Blogs: Staying Sane

Can You Get a PhD Without an Advisor?

SPRING 2017
by Patrick W.
Nuclear Science and Engineering
I applied to MIT to study nuclear power policy with three top experts in the field. Any of them would be great advisor, so I decided to come to MIT. In the six months between when I visited campus and the start of classes, the first professor retired, the second was promoted out of the department...

An Unexpected Mentor

SPRING 2017
by Bianca D.
Media Arts and Sciences
“You win some, you lose some. Well… you lose most,” Sunny said, reacting to our latest unsuccessful experiment. We frown at the lab bench briefly before laughing at the silliness of the situation. Sunny shrugs, standing by his statement and commenting on the nature of grad school as he reminds me...

Confronting AlphaGo

SPRING 2017
by Lee W.
Mechanical Engineering
In March 2016, world champion Go player Lee Sedol was defeated by the computer program AlphaGo in a five-game match. As someone who doesn’t play Go, follow professional Go, or study computer science, this shouldn't have been a big...

Human Touch

SPRING 2017
by Leilani G.
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
As native Californian, choosing to attend MIT came as a shock to my family. When I moved to Boston, they started placing bets on whether I would stay past the first blizzard, and how long I would last in general. Luckily for me, I moved to the east coast during one of the tamest Boston winters. For...

How the Squirtle Spawn

SPRING 2017
by Kenny C.
Chemistry
Graduate student life is very busy, especially at MIT. No two days in the lab are the same. In my opinion, this is what makes science and being a student at MIT so exciting. There’s never a shortage of people making strides in their research. Some days I might be in the lab for 16 hours doing...

Fighting Depression

SPRING 2017
by Dongying S.
Chemical Engineering
“Who is she? Why does she look so sad?” It was a summer day in 2013. After lying in my bed and staring at the ceiling without doing anything for the entire day again, I finally got up. When I looked into the bathroom mirror, I saw my eyes filled with tears. What is worse, I could not recognize the...

5 Ways to Enrich Your Life in Grad School

SPRING 2017
by Sarah B.
Biology
In undergrad, I lost the journey for the destination. I came to college with blinders on. I was determined to focus 100% of my energy on academics and not let anything distract me from good grades. And, for better or worse, that is exactly what happened.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, I fell naturally...

Community Health

SPRING 2017
by Greg S.
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
This past October my wife lost a family member—someone who was very close to both of us. We quickly jumped on the first plane to California. I hastily composed an email to my advisor, letting him know that I would have to leave town for a few weeks. His message back was succinct—short enough to be...

Being a Muslim Woman at MIT

SPRING 2017
by Titan H.
Mechanical Engineering
On a sunny day last fall, I wanted to try cooking a typical Indonesian food called ‘rendang,’ a delicious spicy beef curry.  Figure 1. Rendang is best served with warm jasmine rice, shrimp crackers, and fresh cucumber. I left my apartment to go grocery shopping while catching Pokemon at the same...

Reaching the Summit

SPRING 2017
by Leigh Ann K.
Nuclear Science and Engineering
I saw the police car just a little too late. I looked at the speedometer, and unlike the rest of the morning when I’d been sticking to the speed limit, I’d somehow drifted up to over 80 mph. Sally, my friend and hiking buddy, murmurs, “Oh no,” as she sees the red and blue lights come on. I was...