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A History of Airborne Aircraft-Carriers
Jan/30 Tue 02:00PM–03:30PM

Special IAP Seminar hosted by the MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)



Historical account of the US military’s three major attempts at airborne aircraft-carriers along with why they ultimately terminated those programs/experiments. Further, a look at the future of this space and the impact of autonomous agents.


Nate Padgett 

Lieutenant Colonel Padgett is the United States Air Force’s 2023-2024 MIT Security Studies Program Military Fellow. Before coming to MIT, Lt Col Padgett served as the Senior Executive Officer for the Director of Staff, Headquarters Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. He previously commanded the 60th Operations Support Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, California.


Sponsor:  MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)

Open to the MIT community
MIT is committed to providing an environment that is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you need a disability related accommodation to attend or have other questions, please contact us at

BWSI Autonomous RACECAR IAP 2024
Jan/16 Tue 10:00AM–02:00PM
Jan/17 Wed 10:00AM–02:00PM
Jan/18 Thu 10:00AM–02:00PM
Jan/19 Fri 10:00AM–02:00PM

Autonomous RACECAR IAP Course

Instructors and engineers from MIT and Lincoln Labs will offer MIT students the opportunity to be the first to beta-test a newly developed mini-RACECAR prototype! Originally, the hardware and software that make up RACECAR were carefully crafted at MIT for a junior-level robotics course, also known as "Robotics: Science and Systems (6.141/16.405)". Every year, BeaverWorks Summer Institutes offers a rigorous derivative course that teaches high school students the fundamentals of robotics and programming, which prepare and encourage them to engage in similar STEM activities in their future.


Dubbed as model “neo” (package racecar-neo), the new mini-RACECAR prototype for 2024 consists of a Raspberry Pi 4, Arducam color and TOF cameras, YDLIDAR, and Adafruit IMU. Using the sensor suite, processing algorithms, and control fundamentals instructed in class, students will write Python scripts to implement autonomous behavior for the RACECAR to drive through a dynamic obstacle course. Several obstacles are made to challenge the utility of several sensors, such as line following for the color camera and wall following for the LIDAR sensor.


The IAP course is a hyper-accelerated version of the summer course, meant to stress test the various intricacies of the new hardware and software used. Over the four-day course, students will apply their skills in many different challenges and have the chance to troubleshoot, debug, and fix hardware components. By working with the engineers who developed RACECAR and collaborating with teammates, students will demonstrate fast, autonomous navigation at the Mini Grand Prix Final Event!


Email: Chris Lai at if interested in taking the course.


Event Name: Autonomous RACECAR IAP Course

Dates: Tuesday, January 16th, 2024 - Friday, January 19th, 2024

Time: 10:00am - 2:00pm  

Location: 33-339, 17-130

Bills and Billions: Policymaking in an Era of Transformation for U.S. Cities and States
Jan/30 Tue 09:00AM–01:00PM

Bills and Billions: Policymaking in an Era of Transformation for U.S. Cities and States

J. Phillip Thompson, Elisabeth Beck Reynolds

This IAP session will provide a high level overview of the key themes, policy topics and project/internship opportunities of the DUSP course, Bills and Billions, which will be taught in spring of 2024. The course engages with the theory and practice of public policy making and planning in the context of the U.S. political economy and changing national and global policy priorities and frameworks. These changes are driven in part by the passage of historic legislation of unprecedented federal funding in the U.S. along with billions in private sector investment which will flow to cities and states to fund physical infrastructure, digital infrastructure and clean energy over the next 10 years. The session will review recent changes to dominant policy paradigms and practice related to neoliberalism, globalization and industrial strategy in the context of race, equity, sustainability, technology and innovation among other topics. The class involves semester-long student projects with cities and states related to physical and climate infrastructure, particularly those communities that have been left behind, as well as opportunities for paid summer internships. 

Call to action! Addressing Urban Vulnerable Territories in Latin America and the Caribbean
Jan/26 Fri 08:45AM–04:30PM

One-day workshop leading to a holistic interdisciplinary discussion on urban vulnerable territories in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), with the aim of building a regional vision and advocating for systemic change. By analyzing common challenges in the LAC region—migration, climate, and urban inequality—we will examine specific cases and recent programs, such as the urbanization program of informal neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the Blocks of Care in Bogotá, Colombia; the Utopías in Iztapalapa, Mexico; and the National Urban Upgrading Program in Mexico.

This workshop seeks to bridge academia, think tanks, and practical applications, ultimately inspiring new utopian visions for the LAC region.

This event is open to the public and welcomes individuals with an interest in urban and environmental topics or a curiosity about the challenges faced by the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. We extend the invitation to MIT students, alumni, faculty, as well as communities from other universities, and members of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and its network.

This workshop is the result of the collaboration between the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; the Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies at DUSP, MIT; fellows (former and current) from the LOEB Fellowship at Harvard Graduate School of Design; and faculty members from The City College of New York, Columbia University and University of Texas.

To register: 

Carpentries@MIT: Intro to UnixShell/Python/Git
Jan/23 Tue 10:00AM–03:00PM
Jan/24 Wed 10:00AM–03:00PM
Jan/25 Thu 10:00AM–03:00PM
Jan/26 Fri 10:00AM–03:00PM

Software Carpentry aims to help researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic research computing skills. This hands-on introductory workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

This event takes place in person over four days, from 10am to 3pm each day. You are expected to attend the workshop on all four days. Lunch will be provided. If you can no longer make it to all four days of the workshop, please be sure to cancel your registration since we may have a long waiting list. Thank you!

For workshop details:

Important: after registering please follow the setup instructions on this linked page to install needed software and packages before attending the workshop. 

The Carpentries workshops have a code of conduct.

Registration is open to MIT affiliates starting December 10; non-MIT affiliates can register starting January 10. 


This workshop is co-sponsored by MIT Libraries and MIT Schwarzman College of Computing.

Computational modeling for clean, reliable, and affordable electricity
Jan/22 Mon 09:00AM–01:00PM
Jan/23 Tue 09:00AM–01:00PM
Jan/24 Wed 09:00AM–01:00PM
Jan/25 Thu 09:00AM–01:00PM
Jan/26 Fri 09:00AM–01:00PM

Monday, January 22-Friday, January 26, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm ET each day (5 classes)
NEW Location: Building 3-370
Register by January 21. Email Pablo Duenas (

This 5-session hands-on learning experience introduces analysis techniques to model and understand the role of electric power systems within a carbon-constrained economy. The massive deployment of intermittent renewables energy resources, the anticipated surge of active demand response and batteries, the development of smart grids, or the reliability of supply are among the critical challenges that must be faced by mathematical models for optimization, analysis, and simulation of complex decision-making processes in electricity systems. Besides a theoretical description of models, the instructors will provide students with a collection of prototypes that will allow them to run study cases and to explore the effect of different mathematical formulations on the outcomes. The use of these models in some real-world applications is also presented.


