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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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.
Tesla Model 3: cheaper than its predecessors, but is $35,000 really within reach of ‘mainstream’ buyers? Tesla Motors

Will the Tesla Model 3 recharge the U.S. electric vehicle market?

Tesla Motors again struck a chord with the sleek Model 3 electric car but it's still not enough to compete on price and convenience with mass market gas-powered cars, says auto tech researcher.
Drivers make some suboptimal routing decisions when they’re traveling around town. A. Lima et al. J. R. Soc. Int. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2016.0021

Recalculating! By not driving the optimal route, you’re causing traffic jams

No wonder you're always late. Drivers use a route that minimizes travel time on only a third of their trips. Here's how real-world data can help planners fight traffic congestion.
The biggest source of mercury in the U.S. continues to be coal power plants. booleansplit/flickr

Are tighter EPA controls on mercury pollution worth it?

Politicians rail against the EPA, but economic analysis shows the health benefits of mercury controls – including both higher IQ and heart health – are worth billions of dollars a year.
It takes more than protest: demonstrators at a 2012 climate change conference in Doha, Qatar. Omar Chatriwala/flickr

Playing ‘serious games,’ adults learn to solve thorny real-world problems

How can diverse societies agree on strategies for tackling complex problems? Lawrence Susskind and Ella Kim of MIT explain how role-playing games can help people learn to collaborate.

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