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MIT student blogger Mollie B. '06

Out of the lab and into the internet by Mollie B. '06

Confession: I actually listen to music from the movie Ice Princess. I'm not even kidding.

First, some updates:
A few people have asked about information on applying to engineering graduate programs at MIT. I am trying to find that information; first I emailed one of the cheerleaders, Lisa ’04, who is currently doing her MEng in the EECS department, but she told me she couldn’t answer any questions since she’s in the MEng masters program, which is only for students who did their undergraduate work at MIT (and has a different admissions process from the general masters program). Next, I emailed my friend Ethan ’05, who is currently in the MechE program, but he hasn’t gotten back to me, so this morning I emailed former cheerleader Caitlin SM ’05, who got her master’s in aero/astro last spring. (Yes, two of the people I know well in MIT graduate programs are cheerleaders or former cheerleaders. Yes, our little world is very counterintuitive and topsy-turvy. You should get used to that.)

And a question via email:
Yasemin asked (via email), “Do you consider MIT graduate biology? I have heard somewhere that except for the computer major, the MIT undergraduate students aren’t considered for graduate work at MIT, is this true?”
In lieu of responding to her email (I’ve been taking a godawful long time to respond to emails lately, except those from Ben, which always catch me at just the right time), I’ll answer here. Yes, I did apply to the MIT biology PhD program, and I’ll be interviewing there in three weeks. (All of the schools at which I’m interviewing pay for travel and lodging expenses during the interview weekend. Given that information, I think I should make the biology department pay for my dorm room.) This is actually the first year the biology department is allowing MIT biology undergrads to apply to the program (see story here), so I’m excited that I had the opportunity to apply and be interviewed.

It’s not true that only the EECS department allows MIT students to stay for graduate school. Actually, MIT is the top graduate school destination for MIT graduates (see page 5 of this data set). Some departments really don’t like “inbreeding”, but others are very enthusiastic about it. I’ll offer this warning, though: no matter how much you might think you are omg in love with MIT right now, it’s very possible that you’d want to go somewhere else for graduate school. Your research interests might change… hell, you just might want to be able to live in a new place. If you’re considering a career in academia, you probably ought to go somewhere else so you can make more varied connections in your field. So, please, make your decision to come or not come to MIT based on what’s best for you right now; don’t worry about whether or not you’ll be able to get into MIT for graduate school. Departments which don’t accept MIT undergrads generally send most of their graduating seniors to other schools which are none too shabby, I’ll tell you that much: you’ll be able to get into a grad school after going through MIT.

A confession:
Dan and Laura noticed that the title of my last entry was from a song played in The Princess Diaries. And yes, yes it was. (And I can’t find the song on iTunes. Believe me, this has been the single most frustrating thing about my week.) I have to confess this weird love of songs from completely ridiculous movies — my iPod “Motivation” playlist contains songs from the movies Ice Princess, Save the Last Dance, and Legally Blonde. There are probably more, too. I really have no excuse for this sort of behavior. I swear, I watch deep, angst-filled movies too — Closer is one of my favorites — but I have this bizarre affinity for feel-good bubblegum girl-hero movies.

A run-in:
I ran into Bryan yesterday on the fifth floor of the Student Center right after I had gotten off the phone with one of the admissions officers at Harvard’s Biomedical Sciences program — they told me that my application had been recommended to the program for acceptance, and that they wanted me to attend one of their recruitment weekends. Needless to say, it is very lucky for Bryan that I was on the phone with my mom, because I very well may have tackled him in my excitement otherwise.

Some questions:
1. Shikhar asked the speed of MIT’s internet connection. You know, I actually don’t know the speed off the top of my head (the computer I’m on at the lab is swearing to me that it’s 1 Gbps, but that just sounds absurd to me)… but it’s ethernet and most of the time it’s very fast.

2. I agree with Kathleen and Shannon that Freakonomics is a great book. (And Shannon, I was right at the point you were talking about when I read your comment!) You, too, should read this book, and maybe some of the other books I’ve read recently.

3. Hooray, I’m famous!

Ooookay, off to develop a Western blot, then Adam’s parents are picking us up and we’re going to Lake Placid, NY for this weekend’s death-defying freestyle moguls competition! (You know that guy, Jeremy Bloom, who’s all over your television advertising NBC’s Olympic coverage? Yeah, he’s totally friends with my boyfriend.)

13 responses to “Out of the lab and into the internet”

  1. Ben says:

    I love how you casually threw that in:

    Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Harvard wants me blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

    Dude!!! CONGRATS!!! :D

  2. Laura says:

    No worries Mollie. When I go running, I love to listen to Vanessa Carlton. =) And I love the Princess Diaries too, so it’s ok. Now you even have me singing that supergirl song in my head. =D

  3. Sam says:

    Congratulations Mollie!

    Now that you have mentioned The Princess Diaries, I can’t help but see this blog entry title as a paraphrase on “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson (“out of the darkness and into the sun…”), although I’m guessing that might be beneath you.

  4. Anna says:

    Hi Mollie,

    I was admitted to MIT under early action this fall, and I have a question. Would MIT allow me to delay my entrance for a year so I could do a year at Americorps or Citiyear? If so, do you think that taking a year off would be an unwise decision because I might get really rusty in math/science, having not taken classes for a year (obviously, I would try to retain my memory by doing problems in an AP prep book, reviewing a textbook, or start reading/working through a multivar book, or something).

    Thanks a lot!

  5. s says:

    I’m not into songs but I do have a thing for feel-good girl-hero movies. smile

    Last week I got judged Miss X(name of my high school), which is something like a prom queen wink

    So now the nerd community of my school can’t decide whether to excommunicate me or make a feel-good bubblegum story out of it. wink) Hehe

    btw, why didn’t you take the 5 yr program where you can get your Master’s alonside Bachelor’s?

  6. Christina says:

    That book list looks AWESOME.

    I am going to jot down some of those titles right now!

  7. Christina says:

    Hm, actually you’re the second person who has reccomended, “Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes On An Imperfect Science.”

    But I just saw your note, “reminds me why I’m not premed” and now I don’t know if I want to read it. hmmm I don’t want to be discouraged.

  8. Shikhar says:

    1 Gbps thats insane…or maybe quite not possible..Well actually my friend told me tht its 2.xx Mbps.and yes u r right that speed which the computer shows is the ethernet speed.

  9. Mom08 says:

    Mollie, CONGRATULATIONS on your acceptance to Harvard! I’m very happy for you.

  10. Vicky says:

    I am jealous of adam you are really too sweet

  11. Robb Carr says:

    1gbs ethernet is entirely possible, and not actually that new…we actually have 10 Gigabit ethernet now but it is rather new, and there is not one agreed on standard. Anyway, so I suppose you could see 1 gbs internally.

  12. Curtis says:

    Hi Mollie,

    Thanks for the postcard. It’s really strange and coincidental that my house and MIT are both number 77. Is it fate?

    smile Congrats on Harvard!

  13. sam says:

    hiiiiiiiiiiii mollie