Blogs: Beyond the Lab

Giving Back to Society

How I got involved in service activities at MIT

AUG 2019
Mechanical Engineering
The ultimate aim of all the jobs the world has to offer in today’s time, whether in the field of entertainment, business or research, is to ultimately serve the human civilization. While none can claim to be better than others, some have a more direct and faster impact. These include service...

Dance Fitness in Boston

Workout AND have fun!

JUL 2019
Biological Engineering
I entered graduate school as an awkward, uncoordinated person. I will leave it as a prima ballerina. Just kidding. But jokes aside, Boston has quite a few fun, unique dance fitness opportunities, and I have them to thank for making me a more coordinated, flexible, happy person. Dance fitness...

Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn

Embracing opportunities to teach at MIT

JUL 2019
Technology and Policy Program
I love helping people learn. I first got a taste of this at the military academy where I completed my undergraduate degree. I taught new cadets and new Airmen about marching and other aspects of being in the military. Later, I worked an obstacle course where I had to teach safety and proper...

Comedy Lab

How a research group in EECS became stand-up comedians in 10 weeks

JUL 2019
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
One year ago, my advisor, Prof. Charles Leiserson in CSAIL, arranged for our research group to take a stand-up comedy class with Dana Jay Bein, a local comedian with Improv Boston. Charles sold it to us as an...

Get out of the Lab and See the World!

Why traveling – especially solo – is perfect for PhD students

JUN 2019
Biological Engineering
Last September, I anxiously stood in front of my thesis committee, waiting for them to comment on my graduation timeline. To my surprise, not only did they say I could graduate soon, but they even suggested a date — May 2019! My initial reaction was the urge to go climb a rooftop and shout the good...

Learn to Swim

One of the many free PE classes offered at MIT

JUN 2019
Mechanical Engineering
I was brought up in places far from lakes and rivers. The non-availability of swimming facilities in my high school and college led to my inability to learn to swim until I joined MIT as a graduate student. Here at MIT, however, the presence of Charles River right next to the campus inspired me to...

Sailing Outside My Comfort Zone

The story of a numerical modeler wandering into the Arctic

JUN 2019
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
It all started with an email: ‘Urgent: Help needed for a research cruise in the Arctic ocean. No prior experience required’. The message had been sent to my department’s mailing list and described a month-long research opportunity to conduct oceanographic field work along the coast of Alaska. I...

On Rooftops in Cambridge and That Elusive Feeling of Hereness

When they go low, you go high

MAY 2019
Brain and Cognitive Sciences
A long time ago, I climbed a roof here. Though I should clarify and revise; this is, after all, an institute built on precision. Recently, a professor returned a response paper I had written with a comment that read, this is all very interesting,...

Finding My Grad School Home

An experiment in communal living

MAY 2019
Chemical Engineering
When I arrived in the foreboding metropolis of Boston, I sought a group of friends that brings soup when someone is sick, welcomes each other into our homes even at the lowest of times, asks deep questions, and challenges each other to be the best we can be. I struggled adapting to this new place...

An Ode to My Slow Cooker

How a special appliance has saved me both time and sanity

MAY 2019
Media Arts and Sciences
 The special appliance: my slow cooker   I want to thank one special appliance Whose dedication and trusty alliance Have been a time saver for a busy grad mom. You snuck into my kitchen with quiet aplomb, Arriving, in a box, some years ago-- Black and sleek. How was I to know That you would save...