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MIT staff blogger Chris Peterson SM '13

Open Thread by Chris Peterson SM '13

talk amongst yourselves

Decisions come out in 36 hours, and I know a lot of you may be feeling stressed out right now.

You can use the comments below to blow off some steam with your fellow applicants, on two conditions:

1) don’t talk about admissions. this is a safe haven from that. you should not be thinking or worrying about admissions or your application at this point. you can talk about stuff you do that you might have included in your application of course, or what you want to do with your life, and so forth – but don’t dwell on the subject. talk about literally anything else, subject to:

2) keep it civil – in tone, in subject matter, etc. we’re all friends here.

With that – it’s yours.


hey kids – rest assured I’m reading all of your comments, even if I’m not responding as much today as we prepare to send decisions out in ~12 hours. I may close comments later today here, but I want to thank you all for using this as a positive space with your fellow prospectives.

edit 2

comments will be closed here at 9 PM EDT. open threads for admitted / waitlisted / not admitted students will go up shortly before 9:26.

100 responses to “Open Thread”

  1. Hesham says:


    I’ve always wanted to do that!

  2. orangeCookie says:

    I just wanna know.. does all apps get read by someone or just kicked out in the Deal breaker ?

    And for Chris.. i really wanted to include about my ex in my app…

  3. Best of luck everyone, may the force be with you !

    Thank you Chris and sorry for asking such stupid questions frequently, you have been really very helpful smile

    I guess this will be my last blog post till decisions, I have my Math exam tomorrow…

  4. Michael says:

    seriously? being first is not a big deal, especially on a site like this with not too many readers.

    anyway… good luck everyone. fingers are crossed. luckily i have a class trip on monday so i wont be bored in class sitting around only thinking about MIT. Happy Pi-Day eve.

  5. KJ Moon says:

    Tuesday will be a life changing day or just another day in the year smile

    Good luck guys.

    Btw, I’m in the mood for a burrito. Seriously.

  6. Colin says:

    Tomorrow’s gonna be a good day regardless of whether I get into MIT or not :D

    OGTs (Ohio Graduation Tests) are going on this week, so I get to come in 2 hours later; the Math club is having a pi day party (I’m bringing apple!); we have a meeting for State Science Olympiad where hopefully we’ll get everything organized.

    I can’t wait until tomorrow!

  7. KJ Moon says:

    ^ Oh and before I get corrected, I live in South Korea smile (International FTW) so the timezone is a bit different.

    So I don’t get to experience MIT’s decision on the actual Pi day. Dang.

  8. Meg says:

    Ditching school to eat pie tomorrow smile

  9. Carmela says:

    We have math training at school tomorrow. Gonna celebrate with my teachers and friends in style – with a decadent turtle pie ^__^

  10. Harsh says:

    I just want to go for a nice long walk along the sea and just keep my fingers crossed for tomorrow.

    Good Luck everyone!!!!

  11. Harsh says:

    I just want to go for a nice long walk along the sea and just keep my fingers crossed for tomorrow.

    Good Luck everyone!!!!

  12. Harsh says:

    I just want to go for a nice long walk along the sea and just keep my fingers crossed for tomorrow.

    Good Luck everyone!!!!

  13. bill says:

    the wait is almost over now!
    @admission officers: are you guys done with all the app reading and decision making? because you guys deserve a break!must be tough reading ~16000 apps!!

  14. ChrisN says:

    Maths mentoring tomorrow, making posters about PI

  15. Regardless of your decision, live long and prosper.

  16. Austin says:

    Decisions are soo soon!
    I was wondering if I get a physical letter despite the MIT decisions of Yes or No?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I just ate really good ice cream, next week is tech week for my school’s musical, and I’m listening to the Black Keys’ cover of “Keep Your Hands off Her” by Junior Kimbrough. It’s a pretty good day.

  18. Qing says:

    agree with Shehzad! And to Chris, thank you again.
    I think MIT should run a calling system to encourage not admitted students tomorrow night.

  19. Qing says:

    @bill: it is ~18000. But I think there will be 2200 admitted students 2011. The number of international applicants may be 4000.

