Faculty Approved HASS GIR Changes; Proposals To Science GIRs Rejected
More changes to the core curriculum, known as the General Institute Requirements (GIRs) are in order. At the faculty meeting last May, the proposed changes to the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) requirement passed, restructuring the HASS categories and simplifying the HASS requirement. The changes to the science portion of the curriculum went up for a vote at a special February faculty meeting and did not pass. Dean of Undergraduate Education Daniel E. Hastings SM ’78 and Dean for Curriculum and Faculty Support Diana Henderson updated the status of the changes at the October faculty meeting.
Multiple Changes to TEAL Format Have No Effect on Passing Rates for Physics
Despite changes to the Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) format — including optional problem sets — last semester’s failure rate for 8.01 (Physics I) was equivalent to that of last year’s 8.01 class, according to course administrator Thomas J. Greytak ’63. Eleven percent of 8.01 students received either a D or F grade last semester. Significant changes to the course included new in-class, hands-on demonstrations in addition to existing weekly experiments and making problem sets optional.
Working Group Says: Relocate Drop Date, Cut Athena Clusters
The Education Working Group of the Institute-Wide Planning Task Force released its final report on December 16. Its cost-cutting recommendations include modifications to Add and Drop Date, an increase to the number of undergraduates, and the elimination of Athena computers.
Proposal to Allow Second-Semester Frosh to Live in FSILGs Circulated
A recent proposal to allow second-semester freshmen to move into their respective fraternity, sorority, and independent living group (FSILGs) houses has generated campus-wide discussion. If implemented, it would be a major change to the 1998 decision that requires first year students to live in campus dormitories in response to the concerns about safety and risk management with the FSILG system.
Officials Hid Truth of Immigrant Deaths in U.S. Jails
Silence has long shrouded the men and women who die in the nation’s immigration jails. For years, they went uncounted and unnamed in the public record. Even in 2008, when <i>The New York Times </i>obtained and published a federal government list of such deaths, few facts were available about who these people were and how they died.
Chimps and Monkeys Could Talk. Why Don’t They?
Walking through the Tai forest of Ivory Coast, Klaus Zuberbuehler could hear the calls of the Diana monkeys, but the babble held no meaning for him.
O’Brien Says He Won’t Host<br />‘Tonight Show’ After Leno
NBC may control its airwaves but it does not apparently control Conan O’Brien.
For years, Wall Street whispered that Goldman Sachs profited handsomely by trading ahead of — or even against — its own clients.
Bankers’ Regrets Might Be Wrapped in Nuance
As America recovers from the worst financial crisis since the Depression, some of the nation’s chief executives are offering that rarest of statements: an apology.
Report Links Vehicle Exhaust To Health Problems
Exhaust from cars and trucks exacerbates asthma in children and may cause new cases as well as other respiratory illnesses and heart problems resulting in deaths, an independent institute that focuses on vehicle-related air pollution has concluded.
Counseling Calm Over Latest Terrorism Plots
As terrorist plots against the United States have piled up in recent months, politicians and the news media have sounded the alarm with a riveting message for Americans: Be afraid. Al-Qaida is on the march again, targeting the country from within and without, and your hapless government cannot protect you.
Google May End Its<br />Operations in China
Google, facing an assault by hackers who sought to penetrate the e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, will stop cooperating with Chinese censorship and consider closing its offices and operations in China altogether, the company said on Tuesday.
The treatment has become so popular that patients with orthopedic injuries are demanding it, willing to pay $1,000 or more out of their own pocket. Its appeal only soared higher when professional athletes like Tiger Woods and the football players Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward reported that it cured them.
Heat Wave This Weekend
High pressure remains in control over the eastern part of the country, giving us a period of quiet weather through the end of the weekend. Plenty of sunshine will be available, giving some of the snow in the area a chance to melt, although this might be bad news for those who enjoy skiing and snowboarding. A “heat wave” slides in on Friday, with a high of 47°F, which is over 10°F above average for this time of year. Long range forecasts show the possibility of a winter storm Monday and Tuesday, but at this point the weather then is rather uncertain.
