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IAP 2007 Activities by Category

Politics and Social Sciences

CLASS FULL!! Planning for Combat: Concepts & practices for problem-solving on and off the battlefield
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Parkyn, Lieutenant Colonel Roftiel Constantine, USAF, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Wehr, USA
Wed Jan 31, Thu Feb 1, 12-02:00pm, E38-714
Fri Feb 2, 10am-03:00pm, Field Trip

Enrollment limited: advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 24-Jan-2007
Limited to 20 participants.
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

“No plan survives the first incoming round,” say skeptics of deliberate military plans. Advocates of deliberate plans say the same thing. Why?

Students will achieve a rudimentary understanding of military planning & look at use of conventional forces in the counterinsurgency role. The course includes:

• 2-hour seminar on hasty & deliberate planning;
• 2-hour practical application on planning & wargaming, in which participants will plan to employ an infantry battalion to seize insurgent leaders and an arms cache;
• a military staff ride of a local battlefield.

Lt Col Roftiel Constantine, USAF, LtCol Michael Parkyn, USMC, and LTC Michael Wehr, USA are active duty officers with experience at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of warfare, totaling 57 years of combined experience in the art of war.
Contact: Lieutenant Colonel Michael Parkyn, E38-670, mparkyn@mit.edu
Sponsor: Center for International Studies
Cosponsor: Political Science

How Baseball Teaches Us The Best Way to Elect the President
Alan Natapoff
Wed Jan 17, 04-05:30pm, 37-212

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Paradox: The Electoral College is more democratic than raw popular voting: It delivers massive power to individual voters in closely-contested states, but raw voting delivers none anywhere. Improvement: Base a state's Electoral vote count on its total popular vote, not its population. It would empower 80 million voters in poorly-contested states where the opposition could punish a despised dominant candidate by casting blank ballots. It would force candidates to earn the acquiescence of the opposition and to campaign beyond battleground states. In Iraq having many closely-contested districts would make the result sensitive to small numbers of defections - and, thereby, more democratic. We trace the paradoxes, the delicious oddities, and the resulution of Florida's deadlock in 2000 by Fermat's Rule.
Web: http://natapoff@mit.edu
Contact: Alan Natapoff, 37-219, x3-7757, natapoff@space.mit.edu
Sponsor: Political Science

How Baseball, Poker, and Fermat Teach Us the Best Way to Elect the President
Alan Natapoff
Wed Jan 17, 04-05:30pm, 37-212

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

The paradox of presidential voting is that the Electoral College is more democratic than raw popular voting: It delivers massive power to individual voters in closely contested states; raw voting delivers none to anyone, anywhere. We can empower 80 million impotent voters in poorly-contested states if we base a state's Electoral vote on its total popular vote (for all candidates) rather than on its population. If the opposition despises the state's dominant candidate--or greatly prefers its own--it can then cast blank ballots that will not count for anyone: Dominant candidates must then persuade their opposition to vote for someone,and both candidates must campaign beyond the battleground states. The same lessons apply to a democratic voting design for Iraq. We trace the paradoxes,the delicious oddities, and the resolution of Florida's deadlock in 2000 by Fermat's Rule.
Web: http://natapoff@mit.edu
Contact: Alan Natapoff, 37-219, 253-7757, natapoff@mit.edu
Sponsor: Political Science

Leadership Under Fire
Ambassador Barbara Bodine
Tue Jan 9, Thu Jan 11, Tue Jan 16, Thu Jan 18, 02-04:00pm, E38-202, (E38-2nd fl conf rm)

Enrollment limited: advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 11-Dec-2006
Limited to 12 participants.
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)
Prereq: memo re: your background/interest in topic

This seminar explores crisis leadership challenges. Scholars and practitioners debate the nature, form and tools of effective leadership, but what happens when stakes dramatically rise, information becomes scarce and unreliable, and the time and scope of action contract? Are conventional leadership tools still the right tools, or is crisis leadership fundamentally different?

When do you follow the rules, when do you not, and what do you do when there are no rules?

Are you prepared to face the consequences? To whom do you owe your greatest obligation? Questions of integrity, accountability.

How do you manage the media, Monday morning quarterbacks?

Readings required. Case studies @ URL.

