Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

The Institute is committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges. MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

The Institute admitted its first students in 1865, four years after the approval of its founding charter. The opening marked the culmination of an extended effort by William Barton Rogers, a distinguished natural scientist, to establish a new kind of independent educational institution relevant to an increasingly industrialized America. Rogers stressed the pragmatic and practicable. He believed that professional competence is best fostered by coupling teaching and research and by focusing attention on real-world problems. Toward this end, he pioneered the development of the teaching laboratory.

Today MIT is a world-class educational institution. Teaching and research—with relevance to the practical world as a guiding principle—continue to be its primary purpose. MIT is independent, coeducational, and privately endowed. Its five schools and one college encompass numerous academic departments, divisions, and degree-granting programs, as well as interdisciplinary centers, laboratories, and programs whose work cuts across traditional departmental boundaries.

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Displaying 1 - 20 of 76 articles

Everyone sees them all, but we don’t all give them the same distinct names. lazyllama/Shutterstock.com

Languages don’t all have the same number of terms for colors – scientists have a new theory why

People across the globe all see millions of distinct colors. But the terms we use to describe them vary across cultures. New cognitive science research suggests it's about what we want to communicate.
The first U.S. offshore wind farm, near Block Island, Rhode Island, started delivering commercial electricity in December 2016. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Thinking beyond Trump: Why power companies should be investing now in carbon-free electricity

When utilities plan investments, they think decades ahead. A recent study shows why power companies should be spending more on renewables despite the Trump administration's tilt toward fossil fuels.
A resident of New York City Housing Authority’s Chelsea-Elliot Houses. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

America’s public housing crisis may worsen with Trump budget

Since the 1990s, the supply of deeply subsidized housing has decreased as the US population and need for housing have increased. Trump's proposed cuts to HUD won't help.
Between the Earth and the moon: An artist’s rendering of a refueling depot for deep-space exploration. Sung Wha Kang (RISD)

Mining the moon for rocket fuel to get us to Mars

To get us to Mars and beyond, a team of students from around the world has a plan involving lunar rovers mining ice and a space station between the Earth and the moon.
A source of frustration. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Why Bill Belichick cast down his tablet

The problems that cause us to be so frustrated we contemplate throwing a computer can be much more serious than a multimillionaire football coach having a minor tantrum on a Sunday afternoon.
The 20-metre-long Paris Navigating Gym is propelled along the Seine by human power. Carlo Ratti Associati

How wearable devices are reinventing our cities as open-air gyms

Physical exercise was once primarily an open-air activity, until gym training and monitoring took hold. Digital devices and augmented reality now offer the freedom to head out into the city again.
Should one person lead two different government agencies? U.S. government images

Should NSA and Cyber Command have separate leadership?

The key factor to consider is not cooperation, but rather focus: One is an offensive military unit and the other a defensive civilian agency.
Amatrice in central Italy was among the areas hit by a 6.2 earthquake that killed at least 252 people. Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

Can we get better at predicting earthquakes?

There are already early warning systems for earthquakes, but advances in seismology provide hope that experts will be able to predict when new ones will occur.
FEMA photograph by John Fleck taken in Mississippi. Wikimedia Commons

Build disaster-proof homes before storms strike, not afterward

In response to disasters like Superstorm Sandy, engineers are developing new building codes and tools to calculate the value of upgrades. National policy should encourage builders to use these tools.
Rather than create regulatory frameworks that allow innovations to thrive, governments have created hurdles to transformative applications like Uber or Airbnb. Torrenegra/flickr

While governments talk about smart cities, it’s citizens who create them

Governments too often hinder change, when instead they should aim to foster an organic innovation ecosystem. This is more about bottom-up innovation than top-down schemas.
Un officier américain transportant les codes permettant d'activer le feu nucléaire. Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Moderniser la force de dissuasion américaine : à quel prix ?

La visite du président Obama à Hiroshima est l’occasion de poser la question du coût de de la modernisation de la force de dissuasion. Un enjeu à plusieurs milliards qui se pose aussi en France.

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