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MIT Course Catalog 2013-2014

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Draper Laboratory

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (formerly the Instrumentation Laboratory) separated from MIT in 1973 to become an independent not-for-profit research and educational organization.

Mechanisms exist to permit joint research activities and to allow Draper Lab to continue its unique contributions to the Institute's educational programs. Research assistantships, denoted as Draper Laboratory Fellows, for SM and PhD candidates are described in the Graduate Education Manual. Copies are available from the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education, Room 3-138, 617-253-4860, and from department graduate offices.

Draper Lab's pioneering work in instrumentation has led to the development of highly precise sensors and ultra-reliable systems on which the world depends for safe and accurate guidance, navigation, and control. Much of Draper's current research and development focuses on problems that arise in the measurement, analysis, simulation, and control of complex dynamic systems. This research and development covers a wide range of application areas, including guidance, navigation and control, microsystems, complex reliable systems, autonomous systems, information and decision systems, biomedical and chemical systems, secure networking and communications, energy systems, and commercial space systems.

A number of MIT faculty members maintain a close association with Draper Lab, and thesis research opportunities exist that fulfill the residency requirement for an MIT degree. Students are in direct daily contact with the Draper technical staff of engineers and scientists, and thus learn to appreciate the economic and human as well as the technical aspects of a system. Undergraduate and graduate students also may be employed by the laboratory and work directly on a project.

Adjacent to the main campus, Draper Laboratory is located at 555 Tech Square, Cambridge, MA 02139-3582. Information may be obtained by contacting the Draper Office of Education at 617-258-2393, or by sending an email to


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