Ambassador Bodine has been at ground zero for wars, invasions and occupations, terrorist bombings and hijackings.
Web: http://stellar.mit.edu/S/project/leadership/index.html
Contact: Ambassador Barbara Bodine, bbodine@mit.edu
Sponsor: Center for International Studies
Cosponsor: Political Science

MIT Washington Summer Internship Program Information Sessions
Charles Stewart, Tobie Weiner
Thu Jan 18, 10-11:00am, 1-150
Wed Jan 24, 01-02:00pm, 1-135
Tue Jan 30, 03-04:00pm, 1-379

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Repeating event. Participants welcome at any session

Come to an information session and find out about the MIT Washington Summer Internship Program. The program was founded in 1995 to give selected MIT undergraduates the opportunity to explore science and engineering policymaking at the national level, through study and practical experience. The interns have worked in the offices of government agencies, the private sector, and advocacy groups. Complementing the summer internships are a trip to Washington, DC, during spring break and a 12-unit HASS subject designed to give students an introduction to policymaking. All sessions are the same; come to any one.
Web: http://web.mit.edu/summerwash/www
Contact: Tobie Weiner, E53-484, x3-3649, iguanatw@mit.edu
Sponsor: Political Science

Marxism Today
Felix Kreisel
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)
Prereq: Read the World Socialist Web Site, http://www.wsws.org

World politics is characterized today by a global eruption of US imperialism as it tries to compensate for its economic decline by military adventures abroad and destruction of democratic rights at home. This series of lectures will examine various aspects of political, economic and social development in the US and abroad. Speakers from various parts of the world will present Web or in-person lectures.
Web: http://www.wsws.org
Contact: Felix Kreisel, NW21-207, x3-8625, fjk@mit.edu
Sponsor: Felix Kreisel, NW21-207, 617 253-8625, fjk@mit.edu

US Constitution and Its Destruction
Felix Kreisel
The Patriot Act, the Guantanamo prison and the military commissions mark milestones in the bipartisan attacks on the centuries-old development of the US and English constitutions and the democratic rights of citizens.
Tue Jan 9, 10-12:00am, 5-232

The 2006 US Election - What Democracy?
Bill Van Auken SEP candidate for US Senate, WSWS journalist
This lecture will examine the degeneration of American politics, the shutting down of the electoral process itself.
Fri Jan 12, 10-12:00am, 1-379

Is there any Left left in the US?
Felix Kreisel
The collapse of Stalinism circa 1990 and the decline of the "progressive left" in the US.
Tue Jan 16, 10-12:00am, 1-379

Capitalist Russia Today
Vladimir Volkov World Socialist Web Site reporter
What is the balance sheet of capitalist restoration in the former Soviet Union? Economic and social collapse, ethnic wars and a drift to dictatorship in Russia and other successor states.
Fri Jan 19, 10-12:00am, 1-379

The 1917 Russian Revolution: Was Socialism Doomed?
Felix Kreisel
We shall look at the Russian Revolution of 1917 within the context of world capitalism in crisis. Suggested reading: Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution and Permanent Revolution.
Tue Jan 23, 10-12:00am, 1-379

Trotsky's theory of Permanent Revolution and its meaning today.
Vladimir Volkov Russian WSWS reporter
Trotsky developed his theory of permanent revolution as a guide to the leading role of the working class in the Russian revolution and to its international character.
Fri Jan 26, 10-12:00am, 1-379

What Was Soviet "Communism?" What Kind of Socialism Do We Need?
Felix Kreisel
We shall examine the class content of the mature Soviet state, look at the reasons for its collapse and suggest the historic lessons learned from it. Suggested reading: Trotsky's The Revolution Betrayed.
Tue Jan 30, 10-12:00am, 1-379

Zionism, its past, present and future
Felix Kreisel
The century-long history of Jewish nationalism.
Fri Feb 2, 10-12:00am, 1-379

Planning, Funding, and Implementing Transportation Projects in the Real World (or How It Really Works)
Kate Fichter, Eric Plosky
Tue Jan 30, 01-04:00pm, Room 3-401

No limit but advance sign up required (see contact below)
Single session event

As a vital and complex element of any urban or regional environment, transportation infrastructure both affects and is affected by land use patterns, economic development policies, political power-brokering and environmental resources, and so offers a lens through which to study many of the choices and constraints available to today's planners. This seminar will offer a practice-oriented overview of the issues, players and trends most relevant to contemporary transportation planning, as taught by two MIT/DUSP alumni/ae currently working in the field.
Contact: Paula Anzer, 7-337, x3-2024, anzer@mit.edu
Sponsor: Urban Studies and Planning

Putin's Russia: Friend or Foe?
Dr. Carol Saivetz
Wed Jan 17, 24, 02-03:30pm, E38-714

Enrollment limited: first come, first served
Limited to 30 participants.
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)

This seminar will explore the current and future state of Russian-US relations. Despite the friendship between Presidents Putin and Bush, relations are increasingly tense. Nonetheless, areas of cooperation and potential cooperation still exist.

