# Freshman Physics (solution)

## by Kai Huang

The first thing to notice about the list of words is they all begin with F, H, I, P, or T. If you know anything about MIT, you should immediately deduce that each line should be filled with a 5-word phrase producing the acronym IHTFP. This is confirmed by the fact that there are exactly 12 words with each starting letter and there are exactly 12 lines to be filled in, each with 5 blanks.

Looking at the lines to be filled in, notice that the blanks are of different lengths, which aids significantly in narrowing down the choices for filling in the words. In fact, many words can be filled in immediately because they have a unique length within all words of that start letter.

Finally, notice that many of the words are quite scientific, as if they might appear in MIT subject titles or descriptions.

Using a combination of

• logical deduction to fill in some blanks and narrow down choices for others, and
• searching the MIT Subject Listings,

you should eventually discover that each line is composed entirely of words from one particular MIT subject’s title and description, and in fact can be thought of as an alternate, IHTFP-style title for the subject (albeit quite forced and somewhat imprecise).

The fact that each IHTFP title is composed entirely of words from one subject’s title and description generates a nice property. If you have the correct 5-word IHTFP title, then the following search will bring up the actual subject:

2. Under the left-hand-side search box, select the option “with all of the words”,
3. Type in the 5 words from the IHTFP title without any punctuation, and click search.

In fact, more often than not, a subset of the correct 5 words will still uniquely produce the actual MIT subject.

Some subjects have more than one number. For those, we’ve included a note such as “(1 of 2)” to identify which specific subject number is relevant for this puzzle.

The final message is obtained by reordering the subjects by relevant subject number and then using the two numbers given in brackets at the end of each line to index into the actual subject titles.

Here are all the IHTFP titles, actual subject numbers and titles, indices, and extracted letters:

IHTFP title

Subject numbers

Relevant subject number

Actual subject title

Indices

Letters

Integrated Heat & Thermal-Fluids Principles

2.005

2.005

Thermal-Fluids Engineering I

11, 17

I,  I

Industrial Heat Transfer & Fluid Processing

3.044

3.044

Materials Processing

13, 9

C, S

Indoor HVAC: Technologies, Fundamentals, & Psychrometrics

2.67J, 4.427J

4.427J

(2 of 2)

Analysis and Design of Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Systems

13, 19

E, F

6.182

6.182

Psychoacoustics Project Laboratory

23, 7

L, A

Introduces Hydrostatics, Turbulence, & Fluid Principles

10.301

10.301

Fluid Mechanics

10, 6

A, M

Immunotherapies: Historical Therapies for Pathogens

10.495, 10.595

10.495

(1 of 2)

Molecular Design and Bioprocess Development of Immunotherapies

15, 2

N, O

Immigration History (to & from Places)

11.019J, 21H.310J

11.019J

(1 of 2)

Migration and Immigration in US History

12, 26

D, U

Implement Housing Technologies for Partners

11.423

11.423

Information, Asset-building, and the Immigrant City

29, 13

H, S

Introduction: Highways & Traffic Flows Planning

1.200J, 11.544J, ESD.21J

11.544J

(2 of 3)

Transportation Systems Analysis: Performance and Optimization

3, 6

A, P

Instrumentation: Horizon, Temperature, & Flight Positioning

16.343

16.343

Spacecraft and Aircraft Sensors and Instrumentation

1, 26

S, O

Introduction: Human Thought, Freedom, & Politics

17.03

17.03

Introduction to Political Thought

3, 4

T, R

In Humans: Therapeutic Foundations & Pharmacodynamics

20.201

20.201

Mechanisms of Drug Actions

4, 19

H, T

Reading down the two columns of extracted letters gives the IHTFP-style final clue, which reads ICELAND HAS THIS FAMOUS PORT. The answer is REYKJAVIK.

Charles L. Dodgson