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IAP 2000 Sports MIT Design Contest, Lecture Demo Series

By Naveen Sunkavally

This year’s Independent Activities Period (Jan. 4 - Jan. 28) will feature a design contest, a lecture demonstration series, and an Institute ball, while continuing to use the new web-based system introduced last year for registering activities.

Registering activities

While there is no strict guideline for registering an IAP activity, students wishing to register an activity to appear in the print guide must do so by October 27, said IAP Program Administrator Donna Friedman. Those students or student groups for whom the print guide is not a consideration may post their activities at any time, and the website will be updated accordingly through the end of IAP.

“The print guide will appear December 1,” Friedman said.

“Any student can individually sponsor an activity by going to the IAP website at <>” and following directions, Friedman said.

On the other hand, ASA-recognized student groups sponsoring activities must designate one to two IAP Program Coordinators who are authorized through Friedman to post that group’s listings. Further information about who may post, the posting procedures, and the appropriateness of activities can be found at the IAP website.

New events for IAP 2000

Among the new community-wide events being planned for IAP 2000 is a design contest on all aspects of MIT in the year 2030.

Some aspects include the physical structure of the campus, the structure of various schools, the type of instruction students receive in the future, and the residence community, said Associate Dean Kirk D. Kolenbrander, who is planning the contest.

Kolenbrander said the design contest will try to duplicate the “positive experience of last IAP’s residence system design contest in bringing faculty, staff, and students together.” The logistics of the contest are currently being worked out, he said.

IAP 2000 will also feature a lecture demonstration series in which junior faculty and those involved in interdisciplinary research will speak to and participate in forums with students about their research, said Assistant Professor David A. Mindell, chair of the IAP Planning Committee.

Van L. Chu ’99, a staff member in the Office of Academic Services who is working with Mindell in the forum project, said that there will be ten of these forums during IAP. “We’re hoping to get younger faculty to talk about their interdisciplinary research, and that students can get to see the exciting new things coming in the future [and] have a chance to meet faculty,” Chu said.

After each of the forums, students will also have the opportunity to go out to dinner with those faculty presenting their research, Chu said.

On Saturday, January 29, IAP will conclude with an Institute-wide ball as part of day-long party called the Millennial Institute Celebration, said Mindell. The celebration will occur on the 29th rather than earlier in the month in order to include as many students, faculty, and staff as possible, Mindell said.

In addition to the ball that day, it is expected that there will be music and performances and that the skating rink will be open, Chu said.

More Traditional Activities

About 45 activities have been entered through the web-based system so far, Friedman said.

Traditional and popular IAP activities include wine-tasting (open to only those of age) and glassblowing. For the second straight year, Leadershape will occur during IAP, from Jan. 9 to Jan. 14. About 60 undergraduates typically participate, and applications are due today at 5 p.m., Kolenbrander said.

Charm School, which was reinstituted last IAP after being discontinued for several years, will also happen, Friedman said.