MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000


The academic year 1999—2000 saw extraordinary activity in all aspects of the life of the Institute–in academics, in student life, in research, in administration, and in campus development. These activities are chronicled in the reports of the individual units to the President that are gathered in this publication. Here we summarize highlights from among these achievements, using both human and statistical measures. There is no individual Report of the President this year.


The academic year 1999—2000 brought several significant changes to MIT’s senior academic and administrative leadership.

Dean of Science Robert J. Birgeneau, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics, was named President of the University of Toronto, effective in July of 2000. A native of Canada and an alumnus of the University of Toronto, Dr. Birgeneau had been at MIT since 1975 and served as Head of the Department of Physics from 1988 until he became Dean of the School of Science in 1991. As Dean, he was dedicated to maintaining the essential core strengths in the scientific disciplines, while moving forward in critical emerging areas at the disciplinary interfaces. Robert J. Silbey, Director of the Center for Materials Science and Engineering and the Class of 1942 Professor of Chemistry, was named Interim Dean of Science effective February 1, 2000.

At the end of the academic year, Rosalind H. Williams, the Robert M. Metcalfe Professor of Writing, stepped down from her position as Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education to resume her research and teaching. Dean Williams played a major role in turning attention to the role of student life in the educational process and was instrumental in moving forward the recommendations of the Task Force on Student Life and Learning. Her five years as Dean were also marked by the consolidation of student services and administrative reorganization. Dean for Student Life Margaret R. Bates, who reported to Dean Williams, also announced that she would step down to join her husband on a one-year research sabbatical.

Under a new structure, the deans for undergraduate education and for student life will both report to the Chancellor. Robert P. Redwine, Professor of Physics and Director of the Laboratory for Nuclear Science, was named Dean for Undergraduate Education. A former undergraduate officer of his department, he has also taught introductory physics. As the academic year came to a close, Associate Dean Kirk D. Kolenbrander was named Interim Dean for Student Life.

Laura Avakian was named Vice President for Human Resources, succeeding Joan F. Rice, who retired in April of 1999. Previously Senior Vice President of Human Resources at CareGroup, the corporate parent of Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Ms. Avakian oversees the Human Resources (formerly Personnel) and Medical departments.

John C. Crowley, Special Assistant to the President and Director of the MIT Washington Office, was named Vice President for Federal Relations. Strong, positive federal relations are essential to maintaining the excellence of the Institute’s programs of graduate education and research. Dr. Crowley has been a persuasive advocate in Washington not only for MIT but for the higher education and research community nationwide.

New academic department or program leaders whose service began during the year were Isabelle de Courtivron, Head, Foreign Languages and Literature Section; John H. Harbison and Marcus A. Thompson, Interim Section Heads, Music and Theater Arts Section; Daniel Hastings, Co-Director, Technology and Policy Program; James Howe, Head, Anthropology Program; Alec P. Marantz, Head, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy; Harriet Ritvo, Head, History Section; Merritt Roe Smith, Director, Program in Science, Technology, and Society; Subra Suresh, Head, Department of Materials Science and Engineering; and David A. Vogan, Jr., Head, Department of Mathematics.

John B. Vander Sande was named MIT Co-Director of the newly established Cambridge-MIT Institute, and Michael S. Scott Morton was named MIT Associate Director for the program. J. Kim Vandiver was named Dean for Undergraduate Research. Dick K. P. Yue, Professor of Hydrodynamic and Ocean Engineering, was named Associate Dean of the School of Engineering.

Among notable changes in the administration during the past year were the appointments of Paul R. Curley, Director of Capital Construction; Jane Farver, Director, List Visual Arts Center; Deborah L. Fisher, Institute Auditor; Elizabeth M. Hicks, Director, Student Financial Services; Jamie Lewis Keith, Managing Director for Environmental Programs and Risk Management, and Senior Counsel; M. S. Vijay Kumar, Assistant Provost and Director of Academic Computing; Karen A. Nilsson, Associate Director of Operations, Residential Life and Student Life Programs; Deborah Poodry, Director of Capital Project Development.

