Table of Contents

About Angles


Dedication: Remembering Umaer Basha


On Campus: A Note from the Editors


Writing from Experience

Riverside Park by Shilpa Agrawal

To my mother, Riverside Park is a beautiful walk at the edge of the city. To my father, it’s a great place for pick-up basketball. I like to think that getting lost within the park is what helps you find yourself.

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What It Means To Be Alive by Larissa Senatus

As I relaxed in bed and enjoyed my day off on a beautiful afternoon, a distant noise filtered into my room. I didn’t pay much attention to it. Still able to hear it after a while, I got curious and decided to go out and see what was going on. All I remember was getting out of bed. The next scene I have in mind is me, holding on to my door, screaming in terror and confusion.

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The View from the Top by Ann Felhofer

Wow, what a weekend. I had spent the last two days at MIT meeting other prefrosh, sitting in on a couple of my host Patty’s classes, and eating more than enough free food during CPW. The weather was unusually warm for springtime and the music was constantly blaring – the ideal conditions for Campus Preview Weekend.

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Yellowstone’s Footprint by Jessica Fujimori

We rolled along forest and mountain roads in a caravan of four white vans full of fifteen almost-freshmen, a few older students, a postdoc, and one daunting professor. He wore baggy jeans, a loose button-up shirt, a bushy gray beard, dark sunglasses with a blue tint, and a tan baseball-style hat that read “Earthtime.”

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My Life: Tuesday by Noor Khouri

I lie in bed in my dorm room, awake for what feels like hours, wishing I could just fall asleep. As time passes slowly, light creeps through from the hairline crack underneath my door and the colour spectrum of my furniture emerges as my eyes become accustomed to the dark. I look around. My mind drifts back to the place I miss most…home.

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Away from Home by Yvonne Wangare

Many students prefer attending colleges that are far from home, or rather, they want to be as far away from their parents as possible. Since college life is perceived to be all about freedom, students take pride in going to colleges where the folks won’t be right next door, so there will be no rules to adhere to. I shared this perspective, until the day it dawned on me that I would be spending my next four years thousands of miles away from home, Nairobi, Kenya (approximately 7200 miles as the crow flies).

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The Brass Rat: MIT’s Nonstandard Technology Ring by Sterling Watson

Here at MIT, there is a key distinguisher between upperclassmen and the freshmen and sophomores.  It isn’t gray hairs, tired eyes, or wise expressions—all of which are possible side effects of two years of studying at the Institute.  Instead, it is a bulky, gleaming, gold-to-gray ring on the upperclassman’s right hand.

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Walker Memorial: The ‘Useful Building’ by Mina Healey

I knew my parents got married at MIT, but I didn’t really think twice about it until I started exploring the campus when I got here in September. What building did they get married in? Do I have a class there now? It’s crazy that twenty-five years ago my parents got married here, and now I’m a freshman going to class in this same place.

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Intuition by Keaton Stubis

If you asked me what the one thing is that I truly love to do, I would answer without any hesitation: mathematics.  In general, however, I am not such a decisive person. When faced with a multitude of choices at a restaurant or when asked for a few words to describe myself, I am at a total loss. To be honest, I consider myself very lucky to know something so fundamental about myself.


Writing on Contemporary Issues

Memoirs of a Modern Day Abolitionist by Hailey Lee

After refereeing a children’s soccer match for hours under the scorching African sun, my Ghanaian friend Matthew and I sprawled out on the cool concrete steps of the Challenging Heights school building, sipping from pineapple juice boxes.

“This reminds me of childhood,” I chuckled. “During elementary school, my mum put a Mott’s apple juice box in my lunch bag every day. By fifth grade, I was so sick of them.”

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Shifting Balance: The Elimination of MIT’s Varsity Women’s Gymnastics Program by Lindsay Sanneman

As I stand in the corner of the DuPont Gymnasium preparing for my daily gymnastics workout, I look around. One of the balance beams is off kilter with a “Do Not Use” sign posted on the side, the roof leaks a little bit, and the spotting ropes over the trampoline are frayed.

