MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2013 Activities by Category - Special Events

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Building a Portfolio for Any Weather

Jan/10 Thu 12:00PM-01:00PM Tang (E51): Wong Aud

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Prereq: None

The goal of this workshop is to educate employees on the principles of asset allocation and diversification, and how to develop an appropriate investment strategy in the MIT Supplemental 401(k) Plan.

Sponsor(s): MIT Human Resources
Contact: Paul J. Gunning, (617) 258-8872,

Career Exploration with MyPlan for Sophomores

Tamara Raimundi Menghi, Associate Director of Employer Relations, Lily Zhang, Career Assistant

Jan/11 Fri 02:30PM-04:00PM 4-159, Please take MyPlan prior to workshop.

Enrollment: Registration required through CareerBridge

Take the guesswork out of career planning with MyPlan, an assessment that makes career decisions easier by providing detailed information on top interests, work preferences, and personal styles. In this workshop, participants will receive an interpretive overview of MyPlan results and information on how to use their MyPlan results in their internship search. Participation requires completing the MyPlan assessment online prior to attending the workshop. To take the assessment, log in to CareerBridge and click the MyPlan link under the Additional Resources tab. From the MyPlan website, use your unique code (in green) to register for and take the MyPlan assessments. Once completed, print and bring your results from the Personality, Interests, Skills, and Values assessments to the workshop.

Co-sponsored by Sophomore Year Experience (SYE)

Sponsor(s): Global Education and Career Development
Contact: Tamara Raimundi Menghi, 12-170, (617) 253-4733,

CityDays IAP: One community together in community service

Kristi Gundrum Kebinger, Community Volunteer Administrator, Public Service Center

Jan/25 Fri 11:00AM-05:00PM Twenty Chimneys, Free lunch and transportation.

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/22
Limited to 150 participants
Prereq: none

We invite all members of the MIT Community to join us for the second annual community service day, CityDays IAP! 

First, have a delicious, free lunch at Twenty Chimneys. Then, head out into the Cambridge and Boston communities to volunteer with two local organizations:

1) The Greater Boston Food Bank, Boston, works to end hunger in eastern Massachusetts. Volunteers will be inspecting, sorting, and repacking donated grocery products to be distributed to hunger relief agencies.

2) Cradles to Crayons provides poor and homeless children with supplies. Volunteers will be sorting and packaging donations into "C2C KidPacks," individualized packages of essential children's items ordered for specific in-need kids.

Public transportation fees to/from the service placement will be provided.

Please register by January 22nd:

Sponsor(s): Public Service Center
Contact: Kristi Gundrum Kebinger, W20-549, 617-253-8968, serviceday@MIT.EDU

Class of 2017 EA Telethon

Brenna Heintz, Admissions Counselor

Jan/28 Mon 05:00PM-11:00PM Bush Room 10-105, Bring your cell phones and laptops.

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Prereq: MIT Undergraduates Only

Be the first to talk with the Early Action admitted students of the MIT Class of 2017. 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.

Sponsor(s): Admissions
Contact: Katherine Kelley, 10-100, 617 324-5160, KAKELLEY@MIT.EDU

Climate Interactive: Energy Policy Negotiation

Dr. Travis Franck, Senior Scientist and Policy Analyst

Jan/15 Tue 01:00PM-03:00PM 32-124

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required

Try your hand in addressing climate change.  Dr. Travis Franck, Senior Scientist and Policy Analyst for Climate Interactive brings climate change and energy policy negotiation down to earth.  Teams will use En-ROADS, a model-based simulation tool, to discover possible routes to achieve energy and climate goals through changes in energy use, consumption, and policies.

Registration for event may be found here

Sponsor(s): MIT Energy Initiative
Contact: Ethan Feuer, E19-370, 617 452-3199, EFEUER@MIT.EDU

Community-university partnerships in Boston: The experience of the MIT GreenHouse Studio Symposium

Patricia Molina Costa

Jan/17 Thu 05:00PM-09:00PM 9-450

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/14

Strategies for solving urban planning problems have become increasingly global in nature, reflecting the similarity in challenges cities face in a globalized economy and a changing physical climate. In order to share knowledge across boundaries, planning institutions increasingly seek to understand how similar problems are being addressed from different cultural perspectives, methodologies, and legal regulations. This approach formed the basis for the Parallel Workshop for Sustainable & Equitable Neighborhood Revitalization held in the spring of 2012 by the MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) and the Departamento de Urbanística y Ordenación del Territorio (DUyOT) at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). The workshop focused on contemporary urban challenges from two very different perspectives and formulated proposals for two different neighborhoods—Ciudad de los Angeles in Madrid, and Fields Corner in Boston— working closely with community-based organizations. On the occasion of the exhibition, a half-day symposium will be held to discuss the experience of community-university partnerships between MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning and community organizations from the Boston area.

