DUE News - 2017

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  • The 2017 DUE Holiday Party was a smashing success! Don't just take our word for it--click on the photo below to view a Flickr photo album filled with happy faces and good cheer. Many thanks to Lisa Stagnone,Y-Chie Primo, and host Denny Freeman for a memorable gathering.

    DUE 2017 Holiday Party

  • DUE welcomed a number of new employees between December 8, 2016, and February 8, 2017. Congratulations to all!

  • On February 1-2, The Teaching and Learning Lab (T+LL) partnered with ODL, DUE, and ODGE to host a campus-wide Festival of Learning. This 2-day event celebrated the creative contributions that MIT faculty, staff, and students have made to continuously improving student learning experiences at the Institute. In her opening remarks, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart set the stage for the Festival and introduced the first keynote speaker, Satya Nitta of IBM Watson Education.

    In Nitta’s keynote address, titled “Watson and the Future of Learning Science and Technology,” he began with an historical overview of computing systems. He shared his perspective on the evolution of the field of artificial intelligence (AI), from its Minskian foundations in logic and reasoning to its current focus on intelligent tutoring systems through the implementation of statistical calculations and probabilistic answers. Nitta also quoted Daniel Denton, and stressed the fact that although AI systems can, in fact, learn, adapt, reason, analyze, and interpret, they are not intelligent. However, he did point out that by understanding how machines learn, we can gain insight into human learning.

    During the “Lighting Round,” MIT faculty and instructors presented short pedagogy talks that highlighted interesting and unique ways they engage students in active learning through the use of technology, project work, and interactive demonstrations. Materials Science professor Lorna Gibson discussed the evolution of her flipped 3.032x (Mechanical Behavior of Materials) class using MITx materials. Professor Michael Cuthbert demonstrated how he uses Artusi, an environment he developed for learning the rote, repetitive, but important skills of music fundamentals and music theory in his 21M.051 (Computer Tools for Music Fundamentals) class. Dean Dennis Freeman explained his use of task-centered instruction in 6.01 (Intro to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) and described how he uses hands-on, lab-based activities to provide context for the introduction of relevant theory in subsequent lectures. Peter Dourmashkin described his use of the The Lightboard in 8.01 (Physics I), which allows the instructor to face front while writing. Professor Ely Sachs discussed the importance of teaching engineering students to be experts in both analysis and synthesis and his use of guided discovery to support the development of those capabilities...

  • A record number of MIT students studied in Madrid, Spain, during IAP 2017, earning credit towards their degree program. Sixty-one students enrolled in one of three course options: Global Literature, taught by Margery Resnick; Spanish II, taught by Ana Yanez Rodriguez; and Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition, taught by Margarita Ribas Groeger. The three courses offered students a chance to earn MIT credit, while living overseas in a homestay and gaining firsthand knowledge of another culture.

  • During IAP 2017, MIT Army ROTC contributed to the MIT community in a discipline that we know best: leadership development.

    Captain Emily Hannenberg led a leadership development workshop for 14 members of the MIT community. Workshop participants spent three days exploring leadership concepts and skills including communication, presence, bases of power, and influence tactics. On the final day of the workshop, participants applied these principles in challenging, physical situations at the MetroRock Gym as a capstone.

  • Editor's note: Nenye Anagbogu '18, a mechanical engineering major and 3-year veteran of Momentum, graciously agreed to share this insider's perspective on the experience.

  • In January, the Prehealth Advising Office at GECD offered a new one-week, non-credit course: Exploring Public Health through the Lens of Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a serious gynecologic disease that affects one in 10 women, many of whom endure years of painful symptoms before being properly diagnosed and treated. The course attracted 35 participants, including students and members of the broader MIT community, who had the opportunity to learn about this often misunderstood condition.

    The course began with a screening of the documentary film Endo What?, which gave an overview of the health issues posed by endometriosis and the many challenges faced by women who have this disease. On the second day, there was a lecture on public health disciplines and the analysis of endometriosis from epidemiological, health policy, social science, environmental health, and biostatistics perspectives.

    Dr. Malcolm Mackenzie, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School, presented on the third day about surgical methods for treating endometriosis and his approach to interviewing patients. A panel of adolescent and adult patients with endometriosis detailed their first-person experiences on the fourth day, and the week culminated with a presentation by a representative from the patient advocacy organization Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA). Course participants then had the opportunity to engage in public service work by traveling to Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School and using the EFA’s “Endo EduKit” to educate health science students...

  • Over IAP 2017, the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming hosted a series of events for first-year students. The first of these, Departmental Exploration (DEX), was a weeklong series designed to help freshmen explore different academic opportunities as they begin to think about declaring a major this spring. Each day focused on a different theme and featured panels of students and events hosted by various departments.

  • For many years, Experimental Study Group (ESG) philosophy instructor Lee Perlman has taught his signature course, ES.112 (The Philosophy of Love), to a wide range of MIT students. Using classic works of literature and philosophy, Perlman leads his students on a personal exploration of the nature of love. Offering intellectual rigor outside of the hard sciences and technology, the class is much beloved at MIT.

  • The ATIC staff (Assistive Technology Information Center) held our annual IAP Open House on February 2, welcoming about 35-40 attendees, both from within MIT and beyond. We demonstrated various assistive technologies, such as screen reading, magnification, voice recognition, and scan-and-read software. Our accessibility and usability experts talked with visitors about tools they can use to check websites for accessibility and usability evaluation tools.

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