The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Harvard Today: September 3, 2015

First CS50 Lecture
During the first CS50 lecture, David J. Malan '99 explains the concept of binary.
Welcome to the second official day of classes! Hopefully you managed to figure out your classes on the revamped my.harvard, but if you couldn’t figure out how to even log in, rest assured that everyone else was equally perplexed. But it’s Day 2 and your excuses for having a blank study card are growing feeble, so let’s get cracking. Happy shopping, Harvard!

It’s going to be another hot day! With highs of 87 and lows of 64, you should probably leave your jacket at home. But don’t forget your umbrella. Even though there’s only a 20% chance of precipitation, you never know.

Spicy Chicken Stir-fry with Peapods
Vegetarian Banh Mi
Brown Jasmine Rice

Fried Flounder
Vegan Casserole with Cashew Cream Sauce
Herbed Orzo

Men’s Basketball’s Chambers Withdraw From College After ACL Injury: With two months to go before its first game, the Harvard men’s basketball team may have already suffered its worst loss of the season. The team announced Wednesday morning that three-year starter and captain Siyani Chambers will take a voluntary leave of absence from Harvard College after sustaining a torn ACL during summer workouts.

Women’s Soccer Opens Up Season With Win: After winning the Ivy League title last season, the Harvard women’s soccer team looked to regain momentum in its first contest of the 2015 season. It did just that.

Class of 2019 By The Numbers: Scroll through the interactive graphs and charts on the following pages for a visual representation of the Class of 2019.

Facing Admissions Scrutiny, Harvard Has Much at Stake: As Harvard moves into the new academic year, it faces mounting scrutiny into an aspect of its admission process that administrators have long held is central to fostering diversity in its student body—race-based affirmative action.

As CS50 Attracts More Students, Parodies Pop Up on Campus and Online: The series of posters, hung up in locations including the Quincy House Grille and the entrance to Leverett House’s courtyard, seemed to be a play on materials and merchandise used to promote the actual course. Signed with the tagline, “#notCS50,” the posters feature white typeface on colored backgrounds. One declared, “I did not take CS50,” an apparent reference to real course T-shirts that say “I took CS50.”

BSC Increases Peer Tutor Wages While Reducing Tutoring Fees: Responding to student suggestions and internal review, the Bureau of Study Counsel has increased peer tutor wages and decreased tutoring fees for this academic year.

EdX Users Cheat Through MOOC-Specific Method, Study Says: Roughly 1 percent of certificates granted by Harvard’s and MIT’s school-specific edX platforms were earned by users engaging in a form of cheating never before possible in traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms, according to a working paper released by researchers from the two schools.


The Office of Career Services is having a Finance Boutique Night at the Harvard Faculty Club from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. This event is open to all Harvard College students—freshmen through seniors of all concentrations—plus GSAS and HES students eligible for the Campus Interview Program.

The Harvard Rugby Football Club is having the first game of the season against Boston College at 5:30 p.m. on Cumnock IV.

Harvard Today: September 2, 2015

Love Story YMCA
Members of the Crimson Key Society dance to “YMCA” with new freshmen at their annual screening of “Love Story.”
Happy Wednesday, Harvard! Welcome to shopping week! Hopefully you’ve had a successful move-in and your proctor/tutor doesn’t already think of you as “that kid.” Jokes aside, we’re wishing you a great start to a successful semester.
Xoxo, Flyby

Surprise! It’s going to be hotter than today. It’ll be sunny in the 90s, so hopefully all the classes you’re shopping are in air conditioned buildings.

Chicken Parmesan Sub
Vegetarian Penne Bolognese

Fried Buttermilk Chicken Drumsticks
Normandy Style Pork Loin
Farfalle Pasta with Cannelloni & Basil Pesto

PSA: Monday Classes Tomorrow: TLDR- It’s Wednesday, but go to Monday classes!

What You’re Missing When You Skip Your Entryway Meeting: Icebreakers, snacks, and awkwardness galore!

