Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
The Task Force on Student Life and Learning is urging faculty members to participate in a survey that will help define the key educational and social issues that the MIT community will confront in the 21st century.
"The Task Force is particularly seeking to tap the wisdom of the faculty, who have unique insight and perspective regarding the role and future of MIT," co-chairs John R. Hansman Jr., professor of aeronautics and astronautics, and Robert J. Silbey, professor of chemistry, wrote in a letter that accompanied a questionnaire sent to about 1,000 professors, associate professors, assistant professors, lecturers, instructors, adjunct professors and professors emeritus on February 21. "We appreciate the time demands all faculty experience and hope that you can invest a few minutes thinking about these issues."
Questions in the survey focus on the relationship between students and faculty, the effect that technology, world events and other external affairs will have on education at MIT in the next 20-30 years, the relationship between teaching and research, and the elements of the teaching experience that faculty members find most rewarding and most frustrating.
"Even a brief comment about a topic that concerns you would be very useful to us," the co-chairs wrote.
Faculty have been asked to respond to the Task Force in writing by interoffice mail, or to deliver their answers to Rm 4-117. E-mail copies of the survey for electronic response can also be obtained by sending a message to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 12, 1997.