Research shows the success of a bacterial community depends on its shape.
Larceny from residence halls dropped 47 percent in 2001, according to the MIT Police annual report. Forty items were reported stolen, primarily bicycles and computers, compared to 76 in 2000.
As with most colleges, larceny is by far the largest category of crime at MIT. In 2001, 541 incidents were reported, including 381 of personal property and 120 of Institute property. The most frequently stolen items were computers and components, laptops, wallets, backpacks and compact disc players. There were 539 larcenies in 2000.
"In the majority of cases, larceny is a crime of opportunity," the report said. "Oftentimes, the property stolen was left unlocked in an unattended room. The problem is complicated by the fact that MIT has an 'open campus.'"
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 18, 2002.