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MIT staff blogger Chris Peterson SM '13

Nerd Love by Chris Peterson SM '13

Beauty and the Science!

One of the stereotypes of sci/tech/engineering schools like MIT is that everyone is an incredibly awkward ugly nerd with acne and backne and voicecracks and so forth. However, I am happy to say this is quite false. True, mirrors break when I look in them, but that is because I am so handsome that they crack under the pressure of my enormous good looks. The pimples on my forehead allow my friends to play connect-the-dots on the go, and my copious dandruff ensures that it’s always Christmas, at least on my shoulders!!

But seriously, let’s talk life and love at MIT. I’m not talking about the IAP Charm School (” Join special guests David Rogers and Jed Wartman to learn the ins and outs of dining etiquette and table conversation while enjoying a complimentary meal.”), or the Tech’s annual “Sex@MIT” survey. I’m talking true life (as opposed to the false, hollow, shadow life of the sort that vampires, actuaries, and Harvard students live) and true love (of the sort they make Disney movies about, albeit with slightly less merchandising).

Meet Erika Ebbel. Erika is MIT ’04, and is currently pursuing a PhD in analytical biochemistry. Here she is on PBS/NOVA’s “Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers” describing her work in 30 seconds:

She was your typical biochemistry “whiz kid”, who geeked out as a lab rat from an early age, and now spends her time helping other students learn to love science:

What you might not have expected is that Erika Ebbel didn’t only grow up to be a professional scientist with an MIT degree, she also…became a beauty queen!

And now, she’s a happily married beauty queen!


Now that the Clinton nuptials are behind us, we can turn our attention to the wedding that really matters to the Innovation Economy crowd in Boston: that of iRobot CEO Colin Angle to Erika Ebbel. It takes place August 20th at the Kona Village resort on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Angle co-founded iRobot in 1990, not long after earning his master’s degree at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, and he had a bit part playing an MIT professor in the 2008 movie “21,” about the MIT blackjack team.

Ebbel is also an MIT alum [who] was crowned Miss Massachusetts (the first MIT grad to win that crown), and later competed in the Miss America pageant. She is also the founder of the WhizKids Foundation, which dispatches actual scientists to elementary, middle and high schools to get kids interested science by working on fun projects.


Can you discuss proper hand waving, pageant butt glue, and biochemistry with equal aplomb, all while marrying the love of your life in Hawaii?

MIT graduates can!

6 responses to “Nerd Love”

  1. David says:

    Haha, you guys and Hahvahd!

  2. Jason(: says:

    Nice post! You crack me up!

  3. Ruslan'15 says:

    Awesome Post…
    She is really cute…

  4. Maura says:

    I would also cure ALS if I could. And this is rather awesome and inspiring.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This should be surprising but for some reason, It hasn’t surprised me much. A lot of the thoughts I had about MIT changed when I actually got here (one week ago). It is actually a normal place with normal people. And, no, it is not on the moon!!!!!!!

    btw, She’s cool. Chris. Thanks for the post,

  6. Adrian says:

    I appreciate the humor, it’s good to see you on the admissions blog reppin’ group 5 (MITES ’10).