  20. Thanks for everything, Chris!

    Yesterday, our school had a scavenger hunt, it was awesome!

    And tomorrow I’m going to train with my bike all day long (until 9:26, of course), I have a race on Saturday and I need to work out!

    Happy π day, everyone!

  21. Jake says:

    This time of wait has allowed me to think deeper about life and determine what is right for myself. To what extent are our personal opinions determined by others? I think that the only way to get nearer to our real, individual, unique set of opinions, is digging deeper by ourselves and trying to get rid of all prejudice imposed by society, as much as possible. Everyone should have their own views on any matter.

    Just some thoughts. I think it’s better to talk about this at this moment than to mention stressful matters.

  22. P.R. says:

    i dont know if this is the right place to talk abt it, but it might be my only chance to thank people at MIT…. applying to MIT has been wonderful – I MEAN it!
    after all these years in school, i got really bogged down thinking abt what I am not and what all i cant do, etc. etc… but, after applying to mit (and reading ben jone’s blogs; who, btw, is no less than a (manly) angel *music*) I am finally at peace with myself. Now, I dont compete with others to see who’s “better”. rather, i appreciate how we are different, but unique in our own ways…. (which is sort of nice)
    one can always imporve, but destroying one’s personality completely and building a new one is not easy (or possible). to me, it’s simply not worth it…
    So, while I literally stabbed my application (unintentionally) by not being me, I am all set for the sad news….. but, the point is that if it took a rejection from my dream university to realize that i am good as who i am, then i guess it’s not much of a price to pay!
    but anywz, thanx guys- chris, matt, ben and all other people who make MIT, MIT.
    god bless! (and best of luck to others! :D)

  23. Alex Bardasu says:

    Probably no one is in the mood for it, but
    I find that listening to music can really calm you down.

    Doing this is proven to reduce stress.
    Among my favorite songs, Lotus Flower by Radiohead is the most laid back.
    You should all give my method a try and let me know how it went in the comments.


  24. i dunno, i love radiohead but i wasn’t a big fan of this most recent album.

    and jake – you may be interested in the study of “hard determinism” within the realm of free will philosophy.

  25. Stephanie :) says:

    To help ease the nerves, my bestfriend spent the entire weekend with me watching our favorite Disney classics (and yes, on VHS). Nothing like a few princesses to keep my mind off tommorow! Good luck to everyone, I feel so honored to have even made it this far and you should too. smile

  26. Qing says:

    I am going out to study now. Applying to MIT is a good experience-let me know many things which I didn’t know and make friends with so many good people.
    I wish every one can receive a piece of good news. And I really appreciate the short essays by your guys.
    America is my new life! I am happy to have my life again. Thank you, god! And all of you.

  27. Alex Bardasu says:

    @Chirs: Lotus Flower is how I found out about Radiohead. I have two of their albums, In Rainbows and The King of Limbs. I don’t know a lot about their earlier work though, but I think I’ll look into it. I really like Radiohead’s style.

    ((: uǝppıɥ sı ǝƃɐssǝɯ uǝppıɥ :ʇuıɥ

  28. Michael says:

    reading through the comments reminded me that i wanted to say one more thing before acceptances:

    MIT admissions has been one of the best organizations i have had the pleasure of interacting with. all the other schools i applied to have admissions offices that do nothing to alleviate the pressure of applying and in fact make it worse. Over the past 8 months I have read the MIT admissions blog every day (ok maybe not EVERY day but most) and enjoyed all the entries.

    Anyway… heres to a great day tomorrow. happy pi day.

  29. alan says:

    @ Chris
    do you guys work on Sunday as well?
    just asking…

  30. @alex –

    try “ok computer.”

  31. Ben says:

    I was thinking about what to write, and then I said to myself… Why not just try a joke, lighten the mood maybe. Hopefully somebody has some other material, in all probability it will be better than what follows.

    Okay, here it is.

    So there are two physicists, let’s call them Physicist A and Physicist B (PhysA & PhysB for short). PhysA is standing on one side of the Charles River, and PhysB is standing on the other side of the Charles River. PhysA and PhysB start conversing with one another, screaming across the Charles River, until their voices start hurting. Eventually, PhysA calls to PhysB, “PhysB!! How do I get to the other side?” And PhysB replies, “You are on the other side!”

