AUS lightning presentations

This past Wednesday, 12/7, HKN hosted lightning presentations featuring delicious donuts and hot chocolate from DD! About 25 curious Course 6 students attended, looking to learn about Advanced Undergraduate Subjects that would be offered this spring and next fall. Each presenter had 10 minutes to pitch the material and content of their class, with some emphasizing the difficulty of their psets, and others showing projects created in their class. The list of presenters featured George Verghese (6.011), Steven Leeb (6.115), Rob Miller and Stefanie Mueller (6.813), Gim Hom (6.101), Yili Qian (6.027), Luca Daniel (6.013), Gerald Sussman (6.945), and Joe Steinmeyer and Jacob White (6.302).

Thank you to everyone who attended, and all the presenters for their time!

Pictures in clockwise order from upper left: Donuts with sprinkles!; Steve Leeb talking about the history of electronic systems; A levitating magnet fighting gravity, demonstrating feedback systems for Jacob White and Joe Steinmeyer’s course; Gim Hom presenting his Analog Electronics Lab course.

EECS UROP Meet & Greet


The HKN EECS UROP Meet and Greet was a great success! Graduate students and professors from labs all over CSAIL and the MIT Media Lab came to chat about their research, and around 100 interested students came to learn about the available UROP opportunities. The event started off with each of the labs introducing their work, ranging from Professor Abelson’s MIT App Inventor, to Professor Leeb’s prototyping control experiments, to Professor Karger’s online learning projects. After hearing about all the exciting research, students were given time to mingle with the various labs and introduce themselves.

Thanks to everyone who came out to tonight’s event!

Women’s Faculty Dinner


On Monday, November 28, HKN held its semesterly Women’s Faculty Dinner! Over twenty undergraduate women enjoyed a dinner in MIT’s Mezzanine Lounge and had the opportunity to speak with three women on MIT’s faculty.

Tamara Broderick, an assistant professor at CSAIL, discussed her interests in Bayesian inference, her experiences attending graduate school in the UK and at UC Berkeley, and spread the word about Women in Machine Learning, a workshop she runs in parallel with the Neural Information Processing Systems conference. Leslie Kolodziejski, a professor in the Research Laboratory of Electronics, spoke to her research experience in optoelectronic devices and provided invaluable advice regarding applying to graduate school. Katrina LaCurts, a lecturer for the immensely popular undergraduate courses 6.02 and 6.033, described her experience with systems research, provided insight into the nuances of the Course 6 curriculum, and learned about the hobbies of many of her current and former students.

All in all, participants walked away excited to have met women in EECS – both students and professors – with an incredibly diverse set of interests and accomplishments. Stay on the lookout for HKN’s next Women’s Faculty Dinner next Spring!

Insomnia Cookies and Gingerbread Houses

exportOn November 1, students got in the holiday spirit by enjoying Insomnia Cookies and making gingerbread houses. Around 70 students came to Twenty Chimneys for the event, and right off the bat, a long line formed to grab the Insomnia Cookies (which were gone within 5 minutes). Throughout the 1.5 hours of the event, many students drifted in to make their own gingerbread houses from a kit. A variety of decorated houses were found throughout the room towards the end of the event, with beautiful icing icicles and gumdrop roof tiles.

Post-Exam Cookies


On the evening of November 17, hundreds of Course 6 students took their second midterms for their chosen foundation courses. Fortunately for them, after they finished their two hour exams, HKN was waiting with cookies to ease their sorrows. The students of 6.006 (Introduction to Algorithms), 6.002 (Circuits and Electronics), and 6.02 (Introduction to EECS via Communication Networks) expressed their thanks for the surprise treats, and while most grabbed a cookie and left to catch up on sleep or work on other problem sets, some stayed around to chat with the HKN event coordinators, discuss the topics tested on the exams, or commiserate with classmates.

Election Day Study Break

The presidential election is a time for students to come together and eat burritos. That is, if you go to MIT. On Election Day, November 8, HKN threw a study break in the Course 6 Undergraduate lounge. Students feasted on burritos, tortilla chips, and guacamole from Anna’s Taqueria, all while they watched the election coverage by the edge of their seats. As the race tightened in key states like Virginia and Florida, you could hear students say “Yes, my vote counted!”, or “How much would it take to bribe an electoral voter?” Approximately 50 to 60 students came for the burritos, with an average of 25 sticking around to watch the coverage, hang out with friends, or work on psets. Those who stuck around for an hour were rewarded with delicious mini cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes.

M. Eng Concentration Dinner

On Thursday, November 3rd, the Course 6 department held a dinner where prospective M. Eng students could enjoy Thai food while asking current M. Eng students questions about different concentrations. Approximately 60 undergraduates came to learn about the different concentrations Course 6 has to offer. The event began with everyone grabbing a plate of food, followed by each of the current M. Eng students introducing themselves and their concentration. Students concentrating in diverse fields such as AI, applied physics, circuits, and BioEECS sat at different tables while prospective students walked around to the various tables to ask about research and studies. One M. Eng talked about concentrating in circuits despite doing signal processing research on optical signals in turbulent media. Another talked about their research in human-computer interfaces.

Thanks for coming out and sharing their M. Eng experience!

Pumpkin Painting Study Break

pumpkin study break

This past Thursday, October 27, HKN hosted the Pumpkin Painting study break in the Stata Cafe for the Course 6 community. Despite being cold and rainy, approximately 30 people showed up to enjoy apple cider, cider donuts, and, of course, painting pumpkins. We had people from a variety of backgrounds, from freshman CS to senior EE students, and a similar variety of pumpkins were painted, from Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” to a Handsome Squidward face. All in all, everyone seemed to enjoy taking a break from studying to partake in these Fall festivities!

Course 6 UROP Panel



On Wednesday, October 12th we held a UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity) panel to connect over 70 EECS students interested in UROPs with people who had already gone through the process. The event kicked off with a panel session in which students talked about how they got their UROPs and what their experiences were like. They discussed experience level prior to their UROPs, factors they looked for, how they applied, and advice for people looking for UROPs. Afterwards, we had a breakout session for students to talk to people who did UROPs in a variety of labs, from Media Lab and CSAIL to 6-7 and EE-focused research.

Thank you to all of our awesome panelists (Anish Athalye, Amir Karamlou, Nalini Singh, Allison Lemus, and Emily Damato) for sharing your research experiences!