Blogs: Biological Engineering

Explain the MIT Undergrads to Me

There’s a totally rational reason for the madness, I promise

JUN 2019
Biological Engineering
As a newly arrived graduate student at MIT, you may have noticed that the undergrads are a bit… crazy. Don’t worry, I’m your local neighborhood undergrad-whisperer, and I’m here to help. As a current Graduate Resident...

Dressing for Battlefield Science

Fashion & being yourself while complying with laboratory safety

APR 2019
Biological Engineering
My first three years of grad school blur together as a haze of experiments and little else. Doing laundry every other week marked the passage of time. I would wash the same set of Gap Body shirts in every neutral color along with my three identical pairs of NYDJ jeans. At some point, I realized I...

At MIT, New York City Is in Your Backyard

Navigating your transit options for weekend trips

MAR 2019
Biological Engineering
It was a Friday at 10:30am, and I was behind schedule to catch my bus to New York City. I rushed from the Red Line T stop at South Station to the bus terminal, annoyed that my rolling suitcase prevented me from running up the escalators. As it turned out, I shouldn’t have worried. The Megabus area...

How My Wife Stole My Car in Massachusetts

An object lesson in navigating the registry of motor vehicles

FEB 2019
Biological Engineering
When we moved from Arizona to Massachusetts, my wife graciously offered to take care of registering our car, letting me focus on starting classes at MIT. If someone offers to go to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) on your behalf, you say two things, and two things only: 1) ‘Yes’...

The Wonderful World of Procrasti-Baking

How I manage grad school stress in the kitchen

OCT 2018
Biological Engineering
You have spent days – maybe even weeks – planning the perfect experiment. You have gathered all the materials you need, written down the protocol in your lab notebook, and made sure all the necessary equipment is available. Line by line, you perform the protocol with precision and manage to get...

Not a Contradiction

You can raise a family at MIT

OCT 2018
Biological Engineering
“You know,” my wife said, “For our kids, MIT won’t be this abstract place they hear about sometimes in the news. It’ll be home: where they learned to ride their bikes and to read. They’ll think of it as the place where they grew up.” My wife – who deserves more credit than I could ever give her –...

Learning to Engage in Deep Conversations

How a conflict management class awoke my interest in interfaith dialogue

MAY 2018
Biological Engineering
In the third year of my PhD, two things happened that dramatically changed the way I see the world: I took MIT's 40-hour conflict management course in my training to become an MIT REF, and Donald Trump was...

MIT Graduate Housing

The guide I wish I'd had

MAY 2018
Biological Engineering
During my interview weekend at MIT, I went on a brief housing tour of three MIT graduate housing residences that current students lived in. One student proclaimed her room was the biggest bedroom in the whole building. I made a mental note—the biggest room in the furnished dorm is not very big. Don...

Hurricane María’s landfall in Cambridge

Trying to focus on graduate school despite natural disaster in my home country

APRIL 2018
Biological Engineering
Moving to a new place after spending a whole life on a small island in the Caribbean was very daunting. My expectations as a first-year graduate student in New England were not out of the ordinary. I would have to adjust to a different culture, prepare for different weather (far colder than...

Remember That Undergraduate Internship?

How an unhappy internship experience helped me discover my passion for research

MARCH 2018
Biological Engineering
I did not know I was considering graduate school until the beginning of my senior year. During undergrad, I felt like a squirrel in a nut factory jumping at every opportunity that came my way. In the summer of my sophomore year, I began working for a traditional chemical engineering company called...