The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Flyby Investigates: What is LS50?

Harvard loves its acronyms, and names of classes are no exception: PS1, LPSA, LS1A, CS50, ES50 . . . the list goes on. But who knows about LS50? Is this a new merger between LPSA and LS1A because we didn’t have enough students in pre-med already? Is this EC10’s new method of trying to rebound from the popularity of CS50? Flyby reporters went on a mission to discover the truth.

As it turns out, LS50 is a year-long double course, taking up two class slots per semester freshman year. That’s right, for anyone taking 4 classes each semester, LS50 is literally half their schedule this year because who needs sleep, right? The course is limited to only 25 guinea pigs--we mean students--but Mary E. Wahl, a college fellow who instructs in the course, said that she and her colleagues are looking to expand the course to more students in the future. Students work in lab and also are aiming to produce “novel work” in the course that can lead to future publications. We don't know about you, but we think most Harvard students should aim to have at least one publication by the time they are nineteen. Right?

The class meets every weekday for 1.5 hours, has two 3-hour lab sessions (which will get reduced to one 3-hour lab every week after a while), one 1-hour section every week, and for the first month, a 5-hour lab on Saturdays. If you’re in Math 55 you’ll know that amounts to 19.5 hours a week in the initial weeks of the course, not even counting the time needed for homework and studying. Talk about dedication to science! Most people can’t bring themselves to show up to their 1-hour, no homework seminar. The syllabus has been planned for the entire year, and it amounts to roughly 125 lectures. One student, Audrey H. Effenberger ‘19, spoke to us about how the course was markedly different than her high school biology courses because it was less about memorizing facts and more about how everything fits together.

Luckily, after interviewing students and faculty, we determined that all parties involved are thoroughly enjoying the class and don’t consider it to be a burden on their time. Jett P. Crowdis ‘19 said that he is mostly taking a class for a challenge. When asked what the most rewarding and challenging parts of the course were, Daniel Shen ‘19 said, “the most challenging part might be the most rewarding part” highlighting that although this course is a tough one, the students wouldn’t want it any other way because it’s Harvard.

While Saturday labs from 1 - 6 may sound daunting to the rest of us, they are apparently one of the things the students love most about the course. Two of them spoke about the bonding time they have with their peers in those sessions, and said that it’s been a lot of fun. We have yet to determine whether this constitutes an exclusive enough group to create a new Finals Club. If it does, we think it should be called The Final FINAL club: LS50.

Of course, there are some inevitable difficulties in this great endeavor. Crowdis ‘19 mentioned that connecting different ideas from lecture and checking for understanding might be challenging. However, even though there is a lot of material, “the professor are doing an excellent job doing it,” providing outlines and conveying ideas through the class or the TFs. Effenberger ‘19 also commented, saying that “pacing on some of the topics could be improved."

Students uniformly said they wanted to take the course because of an already-present interest in the sciences, and they were intrigued by the integrated, multi-disciplinary aspect of the course. #LiberalArts

Demystifying LS50 convinces us that this course is overall very cool; everyone involved is enthusiastic and excited, and thoroughly dedicated to teaching and learning about science. Rock on, LS50!

The Flyby Matchmaker is Back (With New Improvements)!

Last year, Flyby Matchmaker ventured to liven up the dating scene on campus. We got off to a good start, but this year we want to spice (imperative word, keep reading) things up. We know you wanted to join the fun, but the thought of having to pay your own way had you down. This year, Flyby Matchmaker has got you covered.

If you get selected for a date, Matchmaker will pay for it! Some places you could get sent to are b.good or Spice!

Interested, but not familiar with how Flyby Matchmaker works? Here’s the deal:

1) You fill out this fast and fun questionnaire (or as much of it as you want- remember, the more info you give us, the better).

2) The Flyby Matchmaker will review your answers and if there’s a magical match out there for you, we’ll arrange a meeting time and place for a brilliant blind date (that we will pay for).

3) In return, you’ll dish to us about how your date went.

4) Then, we’ll share your experience, wisdom, and a sweet selfie of the two of you guys with our readers.

Meet your soul mate or a distant acquaintance to wave awkwardly to from across the yard. Who cares?! What’s wrong with bringing old-fashioned dates (and sexy) back? We can’t think of an answer and neither can you, so get writing!


The Flyby Matchmaker

P.S. You must be an undergraduate student at Harvard College and 18 years old or older to participate. You must follow all Harvard College standards of conduct and other laws and regulations while on the date.

Flyby Investigates: Humanities 10a

Humanities 10, lovingly called Hum10, is one of those classic Harvard classes students wake up for in the morning and think, ‘Ah, I love the smell of a liberal arts education!’

