Kick-off 2011 with IAP

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As the new year begins, CSAIL students, professors and staff are invited to kick-off 2011 with a fun twist on MIT’s traditional academic and extracurricular offerings, thanks to the Independent Activities Period (IAP). Held each January, this four-week special term allows MIT community members to share a skill with fellow students and colleagues, explore an intriguing new subject and learn in a fun and engaging manner.

At CSAIL the IAP offerings range from competition based programming courses to video projects. Offering a little something for everyone, here are the 2011 CSAIL-sponsored IAP courses:

6.470- MIT Web Programming Competition
Want to learn how to design a standout website? Come discover how to build a dynamic website in this web programming competition, which will show participants (no advanced web programming experience necessary) how to use programs such as HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, PHP, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, Silverlight and Flash. Then, team up with your friends and design your own site. Over $30,000 in prizes available to winners.

Cool Algorithms: Video Recording for Future Generations (Erik Demaine, Martin Demaine, Jean-Jacques Quisquater)
In an effort to preserve the history behind the development of theoretical computer science, the HiDAlgo project (High-Definition Algorithms project) was created with the aim of capturing people explaining the important algorithms they have invented or ones they love. This course is a kick-off event for the project, and participants will be partaking in trial runs, video editing and recording a series of short lectures for the project.

Developing Massively Scalable Cloud Applications using Spring (Saman Amarasinghe, Mark Fisher)
Learn all you need to know about the open source Spring Framework. The course will wrap up with students working together to create realistic applications on their own. The winning team will receive an invitation to the 2011 U. S. Spring Developers Conference and $1,000 cash prize.

Web Application Capture the Flag Competition
(Timothy R. Leek, Joseph M. Werther, Michael A. Zhivich, Nickolai Zeldovich) Experiment with new ways to make computers safer and more secure. Students will learn how to make a web application secure and will then experiment with different techniques for keeping it safe during a variety of attacks. Applications will then be put to the test when students team up to attack other applications and defend their own servers. iPads will be awarded to winning teams.

6.085- Special Subjects in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Statistics for Research Projects: Statistical Modeling and Experimental Design
(Finale Doshi)


Learn how to evaluate information correctly in this course, which will cover data analysis, statistical modeling and experimental design, essential skills used while conducting research. Content will include hypothesis-testing and regression models, and there will be hands-on assignments to help students use their new knowledge. Undergraduates and graduate students welcome with no instructor permission required.

If you’re teaching a class you’d like to see included, please email