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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Introducing the Class of 2013: Christy ‘13 by Matt McGann '00

The first in a series of articles about students coming to MIT in the fall.

I’m frequently asked about the students that are admitted to MIT. Who are they? What is their story?

Beginning today, I’m going to be posting a series of articles about incoming MIT students. These articles mostly come from local newspapers. The stories are pretty inspirational, and the students are going to be great members of the MIT community.

A few notes on these articles:

  • The students profiled — so far, I have 13 student-articles — are not demographically representative of MIT. Some groups, like athletes, seem somewhat overrepresented, while other groups, like Californians (California, of course, is our largest represented state in the class), are very underrepresented. For a full look at the demographics of the Class of 2013, see the Freshman Class Profile (freshly updated!).
  • A number of the journalists focus on the financial aid packages of the students as if they are merit scholarships. Please remember that at MIT, we only award need-based scholarships, and we meet the full financial need of every student.
  • The 13 articles I have compiled come from my Google and Yahoo news feeds. If there’s an article about you or a friend that you’d like to see here, let me know!

The profiled students to date:


The Class of 2009: Science whiz knows just where she belongs: MIT
By Eric Stevick, Herald Writer
Sunday, June 7, 2009


Stanwood High School graduating senior Christy Swartz. [Michael O’Leary / The Herald]

STANWOOD — Christy Swartz could appreciate the symbolism.

On March 14, at 1:59 p.m., the Stanwood High School senior received an e-mail from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology letting her know she had been accepted to the university renowned for its math and science.

The month, day and time the e-mail was sent translate to 3.14159, better known as pi, the mathematical symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

“I loved that,” said Christy, 17, who sees math and science everywhere, be it the sound waves from the harp she plays or the dimensions and composition of a homemade trombone she built for a science project.

“People see confusion between the arts and science,” she said. “I see them as interrelated. It’s just a matter of seeing the connection.”

During her freshman year at Stanwood High, Christy set her sights on MIT after reading a story in Scientific American magazine about students with a passion for math and problem-solving.

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I belong with those people.’ It became an obsession. It always has been my dream.”

Christy, one of four valedictorians at Stanwood High, is considering studying physics and electrical engineering at MIT, but she’s already had her hands in meaningful science.

She and classmates Jimmy Besancon and Derek Britain recently won $10,000 in a statewide technology competition at Washington State University based on their work converting tidal energy from Saratoga Passage into usable power that charges a 12-volt battery. Half their winnings go to their school, but they get to split $5,000.

They spent 250 hours on their project.

To Christy, the pursuit of math and science and taking the toughest classes her school offers is worth it.

“If you love something, it’s not hard,” she said. “It’s just fun and challenging.”

36 responses to “Introducing the Class of 2013: Christy ‘13”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was so impatient for the class profile of 2013! thx!

  2. VAL says:

    Awesome. I look forward to hearing more about the incoming class.

  3. Shiv says:

    Thanks for the update! Looking forward to more of these articles!!!

  4. Shiv says:

    Also, since you have have said that MIT is pretty familiar with CBSE(India) and DPS RKP, could you tell me how much role do the marks in grade 10th-12th play in admissions?

    Thanx alot
    PS: refer to mail dated 9th July, sent to your e-mail.

  5. anonymous says:

    It’s hard to believe that the most common names of admitted freshman are Michael and Elizabeth for the third year in a row! Although, when you look up most common names given to babies born in the U.S. eighteen years ago, Michael was ranked #1 and Ellzabeth was ranked #9. Thanks for posting the new class profile. Can’t wait to read more about the incoming class.

  6. '10(?) says:

    I think there are discrepancies in this link:

    http://www.mitadmissions.org/topics/apply/admissions_statistics/index.shtml

    Check out the total number of applicants (like, 15000) and then add up the total number from the column named “Percentage of Those Ranked who were:”.
    Adds up to about 7600. Where are the rest of the applicants?

  7. Matt '00 says:

    @anonymous: I actually went back to double check the numbers, and it is true. We actually have more Elizabeths than the sum of the top 5 female baby names from 1991 combined.

    @’10(?): the key phrase here is of those ranked. Fewer and fewer schools provide rank these days. As you can see, we received rank from about half of the applicants. We do not discriminate against those that do or do not provide rank.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just out of curiosity, would it be possible for you to tell me how many applicants were admitted from Montana?
    Thanks for giving us the profile!

  9. MitParent says:

    Congratulations to the students for their hard work and winning an outside scholarship.

    Outside scholarships are wonderful for MIT; it’s a great way to reverse institutional aid. They have this great policy in place where the outside scholarship is first applied to reducing the student’s self-help contribution (which is relatively a small amount) and then MIT takes the rest of the outside scholarship money to pay down the student’s MIT institutional aid (money MIT commits to students who qualify for aid). The last amount the outside scholarship assists is the student’s family contribution. For those students whose parents are well off and don’t qualify for any financial assistance, the outside scholarship will directly reduce that student’s family’s contribution. This policy essentially helps the school save money that would otherwise go to students in need.

  10. Oasis '11 says:

    “If you love something, it’s not hard,” she said. “It’s just fun and challenging.”

    This is a great quote, and I believe embodies one of the great points about MIT, in that it provides an environment to pursue what you really love.

    If you want to thrive at MIT, I think this is one of the best things to keep in mind – if you don’t love what you to here, you won’t be happy. One of the most amazing things about MIT is looking at your peers who all have their own passions and watching their dreams take flight.

  11. Anonymous says:

    “Also, since you have have said that MIT is pretty familiar with CBSE(India) and DPS RKP, could you tell me how much role do the marks in grade 10th-12th play in admissions?

