MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XXVI No. 5
May / June 2014
A Letter to the Class of 2014
Faculty Establish Campus
Planning Committee
Remarks Occasioned by the Draft Report of the MITx Subcommittee of the FPC
Governance Highlights: Year in Review
OCW Educator: Sharing the "How" as well as the "What" of MIT Education
What's Old is New: Learning from the Past
Frank P. Davidson
The Mens' Kick Line
Part of MIT Strong!
from the 2014 Senior Survey
from the 2014 Senior Survey
Printable Version


Part of MIT Strong!


March 24, 2014

To The Faculty Newsletter:

I was proud to be a member of the MIT Strong team that ran the Boston Marathon on Monday.  When I exercise I often let my mind run free to think of whatever is rattling around. This marathon was a solemn event and it was also a 26.2 mile pahty for Boston to proclaim that our city only grows stronger no matter what happens to it!

And so I started thinking so must it be with our great school!  Our biggest challenge (opportunity) is not the hard problems of research; our biggest opportunity is the high energy mix of super talented and not-too-shy people particles which sometimes do not always interact in an optimal to-be-expected manner.

Applying FUNdaMENTAL principles to the issue of personal personnel interactions we see that Newton’s Laws do not always apply. 

For example, sometimes the Second Law of Thermodynamics transcends Newton’s 3rd law, and causes what might otherwise be a normal people particle mix to boil over.  Unfortunately the application of an enthalpy (H) enhancing reactant (R) can lead to even more entropy (S) hastily instigating total unhappiness.

Fortunately, we are humans and have the potential to apply imagination (i) to damp down the flames and bring us all back to happy reality.  How?  In honor of the Bard’s 450th birthday (celebrated this week) I propose that when we have potential problematic people particle interactions, we call out the theatre writers to create skits about what happened so we all can learn and be entertained by the interaction.  By laughing, crying, learning, and partying together, we truly become MIT Strong!

Alex Slocum
Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering

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