Personable robots, advanced prosthetics and entrepreneurship figure prominently in campus visit.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Picower Center for Learning and Memory, one of three entities in the new MIT brain and cognitive sciences project, will be held April 25 at noon at the corner of Vassar and Main streets, facing the Stata Center.
The state-of-the-art facility, which will house laboratories, teaching facilities, a conference center, research and administrative offices, clinical space and student lounges, is scheduled to open in 2005. It is made possible with the help of a $50 million gift from the Picower Foundation of Palm Beach, Fla., a private foundation created by Barbara and Jeffry M. Picower.
The brain and cognitive sciences project will integrate neuroscience, cognitive science, imaging technology, genetics, and molecular and cellular biology at MIT. The project brings together facilities for the Picower Center for Learning and Memory, the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Each of the three entities will occupy its own building, with all three grouped around a large central atrium that will help facilitate communication among faculty and students.
On May 19, groundbreaking ceremonies will be held for the McGovern Institute for Brain Research.
The architectural design for the 376,000-square-foot project is a collaborative effort of Boston-based Goody, Clancy & Associates and Charles Correa Associates of Bombay, India.
Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa, the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience and founding director of the Picower Center, said, "With the aid of an extraordinary grant from the Picower Foundation, MIT now plans a state-of-the-art building to house the center. It will allow for an expansion to 13 faculty, along with added research and support staff as well as more graduate and undergraduate students." The Picowers, Tonegawa and MIT President Charles M. Vest are among the speakers scheduled for the groundbreaking.
The Picower Center for Learning and Memory is an independent research entity that seeks to elucidate the nature of learning and memory. Its researchers explore perception, attention and consciousness at molecular, cellular and systemic levels.
For more information, go to http://web.mit.edu/evolving/projects/cogsci.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 16, 2003.