what do you do at MIT?

I am a double major in 21W (Writing) and 6-3 (Computer Science and Engineering) and will be starting an MEng in 6-3 in Fall 2023. My HASS concentration is in Spanish.

I do a lot of things around MIT, including extracurriculars and classes; here are some lists of what I am currently doing and what I have done.

things i currently do

  • MIT Admissions, Blogger (since September 2020) - we write blog posts which seek to provide a student perspective on life at MIT, with all of its many forms and aspects.
  • Madry Group, SuperUROP (since September 2022) - I am helping to study the political and technical possibilities and ramifications for social media regulation, as part of a year-long project.

things i have done


  • Musical Theater Guild (2019 - 2023):
    • Violinist - I played in the pit orchestra for MTG’s productions of A Chorus Line (Fall 2019) and Pippin (IAP 2022).
    • Orchestra Directing - I assembled and conducted the pit for MTG’s production of Heathers (IAP 2023), and co-conducted the pit for The Addams Family (Spring 2023).
    • Vocal Directing - I helped run the vocal portion of auditions for MTG’s production of The Addams Family.
  • Next Act (2022 - 2023): We’re a theatre group that puts on a musical in Next House every year for CPW!
    • Acting - I played Underling in Next Act’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone (Spring 2022).
    • Playwright/Directing - I wrote the script for an original jukebox musical, Remembering Her, presented by Next Act in Spring 2023. In that role, I also served as one of three co-directors.
    • Vocal Directing - I was the primary vocal director for Next Act’s production of Remembering Her.
  • Asymptones (2019 - 2023): We’re an acapella group that sings (fun and nerdy music)!
    • Member - I sang tenor in the Asymptones throughout my undergraduate career.
    • Vocal Directing - I served as the music director with Andy Tockman from Spring 2022 through Fall 2022, organizing arrangements and leading rehearsals.
    • Vocal Arranging - I arranged four pieces for the Asymptones: “Proud Corazón” (from Coco, Fall 2021), “Dear Theodosia” (from Hamilton, Spring 2022), “Would You Be So Kind” (opb. dodie, Fall 2022), “Tomorrow will be fine.” (opb. sodagreen, Spring 2023).
    • Publicity Director - I made posters and programs for our concert in Spring 2023!


  • Academic Staff (2021 - 2023):
    • Teaching Assistant (TA): I was responsible for recitations, grading, and office hours in CC.802 (Physics II, Spring 2021).
    • Lab Assistant (LA): I was responsible for holding office hours and testing problem sets and labs for 6.0001+2 (Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science in Python, Fall 2021) and 6.190 (Introduction to Low-level Programming in C and Assembly, Spring 2023).
    • Grading: I was responsible for grading in 6.006 (Introduction to Algorithms, Fall 2021) and CC.802 (Spring 2022).
  • UROP (2019 - 2023):
    • Multidisciplinary Simulation, Estimation, and Assimilation Systems (MSEAS) Group - I helped study optimal path planning for ocean vehicles based on numerical methods in Fall 2019.
    • Miyagawa, Ortiz, and Fei Group - I helped study pre-historic artifacts displaying abstract geometric patterns from a computational perspective in Summer 2020.
    • The Trope Tank - I helped study automatic narrative variation, and the specific effects of varying noun phrase generation on the perception of narrative in Spring 2021.
  • Educational Studies Program (2019 - 2023) - I have taught classes for a variety of ESP programs, including Firehose, Firestorm, Splash for MIT, Splash, Spark, and Summer HSSP; these have generally been for classes of 20-40 students of middle-, high-school, or college age. These classes have been:
    • A Brief History of in rem Cases in the United States (a class about absurd cases which fall under in rem jurisdiction; e.g. United States v. Forty Barrels & Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola, taught for Splash 2019)
    • Streets! (a class about everything to do with streets, including traffic signs, highway systems, etc., taught for Splash 2020)
    • Did We Start the Fire? History from 1949-1989 as Told by Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” (a six-session class about every lyric in the song “We Didn’t Start The Fire*, taught for Summer HSSP 2020)
    • Everything You Never Wanted to Know About South Dakota (a class introducing all of the content you might ever need to know about my home state of South Dakota, taught for Splash 2019, Splash for MIT 2020, Firestorm 2020, and Firehose 2021)
    • Something, Definitely (a survey course of short introductions to a variety of mildly obscure subjects, taught for Spark 2021)
    • 2.97 Seconds Per Pokemon !? (a class where we asked people to name every Pokémon, taught for Spark 2023.)

