Chris Peterson SM '13
Feb 16 2017
Early this morning I got a text from my friend and former student Jeremy R. '16 with a link to a new McDonald's commercial for their new Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal, or STRAW. It's a clear send-up of Jony Ive's breathless product launches, complete with pictures of prototyping sessions and fluid analyses with subtitles like "real engineers, doing real engineer stuff." Jeremy instructed me to look a bit after a minute into the video. I generally listen to Jeremy, so I did.
That's when I saw it.
Can you see it?
That is, of course, an MIT class ring, or so-called brass rat, a touchstone of MIT culture with a long and illustrious history. They're easily recognizable and are sometimes even used intentionally in media as a sort of wink-and-a-nod that a character attended MIT, perhaps most famously, as Matt once... read the post »
Jan 12 2017
If you've walked down the Infinite before, you've probably seen doors. A lot of doors. And a lot of them with letters on them, like this one:
What you probably don't know is that, since 1994, all of the letters on all of these doors have been hand-lettered by one man, Glenn Silva. He's painted my name at least five times since I've been here as we've redistributed personnel throughout the rooms that make up the admissions office.
Most people around campus know Glenn, by sight if not always by name, but the many people who pass through MIT don't. However, the School of Engineering just posted a short video about Glenn and his time and contributions to campus, which are highly visible even while his labor is not.
As someone who believes recognizing and celebrating maintainers is just as, if not more, important than doing the same for innovators, I wanted to share it here so that our visitors could see and appreciate Glenn's art; and see, the next time you visit campus,... read the post »
Jan 4 2017
The admissions process develops seasonally and repeats cyclically. From the panoptic point of view of our office, we can tell, almost feel, the stress of the process as it gathers, crests, and breaks, partially because when it does, it breaks over us, and our office is deluged with emails, phone calls, and blog comments, to say nothing of spillovers to sites like Quora, College Confidential, and /r/ApplyingToCollege.
A snapshot of our incoming email traffic to the main admissions [at] mit [dot] edu account sent over the last 90 days. That's ~22.5k new cases, with an average response, from a human, in around a day. You can see the massive spikes at the EA and RA deadlines.
One question we are often asked at this time of year (i.e. right after the Regular Action deadline) is what applicants should do now that they've hit the submit button. The simple answer is to fill out the FUN Form and otherwise just sit tight until March. It's good advice, but hard to follow,... read the post »
Dec 15 2016
MIT Early Action admissions decisions for the Class of 2021 are now available at
> > > decisions.mit.edu < < <
You can log in using the same username and password that you use to log in to your MyMIT account. There are no interim screens, so you should be sure you are ready to receive your decision online before logging in to decisions.mit.edu.
This year, 8,394 students applied for early admission to MIT, and we have offered early admission to 657. These students hail from more than 500 high schools scattered across the globe, from New England to New Zealand. We can't wait to welcome them to campus to join the 4,524 outstanding undergraduates who already call MIT home. Though they all do different things — biology and bhangra, physics and feminism, rowing and robotics — they are united by a shared standard of rigorous academics, high character, and a strong match with MIT's global mission to make the world a better place.
We deferred 5,853 applicants. These students... read the post »
Dec 12 2016
Posted in: Miscellaneous
2.009: Product Engineering Processes is a capstone course in Course 2 (Mechanical Engineering) and one of the most famous courses at MIT. For my fellow FIRST alumni out there, it's sort of like FRC, but for products. From the website:
In 2.009, Product Engineering Processes,  students work in large teams of approximately 20 individuals to design and build working alpha prototypes of new products. Students learn about creativity, product design, working within a budget, and gain unifying engineering experience.
The effort spans the early phases of product development, including: opportunity identification; generating ideas; gathering customer and market data; selecting ideas, devising concepts and building sketch models; building and testing mockups; customer evaluation of mockups; embodiment design; and construction of a high quality functioning alpha prototype.
The large teams must work effectively to realize this task, so students also learn about group... read the post »