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MIT student blogger Paul B. '11

MITblogs: The Next Generation by Paul B. '11

Look ma, a hack!

Courtesy of the prospective Class of 2013, I am amused and happy to present eight applicants’ humble homage to the MIT admissions website:

And, of course, where would be without a little help from our friend Randall Munroe.

I like the last panel, personally.

100 responses to “MITblogs: The Next Generation”

  1. Ashwath says:

    @Yan: Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you….

  2. @Yan

    Thank you so much! To have the real bloggers like it is our crowning achievement :D :D :D

    *in proper Wayne’s World fashion*

    We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!

  3. Rankeya says:

    @Indian applicants: are we going to start about IIT here again because then i am definitely out of the whole completely mundane and dangerously stupid issue….

    wonderful hack….

    i see a lot of math applicants…. which is way cool…….. atleast i’ll have indian friends there if i manage to drill my way through…..

    last blog had 207 comments if i remem correctly….

    @shivank: majority what?

  4. Oasis ´11 says:

    I checked my email this morning (the site was sent out via email) and upon reaching the new site, I literally blinked straight for 10 seconds.

    Wow – blogs aside, I also love reading the little blurbs you have for everything else!

    GIRs = Grossly Irritating Redundancies.

    Hands down. Perhaps you should draft the GIR entries on these blogs! (I don’t even think you need to have taken any – you’re so accurate on so many counts already wink )


  5. Yan says:

    @ 2013 hackers:

    Heck, I’d probably rather write for your site.

  6. @Yan


    Want me to get Colton to set you up an account in our admin portal? raspberry

  7. Ahana says:

    Heck, Yan, I’ll set you up a profile!

  8. SADNan says:

    respected sir,
    I am an applicant from Bangladesh.
    I applied for MIT as an international student. I took my Educational Counselor:Mr. Ali Ishtiaque [email protected]

  9. Ben says:

    This is 100% brilliant. Wow.

    (I really miss you guys.)

  10. SADNan says:

    respected sir,
    I am an applicant from Bangladesh.
    I applied for MIT as an international student.MY Educational Counselor:Mr. Ali Ishtiaque [email protected]. I would be highly greatful if you kindly let me know my chances of being admited to mit.

  11. Paul says:

    We miss you too, Ben. Come visit more! *hugs* smile

  12. Varun says:

    I was wondering where I’d congratulate you guys and I decided that the real site would be the best place. Awesome work guys!!! Seriously, you guys are so talented. It makes me wish I’d taken comp sci instead of bio…but never know when bio will prove to be useful huh?

    Great great great!

  13. Ashwath says:

    @Oasis: Absolutely man, writing the little blurbs (my major contribution to the site), particularly the ones in the learning and pulse sections was great fun. I don’t quite know if GIR’s are as irritating as we’ve made them out to be but I hope I’ll have the opportunity to find out first-hand =P

  14. Sadnan says:

    i am a mit applicant from bangladesh!
    my education councilor was ALI Ishtiak
    .i would highly poleased if u pls let me about my chances to be admitted in mit

  15. Varun says:

    Hey, but many FAQs take you to the miscellaneous section where there aren’t any answers. Come on guys, well begun is have done! Hilarious questions, think of some equally good answers! And by the way, anyone mind telling me what on Jupiter that quiz is all about?

  16. Ashwath says:

    I have a physics lab exam tomorrow and I’m sitting here and posting random thoughts about our first hacking experience. Sigh…

    My first experience with banners was a disaster. The current banner for the pulse section is Michelle’s lovely vector graphics work, but the one I made before that, was a textbook example of how GIMP should NOT be used. And let’s not get into my disgusting paintbrush graffiti for the life section, it gives me the creeps.

    Meah … I should stay far away from banners in the future.

  17. Shannon says:

    Wow… I actually burst out laughing at this. This is fantastic. I think you guys win.

  18. Ahana says:

    @Varun: The quiz was by moi. Just your g33k quotient. Generous dabs of Klingon and Leet.

