MIT Admissions

MIT Admissions


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This page is intended to be a space for brainstorming and keeping track of things that should get done on this wiki.



Is there a single overarching hierarchy?

no because that would make things too simple and un-MITey. half joking (petey)

How do people navigate, other than searching / seeing links from related pages?

^ The front (index) page should be really clear so people can navigate easily from page to page? (wikicaptain)

Prioritizing the toolbar on the left might help a little. The current design of the site is very visually appealing, but making the left toolbar a little less prominent (and making some links within it more prominent than others) would increase user-friendliness.

For instance, Wiki Home and Random Page are probably more important to our target users than Recent Changes and Active Members, but these links are all given equal visual priority. Making the tool bar a little narrower would also allow more space for the articles to be displayed, which is especially important for articles with large pictures. (mszucs)

Yes, those are some things that we're going to tweak in the design before it goes live. I'm fine with removing some links or moving them further down. One other thing I would also like to do is figure out a better way to facilitate better stumbling upon pages. Random page is pretty good and I definitely want to move it up, but I'd love other ideas! (petey)

There are "categories", too. What should those be used for?

^ That is the thing that I'm not really sure about. Should the front (index) page groupings be categories instead? (wikicaptain)

The "categories" seem likely to repeat the learn, lead, live, etc. divisions from the front page but with less organization. If the front page is managed well enough and is kept to a reasonable length, the categories might not be necessary. (mszucs)

I think we might end up doing away with the categories. Eventually, I think the front page will need to be devoted to some explanation of what this wiki is (and what it is not). This is the first admissions wiki for any college AFAIK, so it will take some discussion. (petey)

Similar entities should have a standard "badge" for displaying common information. (eg, for departments: a box with the department name, link to website, name of dept. head, number of students, etc…)

I think that's a terrific idea. I'd love to make the wiki more social. We have a prefrosh developer who will begin working for the admissions office in the fall; I'd love to see him take a crack at this, since these sorts of ancillary things may not make it into the first public push here. (petey)

What to do about duplicate pages?

So far, I've noticed two separate locations for both IAP and 100K. IAP actually has two distinct articles that have been written, whereas 100K has one article written and one blank.(mszucs)

I guess one of the jobs of the wiki captain (and eventual team of mods and editors) will be merging articles like that. Unfortunately it doesn't seem the ExpressionEngine wiki is quite as smart as Wikipedia about detecting these sorts of things… (petey)

Possible Topics


  • Academic requirements / GIRs, departments; some specific classes
  • Living groups: dorms and FSILGs
  • Student groups: clubs, sports


  • Advice / stories
  • Random useful things (e.g. "classes start and end 5 minutes off from the hour" or "the J in a subject's name means it's in multiple departments") [mszucs: maybe a "Did you know?" box on the left above Active Members that picks a random tip everytime you load a page. then again, people get annoyed by those quickly.]

What this wiki is not for

I'm not sure. In their example page for Biology, it seemed to be basically the same information that's available in the Bulletin. It seems the point is to consolidate information from multiple sources. For what topics is it better just to link directly to those sources?

^ I think to a certain degree the information about major and minor requirements is still helpful on the Wiki, as the Bulletin might be kind of hard to decipher and read at times. I REALLY agree with the "advice/stories" and "random useless things" point as above and I think that would be the defining point of this wiki since that is student-generated information that cannot be found elsewhere. Thus, I think this should be certainly included (wikicaptain)

Yeah, I think advice / minutiae / etc is really going to be useful. Little known secrets, the best place to get coffee near the media lab, etc. At the beginning a lot of these pages will by necessity crib from other things like the Bulletin, but hopefully the content will evolve in a more helpful fashion. (petey)

Technical Suggestions

I think we can put technical suggestions/additional plug-ins for the wiki here:

  • Ability to sign comments? (cf. Kpopovic 12:47, 30 November 2011 (EST) four tilda feature on Wikipedia) (submitted to dev)
  • enable snippets + templates (request sent to wikicaptain ~tvald)e
  • create the MITWiki namespace (requires superadmin powers)
  • Certain characters (like hyphens and apostrophes) aren't displaying correctly on pages that list articles. See "Biological Engineering - Biomedical Engineering Society" in clubs and "MIT's Influence on the World" under Legacy on the main page. (mszucs)
  • Different colors to differentiate between external links and links to wiki pages (wikicaptain)
  • This is a problem on all pages: ul li ul li's show up as VERY spaced out, (even in comparison to ul li's) to the point where it's not attractive. Something is up and I'd rather not change the formatting on my end. (leanna)
    • Does it show up here?
    • I think so…

FYI - we're trying to get in touch with some devs to implement these ideas. So keep them coming! ~petey


Information sources that this wiki can draw from:

  • Departments' websites
  • Living groups' websites
  • Clubs' / student groups' websites

What about Wikipedia? How do we feel about forking (with appropriate attribution, of course!) Wikipedia articles and then modifying them as we see fit? I mean for already developed articles like Hacks, Notable Alumni, etc. ~petey