MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000


Concourse is a highly structured and integrated program for freshmen covering the standard core curriculum in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and humanities. The structure of Concourse follows that of the standard curriculum with scheduled lectures, recitations, problem sets and quizzes. Small class size (limited to 60 students) and extensive personal interaction with senior faculty and tutors provide students with the intimate atmosphere of a small school while retaining all of the excitement and resources of a large institution like MIT.

For the fall 1999 term, 53 freshmen enrolled in Concourse. For the spring 2000 term, enrollment was 15, a 50% decrease from the spring of 1999. For the Independent Activities Period, four students participated in Concourse’s SP.345, a twelve-unit course on problem solving. From the Concourse Program, 59% of the students went on to major in the School of Engineering; 28% to majors in the School of Science; 3% to Architecture and Planning; 3% to Humanities and Social Science; and 3% remained undesignated.

SP.344, "Problems in Electricity and Magnetism" was again offered in the spring term. The joint staff meetings of Concourse and the Experimental Studies Group resulted in a series of proposals for the teaching of freshman calculus in modular form.

Members of the Concourse faculty for 1999—2000 were Philip Bradley, Department of Mathematics; Roberta Brawer, Lecturer, Anthropology; Dr. Yuri Chernyak, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; Francis Poulin, Department of Mathematics; Dr. Kevin Rhoads, Lecturer, School of Engineering; Professor

Robert M. Rose, Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Professor Judah L. Schwartz, Professor Emeritus, School of Engineering; Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno, Writer-in-Residence, Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies; and Dr. Jeremy Wolfe, Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Sixteen MIT undergraduates in the fall and ten undergraduates in the spring were employed as teaching assistants for recitations, grading, and running evening tutorials in chemistry, calculus, physics and differential equations.

The Concourse Program was overseen by Robert M. Rose as Director and Ms. Cheryl Butters of the School of Engineering as Program Coordinator.

More information about Concourse can be found on the World Wide Web at

Robert M. Rose

MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000