All jokes aside, Hum10, in Professor Alison J. Simmons’ own words, is “an evolving beast.” This is the first year Humanities 10 has been offered as a replacement for the required freshman Expos course. (There’s a way to get out of Expos?!) Curious about this new freshman track and the class that’s been garnering so much attention, we spoke to students currently in the course and Professor Simmons to find out more:

When asked why he had wanted to take the course, Nick D. Horneado ‘19 replied that “the main one [reason] was how scary it the course seemed.” Students read a book every week, and acceptance into the course relies on an application process at the start of the school year.

Indeed, the workload for this class is no joke - those of you looking to get easy Gen Ed credit (you know who you are) are out of luck. Professor Simmons said that when selecting students for the class, they expect that students consider it to be their main course. However, the class seems to be a success - much like every senior can ‘objectively’ say that their House was the best, the students Flyby interviewed uniformly shared their excitement about the work that they would be doing. It appears this may be the only class at Harvard in which students are actually doing their reading.

Overall, the consensus from students was that this class has been completely worth it. Jen H. Lowell ‘19 said that she’s currently undecided about her concentration, but while sitting class she thought, “Wow, god I really love this. Maybe I should do more of this.” Similarly, both Simon Rosenblum-Larson ‘19 and Eana X. Meng ‘19 said that even if someone doesn’t necessarily want to concentrate in the humanities, it’s important to have exposure to great works, and this class is a perfect way to gain that opportunity. So for those on campus this fall embracing classic works of literature in the happy bubble that appears to be Hum10, we say, you do you!

Dear CS50, Please Make Harvard a New Snapchat Filter

It has already been some eight months since Harvard got its first Snapchat filter. Since then we’ve seen some really exciting additions to Snapchat (read: we’ve seen everyone and their mother puke rainbows). I am all for watching failed Snap videos of friends raising eyebrows with no spectacles appearing, but wouldn’t it look so much better with a brand new Harvard filter? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new and hip way to remind your friends which East Coast Ivy League you attend? Probably not, because that aging spectacle filter flatters no one and probably offends all old people, but it’s worth a shot.

How Many Tacos Are Too Many Tacos?

El Jefe's Taqueria
Another day, another taco place.
By the time I graduate Harvard, how many Mexican quick serves will I see open at 83 Mount Auburn Street? In less than a year and a half, the location has supported: Felipe’s Taqueria, The Taco Truck, and now… “El Jefe’s Taqueria”?

The intense allure of this address to taco eateries is unclear, although Flyby has a few ideas. Maybe the Council of Taquerias has declared 83 Mount Auburn the #1 most desirable property, and the secret to success in the taco restaurant world. Hey, after spending some time at 83, Felipe’s was able to move into an expanded space, complete with a rooftop bar. Or perhaps it’s a battle of turf warfare, with various taco restaurant alliances competing for control of Harvard Square.

Stay tuned to see how El Jefe's fares…

Listen Up! Returns Better Than Ever

sara and dev listen up!
Why would you not want to ask them your burning questions? We can't think of a single reason either.
Dear Troubled Harvard Students,

Too many times, you’ve accidentally picked the normal Cheerios, thinking they were honey nut scooters. Too often, you’ve stared at your wardrobe, taunted by the boots of yesteryear. Too long, you’ve wondered– what really happened to Dean Evelynn Hammonds?

But fear not. What was once dark is now light.

Simba has Rafiki. Kylie has Kim. Cady has Regina.

And now you have us.

Submit your questions here on everything from the hot TF who’s keeping you up at night to how to find anything on the new my.harvard. We’ve got you covered.

Questions– anonymous. Answers– foolproof.

Submit now.

Or later.

Over and out,
Sara and Dev

Flyby Investigates: What is [BLANK] Party?

Remember when members of the Harvard Community Garden planned ‘Farmal: The Real Garden Party,’ and over 4,000 people replied that they were going on Facebook? Remember when the event was then cancelled due to concerns from administration? Yeah, we at Flyby were heartbroken too.

And while we are pretty bummed that Garden Party (by that we mean Farmal) season is officially over, we’re pretty pumped for [BLANK] Party next Friday, October 9th in the Science Center Plaza. At first glance, the Facebook event doesn’t seem to answer all of the burning questions one might have when their weekend plans are involved, so Flyby sought them out for you:

First, what is [BLANK] Party? Why is it blank?
It’s an event hosted by a group of women on campus, looking to bring friends and strangers from all corners of campus together for an evening. “Equally important was putting ownership and power over the Harvard social scene in the hands of women for a night,” according to Hajar El Fatihi ’17, one of the organizers of the event. The [BLANK] theme, according to El Fatihi, was so “that people should feel free to “fill in the blank” with whatever they identity...We wanted students to feel like this could be [MY] Party.”

