The use of interactive distance education technology allows for seamless and increased interaction between students and faculty. The interactive equipment used delivers high quality voice, video and data in a manner that simulates reality, thus making users feel that they are in the same room. This greatly facilitates the collaboration, as students are able to communicate with the fellows at MIT from anywhere in the world.
The increased availability of opportunities to communicate and interact similarly forges closer working relationships between students and professors. In addition, it encourages the exchange of innovative ideas and breakthroughs in technology. The use of technology in such a manner thus becomes a platform or springboard by which a culture of research collaboration via video conferencing is achieved.
Students on a tour of the city of Boston
Students at MIT for Summer Conference
All SMA students spend two and a half weeks at MIT for the Summer Conference. This conference involves intensive activities and immersion into the MIT culture, whereby students attend a series of entrepreneurship seminars followed by lectures. They are similarly afforded an opportunity to meet in person, with their MIT professors and peers for lectures, recitations and lab sessions.
Research collaboration using video conferencing tools
Students in front of the
MIT Dome in Killian Court
The highlight of the trip to MIT is the entrepreneurship seminars session during which the SMA students meet up with prominent and enterprising individuals. These individuals include Chief Executive Officers and founders of start-up companies who share their personal experiences on starting up their companies, the importance of having effective teams for their companies and strategies for selling business models to venture capitalists. The students also engage in lively and spontaneous discussions with invited speakers on case histories and current business trends. This sets the tenor for intensive lectures and self-study expected of a world-class university.
The seminars conducted in 2003 were on the following topics:
• Critical Success Factors in High Tech Entrepreneurship: What’s Hot and What’s Not
• AmberWave Systems: The Story of an MIT Start-up Company
• Insights and Experience of an MIT Entrepreneur
• Start-up 101: Lessons from inside the Tornado
• Great Technology! – Great Business?
• Building a Biotech Venture