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MIT student blogger Melis A. '08

Let’s talk about science…and chocolate by Melis A. '08

A day of scientific enlightment followed by one of chocolate consumption.

In Ancient Greece, the word “symposium” referred to a gathering of rich men reclining on comfy couches while drinking and battling wits. The symposium that I attended on Friday was quite a different assembly. Held at the beautiful new conference center at Harvard Medical School, the New England Science Symposium featured oral presentations and posters from students of a wide range of ages and backgrounds. The event officially began at 8 AM, and the morning was spent listening to medical and graduate students present their research. At 11 AM, the keynote presentation was given by Dr. Roderic Ivan Pettigrew, the director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, who received his PhD in Nuclear Engineering from MIT in 1977. He gave an inspiring presentation that highlighted some incredible biomedical research, including a glucose-sensing contact lens that has a little patch of color that changes in response to glucose levels. I was famished by the end of the talk, but luckily it was lunch time! One chicken sandwich, cookie, and bag of chips later, I found myself back in the auditorium listening to the final round of presentations. Then, it was my turn! The poster session was from 2:00-3:40 PM, when I had the chance to present my summer research conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to several judges and Harvard Medical School faculty. It’s always neat to explain your work to people who know so much more about it than you do… Following the poster session was a panel about navigating our scientific careers. Anyways, I would encourage you all to take any opportunity that you can to present any research that you have done; not only do you get free goodies like food and a tote bag, but you meet a lot of inspiring people and improve your scientific communication skills.

Saturday night was my sorority’s annual Fondue Dessert extravaganza! Given that I have been on the planning committee for the past two years, this event is near and dear to my heart [click here for last year’s entry]. We invited faculty, administrators, and staff to meet and chat with the sisters of Alpha Chi Omega (abbreviated as “AXO”) from 8 to 9 pm; from 9 to 11 pm, we opened the house to the whole MIT community. More than forty faculty members and 350 students contributed to the consumption of 75 pounds of chocolate in 3 hours.

There is nothing like talking to your professors while surrounded by burbling chocolate fountains and every possible baked good dipped in chocolate. We were honored to have in attendance President Susan Hockfield, her husband, Dr. Tom Byrne, and her daughter, as well as the Dean of Undergraduate Education, Daniel Hastings, and his wife. Of course, no AXO fondue event is complete without Matt’s presence. As always, he was swarmed by admirers (photographic evidence included below, as well as here.) I get so overwhelmed with joy when such influential members of the MIT community take time out of their busy schedules to hang out with students on a Saturday night! I think it says volumes about their commitment to student life, given the range of conversations from suggestions of creating more studio space for student artists to advice for candidates running for student council president.

Thanks to everyone who came and made the night a huge success. To those of you who have not yet stepped foot on campus, I hope you can make it next year!

23 responses to “Let’s talk about science…and chocolate”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks a tonne Anonymous. Great Job. smile

    But you shouldnt have written those ids straight away. (Read : Spamming threat)

    I hope Melis will remove the post soon.

  2. Viksit says:

    Hey Amjad thanks to you too. I read your post just now.

    Yea. I’ll call them. smile

  3. Saman says:

    It looks that you had a very … weekend, Melis. Here, I have a suggestion about this site that you, bloggers, can make here more … . I wondered it would be a very great idea to add a countdown-clock somewhere in the homepage of undergraduate admission, which should count to the second that admissions decisions will be made. Like the Vancouver’s olympic count-down clock which shows how many seconds, minutes, and days it is remained to the beginning of 2010 olympic. here is the site:

    OK, you can talk and discuss about this with other bloggers.


  4. Minh says:

    Fondue was so much fun! and Melis, we should have been in that picture with Matt and boys! smile
    Another time smile

  5. turnef says:

    Fondue Dessert sounds delish. Did you mix some laughing gas to the chocolate? Supposedly, it tastes better that way! smile
    I love you, caffeine and chocolate. What would I do without you?
    Thanks for the advice.

  6. turnef says:

    Fondue Dessert sounds delish. Did you mix some laughing gas to the chocolate? smile
    I love you, caffeine and chocolate. What would I do without you?
    Thanks for the advice.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Opps, sorry for the double post, and my double posts are not identical smile

  8. milena says:

    yummy!! chocolate is amazing. i wish i could have been there :(

  9. anonymous says:

    Happy Casimir Pulaski day!

  10. Viksit says:

    Can somebody please confirm if Matt’s personal id is : mcgann at mit dot edu

    and Ben’s : benjones at mit dot edu

    Help me guys. Its urgent.

  11. Amjad says:

    yo Viksit,

    you can confirm the e-mails yourself. just search for people. find the search box in the MIT homepage.
    i think those are the e-mails but check again and make sure.

    and yeah, if it’s urgent i don’t think that sending e-mails would be a good idea. they usually take 3 to 5 days to respod. that’s if they do. and you know, they are really busy these days so don’t expect much. and no, were I you i won’t make a phone call. i think the admissions office can help, call them.

  12. In fact, the post is removed already!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Saman- Dan Beard had a countdown clock at, in binary too, for early action. I don’t know what happened to him…. Will someone PLEASE make a binary clock for me???

  14. Karin says:

    Adam S. made one.
    Dan Beard got rejected =(

  15. amjad says:

    Guys if i start a group for MIT 07 applicants at facebook who will join the group?
    what for?
    well, we can just talk there and waste time lol. i mean we are gonna post comments here at mit blogs and there at the group wasting double the time, and that’s what we want. i guess we all want to waste our time at least ’till march 17th smile

  16. Christina says:

    YAY! It was sooo good. smile

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Karin- Thanks!
    Adam S.- My everloving devotion, or at least for the next 11 days, 52 minutes…

  18. Saman says:

    Thank you Elizabeth and Karin. That clock is so … . But it would be more … if it was here in MIT’s admission homepage which everbody could see it.

  19. Meara says:

    Woot, Casimir Pulaski Day!

  20. Amjad says:

    I just created a group on facebook for MIT 07 applicants. its name is “MIT 07 Applicants”. And hey everybody, i’m gonna accept any add by you guys.
    go take a look at it.
    Join it. it’ll be fun


  21. Aditya says:

    i made the roman numerals found on the MIT dome into a days:hours countdown timer :D

  22. MMM I am sorry, that they are not accepting my school………….