Do’s and Don’ts of Shopping Week: We’re looking at you, freshmen.


Mather Pilots Sophomore Orientation Program: Mather House piloted an orientation program for their sophomore residents this past weekend, allowing them to move into their dorm rooms a day early in an effort to make House life more central to their extracurricular lives.

Fully Renovated Dunster House Opens Its Doors: Known for its walkthrough suites and accommodations widely regarded as lackluster, Dunster House had been an undergraduate favorite for ridicule. But with the construction trucks gone from Cowperthwaite Street, the College’s first fully renovated House opened its doors to students last weekend.

Medical School Overhauls Curriculum With Major Redesign: While Medical School courses were previously run in a traditional lecture format, under the new curriculum, they will use flipped classroom model, in which students watch lectures on video outside of class and then apply the concepts they cover in class and clinic.


Fall Welcoming Event — The Department of African & African American Studies invites you to kick off the semester in the Thompson Room of the Barker Center at 4pm.

Waitress — Come see this musical being performed at the Loeb at 7:30! Tickets start at $25.

Jill Abramson presents “Page One: Inside the New York Times” — See you in Science Center D at 7:40 for the screening of this documentary and a question and answer session.

Do's and Don'ts of Shopping Week

Ah, shopping week. That magical time when classes are “happening,” but not happening. For all of us making that painful transition back into the school year, this week seems like a great time to goof around and enjoy a few more precious days of summer. This plan is fun in the moment, but you may end up in classes that you absolutely loathe by mid-semester. Follow these do’s and dont’s to make the most of shopping week:

DO: Shop more than 4 classes! You won’t enjoy everything that looked interesting from the course guide, and scrambling to decide on a class after the first few meetings won’t be a great start to the year.

DON’T: Pick classes based on what your roommates, significant others, or even exes are doing. This is your education, and you need to do what you want. It may seem like you won’t survive an hour without your S.O. or a section with someone you can’t even speak to anymore, but it will all be okay. Don’t let anyone else talk you into something you don't want or out of something you do.

DO: Remember that the professors are pulling out all the stops this week. It’s not going to get better than the stunts they pull on the first day, so if you’re not intrigued now, you probably won’t be.

DON’T: Taking 5 classes “just because” speaks to the overachiever in all of us (come on, this is Harvard after all), but seriously, has anyone ever come out of that ordeal unscathed?

PSA: Monday Classes Tomorrow

Apparently the Registrar doesn’t know the order of the days of the week, because tomorrow will function as an academic Monday to open up shopping week. It is unclear to us why this was not communicated to the student body in a more effective manner. (They must have been busy working out the kinks in the new my.harvard). Not to worry, the Flyby investigation team is here to confirm that Wednesday is Monday, but Thursday is Thursday. We will repeat, expect Monday classes tomorrow, but do not go to your Tuesday classes on Thursday! Order will be restored by the time you wake up Thursday morning.

It's Back: Calling Fifteen Hottest Nominations

Yes, you read that right: It's that time of year again. Fifteen Minutes Magazine formally requests your nominations for our list of Harvard's 15 hottest... professors.

Reviving an old feature, FM's September welcome back issue will profile 15 Harvard faculty members and what makes them hot. Does your favorite professor do offbeat research? Make you want to go to lecture? Have a quirky hobby? Do they weld?

We want to know. CS50 guru David J. Malan '99, historian Maya R. Jasanoff ’96, and even Michael D. Smith, the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, are all alums.

Send nominations to Read FM's first issue in your dining hall on Sept. 17.

PSA: The Yard Is Still Under Construction

Remember dodging around construction trucks in the Yard to get to class last semester? Not to worry, because it appears that the construction work is in fact back, specifically in the space between Weld and Widener. It does not block the walkways from Mass. Ave., for those of you who like to head late to class and use that path instead.

