With support from the National Science Foundation,
MIT has initiated a Summer Institute in Materials Science and Material
Culture [SIMSMC]. Fifteen faculty members from liberal arts colleges
around the country, representing fields from art history to physics,
participate in two-week Summer Institute sessions held at MIT. The
job of the Summer Institute is to encourage and assist faculty at
liberal arts colleges in introducing materials science and engineering
to their undergraduate curricula. We will demonstrate the effectiveness
of archaeological science as a vehicle for accomplishing this goal.
Please review our web site to learn more about this innovative educational
experiment and how you can participate.
At the first opportunity I plan to approach my
dean to expound on the superb experience I had at MIT, and to urge
him to inform our departments of history, art history, and chemistry
about the opportunity. I will offer to present the experience at
one of our upcoming "Faculty Forums."
Interacting with colleagues from a range of fields (and with a range
of interests) was by far one of the highlights of SIMSMC. These
interactions encouraged me to think beyond the usual walls of any
one department and opened my eyes to the opportunities possible
through cross-departmental and cross-institutional collaboration.
I have gained a number of new friends with different expertise,
any one of whom I could contact with questions about curricular
or research issues - and I look forward to collaborations either
with them or with faculty in similar disciplines in my geographical
comments by June 2002 SIMSMC participants