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MIT blogger Elizabeth C. '13

There are a lot of awesome things named ‘Kaiser’ by Elizabeth C. '13

This post mainly consists of drawings of my professor, sentence fragments, and my over-use of the word "awesome." You have been forewarned.

This entry from Elizabeth in 2010 has been re-posted in celebration and congratulations to our new provost – Professor Chris Kaiser. You can read more about Prof. Kaiser’s new appointment here.


It’s true. Evidence:
1. Kaiser rolls. So much better than normal rolls.
2. Kaiser Chiefs. Actually, I was never a huge fan of this band, but they produced some catchy tunes a
couple years ago. (For fans of alt-rockers like Franz Ferdinand, The Bravery, Neon Trees, Bloc Party,
The Fratellis, etc…)
3. Kaisers. The German emperors. Actually, their awesomeness is debatable. So nevermind.
4. Kaiser. The card game. (Apparently there’s a Canadian card game named “Kaiser.”)
5. Kaiser, Missouri. Actually, the only thing awesome about this town is that it’s 1.5 hours away from
mine. So nevermind. (Sorry if I just offended any Kaiserians.)

This man taught the first ten lectures of 7.03 (Genetics) and is the head of the Course 7 (biology) department at MIT (he’s also an alum! Ph.D ’87 represent!). I’m going to miss him, although our new lecturer is equally awesome (shout-out to my homeboy Prof. Peter Reddien! Also an MIT alum, Ph.D ’02… he’s like a boy-wonder of biology. Except he’s an adult.). In honor of his departure from our 7.03 class, I figured I’d dedicate a post to him and write this open letter:

Open letter to C. Kaiser:

Dear Professor Kaiser,
You are hilarious. Mostly because I don’t think you realize how hilarious you are. And your lecture notes are awesome. And your lectures are awesome. And YOU are awesome.

This is him during our first lecture. He was trying to demonstrate the effects of mutations in the shibire gene in drosophila – when you heat them up, they become paralyzed. However, the flies in his demonstration weren’t becoming paralyzed as fast as he wanted them to. So this happened.

This is him explaining the profundity of anaphase in mitosis. I listened to lectures on mitosis upteen times in high school. This was definitely the coolest lecture on mitosis I’d ever heard. How does the spindle apparatus “know” which chromosomes match up with which during anaphase (dividing of the cell)? You just kind of learn that the copies get pulled apart (side note: if you’re ever in an exam and you don’t know the answer to a question, “Magic!” is always an appropriate response), but you never learn the mechanism. And then you take it for granted. Which is lame. To demonstrate the sheer awesomeness of this process, Prof. Kaiser blindfolded himself, pretended to be a spindle apparatus, and sorted a series of ridiculous socks he bought the day before in front of the class. Didn’t work too great. THEN, he tied each pair together around the middle, so that he knew he was pulling matching ones apart because of the tension he felt. OUR CELLS DO THE SAME THING! Except we have chromosomes instead of socks. And we have cohesives instead of string. And we have microtubules instead of Chris Kaiser. Darn.

This is him explaining how three-factor crosses help you map genes relative to each other. On this particular day, he kind of lost track of time. Hilarity (and confusion) ensued as he frantically tried to explain it to us in the remaining minutes of class (good thing we had recitation afterward).

In short, thanks for being an awesome professor, Prof. Kaiser. I hope you’re not too creeped out by me.

Also – I’m planning on a video blog for next time (try to contain your excitement). Post any questions you’d like me to answer in my video in the comments section (or e-mail me). Person with the most interesting question gets… brownie points. I’ll think you’re cool, or something like that.

13 responses to “There are a lot of awesome things named ‘Kaiser’”

  1. Heather says:

    Do all MIT students have such amazing note-taking skills, or just you? smile

  2. KP says:

    Wow, your handwriting and your notes are so beautiful. i wish i could write – and draw – like that!
    I love bio engineering as well, as well as nanotech, materials, mechanical, enviro…meh, just engineering in general!

  3. There’s a beer here in Brazil called Kaizer. It’s not very good though

  4. If I’m lucky and become part of the extremely small percentage of accepted students for fall 2011, Im taking note-taking courses from you. My handwriting is horrible and my notes completely lack of structure.

  5. If I’m lucky and become part of the extremely small percentage of accepted students for fall 2011, Im taking note-taking courses from you. My handwriting is horrible and my notes completely lack of structure.

  6. If I’m lucky and become part of the extremely small percentage of accepted students for fall 2011, Im taking note-taking courses from you. My handwriting is horrible and my notes completely lack of structure.

  7. Sorry, browser had problem.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Also, doesn’t Chris look positively pimpin’ in this pic?:

  9. Robert says:

    I was actually thinking “Do all MIT students have such amazing hand-writing skills?”

  10. oasis '11 says:

    [nerdy premed]

    Kaiser Permanente, a health-care organization based on the west coast, is often cited as one of the best models of HMOs in the US. (HMOs are health care providing organizations that manage each step of the medical process, from doctors to hospitals to pharmacies under the same umbrella)

    In fact, this is the first thing I thought of when you mentioned Kaiser -_____-

    ps. SO HAPPY we chose you as a blogger – keep up the good work!

  11. Thanks for the handwriting love, folks. My mom takes ridiculously neat notes and also drew during class, so I guess it runs in the family smile

    @Anonymous: That link is AWEsome. How in the world did you find that?? C. Kaiser, you so fly.

    @Chris Su: So much win! Also, shucks. I told C. Peterson that he could call me a bad person if I didn’t post this weekend. Now he can’t! Ha-ha! (Unfortunately, he still totally has the right to call me a creeper.)

  12. My thoughts as I read this post:
    -OMG biology win! I lurrve bio… probably gonna major in bio.
    -You keep talking about Prof. Kaiser in the past tense- did he leave or something? IDK maybe I missed something.
    -Chris Kaiser sounds awesome (sorta like alotta other MIT Profs… why is MIT so beastly??? :O)
    -Your note-taking skills are awesome.
    -The stuff that holds chromosomes together during anaphase is actually called “cohesin” not “cohesives.” (Sorry, did I mention I love bio?)
    -This blog post is full of win. Hope to see more in the future! :D

  13. Katie :D says:

    Are all MIT profs this cool? :D