January 22

Part 0: Why models? Operating and planning under ever-evolving conditions

Part 1: Daily operation under renewable uncertainty

      1. Economic dispatch and unit commitment

      2. Stochastic unit commitment

January 23

Part 2: Operation planning: getting ready within a year

      3. Mid-term hydro-thermal coordination

      4. Deterministic and stochastic model

January 24

Part 3: Investing in generation to supply a growing demand

      5. Generation expansion planning

      6. GenX model: an expansion model for studying low-carbon energy futures

January 25

Part 4: Investing in transmission lines to unlock renewable potential

      7. Transmission expansion planning

      8. openTEPES model: G&T operation and expansion planning with renewable and storage

January 26

Part 5: Empowering end consumers for a clean and affordable transition

      9. A simplified model for scheduling a microgrid

    10. DECARB model: enabling buildings responsiveness for decarbonization



  • Andres Ramos – Professor at Universidad Pontificia Comillas,
  • Javier Garcia – Professor at Universidad Pontificia Comillas,
  • Pablo Duenas – Research Scientist at MIT Energy Initiative,
  • Ruaridh Macdonald – Research Scientist at MIT Energy Initiative,

PREREQUISITES: None (some GAMS/Python familiarity is helpful)
LIMITED: Students welcome to individual sessions

EC.050/EC.090 Re-create Experiments from History: Inform the Future from the Past
Jan/08 Mon 01:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/10 Wed 01:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/12 Fri 01:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/15 Mon 01:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/17 Wed 01:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/19 Fri 01:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/22 Mon 01:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/24 Wed 01:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/26 Fri 01:00PM–05:00PM
Jan/29 Mon 01:00PM–05:00PM

Offers students alternative exploratory experience in teaching, learning, and researching. Through collaborative activities with open-ended experiments from diverse origins, participants re-create historical instruments and discoveries that challenged assumptions and sparked new investigations. Student curiosity and questions shape specific course content. Assignments include observations, experiments, readings, journal writing and sketching, and a final reflective paper. 

Hands on Full Duplex Radio - IAP
Jan/29 Mon 12:00AM

Design, build and test your own full-duplex radio with real-world hardware/software engineering!

Full-duplex technology is revolutionizing the wireless world! This system concept is fundamentally different that traditional radios that divide transmission and reception in either time and/or frequency. Future networks will leverage this emerging technology to improve efficiency and enhance mobile user experiences. This course will introduce students to the various self-interference cancellation techniques that enable full-duplex operation in wireless systems and will allow them to create their own full-duplex radios through hands-on engineering with real-world hardware/software.  Must register by 1/22/2024

Email Ken Kolodziej to register for the class at

Hands on Holography IAP
Jan/08 Mon 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/10 Wed 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/12 Fri 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/17 Wed 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/19 Fri 10:00AM–12:00PM

What is holography? It's not just beautiful art – it's also a range of measurement techniques that let you record a 3D light field. Come learn the theory of wave optics, interference, and diffraction, and then make your own holograms in our hands-on lab! See what your favorite image looks like when turned into a computer-generated hologram. We'll also do demos and visit the newly renovated MIT Museum, home of the world's most comprehensive collection of holographic art. No prior background required. Must register by 12/22/2023.


Email to register. Limit 30 students. NOTE: All 5 class sessions are required.



IAP - Free Space Optical Communication
Jan/16 Tue 10:00AM–04:00PM
Jan/24 Wed 10:00AM–04:00PM
Jan/25 Thu 10:00AM–04:00PM
Jan/26 Fri 10:00AM–04:00PM

Free-space laser communication ( lasercom ) is poised to revolutionize space space-based data transmission by enabling links with vastly higher data rates and longer ranges than are practically achievable with radio radio-frequency systems. MIT Lincoln Laboratory and NASA recently demonstrated a record record-breaking high high-datadata-rate lasercom link from a spacecraft orbiting the moon to ground stations on Earth with the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration ( LLCD).

Although we won’t be sending laser beams into space, this class will provide students with hands hands-on experience designing and building a basic lasercom system. The accompanying lectures will provide an overview of lasercom concepts, lasers and optical components, lasercomlasercom-relevant electronics, communication link design, and analog and digital modulation techniques. Students will learn to apply these principles by building their own free free-space lasercom systems, and will work in teams to compete for a best best-project award.

Instructors (MITLL): Dave Caplan, Katia Shtyrkova, Rich Kaminsky, David Starling, Catherine Lockton, Jesse Chang

IAP - Software Defined Radio
Jan/10 Wed 01:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/11 Thu 01:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/17 Wed 01:00PM–04:00PM
Jan/18 Thu 01:00PM–04:00PM

Software-defined Radio (SDR) technology is having a tremendous impact not only in consumer devices but also in the areas of rapid prototyping and research and development.  MIT Lincoln Laboratory is offering a course to introduce students to SDR fundamentals and applications.  Students will gain hands-on experience with the USRP SDR platform ad GNU Radio toolkit, while learning theory and practice of digital signal processing and digital communications.  The course will consist of several projects, such as FM radio receivers, digital video transmissions and reception and spectrum sensing, highlighting the flexibility of software radios.

IAP Non-credit Activity: Tax Issues for Employees and Entrepreneurs
Jan/18 Thu 01:00PM–04:00PM

This course intends to expose students to a broad range of tax issues that students will encounter shortly after graduation as an entrepreneur or an employee. For a new employee, taxes are an important consideration in decisions regarding deductions and retirement savings (through employee and employer contributions such as 401k's IRAs, etc). Taxes feature prominently in decisions with respect to stock option-based compensation. Also, tax related issues for U.S. taxpayers working overseas will be addressed. For the entrepreneur, taxes also influence a new business venture's choice of entity: Corporation, LLC, Partnership, Sole Proprietorship.

This in-person session will be hosted inside of the E62 building, in classroom E62-250.

