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An amazing school and the people are even better. Your first semester is "Pass / No Record" so you wither pass all of your cl...
An amazing school and the people are even better. Your first semester is "Pass / No Record" so you wither pass all of your classes, or they don't go on your transcript. This is fantastic as you can focus on adjusting to college and not stress about your classes.
Perhaps the only co-ed engineering school in America to have a 50:50 male to female ratio, Olin emphasizes excellence not jus...
Perhaps the only co-ed engineering school in America to have a 50:50 male to female ratio, Olin emphasizes excellence not just in engineering, but also entrepreneurship, innovative thinking, and whatever outside passions one brings to the table. Each graduating class is around 85 students, forming a tight-knit community between both the students and the faculty and an incubator for such personal growth.
Diverse, empowered individuals intent on utilizing their skills for innovative and beneficial human impact.
In one word, students at Olin are passionate, whether it's about academics and classes, sports, hobbies, research oppurtunit...
In one word, students at Olin are passionate, whether it's about academics and classes, sports, hobbies, research oppurtunities, outside jobs, or even spending time with each other; they dedicate themselves to doing what they enjoy and they are always trying to find new ways to do so.
Throughout my life, I've struggled to find a place that felt like home to me. Part of this struggle involved finding others with the same interests and personailities as me. Olin is a very unique school, full of passionate individuals, and when I was accepted, I was overjoyed, as I believed that this would be the home I was always looking for. In some ways, I was correct; at Olin, I have met so many wonderful friends that I'm so glad I get to spend my days with. But at the same time, I'm often saddened when I have a hard time connecting with many other students. When I applied to a small engineering school with a focus on hands-on learning, I didn't really expect that there would be a plethora of atheletes or "normal people". Not that there's anything wrong with them, it's just that I have a harder time connecting with them than people who share my interests. If I could tell my high school self anything, I'd make sure that he understood that even at my dream school, I won't get along with everyone.
There's always so much to do all the time, but there's never enough time to do it all, since you are probably spending a lot of your time doing academic work (not that that's a bad thing).
It's a small high pressure school. You will work harder than you ever expected but will have fun doing it. Olin is full of hi...
It's a small high pressure school. You will work harder than you ever expected but will have fun doing it. Olin is full of high achieving people doing amazing things. There are only 350 of us and you are forced to live on campus for four years and because of this you quickly learn how to not be a dick. Olin is not for standard academics, which is to say, people who create, build, innovate, and push boundaries are what make Olin "Olin". It's not that you wont succeed as the standard pset desk jockey, you'll just not add much to the school, and if you're not going to add much, don't come. Allow someone else who's creativity and drive would be squashed at a large school to take your place. When you leave Olin you will have a skill set that not many students in the nation have. On the whole, you will not be as good of a "formal engineer" as MIT, Caltech, or Stanford students. However you can beat the pants off them when it comes to working in small high pressure engineering teams or solving ambiguous tough problems. This makes you *very* valuable to companies. Instead of being some sad CAD/code/lab monkey in some large bureaucracy you have the skills to move into the business world and kick butt and take names all the while acting as a creative and effective engineer.
The students are what make Olin. Period. Even if Olin had horrible classes, and terrible facilities I would still gladly go because of the people there. never before have I been around so many passionate and interesting people. Olin, on the whole is fairly liberal. Very LGBT friendly. That being said there's a number of fairly outspoken conservatives and very religious folks (just not that many), so we've got all types. It's not a terribly competitive place academically, no one cares what your GPA is or how well you did on this or that test. That being said, if you do awesome stuff, people stand up and take notice. If you build a 10 ft tall flaming dinosaur robot, people give you recognition.
Olin proselytizes its innovation and openness to change. This was true back in 05-06 but has largely been forgotten and replaced by the standard academic bureaucracy. The board seems to be less interested in innovation than stats and comparables, the facilities department actively looks to skewer students, and the administration has built up a fair amount of bureaucratic inertia to the point where rapid innovation is largely stifled. Sure, there might be a few inconsequential student groups that "innovate" regularly but the long term goal setters and policy makers at olin have hunkered down and don't appear to be moving anytime soon. Tuition used to be free. It is now half. I wouldn't be surprised if you were required to pay full tuition in the coming years. The pledge for free tuition was in Olin's founding statement and has been largely ignored as the administration continues to push Olin to be more like MIT or Stanford.