Luckily, it’s not in one of the more prime locations for tourist pictures, though it’s a shame that everyone’s favorite statue in front of Boylston is removed from plain sight!

Harvard Hangs with POTUS on Martha's Vineyard

Glenn H. Hutchins
Glenn H. Hutchins '77, a leading University donor and co-chair of the Harvard Campaign, applauds medalists at the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal ceremony in October 2013.

Some of Harvard’s top donors have been swinging sticks and rubbing elbows with the president this summer—and we’re not talking about Drew G. Faust.

Glenn H. Hutchins ’77 teed it up with President Barack Obama twice this summer at the Vineyard Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard, according to White House pool reports. Hutchins is a member of Harvard Management Company’s board and a longtime Harvard donor.

For their first round together in mid-August, Obama and Hutchins golfed with World Bank president Jim Yong Kim and Cyrus Walker, a usual golf opponent. A week later, the two Harvard Law School grads added Alonzo Mourning and Ray Allen, both former NBA basketball stars, to their foursome.

Vineyard Golf boasts the only completely organic course in the country, maintained with bio-stimulants and composted fertilizers in lieu of pesticides. Memberships at the club sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars (the president plays as a guest).

To the Class of 2019: The Lowdown on Camp Harvard

Hi Freshmen,

Welcome to Freshman Week, a week long welcome to Harvard. Welcome.

Many call this wonderful time of year "Camp Harvard," although this first week doesn't really have nearly as many campfires or talent shows as regular summer camps. Maybe it's because Camp Harvard has a similar amount of awkward first conversations.

What can you expect from this first week of school? Lots of free time. Be prepared to learn a lot of people's names, only to forget them within three minutes. If you're really good at names (like me), you'll keep seeing them over and over, yet you feel bad asking for their names again. I have yet to ask my roommate for his name. Just kidding. Slightly.

Freshman Week is a truly unique moment during students' four year stint in good ol' Harv. Around a month after the end of Freshman Week, it *will* be awkward to sit down with complete strangers. It *will* be awkward to ask complete strangers to text you for parties.

One tip of advice, try to make actual conversation with people. Here's a simulation of most Freshman Week conversations:

Person A: Hi I'm from D.C.
Person B: Hey. I'm from Ohio.
Person A: Dope.
Person B: Back at ya. Here, have my number. I have Rubinoff.


Oh, and don't host parties during Freshman Week. It might make you feel cool and ~spontaneous~, but you will get shut down by your proctor, and every subsequent study break with your entryway will result in awkward small talk with your proctor, who likely thinks you're a delinquent. I speak from experience (yes I tried to be that cool kid, and it totally worked).

But in all seriousness, take advantage of Freshman Week. This is really the only time during your four years here that you legitimately don't have any responsibilities at all, and your sole job is to meet people and hang out.


Sophomore Nacho

P.S. Remember the age-old advice of not hooking up with entryway mates at First Chance Dance (you'll thank us later)!

This Week at Harvard: August 10 to August 16

Candyland in the Square
Passerby walk past Cabot's Candy in Harvard Square on Thursday afternoon. The store, which opened July 22, sells a variety of candy including salt water taffy and fudge.

Harvard, we made it. After this week and a little break for R&R in between, we’ll all be back together again. Enjoy this last week in quiet Cambridge before the p-sets and dinner meetings start flooding back in.


Enjoy the mild weather, because the rain will be coming in hot Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as the weekend. However, temperatures should stay pretty steady and cool. It shouldn’t get above 90 degrees all week.


Harvard Law School Implements New Title IX Standards

After receiving government feedback on its plan to break from Harvard’s central Title IX approach, Harvard Law School made changes to its school-specific protocols, which will go into effect this fall.

Obama Nominates Cherry Murray, Former SEAS Dean, to Energy Department

President Barack Obama nominated Cherry A. Murray, the former dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, to head the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science last week. During Murray’s tenure at the helm of SEAS from 2009 to 2014, the school saw significant growth in its faculty and number of undergraduate concentrators.