Instructor: Howard Mandelcorn is a partner at the Hutchings Barsamian Mandelcorn LLP law firm in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

IAP: Deep Learning Bootcamp
Jan/30 Tue 09:00AM–12:00PM

This boot camp will introduce you to the fundamentals of deep learning. What are deep networks and how do they work? We will start by introducing the key data structures and algorithms used by neural nets. Then we will cover popular architectures that build upon these structures, including convolutional networks, residual networks, and transformers. We will look in detail at how these architectures have been applied to the field of computer vision, and we will also give examples of applications in other areas, such as natural language processing and scientific data analysis. The course will also include a hands on tutorial where you will run and code simple networks in Pytorch in your browser.

Part of the Expanding Horizons in Computing IAP series presented by the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. See the full list of activities at

IAP: Global Agencies and Urban Challenges – keeping an eye on the World Bank
Jan/29 Mon 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/30 Tue 10:00AM–12:00PM

Global Agencies and Urban Challenges – keeping an eye on the World Bank

January 29, 10:00 to 12:00
De-mystifying the evaluation of World Bank financed urban projects. How is it done and what do they mean? – really!

The World Bank carries out a self-evaluation of each project it finances, and these evaluations are validated by the Independent Evaluations Group of the World Bank.  There is a systematic approach to assess the relevance, efficacy, and effectiveness of the operations resulting in project ratings.  The session will examine the evaluation process using several cases to exemplify the strengths and weakness of the approach.  These evaluations are in the public domain and are a rich source of information, data, and knowledge.


January 30, 10:00 to 12:00
Is the World Bank doing the right thing and is it doing it right? Urban Growth, Urban Resilience and Urban Waste Management

The session will discuss the findings and recommendations of three major Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) evaluations:  (i)  Managing Urban Spatial Growth: World Bank Support to Land Administration, Planning and Development; (ii) Building Urban Resilience: An Evaluation of the World Bank’s evolving approach, and (iii)  and Transitioning to a Circular Economy: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group Support for Municipal Solid Waste Management  (2010-2020).

IAP: Guidelines for Responsible Generative AI in Research: Scaling Data, Knowledge, and Impact
Jan/23 Tue 10:00AM–12:00PM

Generative AI presents practical and societal challenges that are swiftly growing as the technology scales and is increasingly used. Generative models — some mimicking human capabilities — can be used alongside people to enhance project outcomes in domains from scientific discovery and education to industrial cases (i.e., material discovery, responsible AI, synthetic data, misinformation, and more). Focusing on the governance and regulatory angles, this workshop will convene scientists, technologists, administrators, industry professionals, and counsel to discuss mechanisms to oversee and guide the development of AI models developed in academia and academic-industry collaboration. In particular, three brainstorming sessions will explore mechanisms for developing responsible AI systems: data, the dataset used to define the models’ learning or the synthetic data generated; foundation models, their capabilities and colossal repository of information; and the impact of scaling models, from the growing number of parameters to democratizing miniaturized models and their increasing geographical and social impact.

Registration will open in early January.

Part of the Expanding Horizons in Computing IAP series presented by the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. See the full list of activities at

IAP: Multimodal AI
Jan/30 Tue 01:00PM–04:00PM

Artificial intelligence leveraging multiple data sources and input modalities (tabular data, computer vision, and natural language) is poised to become a viable method to deliver more accurate results and deployable pipelines across various applications. This session aims to review progress in a variety of applications, including healthcare, meteorology and education, and discuss future directions.

Part of the Expanding Horizons in Computing IAP series presented by the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. See the full list of activities at

IAP: Programming with Data Bootcamp
Jan/16 Tue 10:00AM–02:00PM
Jan/17 Wed 10:00AM–02:00PM
Jan/18 Thu 10:00AM–02:00PM
Jan/19 Fri 10:00AM–02:00PM

Are you done with your experiment and wondering how in the world to analyze the mountain of data you generated? Is your advisor hating on your Excel-drawn plots? Join a bootcamp on data management and build a toolbox worthy of your science! We will include relational data management, data preparation, data cleaning, visualizations, parallelism, the basics of machine learning, and a lot of chances to try things out on your own and ask questions. Introductory (very basic, really) python knowledge assumed. Taught by students from the Data Systems Group at CSAIL.

Registration is now closed.

Part of the Expanding Horizons in Computing IAP series presented by the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. See the full list of activities at

IAP: Security Without Trust
Jan/29 Mon 09:00AM–12:00PM

Join faculty from the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for short talks on security.


Part of the Expanding Horizons in Computing IAP series presented by the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. See the full list of activities at

IAP: Three Directions in Design
Jan/29 Mon 03:15PM–05:00PM

The MIT authors of three recent books on design will talk about what design means in their domain, present examples of successful designs, and suggest prospects for the future of design in computing.

Design of Socio-Technical Systems
David Clark, Designing an Internet (MIT Press, 2018)

In this talk I will talk about the design principles of the Internet. I will describe how our understanding of system requirements evolved in the first decades, and how our changing understanding influenced the evolving design.  I will illustrate the space of system requirements and design options by looking at some alternative proposals for how to design an Internet, and the implications of some recent design proposals.

Design of Software Products
Daniel Jackson, The Essence of Software (Princeton University Press, 2021)

I’ll explain how successful innovations in software can usually be traced to just one or two “concepts” that offer new scenarios that, with seemingly small shifts, radically change how an application is used. I’ll give examples from apps such as Zoom, WhatsApp and Photoshop. I’ll also mention how viewing apps through concepts enables use of LLMs for code generation.

Design of Programs

Gerald Jay Sussman, Software Design for Flexibility (MIT Press, 2021)

It is hard to build systems that have acceptable behavior over a larger class of situations than was anticipated by their designers.  The best systems are evolvable: they can be adapted to new situations with only minor modification.  How can we design systems that are flexible in this way?

We have often programmed ourselves into corners and had to expend great effort refactoring code to escape from those corners.  We have now accumulated enough experience to feel that we can identify, isolate, and demonstrate strategies and techniques that we have found to be effective for building large systems that can be adapted for purposes that were not anticipated in the original design. I will illustrate such strategies with examples.

Part of the Expanding Horizons in Computing IAP series presented by the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. See the full list of activities at

IAP: Trustworthy Systems
Jan/29 Mon 01:00PM–03:00PM

This session will feature short talks by faculty from the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science on trustworthy systems.

Adam Chlipala, Correct-by-Construction Cryptographic Software: Important cryptographic algorithms have many different variations for different parameters and target hardware platforms, and conventionally, expert engineers need to reimplement an algorithm for each such combination, to get good performance.  The Fiat Cryptography project provides a generator that automates that specialization work that was previously highly manual.  As a bonus, the Fiat Cryptography code generator has a machine-checked mathematical proof of correctness.  It has been adopted to produce parts of a number of popular open-source libraries.