Olin academics are tough. There is an enormous amount of work assigned to you and not a lot of time to do it in. it is not rare for students to fail classes or perform worse then they ever performed in high school. That being said, Olin academics are an enormous step ahead of academics at other schools. You work will largely be team based and exciting. You will be given broad goals and you will have to interpret how to reach them. Olin's academics succeed where they deviate from pedagogical convention most. There are a couple of standard problem set classes and you are forced to take them due to some of the less innovative faculty digging their heels in.
There's all manner of clubs on campus. But unlike a club that you might be used to in highschool you can think of these clubs more like mailing lists, stuff happens, someone broadcasts it, and you can join in if wanted. Organizations which are more comparable to highschool clubs are Olin's student government, Mini Baja build team, Human Powered vehicles build team, and the Honor board. Olin has only one large proto-frat/party throwing organization. Manhall. Located in a hallway in east hall and started as tongue in cheek reference to traditional frats it has become Olin's sole provider of "large college parties". The parties are well run, safe, packed full of people, and the guys in manhall make sure everyone stays safe and isn't creeped on. Without Manhall Oliners would be likely meander over to Babson's roofie infested frat parties full of over boozed up bros or drinking in small groups in someone or another's dorm room. A big plus for people interested in women, Manhall parties are full of Wellesley women who are there to have a "good time" and who are there in a 5 to 1 female to male ratio. Dating at Olin (olincest) is fairly common. As the gender ratio is so high your likely to bump into someone who's fairly attractive and worth dating. In fact a large percent of Oliners date within Olin as the population is so accessible and interesting. (And surprisingly not terribly full of neckbeardy kind of people) If you're not dating an Oliner you're likely to be dating a Wellesley student. There are 150+ of them at Olin every other weekend at the Manhall parties so you'll have your fair chance to meet them.
Friendly, Smart, Not bro-ish, sometimes socially awkward (but not most of the time), passionate.
Olin has an honor code that is taken really seriously, and the honor code in addition to the small size, and familiarity amon...
Olin has an honor code that is taken really seriously, and the honor code in addition to the small size, and familiarity among students, makes Olin a very tight-knit community. Olin is also committed to progress and innovation, so the students get used to giving feedback to faculty as well as to teammates. The faculty does a very good job of taking student feedback into consideration.
One of my favorite aspects of Olin is the collaborative culture. People are generally not competitive about academics, in my experience, which creates a very good learning environment. The professors are really approachable, and they are eager to help, and to get to know you.
I've been working in the admissions office this summer, and the question of clubs and activities comes up often. I think prospective students are frightened that because of the small size, there will not be a club or group geared towards what they are interested in. But since Olin students have a very diverse set of interests, that is definitely not the case. There's a rumor that at one point there were more clubs than students! Some of the more popular ones include the Olin Conductorless Orchestra, Mini Baja (design, build, and race a little car), Human Powered Vehicle (the same as Baja but with a bike), PowerChords and Ol'Enharmonics (both a capella groups), Olin Fire Arts Club, Franklin W. Olin Players, a soccer team, an ultimate frisbee team, and SERV (a community service group). Some of the more interesting clubs include Cheese club, the Olin Rock Orchestra, All Your Bass (an a capella group focusing on memes), Uni (the unicycle club), and a recently started kazoo marching band. Lots of kids cook or bake, and there's a ton of dancing, whether it be swing, tango, or late-night dubstep in a lounge.
One think I'd change about Olin? I'd focus the faculty search a little more on those professors that teach better than they r...
One think I'd change about Olin? I'd focus the faculty search a little more on those professors that teach better than they research. After all, this is an undergraduate school. On the other hand, as a future grad student, I am enjoying nothing more than my research with Dave Barrett. About the town of Needham, I think I'd add at least one place to buy coffee late at night! The town closes at 8 :(
Ok. At this point I've become bored of writing. Maybe I'll finish this later. Hopefully someone else will fill in where I left off.
