Getting Started in the CTP
The CTP is located on the 3rd and 4th floors of building 6. This is often easiest to find for the first time if you go up to the third floor of the Infinite Corridor from the 77 Mass Ave entrance and walk to the very end (eastward) of it; the glass doors of the CTP are on the right . As you learn the campus, this scalable map can be useful (http://whereis.mit.edu/). Postdocs and graduate students are assigned an office, which is typically in or near the CTP. CTP Assistant Director Scott Morley (6-307, firstname.lastname@example.org) is your primary contract for office space and all logistical matters in the CTP. To log into your computer, you will need to contact CTP Senior Editorial Assistant Charles Suggs (6-409, email@example.com). Your mailbox is located on the 3rd floor of building 6. The printing/supply room is located in 6-309. The CTP requires card access outside of regular work hours, that is, outside of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. , and on weekends and on MIT holidays.
The CTP has two kitchenettes, refrigerators, and microwaves, which you are welcome to use. Please clean up after yourself if you make a mess. We have a Nespresso machine, and you can get pods from Scott, 10 for $8 in cash. Also nearby are the graduate student lounge (8-314) and the GWIP common room (6C-247). You can ask other students for the current access codes.
Daily life and events
There are a wide range of seminars (see the CTP Seminars page for details) and events every week in the CTP (and outside of it!). You’ll need to ask Scott to get on the email lists for any that you may be interested in (the most prominent 4 lists are indicated below). These are used for seminars and for other emails associated to these fields:
- Nuclear and particle seminar and email list (Mondays)
- LNS colloquium (Mondays)
- LNS lunchtime seminar (Tuesdays at noon)
- Cosmology seminar and email list (Tuesdays)
- String seminar and email list (Wednesdays)
- Virtual lattice colloquium (Thursdays) 11:)
- Department colloquium (Thursdays at 4pm)
- Graduate student lunch seminars (typically Fridays)
- Rotating IAIFI events (Fridays)
- Quantum Information seminar and email list
Please see the seminar webpage for the time and schedule for these events.
Typically, you’ll find members of the CTP start to gather for lunch around 12:15 in Eastman Court (good weather) or our seminar rooms, 6-310 and 6C-442 (bad weather). In addition, many groups have their own group meetings and/or social events.
There are a few annual events you may be interested in. The registration day meeting (held the day after Labor Day), is one we highly encourage you to attend for important information. During the summer, various individual groups have activities that you may learn about and join. During wintertime, both the CTP and LNS host holiday parties, to which you will receive invitations.
Guide to department acronyms
Many groups take advantage of the CTP’s Slack workspace to communicate with one another. You may freely join any public channels. Please ask Scott to add you to the workspace.
Desks in the CTP come with an iMac for your individual use by default. For more intensive computing needs, the physics department has a computer cluster called “submit” that is available for members of the department to use and contains both CPU and GPU resources. Please see the user guide.
Academic benchmarks for students
The CTP maintains a set of academic guidelines for graduate students on its webpage. This also includes information about finding a research advisor, the basics of RA/TA funding after the first year, and the basics of travel funding. You should feel free to reach out to your academic and/or research advisor with questions, as needed.
General guidance for students
The Physics Department sends out a weekly newsletter with announcements and opportunities for students, and the GSC sends out its weekly Anno. Students are automatically subscribed to both lists. The Physics Values Committee maintains a comprehensive list of student campus resources on its webpage, and PGSC posts helpful handouts and guides as well.
New students often find second-year and beyond physics PhD students to be a useful source of advice; they can provide the perspective of someone who was recently in your shoes. The Physics Department offers a first-year buddy program, which matches incoming students with senior graduate students; we highly encourage you to participate. You can meet CTP students by attending seminars and other events. The three main physics student groups, PGSC, GWIP, and PhysREFS, also hold regular socials, where graduate students from all divisions can meet one another.