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Shopping Around

Is the Course Catalog looking fatter than usual? The Crimson has done your work for you: Your guide to the 11 coolest classes offered this semester.

Jenkins' course focuses on the artistic and protest underground cinema movements of the '50's and '60's and continues right up to modern Indy film leaders like Spike Lee.

Because many students do not actually have a very good background in "Indy" films, Jenkins says, this course actually requires a much heavier reading and film-screening load than many students expect.

Despite the demanding workload, the course requires only a take-home midterm and an in-class final.

Jenkins taught a smaller version of this course at Harvard last summer, after coming to Harvard from the University of Minnesota where he taught for 11 years.

After earning his doctorate in Film Studies from Northwestern, he began teaching as well as working as a curator and programmer for various archives and media arts centers.

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--Benjamin D. Grizzle

The Sound of Music

While the world of physics and music may not seem like the ideal match, two physics professors with a love of music and acoustics are hoping to combine the disciplines.

Taught by physics professors John Huth and Eric J. Heller, Science A-49:

"The Physics of Music and Sound" will seek to explain the "production, transmission and perception of sound and music," blending physics concepts with the more understandable world of music.

The course will explore the concepts such as vibration, resonance and wave motion, and how those areas form the principles of music and sound.

"The idea is to develop the concepts physicists use that explain all aspects of music and sound, from how instruments work to differences in tone intervals to the physics of human hearing," Huth says. "When you know the hard physics behind it, it really expands your realm of appreciation of music."

The offering is a welcome choice to less scientifically inclined students hoping to fulfill their Science A core requirement.

"We had talked about doing this course for years, as it contains much intuitive and applicable physics, yet deals with a subject of interest to many students," Heller says.

According to Alex Barnett, the head teaching fellow for the course, class sections will include "hands-on investigations" and group projects designed to put physics applications into practice to explore sound.

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