Forty-nine percent of ESG's freshman class for the year were female, 10 percent were minorities, and 14 percent were international students (coming from countries as diverse as Bangladesh, Bulgaria, and Cyprus).
ESG also offered several HASS-D and HASS classes to its students. Eric Fernald, a graduate student in the Department of Political Science, taught political science and political philosophy. Mr. Fernald will be leaving ESG to pursue a full-time job in political science. He has been a dynamic and creative teacher and has contributed a great deal to ESG over the past five years. Dr. Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno taught expository writing in the fall, and David Custer '82 taught both expository and creative writing in the spring, as well as developing and teaching a new undergraduate seminar on technical writing.
Dr. Lee Perlman, a former ESG humanities staff member, returned to co-teach SEM051 Sex Roles and Relationships both terms along with Ms. Sweet, and to teach a seminar on Introduction to Eastern Religions during IAP.
Our staff were assisted by 27 undergraduate and 12 graduate tutors. Undergraduates tutoring biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics for the first time at ESG were required to participate in a teaching seminar run by staff members. Several upperclassmen taught seminars in ESG under staff supervision. Chinsan Han '97 ran SP293 Robotics for the third year in a row. Jeffrey Crants '95 developed and taught a humanities seminar SP296 Comparative Film and Literature under the supervision of Dr. Dourmashkin and Professor Irving Singer.
In addition, two new freshman advisor seminars were offered. Dr. Dourmashkin taught SEM098 Time in Special Relativity and Cosmology. Professor Leigh Royden from the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science and Ms. Sweet co-taught 12A20 Gender Roles in Science.
Mr. Anderson taught 5.60 Thermodynamics and Kinetics completely within ESG for the first time during the spring term. He was able to provide small group instruction and an in-depth approach to the material which was not available in the regular curriculum.
Professor Ingram, along with undergraduate and graduate tutors, continued designing a new approach to teaching molecular biology at ESG. In the spring term, freshmen successfully and safely completed "wet lab" experiments in genetics, using a bread mold as an experimental organism. This experiment illustrated a most important aspect of Mendelian genetics - the reassortment of characters by crossing over. This is not normally taught to freshmen at MIT in lectures, but left to sophomores and juniors. Yet it is perhaps the most frequent genetic event in human heredity. Students were delighted and interested, as were their teachers. We plan on doing this again in our newly renovated laboratory space in ESG instead of having to use the overcrowded 7.02 lab.
Professor Ingram and student assistants also continued development of the biology Hypertext which will be used for problem set solving by freshmen at home. The expanded hypertext will be very important for use in introducing basic molecular biochemistry and cell biology to freshmen by teaching a new beginning section on immunology. In addition, we will be using Scientific American articles to introduce the subject and get students fired up. Immunology is very topical nowadays - with AIDS, new deadly viruses, new antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, etc. We will be using our new approach to biology with our students throughout next year, with an eye towards exporting it to the regular curriculum.
We are pleased not only with the outstanding performance of our sophomores and tutors, but also with the initiative and academic rigor shown by our staff and tutors in teaching the core curriculum and designing new course. Mr. Anderson won the 1995 Goodwin graduate student teaching award, based on the fine job he has done teaching chemistry and supervising chemistry tutors in ESG. Shane Crotty '97 won the Irwin Sizer award for his work developing the new biology curriculum. Christina Onufryk '95 won the Association of MIT Alumnae award, partially for her work in teaching and developing the biology curriculum in ESG.
ESG continues to provide a home for students and staff at MIT who are interested in a more individualized and experimental approach to education. We applaud the efforts of all of our community members who have contributed in their own ways in maintaining ESG as a valuable Institute resource for curricular innovation.
Vernon M. Ingram
Holly B. Sweet
MIT Reports to the President 1994-95