Thankfully, thanksgiving is next week and I’ll be able to go home and exchange my light winter coat for my heavy winter coat. The semester is weeks away from being over, and I have officially had to retire my flip flops. Luckily, we still have memories of summer to sustain us through the winter months. I thought it’d be fun to follow up with the “what are YOU doing this summer?” post from last spring and show you a few friends in action during Summer ’09.


Ariadne Smith '10 (course 2) in Paris, where she interned at Electricite de France.


Sam O'Keefe '09 (course 1) in front of the Roman Aqueducts ("you can smell the engineering"-Sam). Sam participated in Misti Spain and interned at a Renewable Energy Policy Lobby in Madrid.


Emily Onufer '10 (course 20) interned at St. Jude Medical Devices -a company specializing in cardiac medical technology, in Minneapolis, MN.


Will Gibson '10 (course 20) UROP'd in the Edelman lab at HST, conducting studies on syndecan-1, heparanase and occasionally leaving lab to hang out with me 🙂

Fresh Greens logoWhat does being green mean to teens? MIT students mentored local youth over the summer to pose that very question to teens nationwide and produce an hour-long radio program about their findings. The work was part of Terrascope Youth Radio (TYR), a teen outreach program run as a collaboration between the MIT Terrascope Program and the City of Cambridge Youth Programs. TYR is radio about big issues and everyday stories, such as how to be more environmentally conscious in your own home.

The program, called Fresh Greens: Teens and the Environment, will be broadcast and distributed by New Hampshire Public Radio (and streamed on on Friday, Sept. 4, at noon and Saturday, Sept. 5, at 4:00 p.m. You can also listen to clips online.

The answers teens gave about their views on environmental issues might surprise you. Kids say being green is not merely remembering to recycle. It’s about listening to the experience and wisdom of others and believing one person can make a difference, then spreading the word.

The program is hosted by two TYR members, Hichem Hadjeres and Manon Bonnet, and youth radio groups across the country submitted pieces for inclusion in the special. TYR interns—most of whom had no previous radio experience before the five-week program—helped select and edit the pieces, write the script, choose music, and mix the program.

Sorry to disappoint – I have not created a photograph that can capture a scent, nor do I know an MIT alum who has done such a thing.

I did, however, wish for such a thing last night, as I walked through the North End and a fresh air + salt water + olive oil + tomato sauce and wine aroma floated through the humid air. I’ve been most exposed to these perfect sensory experiences on family vacations growing up, so I spent the whole first fifteen minutes of walking down Hanover repeatedly exclaiming, “I feel like I’m on vacation!” Truthfully, I often feel like I’m on vacation when I’m in Boston (i.e., all the time). Can you tell I’m from a small town? DSC01572

Anyway, a few friends and I dined at G’Vanni’s last night. Two friends in particular almost had heart attacks after seeing one of their professors eating dinner with her husband. We thought professors ceased to exist outside of class?

I’m also including a picture from last year, when a group of us were driving home from dinner near the North End and literally turned the car around to jump around in water. I’m interested to know if those of you who stayed in Boston during the summer spent your time on these same sorts of excursions? That is, all of the touristy things that there is little time to do during the school year. Do tell!


Hi everyone! Whew – it has been quite an academically busy summer for me, but I won’t bore you with those details. DSC01515Instead I thought you’d enjoy a recap of my third Fourth of July at MIT.

On the eve of Independance Day, I made cupcakes in my friend’s kitchen in Bexley. (I decided to personalize some of the cupcakes (exhibit to your right) for a BBQ we had the next day.) Artistic genius? I think yes.

I spent some of the early evening on the 4th at the Baker Alumni Reunion BBQ to fulfill my duties as a student ambassador/bakerite/ MIT student who knows she will be an alum all too soon, too!

I had originally planned to watch the fireworks from the top of DKE but at the last minute, some friends (one with a cousin on the Harvard sailing team…) coerced me into power walking DSC01543over to the Harvard Boathouse to watch the explosions from the dock. How could I say no? [On the way over, I had to instate my own policy that if a person’s blanket was on the ground, it was okay if I stepped on it. ] We made it with two minutes to spare, wobbled our way onto the dock, and took a seat just feet away from the barge itself. ———>DSC01551


What was 7/4 like when you were at MIT? Have you been back since and has it changed?





                                                                                                                             Rachel ’09, Jon ’11, and me!

Wednesday's Practice at the Reading Rowing Club boathouse. From left to right ( from bow to stern, then coxswain): Chuck Roth ‘66, Robert Lentz ‘98, John Malarkey ‘71, W. David Lee ‘69, Dusty Ordway ‘73, Bruce N. Anderson ‘69, Bruce Parker ‘69, Don Saer ‘70, and Willie Vicens ‘70.

July 8 practice at the Reading Rowing Club boathouse. From left to right ( from bow to stern, then coxswain): Chuck Roth ‘66, Robert Lentz ‘98, John Malarkey ‘71, W. David Lee ‘69, Dusty Ordway ‘73, Bruce N. Anderson ‘69, Bruce Parker ‘69, Don Saer ‘70, and Willie Vicens ‘70.

A shell and oars are the competitive tools that a nine-member alumni crew will  use in the UK’s Henley Veteran Regatta–some for the fourth time. Nearly the same crew  represented MIT at Henley 40 years ago. They compete today, July 10, and if they win, they compete tomorrow as well. Check the results of their E8 event online.