* * *

The honors bestowed on MIT’s faculty and staff each year are a striking reminder of the outstanding quality of the Institute’s teaching and research. The following summary provides only a few examples of the awards and recognition earned by members of the MIT community during 1999—2000.

Two members of the MIT faculty were among this year’s recipients of the National Medal of Science. Economist and Institute Professor Emeritus Robert M. Solow was recognized for wide-ranging achievements that have influenced economics and economic policy worldwide and won him the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1987. He developed the modern framework for analyzing the effects of investment and technology on economic growth, in the process demonstrating that technology plays a much greater role in economic growth than previously understood. Kenneth N. Stevens, the Clarence J. LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering, was honored for research in speech sciences that laid the groundwork for many of today’s speech synthesis and recognition technologies. His theoretical work on acoustic properties of speech sounds that comprise the linguistics elements of language has led to the contemporary foundations of speech science, and his theoretical work on acoustic invariance has defined unifying principles that have integrated major portions of acoustic phonetics, phonology, speech science, and linguistics.

MIT reserves the title of Institute Professor for a small number of faculty members of particular distinction, who are recognized by their peers for exceptional leadership, accomplishment, and service in the scholarly, educational, and general intellectual life of the Institute and of the wider academic community. This past year, Joel Moses, the Dugald C. Jackson Professor of Computer Sciences and Engineering and former Provost, was named Institute Professor in recognition of pioneering work in symbolic computation and tremendous contributions to the administration and community life of MIT.

Two MIT professors were elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest distinctions accorded within the scientific community. This year’s new members from the Institute were Henry Brenner, the Willard Henry Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering, and Professor of Physics Rainer Weiss.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) elected three new members from the MIT faculty: Justin E. Kerwin, Professor of Naval Architecture; Nancy Leveson, Professor of Aerospace Information Systems; and Gerald J. Sussman, the Matsushita Professor of Electrical Engineering. Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded an engineer.

This year, two members of the MIT faculty were elected Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Stephen Leffler Buchwald, the Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry, and Institute Professor Thomas L. Magnanti, Dean of the School of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine, more than 20 of whose members are connected with MIT, elected to membership Nancy Hopkins, the Amgen Professor of Biology.

Historian John W. Dower, the Elting E. Morison Professor in the Humanities, became the second member of the MIT faculty to win a Pulitzer Prize when his study of Japan under American occupation, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, was awarded this year’s prize for non-fiction. Institute Professor John Harbison was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1987.

Continuing the Institute’s long tradition of national service, Institute Professor Mildred S. Dresselhaus, a past winner of the National Medal of Science and former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was nominated to serve as Director of the Office of Science at the Department of Energy.

Appointment as MacVicar Faculty Fellows recognized outstanding commitment to excellence in teaching on the part of six members of the faculty: Rohan Abeyaratne, Associate Professor and Associate Department Head in the Department of Mechanical Engineering; John W. Belcher, Professor of Physics and Class of 1960 Faculty Fellow; Ernest G. Cravalho, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; Dava J. Newman, Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; and Jacquelyn C. Yanch, Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering.

Institute Professor Jerome I. Friedman was the recipient of the twenty-ninth annual James R. Killian, Jr., Faculty Achievement Award. The selection committee cited him for accomplishments including experiments that gave the first clear evidence for charged point-like constituents inside the nucleon, supporting the quark model and providing the underpinnings for the development of quantum chromodynamics. Professor Friedman, who has also made outstanding contributions to academic administration and undergraduate education at the Institute, shared the 1990 Nobel Prize for Physics with the late Henry W. Kendall, also of MIT, and Stanford University colleague Richard E. Taylor.

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering L. (Maha) Mahadevan received this year’s Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement award, which recognizes junior faculty for achievements in teaching, research, and service to the MIT community.

The Gordon Y Billard Award, recognizing individuals who have performed special services of outstanding merit to MIT, was given this year to Mary Callahan, Co-Director of the Office of Academic Services and Registrar, and Donna R. Savicki, Assistant Dean of Engineering for Administration.

