Fuck yeah!

Date: Fri, 28 May 2010 12:49:44 -0400
From: anneh-at-MIT.EDU

Dear Graduating Course VI Students,

Congratulations on your Course VI degree from the Course VI Undergraduate Office! We've just returned from the Institute meeting where your degrees were approved. The only thing that can stop you graduating now is financial problems, but I'm sure you know if you've got those.

For those of you who are leaving MIT, I hope that you'll stay in touch with us and visit us whenever you're back on campus during business hours. We'll value your feedback, and hope that you will send ads back to me for the jobs list, teach IAP classes and participate in other ways in MIT student programs like UPOP and FASIP.

I particularly thank all of you who have participated in service to the department through HKN projects, ACM/IEEE activities, as tourguides, lab assistants in classes, IAP instructors, associate advisors, FPOP and WTP counselors, etc. Those of you who have taken time to visit with us and let us get to know you have made our jobs even more worthwhile.

I hope you and your families have a terrific Commencement Day. Look for me as you are marching, just as you turn onto Mass. Ave.; I'll be there to greet you, wearing a bright red dress.

Please have a terrific life, and let us hear from you!


Anne, Vera, Linda and Helen
The Course VI Undergraduate Office


In another day or so, I will be completely done with my obligations for my undergrad degree at MIT. Wow.

But for now, back to working on 6.UAP, my undergraduate thesis...

ZOMG graduation

I'll make this one of those keep-track-of-the-giant-pile-of-work posts that my friends seem to be so fond of. But this time, when I finish, I graduate!

- STS.001 book report
- STS.001 final essay revision
- 6.UAP final report
- 6.824 lab 8
- 6.824 final
- 21M.735 tech notes

I'll return and cross things off as I finish them...

Update: I'm all done! I think I'm going to graduate!

Apartment hunting...

This weekend I took my first real big stab at finding an apartment for next year. There seems to be amazing deviation in the costs of apartments in Cambridge/Somerville. I've found good-looking apartments all the way from $1395 for a two-person studio apartment to $2950 for a two bedroom apartment, both within a mile of MIT. It looks like I'm probably going to end up with a 3 person apartment, possibly with two bedrooms and a living room.

I did the craigslist thing tonight, making a list of all the current apartments that looked good, and then sent e-mail asking for a tour. Maybe this time next week I'll be posting a bunch of photos of apartments that I've looked at. Does anyone on my friends list have tips for finding apartments in the Boston area?


I just finished doing my taxes today. Thanks to doing a UROP this past summer, rather than a job at a company, I owed... exactly zero. That's right - I'm getting back ALL of my withholdings. You should not read from this "I should get a UROP to avoid paying taxes". You should instead read "Wow, UROP pay sucks".

(Insert diatribe about how MIT should pay its UROPs at a wage equivalent to what their skills would be worth elsewhere.)

This summer, I'm hopefully going to work part-time and spend the month of July traveling around Germany. More about that later.

6.857: Computer and Network Security

This term, one of the classes I'm taking is 6.857, Computer and Network Security. This week's problem set? Crack an encryption algorithm. No, really. They describe an encryption algorithm and tell you to crack it.

My team has thus far written 314 lines of Perl code to crack their encryption. We're about 90% of the way thus far, and it takes about 5 minutes for us to get the permutations and sbox. More later when we actually finish it.
  • Current Music
    Fireflies - Sam Tsui & Kurt Schneider
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Certificate Authentication in Safari

Safari has broken support for certificate authentication. I posted this blog entry on scripts's blog to document our workaround.

(cross-posted from

If you’ve tried to use our recommended configuration for authenticating users using MIT certificates, you’ve probably discovered that Safari users are not offered the opportunity to select a certificate. This is due to a bug in Safari’s SSL implementation where it will never present a certificate unless the server requires that it present one (we do not require that a certificate be presented, so that we can show a page saying “you need certificates”).

Starting today, we’ve added some additional code that will force Safari to show the certificate selection dialog. If you are using the recommended configuration for certificate authentication, this will take effect for your site automatically. (Specifically, what we now do is that force an SSL renegotation if we find the Safari browser.)

If you are using any other configuration than our recommended configuration, the behavior should not change.

(You can see the technical details of this change in our source browser.)

Freebie Post

Every blogger at MIT gets one freebie post each term - the "these are the classes I am taking" post. Here's mine.

6.857 - Computer and Network Security

We've only had one class, so it's a bit of an unknown, but this looks to be a good survey class of common security problems and design patterns.

6.824 - Distributed Systems

This is looking to be a pretty awesome class. Who could resist the chance to write BarNFS? (aka "the first non-sucky network filesystem")

6.102 - Introductory RF Design Laboratory

Ron Roscoe... 'nuff said. But oh man, the first lab looks awful, and I have to do the first checkoff on Tuesday.

6.UAP - Undergraduate Advanced Project

I... uh... don't have a topic yet. But I need one by add date - this class is effectively "credit for writing an MEng project proposal".

21M.735 - Design for the Theater

This is my final HASS elective, a class where you basically learn how to be a Technical Director for a theater production.

STS.001 - Technology in American History

A HASS-D and CI-H, this class is the most awesome-looking HASS-D. It looks like it's going to be pretty reading-heavy, which could suck.

Sorry, I know I could elaborate more. But holy shit the New Orleans Saints won the SuperBowl and I'm a bit busy!
  • Current Music
    Super Bowl
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