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Out of Time

Time Traveler’s Convention draws hundreds.
September 1, 2005

The premise: time travelers from the future haven’t made any public appearances yet because they haven’t been invited to. Amal Dorai’s solution: throw them a party. On May 7, the electrical-engineering and computer science graduate student threw the first and presumably last Time Traveler’s Convention–since, in theory, you would only need one–at MIT. Originally planned as a small event and advertised on a text Web page, the party elicited a response that caught Dorai ‘04 by surprise. “I thought I would only need a few bags of Doritos and a couple two-liters of soda,” he says. Instead, news organizations ranging from the New York Times to Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” picked up on the idea, and the event quickly snowballed. Nearly 600 people showed up at the Walker Memorial Building’s Morss Hall, where they were first treated to humorous lectures from MIT physics professors Edward Farhi and Alan Guth ‘68 and computer science professor Erik Demaine, followed by a late-night rager–complete with tinfoil hats, a pseudo mosh pit, and two local rock bands. Among the attendees were students dressed up as Bill and Ted from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Hank Eskin, the operator of the website WheresGeorge.com, who brought along his DeLorean. Sadly, no time travelers made the chronological junket to the party. – By Stu Hutson

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