To the Members of the MIT Community:
Susan J. Hockfield, MIT’s 16th president, announced yesterday morning her decision to step down from the presidency after seven years.
The widespread perception that the Suffolk Downs casino proposal, with its strong political backers, has a lock on development rights for Eastern Massachusetts may be discouraging some casino companies from competing in what is expected to be the state’s most lucrative gambling market, specialists say.
During her seven years as president, Susan J. Hockfield oversaw an aggressive expansion of MIT’s global footprint. Her years as president have been markedly outward-facing. During her tenure, she skillfully advanced MIT’s long-term interests by engaging in parnterships overseas and by securing a variety of donations for the David H. Koch Institute on Integrative Cancer Research and Fariborz Maseeh Hall, among other things. Hockfield’s administration has raised over $3 billion, more money than any one president has made during his term. She has created a number of relationships in politics and abroad. From bringing Obama to campus to creating alliances with Singapore and Russia, Hockfield has brought MIT’s influence around the globe.
The UA Council, the UA’s main ruling body that replaced the Senate, has been almost completely filled, with the off-campus representative yet to be determined. The Council includes representation for every dorm, the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenic Association (Panhel), the Living Group Council (LGC), and off-campus residents, each selected in a way determined by their constituents. The Council will have its first meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Senate Chambers, W20-400, according UA Vice President Amanda C. David ’13. The meeting will be open, and food will be served.
Many visions of the future presented during MIT150 concern the Institute itself and nearby Kendall Square — but MIT’s Environmental Research Council (ERC) had larger goals in mind, global-sized goals. In December, the ERC released an implementation plan for the establishment of a Global Environment Initiative (GEI), whose challenge is to “integrate the Institute’s core strengths in … research to better understand the global environment and manage our role in it.”
DETROIT — The Nigerian man who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner with explosives concealed in his underwear on Christmas Day in 2009 was sentenced Thursday to life in prison by a federal judge who said his crime and subsequent lack of remorse demanded the maximum possible punishment.
Dozens of local colleges and universities are seeing record numbers of freshman applicants this year, including Northeastern University, Boston University, Boston College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and three campuses of the University of Massachusetts.
While the second half of January brought some hope for snow-lovers across New England, the past two weeks have not been so promising. The same story is true for today as southerly flow is bringing in moisture, rainfall, and above-average temperatures. This unusual weather can be explained through the February jet stream (i.e. storm track), which has directed the most intense storms through Canada and prevented others from moving toward New England. Sometimes the jet has also split itself, allowing systems to pass to our south and leave New England free of any precipitation.
LONDON — Arguing that the centuries-old “ties that bind” Britain together were under threat from Scottish separatism, Prime Minister David Cameron traveled to Edinburgh on Thursday to meet with First Minister Alex Salmond in what was seen here as the first sparring bout of a longer battle over an independence referendum.
OSAKA, Japan — The Japanese authorities arrested seven central figures in the huge accounting scandal at Olympus — including the camera-maker’s former chairman and executive vice president — on Thursday as part of investigations into a decade-long cover-up that has prompted concern over what critics say is lax corporate governance at Japanese companies.
A key question brought up at the recent MIT Diversity Summit, and the MLK Jr. annual breakfast, was how can MIT balance excellence with diversity? It has been commonly noted that students and faculty alike perceive tension within the Institute between the frequent appeals for increased diversity, and the culture of hard work and meritocracy that make MIT what it is. This question received heavy emphasis in the 2010 Report on the Initiative for Faculty Race and Diversity. One of the final statements of that report was that, “While almost everyone at MIT would like the Institute to be an institution of merit and inclusion, it will be difficult to reach this ideal if race and ethnicity are ignored and presumed irrelevant.”
1Q84 marks Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s 12th novel, and is considered by many to be his magnum opus. First published in Japan as a collection of three volumes, 1Q84 was just released in the United States in October under one cover. The book, which is over 900 pages, is quite different from his previous works, but as a long-time Murakami fan, I was not disappointed.
Last week, The Tech sat down with Anna Kohler, Senior Lecturer in MIT’s Musical and Theater Arts Department, who is directing MIT Dramashop’s most recent production, My Uncle, a reimagination of Anton Chekhov’s classic 1897 play Uncle Vanya, which explores the ideas of wasted life, frustrated desire, and alienation in the setting of a Russian country estate. But My Uncle transports us into the frame of a mental asylum: The MIT student actors are mental patients who, as part of a “Drama Therapy” session, put on a stunning version of Uncle Vanya where Chekhov’s characters are played by two actors each and where the dramatic illusion is periodically interrupted by reminders of the hospital.
On Tuesday night at Harvard, the MIT’s Women’s Fencing team entered the Bean Pot Tournament against Brandeis, Harvard, and Boston College. The team arrived with a promising record of 12-19, straight off a 2-5 record from the Eric Sollee Invitation where MIT crushed Hunter College, 23-4, and Haverford College, 17-12. Throughout time, however, Harvard has boasted a 25-12 record against the Engineers, which means that this match was time to retaliate.
Nationally-ranked No. 5 MIT defeated No. 9 Rivier College, 25-16, 25-19, 25-22, en route to winning the championship of the MIT Men’s Volleyball Invitational on Sunday afternoon. The Engineers also swept Emerson College (25-17, 25-22, 25-13), Stevenson University (25-22, 25-20, 25-13), and York College (N.Y.) (25-17, 25-23, 25-17) to capture their second consecutive title and their fifth overall in the eight-year history of the tournament. Kenneth M. Siebert ’14 was selected to the all-tournament team while David R. Thomas ’12 earned Tournament MVP honors for the second year in a row, becoming the first player to accomplish this feat.