• Professor Ned Thomas, director of the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, led a group from MIT to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Ft. Polk, Louisiana, in late January 2003.

    Photo / Eve Downing

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  • James McLurkin won the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize.

    Photo / Mark Ostow

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  • Julian Zamudio, 9, of Westwood and Piper Rollins, 6, of Roslindale play Music Shapers in the Boston premiere of "Toy Symphony."

    Photo / Donna Coveney

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  • The New Testament of the King James Bible reproduced on a five-millimeter tablet by MIT Professor Pawan Sinha and two colleagues is listed as the smallest printed book reproduction in the 2003 Guinness Book of World Records. By comparison, "Lincoln," smallest book in the MIT Archives, contains four speeches by Abraham Lincoln in 160 pages of 2-point type (1/36th of an inch high).

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  • MIT students Taku Iida, Greg Mahowald and Kyle Rattray rode their bikes cross-country to raise money for cancer research.

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  • The Dalai Lama visited MIT in September for the conference "Investigating the Mind: Exchanges Between Buddhism and the Biobehavioral Sciences on How the Mind Works."

    Photo / Donna Coveney

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  • A replica of the Wright brother's biplane "Flyer" was erected on top of the Great Dome at MIT by student hackers, in honor of the 100th anniversary of human, powered flight.

    Photo / Donna Coveney

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News 2003: A look back at MIT news highlights


Jan. 15 - Private data common on discarded computers

Discarded computers, even those with "erased" disk drives, may harbor confidential information such as credit card numbers and medical records.

Jan. 21 - The one invention you can't live without

While it may seem that cell phones, computers and other technology gadgets are Americans' most coveted items, teens and adults agree that the one invention they cannot live without is of older and humbler origins.

Jan. 24 - What's in a name?

Tamika and Brendan had identical backgrounds and credentials. Yet when their resumes were submitted in response to help wanted ads in Boston and Chicago, many more prospective employers were interested in Brendan.

Feb. 3 - MIT experts reflect on shuttle tragedy

As the nation mourned the loss of the seven Columbia astronauts, MIT experts reflected on the science, engineering and humanity behind the accident.

Feb. 5 - Java in the lobby

The coffee competition on campus ratcheted up with the opening of Bosworth's cafe in Lobby 7.

Feb. 5 - Tech Talk redesigned

A new and improved Tech Talk made its debut.

Feb. 11 - MIT to open summer enrichment programs to all races

Two pre-college summer programs of educational enrichment will maintain their critical goals and purposes but will be open to students from all races.

Feb. 12 - ISN takes basic training

Nine members of MIT's Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies went to an army base to learn how their skills may be used to enhance soldier survivability.

Feb. 14 - Bond decries rise of poverty among blacks

The success of the American civil rights movement should be measured not by the increase in black millionaires since the 1960s, but by the decrease in black employment, civil rights pioneer Julian Bond declared at MIT's 29th annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Feb. 17 - MIT, others ask Supreme Court to allow race as a factor in U. Michigan admissions case

The U.S. Supreme Court "must not block our path to building the diverse scientific and engineering workforce and leadership" essential to "the future economic strength, health and security of this nation," President Charles M. Vest said.

Feb. 21 - Molina shares $250,000 Heinz Award

Institute Professor Mario Molina was honored for his work to raise awareness of the dangers of atmospheric pollution and global warming.

Feb. 26 - Inventor of tiny robots wins $30K prize

James McLurkin, winner of the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for inventiveness, is programming a swarm of robots to mimic bee behavior.

March 5 - BSO premieres Harbison work

When Institute Professor John Harbison's "Requiem" receives its world premiere performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, it will be the culmination of a creative process that began 17 years ago.

March 7 - Nobelists sound alarm on state of environment

Nobel laureates Mario Molina and Eric Chivian packed a powerful one-two punch during their March 6 presentation on global environmental issues.

March 11 - Mead to head MIT Corporation

Dana G. Mead, retired chair and CEO of Tenneco Inc., has been elected chair of the MIT Corporation.

March 12 - 2003-04 tuition, fees announced; undergrad aid increased

MIT announced that tuition and fees for the 2003-2004 academic year will total $29,600, an increase of 4.9 percent over the current rate.

March 19 - TLO has terrific year, 'SuperWeek'

The Technology Licensing Office received 135 patents last year, making it second in the nation.

April 2 - Amon wins $500,000 Waterman Award

Biology professor Angelika Amon won the National Science Foundation's prestigious Waterman Award.

April 9 - MIT studies faculty housing subsidies

MIT is investigating ways to help faculty members cope with the rising housing costs in the Boston area.

April 11 - Shultz urges U.S. to blend force with diplomacy

No stranger to the use of weapons and diplomacy, alumnus and former Secretary of State George P. Shultz told an MIT audience that the U.S. must rely on both in its relations with Iraq and North Korea.