Srini Devadas, Security With Minimal Trust: We describe an approach to build computing systems that provide integrity of computation and data privacy for users while minimizing software and hardware that needs to be trusted.

Frans Kaashoek, Verifying Distributed Systems With Concurrent Separation Logic: Distributed systems are at the heart of cloud computing and bugs in them can lead to outages of Web sites. Unfortunately distributed systems are hard to get right because they must handle concurrency, crash recovery, replication, and reconfiguration, which interact in subtle ways.  A promising approach to verifying such systems (and thereby systematically eliminating bugs) is based on concurrent separation logic, which allows components to be verified independently yet handle tricky interaction between components.

Mengjia Yan, Principled Hardware Defenses Against Side-channel Attacks

Part of the Expanding Horizons in Computing IAP series presented by the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. See the full list of activities at

Linguistic Barriers, Exploitation and Resistance in Haiti
Jan/20 Sat 08:30AM–06:30PM

This conference will achieve a confluence of two streams of commentary about Haiti’s struggle for true independence. More well-known is the discussion of the diverse interventions and influences of the international community – governmental and non-governmental, historical and contemporary – willingly enabled by a venal Haitian elite. A second factor, not as widely recognized but with deep social and political implications, is the systematic devalorization of Kreyòl – a national cultural treasure and the one language spoken by all Haitians and binding the entire nation together. The damage done by the denial of this fundamental facet of Haitian national identity is most dramatically and tragically seen in the educational sector, where it amounts to a violation of basic human rights.

So we will bring together two groups of scholars: academic, governmental, and journalistic experts on the real causes of Haiti’s afflictions, and linguists and educators with deep experience in confronting the “linguistic apartheid” characterizing official activities in Haiti, in the education sector and elsewhere. Our goal is to explore the deep connections between the issue of language-in-education and the larger issues of the economic exploitation and curtailment of sovereignty of Haiti.

At the conclusion of the conference, MIT's Center for International Studies will be hosting a Starr Forum, delivered by Dominique Dupuy, Ambassador of Haiti to UNESCO. For more information on the Starr Forum, please visit this link.



9:00 AM - 9:15 AM


9:15 AM - 10:30 AM

Panel 1: Elite domination / capture / closure and linguistic occupation

Moderator: Dominique Dupuy

Speakers: Jean Casimir, Nedgine Paul Deroly, Philippe-Richard Marius

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Panel 2: Educational challenges and opportunities: the long game

Moderator: Marc Prou

Speakers: Renauld Govain, Christine Low, Bertrhude Albert

1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Panel 3: The “Outer peripheral trap”

Moderator: Nathalie Frédéric Pierre

Speakers: Robert Fatton, Jr, Scott Freeman, Malick Ghachem

2:45 PM - 3:15 PM


3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Panel 4: Control by the Core (Politics)

Moderator: Marlene Daut

Speakers: Brian Concannon, Jake Johnston, Alex Dupuy

4:30 PM - 4:45 PM


5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Starr Forum featuring Dominique Dupuy, Ambassador of Haiti to UNESCO

Moderator: Michel DeGraff


SPONSORS:  MIT Center for International Studies (CIS)MIT Policy LabMIT Institute Community & Equity OfficeMIT-Haiti Initiative

Logistics Contributions to Integrated Deterrence
Jan/22 Mon 11:00AM–12:30PM

Special IAP Seminar hosted by the MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)



Logistics investments in force modernization have been low priority for the joint and service in the strategic transition from expeditionary deterrence focused on local and non-state actor threats to integrated deterrence where peer adversaries have the capability to challenge the global status quo. The most significant strategic implication in the increased capability of these actors the degradation of the United States’ multi-domain supremacy where regional access, once a presumption, is now at risk. Based on this strategic evolution, the modernization and investments in logistics capabilities directly influences adversary perceptions of strategic signaling in general and immediate deterrence and offers the ways and means to reinforce allied and partner perceptions through the persistent application of the functions of logistics. 


Marcus Gillett 

Lieutenant Colonel Gillett is the United States Marine Corp’s 2023-2024 MIT Security Studies Program Military Fellow. He has served in a variety of assignments in the Fleet Marine Forces to include: Company Command (2014-2015), Battalion Operations Officer and Executive Officer (2015-2017), and Commanding Officer of 9th Engineer Support Battalion (2021-2023). Lieutenant Colonel Gillett’s B-billet assignments include: Marine Officer Instructor at The Citadel (2011-2014), Commanding Officer, Recruiting Station Fort Lauderdale (2017-2020), and he served as a staff officer at Headquarters Marine Corps (2020-2021). 


Sponsor:  MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)

Open to the MIT community
MIT is committed to providing an environment that is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you need a disability related accommodation to attend or have other questions, please contact us at

MIT Heavy Metal 101 2024
Jan/15 Mon 06:30PM–08:00PM
Jan/16 Tue 06:30PM–08:00PM
Jan/17 Wed 06:30PM–08:00PM
Jan/18 Thu 06:30PM–08:00PM
Jan/19 Fri 06:30PM–08:00PM
Jan/22 Mon 06:30PM–08:00PM
Jan/23 Tue 06:30PM–08:00PM
Jan/24 Wed 06:30PM–08:00PM
Jan/25 Thu 06:30PM–08:00PM
Jan/26 Fri 06:30PM–08:00PM
Jan/29 Mon 06:30PM–08:00PM
Jan/30 Tue 06:30PM–08:00PM

Not a Metallurgy class! This veteran crash-course is coming back in full force and will have you head banging, air guitaring, and devil horn raising in no time! Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Heavy Metal, including how Metallica continues to evolve, why Lemmy IS God (RIP), how the genre tackles some of today's biggest sociopolitical challenges, why metal bands exist in every country on Earth, and why you're probably already a metalhead without even knowing it.  

WARNING: This series most definitely goes to 11!  Earplugs optional.

We'll look at metal cultures, explore the fringes of the most extreme forms of metal, and, of course, listen to some SCREAMING HEAVY METAL! This is guaranteed to be the most BRUTAL class ever offered at MIT! Anyone is welcome to join, and since we're remote again this year, seating isn't limited. Learn more about this series' past in the class archive!

Heavy Metal 101: Music and Culture

Monday January 15, 2024

An introduction to Heavy Metal. Topics include the musicology of Heavy Metal as well as an examination of Heavy Metal culture. This multimedia extravaganza covers everything you ever wanted to know about Heavy Metal!

