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MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

Happy New Year Everyone! by Ben Jones

See you in 2006.

I’m outa here until Monday, January 2 and I won’t be able to respond to email or blog comments until that time, so I just wanted to wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a safe & fun New Year’s!

(I’ve caught up with the latest blog questions in the last entry…)

See you in 2006!

:-) B.

P.S. A big thanks to Timur for the Santa Banners on Matt’s, Bryan’s and my blogs (refresh if you don’t see them). =)

49 responses to “Happy New Year Everyone!”

  1. zoogies says:

    Man! I knew something was up. I looked last time and saw the happy holidays post and the semi-annual Q&A underneath; I look again, see the happy New Year’s post and the semi-annual Q&A under it, and see that nobody’s commented on the New Year’s post.

    I was wondering if they made a change to the Matrix or something…Mollie on CC had to mention that you made a post today before I realized -_-

    Have a great new year’s, and may many great PS/MSPaint products come from Timur yet.

  2. Aditya says:

    Have a great new year

  3. DJ says:

    Have a great Christmas and a new year!

    I hope 2006 will have as many exciting stuff as did 2005!

  4. Vivek says:

    Happy new year and merry christmas!:-)

  5. Hey, I posted a question on your last post so I’ll just copy it here:

    I was wondering, do you answer questions sent to you in email (to [email protected]), or just on these boards. I emailed a question to you the other day, but realized afterward that you might not answer emails from prospective students (since they could number in the hundreds) or it might get sorted as spam.

    I do remember you offered to get information for several applicants at the info session I attended in East Brunswick NJ (October, I think), and that would have definitely been in email. So, if you do, I’ll wait for your response after the holidays.

    Thanks again for the answers, and happy new year everyone!

  6. Rafael says:

    Merry christmas and a happy new year everyone!!!

  7. Anthony says:

    his email address is benjones@

  8. Sushant says:

    Hi, Ben

    In the application, the writing score is ‘optional’. Does this mean it will count less than the critical reading and math scores (especially if it is lower than the others)? Or is this just for the students who have taken the old SATI?



  9. Happy Holidays!!!

    BTW nice hate Santa Jones, and can you please please please leave a tube under my tree.

  10. Saad Zaheer says:

    Happy New Year BEN! have a fun filled holiday. I ll see you in IAP.

  11. Christina says:

    Happy holidays, Ben!

    Enjoy your time off. smile

  12. Thanks Anthony

    Odd, AOL didn’t send me a “MAILER_DAEMON” email for that…

  13. I. Warren says:

    I’m confused about sending SAT scores to colleges. I intially thought that they are submitted electronically, and waited perhaps too late (today) to send them out. The collegeboard website says 3-5 weeks, I’m guessing this is just for the letter/written version. But a feeling of anxiety exists in me that my scores won’t get where they need to go if I sent them today(via internet). Is this anxiety misplaced? Does MIT get scores electronically?

  14. SpeckJr says:

    What in the world is a smoot?!

  15. Timur Sahin says:

    Ack, that was supposed to be in reply to the question on the other post. Oh well. raspberry.


  16. Timur Sahin says:

    More info on Oliver Smoot can be found on MIT’s webpage here:


  17. Timur Sahin says:

    Ben is approximately 1.134 Smoots tall.

  18. e8xe8 says:

    Merry Christmas

  19. l0ngL says:

    Thank you for the card.

    Merry Christmas!

  20. l0ngL says:

    PS: and you look like an elf. =D

  21. Timur Sahin says:

    He is an admissions elf!

  22. Bryan says:

    hey… no fair.. I logged on tonight to specifically post something about smoots and it looks like someone got to it first. My cousin showed me the smoot markings over summer while I was at my internship. Fun stuff. He actually bought me the book Nightwork for christmas and it reminded me of the smoots.

  23. Bryan says:

    just to add to it.. I am 1.09 smoots.

  24. Sebastian says:


    Just a little question I wanted to ask you:

    I just inmigrated to the US with my family, and I dont have a high school diplomma from any US school. I’m planning on taking APs and enrolling on a shool for that pourpose (Calc AB, Calc BC, Physics C and maybe Art or Lit)I’ll be taking the SATs and also the TOEFL. The idea is to prove I am a qualified student for MIT, but i’m not sure id I really need a High School diplomma. Should I just take the APs? (I’m sure I would get outstanding grades)

    Also, maybe I could just enroll in some college’s program for summer or simple courses while I wait for the EA deadline 2006. What would be better? PLease help me.



  25. The Greatest says:

    Happy Holidays everyone.

    I just have a little question. I am applying to MIT as a Freshman for the 2nd time in a row. I sent 3 letters of recommendation with my last application. I have found one teacher to write me a new letter for my reapplication, but do I need to find another one, because that would just be the same as the one I sent last year?

    (Sorry for my verbosity smile

  26. George says:

    Yet another question about supplemental materials..

    Don’t kill me haha

    Do you only get them by mail or is it possible for me to e-mail less than 1MB of sound files? It’s a small sample of my guitar playing. Thank you.

  27. nee and yuch says:

    hey ben, we’d like to share an online conversation we had with you grin

    s19: hey, we might go to the smae schooll

    cia: mit man

    cia: lets go to mit

    cia: who cares about snobby harvard and snobby princeton

    cia: their architecutre makes me wanna go to sleep

    s19: :DDDDDD

    s19: mits the wellrounded one

    s19: just look at their dome

    cia: dome+stata center

    cia: cant get more wellrounded than that

    s19: definelty NOT

    cia: some mit admissions person should read this conversation


    s19: IT

    s19: ON THEI R BLOG

    cia: LOLLL

    cia: OMG YEAH!

