Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Surviving MIT

Attended dinner with Committee that's searching for a new dean of engineering.
Yay free food and good conversation! Alex Slocum and Graham Ramsay cooked. They're really involved in ESG as well and are generally amazing. They were also taking lots of Flip video (vlogging) so that other students can enjoy our crazy conversation too.

See csl.mit.edu for the "Deans getting to know Students" topics: http://studentlife.mit.edu/about/initiatives/csl They'll be twice monthly at different dorms.
(this one was in talbot lounge at East Campus)
Course 2 tutors!
They ask that you go to office hours and TAs first. And I should just bug people in my class. I don't mind explaining things, other people shouldn't, right? I'm not actually dragging them down.

Anyway, things that I'm learning at MIT:

Tips: Go to office hours even if you're completely lost and/or haven't started on the pset. It never hurts to go to office hours!

Read over pset when first comes out. Even if it's scary and lots of words you don't know, it'll key your memory for lecture (and help lecture be more concrete and involve your brain more).

Pset groups are amazing. Try to start on pset with other people. Even if you think you're the only one terribly behind or lost, you can at least help other people stay up / be motivated to finish the pset.
The point isn't to evaluate you, it's for you to learn -- so it's if you're stuck or behind and just ask someone to explain a problem to you. Pointers take little time for other people to give, but can save you so much time.

At the dinner, there ended up being lots of course 2 / general talk as well. Discussion: GIRs should included basic "manufacturing" skills such as how to iterate a design. How to create a technical drawing, use solidworks, and manufacture it (get a more complete picture than just milling from a drawing or creating a drawing with no idea how to mill it).
(2.670 failure points) 2.670 is the mandatory course 2 "learn how to machine" class.
6.131: many people come in not knowing how to use an oscilloscope.
Course 6 intro for non-6 people: programming generally useful. (Theoretical physics professor: when people look for UROP, he asks 1. have they ever touched an oscilloscope 2. do they know any programming).
and statistics, since it's needed for almost any experiment/precision engineering.

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