R Puzzle: Institvte of Diversified Obscurity

by Matt Sakai

Basically, this is a list of class numbers and class names. The classes are all real classes at MIT and can be found in the bulletin (print or on the web). The numbers for some of them are not correct, though. For example, "18.386 Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos" is actually 18.385.

Take the difference between the incorrect and correct numbers--in the above example, 1--and take that letter of the name of the subject. (Subject numbers that are correct are used for spacing.)

Puzzle #Real #NameLetter
18.38618.385Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaosn
9.4149.402Language and Thoughtt
14.29214.292Antitrust Seminar 
7.4147.410Applied Statisticsl
17.43717.432Causes of War: Theory and Methode
22.63122.616Plasma Transport Theoryt
21L.48821L.476Romantic Poetryt
9.0889.081Human Memory and Learninge
11.25111.229Advanced Writing Seminarr
6.0346.034Artificial Intelligence 
14.13414.126Game Theoryo
18.33918.327Wavelets and Filter Banksf
11.00711.007Resolving Public Disputes 
12.53412.517Dynamics of Complex Systemsx
3.0753.063Polymer Physicsi
2.8962.882Principles of Axiomatic Designx
12.00012.000Solving Complex Problems 
5.5715.561Chemistry in Industryi
18.13118.112Functions of a Complex Variablex
6.7846.763Applied Superconductivityv
15.52115.518Taxes and Business Strategyx
16.33116.322Stochastic Estimation and Controli
1.1581.149Application of Technologyi
1.2111.206Airline Schedule Planningi
16.89316.882System Architecturei
1.0101.010Uncertainty in Engineering 
24.97324.955More Advanced Syntaxx
HST.580HST.573Complex Biological Control Systemsx
17.42517.416International Strategyi
4.3764.362Dimensions of Timei
11.12311.123Big Plans 
24.12524.118Paradox and Infinityx
6.2516.245Multivariable Control Systemsv
15.08015.065Decision Analysisi

This spells out "NTH LETTER OF XI X IX V XIII I XX II XVI". At MIT, roman numerals are only used for course names, e.g., XI = "Ocean Engineering". The courses given here are:
XIUrban Studies and PlanningE
XChemical EngineeringN
IXBrain and Cognitive ScienceC
XIIIOcean EngineeringR
ICivil and Environmental EngineeringC
XXProgram in Applied Biological SciencesL
IIMechanical EngineeringE
XVIAeronautics and AstronauticsS
This gives the answer ENCIRCLES.

Broken tag fixed in 2010 by the archivists of Beginner's Luck