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MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

The Birth Of My Third Child by Ben Jones

The new admissions web site finally launches! Report any bugs here.

Hi folks,

Well here you have it – the new-and-improved MIT admissions web site. I hope you like it!

In October (when I get back from fall recruitment travel) we’ll be launching a centralized Q&A blog, in an attempt to keep the other blog threads on topic (how often have you been in the middle of a discussion on Topic X when someone jumps in and posts “I got a 2399 on the SAT I, do I need to retake it?!?” :-) More on the Q&A blog soon.

We’ll also be adding a photo blog at some point this fall.

Have fun exploring, and please use this thread to let me know if you find any bugs along the way.


67 responses to “The Birth Of My Third Child”

  1. JKim says:

    Am definitely loving it.

  2. Laura says:

    So hott.

    Yes, with two t’s.

  3. JKim says:

    MY MOM: So I was reading Ben’s blog, and I saw he wrote about “the birth of his third child”, and I thought, “I didn’t know his wife was pregnant again!”

    ME: …

    MY MOM: Is she pregnant? Are they having another boy? Three boys is a lot to handle.

    ME: …Mom.

    MY MOM: Why doesn’t he write about his new baby in his post?

    ME: …….

  4. Minh says:

    Whoaaa beautiful site!!

  5. debbie says:

    yay its a beautiful baby.

  6. your mama says:

    Does this mean I’m its grandmother? Love, mama

  7. Rupa says:

    This site looks GGRRREEEEAAAAATTTTTT !!!!

    Its such a VIBRANT baby !!

    Congratulations Ben, on the birth of your third child !!

  8. Nur says:

    Ooooh shiny! This almost makes up for no one being in admissions for the past week ^_^

  9. Colin says:


    I love it times infinity, except I think that those links in the top left box should be one big link. wink

  10. Oystein says:

    Congrats for this new site! Great improvement on design, user interface and speed! Nice work.

  11. Sh1fty says:

    design is so… clean. /me likes it smile i see that you’ve switched to shtml… i should start using it myself too but i don’t like it, plain ol’ php rulz raspberry this redesign of yours has encouraged me to remake my site (it’s about time :D) i’ll start working on it right now even though it’s 0:24 AM raspberry thank you, remind me to buy you a beer or a cup of coffe when i get to MIT smile see you around wink

    best regards,

  12. Shannon says:


    Seriously, the site turned out fantastic!!!(ally? is that a word?)


  13. Lacolibrie says:

    Wow, this design is really lovely!

  14. thekeri says:


    No more server complaints from you, Ben! (Well, I’ll let you slip a few more in…)

  15. reg says:

    ohh god do i love the new site! i’ve been waiting for it since the start of september!

    i haven’t thoroughly checked out the site, but i have a small suggestion. i rather liked the way how all the blog entries would open in a new but same window coz i could just click on all the entries i wanted to read then go elsewhere with my original window. now i have to keep on going back and forth to read all the new entries…

    is there a way to fix it up? thanks!

  16. Jon says:

    LOVE the new site! For some reason, I think the colors, design, etc better reflect MIT’s feeling….kudos!

  17. reg says:

    sorry, it looks as if i’m spamming, but there’s an extra ) in “Food and Dining Options” in the life menu.

    also, on the majors and minors site, the 6 in course 6 is a link when all the other aren’t.

  18. Arka says:

    Great job Ben…the new site rocks…hard work has paid off…its just so beautiful.

  19. Raman says:

    It looks like the page “the selection process” is missing.

    not found error on this page which is linked to on the apply section

  20. Ben says:

    Wow, nice catch Raman, thanks! I fixed the link, it was supposed to go here.

    Thanks everyone for your kind comments. grin

  21. Andrew says:

    It’s amazing. Way to go! =D

  22. Omar '10 says:

    anyways, where have you been Ben? I haven’t seen you in a long time!

  23. I love the new site! .. Except for a few minor things. The left sidebar is awkward when you scroll down below the boxes for longer pages. The grey line and then a bunch of blank white space to the left of it just doesn’t look right to me. The grey boxes on the right and the plain white on the left unbalances the look of the page, I think.

    I’d like to see a bit more of the school colors on the page. Perhaps the “life • learning • pulse”, etc. should be in MIT-red on a slightly lighter, MIT-gray background? (Love the square bullets between the links though – looks great!)

    The bullets after the blog titles on the left sidebar look awkward if they are not on the second line. I’d suggest making sure the text always starts on the second line of the box. You have plenty of blank space below the boxes, a few extra lines wouldn’t hurt.

    I’d also like to see the true-color MIT logo on the page somewhere. The small gray and white one at the far bottom of the page.. not so sure about it. I think it would look great in gray and red, but just my opinion. Otherwise, I’d like to see the MIT logo above the blog boxes on the sidebar, perhaps?

