All the videos are hosted on the Infinite History website. Please click on the title or the thumbnail to watch the video.
This trailer includes highlights from Common Threads: The Evolving Student Experience at MIT, a documentary that presents an exciting overview of MIT's changing public face and the growing diversity of its student body. Yet even as the student body has diversified, Common Threads shows that MIT remains a magnet for students who define themselves through a shared pursuit of academic excellence, intellectual rigor, and a profound desire to make a difference in the world—a collective self-image that hasn't changed.
Welcome to the 2010 IAP 6.270 Autonomous Lego Robot competition. In teams of three, MIT students design and compete machines that are totally autonomous and free of human intervention. The robot must navigate its way around a playing surface, recognize other opponents, and manipulate game objects. At the beginning of January, each team is given the same kit containing sensors, electronic components, batteries, motors, and LEGO — along with three scant weeks to transform the loose parts into a working robot.
A. Neil Pappalardo '64, an MIT alumnus with a long history of generosity to the Institute, offers his perspective on the values of an MIT education and shares some life lessons for the students of MIT. Footage includes excerpts from the Infinite History project and a 2008 talk titled "Reflections on an MIT Education," which can be viewed in its entirety at the From the Vault collection on TechTV. Pappalardo remains an active member of the MIT community serving as a life member of the MIT Corporation and a member on the Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation.
While the 2010-11 Abramowitz Artist in Residence, infographics wizard Aaron Koblin gave a public lecture entitled "Crowds and Clouds: Data, Sheep, and Collaboration in the Works of Aaron Koblin" at the Ray and Maria Stata Center on Sept. 30, 2010. This video includes excerpts from that talk which features Koblin discuss data trails and our changing relationship with data. Of special note, Koblin describes his ongoing crowdsourcing project on Johnny Cash, which invites people to create a drawing that is woven into a collective tribute to Cash that's set to his song "Ain't No Grave." No stranger to music projects, Koblin also was the technical director for Radiohead's "House of Cards" video.
To celebrate the birthday of Albert Einstein, we turn to Professor Alan Lightman, best-selling author of Einstein's Dreams. In this interview excerpt, the physicist/author examines the role of art in education and our lives. Lightman is the first professor at MIT to receive a joint appointment in the sciences and the humanities. For more information about Lightman, visit Wrting and Humanistic Studies.
With this time-lapse video, view the installation and unveiling of a precious addition to MIT's Public Art collection—a sculpture by internationally acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor. Located In the Ray and Maria Stata Center, the untitled stainless-steel Kapoor sculpture stands 16-feet tall and 7-feet wide. See MIT's noted public art collection in person or on the web via an interactive map of MIT's Public Art Collection website.
These days, surgeons are trained in implanting artificial skin on burn patients thanks to the pioneering work of Ioannis V. Yannas, MIT professor of polymer science and engineering, and trauma surgeon Dr. John F. Burke, who established the Massachusetts General Hospital Burn Research Center. This video highlights how their medical collaboration during the 1970s aids patients who have lost their dermis, a layer about two millimeters thick that lies beneath the epidermis and which does not regenerate when damaged.
n 2006, two MIT graduate students in the School of Architecture and Planning, Ben Wood and Luciana Pereira, produced a documentary called Ashdown House: The Home Where Science and Technology Live. The documentary shows the rich history of MIT's first graduate dorm which housed many luminaries of the 20th century for nearly seven decades. As this excerpt shows, the dorm also attracted such famous guests as poet Robert Frost and novelists Aldous Huxley and Isaac Asimov. In 2008, a “new” Ashdown House opened at NW35. After undergoing renovations, the historic Ashdown residence was renamed Maseeh Hall and became an undergraduate dorm in 2011.
n the 1950s, a new system for the computerization of numerical control was developed at the MIT Electronic Systems Laboratory, called Automatically Programmed Tools or APT. In this 1959 MIT Science Reporter television program, researchers John Francis Reintjes and Douglas Taylor Ross present the APT project using the Whirlwind I computer.
Observing tradition and reducing stress, MIT students commemorate Drop Day—the final day students can drop a class—by pushing an upright (broken) piano off the roof of Baker House. Piano Drop has been held irregularly since the initial drop in 1972 but the annual tradition returned with renewed popularity in 2006.
Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam called it "a building with soul." Indeed, MIT's legendary Building 20 boasts its history and ghosts. Back in 1943, the building was a "temporary" structure built in haste during World War II. It might have taken an afternoon to design this "Plywood Palace," but Building 20 remained standing until 1998. During that time, many of MIT's greatest projects including radar research which helped win the war and the Institute's first interdisciplinary labs started in Building 20. Given its world famous academic occupants and the hotbed of ingenuity, the building became known as the Magical Incubator. This video—which was produced to mark its March 1998 commemoration before Building 20 was razed to make way for the Ray and Maria Stata Center—documents the building's rich history.