  19. @Ashwath

    Thank you! I worked hard on those vector things… but my favorite banner is still the Nerds banner from the Application page ^.^

  20. Ashwath says:

    @Varun: Fixed the questions.
    Not going do study physics at this rate smile

  21. Eric ('13?) says:

    Here’s to providing 30% more killer robot rambages, as well as giant mutant lizard attacks.

    And putting a dome on the dome on the dome. wink

  22. Mohit says:

    @ all Indians….

    We guys r baq…in a different blog..
    Rankeya, i guess dere were 207 blogs..u had the 200th one…i rem.. lol

    This ones awesome..Hope u guys preparing for boards…

    All the best…

  23. Mohit says:

    @ Ahana..

    Strongest applicant 4rm India..??
    kewl..u surely in, eh??

  24. Corey says:

    Thanks guys for all the admiration. We’ve really worked hard on this site the last few weeks!

  25. Mohit says:

    @ Ashwath

    U in MIT..?? or applyin 4r ’13..??

    Hey i cleared INPhO…but couldn’t go ahead..
    u cleared INMO, rite??

  26. Jamo says:

    Very nice! Although I can’t make any guarantees about the robot rampages raspberry

  27. Mohit says:

    @ Corey

    Hey u welcome.. lis10 how did u get in here??

  28. Mohit says:

    @ d 8 bloggers….


  29. corey says:

    @mohit how did i get in where?

  30. Anonymous says:

    I find it slightly amusing I found out about this on xkcd first, then came running over here to check it out.

  31. corey says:

    Really? where is it on xkcd?


  32. Anonymous says:

    I was like.. ‘I didn’t miss an xkcd, did I? oh wait..’

  33. Corey says:

    Lol. is it bad if i helped make the site and didn’t know that was available on xkcd?

  34. Anonymous says:

    Haha, I think you could argue that you were busy making it wink

    On the subject of the alt-text, I think I should get back to work.

  35. Thanks again Paul for posting this!

  36. '12 says:

    wow..very well done, especially the learning tabs made my night. back to psets =p

  37. Fouad says:


  38. Bridger '13 says:

    That is a seriously awesome site. raspberry

  39. sepideh says:

    i knew class of 13 will be the best, hope we’ll be a part of wink

  40. Westend FC says:

    No big deal. Type:
    [removed] document.body.contentEditable = ‘true’; document.designMode = ‘on’; void 0
    in the address bar and have fun right away.

  41. Tree says:


    Thanks so much Paul! smilesmile:)

  42. Colton says:

    Thanks for the post about the site, Paul! I don’t care if I get into MIT or not, I’m just glad that I got the opportunity to create this hack and gained new friends in the process.

  43. Reena says:

    I’m thinking second panel, then last. raspberry
    Totally made my day.

  44. Julio ('14?) says:

    Just wondering. Normally, how many mexicans apply to MIT? Because it seems that MIT has a low mexican population :(. Hopefully I’ll be able to increase the number of mexican students in MIT by 1 :D.

    PS: Congrats to all the candidates for the ’13 generation smile. Ahana, I hope you become one of the ’13 bloggers, and hopefully, one day I’ll meet you raspberry at MIT.

  45. Bilal says:

    well thanks to this post the unofficial chat has picked up again…
    and the site is a must visit..

  46. Yan says:

    @ Ahana/Michelle:

    Thanks for the offer, but my continuous presence on both sites might create a wormhole and implode the universe. And then you wouldn’t get any more page hits.

  47. '13???? says:

    so are these gonna get a boost in their admission chances or what?

  48. Shivank says:


    @ahana………i had checked this website a week ago,
    also on my blog,I made a special reference of you.I have been in contact with another 15 MIT applicants from India,
    and everyone belives you are perhaps the strongest candidiate from India.

  49. shivank says:

    @ahana……..forgot to mention……..I was viewing the site on 2nd February and your blog was post dated as of 9th February…why?