* * *

At the same time that MIT celebrates the achievements and honors of its current faculty, staff and students, the Institute also recognizes the distinguished careers and lifetime accomplishments of current and former colleagues who have recently passed away. We offer gratitude for, and draw inspiration from, the enduring legacy of service and achievement they have bequeathed to MIT and to all humanity.

Jonathan Allen, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and for 19 years the Director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) died on April 25, 2000 at the age of 65. A pioneer in the fields of computer-aided design, speech processing and integrated electronics, he achieved widespread recognition in the 1970s for the creation of a talking, reading computer named "Morris." In later years, he developed a speech synthesizer used by such luminaries as physicist Stephen Hawking. A native of New Hampshire, he was a graduate of Dartmouth College (AB 1956, MS in Engineering 1957). After a four-year stint at Bell Laboratories, he came to MIT, where he earned a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1968. He joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 1968 and was named full professor in 1975; he became associate director of RLE in 1978 and was appointed as its director in 1981. During his career, he built a global network of personal and institutional relationships that helped him, as the longtime head of his department’s search committee, to recruit top faculty and graduate students from around the world.

J. Kenneth Jamieson, Life Member Emeritus of the MIT Corporation, died on September 26, 1999, at the age of 89. Raised in the Canadian frontier outpost of Medicine Hat, Alberta, he began college at the University of Alberta but transferred to MIT and took subjects in civil engineering before graduating with a degree in management in 1931. Returning to Canada in the worst years of the Depression, he began a life-long career in the oil industry. His honest and forthright style of management took him from a small refinery in Calgary to the leadership of the largest petroleum company in the world. Having held executive positions at Imperial Oil, International Petroleum, and Humble Oil and Refining, he was named President of Standard Oil of New Jersey in 1965 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1969. He retired from the company, by then the Exxon Corporation, in 1975. He served two terms on the Corporation before his election as a Life Member in 1975. His wide-ranging involvement with the Institute, including tireless service on Corporation committees, was highlighted by two decades of generous and productive work on behalf of the Department of Chemical Engineering.

William Nashe Locke, Professor Emeritus, former department head for Modern Languages, and former Director of the MIT Libraries, died on February 22, 2000 at the age of 90. A 1930 graduate of Bowdoin College, he spent several years working as a carpenter and electrician before continuing his formal education, first in Paris and then at Harvard University, where he received an MA (1937) and a PhD (1941) in linguistics. During World War II, he served with the Office of War Information. He joined MIT as head of modern languages in 1945 and served as Director of the MIT Libraries from 1956 until his retirement in 1974. A scholar of French linguistics and information science, he published widely on topics that included automated translation and the use of French in scientific literature. His work was recognized in France with Les Palmes d’Officier d’Academie in 1949 and his appointment in 1956 as a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur. At MIT, he expanded and modernized the structure as well as the collections of the library system. He was an early advocate of the use of computers in managing libraries and he held patents on a remote-controlled language laboratory and even a tool that combined the functions of a screwdriver and a wrench.

Charles A. Myers, Professor Emeritus of Industrial Relations and former Sloan Fellows Professor of Management, died on April 2, 2000 at the age of 87. A noted labor economist, he held joint appointments in the Department of Economics and the Sloan School. A 1934 graduate of Pennsylvania State College, he earned his 1939 PhD from the University of Chicago. Immediately upon receiving his doctorate, he came to MIT as an instructor in economics and social science. He was appointed assistant professor of industrial relations in 1941, associate professor in 1946, and full professor in 1949. The author or co-author of numerous books on labor economic and relations, he and MIT colleague Paul Pigors collaborated on a leading textbook focusing on personnel administration. He was called upon for a wide range of government service from World War II through the end of the 1960s. A former president of the Industrial Relations Research Association and a charter member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, he served throughout his life as an arbitrator for labor disputes.

