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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research
university in Cambridge, Massachusetts known traditionally for research and
education in the physical sciences and engineering, and more recently in
biology, economics, linguistics, and management as well.
Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, the institute used a polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction. MIT's early emphasis on applied technology at the undergraduate and graduate levels led to close cooperation with industry. Curricular reforms under Karl Compton and Vannevar Bush in the 1930s emphasized basic science. MIT was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934. Researchers worked on computers, radar, and inertial guidance during World War II and the Cold War. Post-war defense research contributed to the rapid expansion of the faculty and campus under James Killian. The current 168-acre (68.0 ha) campus opened in 1916 and extends over 1 mile (1.6 km) along the northern bank of the Charles River basin.
Today, the Institute comprises various academic departments with a strong emphasis on scientific, engineering, and technological education and research. It has five schools and one college, which contain a total of 32 departments. Eighty-one Nobel laureates, 52 National Medal of Science recipients, 45 Rhodes Scholars, and 38 MacArthur Fellows have been affiliated with the university. It is one of the most selective higher learning institutions, and received 18,357 undergraduate applicants for the class of 2018°™only admitting 1,419, an acceptance rate of 7.73%.
MIT also has a strong entrepreneurial culture. The aggregated revenues of companies founded by MIT alumni would rank as the eleventh-largest economy in the world.9
The "Engineers" sponsor 31 sports, most teams of which compete in the NCAA Division III's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference; the Division I rowing programs compete as part of the EARC and EAWRC.
MIT was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs.6667 Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new "backlot" buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center.68 Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School's eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest.6970 In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.71
In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements,72 MIT launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabuses, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed.73 While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high,74 OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages.75 In 2011, MIT announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its "MITx" program, for a modest fee.76 The "edX" online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous "Harvardx" initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. Download