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Fall 2000

Walking, talking, oxymoron

50 years: SHASS timeline

Seven notables contemplate the state of humanities, arts, and social sciences at MIT and beyond.

Donald Blackmer

David Epstein

Morris Halle

Bruce Mazlish

Travis Rhodes Merritt

Paul A. Samuelson

Judith Jarvis Thomson



Dean's letter

Honors & awards

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Killian Award recipients

As part of the mix of events and festivities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, soundings has asked seven notables with long MIT experiences to reflect on the state of the humanities, arts, and social sciences at MIT and beyond. Their diverse and idiosyncratic viewpoints are featured in the Luminaries section of this issue.

Donald Blackmer Donald Blackmer is Professor of Political Science Emeritus. He joined the Center for International Studies in 1956 and became a member of the MIT faculty in 1961. He served as Associate Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Science from 1973 until 1980, the first Director of the Program in Science, Technology and Society from 1977 to 1980 and Head of the Department of Political Science from 1980 to 1988.
Photo: Graham G. Ramsay
David  Epstein David Epstein is Professor of Music Emeritus and Senior Fellow in the Arts and Humanities. He joined the MIT Faculty in 1965 and was Music Director and Conductor of the MIT Symphony Orchestra for 33 years, from 1965 to 1998.
Photo: Graham G. Ramsay
Morris Halle Morris Halle is Institute Professor of Linguistics Emeritus. He joined the MIT Faculty in 1951 and administered the Linguistics Program from 1961 to 1976.
Photo: Graham G. Ramsay
Bruce Mazlish Bruce Mazlish is professor of history. He joined the MIT Faculty in 1950, left for two years, rejoined it in 1955 and has been here ever since. He served as Head of the Department of Humanities (Course XXI) from 1974 to 1979.
Photo: Graham G. Ramsay
Travis Rhodes Merritt Travis Rhodes Merritt is Professor of Literature Emeritus. He joined the MIT Faculty in 1964, was Director of Course XXI from 1974 to 1986 and Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs from 1986 to 1996. He is presently Director of the Experimental Study Group.
Photo: Graham G. Ramsay
Paul A. Samuelson Paul A. Samuelson is Institute Professor of Economics Emeritus. He joined the MIT Faculty in 1940 and received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1970.
Photo: Graham G. Ramsay
  Judith Jarvis Thomson is Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. She joined the MIT Faculty in 1964.



School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

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Facts and stats

156 full-time faculty

7 Institute professors (4 emeriti)

105 senior lecturers and lecturers

45 emeriti faculty

47 women faculty

20 minority faculty

32 endowed chairs

113 administrative and support staff

323 graduate students

221 undergraduate majors

414 undergraduate minors

3 Nobel Prize winners

7 MacArthur Prize winners

2 Pulitzer Prize winners

2 National Medal of Science winners

8 National Academy of Science Fellows

46 American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellows



Killian lecturers from the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

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The James R. Killian, Jr. Faculty Achievement Award honors MIT faculty whose professional accomplishments have been extraordinary. During the year they hold the title, Killian Award recipients present lectures on their scholarship to the MIT community.

Noam A. Chomsky

Morris Halle

John H. Harbison

Pauline R. Maier

Franco Modigliani

Robert M. Solow

Hans-Lukas Teuber




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Fall 2000