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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Random notes by Matt McGann '00

A mystery solved, an updated blog list, and a handful of questions answers.

A few random notes today…

Mystery solved! You may remember that a while back, I posed a challenge question to you (about two thirds of the way down the linked page). I wanted to identify the cosplay roles played by two attendees of the Hong Kong Comics Festival & Game Fair in one of my vacation photos. In this case, getting the right answer took two people!

First, I got an email from Eric more than a week ago (to give you an idea of how behind on email I am right now). He wrote, “The male character in the picture is a modification of the ‘Masked Rider’ who was popular in a early 90’s anime show. If you would like more information about him you can click on this link.

“The female character in the picture is a new character from the video game Dynasty Warriors 5 for PS2. Her name is Xing Cai and a full profile of her character is available from this website.”

After checking out the links, I was pretty sold on Xing Cai, but still a bit skeptical about the “Masked Rider.” Interestingly, around the same time, Alissa left the following comment in the blog: “I think I’ve discovered the identity of one of the cosplayers from this picture (if someone hasn’t already said this yet). I beliieeeve the silver-armored person is Shadow Moon for Kamen Rider. See this link.

I believe that solves the mystery! Thanks, Eric, for identifying Xing Cai, and thanks Alissa for identifying Shadow Moon.

Also, a few entries back, I linked to some other admissions officer weblogs I knew about. Since then, I’ve learned of some additional blogs, they’re worth checking out. My latest list includes (alphabetically):
Assumption College
Bryn Mawr College
Case Western Reserve University
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Ohio University

And you can still check out all of the MIT Admissions blogs at my.mit.edu.

In addition to slacking on email (in order to spend more time on reading), I’ve also slacked a bit on getting the next Omnibus out. So let me answer a few recent pertinent questions here and now:

Kevin asked, “Referring to EA applicants, are the Mid-year grade reports necessary for the applications to be considered?”

No. Usually we don’t see Midyear grades until January or February, after your school’s first semester grades are released. Only students under consideration for regular action (RA applicants and EA deferred students) need to worry about the Midyear grade report form.

Kristen wrote, “Hi, Matt. I applied EA, and I’ve noticed that my secondary school report and transcript haven’t shown up as processed yet. Is this something to look into, or is this just normal?”

If you are an EA applicant, and the tracking system still shows something as not processed, you should fax us copies of that application piece as soon as possible. The Records Office fax number is (617) 258-8304.

Michael wrote, “I have just tried to contact my EC, but recieved an email saying that my email could not be delivered to my EC’s address, as his username was unknown. Therefore, I would like to ask you what you think my next course of action should be?”

All interview questions should be directed to [email protected] They’re your best bet.

Alex wrote, “In your opinion, is a 780 Math Level 2 worth retaking for the 800?”

No, no, NO. Really, use that Saturday to have a picnic.

Rebecca wrote, “I know you said you would post an entry about the application reading soon, but I’d really like to know if you could take us (the prospective MIT students) *inside* the process…for instance, maybe chronicle the “life” of a single (anonymous) application, its journey from mailing room to individual readers to committee, etc. I’m just curious.”

Soon, very soon.

Marybeth wrote, “Does MIT look at any older applicants? I know it says you are required to live on campus in one of MIT’s 11 residence halls, so prolly discourages people who aren’t normal undergrad age?”

We do consider older applicants. We will still require a complete application: transcript, standardized tests, recommendations, etc. As for housing, I don’t know the entire story, but married students and students with families do get special provisions.

Lorelei wrote, “i am a foreign student, and i skipped a year in highschool so i will finish highschool in 3 years. and i am sure that i’ve read somewhere=> do we have to get english classes for 4 years ?”

No. Especially considering your circumstances, fewer than four high school English courses will be fine.

I’ll answer more questions about getting deferred and getting denied when we actually have made some decisions.

Also, I’d like to thank you all for your comments. I do read every comment, and it makes me happy to see a blog community form. My best wishes to all of you!

17 responses to “Random notes”

  1. Kathleen C. says:

    Wow. I can’t believe you actually have time to post stuff! Good luck with the EA apps!!

  2. Dear Mr. Mcgann

    Thank you very much for your answer. I have now sent an email to the ‘Interview Department’ (if such a place exists) explaining the situation. Again, thank you very much for your advice.

    Michael B. Berthelsen

  3. Joe says:

    Hi Matt,

    I don’t know if you remember me, but I went to an Information Session at MIT in September (I’m studying Portugal, remember?). I heard on the news a couple of days ago that MIT is planning to help fund and organize scientific research here in Portugal. The news report didn’t give much more information on the subject, though. Do you know anything else about this, by any chance?

  4. Phillip K. says:

    Hey Matt,

    Thanks for the article. Yea it’ll be great if u can also update like last year on this year’s # of EA applicants, predicted number of EA acceptance (400 or less?), what’s going on in the mysterious committee soon, etc. (unless i missed any) After all, we’re all curious people. :]

    Thanks again! Good luck reading the EA apps.

  5. Shikhar says:

    Matt can u throw some light on getting course credits at MIT. I mean having advanced placements in some courses.

  6. Masha says:

    Hehe, thanks for all the helpful comments. Do you think the early decisions will be out later than usual since the deadline was postponed?

  7. zoogies says:

    Mark Butt’s blog seems to be personal and “unaffiliated with the institution at which” he is employed (it’s also blogspot! hehe), but out of that list, I’d have to say MIT’s admissions blogs are the best. Assumption’s also stands out.

    None of them can match the MIT blog community! XD

  8. Ron says:

    Hey Matt! I don’t know if you remember me but I was at MIT for Siemens. Anyways I was wondering, is it OK if I have my alumni interview but didn’t submit my application yet?

