First, I want to thank everybody who left their good wishes with regard to our engagement. If you are a person who likes this sort of thing (which heaven knows I do!), feel free to check out my wedding folder — I’ve been saving pictures of things I like and sticking them in there for future reference.
A cool thing that I find amusing
We went over to the Museum of Science today to check out the reception site. Hanging in the space over the main entrance to the museum are the vehicles Daedalus (a human-powered plane) and Decavitator (a human-powered boat), which were both powered to world records (Daedalus and Decavitator) by MIT aero/astro professor Mark Drela. Professor Drela happens to be Adam’s academic advisor/friend/airplane-loving soulmate, and Adam’s planning to invite him to the wedding. Adam mentioned this to the MoS staff member responsible for renting the facilities, and she got really excited. We’re inviting celebrities to our wedding! Sort of!
Going on vaca
Adam and I are going to the Bahamas tomorrow and staying there until Monday evening. Vacation! I’m super-excited. I haven’t been to the beach since spring break of sophomore year (when I went to Jamaica with Rose ’05 and Swapna ’05), and I can’t wait to lie on the beach and read science books and drink fruity drinks all day. Adam can’t wait to visit the Nassau Pirate Museum. Eh, to each his own.
1. Anonymous asked,
You’d recommend taking chemistry rather than bio first term in general? If so, please explain.
Yup. Almost everybody takes chemistry (whether 3.091, 5.111, or 5.112) first term, which means that you’ll be able to find more people to join your pset group. Comparatively fewer people take chemistry in the spring (only about 1/4 the number of people who take it in the fall), and those people are overwhelmingly people who failed it in the fall. Some courses at MIT have “on” terms and “off” terms — intro chemistry is almost always taken in the fall, so the spring class is usually markedly less enjoyable, but intro biology is taken whenever it can be fit in, so the spring and fall classes are equally enjoyable. Furthermore, if you’re planning to take further chemistry courses, taking 5.111/5.112 in the fall frees you up to take 5.12 in the spring, then 5.13 the next fall — 5.13 is only offered in the fall, so if you want to take it your sophomore year, you’d better take 5.111/2 fall of your freshman year.
2. Betty asked,
Hey Mollie! Would you recommend taking 7.01x first year for premeds if there are other science GIRs to complete? Also, what are the differences between the intro bio courses? Thanks =]
I would take 7.01x during the freshman year if you’re planning to major in biology or in any other department which requires a lot of bio courses (such as BE or chemE with biotrack). Most biology-related majors take 7.03 in the fall of their sophomore years and 7.05 in the spring, so you’ll want to have 7.01x under your belt before taking those classes. I believe premeds generally want to finish the classes required for the MCAT by the end of sophomore year anyway.
As for differences between biology classes, I think 7.012 (offered in the fall) and 7.013 (spring) are really quite similar, though I believe 7.013 has more of an emphasis on human disease and genetics than 7.012. The major differences between 7.012 and 7.013 are with the professors — 7.012 is famously taught by Eric Lander and Bob Weinberg, while 7.013 is taught by Tyler Jacks (a very well-known cancer researcher) and Hazel Sive. I personally thought Jacks was wonderful and adorable, but everyone says Lander is outstanding too. More non-biology majors take 7.013 than 7.012, although I’m not sure why.
7.014 is different from 7.013 and 7.012, as it emphasizes microorganisms, as well as “big” things like ecology and evolution, which most other MIT biology classes don’t do.
3. anon asked,
when do we register for P.E. classes? I want to take ice dancing :P
The DAPER website says that registration will be August 30 to September 6 this year, and first quarter classes will run from September 11 to October 24. (PE classes last half a semester during term and all month during IAP.) Be sure to check this website between August 30 and September 6, as there is a PE lottery to enter to get your class. (Like most other MIT lotteries, it’s kind of just a suggestion — if you miss the lottery, you can go to the first meeting of a class you like and usually get in. But space is more limited in PE classes, so it’s best to get lotteried in.)
4. Kelly asked,
Hey Mollie, if it usually takes around five and a half years to get a PhD, do you know how MD/PhD programs work? Thanks.
Usually MD/PhD candidates go to medical school for the first two years, do their PhD in four years, and finish medical school. (I have a flowchart on my Degrees in Biology PDF!) The way this works out is that MD/PhD candidates are generally given thesis projects that are more of a sure thing — they’re not especially likely to get earth-shattering results from them, but they’re likely to be able to get through the PhD part with fewer snags than the average PhD-only candidate.
Some MD/PhD programs work differently — my friend Jen ’06, for example, is picking a lab for her thesis before she starts medical school (she’s up to her ears in zebrafish this summer!). But I think that just means she’ll hit the ground running on her thesis in two years when she starts the PhD part of her program.