“In 1969, we won our first three races and lost in the semifinals,” says Bruce N. Anderson ’69. “In 1989, four of us returned to Henley and raced again. We got creamed (by crews 20 years younger than us!) In 1999, all nine of us returned to Cambridge to row in the Head of the Charles (our 30th anniversary); we’ve been racing every year since at the Head, with one to three ‘spares’ replacing oarsmen of the original crew that couldn’t make it that year. In 2003, most of the original crew returned to Henley to race again. We lost in the finals.”

The Henley Veteran Regatta, hosted at Upper Thames, is an internationally recognized event for veterans or masters crews, held on the weekend following the Henley Royal Regatta.

The crew after losing to Durham Boat Club (England).

The crew after losing to Durham Boat Club (England) July 10.

“One of the highlights of our university experience was racing in the Thames Cup at Henley in 1969,” John Malarkey ’71. “This year, we are all over 60 but for one young lad in his 30s. (He will have to pull extra hard, since he brings our average age down such that we are in category E rather than F!)  We will be coming from California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington DC, Ohio, and Surrey.  Reading Rowing Club has very graciously hosted us and provided us with equipment, and we hope to do their colours proud, as well as our own.”

MIT’s connection to the regatta began even earlier. Read an archived Technology Review article that describes the 1954 and 1955 results when two MIT lightweight crews  won back-to-back international championships.

Update July 13 Alas, our guys lost. “We raced a fine and fast race but they were finer and faster,” says Anderson.

I first met Josh Schuler when I was a senior in high school. I was my state’s female delegate at the American Junior Academy of Science’s annual convention (held with the AAAS’s annual convention) in St. Louis. It was an absolutely incredible experience and I loved every second of it. On one particular morning, we had a Breakfast With the Scientists event and I sat down next to Josh, who is now the Executive Director of the Lemelson-MIT program. At  the time, he worked as Inventeams Grants Officer, awarding  ingenious high school students with grants for their invention ideas.

DSC01490Josh asked me to stop by Eurekafest last week: an event which partly showcases the high school students’ and their inventions. In case you couldn’t be there, I decided to bring some of the ingenuity to you!

To our right is a power assisted litter device, created by students from San Juan High School in Utah. Their invention reduces rescuer fatigue, increases rescue speed, and reduces the number of responders needed for backcountry rescues. [MIT President not included.]

Also to our right is an invention which hopes to one day improve highway safety: the Cooperative Cruise Control for Hybrid Commuter Cars from students in Palos Verdes Estates, California. DSC01500

Students from Dayton, Ohio sought to develop some kitchen tools for individuals afflicted with hand injuries: see my video below:

Original Video – More videos at TinyPic


The shopping cart-turned-go-kart, dubbed LOLrioKart. Photo: MITERS

More years passed than I care to acknowledge before the practice of perching on a shopping cart and zooming through the grocery store got old. In fact, it never got that old. Not to me, and evidently, not to these MIT students.

According to gadget blog Gizmodo, a group of MIT students recently fashioned a go-kart out of a shopping cart using a stack of NiCd aircraft batteries, a 15hp brushless motor, and some new wheels. The best (read: scariest) part? It can reach 45 miles per hour.

I don’t think they’ve taken it to any grocery stores, though they did record a charming tour of campus. Check it out on YouTube or view below:

Happy First Day of Summer! I figured this would be a good day to officially begin my summer blog, although the recent rain, wind, and cold has made it feel more like October than June. Luckily, this makes me want to be outside less – which is great, as I am never at a loss for indoor activities this summer. That is, when I’m not in lab, coordinating for Camp Kesem, or with friends, I can always be spending my time studying for the MCAT.  :-/ (Outside studying doesn’t work – just ask my freshman-year-self who tried studying on the benches along the Charles. (Not a good idea!))

Compared with my packed summer schedule, things were much different during the two weeks I spent at home in late May. I rediscovered the world of trashy television (particularlyThe Real Housewive’s of Orange County/New York/New Jersey, which I am obsessed with for unknown reasons). Specifically, one evening I sat down with my brother while he was watching The Science Channel, and after a few minutes I insisted he, “put something good on.” I promise I really do go to MIT! 🙂DSC01458

To the right, feast your eyes on my new view for the summer! What was your view like during your time at MIT?

AITI teacher and MIT undergrad, Cory Smith, assists students at Strathmore University in Kenya

AITI teacher and MIT undergrad, Cory Smith, assists students at Strathmore University

If you think MIT students do interesting work during the school year, wait until you hear about their summer plans.

Founded in 1993, the Africa Information Technology Initiative (AITI) is a student-run organization that sends a handful of MIT students to Africa each summer to teach  students  about information technology and communications, as well as entrepreneurship. Previous groups have worked in Gambia, Ethiopia, and Zambia, however this year’s teams are teaching at Strathmore University in Kenya and (for a two-week pilot program) Kigali Institute of Science and Technology in Rwanda. Coursework will focus on designing and developing mobile phone applications—products that are considered valuable to many African consumers and whose projected and real growth is large and potentially lucrative.

Four students make up the 2009 Kenyra/Rwanda team:

  • Michael Gordon SM ′02, CSAIL PhD candidate and president of AITI
  • Zachary Stauber, an undergrad who recently attended the Global Startup Workshop in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Cory Smith, an undergrad economics major interested in international development
  • Julian Yuen, a computer science undergrad with a passion for mobile application programming

You can follow the group’s adventures in and out of the classroom on their blog:

AITI also accepts donations and notes that “100% of donations will be  used for program initiatives.”