Improving on the Probability of Alumni Connections
There are some 98 MIT alumni chapters, 1,200 MIT faculty and leadership, and 365 days in the year.
Given that each MIT faculty member has, on average, five extra-curricular commitments per week that restrict them from travel, what are the odds that a given faculty member could come, at the request of an MIT club of group, to give a talk on a given night in a given city?
I posed that question to Allan Gottlieb ’67, editor of the “Puzzle Corner” column in MIT Technology Review and NYU faculty member himself who has given his own share of alumni talks.
“Well, each faculty has a 5/7 probability of NOT being available.
The probability that all faculty are not avail is (5/7)^1200 (^ means power, i.e. exponent).
The prob at least one can make it is 1 - prob none can make it
But I'll bet you don't get that many successes!”
Indeed we don’t. But my colleagues and I in the Alumni Office are perpetually grateful to the faculty who do collaborate with us in any given year to travel, reconnect with, and inspire MIT alumni around the world.
In calendar year 2019, that number was 69, and I’ve listed their names below. Did we forget you? Please let us know.
Can we partner up in 2020 to get you in front of an alumni audience, one consisting of your former students, your future collaborators or donors, amplifiers of your department’s work and/or ambassadors of MIT to the world?
Please give us a call or complete our faculty speakers’ bureau survey, a useful guide for our hundreds of alumni volunteers who want to convene events for their classmates spotlighting great speakers addressing the world’s greatest problems.
Beyond these events, we track and market MIT faculty appearances at conferences and other events on a public-facing calendar for our colleagues in the advancement community and alumni volunteers to follow. In the fall 2019 term alone, we tracked and publicized an additional 155 upcoming talks MIT faculty were giving at conferences around the world. A handful of these leads engendered volunteer-led alumni gatherings in and of themselves.
Our 1,200 faculty lead busy lives and are likely on the road more than typical researchers – leading book tours, spawning startups, working with sponsored research entities, and (we hope) going on vacation. We wish you safe travels for all of the above. If there’s time to spare on these sojourns though, the Alumni Office can frequently help subsidize such travel in order to enrich our global network of connected alumni making a better world. Let’s be in touch!
Thanks again to the following faculty who volunteered with us in 2019.