Monday, June 13, 2011

First Week & Orientations

Classes started on 6th June'11 and the first week just went by in a flash. Initial few days consisted of several types of orientations - Computer and Tech Orientation, International Student Orientation, Program Office orientation etc. All fellows also got an orientation packet which was nice.

You will realize that my posts are becoming shorter and shorter. This is due to the fact that the first (summer) term is very busy with group work, whole day classes and then almost hundred pages to read everyday. That's what Sloan Fellows Program at MIT is all about.. :) Till next time..

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

MIT 150

It is a good year to be at MIT. Last Sat MIT celebrated its 150th Anniversary. Some pictures of the MIT dinner and the fireworks at the famous dome (Killian Court) are attached. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Getting a phone connection in US without SSN

A mobile phone connection is something that one wants to have immediately after arriving in a foreign country. However, if you are an international student, getting a post paid phone may be slightly tedious. Most operators in the US require a Social Security No. to provide a post-paid connection. If you don't have one then there is usually a $500 deposit which is refundable after the end of the contract (or during the contract term in some cases).

After researching a lot of options, I went up to the AT&T store and was pleased to know that for Harvard, MIT and Boston University students they do not require a deposit. The process is they only take the passport details and send it for some background check and wait for the request to get approved or denied. As per the store manager, the approval comes in almost all the cases. But if you need the phone the same day, then you will have to pay a deposit.

When I asked the store manager if it was due to MIT's reputation, he said yes but also said that students usually don't have enough money to pay the deposit. :) Now how true is that..

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Optional Algebra Classes

Today we had the second day of the optional Algebra classes. Every year, usually a Ph.d student takes the classes for incoming Sloan Fellows. Right from quadratic equations to co-ordinate geometry to word/work problems was taken up on these two days. These classes are optional so anyone who thinks he/she does not need a refresher can skip. But it was interesting to see that almost 50% of the Sloan fellows participated in the session. Some people who did not attend the first day came for the second and vice versa, and there were some who attended both days.

I asked the Ph.d student about where we would apply these concepts in our core-courses. As per him, these are mostly used in the economics classes. Either ways, it was a good refresher for all of us.