Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Office

This year the HASS Office welcomed a new staff member, Susan Stapleton, administrative assistant. Susan has done a yeoman's job of learning the many and varied tasks connected with this position.

The new Communication Requirement was implemented this fall. HASS Communication Intensive subjects (HASS CIs, including CI-H and CI-HW classes) again consumed much of the time and attention of the HASS Overview Committee (HOC), to which the HASS Office provides all administrative and clerical support. The director of the HASS Office, Dr. Bette Davis, serves as ex officio member of the HOC. The administrative assistant, Susan Stapleton, maintains the web list of HASS CI subjects and the HASS CI database. That database was further refined this year, to enable it to hold more detailed information. The HASS CI database is one of five databases that this small office maintains; others are the HASS Minor, Course 21 majors, Harvard Cross-Registration, and mailing-list databases. The normal work of the office has continued, of course, including producing the HASS Guide each term, handling HASS concentrations and minors, the Harvard Cross-Registration Program, and compiling various statistics for the dean.

Bette Davis has also been involved with the undergraduate exchange component of CMI, the Cambridge MIT Institute—specifically, helping to facilitate MIT students' receiving HASS credit for papers done at Cambridge. As part of this effort, she traveled to Cambridge in late November.

HASS Enrollment Statistics by Field and Subject—Recent Trends

Total enrollments in all HASS subjects were down very slightly—from 9,828 a year ago to 9,804. This was the case despite the fact that more HASS subjects were offered—474, compared to 466 in 2000-2001. The number of autonomous sections was almost exactly the same—600 for AY2002 and 598 in AY2001. The number of HASS-D subjects taught was down very slightly—112, compared to 117 last year. The two fields with the largest overall enrollments were the same as last year, in the same order: 1,604 in Economics (down from 1,803 last year) and 1,532 in Foreign Languages and Literatures (up slightly from last year's 1,515). Fields with the third and fourth highest enrollments also remained the same: Literature (985) and Writing (923). These were followed by Music (683*), and Philosophy (627). (*Six-unit music-performance subjects are not included in these statistics.) Among the various disciplines in HASS, there was a considerable range—from experiencing a significant drop in enrollments, to remaining stable, to those fields that saw a significant increase. Anthropology and Urban Studies tied for the largest increase over last year in terms of percentage (27 percent—from 321 to 409, and from 187 to 238, respectively). These were followed by Linguistics and STS, also tied (19 percent—from 123 to 146 and from 199 to 237, respectively.) The next highest increases in enrollment, in terms of percentage, were in Political Science (10 percent) and Philosophy (8 percent).

HASS Concentrations: Patterns of Popularity

In AY2002, students submitted 2,090 HASS Concentration proposals and 1,184 completion forms, compared to 2,184 proposals and 1,183 completion forms last year. Once again, Economics and Foreign Languages led in the number of completed HASS Concentrations: in AY2002, 337 students (compared to 341 last year) completed concentrations in Economics, and 214 completed concentrations in Foreign Languages & Literatures, compared to 213 last year. (For a breakdown by languages, see Table II.) The next two most popular HASS Concentration fields are Music, with 98 completed concentrations, and Writing, with 68, followed by Literature (59), Political Science (47), and Psychology (43).

HASS Minor Programs

AY2002 showed an increase in the total number of HASS Minor applications from all graduating classes—445, compared to 439 last year. The number of HASS Minors received by the Class of 2002 was also up— 217, compared to 173 last year. The two most popular fields in terms of applications filed were the same as last year: Economics (196) and Music (42). There were 29 minors in Writing; 27 in Political Science; 26 in Foreign Languages (3 in French, 8 in German, and 15 in Spanish), and 25 in Literature. The 217 HASS Minors received by the Class of 2002 were in 23 fields.

return to top

Harvard Cross-Registration

The number of MIT undergraduates cross-registered for courses at Harvard decreased in AY2002. Two hundred thirty-five students took 251 subjects at Harvard, compared to 246 students enrolled in 290 subjects in AY2001. Last year there was a sizable increase in these enrollments; the previous year there had been a decrease—they seem to fluctuate for no obvious reason. As usual, foreign languages were by far the most popular field of study. 142 of the 251 subjects were in 21 different foreign languages. The most popular language was Italian (21). It was followed by Korean (18), Urdu-Hindi (16), Arabic (15), and Chinese (13). Enrollments in other languages ranged from one to nine. The most popular field outside foreign languages was economics (20). Following economics, other popular fields were English (10); classics and art/visual studies, each with 7; and religion (6).

