MIT Faculty Newsletter  
contents Vol. XXV No. 5
May / June 2013

This issue of the Faculty Newsletter features "A Letter to the Class of 2013," commentary on the Institute's progress and thoughts concerning online education, "The Magic Beyond the MOOCs," and an article on MIT's new modular learning management system.

Credit: Dominick Reuter
Editorial: City Council Approval of MITIMCo Petition Only Beginning
of MIT 2030 Review

There are many important decisions still to be made before new construction begins in and around the Institute.
Why I Decided to Transition to Professor Without Tenure, Retired
In his last article as Faculty Chair, Sam Allen offers reflections on the position as well as reasons behind his retirement.
Steve Hall New Faculty Chair
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Steven R. Hall is MIT's new Faculty Chair.
A Letter to the Class of 2013
Editorial Board of the MIT Faculty Newsletter
Greetings to you, the graduates! – and to your families. Together with the thousands of families and friends gathered for Commencement, we share excitement, pride, . . .
City Council Approval of MITIMCo Petition Only Beginning
of MIT 2030 Review
Editorial Subcommittee
The Cambridge City Council's approval of MIT's controversial up-zoning petition at its meeting of April 8, satisfied some, but disappointed others. The approval allows . . .
The Magic Beyond the MOOCs
Sanjay Sarma and Isaac Chuang
Of the great deal written about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in recent months, much has been positive, some frothy, some skeptical, and some . . .
Memorial Resolution for Officer Sean Collier
On the evening of Thursday, April 18 MIT suffered a tragedy, as Officer Sean Collier of the MIT Police Department was shot and killed in his vehicle outside the Stata . . .
From the Faculty Chair
Why I Decided to Transition to Professor Without Tenure, Retired
Samuel M. Allen
“I’m retiring at the end of June, on the eve of my 65th birthday.” I’ve said this countless times over the past five months and the reaction of my colleagues nearly always . . .
Stephen Lippard Wins Killian Award
Professor of Chemistry and Faculty Newsletter Editorial Board member Stephen J. Lippard has won the 2013 James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award.
MIT's New Modular Learning Management System:
The Evolution from Stellar
Daniel Hastings and Christine Ortiz
An effective Learning Management System (LMS) enables faculty to organize and manage the many aspects of teaching a class, for example: . . .
Beyond the Classroom
Learning From Students
Rebecca Saxe
I have a particular ideal of teaching at university. In it, the student and professor are working together, one-on-one, on a problem. The problem is central to the . . .
Housing MIT's Graduate Students:
Framing the Inquiry and Shaping the Dialogue
Phillip L. Clay
This article is about the work of the Graduate Student Housing Working Group. The charge from the Provost directs us to focus on how we might best house our . . .
How Online Education Might Impact the Future
of Mathematics Departments
Daniel Stroock
President Reif, and presumably the people who chose him, have a dream about the future of higher education. Their goal has broad appeal among people who . . .
Steve Hall New Faculty Chair
Newsletter Staff
Steven R. Hall, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, will become Chair of the Faculty on July 1, 2013 after serving as chair-elect for the past year. Steve has . . .
Support for the Rising Complexity of MIT's International Students
Danielle Guichard-Ashbrook, Heather Konar, Christine Ortiz
MIT has had a long history of welcoming students from around the world. Over the past decade, MIT has seen a significant rise in the number of international . . .
Working Alone at MIT
Robert W. Edwards and Carolyn Stahl
Many of us remember a tragic accident at Yale university a little more than two years ago resulting in the death of an undergraduate student working alone late at night.
Mental Illness as a Disease
Alex Slocum
I think it is fantastic that the FNL printed John Belcher's story on battle with depression. It is so important to get out into the open that depression (or any . . .
Applauding Proposed MIT School of Education
Jeanne Bamberger
I am very excited (and more than a little surprised) at the possibility of a School of Education at MIT. I am particularly pleased to see the possible emphasis on an . . .
MIT Professional Education: Call for 2014 Summer Short Programs
Anna Mahr
MIT Professional Education - Short Programs (formerly “Professional Institute”) will celebrate its 65th anniversary next year. To mark this important milestone and to . . .
M.I.T. Numbers
from the 2013 Student Quality of Life Survey (Undergraduates)
M.I.T. Numbers
from the 2013 Student Quality of Life Survey (Graduate Students)