Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA: On the 100th anniversary of the first airplane flight, a very weird thing happened: the first airplane ever built was stolen! On the news, I saw the Wright brothers’ airplane on top of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s dome. Inside the plane was one of the Wright brothers himself!

Or, more plausibly, students had placed a replica with a dummy on the top of the college’s main building. This ingenious, yet geekishly funny prank, is one example of MIT’s art of hacking. A defining characteristic of its culture, hacking is both challenging for the perpetrators and amusing to the community (and often even the world). Hacking shows not only a clever sense of humor, but also the ingenuity of the students at one of the world’s most prestigious colleges.

Currently staffing ten Nobel Prize laureates, and alma mater to thousands of successful scientists, engineers and business people, MIT is known for excellence. It is often the source of scientific breakthroughs and technological innovations – yet, it is still a college!

MIT’s 4,000 undergrads choose from 32 majors, most of which are science or engineering-related (though the Sloan School of Management offers one of the best management educations in the country).

For entertainment, many enjoy sports with 20 percent participating in one of the 41 intercollegiate teams, while 65 percent participate in intramural sports. These athletes enjoy a new state-of-the-art fitness center.

MIT is located just across the Charles River from Boston. Off-campus entertainment for Techies can include shopping in Boston, dining in Cambridge restaurants, or meeting students from Boston’s many colleges. If you’re looking for a fun experience in a renowned environment, with much diverse entertainment, you should join me in the pool of next year’s applicants!

Reviewed in 2004