    Ha, ha, ha….

    Quite profound if one mulls over it.

  32. T.Sh says:

    I am still freaked out. I just did a drama for our school (it went wonderful). Now have to delve deep into photography until decisions com out.

  33. Observer says:

    Hi everyone,

    Let’s not forget those people in Japan and keep our souls with them(We are MIT applicants).
    Hi everyone,

    Let’s not forget those people in Japan and keep our souls with them(We are MIT applicants).
    <3 Japan <3
    Chris, I was recently announced as the winner of a prettey popular competition affiliated to NASA. How can I let you know that?

    (I entered my email in this comment)

  34. T.Sh says:


    I am pretty sure I read that joke with ‘blonds’ instead of physicists.

  35. observer2 says:

    i’m with you
    lets pray for the people in japan and stop fretting over decisions

  36. Anonymous says:


    I want to buy a horse to ride to cambridge tomorrow…

  37. Jake says:

    @Chris Thanks, but I don’t reject free will, I just think that we have to make an effort in order to exert it. Otherwise, we are acting by inertia to stimuli.

    Seeing that we’re in the mood for jokes, here goes one, though many of you have probably already heard it.

    “A mathematician, an engineer, and a physicist wanted to measure the volume of a cow.

    First, the mathematician says: “It’s very easy. First we parametrize the shape of the cow, and then we integrate.”

    Then, the engineer says: “I know an easier way. First, we take a pool, measure the volume of water, then insert the cow, and measure the new volume. Finally, we substract.”

    Finally, the physicist says “Assume the cow is spherical…” “

    Hope it made somebody smile smile

  38. Alex Bardasu says:

    @Chris: Thanks. I’ll listen to it as soon as I can get my hands on a copy.

    @Everyone: Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was excellent.

  39. Katie :) says:

    Chris: thanks for the wonderfully opportune post to talk about random things! And my fellow blog-stalkers, you always make me smile smile I hope I will be your future classmate (if that isn’t breaking the post’s rules!).

    Tomorrow, I am going to bake a pie! And then cut it into the shape of pi >_>

    Hooray life smile I agree with Qing from earlier–whether or not I get in, applying alone helped me discover who I am. And that is a great thing.

  40. Jason says:

    Not to violate the post’s rules…but I don’t think I’ll be sleeping well tomorrow night! I’ll be getting up early (at 4:26 AM due to the time difference raspberry)

    Does anyone have any cool/special/interesting plans to ‘celebrate’ Pi-Day and relieve some of the potential tension? ^^

  41. @alan –

    sometimes. but today i’m just stuck on a bus for 5 hours so (between naps) i figured i’d hang out with y’all, my dearest friends

  42. David L. says:

    Today, to keep my mind off of admissions, I’m going to build a metal toolbox. And it shall be awesome.

    for anyone interested, I will be doing a video blog post tomorrow about admissions, including my reaction to whether I get in or not.

  43. Alex says:

    @Chris: How about creating a Facebook group or an ad hoc chat room?

  44. Michael says:

    My friend just posted a hilarious video on my wall. its kinda old so alot of ppl here might have seen it. im going to assume that we cant post links on here so go to youtube and search “i want to be a engineer” its a great video check it out.

  45. Saeed says:

    @ Chris,Urgent question!!! What is the size of the monitor screens u use in MIT admission Office?!!

  46. Vivek says:

    Been thinking about a couple of research projects I’ve got planned for college. Gonna do them irrespective of my decision, right? wink Also been working on my video animations to keep myself in practice.

    Decision day will be the beginning of a whole new journey, one way or another

  47. alan says:

    sad you have to work on a Sunday.but i highly recommend that you dont sleep in a bus. i remember waking up once to find my fellow passenger sleeping on my shoulder with his spit all over my shirt.

  48. Pallav says:

    So does anyone know what kind of opportunities are out there for someone equally interested in CS and Brain and Cognitive Sciences?
    I really wish I could have mentioned it on my app!