    One last thing. At the top of the page, box number 12, the red one.. I don’t like it. I checked paint, and you are using 169,0,0 as the color of the box. MIT red is a bit bluish, at 169,5,51 according to the official logo. 169,5,51 makes the 255,0,0 text appear just a bit less harsh, and easier to read. I suggest changing the text to 255,5,51 too, though. I’ve linked my name to a quickly made example of what the colors would look like on the box.

    Of course, I’m not an experienced-web-designer-graduate-from-MIT! Just my personal tastes. Overall, the website is amazing. You’ve done an incredible job on it!

    Thanks for the awesome new website!!

  24. Just caught a bug for previewing a post.

    Leave a quotation mark in an HTML tag open, and it’ll cause the rest of the HTML of the page to dump onto the posting textbox!

    Just put this line on a blank post and press preview to see what I mean. I’ve switched out ‘Just caught a bug for previewing a post.

    Leave a quotation mark in an HTML tag open, and it’ll cause the rest of the HTML of the page to dump onto the posting textbox!

    Just put this line on a blank post and press preview to see what I mean. I’ve switched out ‘<‘s for ‘[‘s so that the problem doesn’t take effect on me.

    [img src=”blah][/img]

    Fairly minor bug, really, but a bug nonetheless.

  25. Utkarsh says:

    I like this website, this has added up to my madness for MIT.

  26. utkarsh says:

    What the hell is this? In the new website i see that for international applicants there are 2 oprions
    1) Either give SAT reasoning and subject tests
    or 2) Give TOEFL and reasoning
    I have registered for SAT reasoning and subject both and have also given TOEFL. This has not wasted my money for SAT 1. I really don’t understand why this change has been made so late?
    At this point of time i have completed my application and was just preparing for SAT reasoning and now have come to know about this massive change in the pattern?

    Please help me should i cancel my SAT Reasoning appointment or should i give both the tests.

  27. Bug report:
    on this page of tips for international applicants, there is a “click here for specifics” note under the Standardized Tests bullet, but it is not a live link.

  28. thekeri says:

    On an only slightly related note, Omar ’10 hasn’t seen you because he’s always always always in the ESG lounge. We don’t even see him in the Haus anymore. It’s because he hates us. ^_^

  29. Sh1fty says:

    it’s me again :D
    Ben, what do you think about making a bulletin board/forum for highschool students who intend to go to mit? i’ve googled a bit and the the closest thing i found was this, but it has been inactive for quite a while now. i’ve also found topics on random forums with people asking for tips on getting into mit. if you need help or don’t feel like doing it but you think it’s a good idea i’d be glad to code a nice minimalistic forum or something, it shouldn’t take me more than a couple of hours. it could go a lot faster but i have a few high priority things to do smile

    best regards,

    btw development of my site didn’t go that well, i don’t like my own design :D i’ll start over in a couple of days when i get another “brilliant” design idea :D

  30. faye says:

    So pretty! Yay! =]

    Also, a quick question about supplementary recommendations. Should we give the teacher an evaluation form, just like the other two recs? Should we label it “supplementary rec”?

    Lastly, would Geography count as a humanities or a science if it covers both human geography and physical geography (along with environmental science)?

  31. faye says:

    Thanks! And sorry for the comment spam.

  32. Sarah Dupuis says:

    The site looks great! I’m almost bummed that I’m already enrolled here, because now I can’t log in and get the full effect (but I’m not really that bummed).

  33. Karen says:

    This site is sexy. I’m serious.

  34. Eh, not bad. I could do better.

    Just kidding Ben, you know I think it’s awesome! I’ll see you soon! I still have to tell you the stories about TFGFH.

  35. Filiz says:


    could u plz help me? I have an SAT of 1500 should i take it again??? plz let me know asap.


    hahahahahahhahaha =D Sorry.. I know you don’t know me nor do I you but it was so tempting I had to do it =) Nice site btw, looks great. clean, consecutive, organized and such.

  36. Evan Broder says:

    The new site looks even better than the screenshots. I think it’s awesome.

    That being said, I hate actually have to visit sites smile, and the new templates break the RSS feeds that you guys used to have :(. We should fix that.

    And let us know when you get back in town so we can come bug you and keep you from getting any work done.

  37. Apropos of nothing relevant… all babies look like Winston Churchill, have you noticed that?

  38. Christina says:

    I love that Nan busted in on this. :D

    I know how hard you worked on this, and it is, of course, beautiful. grin

  39. Caroline says:

    Very pretty! *coos at the new baby*

    A couple bugs. The navigation bar at the top of the page doesn’t always load properly (it appears as blank white space), but maybe my computer is getting old and feeble. Also, could you make contacting admissions with questions a little easier? There’s only a tiny little “email us” link at the bottom that took me a while to find.

  40. mark says:

    .. it’s nice to have something fresh.. ..

