April 29, 2011
Today I also ran into a friend of mine from college who stayed at Stanford for grad school. We chatted for a while about the "personalities" of the different materials programs, from UCSB to Berkeley to MIT to Northwestern. We both generally agreed on these personalities and both perceived them back when we visited the various schools. That made me wonder: to what extent to the schools intentionally foster a particular image? I know that Northwestern puts a lot of effort into making sure that its visit weekends are a great (dare I say legendary?) time. But on a more comprehensive level, do the materials departments try to carve out their own niches in terms of attracting particular types of students/faculty? Or is it a less-intentional process, the same way people develop personalities over their lifetimes?