5:00-6:15pm: A Plan for Sustainability in Fields Corner: the GreenHouse Studio collaboration with VietAID

6:15-6:30pm: Break

6:30-8:00pm: Community-university partnerships in the Boston area: reflections from diverse experiences

8:00-9:00pm: Exhibition opening

Sponsor(s): Urban Studies and Planning
Contact: Patricia Molina Costa,

Departmental Exploration (DEX)

Katherine Julian, Staff Associate, Bruno Faviero, Aliya Dincer

Enrollment: Limited: First come, first served (no advance sign-up)
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

First-year students, have you picked your passion yet? Don't miss this inaugural series of departmental exploration (DEX) events sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming and the Undergraduate Association.

DEX will be a structured time at the end of IAP for academic discovery that will allow students to experience what it’s like to be an undergrad in each department. Events include: student topic panels, open houses and showcases of projects and research.

The events will primarily focus on departments in the School of Science and School of Engineering. Additionally, departments in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Sloan School of Management and School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences will also be highlighted throughout the week.

Events will take place on January 28, 29, 31, and February 1. No sign up is necessary, just come to whatever sessions you are interested in!

Sponsor(s): Office of Undergrad. Advising/Academic Programming, Undergraduate Association
Contact: Katherine Julian, 7-103, 617 253-9764, KJULIAN@MIT.EDU

Technological Engineering Topic Panel

Jan/28 Mon 01:00PM-02:30PM 34-101

Student representatives of courses 1, 2, 6, 12, 16 and 22 will discuss departmental opportunities and approaches to the the topic of technological engineering. 

Active link to NASA Telescope

Jan/29 Tue 09:00AM-11:00AM 54-427

Come see a live connection to a NASA optical telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii that is operated from the MIT campus.  Join with Professor Richard Binzel to learn about the science program of asteroid observations conducted using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility 3-meter telescope.  Drop in for all or part of the time. No advance sign-up necessary.

Open Hours, Atmospheric Chemistry Lab

Jan/29 Tue 10:00AM-11:00AM 54-131

Atmospheric aerosol particles can affect the Earth's climate system by absorbing or scattering solar and terrestrial radiation, or by acting as the seeds on which cloud droplets and ice crystals form. Visit our laboratory to see the experiments we run to understand the fundamental processes involved in particle formation and evolution.

Chemistry Demo Show

Jan/29 Tue 11:00AM-12:00PM 4-149

Chemistry has wide ranging applications in materials, medicine, energy, and many other areas. Join Course 5 students and members of the M.I.T. Chemistry Outreach Program for fun and informational demonstrations of simple chemistry applications.

Energy Minor Demo Show

Jan/29 Tue 12:00PM-01:00PM 34-101

What do a fireball, homemade OLEDs, an electric go-cart, and low-power sensors have in common? Come to our Energy Demo Hour and find out! See firsthand how fun studying energy can be. All MIT students are welcome.

Biology/Life Science Topic Panel

Jan/29 Tue 01:00PM-02:00PM 34-101

Student representatives from courses 7, 6-7, 9, 20, 10B, and 12 will discuss departmental opportunities and approaches to the the topics of biology and the life sciences.


Chemistry Topic Panel

Jan/29 Tue 02:00PM-03:00PM 34-101

Student representatives from courses 5, 3, 10, and 12 will discuss departmental opportunities and approaches to the the topic of chemistry.

Brain and Cognitive Science open house

Jan/29 Tue 03:00PM-04:00PM 34-101

Come learn about brain and cognitive science through general Q&A with course 9 undergrads before and after watching videos of faculty describing aspects of course 9 at 3:30. Light refreshments provided!

Course 7 and 20 lab tours

Jan/29 Tue 03:30PM-04:30PM 68-074 & 16-352

Come tour labs in Course 7 (68-074) and Course 20 (16-352), where lab classes such as 7.02 and 20.309 are held. Each lab will conduct two half hour sessions, starting at 3:30 PM and 4:00 PM. Come to either lab at those times!

