Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
MIT President Susan Hockfield sent the following email to the faculty, students and staff on April 17, commenting on Monday's tragedy at Virginia Tech.
To members of the MIT community:
Yesterday's tragic events at Virginia Tech have shocked and saddened all of us. We offer MIT's condolences to the students, faculty, and staff of Virginia Tech and to their families.
We invite all members of the MIT community to an interfaith ceremony of healing and reflection, organized by the Institute's chaplains, tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday, April 18, at 4:00 p.m. in the Chapel. We anticipate that in the days to come members of the community will organize additional opportunities to gather in remembrance. At the same time, we encourage those with connections to the Virginia Tech community and those who find themselves particularly disturbed by yesterday's events to contact the many individuals and offices at the Institute who can offer support, including the Mental Health service in MIT Medical and the housemasters and tutors in the residence system.
In the wake of the events at Virginia Tech, many have asked about our preparations in the event of an emergency at MIT. The Institute maintains comprehensive emergency preparedness plans, which are assessed and updated regularly. We are fortunate to be able to rely on the professionalism and expertise of our colleagues in the MIT Police, the Environment, Health, and Safety Office, the Department of Facilities, the Medical Department, and the Housing Office. All of these key operational areas have comprehensive and tested action plans in place, which they would implement in the event of an emergency.
Our thoughts will be with the Virginia Tech community during the days of mourning ahead.