The Inside Scoop on DUE (April 2015)
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
This creed from the United States Postal Service is fitting for the students who recently participated in MIT Momentum, a design class for first and second year students sponsored by the Office of Minority Education. Boston’s recent Snowmaggedon caused a slight change-up in the Momentum schedule, but the engineering competition took place nevertheless on Friday, January 30.
Eight teams of MIT undergraduates worked over the course of four weeks in January to develop an EMG-controlled hand and arm that could serve coffee, write an invitation, dial a rotary phone, serve food and set the table. The theme, as you might guess, was organizing a dinner party. Each team had a $500 budget to purchase extra EMG components or materials to build the robotic limb.
EMG, or electromyogram, records electrical activity produced by muscles. The electrical activity can then be transmitted to a device. In this case, the hand and arm move based on the electrical signals...
The MIT Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) unveiled its new high-tech teaching lab at the Joint Military Simulator opening ceremony on Jan. 29.
The Joint Military Simulator, located in Building W59 (Heinz Building), is a combined effort among staff members of the naval science, military science, and aerospace studies departments. The simulator provides supplemental training to the ROTC curriculum, and enhances the leadership and military skills training of future officers commissioned through the MIT ROTC program. Naval ROTC midshipmen and cadets from Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC will be able to train with software developed by the respective military services designed for ship handling, command and control, and small-unit leadership and tactics.
Midshipman Faith Huynh, a sophomore aerospace engineering major at MIT, looks forward to using the Mariner Skills Simulator, a naval software component of the lab. “Captain Benke and Dean Freeman’s opening words really highlighted the utility and opportunity that we are being given,” she said. The Mariner Skills Simulator creates a virtual ship-handling environment that enhances students’ skills in maritime navigation and in bridge resource management (managing personnel and logistics on the bridge of a ship), to prepare them as future naval officers...
MIT senior Shruti Sharma is one of 40 U.S. recipients of the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship this year. This award will allow her to pursue a PhD in materials and manufacturing engineering at the University of Cambridge, focusing on nanotechnology in the Cavendish Laboratories’ Centre for Nanoscience. She intends to pursue a career in industrial engineering.
Sharma is studying materials science and engineering at MIT, and serves as president of the MIT Undergraduate Association.
Sharma grew up in New Zealand and New Jersey. Inspired by her uncle, a physician who treats landmine victims, she became an activist for amputees in middle school. Partnering with the Campaign to Ban Landmines, among others, Sharma led initiatives to clear landmines in Venezuela.
Sharma’s advocacy for amputees has influenced her research pursuits at MIT and elsewhere. In the laboratory of Hugh Herr, an associate professor of media arts and sciences, she has helped design multimaterial prosthetic sockets. Sharma has also used 3-D printing to conduct research on low-cost prosthetics, and received an independent grant from the National Science Foundation for work with Professor Jennifer Lewis at Harvard University...
Undergraduate financial aid budget to grow 8.8 percent; tuition and fees will rise 3.75 percent.
Underscoring its commitment to preserving broad access to MIT, the Institute will allocate $103.4 million next year to ensure affordability for its 4,500 undergraduate students — the first time MIT’s annual financial aid budget will exceed $100 million.
For the 2015-16 school year, the undergraduate financial aid budget will grow 8.8 percent, while undergraduate tuition and fees will increase 3.75 percent. The figures were announced today at a meeting of the MIT Corporation.
The sharp increase in the Institute’s financial aid budget reflects the commitment of an added $3.2 million to reduce what students are expected to contribute to their education through work and loans.
MIT’s $103.4 million budget for undergraduate financial aid next year is a dramatic increase from the $30.5 million spent in 2000 — a sustained rate of growth that far exceeds that of tuition and fee increases during the same period. For students with family incomes under $75,000 a year, MIT will continue to guarantee that scholarship funding from all sources allows them to attend the Institute tuition-free.
“MIT provides most of the financial aid its undergraduates receive,” says Dennis Freeman, dean for undergraduate education. “Next year we will have $103.4 million available to award in need-based scholarships that do not need to be repaid. This represents a significant increase in our financial aid budget, which will not only cover the increase in charges, but lower the net price for all students with financial need.”
MIT admits 1,467 students from 50 states and 67 countries; video of drones delivering acceptance letters garners local and national media attention.
On Saturday, March 14, MIT made its undergraduate admissions decisions available online to applicants for the 2015-2016 academic year. The Institute admitted 1,467 students to next year’s freshman class.
