Blogs: Beyond the Lab

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,...

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...

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...

Trains, Buses, and Feet

Seeing all of Boston on the way to class

MAY 2019
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
On Tuesday mornings, I catch a 7:30 bus to get to an 8:30 class. This class is roughly 2.5 miles from my apartment.  Why so far? Well, I’m a PhD student in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program, which focuses on integrating clinical experience into an engineering PhD. This involves...

Educating Myself Out of Education

I’m a fast climber, but why should it matter?

MAY 2019
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t always tell the truth.  When people ask me about MIT, I tend to oversell it. After all, it is one of the best, if not the best, university on the planet, nestled at the top of all international rankings. Once up here, everyone simply expects you to be proud of...

A Primer for Understanding ‘Merica

My first few weeks in the USA

may 2019
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
This blog is the continuation of my first blog where I wrote about my first few days in the USA. When I came to the USA from India to attend grad school, I had to learn many cultural norms that were very different from those at home on the other side of the planet. It was a steep learning curve,...

A Minor Change for A Major Reward

How playing guitar made my grad school life more enjoyable

MAY 2019
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
I should start a new hobby. I came to this conclusion when my answer to the question, “research + sleep = 24 hours?” was “yes, but not always”. Although finding downtime can be difficult, especially when you are taking courses, it is a necessary part of staying sane and healthy in graduate school....

What the Puck?

How a new sport helped me find clarity in grad school

MAY 2019
Chemistry
In my first year of graduate school, I fell on my butt a lot. It’s as if I would forget about my feet. I would be gliding along smoothly, comfortably shifting from one skate to the other, but if a puck slid in my direction — and I had to get it! — my skates would be gone from under me, my heavily...

Back to Square One

Learning to appreciate family

APR 2019
Operations Research Center
I just came back from Shanghai a week ago. It was my first trip home since I came to MIT in the summer of 2017. It’s been over a year and a half. I saw a lot of friends and family on this trip, including my high school math teacher. He told me the story of his wife giving birth to their twin...