  49. @alex –

    thought about a chatroom. but too tough to monitor, and there aren’t a lot of good solutions for a group of this size that also has sufficient administrative skills.

  50. Manu says:

    HEy GuYs, I aM gOiNg To a NAsCar ComPlex tOMorRROW to uNDERStanD STOck CAr DESIGNg, enGinEERinG aND tesTiNG…..I am GoNna hAve FuN With My ScienCE MUseUM TeAm ! ! !111

  51. Michael says:

    @Chris and alex- we should have had a FB group even if it isnt moderated it wouldnt be too bad. FB chatrooms tend to be self-moderated bc we use our real identities.

    I mentioned earlier that MIT had the best admissions office of all the schools i applied to. The only things that EVERY office is missing is good social networking opportunities. There are 0 official FB groups, no office has twitter (which would have been beyond helpful when writing apps) and MIT is the only one with a good blog. Just things to think about. I would guess that im the average teenager and i ALWAYS have facebook and twitter open. (I use a browser called rockmelt which adds social functions into my browser so maybe im on more than other ppl but…) I would guess that most MIT applicants are on the web ALOT and the lack of back-and-forth social network interaction is problematic

  52. Observer says:


    Did you read my comment dear Chris?

  53. Alex Bardasu says:

    @Chris: Commenting is ok then.
    On another subject: Is anybody at SXSW? I really wish I could be there.

  54. op1 says:

    hey are all international applicants decided?

  55. Austin says:

    A Joke to lighten the mood

    What is the difference between a physicist, an engineer, and a mathematician?

    If an engineer walks into a room and sees a fire in the middle and a bucket of water in the corner, he takes the bucket of water and pours it on the fire and puts it out.

    If a physicist walks into a room and sees a fire in the middle and a bucket of water in the corner, he takes the bucket of water and pours it eloquently around the fire and lets the fire put itself out.

    If a mathematician walks into a room and sees a fire in the middle and a bucket of water in the corner, he convinces himself there is a solution and leaves.

  56. Cesar Chavez says:

    Regardless of where I go I know that it will be my capacity to overcome obstacles as well as my hard work that will allow me to become the best possible person I can be. When I finish college I want to go back to my country and become president and help my people progress.

  57. greg says:

    Woohoo! Level 6-15 on Angry birds!

  58. Angel says:

    bring in π for Calculus tomorrow smile yayaya

  59. Natalie says:

    Hmmm… about pi day… I hate real pie… I know that sounds bad, but its the truth. Regardless of decisions, my day will be good… my cat, Fermi, will be turning two tomorrow and so instead of working myself up over decisions, I am making a cake! yum!

  60. Todd says:

    Made this one up, probably not that hard to figure out considering the people here.

    A man walks into a bar. The bartender turns around and sees him come in. The man collapses right away and the bartender rushes over to him and asks what’s wrong!?
    The man replies, I feel like I’m half the man I could have been…

    Who is he?

  61. I am about to get on a plane for my school’s Europe trip. London, Paris, and Barcelona!

    Wanna come, Chris? You definitely deserve it after all the hard work. (same with everyone else in the office!)

    Thank you!

  62. jokeman says:

    Heisenberg is out for a drive when he’s stopped by a traffic cop. The cop says, “Do you know how fast you were going?”
    Heisenberg says, “No, but I know where I am.”

  63. jokeman says:

    A neutron walks into a bar. “I’d like a beer” he says. The bartender promptly serves up a beer. “How much will that be?” asks the neutron. “For you?” replies the bartender, “no charge”

  64. jokeman says:

    A hydrogen atom came running into a police station asking for help….
    Hydrogen atom: “Someone just stole my electron!”
    Policeman: “Are you sure?”
    Hydrogen atom: “Yes, I’m positive”
    Policeman: “Oh, I thought you were just being negative again.”

  65. Hey Guys, everyone (well almost everyone)here is talking about how anxious they are about the pie day. You did your best, and God will do the rest. Let’s chill out.

    Besides I don’t think that my dream of becoming the Father of Bio-nanotechnology would be affected by this decision as I’ll still carry on to make my dream come true.

