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IAP 2009 Activities by Category

Politics and Social Sciences

Contemporary Military Topics
LTC John Sullivan USA
Enrollment limited: advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 08-Jan-2009
Limited to 30 participants.
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)

In individual sessions, SSP's 2008-09 Military Fellows discuss logistics contracting, US Marine Corps adaptation for the 21st century, and how the US Air Force performs Operational Testing on new weapons and systems.
Contact: Joli Divon Saraf, E38-624, 258-7608, joli@mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Security Studies Program
Cosponsor: Center for International Studies

“Logistics Contracting in Support of U.S. Forces: Lessons Learned from Iraq”
LTC John Sullivan USA
Logistic contractors currently play a vital role in supporting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Drawing on LTC Sullivan’s experience commanding an Army logistics battalion in Iraq and his service as the 10th Mountain Division’s Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics in Iraq, we’ll examine the implications and challenges of employing logistic contractors in the prosecution of a counterinsurgency campaign.
Tue Jan 27, 10am-12:00pm, E38-714, 7th fl conf rm at E38

Adapting for the Challenges of the 21st Century: A look at the U.S. Marine Corps
LtCol Terrence O’Connell USMC
The Marine Corps has long served as the Nation’s premier Force in Readiness. Like all successful organizations, it must adapt to current & future challenges to stay relevant & ahead of all competitors. Topics include the mission and organization of the Corps, recruiting/manpower, operational concepts & current pre-deployment training, and the USMC role in supporting National Military Strategies.
Wed Jan 28, 10am-12:00pm, E38-714, 7th fl conf rm at E38

“B-52 Operational Testing: Teaching the Old Dog New Tricks”
LTC Kelly Lawson USAF
This class will describe how the USAF conducts Operational Testing (OT) of new weapons & aircraft systems. Once a system has completed Developmental Testing, Operational Testing evaluates suitability for acquisition & prepares the system for use by combat-ready aircrews. Current B-52 OT of new conventional & nuclear weapon systems including cruise missiles, bombs, sensors, data links & aircraft systems will be discussed.
Thu Jan 29, 10am-12:00pm, E38-714, 7th fl conf rm at E38

Good Morning and Good Luck: The Obama Administration and the Media
Ellen Hume Research Director, C4FCM and former political reporter, WSJ
Thu Jan 29, 02-04:00pm, E15-283a

No limit but advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 19-Jan-2009
Single session event

--What role will the news media play in the Obama Administration?
--What are the new ways the national agenda is being shaped by people using civic media tools (twitter, facebook, community radio, etc.)?
--What is gained and what is lost in a post-journalism world?
Web: http://civic.mit.edu
Contact: Ellen Hume, E15-120K, (617) 324-4316, ehume@media.mit.edu
Sponsor: Center for Future Civic Media

How Baseball, Poker, and Fermat Teach Us the Best Way to Elect the President
Alan Natapoff
Wed Jan 14, 04-05:30pm, 32-144

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

The Electoral College delivers large voting power in battleground states, but it creates 80 million impotent voters in poorly-contested states. Simple popular voting would make every voter, everywhere, impotent: Small numbers turned Florida and the presidency in 2000, but they could never turn a national election under simple voting. The solution is to have the winner, A, of a state receive one vote for every popular vote cast in it, for any candidate. If A is sure to win, the opposition can vote for their own candidate B (and count for an A they accept) or cast a blank ballot (that will not count for an A they despise.) This rewards candidates and presidents vote-for-vote for acquiescence by their opposition. 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

Key Issues In the Department of Defense for the Obama Administration
Barry Posen
Thu Jan 15, 03:30-05:30pm, 14W-111

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

The U.S. is now spending nearly 700 billion dollars a year on defense, including the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet knowledgeable observers agree that the Department of Defense has not budgeted sufficient funds to cover its plans for the next five years. MIT Security Studies Program experts Cindy Williams, Owen Cote, and Harvey Sapolsky will review the key spending, weapons system, and doctrinal issues facing the new Secretary of Defense.
Contact: Joli Divon Saraf, E38-624, x8-7608, joli@mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT Security Studies Program
Cosponsor: Center for International Studies

MIT Washington Summer Internship Program Information Sessions
Charles Stewart, Tobie Weiner
Tue Jan 27, 04-05:00pm, 4-245

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

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)

The so-called post-communist "New World Order", dominated by the US, has now erupted into a global recession, and the United States is at the center of this economic and political conflagration. Collapse of the Soviet Union has exacerbated the rivalries between the advanced capitalist countries and the US is trying to reverse its long-term economic decline through frenetic military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.
Web: http://wsws.org
Contact: 1-134, x3-8625, fjk@mit.ed
Sponsor: Felix Kreisel, NW21-207, 617 253-8625, fjk@mit.edu