The Boston chapter of the National Association of Asian American Professionals is hosting the Boston Asia Fest in Dewey Square from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stop by this free festival to celebrate Asian food and culture, with more than 20 vendors, musicians, and non-profits.

Come to fire and street food festival Ignite! in Somerville’s Union Square from 6 to 10 p.m. This festival celebrates Union Square with an evening of fire throwers and international cuisine.

If You Got Into Harvard, Your College Essay Was Probably Pretty Sad

Breaking news: If you got into Harvard, there’s a good chance you wrote a really sad essay, maybe about your parents.

Or so says AdmitSee, a college counseling startup. The group recently analyzed thousands of college essays, and from their findings, we can glean some advice for prospective applicants—and perhaps say something about our peers who already got in.

Specifically, based on what AdmitSee co-founder Stephanie Shyu told Fast Company, we suggest that you call your parents “mother” and “father” if you want to come here. If Palo Alto is more your thing, call them “mom” and “dad.”

Not only are Harvard essays about our parents—they’re also just really sad. According to Fast Company, other keywords in Harvard essays include “difficult,” “cancer,” and “tough,” while our friends at Stanford generally chose to write about their passions, using words like “better,” “happy,” and “improve.”

The bottom line? Harvard applicants, you can be completely void of emotion as long as you have a really padded resume and a tearjerker of a college essay. (Harvard students: That explains a lot.)

This Week at Harvard: August 3 to 9

Looking Up
Andrew W. Mayo '17 teaches summer telescope classes as part of a program hosted by Student Astronomers at Harvard-Radcliffe. The classes, which are held bi-weekly at the telescope in the Science Center, are free of charge, though students are required to fill out a short application to attend.

Happy start of the week, Harvard—we’re in the home stretch of summer now, so you only have to muster up the strength to get through these last two weeks or so in the ghost town that is Cambridge in the summer.


It’ll be hot at the beginning of the week, with highs in the 80s and 90s until about Thursday. On Friday, expect a much-needed cool down with some rain showers and temperatures in the 60s and 70s through the weekend.


’Poonsters Prank the Crimson—and Dupe Donald Trump

Portraying themselves as their longtime rivals, Harvard Lampoon staffers tricked the Donald Trump campaign into thinking that The Crimson was endorsing the candidate for president in 2016.

Zoning Board Indefinitely Delays Campus Center Decision

For the second time this summer, the Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeal delayed a decision on Harvard’s plans for renovating the Smith Campus Center, the first major setback to the University’s proposal.

U.S. Olympic Committee Terminates Boston Bid

Organizers ended Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games, following several months of backlash and changes in its plans, which included Harvard.



The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is hosting a free “Alice in Wonderland”-themed event from 5 to 8 p.m. Stop by for one of the summer’s last chances to explore this beautiful museum along with food, drinks, and music.

Stop by the Boston Common parade ground from 6 p.m. onward for a free outdoor yoga class. Bring a friend or two to sneak in some free exercise at Boston’s historic park.

Friday - Sunday

Zac Brown Band is performing nightly from Friday to Sunday at Fenway at 6:30 p.m., along with band Muddy Magnolias. Get tickets online at the Zac Brown Band’s website.


PorchfestFEST, a block party, is happening at the Lawn on D from 3 to 9 p.m. Come by to enjoy live music from local bands.

’Poonsters Prank the Crimson—and Dupe Donald Trump

An Elaborate Prank
Some pranksters published an article, parodying The Crimson, that purported to endorse Donald J. Trump for president on behalf of the newspaper. (The real Crimson staff has not yet endorsed a candidate in the 2016 presidential race.)

You could call it a prank of presidential proportions.

Portraying themselves as their longtime rivals, Harvard Lampoon staffers tricked the Donald J. Trump campaign into thinking that The Crimson was endorsing the controversial candidate in his bid for the American presidency.

