Update: The convention was a mixed success. Unfortunately, we had no confirmed time travelers visit us, yet many time travelers could have attended incognito to avoid endless questions about the future. We had a great series of lectures, awesome bands, and even a DeLorean. We regret having had to turn away visitors, but there were capacity restrictions governing Morss Hall. Thanks so much to the dozens of people who helped.

Check this space for photos, commentary, and more.
Please email us your thoughts about the convention if you attended.

Thanks to everyone who bought a T-shirt! We raised $417 for the Big Jimmy Scholarship fund.


Tina Fey just trashed me on Saturday Night Live! "A student at MIT is hosting a Time Traveler Party this week with the hope that people from the future will show up...too bad people from the future already know the party sucked!" Note the scorn dripping from the word "future."


07:29 UPDATE
-- See us LIVE on NBC's Today Show at 08:06! If someone could tape/capture/TiVo it for us, that'd be great... Thanks!


The rain location for the Convention will be Morss Hall in Walker Memorial Building, Building 50 on the MIT Campus. Access will be only from the East Campus Courtyard. The Hall has a fixed capacity, and no more than this capacity will be admitted. Until 8:10 PM, only people from the guestlist will be admitted. After that, it will be open admission until the seats are filled. We cannot guarantee admission if you are not on the guestlist or if you arrive after 8:10pm.


Confirmed speakers include:

Edward Farhi, Professor of Physics, MIT

Alan Guth, V.F. Weisskopf Professor of Physics, MIT

Erik Demaine, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT

We need your help for...

The Time Traveler Convention

May 7, 2005, 10:00pm EDT (08 May 2005 02:00:00 UTC)

(events start at 8:00pm)

East Campus Courtyard, MIT

3 Ames St. Cambridge, MA 02142

42:21:36.025°N, 71:05:16.332°W

(42.360007,-071.087870 in decimal degrees)


A NOTE TO THE MEDIA: TV cameras will not be allowed at the Convention itself due to MIT regulations. Also, this is a fun event and we do not wish to wonder at all times whether we are on TV or not. I have been scheduling TV interviews, however; please contact me if you would like me to appear on your program. Print/Radio/Internet media are more than welcome! Contact us ahead of time if you would like press credentials for the event, which provide an identification badge and access to the press booth.
Convention events now start at 8pm for present-time attendees. It will start with lectures and/or music, and at 10pm the moment of truth will arrive. No need to modify any existing publicity efforts, as time travelers can come at 8pm or 10pm.

What is it?

Technically, you would only need one time traveler convention. Time travelers from all eras could meet at a specific place at a specific time, and they could make as many repeat visits as they wanted. We are hosting the first and only Time Traveler Convention at MIT on Saturday, and WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Why do you need my help?

We need you to help PUBLICIZE the event so that future time travelers will know about the convention and attend. This web page is insufficient; in less than a year it will be taken down when I graduate, and futhermore, the World Wide Web is unlikely to remain in its present form permanently. We need volunteers to publish the details of the convention in enduring forms, so that the time travelers of future millennia will be aware of the convention. This convention can never be forgotten! We need publicity in MAJOR outlets, not just Internet news. Think New York Times, Washington Post, books, that sort of thing. If you have any strings, please pull them.

Great idea, I'd love to help! What should I do?

Write the details down on a piece of acid-free paper, and slip them into obscure books in academic libraries! Carve them into a clay tablet! If you write for a newspaper, insert a few details about the convention! Tell your friends, so that word of the convention will be preserved in our oral history! A note: Time travel is a hard problem, and it may not be invented until long after MIT has faded into oblivion. Thus, we ask that you include the latitude/longitude information when you publicize the convention.

You can also make an absolute commitment to publicize the convention afterwards. In that case, bring a time capsule or whatever it may be to the party, and then bury it afterwards.

Can't the time travelers just hear about it from the attendees, and travel back in time to attend?

Yes, they can! In fact, we think this will happen, and the small number of adventurous time travelers who do attend will go back to their "home times" and tell all their friends to come, causing the convention to become a Woodstock-like event that defines humanity forever.

Unfortunately, we of the present (2005) don't have time travel, and so we only have one chance at observing the convention. If the time travelers don't leave us their secrets, we won't be able to go back in time and see our convention in all its glory unless it is publicized in advance.

Isn't time travel impossible?

We can't know for certain. The ancient Greeks would have thought computers were impossible, and the Phoenicians certainly wouldn't have believed that humans would one day send a spacecraft to the moon and back. We cannot predict the future of science or technology, so we can only make an effort and see if any time travelers come to our convention. If you would like to read more about time travel, check out our reading list.

I'm from the future, and I'd like to attend!

We're not sure how you're emailing us from the future, but we'd love to have you! Come as you are! No dress code whatsoever. We do request that you bring some sort of proof that you do indeed come from the future, and haven't just dressed like you do. We welcome any sort of proof, but things like a cure for AIDS or cancer, a solution for global poverty, or a cold fusion reactor would be particularly convincing as well as greatly appreciated. (No RSVP required.)

I'm from the present, and I'd like to attend!

DUE TO THE OVERWHELMING RESPONSE, NO ATTENDEES WILL BE ADMITTED WHO HAVE NOT ALREADY RSVP'D. SORRY FOLKS, OUR EVENT CAN ONLY HOLD SO MANY PEOPLE. Attendance is by RSVP only -- if you're reading this and haven't already RSVP'd, we're afraid it's too late. The East Campus Courtyard is in between the two red rectangles on this map. If you plan on attending, PLEASE check this page frequently for updates. UPDATE 5/2: Convention events start at 8pm now. Feel free to come at either 8pm, 10pm, or anytime in between. We'd recommend coming early as we hope to get some very interesting speakers and musicians for this time.

I'm from the present, and I'd like to attend, but I can't!

No worries! If time travel is invented in your lifetime, you can always come later. Even if it isn't, we'll have pictures and video up at this site within a week or so after the Convention MIT's final exams are over.

I've volunteered and helped publicize!

Thanks! If you'd like to be included in the gallery, please send us a picture of your publicity effort by email at timetravelerconvention@gmail.com. You can also email us with any other questions you might have. Please do not get offended if we do not reply to your email! We have a lot of work to do until Saturday and will read the emails more carefully after the convention.

This is neat! Got anything else for me to click on?

Thanks! The convention was conceived by me, and since it got big I have received tremendous amounts of help; in particular from him, her, and him, as well as Sharon Snaggs, East Campus RLA and Associate Housemaster, without whose tireless effort this convention would not be happening. Please visit our websites! Also visit our dorm website.

Also, please consider linking to this page, and/or sending us an email. Then visit Cat and Girl, one of the best comic strips out there.

Also check out Destination Day; they seem to have something very similar, and seem to have done it first (although our convention is inspired by Cat and Girl).

Snacks and Drinks fund: (all donations will be spent on refreshments at the convention) The convention is now over, it went wonderfully! Thanks for all the donations. Any donations made from this time onwards will be directed to the Big Jimmy Scholarship Fund, a scholarship that students at East Campus and Senior House created in memory of Big Jimmy, our beloved night watchman who passed away earlier this year.