MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Ben Jones

Mar 26, 2008

Updates And Shannon’s Formula

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Update for Admitted students:

We've been hearing reports that a few of you haven't received your packages yet. Please don't worry - they should arrive very soon!

In the meantime, please don't forget to register for Campus Preview Weekend via your MyMIT account by March 31st.

If your parents are coming, we have blocked off reduced-rate rooms at several nearby hotels, but the rates will expire soon, so please encourage them to call as soon as possible. There's more information for parents here.

Update for Waitlisted students:

If you would prefer to email us your plans to stay on the waitlist rather than return the postcard, simply send a message to [email protected] and we'll be happy to take care of this for you.

Random fun:

In this post I mentioned that Shannon '12 had created a job-awesomeness formula for me. To understand it, you must first read the email conversation that we had on the day decisions were released:

Shannon: Times like this make me convinced you have the best job in the world. And then I [think about the admit rate], and I think your job sucks. Just fyi.

Ben: My job is 11.6% best-job-in-the-world (this year's admit rate) and 88.4% this-job-sucks. Except... while in the first few post-decision weeks the sadness for rejected students outweighs the joy for admitted ones, that ratio soon reverses and becomes a landslide win for the joy, which sticks with you through the years (because you see the students you admitted every day, and they remind you). So you have to adjust the 11.6% and 88.4% accordingly. I'll leave it to you to put all of this into some sort of algorithm or formula to determine whether the job nets joy or sadness as a function of time.

A few hours later...

Shannon: While I had to assume 100% happiness when not making decisions and make up a few arbitrary dates and vacation times and take away your weekends, a rough estimate says your job is ~65.27% awesome. Work is attached.

Yep, this pretty much made my day.

And now you can all use this thread to write new formulas and solve the puzzle from a variety of different ways and make me laugh all day. :-)

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

Hahah I've been waiting to see this formula! It's pretty cool, now I kind of want to make my own smile

Posted by: yiwen on March 26, 2008

HAHA shannon, that's incredible. New addition to your nametag in addition to ducktape/petsmart girl etc.,--writer of awesome formulas :D

Posted by: Judith '12 on March 26, 2008

That is simply amazing. Now can someone come up with my formula?

Posted by: Daniel Barkowitz on March 26, 2008

Shannon, you must earn a patent for this. Great! smile

Posted by: Tanmay on March 26, 2008

Insane one, Shannon smile. Amazing read.

Posted by: Rik on March 26, 2008

Again, I'd like to reiterate my support (and that of many others on CC) for Shannon '12 to become an admission blogger.

Posted by: Tong on March 26, 2008

Hey Ben,

Is there any way to confirm that I've successfully registered for CPW? I submitted the thing online, but when I click registration, there's still a blank form there.

Posted by: Marissa '12 on March 26, 2008

Ditto here. Purdy durn cool.

Posted by: E. Rosser '12 on March 26, 2008

Shannon, you're a genius. Skip undergrad, just go to grad school already and publish this ! (seriously, go already).

Posted by: Isshak on March 26, 2008

Shannon, you're amazing. Haha.

Posted by: Jarey on March 26, 2008

The only problem with the formula is that if the admit rate should somehow miraculously increase... the percent of awesomeness of his job would not increase (necessarily) because you still have the suckiness of denying so many awesome students.Plus, what about the awesome students Ben gets attached to, who for some weird reason unknown to anyone else, they decide to go somewhere else. His job awesomeness is definitely affected by the rate at which awesome students attend MIT.

That being said, Shannon, your formula still rocks!

Posted by: Leslie on March 26, 2008

haha that's really creative, Shannon!

Posted by: Pam '12 on March 27, 2008

Hey Marissa,

Your form shouldn't be blank when you click back into "registration" (your registration info should appear). Sounds like your registration didn't go through for some reason.

As noted in the directions, please make sure to use Explorer or Safari when registering - for some reason the CPW registration system doesn't play nicely with Firefox, etc. :-(

If you continue to have problems, let us know!

grin B.

Posted by: Ben on March 27, 2008

Thanks Ben! I resubmitted it on my mom's computer, and all appears to be in order smile

Posted by: Marissa '12 on March 27, 2008

Ben, this is so much funnier from your point of view. And I still think it would be fantastic to do a piece-wise function. We could totally make a graph on your whiteboard letting you know how awesome (or not) your job was going to be that day.

Leslie- Job Awesome-ness is a function of the admit rate, so the higher the percentage of applicants accepted, the awesome-r the job. If you look at it as a linear function, assuming the same conditions for the "slope" and "y-intercept," a higher x value will yield a higher alpha value.

I'll admit that a flaw in the formula is that it doesn't account for a situation in which everyone is admitted and there's no down time post-decisions. However, as this isn't likely to happen in the foreseeable future, I think this can be forgiven.

Tanmay & Isshak- I'm not thinking that coming up with a formula like this is exactly proof of brilliance, but thanks anyways. wink

And this was a very long comment.

Posted by: Shannon '12 on March 27, 2008

Hey Ben,
I'm a very avid reader of your blog, but it's the first time that I ever leave a response in one of your posts.
I really find your blog interesting as a lover of MIT, as a 'techie', and as a prospective applicant for the class of 2013 next year smile
The thing is, I am an international student, and I think there is a consent that the intl pool is somehow different from (we can't apply for EA to begin with)the rest of the pool. We have to go through extra competition to get into those few spots MIT has for us. I know the most of the readers of the blogs are U.S. students, but I was wondering if I could ever get to read a post mainly concerning about the intl applicants: it could be on anything; tips, advices, perhaps how intl matriculants get along with their life in MIT after they enroll.

Oh and by the way, I happen to attend Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, I hope you recognize my school name. Two of this years graduating class got accepted to MIT, and guess what, both of them used to be one of my closest friends.

Posted by: Roman on March 30, 2008

Or maybe I should ask Matt about it? since he's the director of international selections?

Posted by: Roman K. on March 30, 2008

Hi Roman,

There's a page with tips for international applicants; you may also wish to check out a blog entry on the topic that Matt wrote awhile back.

Let us know if you have any followup questions and Matt and I will do our best to answer them!

All best,

Posted by: Ben on March 31, 2008

Wow thanks smile

Posted by: Roman K. on April 1, 2008

Comments have been closed.