Welcome to the chronicle of my east coast adventures this Spring Break. It was mostly college visitations but there was a ton of other fun stuff too!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Day Two, MIT and Cambridge!

Ah, what a great day this was. I was in MIT heaven! The day began early, up at 7, and we drove 2 hours to Cambridge Mass. to visit the school of my dreams. It was MIT's Spring Break and it was Sunday, so the campus was pretty quiet, but there was still a lot to do. We parked by the Stata Center, the weird shaped buildings I mentioned in my other MIT post. Here's a pic:

After that we started walking when all of a sudden I got really excited because I saw a building labeled "Vannevar". THAT'S THE BUILDING THE SHRUBBERY ROOM WAS IN! (http://hacks.mit.edu/Hacks/by_year/2004/shrubbery/) We checked and it was open so we went inside. Sure enough, there was the Vannevar Bush Room that the Hack was done on, so I got a picture of me in front of it:

I guess technically this wasn't the room hacked, but it was the centerpoint, so I got a picture anyways. Well, after seeing the Vannevar Bush Room we walked the infinite corridor (longest hallway in the world, 772 feet long) and saw some interesting stuff. One of the things we saw is known as the "Fishtank", a glass computer station that is really visible (hence the nickname). We also saw the huge mural of the one dollar bill (which has been hacked before) and got pictures of each. Pics:

Oh, and I also took a picture down the infinite corridor, so here:

As we walked down the hallway we looked in on some labs and wandered into some classrooms. I liked taking pictures of the black boards with math all over them, I'm that geeky! Here's one, but I'll make it a small picture so it doesn't waste a bunch of space:

I got a picture of me in front of the Great Dome in Killian Courtyard. It was very cool, and I also got a picture of me behind the Cambridge sign.

So, after touring a while we found some food at the Cambridge Café in the Student Center. We had pizza, it was very good and very big, and it was especially cool because they heated it in a brick pizza oven. On that same floor was the bookstore, market, and arcade. I got a great picture of the Top Ramen aisle in the market. It's as if they assume nobody can cook!

We went upstairs in the student center and found a bunch of the club offices, Newspaper, Yearbook, ScifFi club, etc. Here's a cool picture of the MIT beaver I found and knew that I had to post online:

I also visited the auditorium but there's no need to share those pictures. I will admit though, the acoustics were very impressive the stage was VERY nice. The chairs were cool, blue and green shades. I did see a sign in the bathroom that made me smile though, so you get to see that. The sense of humor at this place was incredible, all techie and funny at the same time. Here's the sign:

Yeah, that's humor for ya! Alright, this next pic requires a story. We were walking down the infinite corridor when we looked down and just randomly saw a skeleton. I'm not sure why it was there, it looked like the floor was just a different color and somebody likened it to a skull, adding the necessary bits with paint. Is it a hack? I looked for it on the internet and there is no mention of it, Hack or Non-Hack, so I don't know, but it was interesting.

Next stop at MIT was the Barker engineering library. There I met Carol and Lewis. Carol was the librarian in the library and was very nice. We talked about admissions and what I should do and fun stuff like that, and Lewis was a student at MIT who worked in the library. He talked about MIT and helped me understand what admissions looked for and told me what to focus on. They were both very helpful, I'll be visiting them when I get admitted to MIT. The Barker engineering library is located inside the great dome (the dome in one of the earlier pictures). It consists of I think 4 levels that are circular and work their way up the dome like donuts. Under the dome is a big empty room with bookshelves with magazines and a big sculpture hanging from the dome. Pictures!:
The last thing to do was to visit two more buildings: Lobby 7 and the Stata center. Lobby 7 is the main lobby of MIT and is under the smaller of the two MIT domes. It is also home to some terrific MIT hacks. Here' a picture that I took of it, and you can see if you check out http://hacks.mit.edu that there a lot of hacks here in Lobby 7.

The interior of the Stata center was very cool, but we found it just as we were leaving so we didn't have a chance to really explore it. But, after we left we discovered something else. . . . . .the MIT museum! I didn't even know there was such a thing! The guy at the counter where you buy tickets was really nice and instead of charging us $10 he only charged us $4. The museum was mostly filled with holograms, mechanic sculptures, and high speed photographs, but there was history too. Also, one of the cooler sections, was the robotics. They had all the robots you see on tv that hop and run and things, but the coolest robot the had was Kismet. What's Kismet you ask? Well, check the pic. . . recognize him? He's been in a ton of magazines and on tv and all over. He's really cool, a robot designed to display emotions.

Another neat thing they had was a certain rifle. Ever seen that picture of the bullet piercing an apple? It's a high-speed photo, and the had the rifle that shot that bullet because, of course, it was done at MIT. There was a bunch of other cool stuff at the museum but I'll spare you the details because a lot of it was "you had to be there". As we were leaving we stopped at the gift store and of course bought some stuff. I got a black shirt with the pi symbol on it, the pi symbol comprised of pi's digits. I also got a book called "Nightwork" which details the world of MIT hacking. I'd heard of it but had never seen a place to buy it, but obviously it was for sale at MIT. They had Deflexion for sale there and a kid was looking into maybe getting it so I answered questions for him and told him that it was the coolest game ever and that he should buy it. After leaving the museum we headed for the car and started to drive. Our next stop was Ithaca NY for Cornell. Alas, it was a 4 hour car ride full of toll booths, turnpikes, and service stations, and various tates of lost-ness, but we ended up in Ithaca and again, crashed into bed. What a GREAT day, MIT was incredible! I want to got there so badly!


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