  28. jason says:


    I took the Math Level 2 Subject Test and scored an 800, but have never taken the Math Level 1 Subject Test. Should I now take Level 1?


  29. Timur Sahin says:

    Jason: You can take either the Math Level 1, the Math Level 2, or both. If you scored well on the level 2, there is no reason to take the level 1 unless you have no other SAT subject test to fulfil the requirements.

  30. jason says:

    I scored an 800 on math level 2, but only in the low 700s on my other two subject tests (in physics and chem). I understand that math level 1 is not required since I took level 2, but if I could get an 800 on that (or a score significantly higher than the score in the low 700s I got on the sciences), would it make sense to take it?

  31. Happy New Year Ben!

    I want to say again how much I appreciate this entire blog thing that MIT is doing. I can’t believe how warm and welcoming you guys are making this entire process, especially given MIT’s reputation as a ‘cold’ math/science place (We all know that’s not true though! raspberry) Also, I just listened to some of your songs from Halflight last night…I have to say I love “Another Week”. Great work!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ben.

    Happy new year to you too.

    Mine won’t be so good because I’m not only a nervous wreck but I also have a few problems to worry about. Could you help me out?

    1. I did my TOEFL in April and my SAT 1 in June. Both these tests have not been processed in My MyMIT account. This really worries me because my SAT 2 (which I did in DECEMBER!!) has already been processed. Whats the problem, could you help me in any way? Please.

    2. My scool report and teacher recomendations are also not processed even though I made sure they were sent in early December. Do I need to get them sent again? I hope not because this is a real problem for me, getting them in the first place was difficult.

    Does it take longer to process things for international applicants. If so maybe that’s the cause of all my problems because I’m applying from Kenya. (my MyMIT account-name is kelvinjayanoris).

    I will really, really appreciate any help you offer me. Thank you.

    Have a nice day.

  33. Edward says:

    Sorry, the above comment was mine.

  34. SpeckJr says:

    Happy 2006, MIT!

  35. Curtis says:

    Happy New Year!!!

    Thanks for the card, by the way. That made my Christmas Eve. smile

  36. Mr. Ken says:

    Happy New Year!

    One more essay and I am finished! Yay!

  37. nghi says:

    yes, it’s 4:16 am in ca on the 1st and i’m reading your blog, ben! i just can’t sleep because it’s so good. =)

  38. Andrew Lin says:

    Hi Ben,

    Firstly, I was wondering if you are familiar with the tertiary entry ranking systems in place in the various states of Australia. More to the point, if I sent my tertiary entrance certificate and rank (I’m from Queensland, Australia), do I also need to enclose an explanation of the system or a link to a webpage with an explanation.

    Secondly, I recently reevaluated my MIT application and I felt it does not do justice to my personality and who I am as a person. So I was wondering if it would be wise to include a reference from a friend. (The reference was quite specific to a particular event.)

    Thanks a lot and happy new year!!!


    Andrew Lin

    (sorry, also posted this in an earlier blog entry by mistake)

  39. Dear Ben

    Hi! Happy New Year from Muscat, Oman!

    I’ve just finished sending in all the applications, and I must say, it’s a relief to know that my admission is no longer ” in my hands”! raspberry

    I was just curious. I have sent some supplementary material…and some programs over email. How much do the admissions officers consider this supplementary material? And how does that assist you all in making a decision? I mean, if the programs and pictures etc. aren’t truly out-of-this-world or ground-breaking,but pretty solid and display a genuine interest in the activity, can they ruin a person’s application?I ask you this, because I heard one guy discouraging me from sending stuff, saying that ” the admissions guys will laugh at you if you send xyz material”. I know there aren’t any fixed percentages, but in comparison to things like standardized tests, grades, essays, recommendations and interviews, how important are the extra materials? Thanks


    P.S: Say Hi to your little child for me. What’s his name, by the way? smile

  40. Dear Ben

    Sorry, I think i pressed the post button a few too many times!

    Really Sorry, I apologize big time!

    Happy New Year!

  41. Mr. Ken says:

    Argh!!! Anybody having problems with the website? I am receiving a “web site temporarily busy” message! Why do you all procrastinate until the last hours??? I hope the website recovers soon… I thought MIT housed large server farms…

    By the way, is the deadline at 11:59:59 PM EST or PST or any other timezone?

  42. Mr. Ken says:

    Somebody please tell me that this is not a hack. I thought hacks are not supposed to damage anything or anyone… It is damaging me mentally and emotionally!

  43. OMG!!!!! says:

    OMG, OMG, OMG….. the website is down, the WEBSITE is down!!!!! i haven’t submitted part two yet and the website is temporarily unavailable. This is like some sort of twisted joke…. i’ve been trying for like 2 and half hours now… please tell me it’ll work in the next five minutes….

  44. Rich says:

    hey just droppin a line … yeah the server is definitely down and has been for a few hours

  45. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ben

    I had my research mentor send in a recommendation directly, but I forgot to ask her to write my name and birthdate explicitly. I mean, obviously she will have written my name in the recommendation, but she hasn’t written my birthdate. Should I ask her to submit another letter of recommendation with my birthdate? Also, how can I make sure the supplemental recommendation has reached MIT? Can I call them up, or should I just have faith that it reached. Thanks.

  46. Manisha says:

    Hey Ben!

    Here’s wishing you and your family an awesome 2006. Thanks so much for your help. Its great reading these blogs. And sorry for adding to the message flood. I just had to say something