Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
Approximately 2,270 undergraduate and graduate students will receive about 2,575 degrees at MIT's 134th Commencement on Killian Court on June 2. About 1,100 bachelors and 1,200 master's degrees will be awarded.
President Charles M. Vest will present the SB, SB/SM, SB/MEng and advanced degrees in the School of Science, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology. Provost Robert A. Brown will give out the advanced degrees in the Schools of Architecture and Planning, Engineering, and Humanities and Social Science, as well as the Sloan School of Management.
The previous day (June 1), Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow will preside at a special hooding ceremony for about 400 doctoral degree recipients. That ceremony will take place in the Johnson Athletic Center at 1pm.
The Commencement speaker is Carleton "Carly" S. Fiorina, president and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co. She is the second HP executive to deliver MIT's Commencement address. Company co-founder William R. Hewlett, then vice chairman of the board of directors, spoke in 1986.
Ms. Fiorina, who earned the SM as a Sloan Fellow in 1989, became CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HP) a year ago. Prior to joining the second-largest computer maker in the world, she spearheaded Lucent's initial public offering and subsequent spinoff from AT&T in 1996, one of the largest and most successful IPOs on record. She then became president of Lucent's global service group. She has been named the most powerful woman in corporate America by Fortune for the past two years.
She earned a bachelor's degree in medieval history and philosophy from Stanford University in 1976 and attended law school for a year before earning the MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland in 1980. She then joined AT&T as an account representative. Ten years later, she was the first woman officer at the company's equipment division, Network Systems (later known as Lucent).
After Ms. Fiorina's address, President Vest will deliver the charge to the graduates. Other speakers will be Luis A. Ortiz, president of the Graduate Student Council, and Hugo Botelho Barra, president of the Class of 2000. The invocation will be given by MIT Episcopal Chaplain Jane Gould. Lawrence Isaacson, the brass department coordinator for the Boston Conservatory, will conduct the MIT Brass Ensemble. Assistant Benefits Manager Phillip Lima of Human Resources, a trained operatic baritone, will sing the national anthem. He sang it in public for the first time at the 1997 Commencement.
Comencement Day activities are scheduled to begin at 9:45am with the traditional academic procession from 77 Massachusetts Avenue to Killian Court. Chief Marshal Brian G.R. Hughes (SB 1977), president of the MIT Association of Alumni and Alumnae for 1999-2000, will lead the graduates into Killian Court.
Fourteen MIT students will receive Reserve Officer Training Corps commissions in a special post-graduation ceremony -- 11 into the Air Force and three into the Navy. The ceremony is scheduled for June 2 at 5pm under the masts of the USS Constitution at the Charlestown Navy Yard Historical Park. The speaker will be Rear Admiral Jay M. Cohen, chief of naval research.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 17, 2000.