DUE News - 2013

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  • Graduation day is a significant milestone for everyone, but for a subset of the MIT population, getting their degree has special meaning. Luis Juarez For those MIT students who are the first generation in their family to graduate from college, and in some cases, the first one ever to go to college, Commencement represents breaking new ground in the history of their families.

    To honor these students’ accomplishments, as well as the sacrifices and contribution of their families, the First Generation Project hosted a special Commencement Day reception. The hour-long reception provided the opportunity for students and their families to come together and be recognized while also giving back.

    Victoria Okuneye

     

    The students were invited to be photographed and, in some cases, filmed and interviewed. These images of the students in caps and gowns, celebrating with their families, will be used to inspire and encourage current and aspiring first generation MIT students. With grandmothers, grandfathers and young children in tow, many took time out of their busy Commencement Day schedule just to be photographed and to convey the message: “You can do it too. This will be you one day”.

        

  • Of the great deal written about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in recent months, much has been positive, some frothy, some skeptical, and some outright negative. Online education is likely a game changer for those who don’t have access to residential education but will it – the question goes – replace residential education? That is the fear in some quarters (and the hope in others). Our personal view is: not in the foreseeable future.

  • MIT has had a long history of welcoming students from around the world. Over the past decade, MIT has seen a significant rise in the number of international students, to a total of 4,622 for the 2011-2012 academic year – an increase of 69% (see table). Currently, 28% of degree-seeking students at MIT are international (10% of whom are undergraduate and 40% graduate according to the 2012-2013 Registrar's "Y" Report) originating from 112 different countries and from all regions of the world (for further details see Figures 1 and 2).

  • Leigh RoydenThe Experimental Study Group is pleased to welcome Professor Leigh Royden, Professor of Geology and Geophysics at the Program in Geology and Geochemistry, as Interim Director for the coming year.  Professor Alex Slocum is on leave of absence while taking a post as Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing at the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.  Leigh

  • An effective Learning Management System (LMS) enables faculty to organize and manage the many aspects of teaching a class, for example:

    • sharing and updating class materials and assignments
    • managing class membership
    • tracking student performance
    • facilitating course-based collaboration and information exchange.

    An effective LMS is also scalable and adaptable and evolves to support the diverse and advancing pedagogical models used by the faculty.

  • Visitors to MIT often enter the door marked "Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL)" hoping to catch a glimpse of faculty and students in white lab coats working with lab equipment. To their surprise, there are no lab benches or strange-looking machines, but TLL does conduct experiments, collect and analyze data, make discoveries and reach conclusions. Instead of science and engineering, the focus is on education, specifically innovations in STEM higher education that enhance teaching and learning at MIT and beyond.TLL students

    "TLL is different from many university teaching and learning centers," says Dr. Lori Breslow, TLL's director. "From the beginning, we've combined our expertise in teaching and learning with research.The synergy between these two parts of TLL is what allows us to contribute to MIT's educational mission in a variety of ways."

  • The national conversation about federal science funding advocacy is now happening at MIT. Student group Stand With Science partnered with GECD in early May for a panel presentation on the effects of federal budget sequestration on science research at MIT, featuring remarks and discussion amongst Maria Zuber, MIT’s Vice President for Research, Bill Bonvillian, Director of the MIT Washington Office, and Samuel Brinton, graduate student and executive director of Stand With Science. The event, titled The Sequester: The Future of Science Funding and its Impact on MIT - Students, Faculty, Postdocs, and Research happened on Monday May 6, 2013.  The key questions addressed were:

    • How is the sequester likely to impact universities?The Sequester: The future of science funding and its impact on MIT

    • How is a reduction in federal science funding likely to impact grants to faculty and support for graduate students and postdocs?

    • What is MIT considering to address these problems and affected MIT researchers?

    With over 70% of MIT’s research volume dependent upon federal sources, the federal budget sequester will certainly significantly impact the Institute.  In terms of how this will affect students, Dr. Zuber said, “the effects…might not be seen a week or even a year from now, but ten years from now they will be greatly seen.”  MIT will see a decrease in research volume of about 3 to 4 percent across campus, which will have a measurable future effect on research students, postdocs, and costs.

  • Dennis Freeman, professor of electrical engineering, has been appointed as MIT’s next dean for undergraduate education, effective July 1, Chancellor Eric Grimson announced today. Denny FreemanFreeman succeeds Daniel Hastings, the Cecil and Ida Green Education Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, who has served as dean for undergraduate education since 2006.

  • Daniel HastingsThis is my last column as Dean. It has been a challenge and a pleasure to lead the DUE community.  I have learned much from my interactions with the fine people in DUE. Your commitment to the mission of MIT and DUE is impressive.

  • manual plastic bottle compactorOn Friday, May 10th, D-Lab teamed up with the MIT Museum's Second Fridays program to showcase 30 projects from seven classes, including two projects from Wellesley College's new D-Lab-inspired program, "Making a Difference through Engineering," in an evening event that was free and open to t

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