The Periodic Table of Chocolate-dipped Strawberries

by Patrick Henry Winston ’65, SM ’67, PhD ’70 on November 25, 2012 · 4 comments

in Prof. Winston's Ideas, Student Life

Professor Patrick Henry Winston ’65, SM ’67, PhD ’70

One of my students invited me to the AXO Faculty Hour, which featured good conversation and lots of chocolate.

For me, the focal point was the periodic table of chocolate-dipped strawberries, doubtlessly inspired by 3.091 or some other subject where all students are required to memorize Mendeleev’s creation. It was protected by a sign that urged us all to keep our hands off until pictures were taken and everyone had a chance to decide on a preferred element.

A colleague in Course XVI zeroed in on aluminum. “Commonly used in the aero-astro industry,” he said. “You’re Course VI, Computer Science side. Take a semiconductor.”

“Good idea,” I thought, and seized the silicon strawberry.

Where, other than at MIT, would students create a periodic table of chocolate-dipped strawberries? Where, other than MIT, would faculty covet particular chocolate-dipped strawberries?

I can’t think why I would want to be anywhere else.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Charles McElwain December 3, 2012 at 6:39 am

Where are the lanthanoids and actinoids?


teresa mallow December 3, 2012 at 9:06 am

How ’bout pville hs? You could come here and my students could come to MIT (actually I have a few there already …).

What arrogance! We, my class of 9th graders- do the periodic table of cupcakes – color coded to family even – blue, pink, green, yellow! How’bout this – we will send you ptable cupcakes for ptable strawberries.

P.S. what do the different colors of chocolate mean in your ptable?


Eric Scerri December 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Looks very tasty!

For more resources on the periodic table please see,


William Murphy August 14, 2015 at 12:10 pm

I’m the son of an alumni. Well to be honest I don’t know what makes you one if you are a student via private defense. My father was a system administrator for Raytheon missile defense Co from 1974 to 2000 shortly after suffered a massive stroke. I’m on a journey to get the benefits package that belong to him. I am doing the best I can, I don’t have any resources besides my mobile phone and numerous emails asking for help. I am aware of my surrounding areas. I don’t know if sometimes I’m being tested or help sometime but knowing that there is someone who is watching gives a sense of emotional state being supported. That’s help. I am also the person who has been through so much that my immediate response is that the outcome will be good. To give you the answer to why I look for the positive while many others the first response is negative.


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