    Thanks and good luck with all the applications!

  9. Kirat says:

    Dear Matt,

    I am a 16 year old from India. I have a Green Card and will be shifting to Los Alamos, NM this Jan. In India, we have 11th and 12th grade as Junior College, to gain admission into which, we have to clear a national examination. In this exam, I have secured 91 percent. Now, I am currently in the best college in my state. However, ii will have to continue my 11th grade from the second semester in USA. The school will not allow me to take AP classes for that remainig part of my 11th. Do you think that will have a negative impact on my application for MIT? I am also lost a to whether i should get my teachers here in India to fill the Evaluation forms (and my principal to fill the two reports). If yes, then since 10th grade is school and 11th grade college, which teachers and principal should fill those out for me? OR should i just have my future teachers in USA to fill up the forms? OR should i submit both (Indian and USA)? I really am LOST :(

    Just so that you can evaluate me (as to what chance do i stand to get into MIT.[disclaimer accepted]), i am pretty good at Phy and Maths, and computers are my strongest point. I recently participate in a Ethical Hacking competetion organised by our national cyber safety organization, against the engineers from the top companies in India, and secued second position. MIT is really the first option that i have ever considered.

    I agree that your judgement on my chances is strictly personal and you (or MIT for that matter) are not in any way bound by it.

    Eagerly awaiting a response

    Yours sincerely,

    Kirat Pandya

  10. Kirat Pandya says:

    Dear Matt,

    I am a 16 year old from India. I have a Green Card and will be shifting to Los Alamos, NM this Jan. In India, we have 11th and 12th grade as Junior College, to gain admission into which, we have to clear a national examination. In this exam, I have secured 91 percent. Now, I am currently in the best college in my state. However, ii will have to continue my 11th grade from the second semester in USA. The school will not allow me to take AP classes for that remainig part of my 11th. Do you think that will have a negative impact on my application for MIT? I am also lost a to whether i should get my teachers here in India to fill the Evaluation forms (and my principal to fill the two reports). If yes, then since 10th grade is school and 11th grade college, which teachers and principal should fill those out for me? OR should i just have my future teachers in USA to fill up the forms? OR should i submit both (Indian and USA)? I really am LOST :(

    Just so that you can evaluate me (as to what chance do i stand to get into MIT.[disclaimer accepted]), i am pretty good at Phy and Maths, and computers are my strongest point. I recently participate in a Ethical Hacking competetion organised by our national cyber safety organization, against the engineers from the top companies in India, and secued second position. MIT is really the first option that i have ever considered.

    I agree that your judgement on my chances is strictly personal and you (or MIT for that matter) are not in any way bound by it.

    Eagerly awaiting a response

    Yours sincerely,

    Kirat Pandya

  11. Kirat Pandya says:

    Dear Matt,

    I am a 16 year old from India. I have a Green Card and will be shifting to Los Alamos, NM this Jan. In India, we have 11th and 12th grade as Junior College, to gain admission into which, we have to clear a national examination. In this exam, I have secured 91 percent. Now, I am currently in the best college in my state. However, ii will have to continue my 11th grade from the second semester in USA. The school will not allow me to take AP classes for that remainig part of my 11th. Do you think that will have a negative impact on my application for MIT? I am also lost a to whether i should get my teachers here in India to fill the Evaluation forms (and my principal to fill the two reports). If yes, then since 10th grade is school and 11th grade college, which teachers and principal should fill those out for me? OR should i just have my future teachers in USA to fill up the forms? OR should i submit both (Indian and USA)? I really am LOST :(

    Just so that you can evaluate me (as to what chance do i stand to get into MIT.[disclaimer accepted]), i am pretty good at Phy and Maths, and computers are my strongest point. I recently participate in a Ethical Hacking competetion organised by our national cyber safety organization, against the engineers from the top companies in India, and secued second position. MIT is really the first option that i have ever considered.

    I agree that your judgement on my chances is strictly personal and you (or MIT for that matter) are not in any way bound by it.

    Eagerly awaiting a response

    Yours sincerely,

    Kirat Pandya

  12. s says:

    Mr. McGann,

    Gosh! u really have some time management. The other 3 blogs are way behind (I’m tired of seeing Berkowitz’s blog).

    Kirat,

    u got the message across once, did ya have to do it thrice????

  13. B-boy Mike D says:

    hey matt!

    i remember from a while ago that you are/were studying mandarin. i’m in shanghai right now doing the same and was wondering how your studies are going (if at all).

  14. Hey Matt!!

    Wow, it’s been a while since i’ve gotten on any of these blogs, what with school and everything. I just wanted to stop by and wish you good luck with reading your EA applications, and I also wanted to give you a BIG thank you for posting all this information, it really is special to us applicants and even to people from the outside community. Thanks again,

    Aziz (Kuwait)

  15. James Tao says:

    Hi Matt:

    I am a student in the ghetto of LAUSD. Due the fact that I am foster child, I am not able to perform as well as I should both in academics and my National Test scores. That worries me, because MIT became my dream school since I attended one of your workshops in Los Angeles. One final thing, I am an Academic Decathlete. How much do you think that can help me in increasing the chance of admission. Thank you for time. Please Answer.

  16. Victoria says:

    Hey Mr. McGann,

    Thanks for posting such interesting posts so frequently recently! Thanks for answering our questions!

    Victoria

  17. James Tao says:

    Dear Matt:

    The historical information on the game Dynasty Warriors is extremely flawed. If you did play the game, Liu Chan which is present in the legend of Xing Cai is not just weak. If you did read the Romance of Three Kingdoms, you would know that Liu Chan drinks too much and have too much women. That is the main reason that Shu fell.After Shu was taken over by Wei, he became a dog of Sima Yi.