Warm up in January beside an intellectual campfire—that is, the many creative and learning opportunities available through Independent Activities Period (IAP). On campus, you can choose from an array of mostly free non-credit sessions from a film viewing to a multi-part programming course. IAP activities, which run through January 30, are open to MIT alumni and the campus community.
You can also stay cozy at home and tap into online course materials through MIT OpenCourseWare. Try out Transmedia Storytelling: Modern Science Fiction, a spring 2014 course, or select a Highlights for High School selection such as the Chandra Astrophysics Institute video course. OCW and the more structured courses on edX are available free to the public as well.
To identify interesting IAP sessions, search the options by date or sponsor or you can browse the 48 non-credit categories. IAP also offers intensive academic and physical education courses for students.
In the Computers: Web Design and Development category, you can sign up for a three-session class that includes Swarmcreativity—Introduction to Collaboration Science, Coolhunting, and Virtual Mirroring and Coolfarming. Sign up for Coolfarming – How to Create Collaborative Innovation Networks (COINs) by Jan. 12, first class is Jan. 14. You can also learn about the Sloan course through the OpenCourseware version or the COINs2013 seminar website.
Forces Frozen, an Art and Architecture (A&A) workshop, explores the world of structural ice shells, inspired by Swiss engineer and designer Heinz Isler. You begin by researching and designing ice/fabric forms, learn to build formwork and rigging systems, and on the final day, construct an outdoor landscape of frozen structures. Sign up for Forces Frozen by Jan. 9, first of five classes is Jan. 12.
Also in A&S, you can hear a Jan. 21 campus talk and tour of the LEED Platinum Certified Artists For Humanity EpiCenter to discover how they are employing energy-efficiency and renewable-energy systems. Sign up for the MIT Energy Initiative-sponsored event by Jan. 14.
Join staff from the List Visual Arts Center on Jan. 21, 2:00-4:00 p.m., to check out Boston’s most important contemporary art galleries and learn how institutions like the List collect contemporary art. The Boston Contemporary Art Gallery Crawl begins at 450 Harrison Avenue, Boston; no sign up required.
Film lovers can view the Best of the European Short Film Festival 2014 on Jan. 26, 7:00-9:00 p.m., in 32-123. View a full listing of the films, which include prize-winning entries and a selection of audience and jury favorites. No sign up necessary.
In Educational Technology, you can take a one-session course titled Introduction to Making at MIT and Beyond. You can learn more about 3D printing, rapid fabrication, and maker spaces at MIT and how alumni are using these techniques in the world. Overview, presentations, and a panel discussion is scheduled Jan. 27, 4:00-5:15 p.m. in 32-155. No signup required.
Or bring your Apple mobile device to Siri and Beyond: Using Speech and More to Control Your iOS Device. Technical consultant Kim Patch will demonstrate how to use the native speech control on the iPhone and iPad efficiently. Set for Jan. 14, 1:00-2:30 p.m. in E17-121. No signup required for this Educational Technology session.
In a Careers session, you can find out how to Get a Patent on Your Invention and Turn It into a Startup! An MIT technology licensing officer will describe when and how to file a patent and how to get the coveted exclusive license. Sign up by emailing email@example.com by Jan. 15 for this session set for the same day, Jan. 15, from 12:30-2:00 p.m. in 3-133.