Friday Seminars

Thinking Across the Disciplines

Fridays 12:00-2:00 PM (16-136) 

The Concourse Seminar is dedicated in the spring to the critical epistemological question of how we can know those things that we think we know.  We will consider what knowledge consists of, how we acquire it, and how we can feel certain enough in it to provide us with a direction forward.  These broad concerns are not all addressed in the same way across the disciplines, as the standard(s) for truth claims can vary considerably depending on the object of one’s inquiry.  Over the course of the semester we will hear from a variety of MIT Faculty from a range of Science, Humanities, and Social Science disciplines about some aspect of their own work.  You will have the opportunity to see how different disciplines think: how they frame questions, how they gather evidence, and how they use that evidence to answer their questions.

Spring seminar schedule:

Feb 6 – Opening session (Staff)

Feb 13 – Eddie Farhi (Physics): “Using Quantum Mechanics to Speed Up Computation”

Feb 20 – Diana Henderson (Literature): “Shakespeare’s Uncertainty Principle: In Playscript and Performance”

Feb 27— Cathy Drennan (Chemistry): “Snapshots of Molecules and Faculty Life with Prof. Cathy Drennan”

March 6 – Regina Bateson (Political Science)

March 13 – TBA (Macvicar Day):

March 20 – Dennis Kim (Biology):

March 27 – Spring Break

April 3 – Taylor Perron (Geology): “Choose the Window Seat: Reading Patterns in Landscape”

April 10 – Chris Walley (Anthropologie)

April 17 – TBA (Campus Preview Weekend)

April 24 – Wyn Kelley (Literature): “Herman Melville On Technology”

May 1 — TBA

May 8 – End of Semester celebration

Friday Seminar Fall 2014

Friday Seminar Spring 2013

Friday Seminar Fall 2013