As part of the Tomorrow television series produced by CBS for MIT's Centennial in 1961, screen actor David Wayne previews the scientific future.
On May 10, 1991, Charles M. Vest was inaugurated as the 15th president of MIT during a ceremony in Killian Court. President Vest served the Institute with distinction over the next 14 years, leading MIT through a period of significant change and growth. Chuck, as he was affectionately known by his MIT colleagues, is currently serving as president of the National Academy of Engineers.
In 1994, Coretta Scott King was the keynote speaker at the annual celebration of the birth of her late husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mrs. King addressed the MIT community in Kresge Auditorium, following the traditional silent march that travels from Lobby 7 and Massachusetts Avenue to the auditorium. The day's theme was "The Movement for Economic and Social Justice: 1994 and Beyond."
Excerpted from the MIT150 Documentary "Conquering Cancer...Together," this video highlights the work and mission of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. The Koch Institute dedication ceremony took place on March 4, 2011.
FAST features Tod Machover's spectacular new opera Death and the Powers. Composed by Machover and developed at the MIT Media Lab, Death and the Powers tells the story of Simon Powers, a successful businessman and inventor, "who wants to go beyond the bounds of humanity." This video excerpt was captured during the opera's world premiere at the Monte Carlo Opera in September 2010. Catch the US premiere performances this March 18-25 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston. For more information, visit Death and the Powers. Video by Paula Aguilera and Jonathan Williams.
MIT Assistant Professor of Art History, Kristel Smentek describes the significance of one of the most provocative publications of the 18th century, Diderot's Encyclopédie. In 2010, the MIT Libraries featured the Encyclopédie during an exhibit at the Maihaugen Gallery. Learn more about the gallery and its ongoing exhibits by visiting the Maihaugen Gallery website. This video was excerpted from a longer piece, which is available at the MIT Libraries collection on TechTV.
Professor Donald R. Sadoway teaches 3.091 Introduction to Solid State Chemistry, one of the largest and most popular classes at MIT. In this video, Professor Sadoway closes the 2010 fall term of 3.091 with his characteristic charm and a celebratory champagne toast. Professor Sadoway is the John F. Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry in MIT's Department of Materials Science & Engineering. He has won repeated awards for his teaching, including the MacVicar Fellowship. Find out why his methods are adored by watching Sadoway's 3.091 lectures at OpenCourseWare.
In 1887, the State Board of Health of Massachusetts began a comprehensive and unprecedented survey of the state's water supplies. Ellen Swallow Richards, the first woman admitted to MIT and the Institute's first female instructor, worked as a key contributor for the survey. Richards supervised the examination of over twenty thousand samples of water and, as a result, Massachusetts established the first water-quality standards in America.
Professor Eric Grimson is internationally recognized for his research in computer vision, especially in applications in medical image analysis. In 2011, Grimson, a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, was named the Chancellor of MIT after serving as head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 2005 to 2011. In this 1995 video, Grimson illustrates his revolutionary research in image guided surgery.
Professor Eric Lander, founding director of the Broad Institute, was a world leader of the international Human Genome Project (HGP), which launched a new era in biomedicine. With the successful completion of HGP in 2003, Lander and the Broad Institute are using the project's findings to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying the basis of human disease. This video is excerpted from Lander's lecture on Feb. 16, 2001. This year, in February 2011, the journal Nature celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the first draft of the human genome sequence.
Founded by Professor Barry Vercoe in 1973, the MIT Experimental Music Studio was the first facility to have digital computers dedicated to full time research of computer music. In this video, Professor Vercoe explains how this burgeoning field in computer-based music technology provides exciting new tools for composition. Learn more about Professor Vercoe and this historic studio at the Experimental Music Studio—MIT Professor Emeritus Barry Vercoe>EMS timeline.
Excerpted from the 11-minute documentary, The Founding of MIT: Persistence of Vision, this video trailer examines the challenges faced by MIT's founder William Barton Rogers and explores how his founding principles continue to influence today's MIT.
After watching the Infinite History interviews, we learned that a surprising number of MIT professors and alumni spent their childhoods in farming communities. These rural experiences shaped their technological careers and work. In order of initial appearance are: William Pounds, Philip Sharp, Joel Moses, Lester Thurow, Leo Beranek, Richard Larson, John Ochsendorf, Candace Royer, Raymond Stata, William Mitchell, Paul Samuelson, Gene Brown, Mary Frances Wagley and Jay Forrester.
