The Tale of Two Campuses: Harvard and MIT

October 16, 2017

The smartest guy I know would have to be my brother. He is currently in Boston getting his master's in Naval Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at MIT. When Aiden has trouble with his junior high math homework, I tell him to FaceTime his uncle (7th grade math is already over my head).

Every time I visit my brother, we of course walk around MIT but we also make a trip up Massachusetts Avenue to Harvard University. It's fun to see the dramatic differences between the two campuses. One school is known for its mathematics and technology and the other for its liberal arts. One campus has classic architecture surrounded by lush greenery while the other features unique buildings by architects like Frank Gehry. They have their differences but also their similarities.

Harvard University was established in 1636 and consists of the Harvard Yard, where the majority of the freshmen dorms are located, and the outlining buildings surrounding the Yard around Cambridge and even across the Charles River. Sophomore, junior and senior undergraduates live in 12 residential Houses (think Harry Potter) like Mather House (Conan O'Brien), Dunster House (Al Gore and Tommy Lee Jones), and Kirkland House (Mark Zuckerberg).

Harvard's campus is beautiful with its red brick buildings and green quads, the quintessential East Coast college. In my opinion, Harvard is one of the most beautiful campuses in America. It's the oldest college in the States which makes it an oldie but a goodie.           


Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded in 1861 and stretches along the north side of the Charles River. Its 168 acre campus is divided in half by Massachusetts Avenue with the Harvard Bridge being the closest bridge to the university. If you cross the Harvard Bridge between Cambridge and Back Bay, you will notice a unit of measurement called "smoot" drawn along the bridge. It was part of a MIT fraternity prank in 1958 where Oliver R. Smoot laid down repeatedly on the bridge so his fraternity brothers could use his height to measure the length of the bridge (having walked across that bridge in the summer, I can tell you it's pretty long). The bridge is 364.4 smoots, plus or minus one ear... roughly 2,035 feet across. Got to love smart people "pranks"!

The most famous part of MIT would have to be its Great Dome. You can see it in movies like 21 and Good Will Hunting but almost all interior shots of MIT in movies were filmed elsewhere due to MIT's strict stand about filming on campus. Don't worry though, you can get a sneak peek inside their classrooms below and let's just say, Aiden was a fan of all the chalkboards. There are even chalkboards inside one of their men's bathrooms above the urinals. Hey, an idea could pop up at any moment.  

One of my favorite parts about MIT is the school's mascot, Tim the beaver. Why Tim, you ask? Well since I own many MIT shirts, hats and hoodies now, I can tell you it makes perfect sense. Every time I wear anything MIT and stand in front of the mirror... it reads "TIM". Genius. And of course, beavers are nature's engineers.   

While both schools are prestigious and world famous and known for their excellence in different fields, my heart is with MIT. Go Beavers!   


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