Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
Professor Linn W. Hobbs, chair of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program, has been named by Provost Mark S. Wrighton to head a 14-member committee that will advise the provost on the appointment of a new dean for undergraduate education and student affairs. Dr. Hobbs is the John F. Elliott Professor of Materials in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
The current dean, Professor Arthur C. Smith, will conclude five years of service in that post at the end of the academic year.
The committee includes both undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and a member of the administrative staff. Professor Wrighton invited the community to make recommendations to the committee chair on potential appointees and on the search process. Mail can be sent to Professor Hobbs at Rm 13-4062 or by e-mail to
Other faculty members are: Professor Harold Abelson, Class of 1922 Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Professor Gene M. Brown, Department of Biology; Professor Sallie W. Chisholm, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Professor Rick L. Danheiser, Department of Chemistry; Professor Kenneth A. Oye, Department of Political Science; Associate Dean Harriet Ritvo of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, a professor of history and writing, and Professor James H. Williams Jr., SEPTE Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Undergraduate student members are: Jonathan A. Allen of mechanical engineering; Keith Bevans of electrical engineering and computer science; Arley Kim of architecture, and Philip W. Tracads, double majoring in management and earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences.
The graduate student is Susan Ipri of mechanical engineering.
The administrative staff member on the committee is Stephen D. Immerman, director of special services.
Professor Wrighton indicated that the committee is to first familiarize itself with the responsibilities of the dean and the functions of the units reporting to the dean. In undertaking this component of the task, the committee should consult widely within the MIT community, including students, faculty and staff in the dean's office, the provost said.
Ultimately, it will be the committee's function to assist in identifying individuals who can take up the deanship, Provost Wrighton said. In working to establish the leading candidates, the committee is charged to look both within the MIT community and in the academic community more broadly.
It is anticipated that a new dean will be in place for fall 1995, Professor Wrighton said.
A version of this article appeared in the November 16, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 39, Number 12).