David A. Mindell




Room E51-185F



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Frances and David Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing (STS)

Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics

David Mindell received his B.S. (Electrical Engineering, 1988) and his B.A. (Literature, 1988) from Yale University and his Ph.D. from MIT (History of Technology, 1996). He was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and a fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology. Before coming to MIT he worked as a staff engineer in the Deep Submergence Laboratory of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he is currently a visiting investigator. Professor Mindell is an adjunct researcher at the Institute for Exploration in Mystic, CT, and a visiting scientist at the Deep Submergence Laboratory of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He heads MIT's "DeepArch" research group in Deep Sea archaeology. In 2001, Professor Mindell was selected as an MIT Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow for excellence in undergraduate teaching, a distinction he will hold until 2011. In 2006, he became Director of MIT's Program in Science, Technology, and Society.

His research interests include the history of automation in the military, the history of electronics and computing, theories of engineering systems, deep ocean robotic archaeology, and the history of space exploration. He is the author of War, Technology and Experience Aboard the USS Monitor (John Hopkins University Press, 2000) (Awarded Sally Hacker Prize for best popular book in the history of technology, Society for the History of Technology), Between Human and Machine: Feedback, Control, and Computing before Cybernetics (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), and Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in the First Six Lunar Landings (forthcoming MIT Press, Spring 2008). Professor Mindell is also co-leading a 10-year collaborative project with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutional and the Greek Ministry of Culture to explore the deep Aegean sea for ancient and bronze-age shipwrecks using autonomous underwater vehicles. At MIT, Mindell teaches courses that combine engineering and the history of technology, including a doctoral seminar in engineering systems. He teaches "Engineering Apollo: The Moon Project as a Complex System," which integrates technical, political, and operational perspectives on the history of space exploration.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Building E51-163