Will they play “Blank Space”?
No word on whether T-Swift has made it onto the night’s playlist yet, but partygoers will have a live band and two DJs to look forward to. The Ex Feds, described by event organizer Madeline Hung ’16 on Facebook as “Black Tie Affair’s favorite band,” will be playing from 9 to 11 p.m., when DJ Pong and DJ Yashi will take over till 1 a.m.

As for the mystifying ‘[ ]’ dress code– seriously, what?
I can barely dress myself in business casual, and that at least has an adjective in it– the event organizers chose to leave it ambiguous so that people wear whatever they’re most comfortable with. Although they highly advised Facebook commenters to not show up naked (which, seeing as it gets down to like 40° at night now, Flyby endorses).

Maybe we just all need a chance to get together and dance for a night. The point of the party, according to El Fatihi, was to “remind all students here that no matter which organizations they belong to or not, they always deserve a place to have fun with their friends on the weekends... We definitely think that this event reflects the changing social atmosphere on campus.”

Harvard Today: October 2, 2015

Summers on Economic Inclusivity
At a Thursday evening forum discussion, former University President Larry Summers shares with Financial Times columnist John Authers his thoughts about inclusivity in modern economic growth.
It’s National Computer Learning Month– keep that celebration in mind when you’re in CS50 office hours trying to finish up this pset last-minute.

Today is going to be 56º and rainy in the evening. Hope you have a cute raincoat!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Catch of the Day with Butter & Capers
Roasted Vegetable Panini made with Eggplant, Pepper, and Squash

Meat Lasagna
Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Chicken
Harvest Seitan Stew

The H Sweater is Back
Like every good fall tradition– pumpkin spice lattes and the changing of the leaves– we haven’t seen the H Sweaters since last year. But fall is back, and so are the sweaters.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Honored for Flag Removal
South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley was honored by the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations on Thursday evening with a dinner ceremony to celebrate her contributions to the progress of racial justice.

Harvard Officially Launches Theater, Dance, and Media Concentration
Harvard officially launched its newest concentration, Theater, Dance, and Media on Thursday night, marking the culmination of several years of effort to incorporate the dramatic arts more fully into the University’s academic offerings.

Zoning Board Approves Revised Smith Center Plans
The Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeal approved revised plans for Harvard to renovate its Smith Campus Center on Thursday, giving the University permission from the city to move ahead with the construction project.

Larry Summers Talks Income Inequality at IOP
Former University President Lawrence H. Summers argued for concrete public policy solutions to economic inequality in front of a crowded audience Thursday evening at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.

Pet Therapy is back today in the Science Center Plaza from 12 to 2 p.m.

Harvard vs. Georgetown football is tonight at 7 p.m. Go Crimson!

The Harvard Society for Mind, Brain, and Behavior is screening American Psycho at 7:30 p.m. in the Eliot Golden Arm Room.

Harvard Hillel is having its Sukkot Bagel Brunch on Sunday at 11:30 a.m., and they promise new bagel flavors too.

The H Sweater Is Back

UPDATED: October 6, 2015, at 3:42 a.m.

If you’ve been on this campus for even a single mildly cold day, you’ve seen the H Sweater. It’s either cream or crimson and it’s adorned with an obnoxious, torso-sized “H,” in case anyone forgot what letter this University’s name starts with.

Like every good fall tradition– pumpkin spice lattes and the changing of the leaves– we haven’t seen the H Sweaters since last year. But fall is back, and so are the sweaters. Your options are plenty this year– you can head over to The Harvard Shop, or (if you can’t choose between the literal three Harvard Shops in a one mile radius) you can order one from Hillflint.

You might notice that the Hillflint sweaters will cost you from $85 to $95, while the Harvard Shop’s will cost you $129.99, or $103.99 with an in-store student discount (Flyby did not seek comment as to whether an arm and a leg would be enough to cover the cost). What’s up with the price difference? Could it be that the Harvard Shop sweaters are 100% wool, while the Hillflint ones are a 60 percent/40 percent Cotton/Acrylic blend (for the $85 sweater) or 100% merino (for the $95 sweater)? Of course not. The extra $44.99 is to have the privilege of seeing the photo shoot of Harvard students rocking these sweaters.

(Note: both vendors also offer sweaters with your class year on them, but then you might forget what letter to put before “arvard”)

Harvard Today: October 1, 2015

After a slow start to the season, the Harvard women’s soccer team started off Ivy League play on the right foot with a 2-0 victory over Penn.
Today is Thursday, October 1. Congratulations on making it past September. On this day in 1931, Spain adopted women’s suffrage. October 1 is also a Nigerian dark psychological thriller film that came out in 2014– scary.


There’s a 20% chance of precipitation today, and it’s going to be colder than the day before, with a high of 62 and a low of 45.


