Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
MIT's beaver mascot, spry at 85 if a bit worn at the edges, celebrated his birthday February 2 with a surprise party in Lobby 7 where more than 1,000 guests nibbled cake, wore funny hats and tooted on party horns.
After slicing the 6-by-3-foot cake, baked at Montilio's Cake Shoppe, celebrants saluted the guest of honor (played by graduate student Erick Bailey) with a rousing version of "Happy Birthday." The Logarhythms and the Chorallaries entertained at the party, held on the first day of classes to maximize student attendance.
The beaver's actual birthday was January17, the date in 1914 on which he was officially adopted as MIT's mascot.
The festivities kicked off a contest to design a new Beaver costume to be debuted in the fall. The MIT Beaver Costume Design Competition is sponsored by the Campus Activities Complex (CAC) Advisory and Program Boards, the Graduate Student Council, Undergraduate Association and the Varsity Club.
Design entries with sketches must be submitted by March 8 to the CAC office (Student Center Rm 500). The winning designer will receive a $500 prize. For more information and ground rules, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 10, 1999.