Conductor Gustavo Dudamel was the recipient of the 2010 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT, an award celebrating rising, innovative talents in the arts. This video features excerpts from his open rehearsal with the MIT Symphony Orchestra on April 16, 2010.
Founder of MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS), Gyorgy Kepes reflects on how witnessing the horrors of World War I as a youth influenced his work as a painter, designer, photographer, and writer. Born in Hungary in 1906, Kepes emigrated to the United States in 1937 to head the Light and Color Department of the New Bauhaus (later the Institute of Design) in Chicago. He joined MIT in 1946 as an associate professor of visual design, becoming an Institute Professor in 1970. Kepes served as CAVS director until 1972. A widely influential visual artist, his writings include Language of Vision and The New Landscape in Art and Science. Presented annually to a member of the MIT community who has demonstrated excellence in the creative arts, the Gyorgy Kepes Fellowship Prize celebrates individuals at the Institute whose creative work reflects the vision and values of Gyorgy Kepes.
Called "the man who made time stand still," MIT Professor Harold "Doc" Edgerton delighted and amazed the world by retooling an obscure laboratory instrument and producing photographs that no one had ever seen before. Using a stroboscope, Edgerton captured moments in time that were too fast to be seen by the naked eye—the shattering of a light bulb, hummingbirds in flight, a drop of milk falling into liquid. Learn more about MIT's popular professor by watching this excerpt from the 1994 film How Fast is Fast?. Produced by MIT Video Productions for the Edgerton Foundation, the film showcases the motivations behind this remarkable engineer/educator as well as the novelty and beauty of his photography.
In the late 1980s, Stephen A. Benton began generating synthetic holograms from 3-D digital databases. This video features archive footage of Benton and his early holograms including the iconic 3-D image of a green car floating in front of the Boston skyline. Benton received his undergraduate degree from MIT in electrical engineering and worked with Harold "Doc" Edgerton. Benton, a founding faculty member of the MIT Media Lab, also served as director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies.
In the mood for fun, students and faculty put a twist on the popular 1960s TV show The Dating Game during Charm School Activities in IAP 1996. Called the Infra-Red Dating Game (aka MIT Love Lab), this MIT-inspired game lets a student bachelorette question three bachelors (fellow MIT students) who are hidden from view. But unlike the Dating Game, the Love Lab lets the bachelorette see an infrared image of the bachelor. Aided by science, the bachelorette narrows her sights on the target and, by the end of the questioning period, picks her date. MIT Professor John Hansman serves as infrared consultant. Taping took place live in the Center for Advanced Educational Services, Building 9, Room 450.
MIT faculty, students, and administrators share their thoughts on the importance of innovation in fueling economic growth. To view complete coverage of MIT's 2010 Innovation Roundtable, visit the Alumni Association collection.
Since its inception, the James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award has celebrated numerous extraordinary MIT faculty. Yet the rare feat of being "the most cited living author" as highlighted by Professor J. Kim Vandiver of the 1991-92 Killian Award recipient, Institute Professor Noam Chomsky, is a singular achievement. Established in 1971 as a tribute to MIT's 10th president, the Killian Award recognizes extraordinary professional accomplishment by an MIT faculty member.
MIT Professor Jeffrey Hoffman made five flights as a space shuttle astronaut, including the first mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993. In this video, Hoffman reflects on his career as an astronaut. In all, Hoffman logged more than 1,211 hours and 21.5 million miles in space. This footage was taken from Hoffman's participation in the documentary, Giant Leaps.
On April 6, 1961, President John F. Kennedy recorded a special message in the White House. Two days later, his audio recording, a presidential tribute that underscores the ambitions of MIT and the conviction that science and technology cannot be separate from society, was played during MIT's Centennial celebration. This video uses footage of the Centennial procession in April 1961 and images of Professor Walt Whitman Rostow, who Kennedy appointed as Deputy Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and former MIT President Jerome Wiesner, who served as Kennedy's Special Assistant for Science and Technology.
In 1976, MIT President Emeritus Julius A. Stratton delivers a talk titled Founders' Philosophies during an IAP event called "They Were There" that captures William Barton Rogers' bold educational mission. Dr. Stratton filled various roles at MIT during his 70 years at the Institute, most notably president of MIT from 1959-66. He also served as chairman of the board of the Ford Foundation from 1966-1971. A collection of his speeches can be found in the book Science and the Educated Man: Selected Speeches of Julius A. Stratton. MIT's Julius Adams Stratton Student Center, located at 84 Massachusetts Avenue, is named in his honor. Video is courtesy of MIT Museum.