Lightning Lectures

Jan/29 Tue 04:30PM-06:00PM 36-144

Upperclassmen from courses 7, 9, 20, and 6-7 will give short lectures about their research projects and classes, sharing their perspectives on the opportunities in their major. Lectures will be followed by a brief Q&A with the student. Each lecture is no more than ten minutes long. 


Architecture Department Tour

Jan/31 Thu 11:00AM-12:00PM 7-431

Architecture will be hosting a department tour and presentation of student and faculty research and design work.  You will get a chance to visit the studios, workshops, and labs where you can see current students at work and the various fabrication methods and equipment.  After the tour, there will be a short presentation of the work you could be involved in as a Course 4 major through studios, internships, or UROPs.

Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium

Jan/31 Thu 12:00PM-05:00PM 68-181

The Biology Undergraduate Research Symposium is an annual event sponsored by the Biology department to give top undergraduate students the opportunity to showcase their research to the Biology community at large. This year, fourteen students will give presentations of fifteen minutes each from 12:00 to 4:30.

Economic Games-The Prisoner's Dilemma

Jan/31 Thu 12:00PM-01:00PM 3-133, Snacks and drinks provided

Do you want to win? Do you want to know what your competitor is thinking? Do you know how to strike the balance between competition and cooperation? Prisoner's Dilemma is the most well-known game strategy in social science. It has wide applications in economics, business, and real life. Come and play the game with UEA (Undergraduate Economic Association) and learn more about course 14 from TAs and upperclassmen. 

Design, Infrastructure & Policy Panel

Jan/31 Thu 01:00PM-02:00PM 34-101

Student representatives from courses 1, 4, 11, 17, and 22 will discuss departmental opportunities and approaches to the the topics of design, infrastructure and policy.

Economics, Finance, & Policy Panel

Jan/31 Thu 02:00PM-03:00PM 34-101

Student representatives from courses 14, 15, and 17 will discuss departmental opportunities and approaches to the the topics of economics, finance/management and policy.

Course 1 Open House

Jan/31 Thu 03:00PM-04:00PM 36-112

Large enough to offer a range of opportunities, yet small enough to provide personal attention, Course 1 strikes just the right balance. Learn what sustainable development, carbon sequestration, building technology, environmental fieldwork, transportation systems, renewable energy and engineering design have in common. These and other Course 1 projects address some of the most pressing problems of our time.

ChemExploration: All things ChemE

Jan/31 Thu 06:00PM-08:00PM 66-110

ChemExploration is a 2 hour extravaganza on all things ChemE.  The first hour of the talks reviews every required course X class, and the second explains some of the unique opportunities available to those with a chemical engineering degree.  We will have guest alumni present to discuss how MIT chemical engineering affected their career path.  And, of course, there will be free food!

Open Houses/Other Events: Course 8,18,22

Feb/01 Fri 10:00AM-05:30PM TBD

Check back for more details! Open houses/Other events in course 8, 18 and 22 will take place between 10-1pm and 2:30-5:30 pm.

Mathematics with Julia

Feb/01 Fri 11:00AM-12:00PM 2-139

Julia is a new open source technical tool under development at MIT
and around the world.  While still new and therefore not as mature as MATLAB and Python, users can jump right in.  We will demonstrate through examples how computation is influencing mathematics,
and how mathematics influences computation. Feel free to bring your laptop,downloaded with Julia, and type along.Experts will be on hand to help with questions.

Math, Physics, & Computer Science Panel

Feb/01 Fri 01:00PM-02:30PM 54-100

Student representatives from courses 18, 6-3, 12, 22 and 8 will discuss departmental opportunities and approaches to the the topics of math, physics and computer science.

Physics Lightning Lectures

Feb/01 Fri 03:00PM-05:00PM 8-329

Come join physics undergraduates as they explain fascinating physics topics in under five minutes while trying to impersonate your favorite professors! Topics include quantum mechanics (8.04), quantum information (8.370J), General Relativity (8.962) and how to hunt for a Higgs boson. Event will be held in the Physics Common Room (8-329)

First Year Experience Winter Retreat: Thrive @ MIT

Julie Rothhaar, Assistant Dean & Director of FYE, Residential Life Programs

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/17
Limited to 25 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions
Prereq: first-year students only

Academics, new friends, life in the residence halls, extracurricular activities, and a social life: how do you balance it all at MIT? Join fellow first-year students, staff and faculty for a chance to step back and reflect on your experience at MIT thus far through an overnight winter retreat. Buses will leave MIT at 3pm Friday January 25th and return at approximately 4pm on Saturday January 26th. The location of the retreat will be at the Warren Conference Center in Ashland, MA.

