For more than 30 years, the Independent Activities Period (IAP) has provided a mixture of serious discussions and whimsical activities, food, fun, wine and games for the MIT community during January.
The year 2003 is no exception.
The 2003 IAP Bulletin lists 636 non-credit activities and 85 subjects offered for credit starting on Monday, Jan. 6, and culminating in the ninth session of Charm School on Friday, Jan. 31. Paper copies of the IAP Bulletin are available in Lobby 7 and in Room 11-120, the Stratton Student Center and other campus locations.
The Office of Career Service and Preprofessional Counseling is sponsoring 13 courses, including sessions on choosing careers, applying for a job, evaluating offers and networking. The MIT Association of Alumni and Alumnae, the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology and the Public Service Center are also sponsoring career-related activities.
The MIT Libraries will sponsor 31 sessions that include many new topics as well as popular courses given in the past. Several will be repeated at different times to accommodate individual schedules. New learning formats are also being introduced. For example, "Find it Fast! With Electronic Resources" will feature 15-minute demonstrations in Lobby 10 on Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. These quick sessions will include "How to Find Recent News Articles in the New York Times" and "Beyond Trivia: Fast Facts Online."
Returning Libraries courses include two "Everything You Wanted to Know about Patents" sessions: "Patent Searching Fundamentals" and "The Patent Process." For the fourth year in a row, Daniel Eppelsheimer of Dewey Library will lead a three-session introduction to photography workshop, "For Light in the Shadows."
Other IAP highlights:
Whitehead Institute Director Susan Lindquist and Professor Hazel L. Sive will discuss "Balancing Family and Science" at the Whitehead Auditorium on Thursday, Jan. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Professor Linn W. Hobbs will conduct the 22nd version of "In Vino Veritas," a course in wine appreciation, from Jan. 13-23. Professors Leslie C. Perelman and James W. Harris will discuss Spanish culture, sample tapas and sip Spanish wine with 30 "In Vino Veritas" graduates on Monday, Jan. 27 and Wednesday, Jan. 29. Cheeses from Italy and France are featured in a discussion and tasting led by Ihsan Gurdal, owner of Formaggio, on Thursday, Jan. 23.
There are single-session courses devoted to making juggling clubs from recycled materials (Sunday, Jan. 12) and "Introduction to Yo-Yos and Yo-Yoing" (Thursday, Jan. 16). Five courses involve Japanese animation.
For lovers of sports and games, there are 56 activities sponsored by the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation, as well as bridge, chess, mah jongg, Nanopunk, Go, Rhythmomachy and College Bowl instruction and competitions.
As for whimsy, how about "Stitch and Kvetch" (Thursday, Jan. 16) and "Duct Tape Delusions" (Thursday, Jan. 23 and Friday, Jan. 24)?
Old favorites on the schedule include the 12th annual salute to Dr. Seuss, the MLK Design Seminar, and 6.270, the famed LEGO robot design competition.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 11, 2002.