DUE News - 2008

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  • In June 2008, the UAAP kicked off year two of its Amgen- UROP Scholars Program. Introduced in 2007 and funded by the Amgen Foundation, the Program recruits undergraduates interested in science and biotechnology, and places them in MIT laboratories to conduct summer research with MIT faculty. Thirteen of this year’s Scholars were MIT students, while fifteen were recruited from universities around the country, including Duke, Winston- Salem State, Cornell, Texas Tech, University of Hawaii, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In total, almost four hundred applications from interested students were received, more than twice the amount received for the 2007 program.

  • The Office of Educational Innovation and Technology (OEIT) and the MIT Council on Educational Technology (MITCET) are pleased to announce the annual Microsoft Research iCampus Technology Innovation Student (MRiTIS) Prize. Made possible by a generous endowment by Microsoft Research following the completion of the iCampus initiative, the MRiTIS Prize recognizes innovative applications of information technology to enhance education and/or improve student life.

  • On Wednesday September 24th, the Freshman/Alumni Summer Internship Program (F/ASIP) held an orientation event to welcome 107 new students into the program. Now in its 12th year, F/ASIP provides tools to help students assess their interests, explore careers and navigate the internship search process. We also serve as a community in which students and alumni can network with employers, alumni and each other.

    F/ASIP received 136 applications this year – a 23.6% increase over last year. This new class of F/ASIP students hails from 29 states and 15 countries. In addition:

  • A special gathering of practitioners, planners, project PIs, sponsors and other interested parties who are involved with efforts around the development, discovery and dissemination of digital educational and scholarly content is scheduled for November 5th and 6th at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, co-hosted by MIT’s Office of Educational Innovation and Technology (OEIT) and the Persee project at the University Lumiere Lyon II.

  • The Extraordinary Learning @ MIT Video, which highlights curriculum innovation at MIT, is now available on the DUE website at:


    If you haven’t stopped at the Lobby 7 kiosk to watch the video, take minute to check it out. Please add a link to the video from your websites if you feel it is appropriate.

  • As anyone who has watched the financial markets knows, these are uncertain times. Some of you in DUE may be wondering how the economic crisis may affect us. I will give you my best estimate as I see it now.

    We should first note that DUE’s mission places us at the educational center of MIT. If the mission-critical work in DUE were to stop then MIT as we know it would stop. MIT itself is in a strong position. Under the leadership of President Hockfield, this year we have a balanced budget. As she noted in her recent message to the community, our new spending policy will provide a more consistent return to the MIT operating policy. That being said, I believe we should expect leaner times in the MIT budget in the next few years as the economy recovers from the present crisis.

  • As part of its annual roster of Breakthrough Awards for “life-changing innovations,” Popular Mechanics magazine has awarded its top honors to MIT Senior Lecturer Amy B. Smith, for her work fostering low-tech solutions to problems in developing nations. Full article: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/smith-award-1016.html  As part of the Edgerton Center, Amy Smith created D-Lab, co-founded the International Development Initiative, and cocreated the IDEAS Competition.

  • The interest in the use of images in teaching at MIT is on the rise. ACCORD, a collaborative initiative of the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education, Information Services & Technology, the Libraries, and OpenCourseWare, has initiated a program to inform and assist faculty and teaching staff in easily accessing services to support their use of images for teaching.

    Faculty in Humanities, Architecture, Social Sciences, and increasingly in Engineering and Science have access to a large number of image resources as well as tools to use images. It is not always clear which resources and tools are best for what applications and how to get support for use of the images and tools. Often these services, including help in locating, managing, tagging, presenting, and archiving images, come from different organizations within MIT or from outside MIT.

  • In April 2008, the Faculty approved a major change to the undergraduate program as recommended by the 2006 Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons: allowing undergraduate students who wish to earn a Bachelor of Science (SB) degree with two majors to do so by completing all of the requirements for the SB degree as well as those of a second departmental program. The Faculty also voted to phase out the second SB program (commonly known as “double degrees”), under which students must complete 90 additional units beyond the requirements of the first degree. Thanks to the efforts and support of two DUE offices, the Office of Faculty Support and the Registrar’s Office, this proposal worked its way through the faculty governance system for approval on the faculty floor.

  • The MIT Alumni Class Funds provide seed money to faculty to initiate innovative educational projects that encourage creative curriculum changes and enhance teaching and learning. Prof. Beth Coleman of the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies and OEIT's Violeta Ivanova PhD'98 are pleased to be among the recipients of the 2008-2009 Alumni Funds for their proposal to develop a new undergraduate subject, which will focus on analysis and application in communication across media that span written language to all forms of visualization and visual culture.