“We have so many high caliber students who apply to MIT every year,” says Stuart Schmill, MIT’s dean of admissions. “It makes our job to select the class a truly difficult one.”
“Those offered admission to the Class of 2019,” Schmill continues, “exemplify all the qualities that distinguish an MIT student: [a] strong match with MIT’s mission, enthusiasm for science and technology, and the ability to make an impact in the community, and in the world. More than a third have won national or international academic distinctions. Many are athletes or artists or makers. All have exceptional intellect and character.”
Admitted students come from all 50 states, 67 countries, and from diverse backgrounds: More than a quarter identify as members of underrepresented minority groups, and 17 percent will be the first generation in their family to attend college...
Bahr, Drennan, Gibson, and Sive receive the Institute’s highest undergraduate teaching award.
Four MIT professors have been named 2015 MacVicar Faculty Fellows, awarded for exceptional undergraduate teaching, mentoring, and educational innovation.
This year’s honorees are Arthur Bahr, the Alfred Henry and Jean Morrison Hayes Career Development Associate Professor of Literature; Catherine L. Drennan, a professor of chemistry and biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor and investigator; Lorna J. Gibson, the Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and a professor of civil and environmental engineering and mechanical engineering; and Hazel L. Sive, a professor of biology.
The MacVicar Faculty Fellows Program was created in 1992 to honor the legacy of Margaret MacVicar, an MIT alumna, professor of physical science, and the Institute’s first dean for undergraduate education from 1985 to 1990. Fellows receive $10,000 annually, for a period of 10 years, to support educational activities, research, travel, and other scholarly expenses. With the addition of the 2015 fellows, the program now sponsors 42 professors...
MacVicar Day examines MIT’s unique partnership with Singapore University of Technology and Design.
On January 25, 2010, before signing a formal collaboration agreement between MIT and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), then-MIT President Susan Hockfield said, “Our role will be extensive and direct. MIT faculty will be involved at every stage, from developing new curricula to helping with early deployment, assisting with mentoring, career development programs, and conducting major joint research projects. We also look forward to numerous opportunities for student exchanges and collaborations.”
Five years later, that vision has come to fruition. SUTD is up and running, with over 1,000 students and 101 course offerings, 94 of which were contributed by MIT. More than 100 Institute faculty — or roughly 10 percent overall — have participated in developing SUTD’s education and research programs. Yet, as panelists attested at the MacVicar Day symposium on March 13, it certainly hasn’t been a one-way street; MIT-SUTD has also greatly enriched education and research at MIT.
The symposium, “Undergraduate Education Goes Global: Learning from the MIT-SUTD Collaboration,” was part of MacVicar Day, an annual celebration of the MacVicar Faculty Fellows Program. Dean for Undergraduate Education Dennis M. Freeman opened the program by recognizing the four 2015 Fellows, selected for excellence in undergraduate teaching...
Amgen Scholars Program alumni living and studying in the Northeast gathered at the Boston Marriott Cambridge on March 20 for a dinner hosted by the Amgen Scholars Global Program Office, housed at MIT. The event welcomed more than 60 attendees and featured a keynote presentation by Elazer Edelman, the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at MIT and director of the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center.
Launched in 2007, the Amgen Scholars Program is an internationally recognized research initiative that invites undergraduates to conduct faculty-mentored research. Funded through a 12-year, $50 million commitment from the Amgen Foundation, the program is currently hosted at 17 key research institutions in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Since 2007, more than 2,500 undergraduates have participated.
The value of involving undergraduates in research was a common theme throughout the program. “Science without translation is self-indulgent. Without students ... sterile,” Edelman said in his remarks...
Global Education and Career Development (GECD) has opened a new satellite office called “GECD Express” in Room 5-118.
The new GECD Express will be open on weekdays through Commencement (Friday, June 5) from 11 am - 3 pm. Students can stop by the small office for answers to quick questions and referral to advising and other resources. Topics include getting jobs and internships, career planning, going abroad, and applying to medical and graduate school. Staff at GECD Express will also offer drop-in advising appointments through May 15. There are three types of drop-ins with different schedules:
Career Service Drop-ins: 15-20 minute appointments for career questions and reviewing career documents like resumes and cover letters. (Career service drop-ins remain available at the main E39 location weekdays through May 15 from 11 am – 3 pm.)
Global Drop-ins: For answers to more in-depth questions about going abroad.