Spicy Chicken Stir-fry with Peapods
Vegetarian Banh Mi
Brown Jasmine Rice

Community Night - Ground Turkey
Home Made Fish Cakes
Vegan Casserole with Cashew Cream Sauce


PSA: Maharaja Is Open Again
But now, the restaurant is open again for lunch and dinner every day of the week- we highly recommend the lunch buffet because when you have the choice between unlimited food and limited food, you always choose the former.


Two Years In, FAS Campaign Focuses on Struggling Priorities
Two years into the public phase of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’s capital campaign, Dean Michael D. Smith said the fundraising drive will begin to focus its efforts especially on priorities that are falling behind—House renewal and funding for new teaching techniques.

Harvard Joins Coalition To Offer Common App Alternative
The federation of colleges, which calls itself the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success, announced Monday that it will make an alternative platform with college planning tools available to prospective students in January 2016.

Music Department Embarks on Concentration Redesign
As its number of undergraduate concentrators drops by nearly half over the past six years, Harvard’s Music Department is embarking on a major redesign of its undergraduate curriculum, a step faculty and students say is necessary to keep pace with broader changes in the field and continue to attract new students.

After Critique, College Reevaluates Hall Common Rooms
Undergraduates are critical of the hallway common rooms featured in recent House renovations at the expense of private space, prompting the College to incorporate feedback to tweak upcoming construction plans for its expansive House renewal project.


Men’s, Women’s Hockey Crack Top 10 in Preseason Polls
According to U.S. College Hockey Online’s preseason rankings released Monday, the Crimson icemen will open the year ranked No. 8 in the country. Meanwhile, less than a year removed from a national championship game, the women’s team nabbed the No. 4 spot in last week’s USCHO and USA Hockey Magazine polls.

Lindsey Racks Up 10 Tackles, Return TD in Rout of Brown
It’s hard to stand out on a team with a 16-game winning streak. It’s hard to stand out on a defense that ranked first in the FCS in points allowed last year. And it’s certainly hard to stand out on a night when six different teammates scored as part of a 53-27 rout against a conference foe. But last Saturday, senior linebacker Jacob Lindsey did all three.


Candy Crowley, IOP Fellow and former chief political correspondent at CNN, is holding her second study group “Why Do Candidates Run?” from 4-5:30 p.m. in the IOP L166.

Brent Colburn, IOP Fellow and former Communications Director of Obama’s reelection campaign, is holding his second study group “So Now You’ve Won” from 4-5:30 in the IOP Faculty Dining Room.

The Harvard Foundation is having a discussion with Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina, in the PBHA Building at 4 p.m.

The JFK Jr. Forum is hosting a conversation with Larry Summers on the challenge of inclusion in the Forum at 6 p.m.

PSA: Maharaja Is Open Again

This is what dreams are made of.
As exciting and wonderful as HUDS always is, sometimes, it’s nice to take a break from fresh asparagus toast and venture into Harvard Square. It can be hard to imagine, but there are actually other things to do here besides go to Felipe’s rooftop bar on a Friday night. For those who crave flavor, here’s a PSA that benefits you: Maharaja, the Indian restaurant that’s been closed from a fire in 2014, recently reopened above Staples.

For those less aware of the history of the restaurant, it was once a well-functioning place that enjoyed the business of both hungry students stopping in after buying school supplies and of everyone else who didn’t want to go to the other Indian restaurants in the Square, Tanjore or Chutney’s. Then Maharaja’s kitchen had a fire, and the restaurant shut down. The only clue left for disheartened customers was a paper sign that said, “We’ll be back soon!” We despaired.

But now, the restaurant is open again for lunch and dinner every day of the week- we highly recommend the lunch buffet because when you have the choice between unlimited food and limited food, you always choose the former. Welcome back, Maharaja.

​Flyby Investigates: The Uncertain Future of Al’s Café

We received the heart-wrenching news on September 17, 2015 from a Crimson Crave article that our beloved Al’s, the Italian sub shop in the Smith Campus Center, will be forced to relocate following plans to make the Center a hub for student activity.

I couldn’t fathom the idea of not having my oven roasted turkey bag lunch available so I had to go see for myself if this was all true and what, if any, were the plans for the future of Al’s Café.

The manager and part-owner of Al’s, Carlos Chicas, told me that it was at the beginning of this past summer when the Harvard Campus Center notified him about the planned renewal which would force the eviction of several restaurants in the Center.

“We want to relocate in the Square but as of now there really is no space for us, we’re not really sure about where we will go,” said Chicas.

I tell him how much Harvard students enjoy the gargantuan subs that Al’s serves and how #blessed we are to have them in a central location on campus. “I know, we’ve been here for four years now, we’re really hoping to stay in the Square,” he says.

While the future may not be so certain for Al’s, Carlos tells me that the Café will still be serving their famous subs until the last days of April of next year and by then he hopes that they will have found a new home in Harvard Square. In the meanwhile, make sure to get yourself some of these delicious sandwiches because as they say “here one day, and gone the next”.

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