View an excerpt from Full Day, a time-lapse film by urban designer, author, and longtime member of the MIT faculty, Kevin Lynch. Filming from the Memorial Drive side of the MIT campus and looking across the Charles River towards the city of Boston, Lynch provocatively captured the city's form and image. Lynch created this work in 1958, as part of his studies in urban design. Lynch obtained a Bachelor of City Planning degree from MIT and enjoyed a long and distinguished career at the Institute. Courtesy of MIT Museum.
This video highlights the "detective" work of legendary MIT Ocean Engineering Professor Jerry Milgram, maritime accident investigator and research scientist. Footage was excerpted from a video, produced for the MIT Museum, that traces the life and career of Professor Milgram. View the entire video—Jerry Milgram: An Exceptional Ocean Engineer—at the AMPS-MIT Video Productions online portfolio. Learn about the MIT Museum's Hart Nautical Collections.
The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT is led by a team of world-renowned neuroscientists committed to understanding how the brain works and discovering new ways to prevent or treat brain disorders. This video features Robert Desimone, director of the McGovern Institute, and MIT Institute Professor Ann Graybiel as well as Patrick J. McGovern '59 and Lore Harp McGovern, whose pledge of $350 million to create the Institute remains one of the largest philanthropic gifts in the history of higher education.
Back in 1979, the lofty interior of Lobby 7 filled with the harmonic majesty of Bach's Magnificat during a special midnight concert by the MIT Chamber Players. The ensemble, conducted by Professor Marcus Thompson, transformed Lobby 7 into a vibrant music hall. Today the Chamber Music Society, under the direction of Professor Thompson, performs a recital at the end of each term in Killian Hall. Learn more about Professor Thompson and the Institute's many performance opportunities at MIT's Music program.
In 1996, while a guest speaker for the CAES ILP Distinguished Lecture Series, MIT Institute Professor Mildred S. Dresselhaus gave a talk titled "New Frontiers in Carbon Research—A Discussion of Recent Discoveries." In this excerpt, Dresselhaus uses a soccer ball as a prop (spherical fullerenes are also called buckyballs and they resemble soccer balls) to illustrate spherical fullerenes and carbon nanotubes.
On April 4, 2001, MIT announced it would publish educational materials from all of its courses freely and openly on the Internet. Ten years later, OpenCourseWare (OCW) has shared materials from more than 2000 courses with an estimated 100 million individuals worldwide. For more information, visit OCW.
In 1968, a small group of MIT students formed the Black Students' Union (BSU) and presented a list of proposals to the administration. Designed to increase the presence of African American students at MIT, the proposals outlined changes to recruitment, financial aid, and admission. In this video, the first co-chair of the BSU, Shirley A. Jackson PhD '73, and former MIT President Paul E. Gray '54 remember the sacrifices and heated meetings that led MIT to change its long-standing recruitment and admission policies. Learn more about this student group at the MIT Black Students Union.
Hard work. Passion. Commitment. Welcome to the MIT Excellence Awards, an annual ceremony that honors staff members who have gone above and beyond to fulfill the goals, values, and mission of the Institute. This video includes highlights from the Excellence Awards, which celebrates its tenth year. For more information, visit the MIT Rewards and Recognition Program.
Athletics has always played a role at MIT. But back in the early 20th century, no sporting event was more popular than the annual Field Day competition. These matches pitted freshmen against sophomores. The contests included rowing, swimming, tug-of-war, football, sailing, relay racing — and a climactic brawl known as the glove fight. Winners took home the coveted Field Day Cup. This video was excerpted from a promotional film, called The Social Beaver.
Spring has arrived in Cambridge, which often marks the return of nesting Red-tailed Hawks to the MIT campus. This video features a special spring in 2004, when a mating pair of Red-tailed Hawks built a nest in front of Building 9. By chance, the nesting spot allowed Academic Media Production Services to capture the hawks and even provide a popular 24x7 live webcast that became known as the MIT Hawkcam. The Hawkcam showed the hawks' carnivorous feeding habits and the eventual first flight of the fledglings. This video was first screened at MIT's 2004 Commencement Exercises.
Excerpted from the MIT IN SERVICE documentary, this video trailer highlights a D-Lab class that worked on building better, cost-efficient schools in Cambodia. MIT's D-Lab is a series of classes and field trips that focuses on international development, appropriate technologies and sustainable solutions for low-income communities, mostly in developing countries.
