Slang & Acronyms MIT Style
[Adapted from: How to Get Around MIT, 33rd Edition, 2004]
Admin • Administrator. Someone hired to fix things that aren’t broken. The fastest growing ethnic group on campus.
Alum • Short for alumnus or alumna.
ASA • Association of Student Activities. Coordinating body for student activities, clubs, etc. Handles things often covered by administrators at other schools, such as office and bulletin board allocation.
Armadillo • A small set of drawers common to a select few dorms.
Athena • The MIT computing environment.
BCS • Brain and Cognitive Sciences [Course 9].
Beaver • The MIT mascot, engineer of the animal kingdom.
Brass Rat • Hunk of gold, silver, or platinum some MIT students and alums wear on a finger.
CAP • Committee on Academic Performance, places students on academic probation.
Chancellor • Administration bigwig position. Responsible for “overseeing” all student life, undergraduate and graduate education, and research policy.
ChemE • Chemical Engineering [Course 10]
CI-H • Communications Intensive subject in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Undergraduates must complete 2 appropriate CI-H/CI-HW subjects.
CI-M • Communications Intensive subject in the major. Undergraduates must complete 2 of these as specified by their major.
COC • Committee on Curricula.
COD • Committee on Discipline.
Concourse • An experimental freshman program.
Coop • Co-operative store. Located in Kendall Square, Harvard Square, the Student Center, and various other locations. The main source of MIT-logo merchandise.
CUP • Committee on Undergraduate Program.
DormCon • Dormitory Council. The central dormitory governing and coordinating body.
EAPS • Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences [Course 12].
EECS • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science [Course 6].
Elephant • A large piece of furniture resembling a wardrobe; common to a few dorms.
ESG • Experimental Studies Group. An alternative freshmen program located at 24-612.
ESP • Educational Studies Program.
Finboard • Finance Board. The undergraduate body charged with proposing and administering the Undergraduate Association budget and funding student activities.
Frosh • Freshman/Freshmen.
FSILG • Fraternity, Sorority or Independent Living Group.
GIR • General Institute Requirement. A class that all undergraduates must pass in order to get their degree.
GRT • Graduate Resident Tutor.
GSC • Graduate Student Council. The governing body for graduate students as a group.
Hacker • One who hacks or pulls hacks.
Hack • A trick or prank. For example, having a balloon pop out of the field in the middle of the Hahvahd-Yale football game.
Hahvahd Bridge • The Mass. Ave. bridge from MIT to Boston, which measures 364.4 Smoots +1 ear in length.
Hahvahd • The big red-brick school, both Up The Street and Up Chuck River; little liberal arts school [also known as Harvard].
HASS • Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Undergraduates need some of these classes in order to graduate.
HASS-D • Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Distribution. Undergraduates need some of these classes in order to graduate also, not the same as regular HASS.
IAP • Independent Activities Period. The month of January at MIT, and the most fun time to be on campus.
IFC • Interfraternity Council. The central coordinating and governing body of the FSILGs.
Infinite Corridor • A quarter-mile hallway through the heart of the Institute. At one time the longest continuous straight corridor in the world.
Interphase • An intensive summer academic program originally for minorities. Designed to ease the transition from high school to MIT.
Intuitively Obvious •Too simpleminded to deserve explanation. More often, too abstruse to explain, if the speaker even understands it at all [often used by MIT professors].
IS&T • Information Services & Technology. MIT Information Systems. The people who run Athena.
LSC • Lecture Series Committee. A student organization that puts on movies, lectures, and other entertainment for the MIT community.
MechE • Mechanical Engineering [Course 2].
MEng • Masters in Engineering.
MITFCU • MIT Federal Credit Union.
Prefrosh • Those happy few who can still decide whether or not to come to MIT [Pre-freshmen].
Provost • The senior academic officer, who assists the President of the Institute in addition to carrying on projects of his own.
RA • Research Assistant; Resident Advisor.
SAFO • Student Activities Finance Office.
SAO • Student Accounts Office.
SCEP • Student Committee on Educational Policy.
SLP • Student Life Programs. Administrative group in charge of student activities and associated social function prevention and other meddling. The people you have to see to fill out lots of forms in order to throw a party.
Smoot • A unit of length equal to the height of Oliver Smoot’62, most commonly used for the Harvard Bridge [364.4 Smoots plus 1 ear].
TA • Teaching Assistant. Usually a grad student employed by a department, receiving pay plus a tuition allowance for teaching duties. Funded by the Institute.
TEAL • Technology Enabled Active Learning. A new, futuristic method of teaching freshman physics that attempts to use technology to replace learning.
The Tech • A student-written and published newspaper that appears all over the place on campus on Tuesdays and Fridays [except summers and Institute holidays].
Terrascope • An alternative freshman program involving earth studies.
UA • Undergraduate Association. Organization of all MIT undergraduates [W20-401].
UROP • Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. A source of credit and pay for many undergrads.
Z-Center • Zesiger Center, MIT’s athletics complex.