    Thanx alot
    PS: refer to mail dated 9th July, sent to your e-mail.

    Posted by: Shiv on July 17, 2009 02:05 PM”
    Well I have similar Q to ask ???
    But most importantly i don’t get where to start from for admission process
    PLZ PLZ ANS

  12. ABHI says:

    “Also, since you have have said that MIT is pretty familiar with CBSE(India) and DPS RKP, could you tell me how much role do the marks in grade 10th-12th play in admissions?

    Thanx alot
    PS: refer to mail dated 9th July, sent to your e-mail.

    Posted by: Shiv on July 17, 2009 02:05 PM”

    Well I have similar Q to ask ???
    But most importantly i don’t get where to start from for admission process
    PLZ PLZ ANS

  13. Snively says:

    I really miss madmatt, why did he go away?

  14. '10(?) says:

    Thanks for answering my question! I really appreciate it. =)

  15. I have a strange feeling that for the Class of 2027 (Born in 2009), assuming they join MIT at 18, Micheal would still be the most common name for boys, although it will be closely rivalled with Jack family (Jack, Jackson, Jackie, etc…).

    Anyone sharing this opinion?

  16. “@anonymous: I actually went back to double check the numbers, and it is true. We actually have more Elizabeths than the sum of the top 5 female baby names from 1991 combined.”

    Moral of the story:
    If you want to increase your chance of admission, change your name to Elizabeth. Hahahahaha.

  17. hannan says:

    I am a student who has currently appeared in the Olevel exams during the July 2009 session. I have always wanted to join MIT University due to its high prestige and it being Number1 University in the world. I have recently acquired valuable information that i should start applying for university as soon as my Olevel results have arrived and not wait until my Alevel are over. As i have told that i wanted to join MIT, i wanted to as you that what is the procedure i should follow to send my Olevel result through email. Also what other files should i send with the Olevel result? Please can you help and advise me or can you send me the email of the person who can advise me now as i am bemused and confused. I also want to know that previously i had appeared for 6Olevel subjects in which English language was included. I have known that students who want to study abroad in USA,UK or CANADA need to give certain tests like TOEFL,SAT,IELTS etc. I had gotten an A in the English language exam in November 2008 session, so can you inform me which tests would i have to give even after the A that i had gotten? Also do I have to sign up on the MIT admissions site so as to send my result online? I will be very pleased that you answer my request and i am sorry for any spelling mistake that might have occurred. Thank You.

  18. oh, by the way. That girl is a babe.

  19. Marge says:

    The freshman class profile is interesting, but it didn’t answer my question: how many students are in the freshman class?

  20. JAT says:

    I am an international applicant for undergraduate courses at MIT.
    I recieved my SAT (Mathematics level 2, Physics) and TOEFL scores recently which are as follows :

    PHYSICS – 800
    MATHEMATICS – 740
    TOEFL IBT – 100

    CAN YOU PLEASE MAKE ME AWARE ABOUT THE FOLLOWING :

    -Shall i take any other tests in order to confirm my chances of getting admissiom at MIT ?

    -Shall i give the SAT subject tests or TOEFL once more ?

    I am highly obliged by your consideration.
    THANK YOU !

  21. ZOMG says:

    1. Do NOT ask Matt admissions questions. All questions are answered on the site, and if you aren’t gonna bother reading them, then no ones going to help you.

    2. You do NOT reply to spammers. Kazelhpz is a spammer. Spam is bad.

    3. Please, please make sure your spelling is correct before posting. Copy it into Word if you have to. Whatever.

    4. If you really can’t afford it, MIT does provide application fee waivers. This applies to all students.

    5. ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US.

  22. navin says:

    @matt or anyone who knows about this
    are international students waived off application fees if that is a burden to them?

  23. navin says:

    @JAT

    answer to question -Shall i take any other tests in order to confirm my chances of getting admissiom at MIT ? there is no way that anybody or Matt could tell you to take some tests in order to confirm your chances cos all tests are considered equal(see requirements by international applicants in the context of testing) and also one student is not compared with other but are treated in background of the particular person’s context.

    answer to the question -Shall i give the SAT subject tests or TOEFL once more ? you should be able to discern that……
    if you are satisfied with what you get well and ok but…
    if you think you need more marks on your application then may be you should……

  24. Kazelhpz says:

    Hi webmaster! yze

  25. navin says:

    @Kazelhpz
    whom did you call webmaster

  26. navin says:

    @ZOMG
    just wanted yo know.
    who are you?

  27. I just wanted to highlight that the second comment was not mine-somebody else did it and put “Great White Shark”.

  28. Anonymous says:

    This is an article about one of my students from last year who will be attending MIT this year

    http://www.observernews.com/story08/news08/041808_sciencefair.htm

  29. ZOMG says:

    Navin: I’m ZOMG. And I’m Indian too.

  30. navin says:

    @snively
    yeah
    you are correct…….
    it was my mistake……
    dont you ever break rules?

  31. Snively says:

    *applauds ZOMG*

    @Navin
    You broke rule number 3 with your reply.

  32. ZOMG says:

    They weren’t rules. Just guidelines. Guidelines that I don’t expect you to follow.

  33. navin says:

    @ZOMG
    okay
    that was meant like funny not serious for snively…..

  34. Anonymous says:

    Hah, cool, someone else who sees arts and science as interrelated. That’s pretty damn rare; everyone keeps acting surprised to see a geek capable of drawing, singing, playing a musical instrument, then appreciating the Fourier transform of vocal chords.

    I also agree with that second Great White Shark.