Resources for Easing Friction and Stress (REFS)

Welcome! We are a group of ORC graduate students providing confidential peer-to-peer support.  We’re here to help you think about issues including but not restricted to:

  • Time-management
  • Communication with advisor and other students
  • Research
  • Personal matters

We are trained by Conflict Management @ MIT in conflict resolution and are familiar with other resources offered at MIT. Our purpose is to listen to you, and facilitate a productive discussion about any concerns and potential ways to address them. If you would like us to explore options with you or simply have a chat about how things are going, we encourage you to contact us at or-refs "at" or email us individually.

We keep all conversations in confidence and will share only with the permission of the visitor or party -- except in the unusual situation of imminent risk of harm to self or others.


In addition to the REFS, there are several other sources of support at MIT, such as:

  • Ombuds Office - Provides confidential, neutral, independent and informal assistance to anyone at MIT who has concerns arising from or affecting their work and studies at MIT.
  • Wellness at MIT Medical - Offers counseling services and workshops on stress reduction.

Other resources are available at

Current REFS (

Angela Lin
ORC PhD Student 
Advisor(s): Georgia Perakis



Lily Liu
ORC PhD Student 
Advisor(s): Retsef Levi, Y. Karen Zheng



Matthew Peroni
ORC PhD Student 
Advisor(s): Dimitris Bertsimas