    Oh, right! Chris! This is VVI!! We don’t have to pay for the equipments broken during(….you know), right?

  66. Nate says:

    Here’s another joke to take ten seconds out of your painful waiting:

    A physicist, a biologist, and a mathematician are standing outside a building. Two people walk into the building and a few seconds later four people walk out. The biologist gets excited at this sight and exclaims, “They’ve multiplied!” The physicist replies, “Oh no. It’s surely an error in calculation.” The mathematician, not paying much attention to their argument, then says, “You know, if two more people walk into that building, it will be completely empty.”

    Oh and good luck everyone. Eat a lot of pie tomorrow.

  67. rfong'12 says:


    good luck all!

  68. nanu (15?) says:

    wow rfong… did you really count?
    because I did (quite easy, just count home many times “March 13” shows up) and I’m actually pretty sure you are 71st…

    I was all ready to post “71st? no you’re not!” and you kinda ruined my plans raspberry

  69. Anonymous says:

    A girl walked in to a bar and asked the bartender for a double entendre.

    So he gave it to her.

  70. ebs says:

    I was worrying about decisions but I don’t care about that anymore because I just found that my Calculus teacher is baking pies for everybody for pie day!!!! YES!!! WOO! (just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, i like pies :D)

  71. ebs says:

    75th post!! yes!

  72. Shahriar says:

    Everyone talking about pie is making my mouth water!
    I can’t eat pie because of all the work I have to do the next couples of days….well, I guess I’ll still make some time for the decisions, just to confirm my suspicions, and there’s no way I’m getting upset if I get rejected, I have an astronomy olympiad coming up ! And it’s bound to be fun :D

    Well , I might as well say it now : MIT has the best admissions blogs and admissions process in the world , there’s no doubt about it, I learned more about myself than I ever could had I not applied, I confided in MIT things that I couldn’t tell anyone before, and now it feels like I’ve got a lot of heavy things off my chest….Thank you MIT !!!

    And Good Luck to everyone !!!! We’re all going to be great people , MIT or not , because we have dreams that are harder to shatter than diamond wink


    Hey decisions people, this is a great way to get your mind off things, while I perfect my essay for english my “favorite” class.

  74. Sadia says:

    Good luck everyone. Out of pure curiosity and chance, I applied to see if I could get in (more of a personal thing than a family/school influenced thing), and, though I doubt I will, at least the blogs and MIT atmosphere kept the mood really chill and friendly.

    Class of 2015!

    btw Someone posted earlier that music calms him calm. I completely agree with him. Try house music like Afrojack; that works with me (Radiohead is awesome, too). ^_^

  75. Jason Parisi says:

    I want to wish everyone all the best for tomorrow from the UK,

    In my life, I want to be part of the movement which industrialises nuclear fusion. In my view and from our current scientific understanding, it is the only long term sustainable energy source for our civilisation and the only way to allow every human being on the planet to equitably have access to energy.

    Whether or not I get the decision we are all hoping for, I am sure that I will encounter many of you in the future, whether that be on the technical side or the policy making side, in making commercial nuclear fusion a reality. This is what I’m really passionate about!

    All the best for tomorrow and don’t let the decision change who you are or what you want to do with your lives. We are all talented individuals and will make our mark on the world, no matter which Institute/College/University we go to.


  76. i definitely agree with the minecraft link!

    also i’ll be reading all of your comments but may not be responding as i run in and out for the rest of the day. but i’m glad you’re all having fun smile

  77. Teacher baking pies for students? I wished that happened in my school sometime.

    Still, I have never eaten pie or a burrito, and I’ve always wanted to have a bite of these. If I get into MIT, I’ll hopefully have that as well.
    I won’t talk about decisions, but my ear’s been affected with a fungus, I’ve applied medicine and the pain has started to deteriorate now, but the medicine (ointment + ear drops) is such that it blocks my left ear completely, I only hear with my right ear, and its a bit hard adjusting to that.

