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Stanford EE grad student and MIT class of 2004 graduate Mengyao "May" Zhou was found dead last night in the trunk of her car. The police have not found any evidence of foul play, and consider suicide a possibility due to some other objects found in the car.

This reminds me of the grad student friend of Pepper White (The Idea Factory) who killed herself in her car by asphyxiation.

I knew an MIT undergraduate who committed suicide in his dorm room. I didn't know him very well, however. He lived in Next House. I saw him occasionally when I ate in the Next House dining hall. He didn't say much, but when he spoke it was usually some cynical comment. No one who knew him thought he was suicidal.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 26th, 2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
that is soooo sad :(
Jan. 27th, 2007 12:53 am (UTC)
It doesn't add up
Why drive 100 miles away in order to commit suicide?

Why lock yourself in the trunk of your car?
Jan. 27th, 2007 08:34 am (UTC)
Re: It doesn't add up
Hard to say. The guy from my chorus who committed suicide drove over 500 miles to do it.
Jan. 28th, 2007 08:41 am (UTC)
Not a Picture Perfect death
I was looking at her thesis at MIT ( https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/35049 ), and it seems like her work has the potential to end up in every camera phone on the planet. Her patents
(20060077211 - Embedded device with image rotation) and (20060078226 - Magnification and pinching of two-dimensional images) are probably worth millions. I can not think of many reasons why someone in her situation would want to commit suicide, but can think of a million of reasons where someone might benefit with her "out of the picture". Is it perhaps worth enough to hire a pro to do it?
Jan. 29th, 2007 05:24 am (UTC)
Re: Not a Picture Perfect death
Actually, studies have shown that people who are very high achievers are also prone to depression. A highly competitive graduate program is an ideal breeding ground for this type of depression.

I knew several depressed grad students during my time at UCLA. One stopped attending classes, seminars, etc. and wound up dropping out of the program. He said he was lonely, even though he used to play cards every weekend with me and some other grad students.

BTW, the link you gave requires a certificate.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )