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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

Labyrinth Charms Passersby

By Jaleh Poorooshasb

While most seniors spent this year writing theses for a limited audience, one senior decided to share his thesis experience and construct a life-size maze in the Lowell House courtyard last week.

Physical Expression

Charles F. Kahn '77, a concentrator in Visual and Environmental Studies and Psychology and Social Relations, said yesterday the maze is a "physical expression of the concepts in my senior thesis."

He said his observations of people who attempted his maze confirm two psychological hypotheses he had dealt with in his thesis.

'Gravity of the Goal'

About half of those persons he observed confirmed the "gravity of the goal" hypothesis, choosing the path that points directly towards the maze's end.

Thirty-five per cent supported the right handed hypothesis, taking the path on the right side because they are right handed. Only 15 per cent chose the correct route, which is on the left.

Faculty members and Lowell House staff were among the laughing participants, who turned circles, stopped dead, and eventually wound their way through.

Most people who enter the courtyard try the maze, and those who do not display "a lack of imagination" Kahn said. The average person takes two minutes to get through the maze. Only about 3 per cent are unable to find their way out, he said.

"The construction of the maze is a real contrast to what most people do with their Harvard careers," Roger B. Hunt '78 said yesterday as he completed the maze.

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