student government

  • Next House (2020 - 2023):
    • CPW Committee Member (Spring 2020) - We planned welcoming activities for students admitted to MIT as part of Campus Preview Weekend, specifically with the goal of representing Next House; this included adaptation of the entire program to be virtual in the span of two weeks.
    • REX Committee Co-chair (Summer 2020) - We led the committee planning welcoming activities for students matriculating to MIT as part of Residence Exploration, representing Next House; this included the creation of a new program to provide support communities for first-years in lieu of dorms, which were not open at the time.
    • GRA Hiring Committee Member (Spring 2021 - Summer 2021) - I helped read applications and interview candidates for Graduate Resident Advisor positions in Next House, providing a student voice in the hiring process.
    • REX Committee Member (Summer 2021) - I performed the same role as in the previous REX position; in this iteration of REX, we negotiated running the first large gatherings of undergraduates following the COVID era.
    • Vice President of Relations (Spring 2021 - Fall 2021) - I assisted the President in running Next House on a day-to-day basis, and was responsible for a variety of tasks relating to the community in the dorm. Mostly, I wrote emails and made Google Forms.
    • President (Spring 2022 - Fall 2022) - I led Next Exec, a group of students who help run Next House on a day-to-day basis, and was reponsible for representing Next House to external organizations like the Dormitory Council and Undergraduate Association and to members of the MIT administration.
    • Thanksgiving Committee Member - I helped organize a large (three-turkey) Thanksgiving dinner for all residents of Next House who choose to stay over Thanksgiving break for three years - 2019, 2021, and 2022.
  • Dormitory Council (2021 - 2023): DormCon is a student government responsible for addressing the concerns of students in dormitories and liasing with Housing and Residential Services and the Division of Student Life.
    • Judicial Committee Chair (Fall 2021 - Spring 2022) - I interpreted the constitution, ran elections, and generally provided input on decisions made by DormCon.
    • Vice President (Fall 2022 - Spring 2023) - Along with the President, I helped run DormCon, including both exec and general body meetings. In this role, I also met with various members of MIT administration, particularly the Dean of Student Life, Suzy Nelson.
  • Schwarzman College of Computing (2021):
    • Undergraduate Advisory Group: I helped provide feedback to the leadership of the newly-formed MIT Schwarzman College of Computing as it worked to accomplish its mission of coordinating the use of computing across MIT.

other activities

  • Quizbowl (2019 - 2023): An activity where college teams compete to answer more questions in all sorts of academic fields.
    • Team Member: I participated in a number of regional quizbowl tournaments throughout my time at MIT, trailing off over the period.
    • Vice President (Fall 2020 - Spring 2021): I was responsible for running social events for and generally providing input on decisions made by the quizbowl team; I was also responsible for directing one college tournament.
  • THINK (2019 - 2021): A high school research proposal competition, which funds six proposals each year and mentors them through project completion, including a trip to MIT!
    • Team Member: I helped judge and mentor projects in the competition.
    • DevOps Member: I helped support the website needs for THINK, in both the main website and the application website.
  • lean0nme (2019 - 2021): An anonymized text support hotline for the MIT community writ large.
    • Supporter: I responded to texts on the hotline as they came in.
  • Next House Desk (2021 - 2023):
    • Worker: I sorted mail and distributed packages at the front desk.
  • MIT Science Bowl (2019 - 2023):
    • High School Science Bowl Invitational: I volunteered in a number of different roles in Fall 2019 and Fall 2020.
    • Northeastern Regional Middle School Science Bowl: I volunteered in a number of different roles in Spring 2020, Spring 2021, and Spring 2023.

classes i am thinking about for next semester

can only take two, by MEng rules:

  • 5.13 - Organic Chemistry II
  • 6.1810 - Operating System Engineering
  • 21M.716 - Play Translation and Cultural Transmission

classes i have taken

Classes at MIT are usually 12 units. All classes below are 12 units unless otherwise noted.

