Technology and Development Program
The primary mission of the Technology and Development Program (TDP) is to provide a focus at MIT for research and education related to the role of technology in the socioeconomic development of newly industrialized nations. TDP works with other academic departments and research centers throughout MIT to:
- Promote an awareness of the relationship between science, technology, and development on the part of faculty and students at MIT
- Provide a focal point for the technology and development activities of faculty, students, and visiting scholars interested in the field of technology and development
- Assist the faculty, students, and staff of collaborating institutions in other countries to develop research and academic interests consistent with their national needs
- Serve as a contact for interested organizations outside MIT (government, academic, private sector) to access the Institute's resources and its knowledge of developing countries—particularly of their socio-economic and technological problems
TDP carries out these objectives through research, academic programs, and contacts with international and national organizations that have an interest in broad areas of technology and development. In order to fully utilize available resources, TDP is structured to interact with other academic departments and research centers throughout MIT.
TDP in Thailand collaborates in research and education with two major Thai institutions—the Collaborative Program of Science and Technology with the National Science Technology and Development Agency of Thailand, and the Collaborative Program of Science and Technology with the King Mongkut University of Technology at Thonburi. These two programs are funded under an agreement with Suskapatana Foundation, and both started in 1996. Both activities are currently being continued at a slower pace due to the economic hardship in Thailand. Professor Kevin Amaratunga continued his work on the Thailand Integrated Water Resource Management System Project.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by MIT and the MUST-Ehsan Foundation effective January 1, 2002. The agreement describes the relationship of the parties in the establishment of the Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST) as a not-for-profit, tax exempt, private science and technology-based research-oriented institution of higher learning, and an intellectually elite institution catering to the brightest students of Malaysia and the region. MIT's activities in this collaboration with MUST are being supported by Motorola, Inc., acting through its Global Telecom Solutions Sector and its Global Software Group ($7 million over five years) and the Motorola Foundation ($18 million over five years).
MIT is committed to making all reasonable efforts to assist MUST in four broad areas—development of graduate degree programs in selected areas; establishment of a research agenda; formation of partnerships with the private sector; and development of an appropriate institutional organization, including but not limited to administration and finance.
For more information on the program, see the web site at http://www.must.edu.my/.
The Technology and Development Program has had several preliminary discussions with appropriate institutions in Colombia and Egypt.
In Colombia, TDP and the Mariano Ospina Foundation have jointly prepared a proposal to establish an institute for research and education on large-scale infrastructure systems in Bogota. Discussions are still ongoing with the Office of the Prime Minister on the possibility of establishing a university similar to the Malaysia University of Science and Technology.
The TDP-sponsored Middle East Program at MIT completed its twelfth year. The program (under the direction of Professor Nazli Choucri, TDP associate director) involves faculty from the Department of Political Science, the Department of Economics, the History Faculty, the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the Sloan School of Management, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Science, Technology and Society Program, and the Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture. The program enables students with an interest in the Middle East to develop an expertise in the area in addition to their own academic fields of specialization, and it examines the processes of socioeconomic change, technological development, political change, institutional development, capital flows, and business and investment patterns in the region.
TDP's primary educational activities outside MIT are currently being focused on its collaboration with the Malaysia University of Science and Technology. Beginning in September 2002, the following MIT courses will be offered at MUST: Foundations of Software Engineering; Introduction to E-Business; Database, Internet, and Systems Integration Technologies; Animal Cell Biotechnology; Basic Biology of Biotechnology; Fermentation Technology; Introduction to Transport and Logistics; Flow Systems; Transportation Demand and Economics; and Introduction to Intelligent Transportation Systems.
In the spring the following courses are to be offered: Distributed Development of Engineering Information Systems; Global Information Systems: Communications and Connectivity Among Information Systems; Information Processing for Engineering Systems; Kinetics of Biological Systems, Downstream Processing; Bioinformatics: Principles, Methods and Applications; Transportation Policy, Strategy, and Management; Project Evaluation; Carrier Systems, Public Transportation Service and Operations Planning; and Advanced Intelligent Transportation Systems. Several other graduate courses are in various stages of development for spring offerings.
The TDP director is Professor Fred Moavenzadeh, professor of construction management in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Professor Nazli Choucri of the Department of Political Science is the program's associate director, and Patricia Vargas is the assistant director.
More information on the Technology and Development Program can be found online at http://www-tdp.mit.edu/.