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Vol. 3, No. 3, May 2006

Welcome to Engineering Our World, the MIT School of Engineering's free bulletin for alumni and friends. Updated six times yearly, Engineering Our World describes some of the work we're doing at the leading edge of technological change, providing news and articles of the School's major initiatives.Past Issues

Our Junior Faculty: Wellspring of Young Talent

by Dean Thomas L. Magnanti

To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.
      – Mother Teresa

MIT is great because its people are great. And, it is great because it is constantly renewing itself. Anyone walking down our hallways, past our research laboratories and classrooms, will be struck by the palpable excitement of our environment - the place bubbles with energy and enthusiasm as our faculty, staff, and students are literally inventing the future.

A key to our renewal and to the continued vitality of MIT is the constant infusion of new people with new ideas. It recently struck me that in the seven years that I've been dean, the School has hired 80 new faculty, mostly junior (we are on our way to almost 100 when this year's faculty hiring cycle concludes). Eighty! A number that represents the entire faculty for some schools of engineering.

Hiring these remarkable young people is essential to our continuing success. Benjamin Disraeli had it right when he said "Youth is the trustee of prosperity." Helping to support and nurture our junior colleagues, and then seeing them succeed and become leaders in their fields is certainly one of the most pleasurable and rewarding aspects of being dean and for all of us who are senior faculty.

MIT has been extraordinarily fortunate to be able to consistently attract superb talent across the School. I wish I could describe all our exceptional young faculty to you, but given space considerations, we are faced with the difficult task of selecting several from among those hired the past few years. The faculty we have chosen represent all of our academic departments and divisions and a cross section of our research and teaching. The good news is that we could have chosen dozens of other faculty to bring to your attention – with the same sense of joy, pride, and accomplishment.

I hope that from reading about those we have highlighted here you will catch the excitement of the leading-edge research and exceptional teaching talent we are so fortunate to have at MIT.

– Dean Thomas L. Magnanti