Additional logistical details will be communicated to the students who are selected to attend the retreat. Attendance is capped at 25, and only first-year students may apply. Please contact Assistant Dean and Director for First Year Experience Julie Rothhaar with any questions at 

To access the application visit the following link:

Sponsor(s): Office of Undergrad. Advising/Academic Programming, Residential Life Programs
Contact: Julie Rothhaar, W59-222, 617-253-3290,

Jan/25 Fri 03:00PM-11:45PM Warren Center, departure details will be given to attendee
Jan/26 Sat 12:00AM-04:00PM Warren Center, return details will be given to attendees

Julie Rothhaar - Assistant Dean & Director of FYE, Residential Life Programs

Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM)

Adam Elmachtoub, Martin Bazant

Jan/16 Wed 02:00PM-03:30PM 66-110
Jan/25 Fri 01:00PM-02:30PM 66-110

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Repeating event, particpants welcome at any session

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 (Jan 31 – Feb 4) 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. 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.) This session is not mandatory for participation but encouraged for newcomers.

Sponsor(s): Operations Research Center, Mathematics
Contact: Adam Elmachtoub,

MIT Mystery Hunt

Jacob Hurwitz

Jan/18 Fri 12:00PM-11:59PM All around campus
Jan/19 Sat 12:00AM-11:59PM All around campus
Jan/20 Sun 12:00AM-11:59PM All around campus

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

The MIT Mystery Hunt is a puzzlehunt competition that takes place at MIT every IAP. The hunt challenges each participating team to solve a large number of puzzles which lead to an object (called a "coin") hidden somewhere on campus. The winning team gets to write the subsequent year's hunt.

Mystery Hunt was launched in 1981 and is widely regarded as one of the oldest and most complex puzzlehunts in the world. It attracts about 1,000 people every year and has inspired similar competitions at universities, companies and cities around the world. Hunt begins with a kick-off event on Friday at noon in Building W33, and lasts throughout the weekend, with the exact length TBD.

If you'd like to compete, form a team and then visit to register. If you don't have a team, you can also register as an unattached hunter. Happy hunting!

Sponsor(s): Mystery Hunt
Contact: Mystery Hunt,

MIT Retirement Plans Workshop

Jan/17 Thu 12:00PM-01:00PM W20-407

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

This workshop is designed for employees who want a review of the MIT Basic Retirement Plan, the MIT Supplemental 401(k) Plan, and Retiree Health and Welfare benefits and how they work.

Sponsor(s): MIT Human Resources
Contact: Paul J. Gunning, (617) 258-8872,

MIT's Charm School

Alana Hamlett, Assistant Director, Student Activities and Leadership

Feb/01 Fri 12:00PM-05:00PM W20 Student Center

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

How do I ask for a date? Which bread plate is mine? At what point in a job interview can I ask about salary? Should I use a cell phone while on the T or the elevator? How can I network to find the perfect position? Join us for MIT's 20th Annual Charm School to find out these answers and more. Participate in mini-classes on a wide variety of "charming" subjects. You may even earn your "Ch.D." (Doctoral degree in Charm). Classes are rolling, so stop by at any time during the five-hour period.

Sponsor(s): Student Activities Office
Contact: Alana Hamlett, W20-549, 617 253-6777, AHAMLETT@MIT.EDU

(CANCELED) Rare Books 101: Discover MIT's Rare Book Collections

Stephen Skuce, Program Manager for Rare Books

Jan/18 Fri 10:30AM-11:30AM 14N-118 Archives, No food or drink please

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/17
Limited to 25 participants

The MIT Libraries are home to thousands of thrilling rare books, by Boyle, Newton, Galvani, Faraday, Einstein, and many more. This overview will introduce you to a variety of important volumes, some of them beautiful, many of them groundbreaking, some of them just plain surprising. Come see masterworks of science up close! Limited to 25; registration required.

