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IAP topics include love and paper-clip chains

Love, sex, marriage and how to elect a president are among the subjects to be explored during Independent Activities Period (IAP) from January 8 through February 2.

An up-to-date catalog of 600 activities (including 96 courses offered for credit) is available on line. Printed copies were distributed to all dormitories, Lobby 7, the Student Services Center in Rm 11-120, the IAP Office in Rm 7-104 and elsewhere around the Institute.

One course taught by Dr. Kim Blair, coordinator of the Sports Engineering Laboratory, is open to only two participants, each of whom will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Netherlands for the European Short Track Speed Skating championships from January 16-22. The sign-up deadline is Friday, Dec. 15.

Research scientist Alan Natapoff supports the Electoral College as a system "better than any ever proposed to replace it" on Wednesday, Jan. 17 in a lecture entitled "The Best Way to Elect a President: the Mathematics of Individual Voting Power and the Vices of Raw Popular Voting in Large Electorates."

Senior project manager Nancy Joyce and staff architect David Silverman of the Department of Facilities will discuss plans for the Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences on Friday, Jan. 12. Participation is limited to 80 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Graduate student Joseph "Jofish" Kaye will conduct a four-session seminar on "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Smell but Were Afraid to Ask" from January 16-19. Topics to be discussed include smell and learning, smell and sleep, smell and sex, perfumery, and his current research on smicons -- "smell as an abstract icon." Participants are welcome to individual sessions.

The curriculum also includes "Where Is Love?" on Thursday, Jan. 18; "Attachments: What's Love Got to Do with It?" on Wednesday, Jan. 24; "The Recovery of Love" on Thursday, Jan. 25; and "Healing for Broken Relationships" on Thursday, Feb. 1. Research engineer Ralph Burgess will lead Tuesday evening discussions on "Marriage Preparation" on January 9, 16, 23 and 30. Participants are asked to attend all sessions.

Charm School, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 2, has been moved to the Student Center. Professor Henry Jenkins will offer "The 10th Annual Salute to Dr. Seuss" on Thursday, Jan. 30. Volunteers are needed for a January 3 attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records standard for a paper-clip chain made by 60 or fewer persons within 24 hours. Contact junior Rhett Creighton at or 262-5090. The 2001 MIT Mystery Hunt is scheduled for January 12-15. Signup is required by January 1.

The Department of Mathematics invites bridge players to compete in a tournament dedicated to the memory of the late Professor Frank Peterson on Friday, Feb. 2. Literature faculty members offer "Pleasures of Poetry: Readings and Discussion of Memorable Poems" every day during IAP from 1-2pm in Rm 14E-304.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 6, 2000.

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