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When Lucky Isn’t Looking out for your Child, Who Should? by Liz Dethy

The screen goes dark. The image of the yellow sponge that “lives in a pineapple under the sea” is replaced by Lucky, clad in all-green with a top hat to match, clutching a box of Lucky Charms and riding on a shooting star. Three cartoon characters shout after him, “Lucky is flying away with the charms” as he shoots off a cliff, laughing with glee.

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The Keystone XL Pipeline: An Ongoing Controversy by Sofia Essayan-Perez

Since the Transcanada Corporation first proposed the Keystone XL Pipeline in 2008, controversies about economic, environmental, and territorial issues have surrounded the project. Keystone XL will transport crude oil extracted from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada via a 36-inch diameter pipe passing through Midwestern and Central states, ending in Texas, United States.

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The Ancient Wisdom of the Shâkâhârî Indians by Praveen S. Venkataramana

Today, across the world, discussions about vegetarian diets have reached a high pitch. An article in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition documents that the publication rate of vegetarian articles increased steadily over three t decades, from an average of 10 per year in the late ’60s to 76 per year in the early ’90s.


Writing about Technology, Science, and Scientists

A Professor of Puzzles by Ana Burgos

Time was quickly running out at the chemistry lab of Arthur D. Little, Inc. There were only a couple hours until the Coca-Cola Company would call back asking for results as to whether or not their competitor’s product contained the suspected cancer-causing chemical. Coca-Cola and Canada Dry had each launched a new citrus flavored soda.

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Armed and Dangerous: “Don’t Point your Quantum Computer at Me!” by Jonathan Warneke

Professor Edward Farhi, director of the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT, has been deemed armed and dangerous by the United States government.  His weapon of choice?  A quantum computer.

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A Review of Eric Kandel’s In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind  by Henna Nandwani

“The Aplisa”
An aplisa is like
a squishy snail.
In rain, in snow, in sleet,
in hail. . . .

A verse from Dr. Seuss? Think again. This passage is from neuroscientist and Nobel laureate Eric Kandel’s latest book, In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind.

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The Exhibit that Time Forgot: How Your Life Began at the Boston Museum of Science by Deena Wang

Middle schoolers huddle in a darkened classroom, eyes focused on a 10 by 12 inch TV screen. On a staticky video tape, a bland voice narrates the story of conception, as sperm and egg conjoin and the fertilized egg begins to divide. Finally, the moment they’ve all been dreading arrives: a dark-haired head pops out of the mother’s vagina in a rush of blood, while in the classroom, the students cry in disgust and fake retching noises.

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Can Computers Think? by Steven Zierk

Computers have become astronomically faster since the introduction of ENIAC, the first computer, in 1946. That first computer’s rate of 18 calculations per second, so advanced back then, is left behind by the simplest of calculators today.  The most advanced computers today, such as the K Computer in Kobe, Japan, measure calculations in quadrillions per second.

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Vibration Energy Harvesting for Large-Scale Sensor Networks and Other Applications by Christopher Lang

Hundreds and even thousands of sensors are currently being used to monitor a wide variety of phenomena including greenhouse gases, air pollution, landslides, tsunamis, earthquakes, and the structural integrity of pipelines and other machinery. With these networks comes the necessity to power each sensor. Traditional methods of power distribution fail when it comes to these systems.


Outside the Box

Transcript of 2011 Annual Cambridge Mouse Meeting (9/15~9/19) by Sang Hyun Choi

Meeting time: September 17th (third day) Location: the Secret Alley of Meeting Speaker of the day: Albert Moustein

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Owl, a poem by Mark Fayngersh

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, determined
exhausted enduring,
hauling their bodies through the Infinite Corridor at night seeking the p-set box,
night owls delivering what remains of a week’s hunt . . .

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Pottery Class, a graphic story by Lili Sun

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The Sketchbook: Lowlights of Being an MIT Archie, a graphic story by Alina Granville


Assignments for These Student Compositions