An MIT Alumni Association Publication

Podcast: Dignity, Taste, and Charm: A Tour of IAP

  • Nicole Morell

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On a campus with a wealth of acronyms, one is on every lip this time of year—IAP. Since 1971, the Independent Activities Period (IAP) has provided members of the MIT community “with a unique opportunity to organize, sponsor, and participate in a wide variety of activities.” This means that each year more than 600 non-credit IAP activities give students, staff, alumni, and faculty a chance to learn and do just about anything.

But how do you narrow down the hundreds of classes to just a few choices for your schedule? In this Slice of MIT podcast, we take a tour of three 2017 IAP classes and one old favorite. Learn about these classes in the podcast:

Read the episode transcript.

AI, Mass Automation, and the Evolution of Human Dignity

In a discussion course led by Venmo co-founder Andrew Kortina, students will think about the effects of automation on their sense of self and dignity. Look for Kortina’s take on French philosopher Albert Camus and how writing published 75 years ago relates to the modern effects of work and artificial intelligence.

Bestial Sense: A Smell and Taste Workshop

History, Anthropology, and Science Technology and Society graduate student Jia-Hue Lee believes our sense of taste and smell don’t get their due for being integral senses. He is leading a workshop focused on the senses and invites students to smell, taste, and classify.

Media for Movement Building: Making Podcasts about Urban Planning in East Boston

With support from MIT’s CoLab, the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the MIT-SUTD Collaboration, Lawrence Barriner II ’11, MCP ’14 is working to empower students and residents to share their stories of life and change in East Boston. Working with radio producer Marie Choi, students will learn to create a podcast and engage local storytellers.

Charm School

Charm School is an IAP favorite so popular that it is being transformed into permanent programming for new students. Listen as Robert Dimmick, former Charm School instructor, shares etiquette tales and tips that could only happen at MIT.

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