Lloyd Rodwin, Ford International Professor Emeritus of Urban Studies and Planning and co-founder of the MIT-Harvard Joint Center for Urban Studies, died at the age of 80 on December 7, 1999. He attended the City College of New York and worked with the US Defense Housing Program before being drafted during World War II. Discharged early because of poor eyesight, he earned an MA in land economics from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD in regional planning from Harvard University in 1949. Professor Rodwin was instrumental in the transformation of city planning to urban studies and the extension of its concerns to the Third World. In 1961, he led a group of planners in a seminal multidisciplinary effort to design the Venezuelan new city of Ciudad Guayana. He chaired his department from 1969 to 1973 and was instrumental in the establishment of the Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies and the MIT Community Fellows Program.

Physicist Toyoichi Tanaka, the Otto and Jane Morningstar Professor of Science, died of a sudden heart attack on May 20, 2000, at the age of 54. He achieved international acclaim for his work on "smart gels"–polymers that can be stimulated by light, temperature, or other stimuli to expand or contract, thereby capturing or releasing other materials. These unique properties make smart gels suitable for a wide range of potential applications, including the capture of oil spills and other pollutants or use as a material for artificial muscles or soft, tissue-like valves. Professor Tanaka held three degrees in physics from the University of Tokyo. He came to MIT as a research staff member, joined the faculty in the Department of Physics in 1975, and was named full professor in 1982. A highly regarded teacher who used his smart gels to create memorable classroom demonstrations, he won numerous awards and honors including a 1986 Nishina Memorial Prize, France’s Vinci d’Excellence award in 1993, the 1994 Inoue Prize for Science, and a Discover Award from Discover magazine.

George E. Valley, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Physics and founder of MIT’s Experimental Studies Group (ESG), died on October 16, 1999 at the age of 86. A 1935 graduate of the Institute, in 1939 he earned a PhD in nuclear physics from the University of Rochester and returned to MIT in 1941 to join the staff of the Radiation Laboratory, where he developed the H2X all-weather radar bombsight. He was appointed a professor of physics at MIT in 1946 and conducted research on cosmic rays as well as on defense-related projects. He conceived and helped create both the Distant Early Warning System and the SAGE computer that controlled it–work that led to service as assistant and then associate director of Lincoln Laboratory between 1949 and 1957. He served on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board 1946—64 and was on leave from MIT as chief scientist for the Air Force in 1957—59. In 1969, he used grant funds provided by Polaroid founder Edwin Land to create ESG, which provides an alternative approach to teaching and learning for first-year students.



In 1999—2000 student enrollment was 9,972, compared with 9,885 in 1998—99. There were 4,300 undergraduates (4,372 the previous year) and 5,672 graduate students (5,513 the previous year). The international student population was 2,386, representing 8 % of the undergraduate and 36 % of the graduate populations. These students were citizens of 105 countries. (Students with permanent residence status are included with US citizens.)

In 1999—2000, there were 3,287 women students (1,768 undergraduate and 1,519 graduate) at the Institute, compared with 3,202 (1,776 undergraduate and 1,426 graduate) in 1998—99. In September 1999, 452 first-year women entered MIT, representing 43% of the freshman class of 1,055 students.

In 1999—2000, there were, as self-reported by students, 2,669 minority students (1,996 undergraduate and 673 graduate) at the Institute, compared with 2,600 (2,009 undergraduate and 591 graduate) in 1998—99. Minority students included 370 African Americans (non-Hispanic), 93 Native Americans, 554 Hispanic Americans, and 1,652 Asian Americans. The first-year class entering in September 1999 included 494 minority students, representing 47% of the class.


Degrees awarded by the Institute in 1999—2000 included 1,253 bachelor’s degrees, 1,457 master’s degrees, 14 engineer’s degrees, and 475 doctoral degrees–a total of 3,199 (compared with 3,196 in 1998—99).


During the academic year 1999—2000, 2,312 undergraduates received a total of $50,275,512 in student financial aid, exclusive of student employment. The number of needy students decreased by approximately 4 % from the prior year, but the total aid increased by 2.5 %. The decline in the number of needy students is attributed to the continuing healthy economy.