What Makes Up MIT’s Core?
Perhaps the biggest disappointment in the Task Force Final Report is the ambiguity about the parts of the community and MIT core that are worth preserving. While the report references community involvement as a way of ensuring that MIT stays “true to its core,” there is little substance to this hope.
Protest in Iran: <br />What Happens Next Is Anybody’s Guess
One of the most difficult aspects of the study of politics is recognizing the natural tendency in human psychology toward certainty and simplification, even when the data itself is not entirely clear. More difficult still is resisting this temptation when powerful historical analogies are available that cursorily appear to match the current experience.
Illegal Immigration: It’s Illegal
Blue hats are blue. Big trees are big. Do you agree with these statements? How about this one: Illegal immigration is illegal. For some reason, this point has been a contentious issue in the United States over the past few years.
‘The Tech’ on the Task Force Report
Were we conspiracy theorists, we would have to say that the release of the Institute-wide Planning Task Force’s Final Report smack in the middle of final’s week was done purposefully to minimize the number of students who would read and comment on it immediately. The timing, coming almost two months behind schedule, certainly seems coincidental, and intentional or not, student commentary on the report has been muted.
MOVIE REVIEW ★★★ ½ / 4 Disney’s ‘Princess and the Frog’
Fellow Disney fans, we have what we’ve been waiting for: the first classic Disney animated film of the decade. <i>The Princess and the Frog</i> is a genuinely funny, heart-felt, feel-good adventure worthy of carrying the revered title of Walt Disney Animation Studios, after a dry spell in successful hand-drawn films since 1999’s <i>Tarzan</i>.
MOVIE REVIEW ★★★ ½ / 4 A Modest Film that Succeeds in Subtlety
Hollywood has no modesty. Since Tinseltown’s earliest incarnations, the illustrious directors and actors that have graced the big screen have attacked their tasks with a ferocious desire for distinction. As such, our cinemas are saturated with brainchildren of Michael Bays and James Camerons, waving their hands feverishly about, spittle flying across the room, conjuring up massive explosions and lush CGI landscapes. And why not? We watch movies to escape our dreary realities, to fall into a more captivating world. But once in a while, Hollywood will surprise us with a film that is deceptively modest, and we marvel at its unique beauty.
MOVIE REVIEW ★★ ½ / 4 ‘Leap Year’ Is Cute But Falls Short
Meet Anna. A cute girlish face with a no nonsense aura, her vivacious nature manifests only in her shock of auburn hair. The diminutive redhead seems to have it all — a doctor boyfriend, a wonderful job, gorgeous wardrobe, and on top of it she’s in queue for the apartment of her dreams. The only catch is that her cardiologist-of-a boyfriend, Jeremy, has not proposed despite their four year-long relationship. When Jeremy goes to Dublin for a medical conference, Anna decides to take matters into her own hands. She jumps on a plane and devises a scheme to propose to Jeremy on February 29th — spurred by an Irish tradition allowing women to propose to their lover on Leap Day.
Upcoming Home Events
Wednesday, January 13
The Blazers, Boston’s Lacrosse Team, Lose Season Opener Sat.
The Boston Blazers of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) fell to the Toronto Rock in their 2010 season opener at TD Garden on Saturday, 17-7.
On Friday night, MIT hosted Wheaton College in a NEWMAC swimming and diving dual meet. Both the men’s and women’s teams won easily to remain undefeated on the year.
Skiing Races in First Competition as Club Sport; Sees Progress
In its first season as a club sport, MIT’s Alpine Ski Team is already back to business [almost] as usual. The team lives in New Hampshire during IAP, training four days a week and racing two days a week in a season of ten intercollegiate carnivals comprising five giant slalom and five slalom races. While the division scores 3 women and 5 men, MIT has fielded 2 women and 4 men and so receives a penalty in their team results for every race. Despite the difficult team circumstances, every individual member has already made personal improvements since the 2009 season.