The June 8 letter to the editor, “Maintaining Curriculum Standards Depends on Admissions Criteria,” suggested that the reduction of the physics and calculus core requirement from two years to one year was a recent occurrence. In fact, the requirement was reduced in 1964, not “a short time ago.” <i>The Tech</i> previously published a correction in response to a similarly misleading statement in a May 11 letter (<i>http://www-tech.mit.edu/V127/N26/</i><i>correction.html</i>).
The Walk for Hunger group from Baker House did a great job raising money for a very worthy organization and they should rightly be commended for their charity, but I think it's a shame that <i>The Tech</i> made no mention at all of the many other students and affiliates of MIT who took part in the event. The other students and groups may not have made as large or as organized of an impact as the Baker House team, but I feel that <i>The Tech</i> could have at least made some acknowledgement that many diverse members of the MIT community put forth an admirable effort to help the cause.
The U.S. War on Terror has inspired far-reaching and unexpected consequences. Rebiya Kadeer will speak at MIT tonight on how the Uyghur Muslim minority in western China has endured one such consequence: the Chinese have adopted our rhetoric, equating Islam with violent separatism and global terrorism.
A significant percentage of my graduating ChemE class is going into investment banking and consulting (myself included). I'm willing to bet the other science and engineering disciplines at MIT are witnessing similar trends. My hardcore engineering friends tease me for selling out, opting for the big bucks and cushy office instead of sticking to my technical roots. Personally, I have no problem making money, and I encourage you all to make buckets. After all, money talks. But let's be original about what we choose to say with it.
It was unfortunate to read such a miscalculated review of “On Broadway” in the May 4 edition of <i>The Tech</i>. It is clear that Alice MacDonald ’08 must have departed the film early and did not realize that the voiceover narration and flashback were only within the first two minutes of the film. Moreover, she states the film looked crappy due to it being shot on digital — clearly mistaken, as it was shot on film. Lastly, Alice states that the writing was rigid. Fair enough. But I find Dave McLaughlin’s writing to come from a place of honesty which isn’t seen in these wannabe hipster films that are so often hyped or seen at festivals. Stories are what seem to be missing, not some clown in hipster clothes and haircuts speaking nonsense. Go rent a John Cassavetes film!
The May 1 article "Baseball Places 2nd After Two Wins Yield Berth in Title Game" stated that the baseball team made it to the title game of their conference tournament, when in fact they were eliminated in the semifinal round. That same article was written by James Kramer and Travis Johnson, though credit was mistakenly given to Mindy Brauer and Travis Johnson.
In his recent article, Shankar Mukherji argued that the United States should shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay. I don't believe that will solve anything, because the fundamental problem with what's going on down there is not the base itself. International and U.S. laws are obsolete, having been written in a different era for a different kind of war, and only revising the law to deal with the realities of modern conflict can fix the situation.
An article on April 27 incorrrectly cited the annual cost of each telephone at MIT as $200. Phones at MIT range from from $240 per year to $438 per year, and most office phones are digital phones that cost $390 per year. These fees will go away as part of the restructuring in July 2007, when they will be replaced with a fixed per-employee charge.
MIT made the right decision in asking Marilee Jones to resign. If our hiring process is not reliable, how can we defend our integrity in other areas, like research? Jones’ continued presence at MIT would set a dangerous precedent. What if we learned that one of our top professors falsified research data early in his career to get a job? All of MIT should be held to the same standard for honesty in order to maintain credibility.
The recent Undergraduate Association elections have once again proven the incompetence and negligence of the UA. The outcome lacks any hint of credibility because of the blatant missteps of the organization. Not only did the UA disenfranchise 30 percent of the undergraduate population in one class council election, but it seemed to implode on itself when making a simple decision on whether or not to allow one student’s candidacy in another.
The Institute’s abrupt and highly publicized dismissal of Marilee Jones, MIT’s dean of admissions, was a disgrace. Yes, apparently 28 years ago Dean Jones made a serious mistake when she misrepresented her educational credentials. But look at her record of accomplishment while at MIT. She has won numerous awards and been recognized as a national leader in the undergraduate admissions process. Several years ago I had the pleasure of working closely with her in helping to evaluate applications to the freshman class. She was dedicated, tireless, professional, and compassionate. As far as I know, no one has ever criticized her as being unqualified. In fact, her many accolades testify to the reverse. The MIT process of harsh and sudden termination has zeroed out everything Marilee has done in a 28-year MIT career. And it has resulted in frenetic media coverage in local, national, and international news. For most “crimes,” the statute of limitations is far less than 28 years. Was Jones’ “crime” equivalent to a felony having no statute of limitations? Was it impossible for the MIT administration to negotiate a quiet private resignation of Dean Jones? Why the need for public humiliation? Where is the compassion that I have always attributed to the MIT family? Despite 46 years here (as student and faculty member), today I feel estranged from a community that could treat one of its own with such cruelty.
Immediately after the events of 9/11, many of us all around the world shared the same experience: a mixture of anger, of dejection, of uncertainty. As the embers continued to smolder in New York and Washington, almost all of us, along with human rights activists (myself included), expected that our government would take some liberties in hunting down and exposing the perpetrators of this mass murder. We were prepared to live with that in the immediate aftermath of the most devastating attack from abroad the U.S. mainland had ever known, as long as the mission focused on justice rather than revenge. But, as seems fated to occur whenever an authority receives a new power, the power was abused. Suspects were being apprehended on intelligence of dubious quality, as age-old feuds and political scores were settled via accusations of terrorism. At the same time those detained saw rights guaranteed under both international and federal law rapidly slip away. The country was afraid, and it showed. Rather than rally the nation to a course that would bring perpetrators to justice while re-affirming our country’s deep historic commitments to human rights and the rule of law, the Bush Administration built a shrine to our fears. The world knows it by a single name: Guantanamo.
I was saddened to see <i>The Tech</i>’s regrettable decision to run a political cartoon (April 24, 2007) about the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling to uphold a ban on intact dilation and extraction (often termed “partial birth abortion”). The cartoon in question depicted the Supreme Court in the form of a coat-hanger, implying that women’s rights and freedoms are harmed by the court’s decision.
Two decades ago, the United Nations’ Brundtland Commission defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Later, in the 1990s, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development took this a step further, recognizing that sustainable development requires a balance of three dimensions — economic growth, social development and environmental protection.