Eighteen MIT students spent the last week of IAP learning about health-care policy first-hand as part of Experiencing Health Policy: A Week in DC (course 17.961). The new program aimed to give students "the chance to learn about the fields of medical ethics and health care policy in a more direct manner, by speaking with professionals in these areas and visiting political organizations and federal agencies," said Carina W. Fung, a junior in chemical engineering and one of the program's founders.
Each day, students visited two or three health policy organizations or federal agencies, such as the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Institute of Medicine, the Heritage Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the office of Sen. Edward Kennedy. Policy-makers spoke on topics including managed care, cloning, children's health and the federal budget process.
Both Ms. Fung and program co-founder Allie Lin, also a junior in chemical engineering, had spent the previous summer in the MIT Washington Summer Internship program. They began establishing contacts, researching possible speakers and setting course guidelines last fall. "We learned so much from our summer in DC and we wanted to give other students the opportunity to see what we had seen," Ms. Fung said.
The Winter Olympics now underway in Nagano, Japan, feature a number of MIT connections. On the US short-track speed-skating team is 17-year-old Caroline Hallisey, daughter of Joanne Hallisey, manager of the MIT Computer Connection.
Several others from the Institute lent their musical talents to the opening ceremonies last Friday. Stanley Hudson, director of student financial aid, and Patti Cox, administrative assistant in the Admission Office, sang with the Boston Symphony's Tanglewood Festival Chorus in the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York as part of the ceremonies' grand finale. Chorus director John Oliver, recently retired from the MIT music faculty, and Marc Demille, a senior in music and theater arts, also participated.
Choruses in Australia, China, Germany, South Africa and the United States joined musicians in Nagano via satellite link in a performance of "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, conducted by Boston Symphony Orchestra music director Seiji Ozawa and televised live around the world.
CLIPS AND QUOTES
"We're at the beginning of a long, complex process, but at least we've started. If we are fortunate, we will get 80 percent of these mines out of the ground in 20 to 25 years, but it's going to take an international effort and new technology."
-- Dr. Kosta Tsipis, research scientist in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, in a December 16 New York Times article on the struggle against land mines.
"The financial risks of globalization are a lot bigger than optimists have imagined. We are back to a volatile, predepression world economy of financial booms and busts quite different from the Cold War years."
-- Ford International Professor of Economics Paul Krugman, in a February 6 New York Times article on globalization's impact on Argentina.
"By the time we're done, the veracity and trustworthiness of a piece of videotape or audio tape will be as good as an unsigned, typed piece of paperï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ Then we'll have to rely on something we've relied on for centuries: the web of human trust."
-- Professor Michael Dertouzos, director of the Laboratory for Computer Science, in a January 29 USA Today article on the increasing prominence of digital audio and decline of analog tape.
"In Europe and the US, we are only a foot away from outright deflation in consumer prices. At the level of producers' prices, we are already there -- and with huge Asian depreciation and deep recession, competition and deflation pressures will grow."
-- Ford International Professor of Economics Rudi Dornbusch, in a January 5 Wall Street Journal "Manager's Journal" piece entitled "Can the U.S. Weather Asia's Storm?"
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 11, 1998.