Want to get into MIT?

Posted 12 days ago

Check out RSI, the Summer Program Breeding Nobel Laureates and World Leading Scientists.

Want to study at MIT and Harvard?

Want to be taught by some of the best STEM minds on the planet - including Nobel Prize winners and global leaders in their scientific fields.

And want to do all of the above for free?

The Research Science Institute (RSI) is the first cost-free, summer science & engineering program to combine on-campus course work in scientific theory with off-campus work in science and technology research.

Based at MIT with use of labs at Harvard and the Broad Institute (the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, is a biomedical and genomic research center located in Cambridge, Massachusetts), the program hosts 80 of the world’s most accomplished high school students each US summer, with all classes taught by a current or former professors from MIT.

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To give you an idea of the calbre of some of the lecturers In recent years, the RSI Distinguished Lecture Series has included Nobel Prize-winning physicist Wolfgang Ketterle, Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dudley Herschbach, Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Phillip Sharp, evolutionary biologist Pardis Sabeti, mathematician and chess master Noam Elkies, Akamai Technologies co-founder and CEO Tom Leighton, and mathematician Michael Sipser.

For 6 weeks, these lucky students experience an entire research cycle with their program broken up into segments:

  • During the first week, students attend tutorials, classes and lectures and must also, regardless of their interests, read a humanities book. (Last year, they read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein - the common task of reading a novel helping students to start thinking, compose a short essay together, and ease into the STEM-heavy program with an eye to communication.)

  • After this first week, they get to dive more into their research topic in either biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, physics, or humanities.

  • In weeks 2-5, the attendees are paired up with a mentor who works in the field the student wants to research and learn more about.

  • In week six, they prepare written and oral presentations on their amazing research projects.

The students themselves talk about the ‘highly collaborative environment’, the ‘mutual enthusiasm for specific fields’, the incredible opportunity of ‘hanging out with the greatest scientific minds on the planet’ and making life-long friends with similar passions and interests.

“Getting to work with some of the amazing scientists here and just having the privilege of spending my summer at MIT and Harvard - it’s been amazing,” says RSI student, River. “I’d never dreamed of being able to do something this cool.”

RSI students come from all over the globe to read the most current literature in their field, draft and execute a detailed research plan, and deliver conference-style oral and written reports on their findings.

While the application process is rigorous and not unlike a college application (it includes an essay, teacher recommendations, school grade submission and standardised test scores eg: the PSAT, SAT or ACT), the rewards are multiple and long lasting.

RSI alumni include RSI mentor Feng Zhang, the inventor of CRISPR, a gene-editing technique, the founder of Pinterest, the first female math chair at Harvard, and a Facebook engineer. Significantly RSI students also go on to study at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton and more.

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So what are your chances of admission to this amazing summer program?

Given the incredible opportunities offered at RSI, it’s no surprise the summer program is incredibly selective with roughly 80 students chosen from 1,600 applicants, but the program is open to American and international students which means no matter where you come from, RSI is keen to welcome you to their classrooms and laboratories!

Needless to say a summer experience like RSI looks amazing on a student’s college application and many an RSI alum has used the time in the program as inspiration for their personal essays. (Some no doubt also describing their fun ‘downtime’ excursions which include taking trips to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Georges and Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor, and an overnight trip to the Charles River Esplanade to view the Fourth of July fireworks.)

For more information on how to apply to RSI you can click here. To get an idea of what it is like to be a student at MIT, check out our YouTube Video about a Day in the Life of MIT student Garrett, and for help with applying both to RSI and universities like MIT and Harvard, click here to book in a free consultation with one of Crimson’s expert Academic Advisors.

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