Note: The information on this page is the same as that provided in the email sent students on January 23rd. If you did not receive that email but are a senior in an MBB track, please contact Shawn Harriman immediately to be added to our email list.
Congratulations on beginning your final undergraduate semester! This letter will highlight the remaining parts of your MBB experience, which will lead to our awarding you a certificate in Mind/Brain/Behavior during Commencement Week.
This semester you must complete the course requirements for your specific MBB track, including the common courses required of all tracks. These common courses are Science of Living Systems 20 (Psychological Science), Molecular and Cellular Biology 80 (Neurobiology of Behavior), and an interdisciplinary seminar.
If you have not yet taken the first foundation course, SLS 20 is being offered this spring by Professor Steven Pinker and will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in Science Center C.
If you have not yet taken an interdisciplinary seminar, three will be offered this spring:
*MBB 91z, Music, Mind, and Brain, Peter Cariani, Mondays 3-5 p.m., William James Hall 6
*MBB 94z, The Self: What Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience Tell Us, Marie-Christine Nizzi, Wednesdays 1-3 p.m., William James Hall 474
*MBB 97a, Avian Cognition: Why Being Called a Bird Brain is a Compliment, Irene Pepperberg, Tuesdays 3-5 p.m.,, William James Hall 4
Additional information, including listings of departmental courses that also meet the seminar requirement.
Some tracks approve alternative arrangements for these common MBB requirements, and you should consult your concentration advisor or your concentration's MBB track faculty head about such a possibility. You should also check with your concentration about your progress in meeting additional track and concentration requirements (including your senior thesis tutorial).
The MBB certificate program requires you to complete an honors thesis, and we hope your research is going well. MBB theses are managed through your home concentration, and you will follow the rules and deadlines set by your concentration.
Once you submit your thesis, you will participate in a series of MBB thesis workshops, at which you will informally present and discuss your thesis findings with a group of fellow MBB seniors from a variety of tracks. These workshops will take place in April and we will email you workshop details immediately after spring break.
MBB Certificate and Senior Ceremony – Application Due March 1st, Senior Ceremony May 29th
Upon completion of your course and thesis work will qualify you for a Certificate in Mind/Brain/Behavior. This certificate will be awarded at the MBB Senior Ceremony the morning of Wednesday, May 29th. Later this semester, we will send out invitations to you and your family. In order to prepare invitations and your certificate, we will need you to submit a certificate application by Friday, March 1st. Click here to review certificate requirements. These requirements include track coursework, your thesis, and participation in the junior symposium and the upcoming thesis workshops. If you did not attend a junior symposium, contact me immediately. The certificate application is linked from the bottom of of the certificate requirements page or you can download the application here.
Special MBB Events – April 24th and 25th
The MBB community gathers several times each year for a variety of events, and we are especially pleased to invite you to attend our annual distinguished lectures. This year, we have a pair of lecturers from the University College London (UCL): Ute Frith of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Chris Frith of the UCL Wellcome Centre Trust for Neuroimaging. They will speak in the early evenings of April 24th and 25th. We will email details closer to the talks, but save the dates!
HSMBB (Harvard Society for Mind/Brain/Behavior) Events and Activities
HSMBB is an integral part of the MBB undergraduate program, and is dedicated to building a community among MBB students. HSMBB activities include regular seminars led by faculty and other researchers, communi-teas providing opportunities for students and faculty from across MBB to meet and chat, and the publication The Harvard Brain. To be informed about these and other HSMBB activities, check out its website, like it on Facebook, and join its mailing list.
Beyond events the MBB initiative and HSMBB sponsor, the Boston area has many talks of interest to students and researchers in mind/brain/behavior. The MBB website has a community calendar, which includes a selection of these events, some of which are of particular interest to undergraduates. Current such events listed include a book reading by former MBB seminar instructor Lawrence Friedman on his new biography of psychologist Erich Fromm (February 12th) and a special film presentation of Rushmore paired with a talk by Harvard Medical School professor Steven Schlozman (January 28th). This webpage is regularly updated as we receive event notices.
If you have any questions about any of this or about any other MBB activities, feel free to check our website for details or to e-mail me. The website provides details or links to track and secondary field requirements, MBB courses, research opportunities faculty and other Harvard researchers have asked us to post for undergraduates, and MBB in general. In addition, MBB sends out an e-newsletter with information updates several times during the academic year. If you are receiving this letter, you are on the mailing list for these newsletters.
We at MBB wish you a productive start to your final Harvard College semester, and look forward to working with you as you complete your studies!
Shawn C. Harriman
Education Program Coordinator