This section is organized many different ways:

by semester, with comments

Classes are 12 units unless otherwise noted.

spring 2023 (72 units)

  • 6.1220[6.046] - Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • 6.UAR - Seminar in Undergraduate Advanced Research (6 units)
  • 21M.405 - Chamber Chorus (6 units)
  • 21W.ThU - Writing Program Thesis
  • 6.S983[6.888] - Secure Hardware Design
  • 21L.486 - Modern Drama
  • Harvard ENG CNL: The Novel Lab

iap 2023 (6 units)

  • 21W.ThT - Undergraduate Thesis Tutorial (6 units)

fall 2022 (49 units)

  • 6.5831[6.814] - Database Systems
  • 6.5900[6.823] - Computer System Architecture
  • 6.9830[6.997] - Professional Perspective Internship (1 unit)
  • 6.UAR - Seminar in Undergraduate Advanced Research (6 units)
  • 21M.405 - Chamber Chorus (6 units)
  • 21W.740 - Writing Autobiography and Biography


  • 6.1600[6.053] - Foundations of Computer Security
  • 21M.283 - Musicals

spring 2022 (66 units)

  • 6.033 - Computer Systems Engineering
  • 6.036 - Introduction to Machine Learning
  • 7.05 - General Biochemistry
  • 21M.405 - Chamber Chorus (6 units)
  • 21M.785 - Playwrights’ Lab
  • 21W.771 - Advanced Poetry Workshop


  • 18.704 - Seminar in Algebra
  • 21M.405 - Vocal Repertoire and Performance (6 units)

fall 2021 (78 units)

I really loved .004. I really liked digging in deep to the fundamentals of how processors and digital computation in general work, and the labs and design project were super interesting and just challenging enough to be engaging without being frustrating. On the other hand, I think I am saying this as someone who may be unusually interested in this specific portion of computer science and engineering.

Logistics-wise, I don’t think this class was the most well-taught in the world; I opted-out of recitations because I thought my TA was not very qualified, and out of the three lecturers, I only found one to be particularly engaging (Mengjia Yan). I also think the heavy weighting on quizzes which don’t really relate to lecture content and don’t really seem too valuable in comparison to the application-based nature of the labs was not a great decision. On the other hand, the grading was fair and also done extremely quickly, which is always appreciated.

6.170, like 6.031, is another one of those classes which promises a lot, and does genuinely introduce students to some valuable ideas, but is hindered significantly by its teaching staff and philosophy. In particular, the class attempts to accomplish three things: teaching students how to be good full-stack developers, teaching students how to be good designers of software, and teaching students how to think about ethics in the context of software. Unfortunately, it fails to strike a good balance between the three, and therefore accomplishes none of its goals particularly well. I did enjoy some of the assignments—we had to essentially build a Twitter clone, which was quite amusing—and I had a particularly good final project team which really kept a good pace throughout the entirety of the back-half of the class, which made that process much more tolerable.

Logistics-wise, I found the professors to be enjoyable lecturers, but found the content presented in lectures to not be particularly useful. (Recitations were also hit or miss; see the discussion of balance above.) I also was consistently frustrated with the choice of having extremely vague grading guidelines, even though grading generally was done quite leniently; I would have much preferred meaningful rubrics and harsh grading. On the other hand, the sheer quantity of grading done by the TAs terrifies me and so perhaps leniency or inconsistency in grading is not such a surprise.

This was my first real biology class at MIT! I really liked this class—it truly presented a sampling of a lot of different aspects of genetics, and I feel like I learned a lot because of it. As someone who is probably not going to end up doing anything related to biology, but is interested in the subject, this was a pleasant introduction. For people who are actually interested in biology, the class was probably marginally too theoretical, and could have benefitted from some more discussion of application. In general, however, I found this class fascinating, because it was a subject that was both relatively applied (compared to say, some of the math classes I’ve been taking) and contained a vast quantity of recent developments and open questions (i.e. it was full of discoveries from within the last 10 years).

