Reviews selected issues including learning, cognition, perception, foraging and feeding, migration and navigation, defense, and social activities including conflict, collaboration, courtship and reproduction, and communication. The interacting contributions of environment and heredity are examined and the approaches of psychology, ethology, and ecology to this area of study are treated. The relation of human behavior patterns to those of nonhuman animals is explored. Additional readings and a paper are required for graduate credit.
Systematic development of reading, writing, and oral communication skills. Introduction to advanced grammar that deepens the understanding of Japanese culture and society through reading and discussion. Lab work required. This course covers lessons 22 through 27 of Japanese: The Spoken Language by Eleanor H. Jordan with Mari Noda. The goal of the course is to continue to build oral proficiency by expanding your knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Class hours will be devoted to developing speaking skills in a variety of circumstances; making requests, invitations, apologies, suggestions, dealing with problems, expressing your opinions, etc. Grammatical and social appropriateness on your utterances will be stressed. Keep in mind that daily tape-work is essential.
Continuation of 21F.505. Further development of reading, writing, and oral communication skills. Extension of advanced grammar and further enhancement of advanced vocabulary. Variety of cultural elements studied through readings, video, and discussion. Lab work required. This course covers Lessons 27 through 30 of Japanese: The Spoken Language by Eleanor H. Jordan with Mari Noda. The goal of the course is to continue expanding grammar and vocabulary by further developing four skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The goal is to acquire the ability to use Japanese appropriately with increasing spontaneity emphasized, and to be prepared to become an independent learner to the point where you are capable of handling authentic Japanese by yourself, without fear or hesitation.
Advanced subject focusing on techniques, format, and prose style used in academic and professional life. Emphasis on writing as required in fields such as economics, political science, and architecture. Short assignments include: business letters, memos, and proposals that lead toward a written term project. Methods designed to deal with the special problems of those whose first language is not English. Successful completion satisfies Phase II of the Writing Requirement. This workshop is designed to help you write clearly, accurately and effectively in both an academic and a professional environment. In class, we analyze various forms of writing and address problems common to advanced speakers of English. We will often read one another's work.
Examines in detail the works of several American authors. Through close readings of poetry, novels, or plays, subject addresses such issues as literary influence, cultural diversity, and the writer's career. Topic: American Women Authors. This subject, crosslisted in Literature and Women's Studies, examines a range of American women authors from the seventeenth century to the present. It aims to introduce a number of literary genres and styles- the captivity narrative, slave novel, sensational, sentimental, realistic, and postmodern fiction- and also to address significant historical events in American women's history: Puritanism, the American Revolution, industrialization and urbanization in the nineteenth century, the Harlem Renaissance, World War II, the 60s civil rights movements. A primary focus will be themes studied and understood through the lens of gender: war, violence, and sexual exploitation (Keller, Rowlandson, Rowson); the relationship between women and religion (Rowlandson, Rowson, Stowe); labor, poverty, and working conditions for women (Fern, Davis, Wharton); captivity and slavery (Rowlandson, Jacobs); class struggle (Fern, Davis, Wharton, Larsen); race and identity (Keller, Jacobs, Larsen, Morrison); feminist revisions of history (Stowe, Morrison, Keller); and the myth of the fallen woman (take your pick). Essays and inclass reports will focus more particularly on specific writers and themes and will stress the skills of close reading, annotation, research, and uses of multimedia where appropriate. A classroom electronic archive has been developed for this course and will be available as a resource for images and other media materials.
This class analyzes complex biological processes from the molecular, cellular, extracellular, and organ levels of hierarchy. Emphasis is placed on the basic biochemical and biophysical principles that govern these processes. Examples of processes to be studied include chemotaxis, the fixation of nitrogen into organic biological molecules, growth factor and hormone mediated signaling cascades, and signaling cascades leading to cell death in response to DNA damage. In each case, the availability of a resource, or the presence of a stimulus, results in some biochemical pathways being turned on while others are turned off. The course examines the dynamic aspects of these processes and details how biochemical mechanistic themes impinge on molecular/cellular/tissue/organ-level functions. Chemical and quantitative views of the interplay of multiple pathways as biological networks are emphasized. Student work will culminate in the preparation of a unique grant application in an area of biological networks.