    I’m passing my time with music, and electronic music is the way to be. I’m really excited for decision day and I hope Allah smiles on us. I don’t think I’ll be waking up like an insomniac on decision day constantly hitting on the decisions site. I’ll have proper sleep and follow my routine cause as Sandro Rodrigues said “Regardless of you decision, live long and prosper” :D

    @Chris — I heard Jason Derulo came to MIT recently. So has there been big college gigs in MIT or nearby like that. If so, try convincing and bring Daft Punk to MIT. (They’re 2 awesome “robots” making awesome music and MIT is synonymous with advanced robots so it’ll be a “winning” situation I guess)

  78. ebs says:

    75th post!! yes!

  79. Jake says:

    I’m not religious, but I still appreciate those recomforting religious comments.

    Here’s another joke. A physicist and a mathematician attend a conference. The speaker is describing space in 5 dimensions. The physicist is suffering, while the mathematician seems to be completely relaxed. After the conference, the physicist says: “Wow, I can’t imagine space in 5 dimensions. How can you understand?” The mathematician replies: “It’s very easy. I just imagine the space in n dimensions, and then take n=5.”

  80. Hisham7 says:

    Thank you for this chance, Chris smilesmile

    Thats the spirit that we should always have and the jokes are really funny especially the one regarding “assume that the cow has a spherical shape haha!”. Moreover, I can say that Electronic music really calms me down !

    I hope tomorrow would be a great day for all of us and the pi would be sweet !!

    As for now I am enjoying this amazing and creative chain reaction. Although its an old video but you all need to see this

  81. Relax, everyone.
    And… enjoy — a gift from me to my fellow applicants (and the Internet in general):

  82. Colin says:

    While we’re all posting cool videos, this is one I’ve always thought to be really cool

  83. waiting says:

    Less than 28 hours left!

  84. Kristine says:

    I am going to Disneyland on Wednesday!!!! Regardless of what happens, I will have fun this weeks!!! Happy Pi day!!!

  85. Laura says:

    I made a pi pie!!!!!!!! One more thing checked off my bucket list smile

  86. oasis '11 says:

    Hello to this class that I’ll never get to see in the fall!

    “Argon gas wafts into a bar. The barman says “We don’t serve your kind here!” The argon doesn’t react.”

    FACEPALM. omg. it’s so bad it hurts.

  87. Anonymous says:

    My father’s birthday on the 14th
    some physics tests
    spiritual direction for my friend

    Singing “live high” to the parish priest for his ordination anniversary (same year as my birth)
    followed by a feast

    Best of all, candles and incense in the Solemn mass, Lent is mysteriously joyful, amid all the fasting

    Beware the ides of March (21:26H is morning of the 15th for me) -The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

  88. A day’s break from school !!! Finally!!!!
    I will spend it fruitfully at a movie hall watching Rango and The kings speech back to back.

  89. Thank you for remembering friends from Far-east. Your good wishes and prayers are helping us here in Japan. We will be hearing from MIT a day later on March 15. So today, pi day I will try to make something like a pie for my daughter!
    Those who are getting worried about the pi-day, I would like to say that with what is happening around here -reading blogs is soothing for us and helping us take our mind off the disaster.
    Happy pi-day and good luck from the land of rising sun!!

  90. Anthony says:

    Any other redditors in the applicant pool? We should get some conversation going on over at /r/mit :]

  91. David L. says:

    Have a few science jokes:

    Argon gas wafts into a bar. The barman says “We don’t serve your kind here!” The argon doesn’t react.

    Johnny was a chemist’s son,
    Johnny is no more;
    What he thought was H20
    was H2SO4.

    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitant.

    Ohm never forgot his uncle’s dying words: “With great power comes great current squared times resistance…”

  92. Kurt says:

    From the Philippines! I just wish everyone’s okay. I would be one of the few who would get the results not in pi day. (15 Mar; I’m having my pi day now.)

    Having said that, I’m gonna wake up late for that day. :D

  93. SarahChoi says:

    No matter if I get in or not. I’m always going to be thankful to God. God, you lead my life. If I don’t get in MIT, I know you have something much better for me. Thank you for being always with me.

  94. Got my dream date to prom already smile
    Getting into MIT will be an awesome bonus to my already great 6 day weekend
    @ SarahChoi – I agree fully with what you said.