  50. Ahana says:

    We were actually prepping for the release to be on that date, so…

  51. Shivank says:

    @mohit,rankeya,rubhan,sharath,akhila,etc…(all indian applicants)

    Now you see the majority of what I was referring to!
    Also MATT’s application tracking blog page has been abandoned
    hope to listen from you guys soon,
    and ya my email id is: [email protected]

  52. Ruhban Shah says:


    Well yes thats quite much been abandoned
    but majority of what–cant get u there

  53. Matt A. says:

    Great, now I have TWO blogs to waste my time on!!

  54. Shivank says:

    @Rubhan………..thanks for that comment on my older blog……………….you said that you are from srinagar and hence have not been able to get much exposure……..hmmm i understand coz i was born and brought up in lucknow and studied there till 7 th standard………the thing is it was pretty much the same there too as i was studying in India’s oldest school……which due to its vast reputation……well….didnt offer opportuinites too more deserving students mainly due to politics………thats why even I wasnt given too much exposure till 8 th standard when I shifted to surat for a year and the next year shifted to mumbai………and I must say this place obvously offers you lot more number of opportunites and exposure……..but it also comes at a very high cost………things here are like twice or thrice of what they usually would be anywhere in India..even eduaction is about 10 times as costly as it was in lucknow…
    also i dont know how it feels to be in srinagar but the general perception is that due to the 62 year old war… seems a pretty secluded place from the rest of india….though i have heard alot about its beauty……
    but the application process got over 40 days back so you cant really do much now….though i got a really good certificate which i would have obviously liked to add to my application…
    you mentioned that you havent applied to anywhere else except MIT….why?
    and which 10+2 board are you giving exam for?
    Best Of Luck Everyone(esp. Indians!!)

  55. Ashwath says:

    Echoes Ahana. Yay us!!

    It was great fun working on the hack – now we want you guys to post comments on OUR site as well. THAT would be nice.

  56. Ahana says:

    Yes guys! We’ve intentionally hidden previous comments for you guys to troll around!

  57. Ruhban Shah says:


    Welll, i dont know myself. I feel that MIT is the place suited for me, so i gave it my 100% time and attention.

    Well yes, tensions is there in the and it definitly takes its toll on you but than, the scenary it has to offer is also quite a inspiration to you.

    N i dont thin i need to do anything else for The MIT applications, i showed them the me, the person i am and hopefully by my words they will feel my level of intrest too.
    i gave them the real me, now i hope they see me fit enough for MIt-Hopeing for that

    Best of luck to u, n everyone

    I am enrolled under CBSE. N when i said exposure, i dint meant it as opportunities but it was specificly for MIT.

    Down here, there to teh best of my knwoledge n my school , is no MIT’ians so i am the first from this state and thus, its a bit different for me .

  58. We all invested a lot in the site. I’m very happy that so far it’s recieved good responses ^.^

    We were a little worried that people would think it was disrespectful of us to do an MIT hack before we’ve been accepted, but it was a fun thing to do so we just went with it.

    Much love to Paul for his post and the official ‘unveiling’ of our modest hack!

  59. Yan says:

    This is beyond amazing. May plentiful showers of brownie points rain upon you all.

  60. Ahana says:

    I love you, Yan.

  61. Tree says:

    Lol I totally agree (with Ahana.)

    Yan, that was by far, the best response I’ve seen today :D

  62. MIT Mommy says:

    This is a fabulous add! You (and MIT) have a lot to look forward to.

  63. akhila says:

    To all the eight bloggers

    Great job guys. Wonderful !

    @all Indian applicants

    Well, Slowly all of us are getting to know how tough the competition is gonna be. I am now realising that whoever gets admitted to Class of 2013 is an exceptional candidate and lets hope few of us will be among them. And All the Best for boards everyone.

  64. Banerjee says:

    Is it just me or did the ‘Post a Response’ column get wider?

  65. deng says:

    @matt A.
    that’s what I’m saying ; D

  66. @mymit.infoteam’13
    Hey,your site is excellent, but it seems to take a lot of time to open. maybe,there is something wrong with my browser.
    and i agree with varun, equally good answers will make it more interesting.
    @ indians
    The number of applicants from india seems to have rocketed skywards this year.
    How many of you are from kolkata?