Logistics-wise, I found the professors to be enjoyable, especially since they seemed actively passionate about the subject as they were teaching it. I ended up not attending recitations for this class, and didn’t suffer much for it. Grading transparency in the class was low—most of the times for exams, we just got an average and very little information about grade cutoffs—but there was also a lot of noise about grades because of the prevalence of pre-meds in the class, and I didn’t find it particularly egregious. (Besides, the professors provided extremely useful example problems and the pset problems tended to mirror the exam pretty closely anyways.)

I didn’t realize how much I missed writing proofs until I took this class. I found the class conceptually very interesting, and I found a lot of value in the way lectures were taught and the problem sets were structured—the latter especially so, because the problems were never difficult, per se, but required you to thoroughly understand the structure of the concepts at hand. I also benefitted a lot in this class from the fact that my roommate was also taking the class—explaining the ideas back to him really solidified my own understandings of the material. Having this broader understanding of computation writ large, starting from the very basics (i.e. finite automata) and moving all the way up to Turing machines and problem complexity, does feel like it might be somewhat useful in the future as well: maybe not for anything “real”, but at least for 6.046.

Logistics-wise, I thought Sipser was a relatively good lecturer, although the class often disengaged from some of his more rambling lectures. (Additionally, since he wrote the textbook, the comparative advantage of attending lecture was small; the material in the textbook was practically identical to the material presented in class.) I thought the grading was generally fair, and exam grades in particular were returned fairly quickly, although I was not too happy about having 30% of the final as multiple choice.

Concert Choir was good, as always, although I found myself more aware of our flaws this semester. We did the Bach Magnificat, the Stevens “Magnificat,” and Higdon’s The Singing Rooms. I found the repertoire not particularly inspiring, which made the evening rehearsal times a little less tolerable, but I did enjoy the class overall. And, of course, we did Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with MITSO, which was fantastic, and one of the musical highlights of the semester—being on that stage with a lot of 4W friends, performing our hearts out, brought me an immeasurable amount of joy.

If Concert Choir had trained my musical independence over the past three semesters, Chamber Chorus demanded it at another level. Not only did we have a lot of pieces to learn, but we’d learn them by sitting down in class and essentially just sight-singing them until we knew them. This was particularly difficult in a section of just four tenors, and even more difficult when the section split. (I was also tasked with the role of producing higher notes on Tenor I, which was also a little out of my comfort zone.) I loved the repertoire though; I thought all of the music was extremely pleasant and, when we managed to hit the chords correctly, it just sounded fantastic, especially in the chapel. I have never looked forwards to a 9:30 class until this one, and it kept me just on the edge of my comfort zone for the whole semester, from the audition to our holiday performance in Lobby 7.

I was honestly quite tentative going into this class. If Fiction Workshop had taught me anything, it was that I was not good at writing long-form fiction. Despite this, I ended up taking this class anyways, and (quite fortunately) I found that playwriting was much more to my tastes. I really enjoyed the process of producing dialogue, and I also really liked having pages read in class, which made the workshop a lot more engaging. I also found the professor to be extremely kind while also providing extremely insightful comments which did really help improve my work. I did struggle, of course, to actually write the piece, but I’m especially happy with the result, and I’ll keep working on it throughout the coming semester in 21M.785.

Continuing Conversations—or, as I like to call it, Concourse Book Club—continued to be an enjoyable time. Our text this semester was Dante’s Inferno, which was certainly an interesting read, and although at times we disagreed with our editor (Hollander), we also found the translation to be fantastic. This was certainly an easier read than Herodotus, and although I’m still not entirely sure what to make of all of it, I did find both the text and the discussions we had to be enjoyable. (Notably, half of the value of this class is just the random discussions we have at the beginning of class which have nothing to do with the text, and this means the class will probably always be enjoyable as long as the professors stay the same.)

spring 2021 (70 units)

  • 6.031 - Elements of Software Construction (15 units)
  • 21G.784 - Introduction to Latin American Studies (13 units)
  • 21M.301 - Harmony and Counterpoint I
  • 21M.401 - MIT Concert Choir (6 units)
  • 21W.762 - Poetry Workshop
  • CC.512 - Organic Chemistry

fall 2020 (93 units)

