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MIT student blogger Hamsika C. '13

In Which I Feel Old by Hamsika C. '13

Senior year? Already? #indenial.

I can’t believe I’m a senior.

Seriously, I can’t believe it. I have 9 months to do all of the following:

  • get through the list of 101 Things to Do Before I Graduate
  • finish the requirements for my two majors (Course 9 and Course 6-7)
  • actually submit my concentration completion form for STS (it’s been sitting in my backpack for weeks now)
  • get into medical school so that i have a post-graduation roadmap/lifeplan
  • explore parts of the Boston area I *still* haven’t seen: Museum of Fine Arts, Freedom Trail, Castle Island, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, a game at Fenway, Bunker HIll monument, and more.
  • (and more that I can’t think of in my current I-can’t-believe-I’m-graduating-this-year state of distress)


It has been so surreal watching the ’16s arrive on campus and thinking – wow, this is the last MIT orientation I’ll ever see, this is the last class that will make me feel old and crufty (wait, jk – ’17s will be at CPW), this is the last set of FPOPs I’ll watch take place, the last year I’ll be an admissions blogger, and so on.

I promise – like, for real – that I will blog more this year. It’s a promise to myself as much as it’s a promise to all of you – I want to make sure my senior year doesn’t go undocumented :)

I’ll start out with my freebie post – i.e. the classes I’m taking. Because I have medical school interviews this semester, I’m taking a semi-light class load (it doesn’t seem like too much work – so far, at least):

6.046: Design and Analysis of Algorithms – this class, as my professor (Srini Devadas) said during the first lecture, is the “big sister” of 6.006 (Introduction to Algorithms), which I took last semester. 6.006 was tough at times, but I loved it – it makes you think in new and creative ways to optimize problems that relate not only to computer science but also to real life. 6.046 is notorious for being difficult, and the week-long take-home exam that students are given midway through the semester has caused my friends many sleepless nights. Wish me luck :P

6.047: Computational Biology: Genomes, Networks, Evolution – so far, this class is awesome. It takes the algorithmic thinking of 6.006 and applies it to biology. The class includes both undergraduates and graduate students (the grad students have to do more pset problems than the undergrads do, teehee) and consists of problem sets, a quiz, and a final project. This is the main Course 6-7 class that integrates CS and molecular biology.

7.06: Cell Biology – This too is a Course 6-7 requirement. Not much to say about it so far – seems pretty interesting. I’ve heard horror stories about this class though (ex. people taking it three semesters in a row and dropping it all three semesters). Given that I only have two semesters left at MIT, I’m really hoping this doesn’t happen to me.

9.63: Laboratory in Visual Cognition – This is one of the last Course 9 requirements I need to fulfill and serves as my Course 9 lab. You can check out the curriculum for this (and the other classes) on OCW if you’re interested in seeing how its structured. We’ve only had one lecture so far, so I don’t yet have an idea of what the semester will be like.

6.UAT: Preparation for Undergraduate Advanced Project – This is basically a class that teaches Course 6 students how to communicate and give effective presentations. I have my first presentation this week, and I have to talk about a technical project I have completed. My “audience” for this presentation is supposed to be “any MIT student,” which means that anything I say has to make sense to people with very different experiences, knowledge levels, etc. I really like this class so far – seems like it’s useful/not too much work/applicable to anything I do in the future.

That’s it for now – planning on getting through a little bit of my “Things To Do Before I Graduate” list this weekend, so stay tuned for posts on that.