DUE News - 2012

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  • MIT Together logo

    In mid-October, MIT Together was officially launched. This Chancellor-led program came out of a task force Eric Grimson brought together last spring, following the death of three students on campus. In considering the difficulties MIT students face, the student culture, and the available support services, the task force recommended MIT Together as a way to:

    • Increase awareness of MIT's resources for students who feel overwhelmed or isolated.
    • Help students seeking assistance find the right resource as soon as possible.
    • Demystify what generally happens when a student visits MIT Medical, S3, or another service
    • Undermine the stigma associated with asking for help at MIT
    • Normalize failure and celebrating challenges as part of learning, discovery, and progress 
    • Challenge students' self-perception of their abilities through contextual information, data, and statistics 
  • October was National Cyber Security Awareness Month.  DUE Desktop Support (compu-squad@mit.edu) sent out some important security tips on what each of us can do to protect our computers, data and privacy:

    #1 - If you have sensitive data for a person other than yourself on your computer, you are required by law to protect that information.

  • During our recent DUE all-staff, we reviewed some of the DUE results from the MIT Quality of Life Survey, which was administered in early 2012. I encourage you to take a few minutes to review the highlights, which provide a snapshot of staff perceptions on a wide range of topics – satisfaction, access to resources, support, causes of stress, etc. DUE results are compared to those of MIT main campus staff.

    While I am pleased that DUE is at the same level or doing better than MIT as a whole, there are certainly areas where there is room for improvement.

  • On October 23rd, the world’s largest accelerator program, MassChallenge, announced the winners of $1.1 million in prizes. Global Research Innovation and Technology (GRIT), led by Tish Scolnik (’10) a D-Lab “alumna” and current D-Lab Scale-Ups fellow, was among the top four top winners of $100K. GRIT is the social enterprise incorporated last year to bring the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC) to market in the developing world.

    Tish Scolnik demonstrates the LFC with staff at St. Boniface Hospital Foundation in Fond-des-Blancs, Haiti

    The LFC, developed at MIT and a first place winner of the 2008 MIT IDEAS competition, is a lever-powered wheelchair designed for the 20 million people in the developing world who need a wheelchair. Its unique lever drivetrain enables users to travel 80% faster than conventional wheelchairs on tarmac and off road like no other mobility aid available. Currently manufactured in India, it is constructed of locally available materials and bicycle parts, but could be made, repaired, and used almost anywhere in the world.

  • A recent blog post by one of our Admissions bloggers, titled "Meltdown," shows the shape of at least one student's struggles at MIT, and by the comments, seemingly others as well. It has gotten a lot of hits and seems to have a fairly broad reach. It is also a nice view as to the support students will show to each other in this community.

    View Lydia K.' October 29th blog post

  • Five MIT students — C.J. Enloe (Course 14); Sara Comis, Saul Lopez and Franco Montalvo (Course 2); and Elise Myers (Course 12) — spent last semester in Madrid participating in the MIT-Madrid Program. They studied at two leading Spanish universities — Universidad Politecnica de Madrid and Universidad Complutense de Madrid — and experienced Madrid and Spanish culture through total immersion. They took classes with Spanish students, lived with Spanish families, ate Spanish food, and experienced Spanish traditions, way of life, art, architecture and more, up close.

  • The Experimental Study Group is developing a new spring 2013 seminar designed to teach undergraduates the skills required to devise, teach, and create video content for problems taken from the MIT GIR curriculum. This seminar will teach students to create short 5-9 minute videos that concisely explain and contextualize specific problems in physics, math, chemistry and biology. The resulting videos will be dynamic in their use of illustrations, demonstrations, animations, and commentary that help present these problems in compelling ways—all from the student’s perspective.

    In the spring of 2012, ESG ran a pilot project with a small group of ESG students to create educational videos based on their GIRs. The goal of this pilot project was to demonstrate a long held belief at ESG that when students engage the process of teaching, they gain insight and command over the subject matter in ways beyond the experience of those students who do not go through this teaching process.

    Watch videos created by ESG students:

    Lorentz Transformation video thumbnail  How the Body Used Energy: Cellular Respiration video thumbnail  Gradients and Vector-valued Functions video thumbnail

    ESG has a tradition of training students to teach and runs a teaching seminar each fall that prepares first-time TAs for their peer teaching experiences. This process challenges students beyond the standard boundaries of the sciences, introducing communication-intensive elements into their learning experience. By encouraging our students to create video content as a method of teaching, we believe that we are taking our students to a new level of understanding and communication.

  • There have been many efforts in recent years to draw more women into STEM fields. While women have made gains, they are still far less likely than men to major in such fields, especially engineering and computer science. Why? The Chronicle of Higher Education asked a group of scholars and experts to respond.

    [Matt McGann, Director of Admissions, was among the experts who were asked to respond. Read Matt's response below.]

  • Benefits

    MIT is required prior to the start of the new year to verify dependent eligibility.

    View information on why dependents must be verified and how to complete the process.

    Please be sure, if you haven’t already done so, to provide verification for your dependents by November 9th (the close of open enrollment). Failure to do so will result in the loss of coverage for your dependents.

  • Several new staff joined DUE between August 22 – October 26, 2012


    Admissions Office

    Dawn Wendell, Assistant Director


    Saif Rayyan, Lecturer