Nobody’s Got No Class! by Mitra L. '07
I was browsing through the MIT Course Catalog, and thought these classes looked pretty thought-provoking.
(It’s from “Chicago,” people)
I was browsing through the MIT Course Catalog, and thought these classes looked pretty thought-provoking. (I stuck only to classes that were offered this fall.) Feel free to add your own favorites.
SEM.142 Sex and the [City] Institute: An Exploration of Gender Roles and Sexuality
Ms. Laura Anne Stuart, MIT Medical Department
Units: 2-0-4 [P/D/F]
Using the popular cable television series “Sex and the City” as a catalyst for discussion, seminar participants will examine gender roles, gender stereotypes, and sexuality. We will especially focus on changes in gender role and expectation over the past two decades and the impact that “Sex and the City” and other media have had on current college students’ perceptions and behaviors. Topics of interest will include: dating, relationships, sexual health, balancing plans for career and family, body image, and sexual orientation. Seminar participants will also explore whether experiences of characters in “Sex and the City” are generalizable to people of differing racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds. Students enrolled in the seminar will be required to actively participate in class discussion and to complete a final written project. No prior knowledge of “Sex and the City” is required to participate in the seminar. Both men and women are welcome and encouraged to enroll. Limited to 20 students.
Lots more, so keep reading!
1.002J Colossal Failures in Engineering
(Same subject as 3.001J, 10.06J, 22.001J, ESD.032J)
Case studies of known “colossal failures” from different engineering disciplines. Includes the collapse of the World Trade Center, the Columbia Space Shuttle accident, and the melt down at Chernobyl. Basic engineering principles are stressed with descriptions of how the project was supposed to work, what actually went wrong, and what has been done to prevent such failures from reoccurring. Can be substituted for one CI-HASS subject.
O. Buyukozturk, T. Eagar, A. Kadak, J. Freidberg, B. S. Johnston
4.605 Introduction to the History and Theory of Architecture
Provides an outline of the history of architecture and urbanism from Ancient Egypt to the present. Analyzes buildings as the products of culture and in relation to the special problems of architectural design. History of architecture with an urbanist perspective that stresses the cultural and political context from which building arises. Designed to develop critical tools used in the analysis and appreciation of architecture for its role in creating the intellectual environment in which we conduct our lives. Required of Course IV majors. Instruction and practice in oral and written communication provided.
D. H. Friedman
7.24 The Protein Folding Problem
(Subject meets with 5.48J, 7.88J, 10.543J)
Prereq: 7.05 or 5.07
Mechanisms by which the amino acid sequence of polypeptide chains determines their three-dimensional conformation. Topics include: sequence determinants of secondary structure; folding of newly synthesized polypeptide chains within cells; unfolding and refolding of proteins in vitro; folding intermediates aggregation and competing off-pathway reactions; role of chaperonins, isomerases, and other helper proteins; protein recovery problems in the biotechnology industry; diseases associated with protein folding defects.
J. A. King
8.261J Introduction to Computational Neuroscience
(Same subject as 9.29J)
Prereq: 18.03 and 8.02 or permission of instructor
Mathematical introduction to the biophysics and circuits underlying neural computation. Topics include: neuronal excitability, dendrites and cable theory, models of synaptic transmission, single-neuron dynamics, oscillators and sequence generation, computation and dynamics in simple neuronal networks. Concepts applied to simple computing circuits in the behaving animal.
9.22J A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain (New)
(Same subject as HST.422J)
Introduction to normal and abnormal human brain functioning, including the cellular basis of activity-dependent development, critical periods, and plasticity of the brain through learning; neurotransmitters and emotional disorders; fMRI studies of vision, language, dyslexia, motor function, pain, placebo effects and emotional states. Hawkins’ hypothesis describing how the brain works. Implications for education, prevention of dementia and dyslexia. Enrollment limited to 25.
T. N. Byrne
11.017 Urban Space and Society (New)
Focuses on how the spaces of the modern city relate to its social life. Explores six conditions of urban space: the positive aspects of density; the qualities of liveliness; the distinction between borders and boundaries; the dilemmas of security; the problems of monotony and repetition; the nature of complexity and mixed use. Relates these conditions to sociological analyses and debates about crowding, impersonality and community, segregation, the operations of power, networks and personal freedom in the city. Combines lectures on social theory with field-work in which students illustrate a spatial-social issue photographically and discuss the result.
(A little biased because I’m an econ major…)
14.21J Health Economics
(Same subject as HST.901J)
Applies theoretical and empirical tools of economics to problems of health and medical care delivery. Concentrates on selected problems such as the welfare economics of “health” as a commodity, hospitals and the nonprofit sector, human capital and medical manpower, and innovation in medicine.
J. E. Harris
14.41 Public Finance and Public Policy
Explores the role of government in the economy, applying tools of basic microeconomics to answer important policy questions such as government response to global warming, school choice by K-12 students, Social Security versus private retirement savings accounts, national versus price controlled health insurance, setting income tax rates for individuals and corporations.
16.30 Estimation and Control of Aerospace Systems
Prereq: 16.06 or 16.060 or 2.010 or 6.302
The design of control systems using frequency domain and state space techniques. Control law design using Nyquist diagrams and Bode plots. State feedback, state estimation, and the design of dynamic control laws. Elementary analysis of nonlinearities and their impact on control design. Extensive use of computer-aided control design tools. Applications to various aerospace systems including navigation, guidance, and control of vehicles.
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.
P. W. Shor
21A.219J Law and Society
(Same subject as 11.163J, 17.249J)
Subject studies legal reasoning, types of law and legal systems, and relationship of law to social class and social change. Emphasis on the profession and practice of law including legal education, stratification within the bar, and the politics of legal services. Investigation of emerging issues in the relationship between institutions of law and science. Enrollment limited.
MAS.234J Perception, Knowledge, and Cognition
(Same subject as 9.34J)
Prereq: 9.00 or permission of instructor
The acquisition and communication of knowledge demands a coherent cognitive framework within which we can reason about events and states in the world. Subject examines what frameworks are plausible, and how these choices affect our deductive and creative processes. Material includes world regularities and perceptual inference, causal reasoning, representational forms, belief structures, mental models, man-machine control, and discourse.
W. A. Richards