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MIT student blogger Jessie L. '07

And term starts again… by Jessie L. '07

Soon, there will be real entries! Sorry, it’s been a crazy last couple of weeks. In the meantime, I’ll entertain you with a list of my classes this term. The descriptions are yoinked from the online course catalogue.

18.310 (Principles of Applied Mathematics)

Study of illustrative topics in discrete applied mathematics including sorting algorithms, information theory, coding theory, secret codes, generating functions, linear programming, game theory.

My comments: The description sounded fun. I want to beef up my math background. Prof. Kleitman is a zany, charismatic mad scientist type.

18.440 (Probability and Random Variables)

Probability spaces, random variables, distribution functions. Binomial, geometric, hypergeometric, Poisson distributions. Uniform, exponential, normal, gamma and beta distributions. Conditional probability, Bayes theorem, joint distributions. Chebyshev inequality, law of large numbers, and central limit theorem.

My comments: My last unfulfilled Course 9 requirement is a probability/statistics class.

9.71 (Functional MRI of High-Level Vision)

Basics of fMRI, the strengths and limitations of fMRI compared to other techniques, and the design and analysis of fMRI experiments, focusing primarily on experiments on high-level vision. Upon completion, students should be able to understand and critique published fMRI papers, have a good grasp of what is known about high-level vision from fMRI, and design their own fMRI experiments. Enrollment limited to 15.

My comments: I don’t even need this class. I already have enough Course 9 classes. But this class is going to be so cool. And it gives me free pizza once a week.

9.75 (Psychology of Gender and Race)

Examines evidence (and lack thereof) regarding when and how an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are affected by gender and race. Topics include gender and racial factors in identity development, cognition and emotion, stereotypes, physical and mental health, sexuality, close relationships, and work. Fall 2006 topic: U.S. focus on race and gender. Spring 2007 topic: international focus on gender, ethnicity and trauma. Enrollment limited to 25.

My comments: It fulfills one of my two remaining unfulfilled HASS (Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) requirements.

17.405 (Seminar on Politics and Conflicts in the Middle East)

Focuses on evolution of contemporary politics and economics. Subject divided into five parts: historical context of conflicts; domestic and regional politics; civil and cross-border conflicts; geostrategic challenges; conflict resolution and peace processes. Interactions and spillover effects explored, and alternative models of conflict(s) designed.

My comments: It will finish my HASS requirement and my HASS concentration. It hasn’t met yet.

Hey freshmen, how are your classes so far? I got to see lots and lots of you during Orientation. :)

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