Zoom Registration

Facebook Event

Music as Emotional Catharsis with Jason McMaster

Tuesday January 16, 2024

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturer, Jason McMaster. Jason McMaster, metal vocalist from bands including Watchtower and Dangerous Toys, will delve into the unique ways heavy metal serves as a form of emotional release and a coping mechanism for millions worldwide. Also a seasoned School of Rock educator for the past 18 years, Jason will discuss the process of song creation, from the intellectual spark to the physical act of crafting melodies with wood and wires, and how this genre has evolved into a therapeutic art form.

Zoom Registration

Facebook Event

Guitar Tablature Generation with Deep Learning with Pedro Sarmento

Wednesday January 17, 2024

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturer, Pedro Sarmento. Within the field of symbolic music generation with deep learning, most works focus on MIDI representations, but less attention has been paid to guitar-focused symbolic music using digital tablatures. Guitar Pro format tablatures are a type of digital music notation that encapsulates information about guitar playing techniques and fingerings. Tablatures are often the preferred way of notating music digitally amongst the rock and metal communities.  This presentation will showcase the findings concerning the generation of multi-instrument compositions in Guitar Pro with Transformer architectures. The talk will focus on (1) the DadaGP dataset, a corpus of Guitar Pro tablature data suitable for sequence models, (2) GTR-CTRL, conditioning methods for Transformer models for the task of guitar tablature generation that allow for control over instrumentation and musical genre, (3) ShredGP, methods for guitarist-style conditioned guitar tablature generation with Transformers and (4) ProgGP, a practice-based research approach for creating AI-generated but human-produced prog metal music.

Zoom Registration

Facebook Event

Innovating Metal Music with Technology with Jordan Rudess - LIVE In-Person and Online!

Thursday January 18, 2024

This class will take place online in-person on MIT's Campus in room 35-225 and will be livestreamed (if possible) and recorded for later viewing.

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturer, Jordan Rudess. Jordan Rudess, keyboardist for the progressive metal band Dream Theater and founder of Wizdom Music will share his expertise on the fusion of technology and metal music. Focusing on the innovative use of Riffler, an app for creating copyright-free guitar riffs, Jordan will also invite conversation regarding the roles of artificial intelligence and creativity in musical performance. This class will be an opportunity to gain insights from a pioneer in the integration of digital technology in metal music.

Zoom Registration

Facebook Event

Heavy Music Mothers: Extreme Identities, Narrative Disruptions with Joan Jocson-Singh and Julie Turley

Monday January 22, 2024

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturers, Joan Jocson-Singh and Julie Turley. The book Heavy Music Mothers: Extreme Identities, Narrative Disruptions is an exploration of women and heavy music and the ways in which women have historically engaged with musicking as mothers. Julie Turley and Joan Jocson-Singh, musicking mothers themselves, largely employ an ethnographic lens, foregrounded in powerful one-on-one original interviews as vignettes that narrate thematic patterns. Other chapters examine motherhood identity embedded in respective published rock music memoirs, discussions of rock performance as a site of maternal bonding, and themes that arise when heavy music mothers write about motherhood.

Zoom Registration

Facebook Event

The Physics of Shred with Dr. Gore

Tuesday January 23, 2024

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturer, Dr. Gore. Dr. Gore’s session will focus on the relationship between the physics of the electric guitar and the characteristic sounds of heavy metal guitars. Topics covered will include pickup design and placement, natural and artificial harmonics, multiscale/”fanned fret” guitars, the boons and banes of nonlinearity, and why distortion is so integral to the “heavy metal sound.” Dr. Gore will also perform some shredtastic demonstrations of each of these principles along the way.

Zoom Registration

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History of Heavy Metal: Part I

Wednesday January 24, 2024

A seminar examining the history of Heavy Metal from the late 1960s through the early 1990s. Topics will include Hard Rock, Archetypal Heavy Metal, and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM).

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Similarity of Musical Subcultures Across Different Nations – Heavy Metal Fans as a Global Tribe with Akemi Nishimura

Thursday January 25, 2024

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturer, Akemi Nishimura. We will explore the uniqueness of contemporary Japanese culture and how national cultures have an impact on metal fandom and personalities based on the 6 dimensions model of national culture by Geert Hofstede.

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History of Heavy Metal: Part II

Monday January 29, 2024

A seminar examining the history of Heavy Metal from the early 1980s to the present. Topics include Power Metal, Thrash Metal and the Big 4, New American Metal, Metalcore and Grindcore, Black Metal, Death Metal, and Extreme Metal.

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All About Harsh Vocals – History, Application, and Technique with Paul Buckley

Tuesday January 30, 2024

MIT Heavy Metal 101 is pleased to present guest lecturer, Paul Buckley. This talk will discuss the history of harsh vocals, how they are applied in everyday life, and how rock and metal singers use them to do what they do.

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History of Heavy Metal: Part III

Wednesday January 31, 2024

This will be a seminar examining even more genres of Heavy Metal. Topics will include more obscure genres of Progressive Metal, Metal Fusion, Experimental and Avant-Garde Metal, and whatever else we missed so far. As always, it's going to get weird.

Mathematics of Big Data & Machine Learning
Jan/09 Tue 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/16 Tue 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/23 Tue 10:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/30 Tue 10:00AM–12:00PM

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required Limited to 35 participants

Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

Prereq: Matrix Mathematics

Big Data describes a new era in the digital age where the volume, velocity, and variety of data created across a wide range of fields is increasing at a rate well beyond our ability to analyze the data.  Machine Learning has emerged as a powerful tool for transforming this data into usable information.  Many technologies (e.g., spreadsheets, databases, graphs, matrices, deep neural networks, ...) have been developed to address these challenges.  The common theme amongst these technologies is the need to store and operate on data as tabular collections instead of as individual data elements.  This class describes the common mathematical foundation of these tabular collections (associative arrays) that apply across a wide range of applications and technologies.  Associative arrays unify and simplify Big Data and Machine Learning.  Understanding these mathematical foundations allows the student to see past the differences that lie on the surface of Big Data and Machine Learning applications and technologies and leverage their core mathematical similarities to solve the hardest Big Data and Machine Learning challenges.

This interactive course will involve significant interactive student participation and a small amount of homework.   Those students who fully participate and complete the homework will receive a certificate of completion.

The MIT Press book "Mathematics of Big Data" that will be used throughout the course will be provided.

E-mail the instructor to sign up.


