MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Chris Peterson SM '13

Sep 8 2016

The Class of 2020 Hacks Back

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

As you probably know, we've taken to sending our acceptance letters out in little silver tubes. Every year we enclose something different. A few years ago, for example, we challenged students to hack their tubes; one aeronautical adMIT sent hers into space

This past spring, for the Class of 2020, we enclosed the following note in the tube: 

Yesterday, the Class of 2020 responded with a hacked eye-chart of their own:  


(thanks Catherine Z. '20 and Shannon P. '20 for the pictures) 

I strongly suspect the Class of 2020 is trying to tell us something. Can you guess what it might be?


Sep 6 2016

The REX That Was

Posted in: Visit, Life & Culture

Today is Reg Day, i.e. Registration Day, when MIT students make official their fall schedule (add/drop notwithstanding). Tomorrow is the first day of classes, and the first meeting of CMS.614/21W.791 Network Cultures, which I'm teaching this fall. Later this afternoon, I'll be meeting with the (soon-to-be-introduced) new bloggers for the Class of 2020 to help get them ready to start blogging. 

But first! The last two weeks or so saw the Class of 2020 arrive on campus for their orientation, of which one major component is Residential Exploration, or REX for short, which is part of how housing is assigned. According to MIT's Dormitory Council: 

REX (Residence Exploration) is a fun time filled with tons of events that will help you get to know the different residential communities at MIT. For those of you who have already decided where you're going to live, REX is a great opportunity to find out about the different parts of campus that you otherwise might not get to experience. For... read the post »


Aug 22 2016

Listen to Admissions: the creative process for Pi day videos

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

The blogs have been quiet lately. Summer is ending, freshman are arriving on campus, upperclassmen are returning to campus, admissions officers are preparing for the admissions cycle (sort of like preparing for hibernation, but for being buried in applications instead of snow). 

So here is some #Content for you: last November, Loren S. '17 and I were interviewed by the Video4Colleges podcast about the drone delivery video from Pi Day 2015. Loren and I collaborated, with Elizabeth, on that video (and this past spring's droid delivery video, and also the Tim Beaver epic splits video), and the V4C folks wanted to know more about the creative production process for these weird videos we make that aren't at all standard fare for the industry. 

I already posted some of the cinematographic behind the scenes for the drone delivery video, but this interview delves a little bit more deeply into how we came up with that concept, the philosophy and strategy behind how we communicate to... read the post »


Jul 28 2016

Recap: SHASS Lightning Talks @ CPW

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Academics & Research

Are you interested in any of: 

  • making governments work better? 
  • how to design human interactions with technical systems? 
  • the electoral consequences of international trade?
  • universal grammar?

Last April, at our Campus Preview Weekend (CPW), MIT hosted the inaugural "Taste of SHASS Lightning Talks" for our admitted students and parents. Nine faculty members gave five minute talks about their core research project(s), and then met new admits at a reception to discuss classes and undergraduate research opportunities. The goal of the event was to help survey the kind of work done at MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, or SHASS, to people deciding whether they wanted to come to MIT.

Here at MIT, we typically don't have to advertise our programs in science, engineering, business, or architecture. People associate MIT with these fields, and these fields with MIT; our co-identification with STEM is a core strength of the institutional brand and our... read the post »


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 »