From 1993 to 1997, MIT Institute Professor Sheila Widnall served as United States Secretary of the Air Force, making her the first female Secretary of the Air Force and first woman to lead an entire branch of the US military in the Department of Defense. No small feat and her other accomplishments are equally impressive. An MIT alumna and professor of aeronautics and astronautics, she became the first female on the faculty in the Department of Engineering and eventually the first woman faculty chair at MIT. She was also the first woman to serve as president of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Moreover, she is internationally known for her work in fluid dynamics, specifically in the areas of aircraft turbulence and spiraling airflows. When asked to name a career-defining research moment during her MIT150 Infinite History interview, Widnall talked about her work on instability. This video captures those comments and elaborates on this research that garnered her a rare namesake.
In 2010, the world-renowned MIT Media Lab expanded into a new six-floor structure with approximately 163,000 square feet of laboratory, office, and meeting space designed by architect, Fumihiko Maki. This time-lapse video showcases the unique features of this building, which houses seven labs and various combinations of working groups. The design — which includes open workshops, a central atrium, glass-enclosed elevators, and spectacular views of the Charles River and Boston skyline — fosters collaboration among such diverse groups as the Biomechatronics group, the New Media Medicine group, and the Smart Cities group, which is developing foldable, stackable electric vehicles. Learn more about the lab's current research at the MIT Media Lab.
The MIT Museum is a place that explores invention, ideas, and innovation. Here is a behind the scenes look at this special museum and its unique collections.
Professor Susan Lindquist remembers unexpected moments that changed her life's direction and helped her create a career in the sciences. Lindquist, a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and an MIT biology professor, received the National Medal of Science in 2010. This interview is part of a video installation in the Koch Institute Public Galleries, where visitors can explore current cancer research projects and hear first-person reflections on cancer. For more information on Lindquist, visit the Department of Biology.
With the Boston Chinatown Master Plan, Chinatown is currently undergoing an impressive transformation that will connect and enhance this Asian American neighborhood with the City of Boston. As a chief architect in Chinatown's development, MIT Professor Tunney Lee discusses the site of Boston's latest urban redevelopment, which also serves as his longtime home. Read more about Professor Lee and the Boston Chinatown Master Plan at the MIT150 Exhibition.
This video includes footage of MIT Professors Judson R. Baron and Eugene E. Covert, pioneers in aeronautics. Filmed in 1997, during an AeroAstro historical presentation, they discuss the early days of MIT's state-of-the-art Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel, which investigated problems related to supersonic flight, and became an essential tool in the examination of aerospace, architectural, vehicular, and other engineering systems. For more information about the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel, visit the AeroAstro website.
In a time-honored tradition, the MIT community gathers near the Infinite Corridor to view a biannual celestial phenomenon known as "MIThenge." Like clockwork, in mid-November and late January, the circular path of the sun crosses the axis of the Infinite Corridor. At this moment, the setting sun can be seen from the far end of the corridor evoking the mysterious wonder of Stonehenge. Once again, on Jan. 27, 2011, MIT students, faculty and staff gathered to enjoy the peacefulness of the setting sun and a sense of awe.
The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast celebration features a program of speakers, presentations, and song that honors the life and legacy of Dr. King. Highlights of the event are the inspirational remarks offered by MIT students. This video features an excerpt from one of those uplifting student speeches made by then-graduate student Christopher M. Jones SM '01 during the 2001 celebration. Today Chris continues to inspire MIT students in his current role as assistant dean for graduate students.
All MIT alumni, faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend the Next Century Convocation on Sunday, April 10, 2011. As the centerpiece of the MIT150 celebration, the Next Century Convocation is a formal academic event held at the Boston Convention Center to celebrate the scholarly accomplishments of MIT faculty and students. Festivities include performances by the MIT Symphony Orchestra, Festival Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Concert and Jazz Choirs, Chamber Chorus and Rambax.
This video captured a rare appearance of MIT's Nobel Prize-winning economists gathered to deliver the inaugural Ford/MIT Nobel Laureate Lecture on September 18, 2000 in Kresge Auditorium. Introduced by Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow, the distinguished economists included Professors Emeriti Paul A. Samuelson, Franco Modigliani, and Robert M. Solow. Their lecture was titled "The US Economy: The Last 50 Years and the Next 50 Years." To view the lecture in its entirety, visit the Ford/MIT Nobel Laureate Lecture Series.
Military instruction has existed at MIT from its very first classes in 1865. Established in 1917, MIT's ROTC program was the first in the nation. Today, the ROTC tradition continues at MIT. In this video, dated June 5, 2009, General David H. Petraeus administers the oath of office at the annual commissioning ceremony for MIT, which takes place on Commencement Day. General Petraeus’s son, Stephen Petraeus '09, was among the cadets commissioned into the Army on this day. Video production funded in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT through a grant to Dr. Violeta Ivanova.
