Integrated Studies Program

In the final year of this freshman learning community, the Integrated Studies Program (ISP) offered a curriculum for first-year students built around the study of technologies as they are practiced in different cultures and historical periods. ISP promoted a form of education that sought to show students the connections among ideas and processes in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Hands-on learning complemented the theoretical work that is a typical component of most first-year coursework. ISP strove to provide students the academic and social foundation for success at MIT and beyond by creating a community devoted to team approaches to design and problem solving, inquiry, enhanced communication skills, and life-long learning.

Program Highlights

ISP's fall and spring HASS-D subjects were team-taught by Professor Arthur Steinberg, Dr. Peter Dourmashkin, and Ms. Frederica Steinberg, with the assistance of a variety of guest lecturers and workshop facilitators. In these subjects, students explored the relationship between technologies and the cultures in which they developed. Mr. Daniel Krynytzky, a visiting architect from California, spent a month in residence at ISP to develop and teach a unit on design. Under his guidance, students studied the design and construction of MIT's Stata Center, and experimented with principles of design by building paper hats and creative models of the MIT campus. Other modules focused on food production, metalworking, clocks and clock making, bridge building, the textile industry, and the history of the automobile industry. Mr. Toby Bashaw ran a series of smithing workshops to complement a classroom unit focused on the steel industry and the history of blacksmithing.

Ms. Debbie Watson ran workshops in weaving in conjunction with the unit focused on the textile industry. Students also developed detailed business plans for textile mills.

ISP continued to focus attention on developing a strong writing curriculum under the leadership of Ms. Steinberg, with assistance from Ms. Debra Aczel. Students in the fall and spring HASS-D subjects wrote several papers of increasing length and sophistication; produced outlines, rough drafts, and abstracts; and spent considerable time working with writing graders/tutors to revise papers

ISP hosted a weekly luncheon for freshmen with speakers from MIT and the greater community to discuss their work.

Students attended lectures in math and science subjects with the rest of the freshmen class, but were able to choose ISP-sponsored recitations in some subjects. Most students enrolled in 8.01x and 8.02x, experiential physics courses.

Staff and Enrollment

After 13 years as director of ISP and 37 years at MIT, Professor Arthur Steinberg retired at the end of this academic year. As a result, the Integrated Studies Program has now become Terrascope, which will encompass the Mission 2006 program. The new program directors are Kip Hodges and Penny Chisholm.

Ms. Aczel was the program administrator. Ms. Weinrib was the administrative assistant.

ISP enrolled 34 students (22 male, 12 female) in fall and 28 students (23 male, five female) in spring.

Arthur Steinberg
Professor of Anthropology

More information about the new Terrascope program can be found on the web at


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