IAP Independent Activities Period
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IAP 2012 Activities by Category

Special Events

"Dance of the Astonished Topologist" and "Debunking Myths about Gender, Culture, and Math Performance"
Tara Holm Guest Lecturer
Mon Jan 9, 01-02:30pm, 35-225

Single session event

I will give a friendly introduction to some key ideas and tools in topology, including covering spaces and monodromy. The main example will come from square dancing, a hobby I picked up whilst a gradate student at MIT. No prior experience with topology or square dancing will be assumed. co-sponsor: Tech Squares.
Organized by the D. W. Weeks Lecture Series
Contact: Tara Holm, 2-277, x3-4386
Sponsor: Mathematics

Book Giveaway
Alan Lightman
Sat Jan 14, 10am-02:00pm, MIT Coop

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Professor Alan Lightman, author of the international bestseller Einsteinís Dreams, will be giving away, FREE, 100 signed copies of his new novel, Mr g, in an event cosponsored by Pantheon Books and the MIT Coop. The books will be available at 10:00 am on Saturday morning, January 14, in the MIT Coop at Kendall Square, on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE BASIS. To receive a book, you must be an MIT undergraduate, you must present your MIT ID card, and you must show up in person. You cannot take books for other people. Signs in the Coop will lead you to the event table. The official publication date of Mr g is January 24, so you will be getting the book ten days before anyone else in the country.

Mr g is the story of creation, as told by God. Mr g (God) is the narrator of the book. Mr g has a bickering aunt and uncle who are constantly giving Him advice as he creates first time and space, then matter and energy, and finally intelligent beings with various moral and ethical dilemmas. There is physics, chemistry, and biology in the book, as well as playful explorations of philosophical, theological and moral questions.
Contact: Alan Lightman, 14E-303, x3-2308
Sponsor: Writing and Humanistic Studies

Book Giveaway! New Book "Mr. g" by Alan Lightman
Alan Lightman
Sat Jan 14, 10am-01:00pm, MIT Coop-Kendall

Enrollment limited: first come, first served
Limited to 100 participants.
Single session event

Professor Alan Lightman, author of the international bestseller Einsteinís Dreams, will be giving away, FREE, 100 signed copies of his new novel, Mr g, in an event cosponsored by Pantheon Books and the MIT Coop. The books will be available at 10:00 am on Saturday morning, January 14, in the MIT Coop at Kendall Square, on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE BASIS. To receive a book, you must be an MIT undergraduate, you must present your MIT ID card, and you must show up in person. You cannot take books for other people. Signs in the Coop will lead you to the event table. The official publication date of Mr g is January 24, so you will be getting the book ten days before anyone else in the country.

Mr g is the story of creation, as told by God. Mr g (God) is the narrator of the book. Mr g has a bickering aunt and uncle who are constantly giving Him advice as he creates first time and space, then matter and energy, and finally intelligent beings with various moral and ethical dilemmas. There is physics, chemistry, and biology in the book, as well as playful explorations of philosophical, theological and moral questions.
Web: http://www.facebook.com/AlanLightman
Contact: Shinika Spencer, 14e303, (617) 253-9469, shinika@mit.edu
Sponsor: Writing and Humanistic Studies

Class of 2016 EA Telethon
Katie Kelley
Wed Feb 1, 05:30-11:00pm, Bush Room (10-105)

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event
Prereq: MIT Undergraduates Only

Be the first to talk with the Early Action admitted students of the MIT Class of 2016. Help the Admissions Office congratulate them and answer their questions. Encourage them to attend CPW this spring!!

It's lot of fun!
FREE FOOD will be provided!!
Bring your friends!

We look forward to seeing you there
Contact: Katie Kelley, 10-100, 324-5160, kakelley@mit.edu
Sponsor: Admissions

Debunking Myths about Gender, Culture, and Math Performance
Janet Mertz Guest Lecturer
Mon Jan 9, 03:30-05:00pm, 35-225

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Are boys really better at mathematics than girls? They sometimes outperform girls on mathematics tests. Also, boys' mathematics scores usually exhibit greater variance than girls' scores. But are these observed differences due to innate biological differences between the sexes or to a variety of country-specific sociocultural factors? To answer
these questions, we analyzed data on mathematics performance of students from 86 countries throughout the world. We found that gender gap and variance ratio are unrelated to a country's wealth, major religion, or co-educational schooling. Rather, mathematics performance of both boys and girls strongly correlates with some measures of gender equity, especially participation rate and salary of women in the paid labor force relative
to men. Organized by the D. W. Weeks Lecture Series
Contact: Janet Mertz, 2-277, x3-4386
Sponsor: Mathematics

MIT Libraries Bookmobile
Lisa Horowitz
Tue Jan 31, 11am-02:00pm, Bldg 32 (Stata)

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

Cushion your transition into the semester--check out new fiction and non-fiction, DVDs and music from the MIT Libraries! We'll be in the Stata Center, close to the Farmer's Market.

(Bring your MIT ID if you want to borrow something.)
Contact: Lisa Horowitz, 10-500, x3-9353, lisah@mit.edu
Sponsor: Libraries

Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM)
Adam Elmachtoub, Martin Bazant
Thu Jan 26, 03-05:00pm, 4-237

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

The Mathematical Contest in Modeling is an international competition where teams of three undergraduates come up with ideas to solve real-world problems using mathematical modeling. The format of the competition is that teams have four consecutive days (Feb 9 Ė Feb 13) to solve and write up a solution to one of three different problems. In each of the sessions, we will discuss an overview of the competition, tips for competing, forming teams, and mathematical tools. Teams should be well-rounded, interdisciplinary, and have members that can model, program, and write well. We will help people form teams at the sessions. For the first time ever, we will also select one team to be the local MIT winner of the MCM who will win a grand prize of $300, dinner reception, and the title of MIT MCM winners. All courses/disciplines are welcome! (See link for official rules and previous contests.)
Web: http://www.comap.com/undergraduate/contests/mcm/
Contact: Adam Elmachtoub, ane@mit.edu
Sponsor: Operations Research Center
Cosponsor: Mathematics

The Distaff Arts: Pre-industrial spinning techniques
Anne McCants, Margo Collett, Anita Hawkins
Thu Jan 26, 10am-04:00pm, E51-095

Enrollment limited: advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 19-Jan-2012
Limited to 15 participants.
Single session event

This course explores an aspect of medieval textile and clothing production technologies, offering students hands on experience. We will work with a raw fleece; card and spin the wool; make skeins of yarn which can be used for weaving or knitting. Sitting wheels, large walking wheels and all materials will be provided.

This course will question typical characterization of medieval textile work as unskilled, as well as consider distinctions usually made between activities labeled as crafts versus those labeled as art.
Contact: Anne E. C. McCants, E51-255, 258-6669, amccants@mit.edu
Sponsor: History

Tour of Wallace Astrophysical Observatory
Michael J Person
Fri Jan 27, 06:30-10:30pm, WAO

Enrollment limited: advance sign up required (see contact below)
Signup by: 20-Jan-2012
Limited to 40 participants.
Single session event

Come tour the heavens at MIT's George R. Wallace Jr. Astrophysical Observatory located 45 minutes northwest of Boston in Westford, MA. Use various telescopes from 14" to 24" for both visual observing and electronic imaging of Jupiter, and other celestial bodies. Signup via listed website.
Web: http://web.mit.edu/wallace/iaptour/
Contact: Michael J. Person, iaptour@occult.mit.edu
Sponsor: Wallace Astrophysical Observatory


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Last update: 7 Sept. 2011