'Swing' Shares Final After TF's Laptop Stolen

Officials of a popular Core course made final exam questions available to students Wednesday, just three days before the test, after a laptop containing a copy of the exam was stolen.

The laptop computer belonging to Karim A. Al-Zand, the head teaching fellow for Literature and Arts B-80: "The Swing Era," was stolen from Al-Zand's office Wednesday morning.

Because the computer contained complete copies of both the final exam and the make-up, Al-Zand, fellow TFs and Robinson Professor of Music Robert D. Levin '68 decided to list all possible questions on the course's website in order to ensure that all students have equal access to the test.


"I'm operating on the assumption that it wasn't someone from the course just for my peace of mind," Al-Zand said. "I would like to think that no one in the class would do something like that. It seems to be pretty idiotic, but you never know."

But in an e-mail message to Swing Era students, TF Jonathan M. Wild wrote that "some details of the incident strongly suggest a connection with the class."

The theft occurred around 11 a.m. Wednesday, said Harvard University Police Department spokesperson Peggy A. McNamara.

Shortly before the break-in, Al-Zand talked to a suspicious person described as a black male, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 180 pounds, with medium complexion and build and short, possibly dreadlocked hair.

"This guy is definitely a suspect," McNamara said.

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