MIT Faculty Newsletter  
contents Vol. XXI No. 1
September / October 2008

This issue of the Faculty Newsletter features our editorial calling upon the U.S. Presidential candidates to address issues of science and technology, an article on Institute plans for the Darwin Bicentennial celebration, a report on the new Global Education and Career Development Center, and "Agenda Items: New and Old" by Faculty Chair Bish Sanyal.

walking in snow
MIT's New Supercomputing Network
Download speeds never before possible are now available thanks to this worldwide supercomputing network.
Problems in Evaluating Four-Year Colleges
Plans for the use of standardized tests to evaluate performance at four-year colleges are scrutinized.
MIT 4th Best College, Top Engineering School
Results from U.S. News & World Report show MIT's national ranking.
Silence of the Lions
Editorial Sub-Committee
As the U.S. Presidential campaign heads into its final weeks, we have been disturbed and disappointed that neither candidate has adequately addressed . . .
MIT's New Supercomputing Network
Mark Silis, Piedad Valencia
How long do you think it would take to download 10 full-length, high-definition movies from the Internet? Well, it could take you an hour, several hours . . .
Problems in Evaluating Four-Year Colleges
Les Perelman
Recent proposals by the federal Spellings Commission to use standardized tests to evaluate four-year college educations have sparked controversy.
From the Faculty Chair
Agenda Items: New and Old
Bish Sanyal
It is intriguing how the beginning of a new academic year still evokes in me a sense of excitement mixed with apprehension. Every fall I look forward . . .
An Update on the Educational Commons Subcommittee
Robert Redwine, Charles Stewart III
The Educational Commons Subcommittee (ECS) is a group of faculty appointed by the Committee on the Undergraduate Program (CUP) to extend and refine the work . . .
Teaching this fall? You should know . . .
. . . the faculty regulates examinations and assignments for all subjects. Check the Web at for the complete regulations.
Moving From Two Degrees to Double Majors
Daniel E. Hastings
In April 2008, the faculty approved the first curricular change to the undergraduate program as recommended by the 2006 Task Force on the . . .
MIT 4th Best College, Top Engineering School
MIT jumped to fourth (tied with Stanford) up from seventh in the latest U.S. News & World Report undergraduate national universities rankings . . .
Darwin Bicentennial Events Planned at MIT
Jonathan King
2009 will be the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species.
What is the Global Education and Career Development Center?
Daniel E. Hastings
In July, the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education (DUE) announced the formation of the Global Education and Career Development Center.
The First Step Toward Solving Global Warming:
Getting MIT to Listen
William Schreiber
Global warming, threatening the ability of our Earth to sustain human life, has become perhaps the preeminent environmental concern worldwide.
MISTI Announces the MISTI Global Seed Funds
Suzanne Berger
MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) is pleased to announce new funding for international faculty collaboration. . .
Workplace 2.0: Improving Generativity, Creativity,
and Faculty Quality of Life
Suzanne Flynn, Zan Barry
Author Wayne Muller offers this anecdote: Not ong ago I was speaking with Peter Durr, who for 20 years collaborated with Nobel Prize winner Werner . . .
Why So Few Faculty are Involved in Service
David Karger
In his FNL article "Reconsidering the Value of Service to MIT," Bish Sanyal asks why so few faculty are involved in service. He proposes a few explanations . . .
M.I.T. Numbers
Research Expenditures by Primary Sponsor (1999-2008)