MIT is at the forefront of ocean science and engineering. This video features Professors Michael Triantafyllou, Franz Hover and John Leonard, who discuss the importance of ongoing observation and exploration of the ocean as well as ocean resource development.
Go back in time and take a tour of the nuclear reactor at the US Army Materials Research Agency in Watertown, MA in this Science Reporter episode from 1964. Host and science reporter John Fitch of MIT goes behind the scenes of this American reactor to better understand nuclear research. The Science Reporter TV program — produced by MIT and WGBH in the 1950s and 1960s — invited scientists and engineers to explain science and technology for a general audience. Courtesy of the MIT Museum.
MIT is known for breaking down barriers. Its scientists and engineers grapple with big problems and big ideas, leading to an extraordinary amount of innovative research across disciplines. Excerpted from the 16-minute documentary Outside the Box: Crossing Disciplines at MIT, this video trailer introduces the work of three prominent interdisciplinary researchers at MIT.
For more than 60 years, Paul E. Gray has been a part of MIT. Dr. Gray entered MIT as a freshman in 1950 and would earn his SB, SM, and ScD degrees in electrical engineering at MIT. He served on the faculty as an academic administrator, associate provost, dean of engineering, and chancellor before becoming the Institute’s 14th president on Sept. 26, 1980. Following his 10-year presidency, he served as chairman of the MIT Corporation, from 1990-1997. Dr. Gray remained devoted to MIT after his retirement from the chairmanship by resuming his teaching and advising roles. Among the programs at MIT that he helped to establish are the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), the Leaders for Manufacturing Program, and the affiliation with the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He was chairman of the Task Force on Educational Opportunity, 1968-1973, and encouraged curriculum reforms in the 1980s that strengthened the humanities, social sciences, and biology in the undergraduate curriculum.
MIT was honored by the visit of President Barack Obama on October 23, 2009. Speaking at Kresge Auditorium, President Obama delivered a speech that addressed American leadership and clean energy research. The talk came as Congress prepared for hearings on clean energy legislation. Prior to speaking in Kresge, the president toured research labs on campus. Noting the work of the MIT Energy Initiative to invent a sustainable energy future, President Obama explained that MIT was a logical choice for his visit.
MIT Professor Walter H. G. Lewin's videotaped physics lectures, available on OpenCourseWare, have won him fans around the world. See why The New York Times calls him a "web star" in this video which highlights his popular teaching style during 8.01, a first-semester freshman physics class. Highlights include Professor Lewin demonstrating the physics of pendulums and riding a fire-extinguisher-propelled tricycle across his classroom to show how a rocket lifts off.
Hard to believe that the Ray and Maria Stata Center celebrates its seventh anniversary on MIT's campus this March, 2011. Designed by world renowned architect Frank Gehry, this striking building—with its tilting towers, many-angled walls and radical shapes—changed the face of MIT and transformed Tech Square. Today it is the headquarters for the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, and the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. Other than housing classrooms and faculty offices, the Stata Center boasts a cafe, a pub, a fitness center, and an amphitheater. Stata is named for the co-founder of semiconductor maker Analog Devices, Raymond S. Stata '57 and his wife, Maria. In this video, see the early models and floor plans of this landmark building as well as its first visitors.
Known as the "father of inertial navigation," Dr. Charles Stark Draper was a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, where he founded the Institute's Instrumentation Laboratory in the 1930s. Today this lab functions as a separate, nonprofit research and development laboratory that bears his name. This video, which was excerpted from a larger work, includes vintage footage of Doc Draper and fond recollections from his Course 16 colleagues.
Margaret L. A. MacVicar '64 was a cherished educator and innovator at MIT. She worked for diversity in admission and implemented changes in humanities and science requirements. Professor MacVicar founded the popular Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and served as MIT's first Dean for Undergraduate Education until her death in 1991. Since 1992, members of the MIT faculty are selected as Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellows "to recognize faculty members who have profoundly influenced our students through their sustained and significant contributions to teaching and curriculum development."
Shirley Ann Jackson PhD '73 was an MIT undergraduate preparing for graduate school when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In this video, which is excerpted from the Infinite History project, Dr. Jackson remembers how King's life influenced her decision to stay at MIT and work for racial equality at the Institute. Dr. Jackson became the first African American woman to earn a doctorate from MIT and later became chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Today she is the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
MIT professor Robert W. Mann, an engineer and former rocket scientist, developed the world's first biomedical prosthetic device. In the 1960s, Mann helped produce a complex prosthetic elbow that joined an electromechanical device with remnant muscle tissue, to enable amputees to perform a lifting action. The device became known as the "Boston Arm." This video shows archival footage of this prosthetic as well as early research in the field of rehabilitation engineering. Learn more about Mann and the Boston Arm at the MIT150 Museum Exhibition.