Well, let's start with the love of engineering thing--I think it's fair to say that the students who are getting the most out of Olin are really unshakably engineers. However there is a good portion of our student body that leans towards something else. The largest alternate calling I've seen is applied science and abstract mathematics plays a close second. But there are a surprising number who go on to completely unrelated fields--fields such as law and medicine where I think the relationship soured between them and engineering in general and made their last few year a very difficult struggle. Next, the jobs: I think that post graduate planning does a good job of lining up the Seniors with entry level jobs in large engineering companies, but this is really a backup plan--our best and brightest go on to graduate school, unless they are entrepreneurially inclined in which case they seemingly go all over the place. We've had a few start businesses, but only the solar trash compactor really took off so far. Actually, the entrepreneurs are a pretty visible subset of the student body, and every year they try to start a few businesses to moderate success, but then again--whose first couple businesses are really instant successes. A group of my friends came up with an idea about commercial lighting, but to capitalize on their idea they would have to patent it and then force a large company to pay them for the patent (rather than just applying their idea). Since no one wanted to do a bunch of legal work it kind of fell apart. As for the math--it really surprised me when I came here that so many of the class had not taken calculus in high school, or had taken one of the simplified versions. The math program has been suffering here since the academic dean and favorite math professor died of cancer. We had a very inexpert teacher for a long time--kept on his adjunct position far longer than intended originally. And another math faculty was widely unpopular before he quit this past winter, so the past few classes have been rather neglected math wise. Not that we haven't learned calculus, but where I would expect that linear algebra would be the foundation of all engineering classes, most people here didn't learn it well and don't use it. I took it in high school. We have a lot of variation in that regard. Anyway, the suboptimal professors are both gone at this point, and we have a new one, so things are looking up. The real moral here is that with as few faculty as we have, one or two really makes a big difference. Finally, the women: It seems to me that our culture has worked very hard to prevent male domination of the reward scheme, and this has worked--our women seem to develop the same personal identity within engineering that men develop, though they do seem a little less secure in it than the men (but this is a comparison of medians, major overlap is occurring) It is really striking though, that the men have more variance in this trait and that there are some men who go really deep into engineering. None of the women do that. But overall I think that the culture has been well honed to maintain a good gender balance.
Yes, your professors will know your name. You will also learn their children's names. Do Olin students have intellectual conversations outside of class? Generally outside of class the talk is much more about cool stuff to build, and how it could work. The admissions team does a fairly accurate job of explaining the unique freshman classes.
Some common assumptions are that Oliners are really good at math, that they all love engineering, that they go on to really great jobs after school, and that Olin is a really female friendly school. Most of our reputation is very positive thanks to a lot of student [emotional] buy in to the admissions process and our excellent pr department
It has only been around for 7-8 years, so it is still relatively new. With that, it has a very unusual curriculum for teachin...
It has only been around for 7-8 years, so it is still relatively new. With that, it has a very unusual curriculum for teaching engineering that is refined with every class.
After first reassuring my past self that I am not just a hallucination caused by expired Chinese food, one of the things I would tell myself is that I shouldn?t worry about leaving New York to start over again in Massachusetts. ?Look,? I would say, ?You have already gotten through the terrifying aspect of introducing yourself as being deaf in high school, and that ended up going better than you expected, right? You were able to make good friends who didn?t care one way or another. The same will happen at Olin, despite your fears of having to reintroduce yourself. The students there are a lot more understanding than you?re giving them credit for, and since it?s an engineering school, they?re all actually going to be very curious about it and you?ll end up making many new friends! Just don?t fret for the entire summer over it, and if you can, try to see who you can talk to over the internet so you?ll be more familiar when you actually meet them face to face. Basically, don?t worry about meeting people ? you?ll be fine. Enjoy your summer!?
The atmosphere is incredibly friendly! Since the school knows everyone is learning at the same rate as the school tries to find itself, it fosters a sense of community that makes everyone get along very easily.
I would tell myself that college is much harder than I think it is. I make sure that I thought through the college applicatio...
I would tell myself that college is much harder than I think it is. I make sure that I thought through the college application process and I would tell myself that the application process is just the beginning and it just gets harder from there. While Olin was a good choice for me, it is definitely rigorous and I would want my past self to know that and be prepared for it.
The best thing is the electrical and computer engineering program. There are so many resources for students to take advantage of. We have cutting edge technology and amazing faculty for these departments.
Someone who is very engaged in their work. They need to be passionate and enjoy hard work. If they do not like to work hard or they don't take pride in their work, it is easy for them to give up and have their grades slip.
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