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Annual Technology Day Report 2010

06/05/2010 Kresge
Dr. Susan Hockfield, President, MIT

Description: Note: This video has some audio problems, which get resolved at early on with some help from an audience member, presumed to be a Course VI alum.

MIT President Susan Hockfield delivers a general update on the Institute to MIT Alumni gathered in Kresge for the annual Technology Day event.

Focusing first on everyone's most pressing concern, Hockfield provides an overview of the Institute's finances, and reports on a campus"wide response to the economic downturn that has resulted in a leaner and stronger MIT. Going forward with a balanced budget, MIT is benefitting from The Idea Bank, a community"wide on"line discussion that produced hundreds of ideas on how to reduce expenses. Many of these changes required an examination of business practices aimed at more efficient, streamlined operations. One highly visible change involved the reorganization of the MIT News Office, and the MIT Home Page with Technology Review which created a more unified approach to external communication, and an overall leaner operation. One result? MIT's website is now the most visited university website in the world.

Hockfield also updates on major building projects, including the celebrated opening of the new Media Lab (Bldg. E14), and the much"anticipated new Sloan building (Bldg. E62) in 2011. Additionally, as the Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research (Bldg. 76) nears completion, she provides details on the plan to bring 12 biologists and 12 engineers together as they take on the cancer research in new ways that speak to the MIT interdisciplinary approach to solving very big problems.

Initiatives begun the past year include new programs in leadership, energy, sustainability, entrepreneurship and finance.

Questions from the audience include MIT's role in trying to solve the oil leak in the gulf (MIT faculty are on the case), MIT's help in providing insight and analysis on the causes of the global economic crisis challenges in the banking industry, more on solar energy and the challenges of energy storage, the upcoming MIT 150 celebration, the job climate for MIT grads (considerably better than most), and work at the Sloan School in sustainability and fostering entrepreneurship.

About the Speaker(s): Susan Hockfield has served as the sixteenth president of MIT since December 2004. A strong advocate of the vital role that science, technology, and the research university play in the world, she believes that MIT can best advance its historic mission of teaching, research, and service by providing robust and sustained support for the ideas and energies of its faculty and students.

A noted neuroscientist whose research has focused on the development of the brain, Dr. Hockfield is the first life scientist to lead MIT and holds a faculty appointment as professor of neuroscience in the Institute's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Under her leadership, MIT has launched a major Institute"wide initiative in energy research and education and continues to expand its activities at the intersection of the life sciences and engineering, with a particular focus on cancer research. The Institute has also embarked on a sustained effort to strengthen support for student life and learning, including undergraduate curriculum renewal, and is undertaking major campus construction and renovation projects with a combined value of approximately three"quarters of a billion dollars.

Before assuming the presidency of MIT, Dr. Hockfield was the William Edward Gilbert Professor of Neurobiology and provost at Yale University. She joined the Yale faculty in 1985 and was named full professor in 1994. While at Yale, she played a central role in the university's leadership, first as dean of its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1998"2002), with oversight of more than 70 graduate programs, and then as provost, the university's chief academic and administrative officer.

Dr. Hockfield earned her B.A. in biology from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. from the Georgetown University School of Medicine, while carrying out her dissertation research in neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at San Francisco in 1979"80, and then joined the scientific staff at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York in 1980. She served as director of the Laboratory's Summer Neurobiology Program from 1985 to 1997, concurrent with her teaching post at Yale, and more recently as a trustee of the laboratory. Her memberships in professional societies include the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Neuroscience.

Host(s): Alumni Association, Alumni Association

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MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

Category: Events | Updated over 2 years ago

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