World Depression Made in America
Bill van Auken, WSWS editor
XX century was "American century" in the sense that the US was a dominant economic power, it underpinned world capitalism, stabilized and reinforced it. Today, the US acts as the most destabilizing element in the world economy as world capitalism has reached a crucial turning point. Read: wsws.org
Tue Jan 6, 06-08:00pm, 1-135

Capitalist Russia Today
Vladimir Volkov, WSWS reporter, St. Petersburg, Russia
17 years after Soviet demise, what is the balance sheet of capitalist restoration in the former Soviet Union? While high oil and gas prices have propped up the Putin regime and the energy export-oriented Russian economy, its overall health is fragile. We shall look at the trends in the economy and society, the ethnic wars and a drift to dictatorship in Russia and other successor states.
Tue Jan 13, 06-08:00pm, 1-134

From Tzar to Lenin - the Russian Revolution
Felix Kreisel
We shall look at the Russian Revolution of 1917 within the context of the international situation in the early 20th century. How did the revolution come about? What was the outlook and the program of the Bolsheviks? What alternative paths existed for Russia in 1917? Suggested reading: Trotsky's "History of the Russian Revolution" and "Permanent Revolution".
Tue Jan 20, 06-08:00pm, 1-134

Stalinism vs. Socialism
Felix Kreisel
We shall review the history of the Soviet state over its 74-year lifetime, examine its internal contradictions, its strides forward, great victories and bitter defeats, Stalin's regime's crimes against its own people, and ultimately brilliant hopes dashed. We will look at the reasons for the collapse of the USSR and suggest the historic lessons it left us. Suggested reading: Trotsky's "The Revolution Betrayed".
Tue Jan 27, 06-08:00pm, 1-134

Panel Discussion: A New Climate? Opportunities for Action on Climate Change
Jennifer Morris
Wed Jan 21, 04:30-06:30pm, E51-315

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

This session will focus on the opportunities and challenges facing President(-elect) Obama and the new Congress when it comes to achieving national consensus on climate action. Which congressional proposals are most likely to be most politically palatable? Where is the leadership on the issue likely to come from? How will the financial crisis affect the debate and the availability of financing for clean energy investment? Inquiring minds want to know....

The plan is to organize a panel including at least a science expert, a policy/economic expert, and a local “green” entrepreneur to discuss these issues.
Contact: Tony Tran, E40-428, (617) 253-7492, tones@mit.edu
Sponsor: Joint Program/Science and Policy of Global Change
Cosponsor: Center for Global Change Science

The Genocide in Film Series
Stephen Fried, Elan Pavlov, Beth Turner
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Participants welcome at individual sessions (series)
Prereq: None.

MIT-STAND (A Student anti-Genocide Coalition) and Amnesty International are sponsoring a film series focusing on awareness of genocide during IAP. The movies that we have selected highlight lesser-known episodes and aspects of genocide in modern history to illustrate that the phenomenon is not insulated or exclusive to a single group but a recurrent theme of our times that must be addressed in its various contexts.
NOTE: We recently changed the order of two of the films because of a technical difficulty -- sorry for any inconvenience.
Web: http://web.mit.edu/mit-stand/www/
Contact: Stephen Fried, sdfried@mit.edu
Sponsor: MIT STAND
Cosponsor: Amnesty International

"Amen." (2002)
Stephen Fried, Elan Pavlov, Beth Turner
"Amen." (2002) examines the complex nature of Jews in Christian narratives, and what effect this had on the deteriorating position of European Jews in the 1940s. This film raises the question of complicity of the Catholic Church with the Holocaust.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0280653/
Wed Jan 14, 06-08:00pm, 6-120

"The Great Silence" (2007)
Stephen Fried, Elan Pavlov, Beth Turner
Since the late 1990s, more people have died in war-torn Congo than in any conflict since World War II. "The Great Silence: Rape in the Congo" (2007) exposes the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war in this perennially war-torn region.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1157650/
Wed Jan 21, 06-08:00pm, 6-120

"Las Madres de la Plaza" (1985)
Stephen Fried, Elan Pavlov, Beth Turner
"Las Madres de la Plaza" (1985) discusses the massive disappearances and kidnappings that occurred from 1976-1983 in Argentina during the tumultuous rise of a military dictatorship.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089460/
Wed Jan 28, 06-08:00pm, 6-120

U.S. Climate Policy: Discussion of U.S. Cap-and-Trade and the Obama Climate Plan
Jennifer Morris, Xavier Gitiaux
Wed Jan 14, 02-04:00pm, E51-145

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Joint Program grad students will examine and detail what our government is doing about the Climate Change Issue through public national policy. In these sessions, the pros and cons of proposals currently debated in Congress will be highlighted, including the Cap-and-Trade system and Carbon Taxing. The Joint Program students will also discuss potential future paths US policy may take and how policy could spur investment in and deployment of clean technology.
Contact: Tony Tran, E40-428, (617) 253-7492, tones@mit.edu
Sponsor: Joint Program/Science and Policy of Global Change
Cosponsor: Center for Global Change Science


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