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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Letting the days go by by Matt McGann '00

Fish finders, the Apprentice, and techie fashion.

With all these applications, it’s tough to find time to blog. There are lots of terrific applications! This will be a challenging year to choose from so many great applicants.

A quick roundup of some interesting news…

A nice article in today’s New York Times science section:

A charter fishing boat is only as good as its fish finder. That’s the sonar device that probes under water, looking for spots with plenty of catchable fish.

But a conventional fish finder examines only a small slice of the ocean directly under the boat. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a finder that can survey hundreds of square miles of the ocean and find millions of fish.

Rather than being used to catch them, though, it may help protect fish by enabling conservationists to study the behavior of large populations, what marine biologists call shoals.

Also, The Tech had an interview with “ApprenticeRandal Pinkett:

The Tech: Once you leave MIT and get out into the real world, to what extent do you feel that the classes you took at MIT contributed to your overall success as opposed to extracurriculars or other activities that you were involved in?

Randal Pinkett: Almost as important as what I learned when I was at MIT was the way that MIT taught me how to learn. We live in a very rapidly evolving society, so a lot of what we learn has the potential to become obsolete. The material I learned in the classroom and from my books was just as important as learning an overall approach to learning. The latter gave me the ability to pick up new things and to learn new things because I was constantly being challenged during my time at MIT.

TT: Did MIT teach you any values or lessons in life?

RP: MIT taught me the value of excellence. There are so many talented people at MIT and they are all clearly accomplished

24 responses to “Letting the days go by”

  1. Alexandre says:

    Only 11,231, Juan. Think positive!

  2. Hi Matt, you seem pretty bussy with the almost 12000 applications from students around the world!

    I find the interview to Randall very interesting. The way he described his time as a student at MIT is very inspiring.

    Have a nice time reading applications! and don’t forget to take a break sometimes and post any comments, they are very helpful to us, you cannot imagine how anxious we are!

  3. I sense a “Talking Heads” trend in blog entry titles here…. grin

  4. Taimoor says:

    Trust me Chung, he knows just how anxious we are!! Matt how anxious were you when you applied for admission in MIT?? Which other colleges did you applied to??

  5. Taimoor says:

    Trust me Chung, he knows just how anxious we are!! Matt how anxious were you when you applied for admission in MIT?? Which other colleges did you applied to??

  6. Shannon says:

    Hi, Matt! I just had a quick question about transfering credits- I’ve found information about AP Credit, but what about credits from a course taken at a local college? I totally understand that applications have priority. Whenever you could answer would be fantastic.

  7. Shannon, I’m sure Matt will address in an Omnibus, but information on transferring credits from college courses can be found here:

    (Don’t be fooled: the “transfer” in the URL applies to transferring credits, not applying as a transfer student.)

  8. I’m just curious: Do admissions officers read the different portions of an application in a specific order? What is this order?

  9. Minh says:

    To Virzhiniya: Matt has talked about reading order in this post:

  10. Omer, in one of his blogs Ben wrote that international students can send a Mid-Year school report if they want to.

  11. Siddharth says:

    hey, mr matt mcgann (yeah we did poetry in english today, ive still got some alliteration on my clothes..), i have a question!!

    should i be sending updates in?? for example, ive been notified that i am a presidential scholar candidate, and im a national merit finalist. plus i think im on the verge of getting elected in debate club.. :(

    so what do u think? and if i should, what’s the “procedure” for doing this? plus, is it normal for no mid-year grade report to show up on the tracker? im pretty sure it was sent, but its not showing up… i know there’s a lot of these things coming in and it might take a while to get it in the comp, but i was just curious.


  12. midwesterner says:

    The Talking Heads references in the titles are amazing. I’m curious how long you can keep it up! (There aren’t many usable lines left).

  13. Sam says:

    I don’t know, midwesterner, I was personally looking forward to entries titled “Living in a shotgun shack” and “This is not my beautiful wife!”

  14. Momchil says:

    And you should want to, if you think that it is a good report and that it has the potential of raising your chances for admission, even with a negligently small percent…

    I, at least, think so, and therefore am sending in mine. smile

    (I think, therefore I send.)

    (No offence to those who do not send their reports.)

  15. A.D.I.T.Y.A. says:

    **Hoping im one of those terrific applicants**

    How many apps do you read a day ?

    Wow 11,231 apps…doesn’t Room 3-108 feel a bit smaller with all those files crammed in there ?

  16.’s been a while since i last posted and i’m ashamed of myself at getting caught up in stuff but with the Emir’s death here in Kuwait and all the schoolwork it’s been pretty busy…Oh My God…11,231!!! That’s crazy!!! Just goes to show that MIT it number 1 to many, especially me :D I’m constantly praying for acceptance, and I hope that my prayers will be answered. Good luck to you, Matt, and all the other admissions officers I’m sure you’re working around the clock to finish reading those applications! Get some rest for God’s sake! You can send the decisions in June if you want! ;P (hehe who am i kidding I’d die by then ;P)

    Thanks again smile

    Abdulaziz (Aziz) Albahar

  17. Omer Aftab says:


    I am a student from Pakistan. I am not required to send the Mid-Year school report, (as stated on the report), but my counselor recommends that I still do. Should I?

  18. Siddharth says:

    hey nvm a/b the mid-year report, its showing up now :D

  19. Yeah says:

    I want my acceptance letter, now!!!

  20. Amanda says:

    Ok, I’m pretty much freaking out because my Evaluation A still hasn’t gotten to you!! My teacher said she mailed it, and then faxed it, but my account still says that its missing. Is this a really big problem?!?!? What else can I do?

  21. Anonymous says:

    We all know how very busy you are… in fact , we all probably want you to be very busy in reading (and accepting!) our applications.. but we are too eager to wait!!!

    We’d all love to hear about some memorable applications ( both US and international) that you have read (of course without the names!!) – some great essay, a wonderful anecdote, some achievement etc., etc…

    So, I’m just asking everyone here to post their signature(name) if they support that Matt spend some time on just writing about the great applications he has read ( from US and international!) till date!

    Matt, dont be offended…. we know how busy you are but we’re really biting our nails herE!!

    Anyways, my vote is in!!!

  22. Siddharth says:

    lol, u want us to post our signature(name), and u did it as Anonymous. lololol for irony :D

    im down w/ it, but i think there might be some kind of mit rule against it, which makes sense… if i saw mr matt mcgann talking a/b how great someone else’s essay/achievement was, i might just think, dang, im NEVER going to get in! and that would suck. conversely, if mr matt mcgann talks a/b how great MY essay/achievement was, i’ll think that i will prolly get in, and then if i dont, thats even more heart-breaking than just getting rejected itself… kinda like scoring 2380 on the sat: if only i had gotten those two extra points, i wouldve had MAJOR bragging rights :D besides, if ppl asked my score, i could just say, 24. and they’d wonder, “24.. what? oh…” and i’d give them a little wink

  23. Omer Aftab says:

    Thank you, Virzhiniya and Momchil.

  24. i don’t envy you guys..that’s for sure