This course will acquaint the student with some of the ancient Greek contributions to the Western philosophical and scientific tradition. We will examine a broad range of central philosophical themes concerning: nature, law, justice, knowledge, virtue, happiness, and death. There will be a strong emphasis on analyses of arguments found in the texts.
History of Ancient Greece from the Bronze Age to the death of Alexander. Major social, economic, political, and religious trends. Homer, heroism, and the Greek identity; the hoplite revolution and the rise of the city-state; Herodotus, Persia, and the (re)birth of history; Empire, Thucydidean rationalism, and the Peloponnesian War; Platonic constructs; Aristotle, Macedonia, and Hellenism. Emphasis on use of primary sources in translation.
This course covers the history of Rome from its humble beginnings to the 5th century A.D. The first half covers Kingship to Republican form; the conquest of Italy; Roman expansion: Pyrrhus, Punic Wars and provinces; classes, courts, and the Roman revolution; Augustus and the formation of empire. The second half covers Virgil to the Vandals; major social, economic, political and religious trends at Rome and in the provinces. There is an emphasis on the use of primary sources in translation.
This class examines the ways humans experience the realm of sound and how perceptions and technologies of sound emerge from cultural, economic, and historical worlds. In addition to learning about how environmental, linguistic, and musical sounds are construed cross-culturally, students learn about the rise of telephony, architectural acoustics, and sound recording, as well as about the globalized travel of these technologies. Questions of ownership, property, authorship, and copyright in the age of digital file sharing are also addressed. A major concern will be with how the sound/noise boundary has been imagined, created, and modeled across diverse sociocultural and scientific contexts. Auditory examples--sound art, environmental recordings, music--will be provided and invited throughout the term.
A writing practicum associated with 11.200 and 11.205 that focuses on helping students present their ideas in cogent, persuasive arguments and other analytical frameworks. Reading and writing assignments and other exercises stress the connections between clear thinking, critical reading, and effective writing.
This course focuses on works that caught the popular imagination in the past or present. It emphasizes texts that are related by genre, theme or style. The books studied in this course vary from semester to semester, and the topic for Fall 2006 is Detective Fictions.
This course surveys the social science literature on civil war. Students will study the origins of civil war, discuss variables that affect the duration of civil war, and examine the termination of conflict. This course is highly interdisciplinary and covers a wide variety of cases.
In this interdisciplinary seminar, we explore a variety of visual and written tools for self exploration and self expression. Through discussion, written assignments, and directed exercises, students practice utilizing a variety of media to explore and express who they are.
Enzymes, nature's catalysts, are remarkable biomolecules capable of extraordinary specificity and selectivity. Directed evolution has been used to produce enzymes with many unique properties, including altered substrate specificity, thermal stability, organic solvent resistance, and enantioselectivity--selectivity of one stereoisomer over another. The technique of directed evolution comprises two essential steps: mutagenesis of the gene encoding the enzyme to produce a library of variants, and selection of a particular variant based on its desirable catalytic properties. In this course we will examine what kinds of enzymes are worth evolving and the strategies used for library generation and enzyme selection. We will focus on those enzymes that are used in the synthesis of drugs and in biotechnological applications. This course is one of many Advanced Undergraduate Seminars offered by the Biology Department at MIT. These seminars are tailored for students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current biological research in a highly interactive setting. Many instructors of the Advanced Undergraduate Seminars are postdoctoral scientists with a strong interest in teaching.
A brief history of conflicting ideas about mankind's relation to the natural environment as exemplified in works of poetry, fiction, and discursive argument from ancient times to the present. What is the overall character of the natural world? Is mankind's relation to it one of stewardship and care, or of hostility and exploitation? Readings include Aristotle, The Book of Genesis, Shakespeare, Descartes, Robinson Crusoe, Swift, Rousseau, Wordsworth, Darwin, Thoreau, Faulkner, and Lovelock's Gaia. This subject offers a broad survey of texts (both literary and philosophical) drawn from the Western tradition and selected to trace the growth of ideas about nature and the natural environment of mankind. The term nature in this context has to do with the varying ways in which the physical world has been conceived as the habitation of mankind, a source of imperatives for the collective organization and conduct of human life. In this sense, nature is less the object of complex scientific investigation than the object of individual experience and direct observation. Using the term "nature" in this sense, we can say that modern reference to "the environment" owes much to three ideas about the relation of mankind to nature. In the first of these, which harks back to ancient medical theories and notions about weather, geographical nature was seen as a neutral agency affecting or transforming agent of mankind's character and institutions. In the second, which derives from religious and classical sources in the Western tradition, the earth was designed as a fit environment for mankind or, at the least, as adequately suited for its abode, and civic or political life was taken to be consonant with the natural world. In the third, which also makes its appearance in the ancient world but becomes important only much later, nature and mankind are regarded as antagonists, and one must conquer the other or be subjugated by it.
