DUE News - 2008

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  • Terrascope Youth Radio, a project in which local urban teens produce radio programming on environmental topics, has gotten off to a running start this summer. The program, an NSF-funded partnership between MIT and the City of Cambridge Youth Programs, began in early July and had its first broadcast in early August.

  • Kim VandiverKim Vandiver ’68 has been selected as a recipient of the Harvey Mudd College Alumni Association Outstanding Alumni Award for going above and beyond the requirements as a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kim is the Director of the Office of Experiential Learning, Dean for Undergraduate Research, and Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering.

  • This month, close to 60 participants from over twenty countries took part in the second annual International Development Design Summit (IDDS) at MIT. The conference was once again headed by MacArthur ‘genius’ grant winner Amy Smith and was supported by a team of over twenty organizers and mentors who selected from previous IDDS participants. Amy spoke at the final presentations about the huge diversity of the group and highlighted that they were “students and teachers, professors and pastors, economists and engineers, masons and mechanics, doctors, welders, farmers and community organizers”. The central idea behind bringing such a huge variety of people together is that of co-creation, as Amy put it, “the concept that it is better to provide communities with the skills and tools they need
    to create technologies, rather than just giving them the technologies themselves”.

  • The collaboration between the Committee on Foreign Scholarships, chaired by Professor Linn Hobbs, and the Distinguished Fellowships program, headed by Kim Benard, was very fruitful during the past year. MIT students were awarded a total of 23 major awards, including 5% of the world’s supply of Gates Scholars this year! Even more impressive is the fact that thirty-seven MIT students reached the final rounds of these competitions.

    This year MIT students garnered 1 Rhodes Scholarship, 1 Marshall Scholarship, 5 Gates Cambridge Scholarships, 6 Fulbright Awards, 1 Chateaubriand Fellowship, 2 Kawamura Scholarships, 1 Merage Foundation for the American Dream Fellowship, 1 Udall Scholarship, 1 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Fellowship, 1 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Fellowship1, and 3 Goldwater Scholarships1.

  • DUE has had a successful year. We delivered for MIT, with quality, across the range of areas that we support. A good way to think about DUE is that we play important roles in education at three different levels:

    Level 1: delivery of core central services that enable the educational enterprise to function;
    Level 2: creation of new services that enable continuous improvement in the educational enterprise; and
    Level 3: strategic visioning for the future of education at MIT within an international context.

    I am proud that we contributed well at each level in the previous academic year.

  • Changing any Web site to become more dynamic so that visitors can actually do something at the site is always a large undertaking. Going from mostly display (organization centered) to dynamic (visitor-centered) requires reengineering the content and the navigation schema.

    The Office of Educational Innovation and Technology (OEIT) is undergoing this process, but with a twist: the site, beginning in September 2008, will be integrated into the work of OEIT. It will do more than communicate about work in OEIT, it will actually do some of the work.

  • Have you ever scratched your head about an acronym you encountered at MIT? Have you ever read or contributed to a wiki? If your answer to either question is yes, have a look at the new MIT Acronyms and Abbreviations wiki:


  • The UAAP reports that thirty-four undergraduates are conducting UROP research overseas this summer. This is a significant increase over summer 2007, where twelve students were engaged in internationally-based UROP projects (known as “IROP”).

  • 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 core philosophy of DUE can be found in the six strategic themes of global education, diversity, innovative teaching and learning, holistic experiences in education, information technology and areas associated with the MIT Undergraduate Task Force on education. But these are just words until they are put into action. The DUE has budgeted funds with the intent of helping undergraduates pursue their dreams in ways that turn those words in real experiences.