Why MIT is Beautiful

by Julie Barr on April 12, 2016 · 0 comments

in Arts, Campus Culture, Classroom, Engineering, Student Life

Michael Cheung_6_crop

Guest Blogger: Michael Cheung ’16

Guest Blogger: Michael Cheung ’16 is a contributor to the admissions blogs and recently posted “10 (more) reasons why MIT is beautiful,” a follow up to an original post naming 10 reasons in April 2014. Michael, a senior studying Course 2, notes that although MIT is not often considered the most beautiful campus, he has found endless beauty both outside and inside the classroom.

I took Documentary Photography last semester as a HASS, and the most important lesson I took from that class is to always have a camera with me. I started photography as a hobby in high school and it’s become a big part of how I de-stress. Always having a camera slung over my shoulder means I’m always trying to look for interesting angles and hidden beauty around me. Which probably has some metaphorical significance as well.

When you’re an MIT student bogged down in endless psets and exams, it can be very easy to take for granted (or ignore) the beauty around us. The photographic series on my blog was basically intended to poke some holes in this bubble and remind myself (and others) just how beautiful Cambridge/Boston is year-round.

  1. Because even when you’re neck deep in a 2.006 thermal-fluids pset, there’s light at the end of the tunnel Mass. Ave. bridgeMichael Cheung_1_edit2
  2. When the CPW weather machine finally kicks in, there’s nothing like itMichael Cheung_3_crop
  3. Because I get to see this view every day walking home after classMichael Cheung_2
  4. Because in between classes, I might eat lunch in Killian CourtMichael Cheung_4_crop
  5. Because engineering can be colorfulMichael Cheung_5_crop

I think photography is an analogue to mechanical engineering. As a designer, I’m always thinking about the objects and structures around me and thinking about why they were designed the way they were. As a photographer, I’m always trying to imagine framings and interesting lighting situations. My favorite part of Course 2 (and MIT in general) is how hands-on it is; aside from the lecture-based courses which give us a strong foundation in the first principles of mechanical engineering, we also have a great variety of project-based classes to apply these principles.

Using the experience I’ve gained from these project classes at MIT, I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute to essentially what were “dream engineering positions” for me outside of MIT, ranging from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to Apple’s iPhone Product Design team.

Cameras used: Leica Q, Sony RX100 III point-and-shoot, and iPhone 6. See more of Michael’s photos.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: