DUE News - 2011

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  • OEIT's Star development team and the MIT Biology Department have recently received an NSF grant to fund the creation of a visualization tool for enriching the teaching and learning of cell and molecular biology concepts. Following a design model succesfully employed in other Star simulation software, the interactive inquiry-based simulator, StarCellBio, will enable students to conduct virtual experiments, analyze data and perform follow-up experiments. The visualizer will use both real biological data (such as microscopy data) and simulated data...

  • CSNE logoWhile MIT will be a strong research partner in the recently announced multi-institution Engineering Research Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, the NSF-funded Center will also support diverse programs at MIT that foster interest and promote success in STEM education among underrepresented minority students.

  • Several new staff joined DUE between May 26 through July 27


    Aerospace Studies

    Daniel Darlington, Technical Instructor
    Danny Hugh, Technical Instructor

    Educational Innovation and Technology

    Kristina Shapton, OEIT Consultant

    Global Education & Career Development

  • Global Education & Career Development successfully launched its first Global Fellows program this summer. What is the Global Fellows Program?

    • A five-day intensive workshop for 40 PhD students: half from MIT and half from Imperial College London
    • Led by staff and faculty from Imperial College and MIT
    • Focused on professional transferable skills training: collaboration, team work, project planning and development, communication and presentation skills, networking
    • Sponsored on the MIT side by DUE and ODGE
    • The vision: a yearly workshop alternately housed at MIT and at Imperial College

    The Global Fellows Program began with a conversation between Dean Dan Hastings and colleagues from Imperial College London over a year ago. Since the two institutions have so much in common, can we provide more opportunities for our students to connect with one another?

  • In his May 24th New York Times article celebrating the tenure of Amherst College president Anthony Marx, David Leonhardt looked at some of the changes in financial aid during Marx’s time at Amherst. One of the themes of the article focuses on meritocracy. At MIT, meritocracy is one of our most important core principles. MIT’s need-blind admissions policy enables us to admit the best and brightest students regardless of their financial situation. Combined with our policy to award all aid based on demonstrated need and to meet each student’s full need, the Institute ensures both access and affordability.

  • On August 17th MIT Global Education & Career Development (GECD) will launch the 2011 Student Summer Experience Survey. This survey gathers information and data on what sophomores, juniors, and seniors did during the summer months before returning to campus.

  • MIT is proud of its commitment to First Generation students. First Generation students, or those whose parents do not have college degrees, comprise 16% of the MIT student body. Until now, though, there has been no public forum in which to address their needs, shared experiences, and unique challenges. During the Spring 2011 semester, this segment of the MIT student population was given a voice and a much needed sense of community. Earlier this year, the First Generation Project was launched, sponsored by the UAAP/Student Support Services. Two dinners were held, one on February 17th and one on March 31st, where First Generation students, faculty, and administrators came together to share their powerful life stories of overcoming the odds.

  • One current MIT student and two recent graduates have been awarded Fulbright scholarships to study abroad for the 2011-12 academic year.

    Tobias Harris, a Chicago native and PhD candidate in political science, will travel to Japan to conduct interviews and archival research for his project titled “The Politics of Reform in Japan, 1955-2009.”

    Anna Waldman-Brown ’11, a native of San Francisco who graduated this month with an SB in physics and writing and humanistic studies, will travel to Ghana to research sustainable energy solutions.

  • Interphase 2011 T-shirtIt is hard to believe that another year has passed so quickly, but as many of the MIT offices start to take summer vacations the Interphase staff hears footsteps…On Sunday, June 26, 2011 the sounds go from a whisper to a roar with the arrival of the latest Interphase cohort. Seventy members of the incoming Class of 2015 have decided to pass up “their last summer” by spending their time learning more about the unique MIT culture. The members of this Interphase cohort represent nineteen mainland states and Puerto Rico. Their majors and career interests are as diverse as the communities they have left behind.

    Participating students in Interphase live on MIT's campus and attend classes five days/week, to enhance their analytical-thinking and communication skills. They are taught by current MIT faculty, professors, alumni, and graduate students. As participants are introduced to the MIT culture, they begin to make connections with upperclassmen and recent graduates who facilitate recitation and discussion groups. They serve as role models, mentors and leaders to the incoming class.

    Interphase 2011 Students

  • The Admissions Office launched a new website last month and the response has been overwhelmingly favorable. Reader comments on the opening blog post range from “I love the new simple layout,” “The site is extremely clean,” and “I love that it remembers personal information” to “Love the best of the blogs section!” and “I also really like the hand-drawn avatars.”

    The analytics on the site also show a rise in actions taken on the site, which have grown from approximately 6,500 actions a day to just over 34,000 actions a day. Actions include things such as clicking a link, running a search, or sharing on Facebook. Time spent on the site has increased as well. Comparing the two weeks prior to the launch, a user spent an average of 3:06 minutes on the site, and now spends an average of 4:44.

    From studying the analytics on the old site, we found that many people searched through Google, arrived at the site, visited one page, and left. Since the launch of the new design, more people appear to be lingering on the site longer, and browsing through the Wiki and the Best of the Blogs. As a result, we’ve seen a 10% increase in the number of people who "stay" on the site rather than bouncing off of it and we’ve seen a 152% increase in the amount of time people are spending on the site.

    Why we made changes

    The Admissions site was getting overly text heavy and the navigation choices had grown over time to an unwieldy number. In the new design, we reduced 12 navigational buttons to five, and transitioned 100 secondary navigational links to just over 20.

    We changed the...