20,000 visitors expected at open house

Nearly 80 departments and labs will host a total of 380 activities in 170 spaces around campus for 20,000 visitors on April 23 in an open house to commemorate the 100th anniversary of MIT’s move to Cambridge. The activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Open House Planning Committee has made a point of advertising the event zealously, on buses, at MBTA stations, in the Boston Globe, and even on the facade of 77 Massachusetts Avenue. The effort may explain the high levels of attendance that the organizers expect.

Program director Michael S. Berry ’10 expects the event to help showcase MIT to the outside world, but he said it should also help students, faculty, and staff to “learn about what happens at this Institute outside of their own bubble.”

“This is disneyland for nerds,” Berry told The Tech. He said it’s so easy to be focused on daily to-do lists that people at the Institute “lose sight of the magic behind the doors of MIT.”

Berry said the event is not targeted at any group in particular — it’s goal is not to solicit applications from prospective students.

It’s “an opportunity for MIT and its neighbors to engage in a cooperative exploration of the important and fun work done on MIT’s campus and how it impacts the world,” he said.

“I want visitors to walk away with a sense of wonder and appreciation for the work that goes into genome sequencing or 3D printing ice cream. I want them to see the work done by groups like D-Lab and realize that technology isn’t about the next big app or million dollar idea, but a tool to improve lives.”

The open house is one part of the MIT2016 celebration organized by the MIT2016 Planning Committee chaired by Professor John Ochsendorf.

The MIT2016 celebrations commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of MIT’s move to Cambridge from its former location in Copley Square.

The most prominent event of the MIT2016 celebration will be “Moving Day,” which will commemorate MIT’s move to Cambridge.

The May 7 event — which will involve MIT students and other members of the community crossing the river from Boston to Cambridge by various methods — is designed to be reminiscent of a similar event in 1916. At that event, students and faculty — with great fanfare — processed to Cambridge as a decked-out boat carried MIT’s charter across the river.

Gayle Gallagher, Ted Johnson, Alice Rugoletti, and Berry, all of Institute Events, have been managing logistics.