Feb 3, 2010
To Defeat the Huns
Posted in: Academics & Research
I am really excited for spring semester’s classes, and without further ado, let me tell you why. In no particular order, my classes:
7.013 – Introductory Biology (a GIR class)
I’m ALWAYS excited to take biology, but that interest usually fizzles out into indifference somewhere not too deep into the course. I think this has something to do with the science education track in American schools. I had learned some basic biology in 6th grade, some more in 7th grade, for a whole year in 9th (including some intense cramming for SAT Biology as I’m sure many of you are aware), and then hardcore AP Biology in 12th. It’s like – I know what meiosis and mitosis are, and why there is photosynthesis or ATP, but I can’t really tell you too many details. Yet when AP Biology came along, during which I’m supposed swallow down all the details, I felt already jaded by this subject that seems to always bounce back. But every time I have to take biology again, I’m excited again, since both of my parents are in the biology field – and well, I have lots of respect for their work.
I hope MIT’s 7.013 will be different, in that the professor will be engaging, the class less distracted than in AP Bio, and I myself more buckled down to memorize details. But speaking of which, I think I’m even more excited to see how MIT does biology. 18.01A-18.02A psets were definitely nothing like what we had in AP Calculus. How will 7.013 psets emphasize problem solving?
We had our first lecture yesterday, and to be honest, I was a little bit unpleasantly surprised. It seemed a lot like an Art History class, where pictures of famous or not-so-famous works are shown on the projector screen …and we talk…about it… I’m hoping that as the lectures go on, the “mass culture” portion will be adequately incorporated, because I’m more interested in how the evolving art world impacts every other aspect of society – education, recreation, commerce, politics, etc. – rather than a straightforward discussion of so and so modern artist’s characteristic technique. But with that said, I have everything to learn in this class, since I’ve never actually studied art in a books and concepts kind of way.
8.02 – Physics II – Electricity & Magnetism (also a GIR)
Oh, physics. This is probably the class I’m least looking forwards to. Lots of equations, calculations, math-like things. Not to mention it’s held in a basement – with no windows, or fresh air. At least it’s under Stata. But!!! I'm crazy excited that the classical theory of electromagnetism includes cool natural phenomena like the aurora borealis!!! I’m also happy that this class is not graded on a curve, which means what I give is what I get. It’s going to be hard, but at least I know I got most of the freshman class there with me. ‚ò∫
Well, I saved the best for last, didn’t I?
4.111 – Experiencing Architecture Studio
As I might have mentioned before, I will declare Course 4 – Architecture at the end of this semester. Which means! That 4.111 is the first studio in a sequence of studios I will have to take for the degree. 4.111 basically introduces design and basic architecture techniques to course 4 majors, minors, or just anyone interested. We had our first meeting today, and there were students cross-registered from Wellesley and Harvard – which is pretty cool. The class will be a mix of lectures and studio time – during which we complete model projects responding to tasks somewhere along the lines of “design a space for reading that overlooks something” – that’s the first assignment, in fact. The roughly 50 students in the class are divided into cohorts of 9, and each student will get his or her own work space and locker drawers!
In my fantasies, I imagine 4.111 being like Project Runway, where designers create their projects, meet some challenges along the way, but ultimately stand before the judges (in this case “reviewers” who may be graduate students or industry professionals) to defend their work and get evaluated. But I've also heard horror stories about studio students disappearing as the semester moves along, spending the night at their work spaces, etc. But for now, I’m just looking forward to next week – when I will meet my workspace and cohort and first lecture and first project! And you can look forward to a more detailed, photo-documented post about 4.111 in a week or two. Wheeeee.
I don’t want to go a post without visuals, so here’s my favorite discovery of the day. Anyone have a guess where these two adorable chairs are found? I’m so in love.
P.S. How awesome is it that this entry is entry # 4111.....woot.