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A food scientist’s views on instant foods
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “instant”?  How about “instant foods”?  When it comes to food, people tend to relate instantaneity with unhealthy, “bad for you”, or processed.…
Fostering success
Over the course of the fall semester, places in the US underwent varying stages of lockdown in hopes of slowing the spread of coronavirus. My hometown had some of the…
Getting closer to my “luck”
This is a story about an imperfect person finding her way towards incredible mentors and places. One day, I wish to hear your version of this story. 4 years ago,…
Join today, plan for tomorrow
Whether it’s IEEE, ASME, AIChE, APS, or a different acronym, you are probably familiar with your field’s specific professional society. I became a member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS)…
Does this make Epstein my boss?
MIT’s Money Mistakes Just as I was starting graduate school at MIT, my pride in coming here was tainted by a national scandal that made me think twice about sporting…
My musical journey in Boston
An Instrumental Encounter “I am a musician.” I did not expect to hear those words during my lab rotation for the Health Science Technology program. I clearly remember the day.…
Grad student by day, standup comic by night
According to Psychology.com, Americans fear public speaking more than death. Personally, I’ve never been followed by an unknown man in an alley after dark and thought I bet he’s trying…
Packing for MIT: Laptop, winter coat, math phobia
When I put my pencil down after muddling through the last particularly hairy integration-by-substitution puzzler on the 2013 AB Calculus AP exam, I felt relieved – both that I had…
A journey through time: Voyaging into Boston’s “other” history
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…
New England-themed reading list
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…
Unleashing my inner rockstar
How can we have work-life balance when the “work” part is infinite? This was my excuse for not prioritizing exercise when I came to grad school. In reality, I was…
This isn’t Canada, eh?
Born and raised in Canada, I wasn’t expecting a big societal change coming to MIT for grad school. In my mind, Canada and the US had essentially the same culture.…
COVID-19 elevates incidence of impostor syndrome in 1st year PhD student
“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…
The silent 50%
Every year, I look forward to the annual Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) Fall Dinner. Not for the free food, open bar or rare opportunity to dress up (although…
Be the [climate] change you wish to see
“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…
There is more to MIT than lectures and labs!
I couldn’t have been more excited when I joined MIT in summer 2018 and started with research straight away. I came here thinking that all I could do at MIT…
A (rest)room of one’s own
In the COVID-19 research ramp-up, one return-to-work guideline was hotly contested. Community members should remain seated while flushing to limit viral transmission. For a moment, my department was as obsessed…
An unconventional path to MIT
For many of us, MIT has been our dream school since childhood. My personal journey leading to MIT took four years. It was a long time, but worth the wait.…
Dousing first-year burnout
“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…
Lost hobbies and how to find them
“Someday I’ll have more time for _______(insert your lost hobby here).” For years, this statement has been my approach to hobbies. I’ll have more time when this project is completed,…
Mitconceptions
“Wait up for me!” I shouted after my father as I scrambled to keep up with him. At 6 years old, I didn’t really fit in with the college students…
Prospects of a prospective international student in a pandemic era
The first six months of 2020 have been an emotional rollercoaster. The initial highs included receiving my acceptance letter from MIT; the lows — the COVID-19 outbreak and everything that…
Art of comfort
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…
Between three worlds
“So are you an aerospace engineer or a mathematician?” asked my interviewer. I grinned. I was applying for a job in an applied math department, and with two degrees (bachelor’s…
Welcome to the CandE shop
I came to MIT knowing exactly what I wanted to pursue: ensuring reliable, secure, clean, and affordable energy for all. You’d think that it would be easy to find a…
My advisor left MIT during my PhD
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…
Safer grocery shopping guide during the COVID-19
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…
To the mom applying to grad school:
“Can’t believe you got it done with children! Good for you!”  an old friend told me. I received similar remarks from other people as they learned that I had applied,…
Ohana means family
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…
MIT-isms
“Are you a first-year grad student?” “Yes, I am! What are you studying?” “Oh, I’m a Course 2, working on my SM – I’m taking my last 24 Units this…
Strange lands
“So how’s everything? How’s the baby?” This is the opening line at almost all of my meetings. And I really can hear the emphasis on the second part.  Growing up…
Volunteering in a home away from home
When I was accepted to the Comparative Media Studies Master’s program at MIT, I had spent the previous five years working on technology for social justice nonprofits in Mexico. This…
A stroke of luck?
Back in April, I wrote about how running has remained an important form of stress relief to me during the pandemic, despite the loss of the usual social runs and…
Vacation time!… What to do? What to do?
When packing my suitcases to do my Master’s in Engineering and Management at MIT, I was not just thinking about which classes I was going to take, but also about…
Reasons to cook for yourself
 Have you noticed how MIT seems to repel good restaurants? Go Northwest to Harvard Square, and you’ll see a squadron of restaurants catering to fortunate Harvard students. Go South, across…
Why I vote and why you should too
“Voting is our civic duty.” This sort of rationale can seem awfully abstract to a graduate student who has multiple class assignments due this week and is being hounded by…