a few new winter sports to the mix, and the one I've had my eye on the most is ice climbing.
If you want the technical definition of ice climbing, I don't know it. But a layman's definition might be something like trying to get up cold vertical stuff using axes and crampons and an assortment of other tools, just like climbing makes use of your hands and feet to get up not-that-cold vertical stuff. The gist of it is you swing these ice axes up over your head, sinking them into an ice sheet deep enough for you to support yourself on, and kicking spikes on your feet into that same ice sheet to stand on. Climbing is a motion somewhat like climbing a ladder: Hang on left arm,... read the post »
Jan 14 2012
Posted in: Life & Culture
Oh hi there. I'm back on campus now for IAP (Independent Activities Period, but I think "It's Awesome Pterodactyl" is much more descriptive), which traditionally is when all the students return to see all their beloved green covered in snow, and those from equatorial climates suffer at the horrifying discovery of what "windchill" is. This year however, is a bit different. There's no snow to be seen, and temps are relatively warmer than usual. Not bad for campus, but unfortunate for those of us hoping to ski--there's not really snow anywhere in North America.
But some fluke warm winter weather won't prevent the Outdoors Club (MITOC) from having it's annual "Winter School". Winter School is a series of lectures and trips designed to help introduce people to the fun they can have in the snow. They go through everything you need to know if you haven't been out in the snow before, including layering, eating, drinking, and the technical aspects of many different wintersports, such as:... read the post »