Objectives and Design
June 2005 SIMSMC
June 2004 SIMSMC
June 2003 SIMSMC
June 2002 SIMSMC
Travel & Housing
Who Should Apply?
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The Summer Institute in Materials Science and Material Culture will bring
together MIT faculty and faculty from undergraduate liberal arts colleges
for two weeks each summer. Each week will be organized as a specific materials
science & engineering/material culture module, with morning lectures
and afternoon laboratory sessions. No more than two modules will be considered
during the course of any SI -- one module per week -- so that participants
will gain intense exposure to the materials science, social science/humanities,
materials processing, and laboratory analytical components of the subject
By material culture we refer to the entire inventory of products manufactured
by a society, irrespective of their utilitarian, aesthetic, or symbolic
purpose. The SI will concentrate on the materials processing technologies
that transform natural and synthetic materials into cultural objects.
Because our own research has focused heavily on the manufactures of ancient
and pre-industrial societies, the discipline of archaeology has become
a vehicle and context for integrating materials science and engineering
fully into our study of the material world of the past. The Summer Institutes
will build upon methods and insights developed through materials-archaeological
investigations to consider also the production of material culture by
I found the module format extremely effective. For me, it was one of
the biggest strengths of the summer institute, in part because it was
such a departure from the way I have learned similar subjects in the past
and therefore it made learning truly exciting.
The pace was intense, but I liked it that way! One week
per module was just right - it was the perfect immersion experience.
The laboratories were wonderful. The small groups, the hands on approach,
and the outstanding quality of the facilities all contrived to make the
labs a real success in my book.
comments by June 2002 SIMSMC participants