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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

MIT salutes Harry Potter by Matt McGann '00

...the best way we know how, with hacks!

Tomorrow night, the final Harry Potter movie will be relased.  Here in Boston, the two biggest movie theaters, the Boston Common 19 and Fenway 13 multiplexes, have sold out more than 20 midnight showings.  For many, this is the end of an era that started with the release of the first book back in the late 1990s.

During the Harry Potter era, MIT has celebrated the series a number of times in the way we celebrate: with hacks. Some were grand and spectacular, others subtle and fun. Here’s a rundown of Harry Potter-related hacks, courtesy of

Harry’s Scar on the Dome

July 16, 2005

On the morning that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was published, Harry’s lightning-bolt scar appeared on the Great Dome.

Dark Mark over the Student Center

July 21, 2007

On the morning when the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was being delivered to the doorsteps of muggles, the Dark Mark appeared above the Student Center.

Broomstick Parking in Stata Center

July 20, 2007

On the day before the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a broomstick parking area, complete with broomsticks, appeared in the Stata Center.

It is unknown whose brooms were parked in Stata; the MIT Quidditch Team had not yet been formed.

Building 9¾ from Harry Potter

November 17, 2005

On the night of the release of the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Building 9 was turned into Building 9¾.

Doors, classrooms, and bathrooms throughout the building were relabeled to represent rooms in Hogwarts. (The number “9¾” comes from, of course, the departure platform of the Hogwarts Express train at Kings Cross Station.)

Some offices were relabeled to the names of professors from the series (such as McGonagall, Moody, Flitwick, and Snape).

Bathrooms were relabeled to be for “Wizards” and “Witches,” as appropriate.

Some classrooms and the mail room were also renamed.

And did I mention MIT researchers made an invisibility cloak?  And no, this one’s not a hack

4 responses to “MIT salutes Harry Potter”

  1. Piper '13 says:

    I’ll be there at midnight in Fenway, watching Harry Potter 7.2 in 3D smile

  2. Lyndsey says:

    I’m going to the midnight release of HP7.5 here in England in just a few hours! 5 hours earlier than in Boston (just saying).

  3. shivam says:

    u guys are super cool

  4. Marie says:

    Thought you might enjoy this