MIT Reports to the President 1994-95

Center for Advanced Engineering Study

The Center for Advanced Engineering Study (CAES) was founded in 1963 for the purpose of developing educational programs that provide opportunities for practicing engineers, scientists, and managers in industry, government, and educational institutions to attain and maintain the competence needed to exert technological leadership. Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. provided both the impetus and the funds to get the Center started. Building 9 has been the home of CAES since its completion in 1968.

To achieve its objectives, CAES has traditionally offered two types of educational programs for practicing professionals, one on-campus and the other at the workplace. The on-campus program, the Advanced Study Program, provides the participants with individualized study and/or research that is tailored to their backgrounds and designed to meet their needs and the objectives of their employers. For those at the workplace, the Center provides studio- and classroom-based video courses which are produced at the Center in collaboration with MIT faculty and research staff.

During the 1994-95 academic year, 60 professionals participated in the Advanced Study Program, 23 from the United States and 37 from 10 other countries. These Fellows attended a variety of regular graduate and undergraduate subjects that suited their needs. Moreover, many of them performed individualized studies guided by faculty members and several participated in ongoing research programs. Also, the Center sponsored two subjects that were of particular interest to the Fellows, namely, Project Management and Management of Technological Change. These subjects were listed in the MIT course catalog and were, of course, open to MIT students. Two mini-courses, Microeconomics and Global Financial Markets, were also offered.

CAES Video Courses extend the on-campus academic program through the distribution of video-based education. CAES has produced more than 75 in-depth, high quality video courses in engineering, science, and management. Each course, taught by a leading authority in the field, is designed specifically for use by professionals at the workplace. Recent video course releases included Machining Skills for Prototype Development by Dr. Erik Vaaler and A New American TQM by Professor Shoji Shiba. Professor Shiba's course was produced in collaboration with the Center for Quality Management. Courses in development include MIT Video Series on Measurement by Professor R. John Hansman and Executive Economics by Professor Shlomo Maital. Professor Hansman's course is being produced in collaboration with Omega Engineering, a very effective demonstration of a university-industry partnership.

Since the death of W. Edwards Deming in December 1993, the Center has forged a close relationship with the recently formed W. Edwards Deming Institute. CAES has continued the publication and distribution of the two Deming books, Out of the Crisis and The New Economics (second edition, published posthumously), as well as his tapes, The Deming Videotapes. Foreign language editions of the Deming books are being actively pursued with considerable success. In collaboration with the Deming Institute, we are exploring the development of audiotape versions of both books and several new derivative products based upon Deming's works that will be published on CD-ROMs.

The Center's Video Production Group has been very active in helping to create numerous video-related productions for the Institute. Examples of such programs include: "Inventing the Corporation of the 21st Century", with Sloan School/Price Waterhouse; "Arts at MIT", a special feature for the 1994 Technology Day; "Biography of Doc Edgerton", part of the Doc Edgerton installation at the George Eastman House; and a documented taping of the Anniversary Symposium of the Media Laboratory. Other programs included laboratory demonstrations in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Mechanical Engineering and Ocean Engineering, and short video segments in support of Physical Plant's Strategic Plan and the impact of re-engineering on the Physical Plant workforce. The Center also initiated several video news releases, such as Robotuna, Chemical Waste Disposal by Glassification, and Tech Day WW II vintage plane fly-by. Future programs will include tapings of full length courses taught by distiguished MIT teachers, and the production of interview-style short programs on "Understanding MIT Research".

The Center continues to upgrade its state-of-the-art video production facilities in Building 9. These facilities include: a fully equipped multi-camera production console (for use in our studio or on-location), component Beta SP editing suite, multi-media suite, tape duplication console, and a complete inventory of portable equipment. We use a combination of PC and Macintosh computers for the creation of digital graphics and animations. Our services have been expanded to include video digitization and compression, and we are currently in the design phase of a number of interactive programs that will be delivered over a network and/or CD-ROM.

The Center has been exploring videoconferencing for a variety of educational uses from a distance. In addition to multipoint conferences all over the world, the Center has been using videoconferencing to bring in outside guest lecturers to MIT classes, to enable MIT faculty to give lectures to students in other institutions, and to conduct a highly interactive short course on Negotiation among three sites. Novel uses included: doctoral thesis defense with the faculty supervisor in California; multipoint meeting of a panel of judges for a prestigious prize, faculty consultations with industry and government institutions; business meetings with vendors; and, more recently, a historic signing ceremony between the president of MIT and civic leaders in Japan, including live interviews with the Japanese press. CAES has also used, where possible, the higher bandwidth transmission of 336 kb/s (6 ISDN lines) to the delight of all the participants.

Since July '94, CAES has been conducting a research project in Networked Multimedia Information Services (NMIS) that is funded by NSF and ARPA. Additional support is being provided by IBM and Turner Educational Services (TESI). The project leverages heavily off of the the World Wide Web (WWW) to explore three broad areas of networked multimedia: authoring, delivery, and policy and economics. NMIS is being conducted jointly with the MIT Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development (CTPID), Dartmouth Medical School, and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).

In the area of authoring, CAES has developed a collection of automated agents that process analog video and audio streams to produce digital content that is formatted for Web delivery. Because of the large local storage requirements and long download times in conventional Web video delivery, the project has developed an architecture for streaming the delivery of multimedia content from a server directly to a client's Web browser. The project has also worked on developing WWW support for multimedia authoring tools, many of which were originally created for Interactive CD environments rather networked multimedia.

Our collaboration with TESI has helped create INTERNET CNN NEWSROOM, a WWW-delivered digital video news magazine based on CNN NEWSROOM. CNN NEWSROOM is itself a 15 minute, commercial-free news program consisting of four to five news stories that is produced every weekday morning and delivered to K-12 classrooms over the cable network. From the CNN NEWSROOM video, closed-captioned text, and audio streams, NMIS software automatically cuts the video into separate stories and generates a Web interface for randomly accessing stories and for supporting full-text search and retrieval on an archive of stories from previous days. In May '95, trials of INTERNET CNN NEWSROOM began at Lexington High School.

These same technologies are now being incorporated into the Center's production facilities for use in the generation and delivery of new educational programs. Work is currently underway to archive several MIT seminars and colloquia for on-demand, full-content search and retrieval over the WWW. NMIS is also developing a Web-based interactive, multimedia laboratory safety training program in conjunction with MIT's office of Environmental Medical Safety.

Shaoul Ezekiel

MIT Reports to the President 1994-95