Max Morawski


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Max Morawski

3 months ago

Final update! Not going to make these seem natural, just going to answer the questions they asked.

To be considered for the evaluation, please post a comment on your Manifund project, answering these questions one at a time:
1. How much money have you spent so far? Have you gotten more funding from other sources? Do you need more funding?

For last semester I probably spent around a thousand dollars, which I believe was mostly overkill. The other funding source was my wallet. I'm starting up again this semester aiming to spend a lot less. Think my big expenses will be food (just for the first day) and prize money for games (prediction tournament and a few others).

2. How is the project going? (a few paragraphs)

Weirdly great! This semester I am doing two tracks--one for advanced students, one for new students. Both classes have thirtyish people in them. I expect to lose some as the semester rolls on, but last semester I GAINED people every week for the first five weeks, so who knows. One unexpected advantage is UMD is more of a party school than I thought, so I've been slowly carving out a social enclave of the nerdy students who aren't comfortable with that while introducing people to basic rationality / EA ideas. Which makes me think the niche I'm trying to occupy is more stable than I thought, because it serves an existing need.

3. How well has your project gone compared to where you expected it to be at this point? (Score from 1-10, 10 = Better than expected)

10, I honestly thought I'd have about ten people after three classes.

4. Are there any remaining ways you need help, besides more funding?

I don't think so, unless there are any people in the DC area who want to give talks.

5. Any other thoughts or feedback?

This was great not just because I couldn't afford what I was trying to do, but also just to feel like someone thought my idea was good and worth supporting.


Max Morawski

6 months ago

Hi all, we've come to the end of the semester! For the past three months, I've been able to get around thirty undergraduates, mostly CS but a few from other majors, to sit through lectures on:

  • Effective Altruism

  • How to make an Effort

  • How to communicate effectively in relationships

  • Habit Building

  • Thinking and Communicating Clearly

And more! Throughout the semester, we challenged the students with various puzzles and games designed to increase their cooperation and problem solving abilities. I also connected with the head of the EA club at UMD as a result of the class and am now the faculty sponsor. Student reports at the end of the semester were glowing--an informal exit survey showed that nearly 75% of them were applying ideas they'd learned in class on a weekly basis. Next semester looks to be even more intense, since I will be running two sets of these classes simultaneously--one for returning students, and one for a fresh batch.

The money I received was used to refund my original outlay, which involved providing free lunch for the first three classes just to get people in the room, as well as some prizes for various games throughout the semester. Thank you everyone who contributed.

As always, if you have any questions or interest or suggestions, feel free to contact me at maksym.morawski@gmail.com