Derrick B. '08
May 7 2008
Posted in: Academics & Research
What's up? Yeah, it's the end of term, and we're all hosed. The week before dead week is pretty stressful, as every class tries to cram in that last assignment. I've got one pset (8.04), one paper (biophysics) and two finals (8.04 and 8.044) standing between me and two MIT degrees. I don't care if my lungs explode tomorrow: I'm gonna graduate.
But that's not what this entry is about. It's about my experiences with undergraduate research. I'm sure all of you know by now about MIT's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Click here if you want the official site. But the basic idea behind UROP is to take undergrads and expose them to individual research. You know all those textbooks you read? The information had to come from somewhere. It came from people publishing their original research in peer-reviewed journals. MIT has a program dedicated to giving you the opportunity to put some of your thoughts in a textbook.
I've had the distinct pleasure of having three UROPs during my... read the post »
Mar 19 2008
Posted in: Life & Culture
First off, congratulations to the Class of 2012! From what I hear you guys are amazing. I can't wait to meet you. And to those of you who weren't offered admission, you're just as amazing. I regret that we won't be able to meet on MIT's campus, but hopefully I'll see you around in the real world. And now, with the congratulations out of the way, it's time to get to the meat of this post.
MIT is the greatest place I know to study any sort of math and science. Walking through the new Center for Theoretical Physics , I'm struck by how much this place seems like an academic ivory tower. Nothing made that more apparent than standing in front of a chalkboard with three other students listening to the incredible Robert Jaffe explain the intricacies of quantum scattering from a one-dimensional coulomb potential. I can't imagine that kind of one-on-one attention being too common. The low student-to-faculty ratio is definitely something you should take advantage of during your time here.... read the post »
Mar 10 2008
Posted in: Miscellaneous
Hi Everyone! It's been quite a while since I last blogged. MIT can be a harsh mistress. But I'd like to use this post to get back into the swing of things and begin posting regularly again.
When we last left each other, I'd finished the hardest semester of my undergraduate career. I received my first D, but I fulfilled enough graduation requirements for both degrees and got a whole lot of planning experience being the operations officer for NROTC.
IAP '08 came and went without a post, and that was intentional. I took 10.493: Integrated Chemical Engineering Topics over IAP. After my abysmal performance in ICE back in the fall, I decided to put my all into that module. I did, and I think it paid off. For some reason my grade hasn't posted to WebSIS yet, but I'm pretty sure it's an A. I can't remember the last time I got one of those. Probably back when I was a freshman.
This semester is my last hurrah. While my total number of units dropped, the actual difficulty of the courses... read the post »
Jan 7 2008
Posted in: Miscellaneous
Winter break is finally over and I'm back at MIT. As much as most people complain about MIT, you really miss it when you're gone. Of course, maybe I just miss the freedom that comes with being away from home, but I miss being here just the same.
There was so much I wanted to tell you about last semester, but I didn't have the time. I think it would be kinda silly to go back and try to write posts about that stuff now, so this post is dedicated to my favorite memories from Fall 2007.
Navy/Marine Corps Birthday Ball
Each year Boston NROTC hosts a formal celebrating the founding of the US Navy (on 13 OCT 1775) and US Marine Corps (10 NOV 1775). This year we went to the Park Plaza Hotel. It was a lot of fun: live music, good friends, and all the cake you can eat.
Greg '08, Me, Jackie '08. 3/4ths of MIT's graduating NROTC class
Kristen '09 and Vanessa '09
My girlfriend Kristen '09 and me. Who says you can't find a girl at MIT who's beautiful, smart, and can cook?
Boo's Cruise... read the post »
Dec 21 2007
Posted in: Life & Culture
I haven’t blogged much at all this year. I remember how happy I was when I found out I’d been selected. I thought “Wow, I can share my experiences with untold numbers of people. Maybe I can even give them some advice on how to succeed here.” I still feel that way. But I didn’t blog much at all. I didn’t have enough time.
That’s what this post is about, sort of. Every decision you’ll make here carries with it an associated opportunity cost. Everything you decide to do will keep you from doing something else. You want to go to that fraternity party tonight? That’ll keep you from getting an early start on your project. Wanna stay up late doing homework? It’ll keep you from waking up early to work out and make you fall asleep during class. Everything carries an associated cost, and the key to doing well at MIT is figuring out what costs you can bear.
I had a lot of class this semester. Here’s a snapshot of my registration:
69 units is more than most people take here. Especially on... read the post »