Total grant assistance to undergraduates was $37,812,931, an increase of 5%. This grant assistance consisted of $17,954,336 in income from scholarship endowment, $1,587,735 in current gifts, $3,524,230 in federal grants (including ROTC scholarships), $3,414,632 in direct grants, and $11,331,998 in scholarships from MIT’s unrestricted funds. The $11,331,998 in unrestricted scholarships includes $359,305 for a special program of scholarship aid to needy minority group students and $388,351 in MIT Opportunity Awards.

The total loans made to undergraduate and graduate students were $26,750,080, a decrease of 3.3% from last year.

Loans totaling $12,462,581 were made to undergraduates, a decrease of 4.4 % from last year. Of the total loans made, $1,944,584 came from the Technology Loan funds, $3,375,093 from the Federal Perkins Loan Program, and $7,142,904 from the Federal Direct Loan Program. Lower student borrowing is attributed to MIT’s new policy on the treatment of outside awards–which allows the outside award recipient to use the award to reduce their student loan and/or student employment.

Graduate students received a total of $14,287,499 in loans, representing an increase of 2.3 % from last year. This total included $4,954,865 from the Technology Loan funds, $7,750,476 from the Federal Direct Loan Program and $1,582,158 from the Federal Perkins Loan Program.


In 1999—2000, the market for MIT graduates continued to be robust in every area of industry, and the demand for MIT students was very competitive. Many employers made offers during the fall semester, and students found themselves deciding between offers earlier than in years past. The strong pace of activity in the fall led many employers to cancel their traditional spring visits; accordingly, the number of individual employers interviewing at MIT actually declined despite the strong market for graduates. Interview schedules for the coming academic year suggest that the fall will again be very busy.

Software skills continued to be the most sought-after single area of student expertise, and employers were willing to interview students with substantial experience in information technology regardless of course affiliation or degree level. Students in all courses have shown a strong interest in working for start-up companies, especially in Ecommerce, information technology, and communications. Among established companies, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors and the business side of technical industries remain popular.

Starting salaries have increased, as have the percentage and range of firms offering signing bonuses. Salaries for doctoral graduates in engineering range on the average from $70,000 to $90,000, offers to master's candidate’s range from $55,000 to $70,000, and to bachelor’s candidates from $45,000 to $54,000.

In 1999 applicants to medical school included 87 seniors, of whom 83% were admitted, and 8 graduate students, of whom 75% were admitted. A total of 70 MIT alumni/ae applied to medical school, of whom 59 % were admitted. Taking undergraduates, graduate students, and graduates together, a total of 66 men and 99 women applied to medical school; the acceptance rate for all 165 applicants was 72%, substantially ahead of the national acceptance rate for all applicants of 45 %.


Private support for fiscal year 2000 totaled $233.6 million and included the following: $226.5 million in gifts, grants, and bequests, and $7.1 million in support through membership in the Industrial Liaison Program. The total compares with $209 million in 1999, $143.9 million in 1998, $133.6 million in 1997, and $130.9 million in 1996. Gifts-in-kind for the past year (principally gifts of equipment) were valued at $12 million.

By source, gifts from alumni totaled $113.2 million; non-alumni friends, $23.6 million; corporations, corporate foundations, and trade associations, $59.2 million; foundations, charitable trusts, and other charitable organizations, $28.7 million; and others, $1.8 million.


The Institute’s financial results were favorable during fiscal year 2000. Unrestricted revenues available for operations totaled $1.3 billion. Total operating expenses were $1.3 billion. Net assets increased $2.7 billion reaching $8.2 billion at year-end. The MIT endowment reached a market value of $6.6 billion, and benefited from very favorable investment returns and a record level of gifts and pledges.

The research revenues of departmental and interdepartmental laboratories, primarily on campus, totaled $379.9 million in fiscal year 2000, a decrease of 2.7% from the prior year. Industrial sponsors as a group remained the largest source of sponsored funds at MIT, followed by the Department of Defense and the National Institute of Health. Lincoln Laboratory reported revenues of $348.3 million, a decrease of 1.4%.