Hayden Jananthan - Research Scientist MIT Supercomputing Center -

Jeremy Kepner - Fellow & Head MIT Supercomputing Center -

Signup Deadline: Dec 15

Motion Capture Suite & Device Workshop | Center for Clinical & Translational Research
Jan/30 Tue 10:00AM–12:00PM

Join MIT’s Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) and Prehealth Advising for the opportunity to explore the exciting world of clinical research and learn about the engaging studies our partner research labs are conducting in the CCTR’s facilities through interactive demos. From the exploration of biomarkers in chronic illnesses, to gait analyses for low-cost prosthetics designs, to Phase IV drug studies, the CCTR supports a wide variety of human subject study needs that we can’t wait to share with you.

The Motion Capture Suite & Device Workshop will include:

1. Interactive Demonstrations: Walk through all steps of running a study in the Motion Capture Suite, including calibration, participant prep and instrumentation, and data collection. Observe the real-time rapid-prototyping of a custom research device in the Device Workshop through 3D-scanning and 3D-printing.

2. Informative Tour: Explore the Motion Capture Suite, Device Workshop, and other relevant spaces.

Who Should AttendStudents, researchers, and members of the MIT community interested in learning more about the clinical research capacities on MIT’s campus. Geared towards those wanting to explore and get involved in clinical research, including students considering pre-med, current medical or graduate students, and anyone interested in clinical research and translational healthcare technologies.

To register for this event, please email if you would like to attend.  

Availaibility is limited, and spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis

Contact InformationFor inquiries, please contact Samantha Young ( or Akunna Rosser (

Operation Allies Welcome
Jan/17 Wed 12:00PM–01:30PM

Special IAP Seminar hosted by the MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)



Lieutenant Colonel Kristen Dewilde will discuss her experience in the US Air Force with Operation Allies Welcome, which aimed to resettle vulnerable Afghans in the US, many of whom worked with American forces in Afghanistan.


Kristen DeWilde

Lieutenant Colonel DeWilde is the United States Air Force’s 2023-2024 MIT Security Studies Program Military Fellow. Before this assignment, she served multiple operational flight surgeon roles, including Squadron Medical Element and Chief of Aerospace Medicine. Lt Col DeWilde was the commander of the 559 Aerospace Medicine Squadron.


Sponsor:  MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)

Open to the MIT community
MIT is committed to providing an environment that is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you need a disability related accommodation to attend or have other questions, please contact us at

Planet in Your GIS, Intro to Python and Planet Data API
Jan/22 Mon 01:00PM–04:00PM

With roughly 200 Dove satellites in orbit, PlanetScope Monitoring provides a high-resolution, continuous, and complete view of the world from above, every day. Planet Monitoring provides 3.7 meter resolution images of the entire Earth daily. Access to these ready-to-use images is made simple with Planet’s APIs, web application, and GIS integrations.

Join us for a 3-hour workshop centered around improving your skills using Planetscope Daily Imagery, with a focus on using Planet's APIs and image processing with Python. This event is designed for those keen on advancing their understanding of leveraging Planetscope Imagery, at scale, for research and teaching.

Prerequisites: While not required, having some light familiarity with Python and Jupyter Notebooks will help participants get the most out of the workshop.

If you don't already have a Planet account contact the MIT GIS team as soon as you register to request an account.

This workshop will be held via Zoom. You will receive the Zoom link in your confirmation email.

Schedule (Eastern Time Zone):

  • 1pm - 1:10pm: Welcome and Introduction of Instructors & Facilitators. Instructions for starting a Planet Account.

  • 1:10pm - 1:50pm: Workshop 1: Introduction to Planet data, platforms, and integrations.

  • 1:50pm - 2pm: Break

  • 2pm - 2:50pm: Workshop 2: Introduction to the Planet Data and Orders API. Hands-on introduction to Planet’s APIs, used for searching and ordering images from the Planet imagery catalog with Python.

  • 2:50pm - 3pm: Break

  • 3pm - 3:50pm: Workshop 3: Introduction to Python for Data Processing. Explore basic image processing techniques using Rasterio and GeoPandas in Python with imagery ordered in Workshop 2.

  • 3:50: Closing Remarks

Related LibGuide: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) by Paxton LaJoie

Pleasures of Poetry 2024
Jan/08 Mon 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/09 Tue 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/10 Wed 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/11 Thu 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/12 Fri 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/16 Tue 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/17 Wed 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/18 Thu 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/19 Fri 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/22 Mon 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/23 Tue 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/24 Wed 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/25 Thu 01:00PM–02:00PM
Jan/26 Fri 01:00PM–02:00PM

Pleasures of Poetry meets this IAP 2024 in 14E-304 from 1-2 p.m. every weekday from January 8-26, with the exception of MLK Jr. Day (Jan. 15). This popular activity – which aims to reach all those with an interest in poetry, regardless of experience level – has been offered every IAP for several decades. This will be the 28th year of Pleasures of Poetry at MIT. Each one-hour session is devoted to a poet or two, often a single poem, chosen by session leaders who volunteer to facilitate conversation for that day. Collaborative close reading is the aim and ideal of each hour. Some participants attend every session, but many others may drop in only once or twice during the series to discuss a favorite poet or poem, or to discover new favorites. The roster of poets is typically diverse — from classic Chinese poets to American poets laureate, and from such canonical figures as Shakespeare, Keats, Dickinson, and Bishop to contemporary poets including Louise Glück, Joy Harjo, Terrence Hayes, and many more. 

Free and open to the public; as well as staff, alumni, and students.

Pleasures of Poetry 2024 Poetry Booklet PDF 

Schedule: January 8 – January 26
(with the exception of MLK Day January 15th)
Building 14, 14E-304 @ 1:00-2:00pm


Mon 8 Stephen Tapscott and Tom Özden-Schilling
"An American Sunrise” by Joy Harjo

Tues 9 Peter Shor
"Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” by William Wordsworth
“Immortality” by Matthew Arnold
"Reply to Mr. Wordsworth” by Archibald MacLeish

Wed 10 Mark Hessler
"Retreating Light”
"Parable" by Louise Glück

Thurs 11 Ben Mangrum
“sort by day, burn by night” Rita Wong

Fri 12 Avery Nguyen
”Triptych (#3)” by Diana Khoi Nguyen
“The Last Prom Queen in Antarctica” by Ocean Vuong

Mon 15 MLK Jr. Day (Institute Closed)

Tues 16 Anne Hudson

"Good Bones"
"Poem Beginning with a Line from Basho” by Maggie Smith

Wed 17 Moderator
"My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning

Thurs 18 Sandy Alexandre
”Abecedarian for Alzheimer's" by Joy Priest

Fri 19 Arthur Bahr
"Caelica - Sonnet 100” by Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke

Mon 22 Elizabeth Doran
"Et quoi penser du silence? (And What to Think of Silence?)"
"à toi (to you)" by Alejandra Pizarnik

Tues 23 Marah Gubar and Kieran Setiya
“Blocks World: The Lobster” by Emma Catherine Perry

Wed 24 Bronwen Heuer
"La loba (The She-Wolf)"
"Tú me quieres blanca (You Want Me White)"
"Cuadrados y ángulos (Squares and Angles)"
"Hombre pequeñito (Little Tiny Man)" by Alfonsina Storni

Thurs 25 Kevin McLellen
"States" by Kevin McLellan

Fri 26 Jessica Ruffin
“Spirit Matters” by Peter Rose

Practical High Performance Computing - IAP
Jan/16 Tue 10:00AM–01:00PM
Jan/18 Thu 10:00AM–01:00PM
Jan/23 Tue 10:00AM–01:00PM
Jan/25 Thu 10:00AM–01:00PM

Overview: The focus of this workshop is to introduce the role of High Performance Computing (HPC) in research. Students will learn when to scale from their laptops to HPC, what challenges that introduces, and how to address those challenges with efficient HPC workflows. The MIT SuperCloud will be used for hands-on examples. Students should bring an existing research problem/application that they would like to scale as a project.

Pre-recorded lectures will be available before class and class time will be spent on hands-on activities and student research project work. Students taking the class for MIT credit must complete a short report on their project.

Jan 16 Introduction to Supercomputing Workflows and Systems

Jan 18 Serial Optimization and Parallel Speedup

Jan 23 Building and Running Parallel Workflows

Jan 25 Distributed Computing

Instructors: Lauren Milechin; Julie Mullen; Chris Hill


Enrollment: advance sign-up required, sign-up by 01/09, limited to 20 participants
Enroll by emailing
Reason For God - Free Dinner, Guest speakers, Conversation
Jan/18 Thu 07:00PM–08:30PM
Jan/23 Tue 07:00PM–08:30PM
Jan/25 Thu 07:00PM–08:30PM
Jan/30 Tue 07:00PM–08:30PM

Reason for God is an annual dinner series during IAP.  We host a guest speaker each night who will help us explore some of the big questions around the existence of God, Faith and Science, the Bible, Christianity, and Philosophy.  Come for a free catered meal and an engaing talk followed by Q and A.  Bring your questions. This series is designed for anyone - from the most skepitcal to those that believe in God and those who are spiritual, but not religious.  Come learn, come discuss, and come eat!  

Small Cities in America: A Key to Sustainable Growth
Jan/18 Thu 08:00AM–09:00PM

Come for a day-long visit to learn about planning issues and efforts in the Forest City with the former Planning & Urban Development Director for Portland. We will travel by transit to experience how an innovative transit system works in a small city, and meet with city planning officials working on economic, housing, climate resilience and transportation issues.

Well known for its great architecture and food, Portland is rapidly becoming a place where climate migrants, affluent retirees, and those seeking urban amenities at a smaller scale are relocating. As a result, housing prices are up – as is homelessness. How does a Small City make sure any success is equitable? How do you make transit and walkability work in a place with relatively little traffic congestion? We will learn about how this small city by the ocean is trying to guide growth and change sustainably and justly. We will close out the day with a visit to a redevelopment district and one of the many tasting rooms in town, before taking the Downeaster train back to Boston.

This session will use this visit to learn about an emerging trend in urban development – the rise of the Small City. More than previous generations, Millennials are choosing to locate in these second- and third-tier cities as a way of balancing quality of life, employment opportunities, and the benefits of city amenities. The pandemic and increases in working “wherever” appear to be driving this trend even more quickly. How do we make sure current residents can stay when new residents inevitably drive up the cost of housing and create competition for employment? What about social services and the opportunity faced by New Americans, who are also living in Small Cities?

Be prepared for a long but interesting day, starting around 7 am. and returning to the Boston area around 8 pm. You should plan to dress for a Maine winter, including proper footwear, warm socks, and layers, as we will be walking outdoors for parts of the day.

Enrollment is limited to 12. Please send a short email of interest to Jeff Levine at before 12/15/23.  Given limited spots and likely strong interest, admitted students must commit to attending, except in case of illnesses or other serious issues. Preference given to DUSP students.

Styling Your Academic Writing: Clear It Up
Jan/10 Wed 12:00PM–01:00PM

This five-session series will equip you with the tools to take your academic writing style to the next level. 

This interactive workshop series will teach you diverse and creative techniques for styling writing. We will engage with examples from academic, technical, and creative writing to get us thinking about the context of elegant and effective style.

In this first session, you will learn how to clarify your meaning in complex sentences.

Styling Your Academic Writing: Help It Flow
Jan/12 Fri 12:00PM–01:00PM

This five-session series will equip you with the tools to take your academic writing style to the next level. 

This interactive workshop series will offer diverse and creative methods for styling writing. We will engage with examples from academic, technical, and creative writing to get us thinking about the context of elegant and effective style.

In this third session of the series, "Help It Flow," you will learn how to enhance the conhesion and coherence of your sentences and paragraphs.

Styling Your Academic Writing: Make It Shine
Jan/19 Fri 12:00PM–01:00PM

This five-session series will equip you with the tools to take your academic writing style to the next level. 

This interactive workshop series will teach you diverse and creative techniques for styling writing. We will engage with examples from academic, technical, and creative writing to get us thinking about the context of elegant and effective style.

In this fifth and final session of the series, "Make It Shine," you will play with sentences, explore rhetorical devices, and have fun with punctuation.

Styling Your Academic Writing: Trim It Down
Jan/11 Thu 12:00PM–01:00PM

This five-session series will equip you with the tools to take your academic writing style to the next level. 

This interactive workshop series will teach you diverse and creative techniques for styling writing. We will engage with examples from academic, technical, and creative writing to get us thinking about the context of elegant and effective style.

In this second session of the series, "Trim It Down," you will learn how to cut down your word count so that every word matters.

Styling Your Academic Writing: Word It Well
Jan/18 Thu 12:00PM–01:00PM

This five-session series will equip you with the tools to take your academic writing style to the next level. 

This interactive workshop series will teach you diverse and creative techniques for styling writing. We will engage with examples from academic, technical, and creative writing to get us thinking about the context of elegant and effective style.

In this forth session of the series, "Use Good Words," we will address how to enhance your style by using precise and effective wording to increase clarity and thick description.

