A quick entry, before returning to reading applications…
I am perfect today.
Perfect? What do you mean, “perfect,” you ask? Well, today is my birthday, and my age is now a perfect number.
Perfect numbers are pretty cool, and have been discussed at least since the time of Euclid. They are also related to Mersenne primes: every Mersenne prime corresponds to exactly one perfect number. If you’re even a little bit of a math geek (like me), it’s hard not to be fascinated by perfect numbers and Mersenne primes.
Also, I expect that the number of applications we received this year will be published on Tuesday. To make this a little fun, we’ll play this as a guessing game: how many freshman applications do you think MIT received this year? Many thanks to fellow admissions blogger Daniel Creasy at the Johns Hopkins University (a fantastic school, btw) for the idea.
To give you some basis to work from, here are our freshman application numbers for the past five years, starting with last year and working backwards: 11,373; 10,440; 10,466; 10,549; 10,664. One guess per person. This is just for fun. No prizes will be awarded, just pride and bragging rights. Oh, and in case you’re wondering — this number has nothing to do with Mersenne primes or perfect numbers (no, we did not receive 33,550,336 applications).
Leave your guesses in the comments, and good luck!