Subject focused on forms of exposition, including narration, critique, argument, and persuasion. Frequent writing assignments, regular revisions, and short oral presentations are required. Readings and specific writing assignments vary by section. See subject's URL for enhanced section descriptions. Emphasis is on developing students' ability to write clear and effective prose. Students can expect to write frequently, to give and receive response to work in progress, to improve their writing by revising, to read the work of accomplished writers, and to participate actively in class discussions and workshops. Focus: What can we believe when we read an autobiography? How do writers recall, select, shape, and present their lives to construct life stories? Readings that ground these questions include selections from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Linda Brent (pseudonym for Harriet Jacobs), "A Sketch of the Past" by Virginia Woolf, Notes of A Native Son by James Baldwin, "The Achievement of Desire" by Richard Rodriguez, The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston, and "Our Secret" by Susan Griffin. Discussion, papers, and brief oral presentations will focus on the content of the life stories as well as the forms and techniques authors use to shape autobiography. We will identify masks and stances used to achieve various goals, sources and interrelationships of technical and thematic concerns, and "fictions" of autobiographical writing. Assignments will allow students to consider texts in terms of their implicit theories of autobiography, of theories we read, and of students' experiences; assignments also allow some autobiographical writing.
Formulating, organizing, and presenting ideas clearly in writing. Reviews basic principles of rhetoric. Focuses on development of a topic, thesis, choice of appropriate vocabulary, and sentence structure to achieve purpose. Develops idiomatic prose style. Gives attention to grammar and vocabulary usage. Special focus on strengthening skills of bilingual students. Successful completion satisfies Phase I of the Writing Requirement. The purpose of this course is to develop your writing skills so that you can feel confident writing the essays, term papers, reports, and exams you will have to produce during your career here at MIT. We will read and analyze samples of expository writing, do some work on vocabulary development, and concentrate on developing your ability to write clear, accurate, sophisticated prose. We will also deal with the grammar and mechanical problems you may have trouble with.
Major narrative texts from diverse Western cultures, beginning with Homer and concluding with at least one film. Emphasis on literary and cultural issues: on the artistic significance of the chosen texts and on their identity as anthropological artifacts whose conventions and assumptions are rooted in particular times, places, and technologies. Syllabus varies, but always includes a sampling of popular culture (folk tales, ballads) as well as some landmark narratives such as the Iliad or the Odyssey, Don Quixote, Anna Karenina, Ulysses, and a classic film. This class will investigate the ways in which the formal aspects of Western storytelling in various media have shaped both fantasies and perceptions, making certain understandings of experience possible through the selection, arrangement, and processing of narrative material. Surveying the field chronologically across the major narrative genres and sub-genres from Homeric epic through the novel and across media to include live performance, film, and video games, we will be examining the ways in which new ideologies and psychological insights become available through the development of various narrative techniques and new technologies. Emphasis will be placed on the generic conventions of story-telling as well as on literary and cultural issues, the role of media and modes of transmission, the artistic significance of the chosen texts and their identity as anthropological artifacts whose conventions and assumptions are rooted in particular times, places, and technologies. Authors will include: Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, Christian evangelists, Marie de France, Cervantes, La Clos, Poe, Lang, Cocteau, Disney-Pixar, and Maxis-Electronic Arts, with theoretical readings in Propp, Bakhtin, Girard, Freud, and Marx.
Complementary to 21L.001. A broad survey of texts; literary, philosophical, sociological; studied to trace the growth of secular humanism, the loss of a supernatural perspective upon human events, and changing conceptions of individual, social, and communal purpose. Stresses appreciation and analysis of texts that came to represent the common cultural possession of our time.