Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
Gary Van Zante has been appointed as the MIT Musuem's curator of architecture and design. He will also oversee exhibitions in the School of Architecture and Planning's Wolk Gallery beginning in January.
"Van Zante's two decades of curatorial and professional work in the field of architecture expands the museum's professional role in the Institute and in the broader museum and architectural community," said Mary Leen, acting director of the museum, who announced the appointment.
"The MIT Museum's architecture collection documents the country's first academic program in architecture and is a significant resource for the history of architectural education and the development of the professional practice of architecture in America," Van Zante said. "This is an exciting time to be working with architectural collections at MIT, where there's a renewed institutional commitment to creating significant architecture and campus spaces, and an ongoing discussion about the role of design in the life of the community."
Van Zante comes to MIT from Tulane University, where he taught in the preservation program of the Tulane School of Architecture and was curator for eight years of the Southeastern Architectural Archive, one of the country's largest architectural collections. At Tulane, Van Zante organized many exhibitions, most recently "Lost New Orleans: Photographs by Theodore Lilienthal for Emperor Napoleon III," also the subject of a book by Van Zante to be published next year. He is currently collaborating with James O'Gorman of MIT and Wellesley College on the catalog "Drawn From History: New Orleans Architectural Graphics."
Before joining Tulane, Van Zante worked in architectural practice in Chicago, as a writer and archivist for Skidmore Owings & Merrill, and as director of resources for architect Thomas Beeby, former dean of architecture at Yale University. He was also a curator of rare books, prints and photographs at the University of Chicago.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 11, 2002.