I’m sitting 11,000 meters above the Atlantic Ocean, hurtling at 800 kilometers per hour towards Boston after an exhilarating week at a conference focused on smart cities in Barcelona, Spain. After spending the past three days engaging in discussions with policymakers, researchers, and businesspeople about the future of technology in cities, it has become highly apparent to me that MIT’s recent efforts to expand our global education and outreach programs have truly paid off. At conferences, workshops, and business meetings around the world, MIT is globally regarded as a leader in innovative thought across a wide variety of disciplines. Faculty and graduate students are spending more time traveling than perhaps ever before, a testament to the growing international relevance of MIT in an increasingly complex and globalized world. Presenting novel ideas at conferences, teaching children in developing nations, and participating in internships in foreign countries are just samples of activities that the MIT community engage in on a daily basis to maintain our global prominence. But we must not take this reputation for granted, as it has resulted from the continued commitment of students, staff, and faculty to make MIT a truly global university. Nor can we rest on our laurels, as this dedication must continue with renewed vigor to keep MIT’s researchers and alumni competitive in a shrinking world.
The Cambridge restaurant scene is blessed by the presence of a vibrant Portuguese community clustered around Inman Square and South Somerville, about a half hour stroll from MIT’s campus. The flavors of Portugal are splendidly rich with many dishes showcasing the nation’s top quality seafood and meats in hearty sauces crafted from fine olive oil, garlic, and a variety of earthy spices and herbs.