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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Anastassia B. '16

Apr 6 2016

If you could track minute-by-minute data on yourself, would you?

Posted in: Information, Process & Statistics, Life & Culture

Study: Continuous Data Stream of MIT Student Reveals Something 

Department of Physical Education | Department of Biology 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

 

INTRODUCTION 

Recruitment of Volunteer Human Subject

“Alright, that concludes the cool-down stretches, you guys can sit down.”

As Coach Matthew cleared out the jump ropes, medicine balls, and floor ladders from exercise stations cycling around the room, MIT students collectively sighed and picked up their nutrition handbooks for the discussion portion of the course.

I lowered myself onto the worn green plush of the yoga mats blanketing the cold floor. We were in the Du-Pont Multipurpose Room, which, like the Room Of Requirement, always provided the empty space and mirrors necessary for us to notice that our form could use improvement. That, and it was also impossible to ever find and to get into, being at the end of a winding series of inaccessible, one-directional, and mostly locked... read the post »

Discussion

Dec 25 2015

merry christmas from MIT and my newsfeed

Posted in: Miscellaneous

It is standard practice to leave MIT as quickly as possible upon finishing finals, with some students bringing their luggage and boarding passes to exams. Whether this speaks to ultimate time-management skills or the urgent desire to leave this place whenever possible is subject to personal interpretation. Although we technically only have ~120/365 days (33% of annual time) where we go to class, typically weekends and days off are dedicated to "catching up" on work and usually IAP and Summer are spent somewhat-to-completely productively. This leaves only the two weeks (3% of annual time) of winter break as a truly reliable time to relax. See more: The eye of the storm.

This christmas, I decided to un-wind by kicking back at my bench space--newly unwrapped box of pipette tips in hand--and whip up some experiments at my total leisure. Aaahhhh.

Since I'm still here for a few days, my flexible family is just rearranging the calendar so Christmas falls on New Year's day... read the post »

Discussion

Sep 24 2015

My favorite room on MIT’s campus

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Visit, Life & Culture

My favorite room is a well-kept secret. I won't reveal the location, but you can easily deduce longitude, latitude, and altitude from the view:

It's good to be back to campus, now as a senior. Something feels different for me—among the usual buzz of activity, reconnection to friends, and eagerness for a fresh academic term is a permeating feeling of competence and belonging. This place is my jam. I'm writing from my favorite room right now, in a one hour break between classes: 20.320 (Analysis of Biomolecular and Cellular Systems) and 7.18 (Topics in Experimental Biology). I glance at my watch, which of course is on my computer—it's Thursday, September 24, 1:06 pm. This is my current desk:
 

 

Tomorrow is Career Fair, and out of the 26 emails I’ve received so far today, 20 have been directly about opportunities or specific career fair happenings. But I’m not going this year. Tomorrow I’m off for an annual weekend retreat for the Whitehead Institute for... read the post »

Discussion

Jul 31 2015

Writing is difficult

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Writing is difficult. It's the last day in July.* I find it very easy to DO things, but writing is difficult. So, I have decided to write this all in one go in my remaining 47 minutes on the train, instead of postponing for another 47 days of drawn-out anguish at the accumulating height of the tardy-writing-mountain** I keep purposefully shrouded in the misty background of my mental landscape. Knowing me, it really is one or the other. Therefore, I apologize in advance for the scattered nature of whatever this is (a blog post? A stream of consciousness diary entry? The beginning of the transformative conquering of my sole remaining fear, writing, and subsequent soar into brilliant adulthood?). Who knows at this point? 41 minutes.

 

Soon writing season will be upon us. College and graduate school applications amidst the back to school drill. For my survival through this cold season, long and bleak like the emptiness of this blank iPhone note I'm typing into, I now see that, at... read the post »

Discussion

May 17 2015

How to trick yourself into thinking that you’re writing a report

Posted in: Best of the Blogs, Academics & Research, Life & Culture, Majors & Minors

Do you have trouble writing? Does it feel like a daunting, excruciatingly slow, and unpleasant task no matter how you approach it? Have no fear, for I am here to teach you how to trick yourself into thinking that you're writing a report, and feel completely productive and proud of yourself when you do.

This post burgeoned from my experience with 20.109, or Laboratory Fundamentals in Biological Engineering, this semester, and you can read it along with all my classmates’ posts on our class blog here. This was the first technical communications class I took at MIT, and it has definitely opened up a brand new skillset for me to flounder in and ultimately improve. It has actually been an enjoyably challenging and fascinating course, solidifying my decision that double majoring in Biology and Biological Engineering was a wise recent move. 

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The Optimal Procrastination Technique: 

How to trick... read the post »

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