This subject is an exploratory one: students are expected to take an active role in shaping the questions and in defining topics they wish to explore further. In the spirit of exploration, many guests have been invited to contribute their perspective. Students are expected to be active listeners and discussants; they will need to prepare for the guests and also follow up on topics raised by these visitors.
Many writing assignments will be brief, pithy ones: these include responses to the reading assignments, one-paragraph or one-page comments written and read in class, and brief discussions of definitions of key terms. There will be two longer assignments: a topic on a subject of the student's choosing, and a section of a substantial class project, a report written by the entire class, on the subject of "MIT's role in a dangerous world." The latter report is intended to be submitted to the MIT administration at the conclusion of the class. The individually authored paper may be revised once.
Grades will be based on short assignments (25%), student paper (40%), contribution to class project (25%), and class participation (10%).
Attendance is recorded and required. Serious note-taking is necessary. Plagiarism in any form is unacceptable. These and other ground rules, as well as grading policy, will be discussed in more detail in the first two classes.
MIT's academic honesty policy can be found at the following link: http://web.mit.edu/policies/10.0.html