The Class of 2017’s pass rate for the math and science General Institute Requirements (GIRs) was 97.2 percent last semester, an improvement over last year’s rate of 96.7 percent. Around 12.9 percent (144 students) of the Class of 2017 received at least one flag in a GIR, given to students who have a D or F in a class five weeks into the semester, and 86.8 percent (125 students) of those who received one or more flags passed their GIRs.
Iceland’s population is just around 320,000 (which means the island has fewer inhabitants than Alaska), but the nation has an astonishingly high propensity for music. The country boasts ninety music schools, about four hundred choirs, four hundred orchestras and marching bands, and a vibrant scene in rock, jazz, and electronic genres.
On Oct. 1, MIT opened a new daycare center at 219 Vassar Street. The center, known as David H. Koch Childcare Center or TCC Koch, is the fourth of MIT’s Technology Childcare Center (TCC) facilities. Three other on-campus centers are located at Eastgate, Westgate, Stata, and the fourth is in Lincoln, Mass., serving all MIT affiliates including Lincoln Labs employees. Additionally, there is also an on-campus infant care room in Building 68.
MIT Dramashop’s production of No Exit, based on the work of existentialist playwright Jean-Paul Sartre, takes place in the afterlife, where three damned souls are locked in a tacky hotel room together. The Tech spoke with director Adam Strandberg ’14 about his experience directing the play.
The Review Committee on Orientation (RCO) released its final recommendations on Orientation last week with more updates on the state of Residential Exploration (REX) and freshman pe-orientation programs (FPOPs) for this fall. The biggest changes are that REX will no longer include a freshman adjustment lottery to change dorms, and an additional fee will be charged to FPOP students arriving early and staying on campus. The timing of FSILG Recruitment will be subject to further committee-based assignment, but no change in timing will be made for this coming fall.
The Security Committee — charged by Dean for Student Life Chris Colombo to examine residential security issues in undergraduate and graduate dorms in mid-December — submitted its final report in February. According to Senior Associate Dean for Student Life Henry J. Humphreys, security plans for each dorm, which are based on the recommendations in the report, will hopefully be finalized in the fall semester.
Michael Scott Cuthbert, associate professor of music, was recently awarded a $500,000 grant from the Digging into Data consortium. This grant will support his work in using computational techniques to study changes in Western musical style. He has received $175,000 specifically for his music21 project . On Thursday, Cuthbert sat with The Tech to discuss his work with music21 and his passion for combining computational techniques with music.
1Q84 marks Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s 12th novel, and is considered by many to be his magnum opus. First published in Japan as a collection of three volumes, 1Q84 was just released in the United States in October under one cover. The book, which is over 900 pages, is quite different from his previous works, but as a long-time Murakami fan, I was not disappointed.
This year, the deaths of Nicholas E. Del Castillo ’14, Satto Tonegawa ’15, and Phyo N. Kyaw ’10 shocked and saddened the MIT community. The deaths of both Castillo and Tonegawa were determined to be suicides, and Kyaw was killed in a traffic accident near campus.
Up until the spring of 2010, distressed students had a place to call for peer support from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every night of the term. The anonymous callers spoke to Nightline, a student-run and student-staffed peer-to-peer counseling, information, and support service that was originally advised by Student Support Services (S³). Nightline closed last year when the group stopped service to examine their impact on campus. After a year of evaluation, it has been determined that Nightline will not reopen and will instead be replaced by another peer support service.
Professor Rudolf Jaenisch, MIT biology professor and a founding member of the Whitehead Institute, was recently named by President Obama as one of the seven recipients of the National Medal of Science, the highest honor given by the U.S. government in the fields of science and engineering. Jaenisch was awarded for his work on epigenetic regulation, the biological processes that affect how genetic information is translated into cell structures without changing the genes themselves. Last Friday, Jaenisch sat down with The Tech to discuss his research and inspiration:
The Hedgehog is a French-language movie directed by Mona Achache based on the novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery. In the movie, unlikely encounters develop in the setting of an affluent Parisian neighborhood. The film explores the interactions between Paloma, an 11-year old girl, Renée Michel, an apartment concierge, and Kakuro Ozu, a Japanese man who recently moved to the apartment complex.