  67. fox says:

    @Indian applicants

    Ahana is the stongest applicant from India?? why should I think so?!! are you guys kiddin’? haha

  68. Colton says:

    @mayukh -india: I am aware of the long load times. This is due to the site running on FastCGI on a shared hosting environment. I don’t have enough money to purchase a dedicated server or a VPS right now to run the site on at the moment. And I will look into fixing the questions, too. I won’t be around for the next two days due to other commitments, but I should be able to fix it as soon as I get back.

  69. Jason says:

    I just lost the game.

  70. Shivank says:

    @MIT wbesite hackers………I got to agree you guys have done a fabulous job….
    @rankeya…..what I meant was if an Indian fellow can get in to this and then….get even greater publicity by getting onto the real MIT website….obviously hes got great chances of getting into MIT………if you still dont believe me….
    Read the 1st line of this blog carefully by Paul…..
    The subject of the blog also says it clearly:The future generation of MITians…

    @all indians………….boy we have got such difficult competiton here in India!
    Wish all of us could get into MIT!
    By the way,since the number of american applicants has increasedso the number if american student intakes will also increase……so there is bound to be an increase in the number of international students intake for this year(as it is reserved to be around 5% of american student intake)…
    Hope for the best!
    Best of Luck

  71. Ahana says:

    I didn’t want to write a post about this and create a ruckus on the site:

    For all those who’re thinking we did this for the application(and there are a lot of people who think that, thanks to anonymous hate messages): Please understand that we knew it will not affect our decision in anyway. Heck, we were all so scared about getting sued, we were having second thoughts about the release!

    But please understand, we just couldn’t resist it. We couldn’t bear the prospect of not getting admitted and never being able to do it. And now even though we know that the probability of getting accepted is really low, we’ve been bonded to this whole experience in a way none of us can untangle. So instead of being a hater, join us in the pursuit of ‘happyness’!

  72. Hey, How r u guys?… ne1 knows how I can reach Paul directly…*creepysmile* I wanna ask him a question?….Any1 is free to answer including Paul.

  73. Anonymous says:

    @Ahana, I guess you do know what the actual story is. smile I hope everyone has a conscience.

  74. Paul says:

    @DeAngelo: My email address is in the banner at the top of every blog entry I publish. smile

  75. Anonymous says:

    @Ahana: No need to cover up, all of us know what the actual story is. And yeah, bless your conscientious ohmygauss-soul smile

  76. Tree says:

    @ Anonymous on February 12, 2009 03:19 PM

    Buy yourself some courage. Seriously.

  77. @ Anonymous on February 12, 2009 03:19 PM

    You know, it’s really easy to point a finger and say all sorts and kinds of things.

    You want to be taken seriously, and not thought of as just a creepy and annoying guy, you’d better identify yourself and explain what the heck you’re talking about.

  78. Ashwath says:

    @Shivank: We were worried that it might lead to negative attention and thus adversely affect our chances of making it =D. I think this blog entry of Ben: assuages both our concerns.

    I am a RD applicant to the class of 2013. And yes, I wrote INMO in grade 10 and have attended IMOTC ever since.

    @Everyone: I simply can’t stop saying ‘Thank you’ for the amazing response! We are flabbergasted by the incredible response. Clearly the class of 2013 FTW!!

  79. Ashwath says:

    Oops…the note on INMO was meant for Mohit. And it’s ‘an RD applicant’ not ‘a RD applicant’ :D

  80. Anonymous says:

    i dont understand why there is such a great emphasis placed on MIT students being ‘bots’ — no one actually holds this belief, at least no one i know…

  81. Colton says:

    To those who are curious as to what this actual story Anonymous is referring to, I’m writing a post on it that will give the full story to the creation of the site and what happened behind the scenes. Look for it late tomorrow night when I get back from District Jazz.

    Anonymous: The way you are accusing us is immature although you yourself leave out important details.

    Ahana: Calm down. Take some time off. I’ll try to sort things out.

