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Senior, Tech Week Provide Fun, Games

By May K. Tse
Associate news Editor

For the second year in a row, Tech Week coincides with Senior Week and Commencement, making the last few days chock full of events and activities for new MIT graduates and alumni.

Senior Week began Saturday with a field day and barbecue for about 200 people. The field day is a new event that this year's Senior Week committee initiated.

"We had a caricaturist who was a hit with the seniors, a moonbounce, mini-golf, and mini-bicycle races with prizes of MIT hats and Newbury Comics gift certificates. We also gave out special frisbees as plates for the barbecue.,"said Lori A. Maiorino '97, co-chair of the Senior Week Committee.

Other notable Senior Week events included a trip to Rhode Island on Sunday which was complete with games and a clambake and a comedy night and moonlight cruise on Monday, both of which also had a turnout of about 200 people.

"Those who came to the comedy night had a great time with the three comedians. They really related well with the crowd, and seemed to gear their acts to the MIT audience,"Maiorino said.

Senior Week events also included a canoeing trip on Wednesday and a pancake breakfast and welcoming reception yesterday.

Class unity strong

"The class unity this year has been amazing, better than any year I've been here,"said Class President Pardis C. Sabeti '97, who noted the large attendance at other class events held this year.

"We've tried to take into consideration what the class would be interested in overall. The people on the committee represent a large cross section across campus, so people would find a few things they're interested in instead of the same people attending all the events,"Maiorino said.

The Senior Week committee, which started working in January, is separate from the Class of 1997 Council, and is funded entirely by the Alumni Association. "This is considered a zeroth year' class reunion," Maiorino said. "The Alumni Association uses us as a springboard to see how enthusiastic our class is."

Besides providing feedback for the AlumniAssociation, Senior Week is "to give seniors a good impression of MIT, to be relaxed and happy, and to say congratulations for a job well done,"Sabeti said.

Pops concert kicks off Tech Week

Yesterday's Tech Night at the Pops, one of the last Senior Week events, was also the first official event for Tech Week, although "class events have been running from Wednesday to Thursday," said Susan B. Tomases, the Alumni Association's program director for reunions and class events.

Tech Week events also include various tours and presentations today, Tech Day tomorrow, and a "Techsas" Barbecue and Tech Challenge Games on Sunday. The 50th and 25th year classes also help to lead the Commencement procession today.

"We're expecting about 2,500 alumni and guests to be on campus, with close to 150 events happening, from a Reunion Row [crew challenge] to elegant and intimate dinner parties to fascinating panel discussions,"Tomases said. "There's always something to do."

Tech Day focuses on Play'

This year's Tech Day topic is "Technology at Play," featuring a series of lectures and exhibits throughout the day dealing with the technology of games, sports, and toys. "I think it's a pretty fun program but still with a lot of substance,"said Elizabeth A. Garvin, the Alumni Association's director of class programs.

"It's just a fabulous full day of lectures, panel discussions, and an expo featuring new and evolving technology about games, sports, and toys for children and adults,"Tomases said.

"There are a lot of fascinating people who are giving presentations,"Garvin said. Topics to be discussed includethe economics of sports, the architecture of sports facilities, and the physics behind certain trajectories and flights.

The kick-off speaker for Tech Day will be Stephen C. Jacobsen PhD '73, the director of the Center for Engineering Design which has formed six spin-off corporations that produce products ranging from prosthetic arms to the robots for the Jurassic Park ride at the Universal Studios theme park.

"Tech Day is special because we have a full day of intellectual experiences. People want to have substance at their reunion in addition to seeing each other again."

"Tech Day is our intellectual centerpiece of reunion activities,"Garvin said.