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MIT student blogger Bryan O. '07

Back to Life, Back to Reality by Bryan

Did you know that you can make an equation out of anything?

Name the song I stole the lyrics from and win a cookie.

So this week was pretty intense:
6.021J – Quantitative Physiology I – Cells and Tissues
– One 12 page lab report on the superposition of effects of chemoattractants in a microfluidic device
– 2 problem sets

2.005 – Thermal-Fluids Engineering I

– 1 Problem Set
– 1 Exam involving problems dealing with greenhouses and solar panel production

2.002 – Mechanics and Materials II
– 1 Problem Set
– 1 Exam involving problems on design optimization and NDE techniques

21F.703 – Spanish III
– 1 Exam
– 1 Paper on “El Espinazo del Diablo”

Needless to say with all those tests and psets, I’m having a math overload similar to my organic chemistry overload last year.

Last spring, I took 5.12 (Organic Chemistry I). The night before the exam, I stayed up until 3 am studying. The next morning, I woke up having had the strangest dream of my life. Many will argue it was a nightmare.

All of my friends were present in this dream. Except they weren’t normal. They were carbocations.

Their hairstyles could be described as reaction-coordinate diagrams.

Yes, that’s what is called an organic chemistry overdose.

So this week, it wasn’t organic chemistry as much as just a lot of math, and not the friendly kind.

Interestingly enough, a lot of the problems I worked on this week had real life applications. Last week, I had an interview where my interviewer argued that MIT students are way too theoretical. Here’s my proof that we’re not.

A Mathematical Interpretation that even George Foreman would appreciate:

Also, in the world of math, while I was deriving the equations for the heat transfer into a greenhouse in my 2.005 exam, there was a lecture in New House by Professor John Bush on the math of sports balls.

I actually had Professor Bush as my 18.02A recitation instructor. (It’s a small world after all) Professor Bush has also been known to research the biolocomotion of water striders (translation: how insects walk on water).

And so this weekend, I’m going to have some fun.

With Halloween etc, this weekend, I’m sure to have a lot to blog about, but until then, I leave you with this question.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

5 responses to “Back to Life, Back to Reality”

  1. I’ll guess “Back to Life, Back to Reality” by En Vogue, but that seems too easy.


    a woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood

  2. Woodchuck…ehh

    about 400 pounds.

  3. Robb Carr says:

    Well, I think studies at Cornell have shown that a woodchuck can infact chuck wood…the question prompted me to do a bit of research. Google tells me that the average woodchuck burrow is around a cubic yard, and that said amount of dirt weighs between 2800 and 3600 pounds, and further research reveals that 1 cubic yard of bark is approximately 600 pounds, hence I would like to make the hypothesis that the average woodchuck could infact chuck at least five cubic yards of wood (being a rodent, I do not believe teeth are a big issue) if infact he was compelled to do as such. This brings about another important question, what are the ecological implications of a woodchuck chucking wood? If a woodchuck were so compelled to chuck five cubic meters of wood would said woodchuck reproduce less? it is also feasible that a woodchuck could damage his jaw chucking that amount of wood. What are the social implications? would the other woodchucks shun a woodchuck who chucked wood? I think further research is necessary before we begin to introduce the notion of woodchucks chucking wood to the woodchuck community.

  4. Robb Carr says:

    Oops! If a woodchuck were so compelled to chuck five cubic yards* of wood would said woodchuck reproduce less?