The Creature: Walking Garbage
Jan/10 Wed 09:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/11 Thu 09:00AM–12:00PM
Jan/12 Fri 09:00AM–12:00PM

The Creature: Walking Garbage

Non-Credit IAP 2024 Workshop

January 10th to 12th, WRF 9:00-12:00; @3-415 

The garbage needs more attention! 

In “Purity and Danger," Mary Douglas claimed that waste is not a static group of items but rather the outcome of classification and relationships1. This concept extends beyond mere physical attributes, also encompassing how the self is molded and identified through interactions with waste. Consequently, our waste disposal methods are intimately connected to our individual styles, emphasizing the influence of waste management on shaping cultural identities and subjectivity. The way we do it reflects an ethos, a manner of being2.

This three-day workshop explores trash as a useful material to be crafted, digitalized, and animated. Through tutorials to digital tools, hands-on making, and interactive exercises, participants will be introduced to the importance of materials, representation, and data in evaluating the impact of waste as resources and ultimately propose effective measures to redesign the matter out of place.

Tools and materials are ALL provided (also food). We also would love to see your personal touch if you want to bring your garbage piece that speaks to you. :) 


1. Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966). 

2. Hawkins, Gay. The Ethics of Waste: How We Relate to Rubbish. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006.  


Yiqing WANG, March; Biru CAO, SMArchS Computation 


MindHandHeart Innovation Fund

Please sign up here or scan the QR code in the attached poster if you are interested in participating in the workshop.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to email


How do we transform garbage into a living creature? We are introducing a new workflow combining hands-on artwork-making and digitalization techniques from 3D scanning to AI-generated rigging will be introduced.

Day one: Gather your chosen discarded items—desired or otherwise. We'll guide you through using the 3D scanning tool.

Day two: Paper mache creation. Shape your trash into a mesh, both manually and through 3D scanning.

Day three: Animate your paper mache with generative AI!


What you can learn:

Matter to Data via 3D-scan

Modeling skills and building paper mache

Basic Rigging and Animation

Dynamics of Waste


Your work will be announced in the Trash-to-Treasure competition project sponsored by the MindHandHeart Innovation Fund next semester.

Looking forward to having you!

The evolution of naval warfare through ship design
Jan/23 Tue 02:00PM–03:30PM

Special IAP Seminar hosted by the MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)



This presentation will walk the audience through the impacts made by technological advancement on war at sea, using examples from history to illustrate the transformation from the age of sail into the US’ current fleet and beyond.


Alan Janigian 

Lieutenant Commander Janigian is a United States Navy 2023-2024 MIT Security Studies Program Military Fellow. LCDR Janigian reported first to USS CINCINNATI (LCS 20) before LCS Crew 214 transferred to USS MANCHESTER (LCS 14). While on MANCHESTER he qualified as Tactical Action Officer and earned the 2020 Mine Division 12 Tactician of the Year Award. Successfully completing his tour as Combat Systems Officer, he fleeted up and currently serves as the Operations Officer.


Sponsor:  MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)

Open to the MIT community
MIT is committed to providing an environment that is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you need a disability related accommodation to attend or have other questions, please contact us at

Theravāda Buddhist Traditions
Jan/24 Wed 07:00PM–09:00PM
Jan/25 Thu 07:00PM–09:00PM
Jan/30 Tue 06:00PM–08:00PM


Not all Buddhists meditate, in fact, some do not meditate at all!... Then, what do the Buddhists do and what do the Buddhists believe in? Can we really generalize their practices and beliefs? What comes with the tradition do we lose when focusing mostly and heavily on meditation alone? 

This three day introductory IAP takes you into the fun, vibrant, ornamented, messy, breathing, controversial Theravāda Buddhism, one of the earliest kinds of Buddhism, which is still practiced in some parts of Southeast Asia and in Sri Lanka. The course focuses on Thailand and Myanmar through the eyes of Theravāda Buddhists. 

You will learn basic knowledge and vocabs to talk about the tradition like scriptures, teachings, and practices. You will be introduced to some complex issues and questions regarding the tradition. Comments, questions, concerns, and dialogues are welcome. On the last day, there will be home-cooked Thai food for everyone while the conversation focusing on food and faith. 

No background in anything is needed! Just be ready to step into the world of the unseens, animals, ghosts, relics, flowers, dust, and magics where time doesn't work the same way you're familiar with. 

Session 1: January 24 (Wednesday) 7-9 pm W11-155  Theme: The Pāli Canon and the Theravāda World through the eyes of Theravāda Buddhists

Session 2: January 25 (Thursday) 7-9 pm W11-155 Theme: Theravāda Buddhism and its relationship with other traditions in present days Thailand

Session 3: January 30 (Thursday) 6-8pm + home-cooked Thai food will be provided W11-190 Theme: Food and Faith

All sections are led by Saly Sirothphiphat an MDiv II student at Harvard Divinity School, a Thai Theravāda Buddhist and Win Kyaw Harvard Divinity School MTS '22 who studies Myanmar and Theravāda Buddhism. 

Hosted by the Addir Interfaith Dialogue Program

Understanding America’s History- US Army’s Historical Program 2030
Jan/24 Wed 10:00AM–11:30AM

Special IAP Seminar hosted by the MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)



Colonel Karl Sondermann, US Army Logistics Officer and a trained active-duty Army Unit Historian will present a talk on recent US Army efforts to improve historical mindedness across our force while also better connecting with the American public. During his 20 year career, COL Sondermann has been empowered by Army leaders to pursue his graduate degree in Historic Preservation, selected as the Arlington National Cemetery Military Historian and Operations Officer, and encouraged to volunteer with numerous historic organizations; all while serving on active duty and using his experience to implement various historic initiatives to professionally develop his Soldiers. As we approach our nation’s semiquincentennial (250th) anniversary, this talk will provide career insights and reasons why modernizing how US Army Historians record, educate, and promote our nation’s history can help the US Military reverse current losses in public trust and confidence.


Karl Sondermann 

Colonel Sondermann is the United States Army's 2023-2024 MIT Security Studies Program Military Fellow. Prior to his arrival at MIT, he was assigned the J4- Director of Logistics, Special Operations Command Central at MacDill AFB, FL. Previous non-command assignments include deployments to Iraq for 15 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a deployment to Afghanistan for 9 months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, a deployment to Kuwait for 9 months in support of Operation Spartan Shield, two EUCOM assignments to Germany for 5 years, and a three-year assignment as the Operations Officer/Military Historian at Arlington National Cemetery.


Sponsor:  MIT Security Studies Program (SSP)

Open to the MIT community
MIT is committed to providing an environment that is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you need a disability related accommodation to attend or have other questions, please contact us at