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did my S.B. in math & EECS so I had
the opportunity to work with people in the two departments.
My general impression of engineering students was that most
of them were quite bright and the less bright had
to work around the clock to survive the back breaking
work load. People are relentless and it's amazing how
they don't stop working. With the math department, things
are a little more theoretically so you generally tend to
see more people with very analytical minds and poorer work
habits. Not to say the math majors are lazy
or anything but it seems like you're less likely to
solve a math problem by spending hours on it as
opposed to an engineering problem set which involves tons of
grunge work. Overall, everyone was pretty smart and suprisingly
open to collaboration. I heard all these scary stories
about the cut throat competition @ MIT and I was
relieved to find out that people are more than willing
to stay up and help each other on problem sets.
Professors are aware of the need for collaboration so
they openly endorse it (although they usually require you to
put the names of the collaborators on your pset).
I can easily say I had the best five years
of my life there (S.B. & M.Eng) and I was
able to land an $83000 job as a software engineer
@ Oracle straight out of college. There are about
40 other kids from my class at Oracle and it's
gotten so ridiculous to a point where we don't even
get excited when we see an old friend here anymore.
It's a sad fact but corporate America is ran
by prestige whores and the MIT name brand will take
you far especially in these times. I recommend MIT
to anyone who is hell bent on succeeding in college
(even at the expense of making some social sacrifices) and
you can be sure that the back to back all
nighters and the long lab hours will pay off in
Another note on the social life...the
social life is not really that great but it's not
nearly as bad as people make it out to be
from the outside. There are some nerds/geeks at MIT
but there are also tons of normal people who are
fun to hang out with. The student body is
very diverse and you meet people from all kinds of
socioeconomic backgrounds. I had a friend who bought two
Porsches by junior year and I know of a kids
whose parents had minimum wage jobs. Varsity sports are
obviously not so big (we don't recruit athletes) but the
intramural scene is quite alive and you can participate in
a wide variety of sports.
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