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First Inclusive CPW Draws 784 Prefrosh

By Sanjay Basu

A total of 784 prospective freshmen, 437 parents, and 90 alumni are now on campus for the opening of Campus Preview Weekend. This year marks the first time MIT has invited all of its admitted students to the event at once.

“We’re excited to have this many people here,” said Director of Admissions Marilee Jones. “It’s a first for us.”

In past years, Campus Preview Weekend was intended solely for women and underrepresented minorities.

The weekend officially began Thursday with registration and campus tours. The major events begin today, however, with lectures by prominent alumni, departmental open houses, and laboratory tours.

The MIT Office of Admissions has also scheduled appointments between financial aid officers and students today in order to discuss money options for prospective students. Between these events, prefrosh will be going on campus tours and attending meetings about the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

The admissions office scheduled an academic exposition today at 4 p.m. to show students various major options at MIT. A parent-to-parent session will occur before the event and will include a discussion between current MIT parents and parents of admitted students.

Professors address pre-frosh

Amidst all these activities, students and prefrosh alike can look forward to a series of lectures to be given by distinguished MIT faculty members.

Among the CPW speakers are prominent computer scientists Harold Abelson ’73 and Alan B. Davidson ’89. Abelson is a professor of computer science and electrical engineering and is well-known for his knowledge of societal issues surrounding network computing. He is also the recipient of the prestigious MacVicar Award for Undergraduate Instruction.

Davidson, a computer scientist, lawyer, and MIT alumnus, is the Staff Counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington, D.C. civil liberties association.

Abelson and Davidson will discuss the legal and ethical challenges that reflect the tension between individual rights and societal needs with regards to the Internet.

“MIT researchers and alumni have been prominent contributors in dealing with these issues, in terms of both technology and policy,” Abelson said. “In this session, we’ll discuss some of today’s pressing issues -- contact control, privacy, copyright -- and describe how these are being addressed.”

Abelson welcomes current students as well as admitted students to the lecture.

Another lecture will simultaneously be given by Whitehead Institute researcher Harvey F. Lodish, who is noted for his discoveries about the properties of cell surface proteins.

Lodish will be joined by noted Biology professors Hazel L. Sive and Paul T. Matsudaira. Sive is well-known for his discoveries on vertebrate development. Matsudaira is famous for his research on the structure and function of the cytoskeleton and for his discoveries concerning miniaturized ultra-fast bioanalytical devices. Matsudaira is also the founding editor of the Biology Undergraduate Journal.

“During the lecture, my colleagues and I are going to talk generally about biology here at MIT and specifically about undergraduate research,” Lodish said. “I want to emphasize how much this program has to offer to undergraduates.

Chemist, writer speak tomorrow

Tomorrow’s lectures will include Chemical Engineering Professor Paula T. Hammond ’84, who will give a technical talk on surface chemistry and micron-sized structures.

“These structures are formed using a concept called ‘self-assembly’ in which materials arrange in specific ways based on intermolecular interactions,” Hammond said.

The lecture is designed to show prefrosh what a technical lecture experience may feel like, while simultaneously discussing with them a novel technology. Hammond is well-known for her innovative research in polymer science and intermolecular interactions.

Prefrosh also have the option of attending a reading by Professor Alan P. Lightman. Lightman is a John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities, and is a well-known for his work in both astrophysics and creative writing. Lightman has published two novels, three collections of essays, and six nonfiction works. His books have been translated into 30 languages.