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Forum examines Islam and democracy

The Boston Review and the CIS Starr Forum at MIT's Center for International Studies will host a discussion titled "Islam and the Challenge of Democracy" in Wong Auditorium on Monday, May 12 at 11 a.m. The one-hour discussion will be taped for broadcast on the WBUR (90.9 FM) program "On Point." Program host Tom Ashbrook will lead the discussion with Atlantic Monthly editor and "On Point" contributor Jack Beatty. The audience must be seated by 10:45 a.m.

The jumping-off point for the event will be a recent article in the Boston Review by Khaled Abou El Fadl, the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Fellow in Islamic Law at UCLA and author of "The Place of Tolerance in Islam." In his article, he argues that democracy poses a formidable challenge for Islam but also that precepts compatible with democracy can be found in the Quran. The article is online at

Those who wish to attend may e-mail Confirmations will be sent on a first-come, first-served basis, with printouts of the e-mail serving as tickets. You may also call Sarah Anderson at 324-0079.

'Going the distance' for SEED

Blimps and vehicles launched by catapults will be among the events this Thursday, May 8 at the Engineering Enrichment and Discovery (SEED) Academy's final presentation reception from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Student Center's La Sala de Puerto Rico.

SEED, a four-year college preparatory and career exploration program for promising urban high school students from Boston and Cambridge, aims to motivate and equip participants to pursue technical careers by strengthening their fundamental math, science and communication skills. This spring, the ninth-graders studied mechanical engineering, and their final project involves building catapults while the 10th-graders worked in aeronautics and astronautics and built self-powered aircraft.

Alumni Association woos 2003 grads

"You Made It," a web site ( launched last week by the Association of Alumni/ae, introduces new graduates to the free programs and services available to them as alumni. These include E-mail Forwarding for Life; the Infinite Connection, a suite of online services to help graduates stay in touch with classmates and the Institute; the Institute Career Assistance Network, an alumni database for career networking; and information on how to stay connected to graduating classes, graduate schools and special affinity group constituencies such as black alumni, women alumni, lesbian, gay and bisexual alumni, and others. Also on the site, graduating seniors can vote for their alumni year class officers until May 15 and find links to the senior elections and senior gift sites.

Foreign scholarship meetings for juniors

Informational meetings for juniors interested in applying for major foreign scholarships (Rhodes, Marshall, Churchill, Fulbright, Gates, DAAD and Bosch) will be held on Thursday, May 8 and Tuesday, May 13 from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. in Bechtel Lecture Hall (Room 1-390). For information, contact Professor Linn Hobbs at 253-6835 or

MIT Press starts print-on-demand

Paperback copies of 1,750 out-of-print titles previously published by the MIT Press will now be available via print-on-demand. The MIT Press Classics Series uses PDF files that were previously scanned from books and converted to PDFs using a process developed by Hewlett-Packard and MIT Press. The PDFs are checked for print quality and then shipped to Edwards Brothers, a short-run printer, which stores the electronic data and then prints, binds, packages and ships the books as needed. The program will allow the MIT Press to offer more titles to its customers without having to keep all the books in inventory. For more information, go to

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 7, 2003.

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