Concourse Program

Concourse is a highly structured and integrated program for freshmen covering the standard core curriculum in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and the humanities. The structure of Concourse follows that of the standard curriculum, with scheduled lectures, recitations, problem sets, and quizzes. Small class size (limited to 60 students) and extensive personal interaction with senior faculty and tutors provide students with the intimate atmosphere of a small school while retaining all of the excitement and resources of a large institution such as MIT.

Personnel Information

Members of the Concourse faculty for 2002–2003 were Dr. Harold Larson, research associate, Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Dr. John Lewis, senior lecturer, Department of Mathematics; Sekazi Mtingwa, Martin Luther King Jr. visiting professor of physics, Office of the Provost; Dr. Jeremy Orloff, lecturer, School of Science; Professor Robert M. Rose, Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Dr. Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno, writer-in-residence, Program in Writing; Mr. Grigore Tataru, graduate student, Department of Mathematics; Dr. Jeremy Wolfe, visiting associate professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; and Mr. David Zych, lecturer, School of Engineering. Fourteen undergraduates in the fall and nine undergraduates in the spring were employed as graders and teaching assistants for evening tutorials in chemistry, physics, calculus, and differential equations.

Staff changes for the coming year are as follows:

Teaching and Curriculum

After the challenges of the previous year (2001–2002), the courses 8.01/012 and 8.02 Physics were blessed with success and enthusiasm. We are indeed sorry that Professor Sekazi Mtingwa could stay with us for only one year, and we wish him success at Harvard.

Resumption of the use of the mainstream 3.091 text and approach will be continued, with special supplements on structure and X-ray diffraction.

Course 9.00 Introduction to Psychology, Humanities and Social Sciences Distribution (HASS-D, Category 4) continues to be highly successful. As in past years we had to run two sections of this course, as registration was 44 and HASS-D regulations have a maximum section size of 25. (Typically, registration is in the 40–45 range for 9.00.)

Course 21W.731 Writing and Experience (HASS, Phase 1 WRIT, CI-HW) was offered during the spring term, 2003.

Course 21.735 Reading and Writing the Essay (HASS-D, Category 1, CI-H) was also offered during the spring term, 2003. Team-taught by an experimental psychologist and a writer-in-residence at MIT, it examines the intersection of creativity and psychology and literary criticism and analysis from the vantage point of modern psychology.

Registration levels in general were not remarkable. Course 3.091 was below 2001–2002 but quite consistent with previous years; 18.02 was sharply up and 18.03 down from 2001–2002 but well above previous years; the same was true for overall spring registration. These changes reflect changes in orientation procedures and mainstream requirements. Overall, fall term registration continues at near saturation.


Among recent Concourse "graduates," we direct your attention to Kyle Rattray (Concourse 01–02), a cancer survivor who spends his summers raising funds for the American Cancer Society (see MIT News) and his spare time during the academic year assisting with cancer research.

Robert M. Rose
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

More information about the Concourse Program can be found on the web at


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