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HASS-D, PE Lotteries Set to Begin on Athena Today


Indranath Neogy -- The Tech
Freshmen may begin entering the HASS-D and PE lotteries today on Athena.

By Brett Altschul
associate news editor

Students may now enter separate lotteries to select their physical education and Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Distribution classes.

The format for the lottery programs is identical to last year's, said Andy Oakland, a programmer for Information Systems.

"The HASS-D and PE lotteries are running exactly the same," Oakland said.

The HASS-D lottery will not send e-mail with the results, Oakland said. That feature was removed last year after it experienced problems.

Oakland said that next semester, the lottery should be available through the World Wide Web. "We're hoping that we'll have it up and running for the spring term," he said.

The whole program will be integrated into the preregistration process on the web Student Information System. Students will enter the lottery on the Web, and the program will automatically preregister them for their first choice, Oakland said.

Although there is a link to the lottery in the current WebSIS format, it does not actually run the lottery. "Currently, it just shows a page with instructions for how to run it on Athena," Oakland said.

The actual HASS-D offerings have not changed significantly since last year, said Bette K. Davis, coordinator of the HASS office.

Typically, the number of students that get their first choice is 83 to 91 percent of the total who enter the lottery, Davis said. "The vast majority of of HASS-Ds are not overenrolled."

The same courses are expected to be oversubscribed, she said. These include Writing and Reading the Essay (21W735), Harmony and Counterpoint I (21M301), and Introduction to Psychology (9.00), Davis said.

Like last year, only one section of 21W735 will be offered. Before that, there were three oversubscribed sections, Davis said. This year, it will be very oversubscribed.

Reaction to the new lecturer for 9.00, Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences Steven Pinker, who started last year, seems to have been positive, and the class will still be the largest HASS course at MIT,Davis said.

There will be 14 teaching assistants, each with two sections of 13 students, making 364 students total, Davis said. Even so, it will almost certainly be oversubscribed, she said.

The HASS-D lottery may be activated be typing "add hass-d" and then "xenroll &" from an Athena terminal. The same command will display students' assignments after the lottery is complete.

The deadline for entries is noon on Tuesday, which is Registration Day. The results will definitely be available by midnight and possibly earlier.

PE lottery sees few changes

The PE lottery has not changed this year in any significant way, said Candace L. Royer, director of physical education.

The only change in course offerings is that there will be no pistol classes this quarter, although they will resume next quarter, she said.

Royer said that some classes are typically very popular, like sailing, aerobics, tennis, and weight training. Conversely, some activities, like swimming and table tennis, usually have many open slots.

Students may run the PE lottery by typing "add pelott" and then "xphedu &" from an Athena terminal.

The results of the lottery will be available before midnight next Wednesday, the day the lottery closes.