  • 6.006 - Introduction to Algorithms
  • 6.009 - Fundamentals of Programming
  • 18.03 - Differential Equations
  • 18.701 - Algebra I
  • 21G.704 - Spanish IV
  • 21M.401 - MIT Concert Choir (6 units)
  • 21W.757 - Fiction Workshop
  • 21W.765 - Interactive Narrative
  • CC.012 - Continuing Conversations (3 units)

spring 2020 (69 units)

  • 6.08 - Embedded Systems
  • 18.100B - Real Analysis
  • 21G.703 - Spanish III
  • 21M.401 - MIT Concert Choir (6 units)
  • 21W.755 - Reading and Writing Short Stories
  • CC.011 - Seminar II (3 units)
  • CC.802 - Physics II

fall 2019 (56 units)

  • 2.UR - Undergraduate Research (3 units)
  • 6.042 - Math for Computer Science
  • 18.022 - Calculus
  • 24.93 - The Search for Meaning (2 units)
  • CC.110 - Becoming Human: Ancient Greek Perspectives on the Good Life
  • CC.5111 - Principles of Chemical Science
  • CC.A10 - Concourse Seminar (3 units)

ASEs and such

  • 6.0001 - Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Python, from ASE
  • 8.01 - Physics I, from AP Physics C
  • 7.012 - Introductory Biology, from ASE
  • 18.01 - Calculus, from AP Calc BC
  • GEN.APCR - AP Elective Credit, from AP classes in HASS (45 units)

by requirements met


Calc 1 AP credit
Calc 2 18.022
Chem CC.5111
Physics 1 AP credit


+ denotes double-counted. * denotes CI-H.

Humanities CC.110*
Arts 21W.755+
Social Sciences 21G.784+*
Concentration 21G.703
Electives 21M.301+
  21M.401+ (x2)


RESTs 6.042+
LAB 6.08+


Bold denotes classes currently being taken. Italics denotes classes tentatively scheduled for next semester. * denotes CI-M. + denotes double-counted.

Nine Classes 21W.755+
CI-M 21W.757*
21W.ThT 21W.ThT
21W.ThU 21W.ThU*


Italics denotes classes tentatively scheduled for next semester. * denotes CI-M. + denotes double-counted.

Introductory 6.08+
Programming Skills 6.0001
Discrete Math 6.120+
Foundation see below
6.004 6.004
6.006 6.006
6.009 6.009
Header see below
6.031 6.031
6.033 6.033*
6.034/6.036 6.036
6.045/6.046 6.1220[6.046]
CI-M 6.UAR* / 6.UAR*
AUS2 6.170+
AUS2 6.5830[6.830]
II 6.170+
EECS 6.S983[6.888]
AAGS 6.5400[6.840]
AAGS 6.5900[6.823]
Math Elective 18.03
Math Elective 18.100B
6.997 6.9830[6.997]

by personal tier-ranking

S 6.004, 21L.486, 21M.405, 21M.780, 21W.762, 21W.771, CC.512
A 6.08, 6.S983[6.888], 7.05, 18.404, 21M.401, 21M.785, 21W.740, 21W.765, 21W.ThT, 21W.ThU, CC.012, Harvard ENG CNL
B 6.009, 6.1220[6.046], 6.5830[6.830], 6.5900[6.823], 7.03, 18.100B, 18.701, 21W.757, CC.110
C 6.006, 6.031, 6.033, 6.036, 6.UAR, 21G.703, 21M.301, 21W.755, CC.5111
D 6.042, 6.170, 18.022, 21G.704, 21G.784, CC.011, CC.802
F 18.03, CC.A10

exams I have aced

  • 18.022 Exam 1
  • 6.042 Exam 2
  • CC.5111 Exam 2, Exam 3
  • 6.009 Quiz 1, Quiz 2
  • CC.512 Exam 4
  • 18.404 Midterm
  • 6.036 Final
  • 6.5830 Quiz 2

honorable mentions (1 pt/1 question away)

  • 6.042 Final
  • 6.006 Final
  • 7.03 Exam 2
  • 7.05 Exam 3
  • 6.1220 Exam 2

classes I have finished with over 100% of the points

  • 6.042
  • 18.100B
  • 18.03
  • 6.036
  • 6.S983