MIT Reports to the President 1995-96


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 64 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.


Fifty-eight freshmen enrolled in Concourse for fall term which represented a 9% decline from the fall of 1994. Spring term's enrollment was 47, a 42% increase from the spring of 1995. Registration for IAP was limited to nine students who participated in Concourse's twelve-unit course on problem solving.


Two brand-new courses: SP330, "The Meeting of Art and Science Through Method" was offered for the first time, as was SP344, "Problems in Electricity and Magnetism." "Problems in Electricity and Magnetism" was made possible by an award from the Class of l951 Excellence in Education Fund, and enriches the 8.02/8.022 offered in Concourse by a series of problems with the same flavor (and origins) as SP345, "Problems in Science and Technology." Our second new offering, "The Meeting of Art and Science Through Method," a HASS-D course, is limited to Concourse students only. It is a tour de force of mythology, visual arts, natural history and neurology as only Dr. Lettvin can teach.

We also received some public recognition: "The Chicken From Minsk," a book based on SP345, received favorable mention in the April 22 issue of U.S. News and World Report (page 79).


Members of the Concourse faculty for 1995-96 were: Professor Robert M. Rose and Dr. David Paul, Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Professor Judah L. Schwartz, School of Engineering and Harvard School of Education; Lior Pachter and Harry L. Wolfgang, Department of Mathematics; Dr. Gregg E. Solomon, Department of Brain and Cognitive Science; Dr. Yuri Chernyak, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; Roberta Brawer, Program in Science, Technology and Society; Dr. Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno, Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies; Dr. Jerome Y. Lettvin, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Dr. Kevin Rhoads and Cheryl Butters, School of Engineering. Sixteen MIT undergraduates in the fall, three undergraduates over IAP and seven undergraduates in the spring were employed as teaching assistants for recitations, tutorials, and grading.

The Concourse Program was overseen by Robert M. Rose as Director and by Cheryl A. Butters as Program Coordinator.

Robert M. Rose

MIT Reports to the President 1995-96