Blogs: Living in Boston/Cambridge

Pandemic pupils

How Covid-19 has transformed my perspective on outreach and education

April 2021
MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography / Applied Ocean Science and Engineering
Going to graduate school anywhere can be a form of culture shock. Often, the transition is from cosmopolitan to erudite and razor-focused, or team-based and casual to more isolated. But moving to do graduate school in a northeastern city in the U.S. from somewhere more rural, such as southwestern...

New England-themed Reading List

Weathering this Winter with Literary Escapes

March 2021
Technology and Policy Program
First Impressions I grew up in southwestern China and Singapore, two sweltering hot places on Earth. In 2015, when I graduated from a college in Connecticut not too far from here, I decided that never again would I venture back to the New England climate and promptly moved to California. Well, fast...

A Journey through Time: Voyaging into Boston’s “Other” History

Personal Growth Outside of MIT

March 2021
Sloan School of Management
When you read the words “Boston” and “history,” what do you think of? For most folks, two events typically come to mind: 1) The Boston Tea Party, or 2) Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride (contrary to popular belief, he...

COVID-19 Elevates Incidence of Impostor Syndrome in 1st Year PhD Student

A virtual MIT student, by any other interface, still belongs here.

March 2021
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
“Please have your tracking number or a copy of this email and your MIT ID with you when you come to the Facilities Customer Service Center located in Building 7 Room 019. Keys may be picked up Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM excluding MIT holidays.” Great! Today was the day I would...

Be the [Climate] Change You Wish to See

Don’t underestimate the ripple effects of small changes

Feb 2021
Civil and Environmental Engineering
“What were they thinking?” That’s a common phrase we might say when we shake our heads at past generations for war, genocide, and slavery. As we eat our cheeseburgers in our air-conditioned cars while rolling past carefully manicured and fertilized lawns (otherwise called a...

Dousing First-Year Burnout

The importance of making MIT your home

Jan 2021
Nuclear Science and Engineering
“How was your first week, hon? Have you found any fun clubs to join? Are you making any friends?” Typical Mom, still thinking of me as a kid. I had just started a graduate program at MIT. I was joining a group of the world’s most elite scientists, and I certainly didn’t have time for the frivolous...

Art of Comfort

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

Dec 2020
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
What’s your deepest impression of Boston? Lobster, or the Charles River maybe? For me, it’s the rich art atmosphere. It’s not just about how good museums are, but more about how convenient it is for us students to visit them. The Harvard art museum is by far my preferred destination. It’s right...

My advisor left MIT during my PhD

Making difficult decisions with incomplete information

Dec 2020
Biological Engineering
It was a chilly November morning in 2014, and two months into my second year at MIT. My PhD advisor called for an all-hands group meeting with required attendance. We crammed into a tiny conference room: all 15 of us, whose lives were about to be turned upside-down. On the screen, my advisor...

Safer Grocery Shopping Guide During the COVID-19

Grocery shopping has been even more difficult during the pandemic, but here are some tips!

Dec 2020
System Design and Management
I never thought that getting good food without a car would be difficult in my life since I lived in Taipei before moving to Cambridge. In Taipei, you’ll see convenience stores everywhere because Taiwan has the highest density per capita of convenience stores in the world. A five-minute walk in...

Ohana means family

Finding a community outside of MIT

Dec 2020
I was freaking out. My whole body was shaking from a massive adrenaline rush. No, I hadn’t just seen the data that would complete my thesis work. I had just been hit by a car. Honestly, it was more of a “love tap” and I was okay, but there was real contact by a real clueless driver, and I needed to...