The Institute expanded its recycling program this year through the efforts of the Environmental Programs Task Force. This group of volunteers from departments across MIT, as well as student representatives, is working to initiate or broaden environmental activities on the campus. MIT community members are now recycling mixed paper, cans, bottles, and many plastics in special bins located throughout the campus.

A new administrative area was created by the Executive Vice President this year, and several offices were reorganized. The Environmental Programs Office (EPO) was created in July to take responsibility for overall environmental, health, and safety (EHS) management at the Institute. In February, all of the offices charged with providing services and oversight to the MIT community on EHS issues were reorganized into a single team that reports to the Managing Director for Environmental Programs and Risk Management and Senior Counsel, who heads the EPO. The EHS team comprises the new Environmental Management Office, the Safety Office, and the Environmental Medical Service. In the past, these offices had overlapping responsibilities and shared jurisdiction as well as different reporting structures. The new organization creates clearer accountability and responsibility for each of the many regulatory programs that govern MIT’s work and is designed to provide more effective service to the Institute.

There was a great deal of activity to lay the groundwork for the increasing volume and complexity of construction and renovation projects on campus. As part of this preparation, the functions of the Planning Office were reorganized to align the staff more closely with the departments and business processes that rely upon their technical expertise. Members of the Planning Office staff were reassigned to the Department of Facilities and the Offices of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education, the Executive Vice President, and the Provost.

Within the Department of Facilities, the management of the Capital Projects Group was reconfigured, and MIT hired both a Director of Capital Development and a Director of Capital Construction. These two staff members are responsible for ensuring that the flow between project development and construction is a coordinated, disciplined, and smooth process.

Work began this year on the construction of the Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences, which was designed by architect Frank O. Gehry. The groundbreaking for this 350,000 square foot facility was held in March, and construction is expected to take four years.

Construction of the 350-bed undergraduate dormitory on Vassar Street, originally scheduled to open in the fall of 2001, was delayed by an appeal filed by the owner of an adjacent property. Due to the delay, freshmen will not be required to live on campus in the fall of 2001, as previously planned. The policy to house freshmen on campus is now tentatively scheduled to go into effect in the fall of 2002, pending completion by then of the new residence hall.

Construction on the new sports and fitness center is scheduled to begin in fall 2000. This new facility, to be built between the existing Johnson Athletics Center and the Stratton Student Center, will include a 50-meter pool, seating for approximately 450 spectators, recreation and team locker rooms, a health fitness center, and a sports medicine training facility.

Work on providing additional housing for graduate students is progressing. A complete interior demolition and significant design development of NW30, at 224 Albany Street, was completed this year. This site will provide housing for about 120 graduate students by the fall of 2001. Planning has also begun for a new graduate residence at Sidney and Pacific streets for approximately 600 to 700 students.

Other major new projects will include an expansion of the Media Laboratory, which is currently in design development.

Renovation highlights of the year included major work to upgrade office and laboratory space in Building 33 for the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Life safety and other systems were replaced in Kresge Auditorium, the Chapel, East Campus, and Random Hall. Renovations to accommodate the Center for Learning and Memory in Buildings E17 and E18 are continuing. The Central Utility Plant is being expanded to support the Stata Center and other new facilities on campus. In addition, three classrooms were completed on the first floor of Building 1, and the mechanical systems were upgraded to provide a new standard for general-purpose classrooms.

Work continues on a comprehensive upgrade of facilities for the Department of Chemistry. Construction is nearly complete on the third and fourth phases of this plan, in Buildings 2, 4, and 6. An extensive three-year renovation of the Dreyfus Building began in the spring. Laboratory facilities and infrastructure will be renovated and modernized in order to meet today’s research demands and to enhance life-safety systems.

Renovation of property at 304 Vassar Street will provide approximately 50,000 square feet that will be occupied by Financial Systems Services and Information Systems.

MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000