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Prizes offered for residence-system ideas

Up to six people from the team that comes up with the winning redesign of MIT's residence system will win a trip to England. The second-place team will win a trip to California.

A celebration launching the community-based process of designing the new residence system will take place today (January 13) starting at 3pm in Lobby 10 and moving into the Bush Room (10-105) from 3-5pm for free ice cream and a pep talk from the event's organizers.

Organizers hope to bring together a diverse group of MIT faculty, staff, students, alumni/ae and parents for a two-week IAP session that aims to produce a design for a new approach to living and learning at MIT.

Among other issues, the design will address how first-year students select housing, the timing of dorm and fraternity/sorority independent living group rush as well how faculty and students interact overall.

Tomorrow and Friday will feature auxiliary team-building exercises in preparation for the IAP session called A Community Shapes Its Future: Designing the New Residence System at MIT, which will run from January 19-29. Kirk Kolenbrander, associate dean in the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education, noted that while this seems like a large time commitment, it is not necessary for every team member to be present at all of every session, and the second week consists of unstructured meetings scheduled at the convenience of team members. Preregistration is not necessary.

During the first five days of the session, participants will take part in a forum to propose designs for the system from 1-4pm in McCormick dining hall. The teams, which can be any size, can be pre-formed by participants or created after the session is under way. While not every participant has to attend every design and discussion session, each team must be represented at each of the sessions.

For the second five-day period, from January 24-28, teams will develop system design proposals, which will be presented to the residence system steering committee on January 29 at 1pm in Rm 10-250. Outstanding designs will serve as the foundation for community discussion throughout the spring semester. A maximum of six of the first-prize winners will get a chance to visit the model Cambridge University residence system in England and second-prize winners can choose to visit Stanford or Caltech.

Experts discuss Internet2 and MIT today

A day-long IAP seminar on Internet2 and its applications for MIT will be held today (January 13) from 8:30am-4:30pm in Rm 10-250.

Internet2: The Next High-Performance Network for Higher Education will open with remarks by James Bruce, vice president for information systems, and Vijay Kumar, director of academic computing. Internet2 is a collaborative effort by more than 120 US universities to develop advanced Internet technology and applications vital to the research and education missions of higher education.

From 9:15-11am, Jeff Schiller, network manager with Information Systems, and Ted Hanss, director of applications development for Internet2, will discuss engineering issues, immersive environments, "middleware" and high-performance communications networks.

Presentations and discussion from 11am-noon and 1:30-3pm will take place on MIT applications including the interactive Shakespeare archive, the hypermedia documentary "Berliner sehen" and research TV.

The ins and outs of science reporting

Ever see a story in the media dealing with an aspect of science that you know something about? Chances are that you thought one of two things: that the reporter did a pretty good job, or that he or she got it completely wrong.

Come to an IAP session on January 28 from 3-5 p.m. in Rm 3-370 to hear MIT's very own science journalists-in-residence, the Knight Science Journalism Fellows, talk about how the mass media deal with science and how scientists can deal more effectively with the media.

The eight Fellows and program director Boyce Rensberger, formerly of the Washington Post, will talk candidly about how the mass media work, how they treat science and how scientists should treat them. Also addressed will be questions such as: Does a scientist have the right to read a story before it's published? What should a scientist do if a story misrepresents his or her work? When should a researcher call a press conference? What does it mean to go "off the record?"

The current Knight Fellows are Kevin Coughlin, technology reporter for the Star-Ledger in Newark, NJ; Kerry Fehr-Snyder, technology reporter for the Arizona Republic in Phoenix; Venkatesh Hariharan, a freelance electronics reporter in Bombay, India; Andrew Lawler, science policy reporter for Science magazine in Washington, DC; Robin Lloyd, science writer for the Pasadena (CA) Star-News; Daniel Pendick, a freelance writer in Milwaukee; Bruce Schechter, a freelance writer in Altadena, CA; and Claudia Wassmann, a television science journalist in Heidelberg, Germany.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 13, 1999.

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