On November 23, 1993, author Salman Rushdie made an unannounced visit to MIT and accepted an award as Honorary Visiting Professor of the Humanities. Rushdie had been living in hiding ever since a death sentence was issued by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran in 1989. Rushdie would describe the MIT event as "cloak and dagger" because the audience initially came to see the late author Susan Sontag, who strongly supported Rushdie following the Khomeini fatwa. Yet Sontag surprised the audience when she suddenly introduced Rushdie who was greeted with a standing ovation. Rushdie was MIT's first honorary visiting professor. This event was presented by MIT's Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies Writers Series, which has hosted a series of free, public readings by writers since 1978.
In this 1965 Science Reporter episode, reporter John Fitch features the Apollo Guidance Computer, which was the main control system on the spacecraft which went to the moon. NASA selected the MIT Instrumentation Lab to design and develop the onboard guidance, navigation and control systems for both the Apollo command and lunar modules.
During a 1951 episode on Edward R. Murrow's See It Now television series, Professor Jay Forrester debuted MIT's Whirlwind computer. As project director, Forrester demonstrated the computer's reliability for the US Navy.
After more than 20 years of research, Elizabeth Goldring, a senior fellow at MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies, developed a remarkable "seeing machine" that allows people who are blind or visually challenged to access the Internet and see things that they never thought possible. Using her "seeing machine," Goldring can take pictures and see them with her blind eye. For more information, visit the seeing machine website.
In 2000, the School of Humanities and Social Science celebrated its 50th anniversary and its renaming to the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (SHASS). This video includes highlights from a special celebratory concert presented on Oct. 6, 2000 in Kresge Auditorium. The evening began with an outdoor performance of Balinese music by MIT's Gamelan Galak Tika on the Kresge Oval. The main concert featured the MIT Symphony Orchestra, the MIT Concert Choir and Chamber Chorus, and acclaimed pianist David Deveau in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, under the direction of Dante Anzolini.
Needing advice on underwater photography, oceanographic researcher Jacques-Yves Cousteau went looking for MIT Professor Harold "Doc" Edgerton. With Cousteau, Edgerton produced the first underwater time-lapse photography and developed side-scan sonar technology. Used to scan the sea floor for wrecks, side-scan sonar technology was responsible for finding the Titanic as well as many other shipwrecks. Video footage includes Cousteau testing Edgerton's underwater camera and flash in a MIT pool and Edgerton working on the research vessel, Calypso.
This video was produced for the 2010 Sloan Energy Finance Forum, which was titled "The Life Cycle of Energy Finance." Held on December 3, 2010, the forum focused on the big picture of financing energy projects. This event was sponsored by the MIT Sloan Energy & Environment Club.
When Dr. Susan Hockfield was inaugurated as the 16th president of MIT, she used the historic moment to announce another first for MIT: a new initiative on energy and the environment. Established in September, 2006, the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) is an Institute-wide initiative designed to help transform the global energy system to meet the needs of the future. In 2009, when President Barack Obama visited MIT to deliver remarks on "American leadership in clean energy," he applauded the work of MITEI.
On the morning of August 26, 2004, MIT announced that Susan Hockfield, a distinguished neuroscientist and then Provost at Yale University, had been selected the 16th president of MIT. Later that afternoon, the MIT community gathered in 10-250 to enthusiastically welcome its new president-elect.
Lester Thurow is a former dean of MIT’s Sloan School of Management and one of its best-known economists. His academic work focuses on globalization, economic instability and the distribution of income and wealth. A bestselling writer, Thurow authored several books including The Future of Capitalism and Building Wealth. In this 1988 video, Thurow, then the new dean of the Sloan School of Management, participates in the forward-looking "Symposium on Management in the Year 2000" which also featured the popular writer and Cornell professor, Carl Sagan.
This montage highlights the narrative history featured in the 1976 film, Take Me Back to Tech. Images range from MIT's Back Bay beginnings to the mid-1970s.
From its founding, MIT has been an engine of both local and global economic growth, playing a key role in the creation of thousands of companies and millions of jobs. More recently, MIT sits at the center of an entrepreneurial boom due to an "entrepreneurial ecosystem"—an informal network of groups dedicated to nurturing and encouraging entrepreneurship. This trailer includes highlights from the documentary The Ecosystem: Nurturing Entrepreneurship at MIT, which examines the development of this ecosystem, how it works, and the role it plays in MIT's ongoing commitment to creating innovations that make a difference.