Do the two powers agree on the war on terror?

Can the US and Russia cooperate on the Iranian nuclear question?

What about European energy security?

What are the sources of Russian foreign policy? Will it change after Putin?

Strongly suggested: Read "Russia Leaves the West" By Trenin, Dmitri, in Foreign Affairs, Jul/Aug2006, Vol. 85, Issue 4 (Available online via MIT Libraries - certificates required)

Session 1: Issues and Personalities
Session 2: After 2008
Contact: Dr. Carol Saivetz, csaivetz@mit.edu
Sponsor: Center for International Studies
Cosponsor: Political Science

Salon Discussion Group
Jimmy Rising
Tue Jan 9, Tue Jan 23, 07:30-11:00pm, 24-619

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

Join a free-formed discussion of politics, philosophy, science, art, and society. Our goal is to "arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves." The Salon group has been meeting regularly since August and is always looking for new participants and fresh ideas.
Web: http://web.mit.edu/esg
Contact: Jimmy Rising, (617) 852-9088, jrising@alum.mit.edu
Sponsor: Experimental Study Group

Science Policy Bootcamp
William B. Bonvilliam-Director MIT Washington, DC Office, Taras Gorshnyy, Alicia Jackson, Asher Sinensky and Catherine Tweedie
Mon Jan 22 thru Fri Jan 26, 09:30am-12:30pm, TBD

Signup by: 08-Jan-2007
Limited to 25 participants.
Participants requested to attend all sessions (non-series)
Prereq: Geared for Grad Students or Post Doc. in Science or Engineer

Science and technology public policy strongly guides the future of science education and research. Despite significant interest in science policy issues within the graduate student community at MIT, there exist few opportunities for increased understanding about and practical involvement with science policy. Given the challenges to future federal support, the aim of this five-day seminar is to introduce graduate scientists and engineers to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of science policy making. The course will expose students to the fundamental structure and dynamics of science policy and inform them of routes into a policy experience or career. This seminar is cosponsored by MIT's President's Office that strongly supports the integration and deepening of science policy awareness within the MIT community at all levels.
Web: http://stellar.mit.edu/S/project/policybootcamp/index.html
Contact: Alicia Jackson, 13-4057, x3-7234, jacksona@mit.edu
Sponsor: Materials Science and Engineering
Cosponsor: Presidents Office

The Future of Power
Ali Wyne
Enrollment limited: first come, first served
Limited to 30 participants.
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

Now in its second year, this interactive discussion seminar will open with the same question: What balance of power will emerge after the United States' reign as superpower concludes?" We will consider four topics: 1)The rise of India and China; 2)The declining relevance of military power; 3)The growing importance of global public opinion and 4) The various geopolitical scenarios that could accompany declining American influence.
Contact: Ali Wyne, awyne@mit.edu
Sponsor: Political Science

The Rise of India and China
Wed Jan 10, 07:30-09:00pm, 1-135

The New Middle East and the Declining Relevance of Military Power
Ambassador Barbara Bodine
This session examines the New Middle East and the utility and relevance of military prowess and armed force in the 21st century.
Wed Jan 17, 07:30-09:00pm, 1-135

The Growing Importance of Global Public Opinion
Wed Jan 24, 07:30-09:00pm, 1-135

Geopolitical Scenarios Accompanying Declining US Influence
This final session discusses some international orders that might arise in a world in which the United States is no longer the predominant power.
Wed Jan 31, 07:30-09:00pm, 1-135

We All Live In Bhopal: Rachna Dhingra, Spokesperson For International Campaign For Justice In Bhopal
Shankar Mukherji, Kayvan Zainabadi
Mon Jan 22, 07:30-09:30pm, 4-237

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Rachna Dhingra is working in Bhopal with survivors from the world's worst industrial disaster - the gas leak from Union Carbide's plant that has killed 20,000 people since 1984 and impacted over 200,000 people. A compassionate, determined and resourceful woman, Rachna moved to Bhopal from Ann Arbor in January 2003. Since then, she has immersed herself in getting the balance of compensation to survivors, initiating efforts for clean drinking water, generating employment, and mobilizing local and global communities. She has become a key organizer for the campaign, and her enthusiasm and energy is an inspiration to all.

More info on Bhopal, visit: studentsforbhopal.org or Bhopal.net.
Web: http://www.aidboston.org/files/RachnaBhopalJan22.pdf
Contact: Shankar Mukherji, mukherji@mit.edu
Sponsor: Amnesty International

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Last update: 30 September 2004