Blogs: That's So MIT

The Project Management Triangle

Applying project management fundamentals to graduate school

APR 2019
Integrated Design and Management
Graduate school is a wonderful time to indulge in research, fun side projects, and coursework. This is especially true at MIT, where opportunities are plentiful, whether it be startups, teaching, courses, or working with professors. This is both a blessing and curse, especially for someone like me...

Safety First!

When science comes before safety

APR 2019
Chemical Engineering
As an MIT grad student doing cutting-edge research, have you always keep safety as your first priority? I hope your answer to this question is, “yes”. But in reality, many people feel that paying attention to safety will reduce their productivity. All graduate students coming to MIT are undoubtedly...

Venturing Into My Comfort Zone

When research and travel go hand in hand

MAR 2019
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Travelling is one of my favorite things to do, so I'm always excited when I get to travel for work. Since I’m a Ph.D. student in atmospheric chemistry in the environmental engineering department, you might think that my work naturally lends itself to performing research in the field. However, I do...

How can Philosophy Help Policy?

How I stepped outside my comfort zone and attended courses outside my research area

MAR 2019
Urban Studies and Planning
Before coming to MIT, I had no idea how much courses outside my field could influence my research and shape my intellectual beliefs. I had earned a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences with a minor in public policy. I had also worked with the...

Perfection versus Persistence

How I got into grad school

MAR 2019
Aeronautics and Astronautics
A skinny envelope containing a fat “No”: my first rejection. I’d been confident of my eventual acceptance to Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College, and my 17-year-old ego winced at the surprise. “Dear Brandon,” the letter started. “Many qualified applicants this year … Very strong accomplishments...

Weighted Decision Matrices and the Happiness Question

How I decided to come to MIT

MAR 2019
Mechanical Engineering
Deciding to pursue a Ph.D. and finding appropriate programs was straightforward for me; choosing where to go was much more tortuous. Even before I had received any acceptance letters, I fretted over the question: “How will I choose?”. Should I choose the most prestigious school? The cheapest city,...

The Pursuit of Happiness

Make today different from tomorrow

MAR 2019
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
Happiness is a strange thing. Take one of your glorious moments. Mine would probably be the day I learned I was joining MIT. It felt like I had just received my letter of admission to Hogwarts, from Dumbledore himself. I had worked so hard to get to that point, and for all I knew, it was the...

The Right Choice for the Wrong Reasons

Why I shouldn’t have chosen MIT, and why I’m glad I did

MAR 2019
“There’s no wrong choice.” This was an oft-stated sentence from my friends and family when I was deciding between graduate programs. And okay, sure, when you have the option to attend two wonderful institutions for graduate school, there is no “wrong” answer. But there is often a “better” answer....

A Perfect Campus Tour

See most of MIT in 30 minutes

MAR 2019
Mechanical Engineering
I have been at MIT for almost two and a half years, and during this time I have repeatedly been asked to give campus tours to visiting friends and family. Though most of campus is within walking distance, extremely convoluted paths resulting from high building density and weird building numbering...

Midnight Showers

(Non)sensical schedule optimization

FEB 2019
Media Arts and Sciences
In undergrad, I had what my friends called an "absolutely insane" schedule. I followed it because I felt like there was not enough time in the day to get everything done and I had the luxury of a flexible routine as a student. Sunday through Friday, my day looked like this: 2:00—3:15 AM  //  Gym 3:...