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Course X Senior Year Wins Big Screw


Thomas E. Murphy--The Tech
Senior Lecturer C. Michael Mohr '55 was named the winner of this year's Big Screw Award. The competition raised $896.36 for charity.

By Krista L. Niece
Associate News Editor

The Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity presented its annual Big Screw faculty award to Chemical Engineering Senior Lecturer C. Michael Mohr '55 on Wednesday.

APO members thanked Mohr for representing Course X senior year and presented him with his trophy:a three-foot aluminum left-handed wood screw.

They composed and sang a new verse to the tune of the Engineers' Drinking Song, which called chemical engineers "the bravest souls at MIT" and denounced the senior year workload in Course X.

The senior-level chemical engineering classes, Integrated Chemical Engineering I and II (10.490, 10.491), are notorious for exceeding the 12-unit workload.

Mohr, who also serves as the department's undergraduate officer, accepted the screw in good humor, saying that he "couldn't have done it alone."

Until the very last day of the competition, Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences Stephan L. Chorover was in the lead. Last fall, Chorover proposed a faculty motion that would recommend that all freshmen should be housed on campus.

By Friday morning, Chorover had $169.36, while Mohr lagged behind at $42.83.

"The Course X people really rallied toward the end," said Emily M. Marcus '01, an APOmember. On the last day, almost $200 was added to Mohr's jar, bringing his total to $233.82, enough to beat Chorover's total of $201.75.

The Course X students "just descended on the booth Friday,"said Jacob S. Beal '00, chair of the Big Screw committee.

Other candidates this year includedDean of Students and Undergraduate Education Rosalind H. Williams; Professor Nigel H. M. Wilson PhD '70, who teaches Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving (1.00); Director of Libraries Ann J. Wolpert; Professor of Biology Gene M. Brown, who teaches General Biochemistry (7.05); Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum Kip V. Hodges PhD '82; and Undergraduate Research Opportunities ProgramStaff Associate Michael Bergren.

Altogether $896.56 was raised between the eight official candidates and various write-in candidates. All of the money will be donated to the charity Mohr chose, the Greater Boston Food Bank.

APO first awarded the Big Screw Award in 1967. The first big screw, which was wooden, now resides in the MIT Museum. The one awarded now is aluminum and bears the names of Mohr and the past 22 winners.

Last year, Assistant Dean for Residence and Campus Activities Neal H. Dorow, who also serves as adviser to fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups, won the Big Screw Award with $180.

The original statement of purpose for the award can be found in the 1967 APO Carnival Committee Report:"To award a four-foot long left-handed wood screw to that faculty member most deserving of such an award."