Registering for classes is going to get a lot easier. Over the last two weeks, students in Courses 4, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21W, and 24 participated in the pilot online registration system. Online registration is expected to expand to other departments by next semester.
Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen’s most recent film. Like many of Allen’s past films, Midnight in Paris tends towards the more philosophical and the atmospheric. The film heavily references many influential figures in literature and draws a contrast between a modern-day man unhappy with his current life and the romantic atmosphere of Paris in the Roaring Twenties.
Last Saturday, the MIT Asian Dance Team (ADT) hosted Inspirasian, the inaugural Boston Asian Performing Arts Festival. The festival, held at Kresge Auditorium, featured performing groups from throughout the Greater Boston Area and included performances that represented both East and South Asia.
Next House presented its annual Next Act during CPW last weekend. This year’s production was The Scarlet Pimpernel, a musical based on the early 20th-century play and novel of the same name by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. The musical adaptation ran on Broadway from 1997 to 2000 and has since been performed in numerous venues across the country.
Valérie Pécresse, the French Minister for Higher Education and Research, visited Harvard University Monday to give a public lecture and question-and-answer session on “The New French University: An Opportunity to Cooperate with American Academics?” Pécresse has held prior government positions as regional councillor and as a member of the French National Assembly. On Tuesday, the Minister discussed with The Tech and other media the “new French university” and what the concept means for French and American academics.
Sophomores and juniors at McCormick Hall have been given the option of moving to Burton Conner or MacGregor next fall due to dissatisfaction with the new dining plan. The former McCormick residents will be integrated as formal residents of their new houses, residing in non-dining communities that maintain the single-sex aspect of living in McCormick.
If You Are the One II is Xioagang Feng’s sequel movie to If You Are the One, which was released in 2008 and became immediately popular in China. The movie is a formidable sequel in an industry where most follow-up movies tend to fall short of expectations. It is filled with emotionally subtle passages, well-placed irony and sarcasm, and elements of black humor that serve as a personal but painful reflection of what we all feel. A dark-humored romantic comedy, the movie does not conclude with a Hollywood ending. Instead, it is a reminder that human relationships are full of complications and unanswered questions.
In response to strong student opposition to proposed changes to the Orientation 2011 schedule, administration and student government officials announced last week that no significant scheduling changes would be seen this year. Freshman Pre-Orientation Programs (FPOPs) and International Orientation events will be changing, but in ways that minimize their impact on orientation programming like REX.
Plans are under way this spring to introduce a new sorority aimed at Asian women on campus. The new group would be MIT’s seventh sorority and the only Greek letter organization with an Asian focus. Kappa Phi Lambda, Sigma Psi Zeta, and Delta Phi Lambda are among the candidates.
The Far East Movement recently released the album Free Wired in October. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I could actually critique the album, since it’s quite a feat to judge the artistic value of electronic hip hop, and I didn’t expect to have much to say in the area of lyrics, either. I know the album wasn’t intended to focus on lyrics but was based mainly on dance music, so I judged Free Wired based partly on what it was intended to do.
On Nov. 19, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which allows the government to use court orders to shut down websites thought to infringe on copyright. Also known as S.3804, COICA was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy on Sept. 20 as an attempt to prevent the spread of piracy websites.
Are you lucky enough to know a linguistics major?
Budget cuts have decreased residential life funds across the dorms, shrinking the money available to housemasters and GRTs. In McCormick Hall, for example, the housemasters experienced budget cuts of 10 percent for both this year and for the previous year, according to housemaster Charles H. Stewart III
Student Support Services (S^3) is increasing its hours and has tweaked its readmission process, following a review of the program during the 2009-2010 academic year. Two deans are now available to help with new walk-in hours, provided 9–10 a.m., Monday through Friday, and the office will be open on Tuesdays until 7 p.m.