    Paul: I’m sorry for whatever problems this may be causing. It’s the result of an old feud that was mainly restricted to the chat in the past month. I apologize for the inconvenience.

  82. @Anonymous

    We don’t believe (all) MIT students are/might be bots. We believe that we (the 8 hackers) might be bots XD

  83. Varun says:

    Hey Ashwath. Some of those answers don’t entirely match. Take your time and do it – there’s absolutely no need to just edit the target of the hyperlink! And how’d your pracs go? Hope you did well!

    I just can’t stop saying congrats! I’m like so awed by you guys – all of you! Looks like class of 2013 is going to be one heck of a ride.

  84. Varun says:

    Oh and Colton, you said that you’re aim was just to make people smile. Well its safe to say that you made a lot of us the world over smile, myself included! Great work!

  85. Anonymous says:

    @ Jason:
    I lost the game too.

  86. Ruhban Shah says:

    @ Anonymous on February 12, 2009 03:19 PM

    Please don’t ruin our experience on these blogs, we all have a great idea of all MIT applicants, don’t ruin it.

    @ Prefosh hackers

    Great Job, I hope you all get in, ROCK ON!!!

  87. Oasis '11 says:

    Chillax guys. Not every blog needs to turn into an argument in the comments.

    So who cares what their motives are? Why does it matter to you? I personally think this is between themselves and MIT, and as long as they’re happy, and the real site’s not angry about it, then where’s the harm done?

    I just don’t want to see a clever parody turn into a channel where mudslinging and finger-pointing abound. Don’t we get enough of that in politics?

  88. Anonymous says:

    You know what guys, even if it does help their chances, why shouldn’t it? Could you have done what they did, and done it that well? Actually, that question isn’t even important. What’s important is not that they could do it, but that they did do it. If kid X in country Z finds a cure to virus Y, you don’t go jump all over their heads saying they did it just to get into college… or do you? Because that would be really sad.

  89. Chris says:

    @Corey (I was the anon chatting with you about xkcd at the beginning of this thread):

    I think you put it best – I at least understand. I used to think some of you were a bit pretentious with the chatroom and all that, but this hack just proves your awesomeness. It’s so.. MIT (as much as a fellow applicant like myself can say). I don’t know how else to put it. Congrats.

  90. Corey says:

    Thanks Chris!

    Yeah, sorry if I ever seemed pretentious, that was never my goal (although rarely is it anyone’s).

    I hope to see you at MIT next year!

  91. darkblue303 says:


    Last one was my favorite too!

  92. Mohit says:




    MIT wants to admit people who are not only “”planning to succeed””, but who are
    “””not afraid to fail”””.
    When people take “””risks”””
    (WHICH OUR FRIENDS HAVE) in life, they learn resilience as a “”result” – because risk leads to failure as often as it
    “””leads to success”””(POINT TO BE NOTED!!). The most “”creative and successful people””
    (OUR 8 HACKERS AND CRACKERS) – and MIT is loaded with them – know that “””failure is part of life”” and that if you stay focused and “”””don’t give up””””( DATS WHAT U 8 DUDES ARE DOING 4RM OUR RESPONSES…. SO CHILL..!!), goals are ultimately realized.

  93. @Mohit

    Despite my general dislike of all-caps messages, I want to hug you now! Much love!

  94. Mohit says:


  95. Corey says:

    Ok. This is a little out of hand for me already. The story was:

    We all are applying to MIT. Naturally any decent applicant reads these blogs like a fiend. Therefore: we like the idea of hacks. Ahana used firebug to create a screenshot of a funny spoof of the MIT admissions site. We like it. So then we were trying to figure out how to get that screenshot on the web. Colton had the exp. to actually build the site. I knew enough html to hack out the templates. We built the site.

    No. It was not for an admissions boost. Heck, most of us were scared to death it would decrease our chances or get us sued or something.

    No. It wasn’t for the publicity. I could care less if a thousand people see the site.

    We did it for fun. It was an amazing project that kept me occupied for some of the horrendously long wait time until college decisions come in.

    If you still don’t understand, then I’m sorry.