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Chris M. '12

Feb 28, 2011

The Future Is Grim

Posted in: Best of the Blogs, Miscellaneous

There is much hullabaloo around campus here lately as everyone is buzzing with some exciting new information. Prof. Grimson, head of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department (or EECS for short (or '6' for shorter)) has been appointed as new Chancellor!

This is no ordinary changing of the guard though, as Eric Grimson is no ordinary faculty member. He loves MIT, which is no small thing to say considering he knows what it's like to be a student here (he got his PhD in Mathematics here in 1980, and presumably hasn't left his lab and doesn't know what year it is.)

More than just being around here though, he has served on numerous committees and won countless awards for his excellence in teaching. I'd be tempted to say I'm a bit biased, as he was my 6.01 professor, but the nearly unanimous excitement around campus leads me to dismiss such temptation.

The thing is, as you might infer from the awards and excitement, Prof. Grimson is a wonderful guy. He's incredibly fair and reasonable, and he genuinely cares about his students and the culture at MIT. When I was taking 6.01, there was one day where I was hosed beyond belief and slept through my lab section. This was a fairly substantial crisis as a project was due to be turned in that day, as well as the lab work itself which was a non-trivial part of my grade. I sent Prof. Grimson an email explaining how my body wasn't listening when I told it we had to wake up for class, and asked if there was a way I could make up the lab section. I didn't have much hope for my cause, as it was explicitly stated in class that attendance in your lab section was mandatory with no excuses, but I had to try.

To my nigh-infinite gratitude, Prof. Grimson sent me back an email saying he understood and would allow me to attend the Friday lab. This meant he personally had to open the class archives, remove me from my original lab section, and add me to the Friday section just for the day. After that, he had to move me back to my original section.

That's a lot of hassle for one student, and it would've been much easier for him to say "Sorry Charlie", but hassle he suffered for my sleep deprived butt that week.

Those of you who choose to come here in the future are truly lucky to have Grimson as your chancellor, and I, like everyone else, am excited that he'll be mine while I'm here. With all the praise, it shouldn't surprise you to hear that there have even been some Grimson-related fan art submissions, like this gem:

or this, more MIT-ish form of art:


yeah, I'd say any man who can get hackers to pull a hack for him is a man worthy of MIT's respect.

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

I loved his 6.01 class on ocw, congrats Prof. Grimson

Posted by: Fábio Gelbcke on February 28, 2011

*like*

I didn't know we could use HTML in the entry excerpts...pretty sure everyone is gonna start doing it now

Posted by: rfong'12 on February 28, 2011

Making special arrangements for your lab class was extremely nice of him. Although, if I were you, I'd have tried to go in person (which is not to say that you never considered the option! Alternatively, you could try getting more sleep. Owait...you're at MIT.....raspberry

@rfong - HTML'S always been allowed. wink Says so, right above the comment box.

Posted by: Vivek on February 28, 2011

It's nice to hear that the new chancellor is well-liked by his students!
And the sword and anvil is pretty cool.

Posted by: P. Ovidius Naso on February 28, 2011

@vivek: the excerpt is the post summary that shows up in the sidebar or on the front page, like "this is why I spent my summer vacation building skynet" or "OMG I'VE BEEN AWAKE FOR 92 HOURS"

oh wait it's not an image any more

Posted by: rfong'12 on March 1, 2011

@rfong'12

I made sure to throw a random link into every post summary I wrote. Once I put a little javascript countdown timer in one and I think another time I added a picture. It's not something bloggers take advantage of all the time, and for a while I'd get all bitter and angry if other bloggers started including links (it was my thing!). Jess had pictures with white captions, Yan has pictures of food, Sam M. had "Did you know . . . " and I had post summary links.

While rare, exploiting the HTML does happen, and it's not new, just under-utilized.

Posted by: Snively on March 1, 2011

@rfong

Yeah, I was asked to take it down because it was messing with other people's layouts. harumph! Link instead.

(but Snively is right, you can have all the html magic you want inside that box. I once thought about coding an entire website to fit there, but I feel like that might get me fired.)

Posted by: Chris M on March 1, 2011

@Chris M

It is very VERY hard to get fired.

Posted by: Snively on March 1, 2011

Whoopsies, rfong. Sorry I didn't read your comment properly. My bad. And no, I didn't notice HTML in the excerpts either. Sad thing is, the excerpts are visible neither on a RSS reader, nor are they evident in the post itself. Just have to train your eyes to look at the little box on the left...

Posted by: Vivek on March 1, 2011

Wow that's really very cool. Is it just me or do all MIT-associated people generally do amazing things? Anyway, nice post!

Posted by: Banerjee on March 1, 2011

Eric Grimson is def high on my list of people-I-have-to-use-every-ounce-of-my-willpower-not-to-throw-my-arms-around-in-a-warm-embrace. John Guttag tops. Followed by Chris Kaiser.
#notthatimcreepyoranything

Posted by: Elizabeth '13 on March 1, 2011

"#notthatimcreepyoranything" - lulz
And "people-I-have-to-use-every-ounce-of-my-willpower-not-to-throw-my-arms-around-in-a-warm-embrace" takes the award for the-sentence-fragment-converted-into-a-single-noun-by-the-clever-usage-of-hyphens.

Posted by: Vivek on March 3, 2011

Like:)

Posted by: albiona on March 10, 2011

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