Cambridge’s  “other university” is, if anything, more acclaimed among the segment of society that wears pocket protectors and horn-rimmed glasses. The first computer was invented here in 1928, and the inventor of the World Wide Web is now a scientist-in-residence.
The center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is known as the Infinite Corridor, a hallway that runs like a spine through the central buildings. If you are worried about inadvertently stepping into a particle reactor, you can join a free tour that leaves from Lobby 7 (77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617/253-4795, www.mit.edu , 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Mon.–Fri., free). Maps for self-guided tours are also available there.
For the inner geek in all of us, the nearby MIT Museum (265 Massachusetts Ave., MIT Museum Bldg N51, Cambridge, 617/253-5927, web.mit.edu/museum, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, $7.50 adults, $3 seniors, students, and youth 17 and under, free 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Sun.) has photographs and working specimens of everything from slide rules to robots. Holograms and kinetic sculptures explore the uneasy intersection of art and technology.
The same could be said about one of MIT’s newest and most striking buildings. The Ray and Maria Stata Center at 42 Vassar Street was designed by architect Frank Gehry, of Guggenheim Bilbao fame, and looks like a row of skyscrapers after getting a workout by Godzilla. Inside are unusually shaped communal spaces, designed to help scientists get out of their labs and actually talk to one another.