DUE News - All Years

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  • Once again we start the academic year with the return and new arrival of our students. This is a time of new energy and high hopes. I realize that for many offices the work of the new year started months ago. Students have been getting their financial packages right, some students have already started in Interphase and some students have been working on UROP projects all summer. Nevertheless, this time brings a whole group of bright new faces to us. Here in DUE, we want to support, enable and encourage our students as much as possible.

  • Justin Riley, a DUE Office of Educational Innovation and Technology (OEIT) developer, in collaboration with Dr. Megan Rokop, head of the Outreach Program for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard took StarBiogene for a shakedown cruise with OEIT Director and Senior Associate Dean Vijay Kumar, the OEIT staff, and guests from DUE, the Department of Biology, and the Broad Institute on July 24, 2007.

  • “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” So says a Japanese proverb that underscores the importance of vision and planning. The MIT Careers Office (MITCO), including Study Abroad, has recently begun a strategic planning process to plan for its future. This process will include assessment of client needs, including students and employers; input from major stakeholders; an internal review of key programs and services against professional standards; and program benchmarking. Strategic initiatives at MIT and DUE will provide significant guidance in this process, in particular the holistic education of our students and increasing their opportunities for global experience.

  • As a result of the Task Force report, our own discussions through the Global Theme team, and the work of the Global Educational Opportunities at MIT (GEOMIT) committee, there is now campus discussion about how we provide an international education for our students. The data from MITCO indicates that some 23% of our students in each class have an international educational experience at some time in their four years with us. There are three big types of experiences. These are study abroad experiences, international work experiences including internships, and international development. In the study abroad category, we have students who participate in the Cambridge MIT Exchange (CME) and MIT Madrid programs run through MITCO as well as departmental programs and student self-created study abroad programs.

  • The Spring 2007 IT Partners Conference featured a panel discussion on academic computing, chaired by Babi Mitra from OEIT. The panel focused on three aspects of academic computing at MIT: institutional support for the academic computing innovation cycle; enterprise-wide academic computing service and; academic computing coordination across the MIT Libraries, DUE and IS&T.

    Babi Mitra(OEIT), Phil Long(OEIT) and Katie Vale(OEIT) presented elements of OEIT’s strategy as well as how OEIT supports the innovation cycle from ‘experiment’ through ‘incubate’ through ‘transition’ to ‘service’, discussed the five programmatic areas that OEIT is focusing on --- Visualization & Simulation, Collaboration Tools, Cross Media Tools, Course and Learning Administration, and, Active Learning Environments, and shared vignettes from some of the programmatic areas including those on image management, STARbio and Second Life. The question to be addressed was as to how OEIT could provide
    the most benefit to MIT education?

    And how could it work best with IT Partners to do this?

  • What is it like being a freshman at MIT? To learn from the source, see the new short film "Defroshing 2010", which since its release has been the most popular video on MIT TechTV (titled after the informal term for "the process in which various people help freshmen adjust to MIT") was created by several students from Class of 2010.

  • As the MIT campus says goodbye to its recent graduates, the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming (UAAP) has been busy this spring planning Orientation for the Class of 2011. In addition to a variety of academic and residential events and programming, students will be seeing three very important presentations covering a variety of topics that are important to their transition into the MIT community.

  • This spring has been a time for those involved with Terrascope to present their work to wider audiences.  In May, this year’s class of Terrascopers opened to the public an interactive museum they had created focusing on New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. Exhibits included:

    • A walk-through maze, representing the decision tree New Orleans residents were faced with as Katrina approached, during the storm and in its aftermath. As visitors entered the maze, signs directed them to decide between evacuating or remaining in New Orleans. Those who chose evacuation had a choice of destination, and those who chose to stay also had a number of options. Each choice led to a distinct path through the maze, with distinct consequences. For example, those who chose to remain in their homes passed through a “storm” that included debris propelled by a fan, eventually emerging onto a simulated rooftop to await evacuation.

    • A replica of a storm-ravaged house, marked on the outside with the now-familiar annotated X painted on by post-storm emergency officials.  Visitors first entered a room laid out to represent the jumbled, muddy interior of a house, as it would have appeared shortly after the storm.  They then passed through into a room showing what a house would look like in the midst of gutting and restoration. Interactive elements enabled visitors to get a feel for what it might be like to work on such a restoration. For example, they could try to break up a wall with a sledgehammer, explore secret compartments in which some New Orleanians stored valuables, and sort debris according to rules established by recovery workers.

    • An informational tour of hurricanes and their effects, including an interactive element in which visitors could create a simulated storm surge and see how it affected regions protected by wetlands and barrier islands, those protected by levees, and those with no protection. In another element, visitors learned the difference between the infamous “I-wall” floodwalls, and the superior “T-wall” systems, by erecting their own floodwalls in a sandbox and feeling how easily an I-wall can be compromised.

  • Melanie Parker will join the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education on July 16, 2007, as the new Executive Director, MIT Careers Office.

  • DUE’s Holistic Theme is focused on a holistic approach to the education of our students. While students do not consciously differentiate between learning inside or outside the classroom, a holistic approach ensures that MIT is consciously helping students make the connections between living and learning.

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