It all started earlier this summer, when the prized Crimson president’s chair went missing from the newspaper’s Cambridge, Mass., headquarters. Harvard lore dictates that staffers of the Lampoon—a semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humor magazine—try to steal the chair, while Crimson editors seek to nab the large metal bird, called the Ibis or Thresky, that sits atop the roof of the humor publication’s property on Bow Street.

In late June, Crimson summer staffers returned to the newspaper building to find their storied chair missing from its second-story perch, according to Crimson president Steven S. Lee ’16. A casing for bolt cutters lay nearby; the chair had been chained to a wall to prevent it from being stolen.

Lee immediately suspected that ’Poonsters were behind the theft and contacted them to request that they return the chair. "They said they would get back to me on it,” Lee says.

A few weeks later, the chair made a very public appearance. An article, emblazoned with the headline “Crimson Endorses Trump for President” and signed “The Crimson Staff,” cropped up online, claiming to tout the newspaper’s support for the billionaire Republican primary candidate’s bid for the presidency in 2016. Among other points, it dubbed him “a celebrity above all” and “the most formidable and competitive candidate on the Republican side.” It also espoused his job creation record—specifically the supposed good work of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” a reality show Trump has hosted. The editorial reasoned that the show helped “inactive or troubled” celebrities regain their fame and thus created jobs.

"The creative methods and avenues through which Trump has created jobs would likely make (former Crimson editor-in-chief) Franklin D. Roosevelt ’03 smile,” the editorial read.

A photo of a grinning Trump, seated in The Crimson’s stately president’s chair and posing with two thumbs up, accompanied the article. In the photo, he is surrounded by a group of college-aged people, some dressed in matching ties, who a reader might presume are members of The Crimson’s editorial board.

Trump in the Crimson's Chair
A screenshot of a photo taken of presidential candidate Donald J. Trump alongside... not The Crimson's editorial board.

It’s quite a photo. Trump’s hair is perfectly coiffed.

Of course, The Crimson published no such article. Lee tells Flyby that the newspaper does not traditionally endorse a presidential candidate this far ahead of an election. (The editorial staff also tends to endorse Democrats.)

The culprit: ’Poonsters.

At least some Lampoon staffers, it appears, orchestrated the photo-op. Masquerading as The Crimson, some pranksters apparently informed Trump campaign officials that they planned to pen an editorial endorsing the business magnate-turned-Republican primary frontrunner on behalf of the paper, according to Lee.

While the Crimson president didn’t go so far as to outright accuse the Lampoon of the prank in an interview, he could identify some of the people in the photo as ’Poonsters, a fact Flyby independently verified. It looks like they transported The Crimson’s chair to Trump Tower in New York City and posed with the candidate, successful in their quest to dupe him and prank their rivals.

Lee says it appears that the pranksters “covered all their bases” in executing the stunt, with “good evidence” that they went so far as to correspond with the Trump campaign through an email address that purported to belong to a Crimson editor. They also created a copycat website to host the fake Crimson editorial. (A web domain identification site lists the domain, very similar to The Crimson's, as registered to the Harvard Lampoon and ’Poonster Daniel A. Citron ’16.)

The Crimson, for its part, was unaware of the plot until a Trump campaign representative contacted Lee about the editorial, which the imposters had apparently sent to the campaign pre-publication. Unfamiliar with the article, Lee realized that some individuals were likely posing as Crimson editors. He clarified to the campaign that no one had visited Trump Tower on behalf of the newspaper, nor authorized the editorial.

“They recognized the situation once we had chatted, and it seemed like they were going to take care of it, whatever that means,” Lee says.

The parody editorial went up online briefly in mid-July and then again a few days ago.

The Trump campaign declined to comment on-the-record for this post. But despite its glowing endorsement of the candidate, the parody article was not featured in the “In the News” section of the campaign’s website at the time of this post’s publication.

