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Chris Peterson

Jun 28 2016

Be a Blogger 2016!

Posted in: Miscellaneous

It's summer in Cambridge, which means three things:

1) Powerlifting is saving my life (RIP The Toast)

2) My officemates are food-shaming me for bringing huge containers of steel-cut oats into the office and eating them like an actual horse

3) It's time for those of you who might want to be bloggers to SHARE YOUR SPECIAL TALENTS

What does it mean to be an admissions blogger? Here is the opening paragraph from the blogger training manual that Lydia and I send to all the new bloggers during blogger training:

The mission of the blogs is to allow our bloggers to express to the world what being a student at MIT is like.

You should interpret this mandate expansively. We want you to write about the formal admissions process (essay tips, interview advice, etc), but we also want you to write about things you do at MIT. Admissions officers can write about holistic admissions authentically. We can’t write about what it’s like to be in a Sadoway lecture, or planning stuff for... read the post »

Discussion

Jun 22 2016

Notes from the Road: NorCal, Netherlands, Nick Cannon, and Nerd Camp

Posted in: Miscellaneous

People often ask me what admissions officers do in the summer. They seem surprised when I say "work." I guess there's an expectation that, because I work at a university, and because there aren't any admissions applications to read in the summer, we must not have much to do. It's probably true that the workload is somewhat lower than it is during the cycle, but summer is a key time for us to travel, work on dormant projects, and take vigorous vacations. In fact, I'm nominally on vacation right this minute, but figured I'd blog because I've been quiet for awhile and there are some things worth updating y'all about.  

So: a brief accounting/recounting of life since my ISEF Trip Report on May 13th.

Week of May 16-22

After a few days back in Boston, I flew to San Francisco to present about maker portfolios at the Bay Area Maker Faire. Along the way I got to meet up with Ari and Conrad, two MIT-students-turned-Thiel-fellows whose company Workflow was recently named the most... read the post »

Discussion

Jun 11 2016

PSA: The 2016 Siemens Competition is now open

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Academics & Research

As I've blogged before, many students who are interested in MIT are also interested in high school research competitions, including (but not limited to) those listed on our enrichment opportunities page. One of these is the Siemens Research Competition. MIT is a University Partner for Siemens, which means that we 'host' a (virtual) regional event and provide volunteer judges to review student projects.

All students in grades 9-12 during the 2016-2017 school year are eligible to win up to $100,000 in college scholarships through their participation in the competition. Siemens encourages all students, working as individuals or in teams, to submit research they are currently working on or to begin research now with the goal of applying. 

You can review the student entrant toolkit, as well as competition flyers, in both English and Spanish at the Siemens Research Competition Resources page. The deadline for submission is September 20th, 2016. 

Just wanted to share a PSA! Sorry I... read the post »

Discussion

May 19 2016

PSA: I’ll be at Maker Faire Bay Area this weekend

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Academics & Research, Process & Statistics

I blog a lot of retrospective trip reports (see, e.g., ISEF 2016, IOI 2015, Maker Faire (NYC) 2014), but I rarely provide advance notice before I arrive somewhere to give a talk. Someone emailed to suggest this might be more useful, so I'm going to try to do it when I can. 

So: right now, I'm en route BOS -> SFO, on my way to Maker Faire Bay Area 2016, where I'm giving a talk about maker portfolios in our admissions process at 1:30PM on Saturday at the center stage in zone 7. It will be a similar talk those I've given at Maker Faires in the past, but new to the Bay Area, and different from the one Dawn gave back in 2013. 

In addition to my talk, the MIT Alumni Association will be operating booth 55124 in zone 2, offering hands-on activities in coordination with Project Manus, from:  

  • Friday: 1:00–5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
We'll have CNC milling and 3D printing demonstration going throughout the event along with projects... read the post »

Discussion

May 17 2016

The Tech profiled Lydia about resilience @ MIT

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

Four years ago, in October 2012, Lydia published a blog post titled "Meltdown" about the difficult time she was having at MIT. It was a beautiful, sad, and beautifully sad post, and it immediately resonated with hundreds, maybe thousands, of people, not only across campus, but among alumni, and even folks who aren't affiliated with MIT but who have had a hard time. I know it did for me; I read it as a first-semester graduate student, during my own difficult time, and I could immediately understand her story, even as the details were very different from my own. 

The purpose of the blogs is, and always has been, to give MIT students a place to tell their true stories, and, by doing so, to give prospective students access to the interior lives of current students; a sense of what it feels like to go to MIT. The blogs are not supposed to be a soapbox from which students propose or advance various changes, reforms, critiques, and so on. There's The Tech for that. 

But sometimes, the... read the post »

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