return to top

Undergraduate Degrees Granted in SHASS

Eighty-five students received the SB in SHASS this year, down from 89 last year. Of these, 46 degrees were in Economics (Course 14) and 8 were in Political Science (Course 17). During the same time period, September 2001 through June 2002, a total of 27 students completed the SB Degree in Humanities (Course 21). Eight of these received joint degrees, 5 in 21-E and 3 in 21-S. Another 13 received degrees in a specified field within Course 21. One student received the SB in Philosophy and three received the SB in Linguistics and Philosophy (Course 24).

return to top

Undergraduate Majors in SHASS

The four departments in SHASS had 133 undergraduate majors this year; this figure includes only first degrees. Eighty-two of these are majoring in Economics, and the Political Science Department had 17 majors. Twenty-six students had a Humanities major as their first degree in AY2002; of these, 7 were joint majors (5 in 21-E and 2 in 21-S.) Of the specified majors within Humanities, Literature and Writing had the most majors, with 5 each. Eight undergraduates had a first degree in Philosophy or in Linguistics and Philosophy.

return to top

Honors and Awards Granted to Undergraduate Majors In SHASS

Among the more notable honors achieved by SHASS majors this year were:

John L. Asinari Award: Tara Mullaney, '02

The Boit Manuscript Prize: First Place Poetry, Moana Minton '02

Robert A. Boit Writing Prize: First Place Short Story and Honorable Mention Essay, Jovonne Bickerstaff '02; Second Place Poetry, Allison Lewis, '04; Honorable Mention Short Story, James Dillon III '04

Burchard Scholars: Jeremy Baskin '04, Monami Chakrabarti '03, Guan-Jong Chen '04, Rebecca Clinton '03, Roy Esaki '04, Antimony Gerhardt '03, Annemarie Grandke '04, Ruimin He '04, Daniar Hussain '04, Shaheer Hussam '03, Tiffany Kanaga '04, Timothy Kreider '04, Martin Kurtev '04, Veronica Lois '03, Katrina Lust '03, Erin Mellencamp '03, Megha Padi '03, Alexander Phillips '03, Margeaux Randolph '04, Nirupama Rao '04, Mikael Rechtsman '03, Raymond Sandza '03, Rahul Sarathy '03, Josiah Seale '03, James Skelley '04, Christopher Taylor '04, and Natalia Toro '03

2002-03 Ronald H. Cordover Scholar: David Foxe '03

DeWitt Wallace Prize for Science Writing for the Public: First Place, Winnie Yang '02

Peter J. Eloranta Fellowship: Lianne Habinek '02; Joyce W. Lee '02

Louis Kampf Writing Prize: Honorable Mention, Winnie Yang '02

I. Austin Kelly III Essay Prizes: Joyce W. Lee '02 Ronald E. McNair Scholarship Award: Melissa Edoh '02 The Merck Index Award: Alexandra G. Ianculescu '02

Assoc. of MIT Alumnae Senior Academic Award: Alexandra G. Ianculescu '02

Phi Beta Kappa: Lianne A. Habinek '02, Jessica A. Hall '02, Radha K. Iyengar '02, Maria S. Jelescu '02, Brian A. Pasquinelli '02, Senkodan Thevendran '02, Daniel L. Tortorice '02, Patricia Young '02

Outstanding Political Science Undergraduate Theses: Victoria Anderson '02, and Alexander Tahk '02

Program on Human Rights and Justice Summer Internship Award: Jovonne Bickerstaff '02

William L. Stewart J. Award: Jovonne J. Bickerstaff '02

Gregory Tucker Memorial Prize: David Foxe '03; Mary Tsien '02

The Laya Weisner Community Award: Effrat Shavit '02

The Laya W. Weisner Award: Radha K. Iyengar '02

Prize for Writing Science Fiction: Second Place, Jovan Hsu '03; Honorable Mention, Kristopher Schnee '02

Bette Davis

More information about the HASS Office can be found on the web at




return to top
Table of Contents