Sponsor(s): Libraries
Contact: Stephen Skuce, 14N-118, 617 253-0654, SKUCE@MIT.EDU

Responsible and Ethical Conduct at MIT

Deborah L. Fisher, Institute Auditor, Toni P. Robinson, Ombudsperson, Mark DiVincenzo, Deputy General Counsel, Marianna Pierce, Director, Policy, Compliance, and Labor Relations

Jan/24 Thu 10:00AM-11:00AM 32-141

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Prereq: none

MIT as an institution and a community maintains high ethical values and standards; these are embodied in the Institute’s Statement of Responsible and Ethical Conduct.

This session will review these longstanding policies, and describe ways for members of the community to obtain answers to questions or raise concerns about conduct that may not be consistent with these values and standards.

The respective roles of the Ombuds Office, the Office of the General Counsel, Human Resources, the Audit Division and the Institute’s Anonymous and Confidential Reporting System (“hotline”) will be covered in this session.


Sponsor(s): Audit Division, Presidents Office, MIT Human Resources
Contact: John Dvorak, NE49-3021, 617 452-3577, DVORAK@MIT.EDU

The Distaff Arts: Pre-industrial spinning techniques

Margo Collett, Anne McCants

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/10
Limited to 15 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

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.

Sponsor(s): History
Contact: Anne E. C. McCants, E51-291, 2586669,

The Distaff Arts: Pre-Industrial textile

Jan/17 Thu 10:00AM-04:00PM E51-095
Jan/18 Fri 10:00AM-04:00PM E51-095

The Human Cost Towards India's Race for Development

Rebecca Ochoa

Jan/16 Wed 04:30PM-06:00PM Stella Room (7-338)

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

"The Human Cost Towards India's Race for Development"

January 16, 2013 4:30pm-6pm

Stella Room (MIT Building 7-338)

Speaker: Priyanka Borpujari

Priyanka Borpujari will discuss her featured photography exhibit “The Human Cost of India’s Race for Development” displayed in Rotch Library's (7-228) exhibition space.

While India is perceived as an emerging market, the stories of the plundering of natural resources and the systematic annihilation of the indigenous peoples go unheard. In this race to make India a superpower, and a growing media industry that champions this idea, social inequality has reached its zenith, and easily gets pushed aside. What, then, is the future of the people who grow food with their hands; who have long been guarding forests and rivers - even before climate change could touch them? Why does the media shy away from reporting about the majority of its populace, even while they silently die from landmines and malaria alike? Reporting on the 'hidden civil war in India', Priyanka Borpujari, an independent journalist based in Mumbai, reports and photographs from the dark territories of mineral-rich India, which are rife with violence and disease, which are only silenced.

A reception and tour of the exhibit  will follow the discussion.

Cosponsored by MIT Center for International Studies, MIT-India and MIT Libraries

The event was funded in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT

Sponsor(s): Center for International Studies, MIT India Program, Libraries
Contact: Rebecca Ochoa, ROCHOA@MIT.EDU

Tour of Wallace Astrophysical Observatory

Michael J Person

Jan/18 Fri 06:15PM-10:45PM Wallace Observatory, Dress Warmly

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required

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 website:

Sponsor(s): Wallace Astrophysical Observatory, Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Contact: Michael J Person,

Weird Science: Finding the Unexpected in the Libraries' Rare Book Collections

Stephen Skuce, Audrey Pearson, Patrick Ford

Jan/11 Fri 10:30AM-12:00PM 14N-118

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/10
Limited to 30 participants
Prereq: none

Here’s your chance to see some of the most intriguing—and occasionally perplexing—books in the library vault. Come see selections from MIT’s rare book collections in a show-and-tell session focused on unlikely “scientific” subjects such as animal magnetism, alchemy, and n-rays. The session will provide short introductions to the unusual topics covered in these books, and will allow participants to view the books up close. Please register at:

Sponsor(s): Libraries
Contact: Audrey Pearson, 14N-118, 617 715-4466, PEARSONA@MIT.EDU

Workshop: Confident Investing in Any Market

Jan/22 Tue 12:00PM-01:00PM W20-Mezzanine

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

This workshop is designed to help employees who are ready to take their retirement savings to the next level become more confident investors, understand how the markets may impact their investment strategy, and learn ways to establish and maintain a tax-sensitive savings approach.

Sponsor(s): MIT Human Resources
Contact: Paul J. Gunning, (617) 258-8872,

Your College Savings Options

Jan/31 Thu 12:00PM-01:30PM Kresge W16-033 Rm A

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

Presented by MEFA and Fidelity Investments

In this workshop you will learn about:


Sponsor(s): MIT Human Resources
Contact: Paul J. Gunning, (617) 258-8872,