New Home!

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up that all of the Tufts blogs have moved to http://www.tuftsblogs.com

The new home of Matt Talks Tufts is http://www.tuftsblogs.com/matt

Cool? Cool.

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March Madness

While I don’t regret applying early decision to Tufts, I never got to experience the college decision madness that happens sometime between March and April. Four years later, I’m blessed to finally going through it and it’s just as stressful as I’d imagined. I’ve heard back from three of seven schools that could land me anywhere from a few T stops down the road to 3,000 miles across the country for the next two to six years.

The grad school selection process certainly has different priorities that I remember when searching for undergrad. Funded research and thesis advisors are the name of the game; I’ve been spending the bulk of my time researching specific labs and projects that seem like a good fit for a mechanical engineer with a strong focus in environmental issues. I have an open house just about every weekend until April and have a lot to see before I can think about narrowing in on a final decision.

Alright, back to relentlessly checking my email….

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99 Days

99 days until graduation. Wow.

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Getting in the Groove

Just wrapped up the first full week of classes! Woohoo. The homework has arrived and I’m finally starting to get into the swing of things, one last time. This is actually the first semester that I’ve played around with swapping classes the first week. I’m sort of a routine-based person, so I usually like to get all my courses squared away day one and have all my books and notebooks ready to go. So far I’ve dropped a credit and a half and added another. Goodbye European Architecture, hello Business Law! It was a pretty clean transaction; I did most of it online and I think  I have one form to get signed by a professor. Amazon (sorry Tufts bookstore, competition’s rough) has even made exchanging textbooks a pretty painless process.

Clean Energy Technology & Policy is shaping up to be one of my favorites so far- it’s been really interesting to see what issues & questions come up in a room filled with half engineers and half international policy students. Did I mention the class is co-taught by a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)? Yes, the one that shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007.

Alright, back to the books for now. This semester is certainly going to be a different kind of busy. Lots of big decisions, senior events, and last hurrahs in Boston. Things are about to get pretty exciting. Stay tuned.

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Snowed In

I made it back to Boston on Wednesday morning, sandwiched between snowy days on the New England side and after the Christmas snowfall we had in Chicago. My flight was only delayed 30 mins! Woohoo. We ended up getting some snow on New Years and last night, just enough to postpone my walk to get groceries at Shaws by a day.

It was right around this time 4 years ago that I heard back from Tufts after over-nighting my early decision application on November 14th. So today I decided to dive deep into the depths of my documents folder and pull out a little gem from my undergrad application. Although a few of my responses seem a little silly/naive to me now, this one turned out to be a surprisingly accurate reflection of my Tufts experience. I believe the prompt now is simply “Why Tufts?” but when I applied it was a tiny bit longer:

“Education does not accomplish anything if it does not stretch your mind, if it does not force you to think about things in different ways, if it does not challenge you to examine some of your assumptions,” writes Provost Jamshed Bharucha in Tufts’ admissions viewbook.  Describe the aspects of Tufts’ curriculum or undergraduate program that prompt your application to the University’s Class of 2010. (200 words or less)

My response (entirely unedited, I promise!):

Throughout my experience in high school and even in elementary school, I have noticed that a significant amount people tend to label themselves as “English people” or “math and science people.” When students ask me what category I fit into or when they are branding other students as type A or type B, I cannot help but ask, “Can’t I be a little of each? Why would I want one without the other?” The academic curriculum at Tufts allows me to get the best of both worlds through a strong college of liberal arts and an equally impressive school of engineering. By participating in both colleges, Tufts will hopefully teach me to question why these subjects were ever separated in the first place. Another facet of Tufts’ curriculum that has prompted me to apply is the philosophy that knowledge should be continuous and interlinked wherever it takes us in life. Whether I continue my education in another cultural setting through studying abroad or expand my options in an internship for a major company or organization, Tufts’ curriculum will make my own determination the only limiting factor on my college education.


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The Big Squish

My senior design group is about to take the stage to present our semester-long project: an wafer bonding device for microelectromechanical system applications. See for yourself.

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Almost-Live Blogging

Alright, so I really like the idea of live-blogging that the Tufts admissions crew has been playing with over the past week. Unfortunately, with finals quickly approaching and my senior design project ramping up, I haven’t really been in one place long enough to keep a play-by-play of my daily activities. Consider this a compilation of some exciting/not-so-exciting things that have happened to me over the past few days. All times are approximate.

  • Tuesday 4:12:32 PM, Final recommendation makes its way to the Department of Energy. My graduate fellowship application is now complete!
  • Wednesday 12:10:03 PM, American Society of Mechanical Engineers weekly meeting. The class before us had left-over treats from their professor. I ate half a danish.
  • Wednesday 10:14:27 PM, Lady Gaga takes the stage at the Wang Theater in downtown Boston. An hour and a half late. Even during the most hectic weeks of the semester, I can’t help but get off campus for a little break. And yes, engineers can dance too.
  • Thursday 2:45:51 PM, Pick up free ticket for the Spirit of Color dance show on Friday night
  • Thursday, Friday, Saturday seemingly all day, Working relentlessly in the Tufts microelectromechanical systems lab.
  • Friday, 9:34:05 AM, Bunny suit is on. In the clean room testing part of our senior design project. And it works!
  • Saturday, 7:55:21 PM, Throwing broccoli on the stove; broccoli & feta quinoa is one of my contributions to the mechanical engineering de-stress dinner party.
  • Sunday, 3:55:54 PM, Purchase a one-way ticket to Copenhagen for my post-graduation Europe tour.
  • Sunday, 7:04:19 PM, Publish post to MattTalksTufts.

The end!

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