ESG Seminars Descriptions
ESG sponsors 5-10 six unit pass/fail seminars each spring on a variety of innovative subjects not covered in the regular curriculum, including psychology, chemistry, social networking, mathematics, and physics. These seminars are open to all MIT students as well as ESG students and are intended to be hands-on and experiential in nature. Seminars listed below will be offered in spring 2013. For more information about our series, see the article by Dr. Holly Sweet.
Spring 2013 Seminars at ESG
All seminars are six units P/F credit unless noted otherwise.
ES.010 Chemistry of Sports
Instructors: Patti Christie, Steve Lyons
Time and location: Wednesdays 3-5 in 24-619
This seminar is an exciting way for students to study and apply chemistry knowledge to the improvement of their biological systems. We will be focusing on three sports (swimming, cycling and running), with a slight emphasis on running. There will be both a classroom and laboratory component to the seminar. The classroom component will introduce the students to the chemistry of their own biological systems. We will look at nutrition (to understand how to fuel and rebuild your body), anatomy and physiology (to better build your system), and how the body can be improved (or hurt) through physical activities. We will examine the chemistry of sports equipment including swimming (wetsuit and swimsuit manufacture), bicycling (including a field trip to a bicycle shop), and running (how running shoes are manufactured). We will also look at ways your body deals with exercise through building up and repair of muscles, improvement in lung and cardiovascular capacity, the chemistry of supplements and their effectiveness, and how we can use this knowledge to improve our physical fitness. The two components to the laboratory portion of the class are the running study and training for and completing a triathlon. The students can earn up to 2 PE points during the term if they attend the supervised Triathlon training workouts. The students can also earn some PE points by completing the Mooseman Triathlon in NH in early June. Upon completion of the running study, participants will own a new pair of Newton running shoes and a heart rate monitor.
ES.S10 Introduction to Psychopharmacology
Instructor: Zak Fallows (staff supervisor: Patti Christie)
Time and location: TBA
People take drugs. They take drugs that make their noses stop running and drugs that make them see crazy colors. They take miracle drugs and drugs that probably shouldn't be sold. This seminar will explain how all of these substances interact with our bodies, and will serve as a forum for conversations on pharmacological current events and research. Planned topics include: over-the-counter drugs and "dietary supplements," drugs of abuse, treatments for neurological disorders, hormone-based therapies, and many more. Prior experience is neither expected nor required, but a willingness to participate in discussions is a must!
ES. S60 Art and Science of Happiness
Time and location: Tuesdays 3-5 in 24-619
In the seminar we will look at current theories on happiness and positive psychology as well as practical implications of those theories for our own lives. We will explore the concept of happiness, different cultural definitions of happiness, and the connection between happiness, optimism, and meaning. Time will be spent on sources of unhappiness particularly applicable to undergraduates (such as academic failure and social rejection) and how to help turn those crises into opportunities for growth. Weekly class discussions will be supplemented with speakers, movie clips, in-class exercises, surveys, and student presentations on a topic of their choosing. Readings will include excerpts from The Art of Happiness, Stumbling into Happiness, The Geography of Bliss, and Learned Optimism.
ES.S61 Introduction to Trading
Instructors: Kanjun Qiu, ’12 Di Wu ‘13, Ted Hilk ‘13 & Thiago Vieria ‘13
Faculty supervisor: Professor Alex Slocum
Time and location: TBA
The goal of this seminar is to teach students trading fundamentals and strategies not commonly taught in business or finance classes. Our class will help prepare students for future full-time jobs and internships. At the end of the term, students will be able to understand the basics of trading and exchanges, discuss markets fluently, generate models using Excel, and, most importantly, are able to create their own trading strategies.
ES.S71 Producing Educational Videos (nine units)
Dave Custer, Graham Ramsay
Time and location: Mondays 3-5 p.m. in 24-619
ES.S71 provides students with an opportunity to produce educational videos. This seminar teaches the skills required to conceive, plan, script, shoot, and edit video content to teach elements of MIT’s GIR curriculum. Using these skills, each student will create a short (5-10 minute) video that concisely explains and contextualizes specific problems in physics, math, chemistry, biology, or the humanities. The resulting videos present these problems through compelling use of illustrations, demonstrations, animations, and commentary—all from the student’s perspective. The video production experience empowers students to communicate their GIR expertise to broad communities of learners.