The Eye of a Robot shows some of the early artificial intelligence (AI) research that took place during the 1950s at MIT. This video shows experimental computer programs extracting line drawings from pictures. These basic investigations eventually led to the founding of the prestigious MIT AI Laboratory.
Champion of women’s rights, Katharine D. McCormick '04 donated a women's dormitory, named after her husband Stanley A. McCormick, that changed MIT. The generous act ushered in a new era at MIT and signaled the Institute’s commitment to the professional development of women. Constructed in two phases, McCormick Hall's first residential tower, called the West Tower, opened in 1963 while the East Tower was completed in 1967. Looking back on McCormick Hall’s history, MIT alumni and past presidents remember this special place as well as the extraordinary philanthropist-activist, Mrs. McCormick, who left much of her wealth to MIT and its female students. Excerpted from the MIT150 Infinite History project, this video features Karen W. Arenson '70, Paul E. Gray ’54, Howard Johnson, and William J. Hecht ’61.
Twenty-five years ago, MIT and the nation mourned the loss of Ronald E. McNair PhD ’76. During McNair's second flight in space, he lost his life along with six other astronauts when the space shuttle Challenger exploded on January 28, 1986. MIT dedicated Building 37, home to the Center for Space Research and part of the aeronautics and astronautics department, to McNair’s memory. This video features that December 5, 1986 dedication ceremony and includes speakers Shirley A. Jackson PhD '73, MIT President Paul E. Gray ’54, and Cheryl M. McNair, Ronald McNair’s widow, who remember the many accomplishments of this extraordinary astronaut.
MIT's first open house in more than 30 years provided hours of awestruck moments and became a highlight of the MIT150 celebration. Called "Under the Dome: Come Explore MIT," the open house attracted thousands who toured MIT's cutting-edge labs and research centers on April 30. The day's events featured Black Hawk helicopters, robotic demonstrations, blimp contests, and a wind tunnel with speeds as fast as 170 mph. Visitors were also entertained by student music groups and an exciting flash mob performance that started in Lobby 7 then poured into Massachusetts Avenue. This video includes highlights from the historic day-long open house that helped commemorate the Institute's 150th anniversary.
In 1963, Vannevar Bush PhD ’16 was interviewed at his Belmont home for the MIT/WGBH television program Science Reporter and asked to reflect on the weapon he helped create, the atomic bomb. Bush, an inventor, engineer, and former professor and dean of the School of Engineering at MIT, is better known as the director of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Office of Scientific Research and Development. Remembered as "the first presidential science advisor," Bush oversaw much of the United States’ wartime scientific research including, most famously, the development of the atomic bomb.
During the summer of 2006, student engineers representing countries around the world participated in the first Vehicle Design Summit held at MIT. Students used their passion and ingenuity to build electric, hydrogen, and human-powered vehicles that were showcased at the Henry G. Steinbrenner '27 Stadium at the competition's conclusion. Here are highlights from the inaugural summit that were excerpted from ZigZag Episode #9.
Moderated by Lauriston S. Taylor, Vignettes of Early Radiation Workers features an interview with John G. Trump, a Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT, who helped form the High Voltage Engineering Corporation (HVEC) in Burlington, Massachusetts. HVEC became the leading supplier of electrostatic generators that were used in cancer therapy, industrial radiography and in the study of nuclear structure.
At the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN), Professor Karen Gleason works to find a way to coat fine objects. Researchers in her lab use a process called hot filament chemical vapor deposition (HFCVD) to deposit nanolayers of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, also known as Teflon). In this video, Gleason explains this unique "waterproofing" technique and its numerous applications.
Author of Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women (MIT Press, 1998), Dr. Virginia Valian visited MIT to discuss why women continue to lag behind men in professional advancement. In this excerpt, Dr. Valian examines how an "accumulation of advantage" and seemingly small-scale disadvantages can perpetuate gender disparities in the workplace.
William J. Mitchell, the former dean of MIT's School of Architecture and Planning, led the Smart Cities research group at the MIT Media Lab and helped oversee an ambitious expansion of the MIT campus. As architectural advisor to then-President Charles M. Vest, Mitchell guided a $1 billion expansion of the campus that added nearly one million square feet to MIT's 154-acre campus. The building program yielded five innovative architectural projects by world-renowned designers such as Frank Gehry's Stata Center, Kevin Roche's Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center, Steven Holl's Simmons Hall, Charles Correa's Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex and Fumihiko Maki's Media Lab Complex. In this video, which is excerpted from the MIT150 Infinite History project, Mitchell recalls MIT's architectural "transformative moment."