Lampoon president Calvin Willett ’16 did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The Crimson’s chair, meanwhile, has been returned to the newspaper’s offices at 14 Plympton St. Lee, who was not involved in the editing of this post, assures Flyby that the newspaper will be “looking to improve our security surrounding the chair in the near future.”

This Week at Harvard: July 27 to August 2

Salsa en la Plaza
Jenny S. Quigley-Jones and Jordan E. Quigley-Jones dance during the "Salsa en la Plaza" social event hosted by Harvard Common Spaces on Thursday evening.

Hello, Harvard—you might, like us, be getting ready for summer to come to a close, but another summer week awaits. Take advantage of it and do something cool or off-beat while you have the time.


This week will be hot, hot, hot! Temperatures should be in the high 80s and low 90s all week, with some possible thunderstorms coming our way tomorrow. Luckily, you can get your tan or swim on this weekend with sunny skies.


Rothenberg, Longtime Corporation Member, Dies at 69

James Rothenberg ’68, a member of the Harvard Corporation, died last Tuesday of a heart attack at 69. On Tuesday afternoon, Rothenberg’s many friends across the University were reeling at the news.

Widener Will Extend Hours for CS50

The 100-year-old library will stay open until midnight on weekdays this upcoming fall and spring, partly to host office hours for the popular course Computer Science 50.



Boston’s Seaport Hotel is hosting a showcase of local startups from 6 to 8 p.m. Stop by One Seaport Lane to meet entrepreneurs from 128 new local companies; you can register for free online.


Harvard Hillel is hosting a Summer BBQ from 6 to 8 p.m. Come to enjoy a free meal, with kosher and vegetarian options available.


The Lawn on D is hosting a Latin Mix-meets-Top 40” dance party from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s free.


There’s a vintage Roaring Twenties Lawn Party at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate from 3 to 8 p.m. Stop by the Ipswich estate to enjoy vintage-style food, music, and dancing; tickets are for sale on the event’s website.

This Week at Harvard: July 20 to July 26

Mad Forest
Nadia L. Urrea '17, left, and Cole V. Edick '17, right, rehearse for "Mad Forest," a production by the 2015 Harvard Summer Theater. The play opens July 17 and runs until August 2 at the Loeb Experimental Theater.

Now that summer is more than halfway over, we hope you’ve gotten the chance to see or do something cool. If not, what better time than now to do something summery?


It will be hot and humid again this week. If you thought the blistering temperatures of last weekend were only temporary, think again. Still, it will cool down a little on Friday with a high of 75 degrees, and there’s no rain predicted for the near future.


Harvard Can’t Fully Prevent Cyber Attacks, Experts Say

In light of a recent cyber security breach at Harvard, experts in the field said that no action from the school will be enough to fully prevent cyber attacks in the future.



The Institute of Contemporary Art is holding All Visual Boston, a digital slideshow showcasing the work of local and regional artists. Stop by at 7 p.m. to check it out.


In celebration of National Ice Cream Month in July, Friendly’s is hosting an ice cream pop-up from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Lawn on D. Stop by to liven up your lunch break with lawn games, music, and free ice cream.

Saturday and Sunday

The annual FIGMENT festival and dance party is in Dewey Square from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. FIGMENT is a free participatory arts festival to encourage participants to “break the wall” between artist and spectator.


Cambridge’s second annual Jazz Festival is happening from 12 to 6 p.m. at the University Park Commons on Sidney Street. There will be food and live music at this free event.

PSA: You’ll Have More Time to Pregame Harvard-Yale This Year

Fischer Touchdown

Public Service Announcement: The Game starts two and a half hours later this year.

We’re guessing that the 2:30 p.m. start time, a bit later than the traditional noon, doesn’t mean too much for the football team. But for those of us who make it down to New Haven for the annual day of revelry on Nov. 21, it means more time to pregame.

(Before the tailgate, maybe you can sleep in, fit in a real brunch, make a mixed drink instead of subsisting on Rubinoff out of the bottle—or you could just drink for longer.)

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