MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Chris Peterson SM '13

Aug 31, 2009

Hello world.

Posted in: Miscellaneous

My name is Chris Peterson. My title - all Serious People have titles, and I am nothing if not Serious - is Admissions Counselor for Web Communications at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. However, like Dave, perhaps it is simpler to introduce myself as part of the team of people that have joined together like a Megazord to become the new Ben. I don't recall much about the process, but I seem to remember it as going something like this:

(dramatic simulation - actual results may vary)

As one of the constitutive elements of this new borg-Ben newly arisen from the digital ooze, my job is to help make the Internet go for the Admissions Office. If I wanted to be "professional" - which is to say, if I wanted to obscure my individual unimportance behind interlocking bulkheads of buzzwords, like a pufferfish wrapped in chain mail and festooned with mines - I would say that I leverage social software to facilitate digital conversations between MIT and its latent global community. If I wanted to be truthful, I'd say I try to use cool technology to help MIT and prospective students talk to each other.

This blog is a huge part of that effort. It's fairly incredible that MIT allows both current and prospective students to converse openly as they do on this site. It is perhaps unsurprising that MIT jumped aboard the cluetrain in this regard - to paraphrase Matt McGann, Tim Berners-Lee does work upstairs, and if we didn't use the web as a way to freely share information he'd probably whack us upside the head - but it is no less unique for that. The fact of the matter is that MIT could survive without this blog and avoid a lot of potential headaches and most of my salary. However, the Institvte recognizes that conversations bring communities together, and so here we are, sharing our hopes and dreams through wires and screens and it's awesome enough that I'll even put up with Dave's lolcats to be a part of that vision.

One thing I'd like to do is figure out some shiny new toys to add to the already shiny site we have here. Dave and I are working on some Top Secret web projects that we'll be rolling out in the indefinite future, projects that will help the entire MIT community (past, current, and prospective) share its considerable collective intelligence and enrich all involved. In the tradition of a true webitocracy, if anyone has any ideas about cool tools or features they'd like to see incorporated into the website, please post something about it and why you think it rocks. Time permitting and FSM willing, we'll see if we can work it in.

I can't wait to work with all of you to continue to build what Ben began: an intergalactic space empire run by an alien witch living in a dumpster on the moon a first-class online community for some of the best and brightest students in the world.

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

Welcome, other new Ben smile

Posted by: Piper '12 on August 31, 2009

I think MIT's website could use the addition of a video/virtual tour of the MIT campus, or something similar. Even a simple interactive map with pictures of major buildings would be pretty neat.

Posted by: Timothy Alsobrooks on August 31, 2009

While not as useful as it could be for your purposes, you could try - you do get pictures when you click in enough.

Posted by: Piper '12 on August 31, 2009

toy idea - weekly/biweekly/monthly polls about random things. "what is your favorite hack?" etc.

Posted by: Liz ('14?) on August 31, 2009

Welcome, welcome!

Posted by: adcom on August 31, 2009

Haha! You illustrate a point with a Power Rangers clip, and you have my ETERNAL respect. It's nice to meet you! Welcome!

Posted by: Natalia ('14?) on August 31, 2009

One of the best title/captions I've seen thus far.

Posted by: Jennie ('14?) on September 1, 2009

meh. I've made bigger megazords than that.

Posted by: Nicholas on September 1, 2009

Hey hi there.

I guess perhaps a chat client, IRC or something like the unofficial MIT chat (cant help!!!We are invaded my IRC), just make it official with admission staff dropping in a few times.

Will be informative and much more importantly, fun.

Posted by: Ruhban on September 1, 2009

LOL I used to love that show..except for the fact that whenever I played it with my cousins I always had to be the bad guy....
p.s. I love your penguin ear muffs? (the ones in your photo) it's AWESOME smile

Posted by: Su ('14?) on September 1, 2009

Can anyone let me know the word limit of "Field of Study" question in part 1 of the application form. Am re-applying this year and cant view the application until mid-September. What I have is a 422 word answer. Thanks

Posted by: Ruhban on September 1, 2009

As for improvements, maybe a forum or something where prospectives can converse with each other and current MIT students/admissions staff so we don't clog up the blogs with admissions questions? wink


Ps. All hail his mighty noodleyness!

Posted by: VAL '14? on September 1, 2009


Posted by: VAL '14? on September 1, 2009

@ Ruhban

The "Field of Study" question in Part 1 is a drop-down. The short-answer question in Part 2 concerning what department or program appeals to you is a 100-word essay, with a limit on the form ~150 words. Sorry, but you'll have to do some editing.

Posted by: Dave on September 1, 2009

oh, by the way - i'm liking the headphones/earmuffs in your picture. smile

Posted by: Liz ('14?) on September 1, 2009

Penguins are my favorite.

Posted by: Nicholas on September 1, 2009 is exactly what I had in mind. Thanks, Piper.

Posted by: Timothy Alsobrooks on September 1, 2009

@Nicholas: Elephants are my favorite, but I have a special admiration for penguins, especially after reading the children's book "And Tango Makes Three" by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.

I love kiddie books. :3

Posted by: VAL '14? on September 1, 2009


Thanks. Yep looks like some serious word cutting is on card.

Posted by: Ruhban on September 2, 2009

Oh god, I never thought I would live to see a marquee AND and blink tag on an MIT website!

The universe is ending, now if you will excuse me I need to find myself a towel.

Posted by: 0 on September 3, 2009

The Pastafarian in me wishes you the best of luck with your endeavors. RAmen!

Posted by: Maya on September 3, 2009

Umm this may be the wrong place to post/ask this, but it's the most recent blog so I'm hoping someone can answer me. For Evaluation B, titled "Humanities, social science or language teacher", can I use my English teacher?

Posted by: 0 on September 3, 2009

@Anonymous on September 3, 2009 11:20 PM

Yes, you can!

Posted by: Ruhban on September 4, 2009

Hey Chris, I think tweeting random things about what's happening in the admission office might interest a significant fraction of readers of this blog.

Posted by: adcom on September 4, 2009


Thanks! smile

Posted by: 0 on September 4, 2009

@Anonymous on September 4, 2009 05:28 PM

Nytime buddy!!!

Posted by: Ruhban on September 5, 2009

I'm left with just one question for you: Do people ever call you "Crispy" (Chris P.)?

Posted by: nickwasy on September 5, 2009


Posted by: Mike on September 5, 2009

@adcom: I agree. Though I, personally, rarely "tweet", I do use it to follow astronauts, musicians, and the like. I wouldn't mind following MIT also. :3

Posted by: VAL '14? on September 6, 2009

In fact, I basically hate the whole twitter thing too. But following (stalking..?) MIT might just change that I guess.

Posted by: adcom on September 6, 2009

Megazord ho!

Posted by: Timothy on September 6, 2009

Ooh, secret web projects. Sounds like fun. Hmm *checks document source*

And...hehehe, he said FSM. :laugh:

Posted by: Raymond '14? on September 7, 2009

Really cool earmuffs! :D

Posted by: Isra on September 9, 2009

Comments have been closed.