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In the Art of the City
I spent my childhood in Shanghai, the largest city in China. However, as a child, I never had the chance to explore this big city. After I graduated from high…
My Degree by the Numbers
Two teams, 11 unique personalities, seven months, 14 classes. A return to New England Patriots nation after a six-year journey where I resided in three different states (and one district).…
From My Future Self
Dear Alicia (circa 2015), Hi! It’s me. Or you, from the future. I’m writing you from the fourth semester of our grad school experience (the one you’re about to embark…
Finding Great Escapes
As a 78 degree breeze brushed against my shoulders, I took my first sip of the local cocktail of choice, Ti Punch. I must look like such a local, ordering…
An Unexpected Mentor
“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…
The Infinite Corridor
“How do I get to MIT?” I asked. It was a sunny afternoon with a crisp fall breeze. I was only 2 weeks into my first trip to the US,…
Confronting AlphaGo
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…
Communicating Science
Survival of the fittest. A succinct, elegant tenant of life—and perhaps the most famous words to be uttered in all biology. Uttered by whom, though? You might be surprised to…
Returning to MIT
I came back to MIT as a graduate student more in spite of my time as an undergraduate here than because of it. And I’m so glad that I did.…
Human Touch
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…
How the Squirtle Spawn
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…
It’s a Match!
One of the best feelings as a student is receiving that acceptance letter from a school or program you thought was nearly impossible to get into. However, for graduate school,…
My Road to Yelp Elite
Fact: The quickest way to attract students (and usually professors) is to promise food of any kind. Whereas I should be asking, “Interpretable natural language models talk vs. a mentorship…
Fighting Depression
“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 Case for Quantum Morality
I should start by saying that everything that I’m about to write may or may not be completely bogus. Still, I haven’t convinced myself that it’s not bogus, so I…
45 Dreams Deferred
Dressed in a freshly dry-cleaned suit for graduate school visits, I marched proudly and eagerly into my first one-on-one interview with a prospective PI. “Hi, I’m Amanda!” “Nice to meet…
Overheard at MIT
What if you could be a fly on the wall in the place where some of the most important things were invented? Arriving to MIT Sloan as an MBA student,…
Bundle Up!
I grew up in Puerto Rico (PR), where the average temperature is about 85 degrees Fahrenheit in “winter” time. Despite not knowing what winter meant in New England, I decided…
Eat Your Vegetables
I’ve made a HUGE mistake… It’s Wednesday afternoon, and I’m standing in my kitchen staring at a pile of vegetables meant to feed a family of 5. One problem: I’m…
Community Health
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…
Why Choose MIT?
When asked the entitled question (“Why Choose MIT?”), especially by prospective students whom I haven’t gotten to know well personally, I’m often at loss as to how to respond. The…
Plan to Feel Unprepared
There are few things more intimidating than standing in front of an MIT classroom after your very first semester, preparing to lecture on topics you just finished learning about. I…
Reaching the Summit
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,…
Winter Is Coming
“California native picks MIT for the beautiful Boston weather.” This is a headline that you will never see in an MIT advertising brochure. Whenever I go back home to visit…
So What Do YOU Think?
The 10-day orientation boot camp for my degree program was over. My future classmates and I were wrapping up the camp with a barbeque party on the MIT sailing pavilion…
Did You Walk from Korea?
Arriving in from the sweltering heat of a typical Korean summer, the crisp cool weather and matching blue sky which Boston greeted me with was the perfect weather for my…
To MIT with Love
“… you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future…” It was a rainy monsoon evening of August, almost a year after my first visit as…
Why Study Anything but Engineering?
Why study anything BUT engineering at MIT? In my case, why study Supply Chain Management and Operations? MIT is Infinite MIT offers cutting-edge research opportunities and access to infinite resources…
How Can I Keep from Singing?
For me there is nothing more sublime than sharing one’s voice with fellow singers and creating beautiful chords and melodies. Singing has been among my favorite activities to take my…
New Year’s (Un)Resolutions
In 2016, I made 18 New Year’s resolutions (all of which I considered to be achievable. No comment here on how well I did with that particular challenge). For 2017,…
Not Just a Grad Student
From the day I moved to MIT, I worried about whether I belonged here. Was I smart enough? Would I be able to handle the intense, rigorous workload? Would I…