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Unified Takes Home This Year's Big Screw

By Fenny H. Lin
Staff Reporter

Students willingly gave up their money at Lobby 10 last week to vote for their favorite candidate for the annual Big Screw Award. In heavy last-minute voting, they chose to recognize Unified Engineering (16.010, 16.020, 16.030, 16.040), the four aeronautics and astronautics core classes, with the award.

Visiting Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Wesley L. Harris accepted the three-foot long left-handed aluminum screw on Unified's behalf. The screw left its current owner -- the Student Center Athena Cluster -- and was presented to Harris in Unified Wednesday.

Unified received $242.84 out of the total $714.03 that was raised.

Dorow held the lead early on

Massive last-day donations by Unified students helped Unified come from behind to overtake second-place finisher Neal H. Dorow, adviser to fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups. Dorow brought in $194.13.

Unified was a write-in candidate until the last day of the contest, when it received the bulk of its donations, said Henning Colsman-Freyberger G, the project chairman.

Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Stephen A. Ward PhD '66, EECS Teaching Assistant Kent H. Lundberg G, Professor of Chemistry Robert W. Field, and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs Leslie Perelman also received contributions for the award.

The national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega sponsors the award. According to APO's official guidelines, any non-student member of the MIT staff or faculty may run. Students have used the screw to recognize professors and staff for a particularly memorable class like Unified, a notorious workload, or event. Candidates must to sign a form to declare their status as official candidates.

The screw's recipient gets to donate all the money raised through the event to the charity of his choice. Harris decided to donate this year's money to the American Heart Association.

Unified is known as one of the Institute's most difficult classes: It spans two 24-unit semesters and meets daily for two hours. In addition, there are regular laboratories, recitations, and system study lectures, in which teams of five students use their skills to develop an aerospace system.

The class' five professors announced the class' candidacy for the screw during an aero/astro pizza party last Friday. The party alone brought in about $70.

Unified student Adriane J. Faust '98 felt that the award was well deserved. "A lot of things about Unified this term have been pretty nasty," she said.

Kei Y. Tang G, the head teaching assistant for Unified, noted students' love/hate relationship with Unified. "I am sure that they are working very hard," he said, "but they are learning a lot about what they really like."

"I am sure Unified deserves the award," Tang said. "We are all very proud of accepting [it]."