  41. Sampson says:

    Chronological order! =D

  42. Anim says:

    It’s really nice

  43. Shannon says:

    I found a broken link, Ben. In the “Hacks and Traditions” section at the bottom, the link for Courses leads to nowhere.

    “A full list of the Courses can be found here.”

    The “here” doesn’t exist, though. Is this supposed to link to the Majors and Minors section, perhaps?

  44. Omar '10 says:

    “On an only slightly related note, Omar ’10 hasn’t seen you because he’s always always always in the ESG lounge. We don’t even see him in the Haus anymore. It’s because he hates us. ^_^”

    mm… on response to that comment by my dear friend Keri I would like to say that well… it’s kind of true. But yeah, during the week my life is crazy, my schedule is kind of full, I’m also full of PSETs to do all the time and I’m also practicing Taekwondo which is a lot of fun but it also requires some extra hours a day. But yeah, during the weekends I’m here at Senior Haus and I do socialize a lot!!!

    So yeah… life has been crazy, but I’m around!

  45. OK, I give up: where is the search box so I can try to find something on the site? grin

  46. Kellen McGee says:

    It is a lovely site to be sure. This may not be related, but the Online Application does not warn applicants that their essays may be cut off in the PDF file. Mine was inside the wordlimit, but its unique format caused it to be longer than the page alotted was, so the conclusion was cut off. It is not detremental to the essay, but it would be nice if there were some sort of warning message. I assumed when previewing it, that online submissions would not be constrained to the limits of the pages on the PDF file since someone submitting a hard copy would be able to submit as many additional pages as they would need anyway.

    …It’s still a pretty site though.

  47. MIT is supposed to b the best college for engineers in universe

  48. Hi, where can we find information on supplementary materials and the requriements for a particular field? I like the new site, it’s very apple with the dashboard and all.

  49. I love this site!

    Why couldn;t it have been like this last year?? :(

    Oh, well, the site last yr was super-coolio too. :D

  50. Anonymous says:

    The my mit account creation system doesn’t allow people to enter their high school information, and it won’t allow people to continue until high school information is entered so people just get stuck on page two.

  51. Vivek says:

    well Its cool but i liked your old picture more!!

  52. Zaira says:

    Your baby is beautiful! MIT definitely has the best college admissions website, congratulations!

    I have been using the new “Blog Archives by topic” feature and found this little [url=” ” rel=”nofollow”]
    gem[/url]. Although I read it last year, it almost made me cry again. I now know that my application will be in good hands. Thank you, Ben.

    Remember the note I asked you to give to Mitra (I am the MITES student who created the design for her previous blog). Has she received it?


  53. Serena W. says:

    RE: Error in MIT profile on

    I have been using to do preliminary research (e.g. retention and graduation stats)on schools I am interested in applying to, and to see if they have my major (biology). I know that MIT offers a bio major, but Princeton Review indicates otherwise.
    To access the list of majors, here are the steps. Log on to log on to Princeton, and up pops the summary page. The second section, highlighted in red, is “Statistics”. In that section, toward the bottom, are words in blue, and underlined. Click on “Academics”, and info pops up about special academic programs, as well as a list of majors. Bio isn’t on that list.
    Just thought you might want to know.

  54. TIAGO says:


  55. inquisitor says:

    Off topic, but…

    YOU’RE SUCH A CUTIE, BEN! Your wife is SOOOO lucky!

  56. Anonymous says:

    I’m wondering if you can have all the blogs combined in one rss feed.


  57. Lamby says:

    Ben, it has been too long since your last post!

  58. Sarab says:

    Bug Report:-
    I tried to send in part 1 last night and I got a message saying that I will get a confirmation as soon as it is credited. Now, more than 24 hours later, I have no e-mail and I am also not being able to open up the payment page of Part 1 of my application.
    Love the site. Nice to use, one that makes you want to come to MIT. Teach the other colleges how to make an equally inviting site please!

  59. I wouldlike to know how to apply in your institute(massachoussete intitute of technology)with a financial aid
    thank you for your sincerely

  60. Julie Win says:

    The site is pretty but I find it hard to use. I am trying to download just the teacher recommendation forms and school reports to send off to my son who is in boarding school abroad and has no U.S. guidance counselor. Those pages have been very hard to find. After 20 minutes of looking all over this page, I still haven’t found them.

    I prefer simple and functional. The admissions pages– requirements, deadlines, form– should be easy to find at first sight on the first page.

  61. I have had some of my status corrected like the date of birth, thus, that gives hard time to access my demands online in mymit a/c.

    How would you rescue me!!!!!!!


  62. Mikey says:

    Julie –

    If you look under #6: APPLY, and click on “The Freshman Application”, there are links to download each part of (or the entire) application, including “Evaluation A”, “Evaluation B”, and “Secondary School Report”, which I believe are the parts you’re looking for. You can also find the deadlines, requirements, and everything else related to the application process under this section.