MIT Reports to the President 1995-96


Continuing the effort to make the HASS-D Selection System as efficient as possible, and to ensure that the highest possible percentage of students receive their first-choice HASS-D subject, the HASS Office, in conjunction with Information Systems, upgraded the system to a new version of Powerbuilder. This office also undertook the revision of the electronic version of The HASS Guide, based on the results of a student group project for 21W 785, "Communicating in Cyberspace". The purpose of the revision, to be published Fall 1996, is to make The Guide more accessible and useful for students. The procedure for receiving data from the Registrar's Office has been streamlined, with one step eliminated, thus facilitating the production of statistics for the SHSS Dean's Office.

In addition, the HASS Office has continued to serve multiple functions, including the administration of the eight-subject HASS requirement, the HASS Minor, the Harvard Cross-Registration Program, provision of statistics for the School of Humanities and Social Science, and the publication of The HASS Guide (hard copy and electronic versions) each term. This office also continued to record proposals and completion forms for HASS Concentrations and Minors in MITSIS, on behalf of the Registrar's Office, in addition to maintaining a HASS Minor data base and paper files. Petitions for HASS credit for subjects which are not so coded in MITSIS, including Harvard and Wellesley subjects, graduate subjects, etc., are submitted here for approval. Information concerning any of the above, as well as HASS transfer credit and general Institute information, was provided to the MIT community and in response to inquiries from outside the Institute. The Coordinator, Dr. Bette Davis, served as staff to the HASS-D Overview Committee, chaired by Professor James Paradis.


The number of HASS subjects offered rose slightly, from 443 in 1994-95 to 459 this year. The number of autonomous sections decreased very slightly, from 609 to 598. The number of HASS-Distribution subjects offered was almost exactly the same as last year--113, compared with 111 in 1994-95. The largest overall enrollments were in the same fields as last year, in exactly the same order: 1800 in Economics, 1594 in Foreign Languages and Literatures, and 1000 in Literature, followed by 923 in Writing and 859 in Music. (Six-unit music performance subjects are not included in these statistics.) The following fields showed the greatest increases over last year, in terms of percentage: Visual Arts (from 184 to 221) and Women's Studies (from 72 to 82).


Once again, Economics and Foreign Languages had by far the largest number of completed HASS Concentrations: in 1995-96, 316 (compared to 273 last year) students completed concentrations in Economics, and 260 (compared to 243 last year) completed concentrations in Foreign Languages & Literatures. (For a breakdown by languages, see Table II.) The next two most popular HASS Concentration fields are Music, with 107 completed concentrations, and Psychology, with 94. Writing (71) and History (70) were nearly tied for fifth place.


The number of HASS Minors dropped this year to 416 from 476 in 1994-95. The two most popular fields in terms of applications filed were the same as last year: Economics (128) and Music (55). These were closely followed by Foreign Languages, with a total of 54 (12 in French, 18 in German, and 24 in Spanish). Other popular HASS Minors, in order, were Writing (42), Political Science (24), and Psychology (18). The number of HASS Minors received by the Class of 1996 was 170, compared to 201 in 1995 and 171 in 1994.


The number of MIT undergraduates cross-registering for courses at Harvard increased considerably in 1995-96, to the highest level since the all-time high in 1990-91. In 1995-96, 199 MIT undergraduates took 214 subjects at Harvard, compared to 150 students enrolled in 174 subjects in 1994-95. Once again, more MIT undergraduates chose to study foreign languages at Harvard than anything else. Ninety-five of the 214 subjects were in 17 different foreign languages. The two most popular languages were Chinese (25) and Korean (17); enrollments in other languages were spread fairly evenly. The most popular fields outside foreign languages were Economics (17) and Philosophy (15).


In Course 14, Economics, 46 students received the S.B. Degree, while 11 students received degrees in Political Science, Course 17. During the same time period, September 1995 through June 1996, a total of 35 students completed the S.B. Degree in Humanities, Course 21. Of these, seven received joint degrees, three in 21-E and four in 21-S. Another 19 received degrees in a specified field within Course 21. Nine undesignated Humanities degrees (for "Major Departures" in several fields and German) were granted. Three students received the S.B. in Philosophy.


The Economic Department has 101 undergraduate majors, whereas 19 undergraduate students are majoring in Political Science. (These figures represent only first degrees.) There were 75 Humanities majors in 1995-96; 49 of these were first degrees. Of the 75, 25 were joint majors (12 in 21-E and 13 in 21-S.) Music had the most majors (19), followed by Literature (16) and Writing (14). Six undergraduates have officially declared a major in Philosophy.


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

Boit Manuscript Prize: Ivana Komercevic, '96, First Prize (fiction); Todd Boutin, '96, Second Prize (fiction); and Charlotte Iverson, '96, First Prize (poetry)

Robert A. Boit Writing Prize: Charlotte Iverson, '96, Honorable Mention

Burchard Scholars: Martin Calles, '97; Lin-Ann Ching, '98; Teresa Huang, '97; Ryan Kershner, '98; Vassiliki Koumandou , '97; Don Lacey, '98; Richard Lee, '97; Kevin Simmons, '98; Mayukh Sukatme, '97; Wilson Tai, '97; and Cindy Tom, '97

Peter J. Eloranta Award: Ivana Komercevic, '96

Joseph D. Everingham Award: Monica Gomi, '96

Philip Loew Memorial Award: Leonard H. Kim, '96

MIT Alumnae Award: Julia Ogrydziak, '96

Phi Beta Kappa: Grace Cheng, '96; Michael Cho, '96; Shane Crotty, '96; and Ivana Komercevic, '96

Louis Sudler Prize: Jeff Morrow, '96

Gregory Tucker Memorial Prize: Leonard H. Kim, '96

Laya Wiesner Award: Alan Pierson, '96; Marivi Acuna, '96

Bette Davis

MIT Reports to the President 1995-96