They say all work and no play ... well, you know. So here are a few of the things that I've filled my time with that weren't so serious.
Though it's been some years since my last show, I spent many of my college hours performing in student theater. Most of the shows I performed in were put on by the MIT Shakespeare Ensemble, though I also performed in several MIT Dramashop shows directed by Michael Ouellette, including a English/Kannada production of Our Town at the Ninasam Theatre Institute in Heggodu, Karnataka, India. In addition to Grovers Corners, I've appeared in Jean Anouilh's Antigone, Much Ado About Nothing, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, As You Like It, Titus Andronicus, Twelfth Night (pictured to the right) and Henry V.
Another activity that filled my idle hours at MIT was the MIT Robocraft/Battlecode programming competition. In Battlecode (which was known as Robocraft through 2006), teams of students write a progrem to control a team of virtual robots in a head-to-head battle for dominance. The challenge: the program does not control the team as a whole; instead, an instance of the program is run by each of the robots on a team. So the program must enable a group of individuals to operate as team. Competing with Gabriel Durazo (and, in 2006, Matthew McKinley), I participated in Battlecode from 2005 to 2007. In 2006, our team took 5th place out of 140 teams, earning $1000 in prizes. In 2007, our team finished in the top 16 and won a special award for outstanding combat code, earning a total of $750 in prizes.
MIT Mystery Hunt
No discussion of my extracurricular recreation would be complete without the MIT Mystery Hunt. A kind of Tour-de-France for puzzle nerds, the Hunt is an annual weekend-long marathon of puzzle solving in which dozens of teams compete for the dubious prize of having to organize and put on the next year's event. Participation is free, and you don't even have to be at MIT to play along (though it certainly helps).
If you like puzzles, and are ever looking for a way to kill about two solid weeks, spend some time in the Hunt arcives. You'll find hundreds of puzzles and meta-puzzles from over the years; some fiendishly clever, some just plain fiendish. I've whiled away far too many hours going back to puzzles that got away from me during the Hunt weekend.