Prehealth Advising Drop-ins: If you're pre-med or thinking about a career in medicine. (Prehealth drop-ins continue through the summer at our main E39 location.)
From now through May 15, GECD Express will offer all three types of drop-ins according to the following schedule:
11 am-12 pm
Career Services Drop-ins
Career Services Drop-ins
11 am-1 pm
Career Services Drop-ins
12 pm-1 pm
Career Services Drop-ins
11 am-1 pm
Career Services Drop-ins
The MIT Edgerton Center’s K-12 electronics curriculum was the basis for a creative technology-education workshop in rural Maine this winter.
When a middle-school girl from rural Maine updated her Facebook page with a photo of herself soldering on a circuit board, the creators of Gizmo Garden knew the project was working — participating students were developing new images of themselves.
Bill Silver ’75, SM ’80 and his wife, Judy, held the winter-break workshop in February for 10 students to bolster the opportunity for technical education in coastal Maine — a place they loved, but one with limited resources.
The couple, living full-time in Nobleboro, Maine, for the past five years, wanted to find a meaningful way to contribute to their community. Bill Silver, a co-founder of the machine-vision systems maker Cognex, and Judy Silver, who worked at Cognex in marketing and sales, drew on their technical and outreach skills. Drawing from MIT Edgerton Center curriculum models, they developed a week-long workshop that brought middle-school students together in a local library and invited them to create their own projects using their newly acquired skills of breadboarding and soldering electronics onto circuit boards.
As part of the MIT D-Lab: Development class, six students traveled to Peru in January to collaborate with peers from Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) on sustainable housing and energy projects for the village Rayampampa. Teams of students worked remotely throughout the semester running lab experiments and building prototypes in preparation for field work. Projects included innovative designs for improved cookstoves and study of a local tall grass material for housing insulation.
Chheangkea Ieng '17 put together this wonderful video about their experience. In addition to Ieng, team members from MIT included Pedro Cuellar-Reynolds (trip leader), Heather Beem (trip leader), Langston Fitts, Johanna Greenspan-Johnson, Chheangkea Ieng, Sade Nabahe, Khanh Nguyen, and Cali Warner. Participants from Peru included UTEC professors Julien Noel and Samuel Charca and a team of their students.
D-Lab: Development addresses issues of technological improvements at the micro level for developing countries—in particular, how the quality of life of low-income households can be improved by adaptation of low cost and sustainable technologies. Students form project teams to partner with mostly local level organizations in developing countries.
A number of staff members from DUE received awards at this year's MIT Excellence Awards ceremony held on March 11.
Serving the Client Award
The Forms and Petitions team, a collaboration between staff from DUE and IS&T, won the Serving the Client Award. After soliciting input from students and faculty, the team developed digitized forms for several core student functions: Add/Drop, HASS Concentration, Late Add/Drop, and Graduate Student Petition. In the past, students had to print copies of each form and have advisors and/or instructors sign the forms before turning them in--a time-consuming and cumbersome process for all. "These thoughtful innovations boost the quality of the campus experience for many students and faculty," President Reif said before presenting the award. DUE members of the Forms and Petitions Team include:
Brian Canavan, Associate Registrar, Registrar’s Office
Mary Enterline, Associate Dean, Office of Faculty Support
Patricia Fernandes, Advisor, Communication and HASS Requirements,
Office of Faculty Support
Genèvre Filiault, Assistant Dean for Curriculum and Faculty Support, Office of Faculty Support
Peter Hayes, Associate Registrar, Registrar’s Office
Rosanne Santucci, Communications and Data Specialist, Office of Faculty Support
Unsung Hero Award
David Randall, Associate Dean of Student Support Services, received the Unsung Hero Award for helping "a stunning number of troubled students work through their issues," President Reif said, adding that "for the most part, his remarkable contributions stay primarily under the radar because his work is best done silently." Randall, who heads Student Support Services and is trained as a clinical psychologist, was praised for his work as a student advocate and an advisor to administrators and senior leaders on how to help students in need. As one nominee noted, Randall deserves the Unsung Hero award for the "countless acts he performs every day, evening, and weekend, that result in building a compassionate MIT."
Congratulations to our Excellence Awards recipients this year, and thanks for all you do on behalf of DUE and MIT!
Several new staff joined DUE between January 20 and April 14, 2015.
Mohammad Obaidee, Financial and Program Administrator
Student Financial Services
Paula Bernal, Counselor, Financial Aid
Eric Sacca, Assistant Director of Operations
Camille Woods, Administrative Assistant II