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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Paul B. '11

I first stumbled across the word "hacker" when I was six. Since I had no idea what the word actually meant, I did what any good six-year-old would do and asked my mom about it. Understandably concerned, she replied, "Why do you want to know, Paul?" Completely innocently, I said, "Because I think I want to be one."

Fourteen years and one fateful college application later I ended up at MIT, where hackers of all kinds come to live, learn, and play. Born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, it was a big jump from the Midwest to the East Coast - but I can't imagine going to college anywhere else.

These days, I generally spend my time throwing pset parties, serving my peers as a Medlink, managing the MIT Undergraduate Research Journal (for which I am an editor-in-chief), running around with the Assassins' Guild, exploring Boston with my friends, and shamelessly recruiting people to watch Notre Dame football games with me on Saturdays. A proud member of MIT's strong Greek community and a brother of Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, I now live with thirty of my closest friends in my fraternity's beautiful Back Bay brownstone. Skullhouse, as we like to call our home, sits right on the Boston side of the Charles River - so not only am I even closer to the heart of the city I love, I get a great view of MIT's very own Great Dome.

I am an undercover geek, an occasional athlete, a social butterfly, an unforgivable bibliophile. I support the Red Sox, the Colts, and Firefox. I count by squares when I'm nervous. To this day, I remain slightly obsessed with Harry Potter. I idolize Neil Gaiman, J.R.R. Tolkein, and all the researchers who dare to explore the unknown. I read too many webcomics for my own good. I am unabashedly Midwestern yet also shamelessly infatuated with Boston. I love Oakley sunglasses, North Face fleece, leather jackets, and shirts that say TIM when you look in a mirror. My life philosophy consists of living large, loving sincerely, and always daring to dream.

Once upon a time, I dared to dream that I might get into MIT. Now that I'm actually here, the reality is even more fantastic than I ever could have imagined.
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