April 23 - Profs author sci-tech history of U.S.

Leave it to MIT faculty members to produce a history of the United States that places science and technology in their rightful place.

April 25 - Groundbreaking held for Picower Center

"A dream come true," said Nobel laureate founding director Susumu Tonegawa at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Picower Center for Learning and Memory.

April 30 - Toy is a joy in symphony premiere

Composer Tod Machover and area musicans joined Boston-area children to offer some wild and whimsical lessons in music-making in the U.S. premiere of Machover's "Toy Symphony."

April 30 - Rivest pelted with rice at Turing tribute

Professor Ronald L. Rivest was fêted by friends and colleagues after he and two former MIT researchers won the $100,000 Turing Award.

May 14 - Purple 'bot conquers 2.007

Sophomore Keith Durand's purple, no-name machine took home top prize at MIT's 2.007 robot contest.

May 14 - World's tiniest book

Pawan Sinha is recognized in the 2003 Guinness Book of World Records for creating the smallest printed book reproduction -- the New Testament of the King James Bible on a five-millimeter tablet.

May 20 - Construction starts on McGovern Institute

Making the world a better place by reducing misunderstandings that can lead to global conflict is among the goals of Patrick J. McGovern Jr. and Lore Harp McGovern for the new MIT building that will bear their name.

May 21 - SmartCells wins MIT $50K contest

A life sciences team won the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition for the fifth year in a row.

May 21 - MIT hands over park to city

A day of soccer and festivities helped mark the transfer of the deed for the Pacific Street Park from MIT to the City of Cambridge.

May 23 - High tech lauded at ISN opening

A soldier whose bulletproof vest saved his life testified to the value of high technology at the dedication of MIT's Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies.

May 23 - EECS celebrates 100th

MIT researchers gave hundreds a taste of the future of human-machine relationships to celebrate the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science centennial.

May 28 - Computer science, AI labs merge

The Laboratory for Computer Science and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory will merge to become the largest laboratory on campus in research volume.

June 9 - Mitchell believes Middle East peace possible

Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell was the speaker at MIT's 137th Commencement.

June 12 - F&T fans recall good talk, good food

Dozens of denizens of the former F&T Restaurant gathered to share memories at the dedication of a plaque commemorating the bygone Cambridge eatery.

June 13 - BCS facility has virtual groundbreaking

The building, under construction at the intersection of Main and Vassar streets, will include offices, research facilities and conference space.

June 16 - Theaters collaborate with MIT on new home

The Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railway Theater joined with MIT to announce the signing of a 20-year lease for a new home in Central Square.

June 19 - Broad Institute launched

The Whitehead Institue for Biomedical Research, MIT and Harvard University announced the formation of the Broad Institute, a research initiative aimed at realizing the promise of the human genome to revolutionize clinical medicine.

July 22 - Children help raise a village

The dream of a safe new Turkish community, hatched in the wake of a devastating earthquake, is becoming a reality for 50 displaced families this summer, with the help of MIT.

Aug. 5 - Junior does swimmingly on Channel

Junior Nicholas Sidelnik overcame six-foot waves to accomplish "the Everest of swimming" -- crossing the English Channel.

Aug. 8 - Miles of trials, smiles

Three MIT students completed their cross-country bicycle ride to raise funds for cancer, and junior Kyle Rattray kept an online diary of their trek.

Aug. 20 - Some Mass. voters thwarted, report says

About 120,000 votes were lost in Massachusetts statewide elections in 2000 due to election practices and technologies that could be reformed, according to a report by Charles Stewart.

Aug. 22 - Magazine ranks MIT fourth

MIT is the fourth-best national university in the 2004 newsstand book, America's Best Colleges, from U.S. News & World Report.

Aug. 27 - News director named

Arthur Jones, a political and media consultant, has been appointed director of the MIT News Office.

Sept. 11 - World Trade Center is focus of MIT book

A collection of MIT essays about the World Trade Center disaster, its consequences and some of the lessons learned is now on the web.

Sept. 17 - Light tone, serious pursuits

The Dalai Lama, at once respectful and playful, set the tone for a meeting of the minds between scientists and Buddhists at MIT.

Sept. 29 - Nobelists speak up on security

Two MIT Nobel Prize-winning scientists have outlined the potential impact of recent security measures on education and on scientific progress.

Sept. 30 - 500th course published on MIT OCW

MIT OpenCourseWare published its 500th course and now offers free and open access to the educational materials from all 33 of the Institute's academic disciplines and all five of its schools.

Oct. 8 - Professor wins 'genius' grant

Erik Demaine, a 22-year-old MIT professor whose work fuses art, science, work and play, received a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship.

Oct. 7 - New VP for info services

Jerrold Grochow has been appointed vice president for information services and technology.

Oct. 10 - International students face visa hurdles

The federal government's new tracking system for international visitors and the changes to its visa application process have created additional hurdles for MIT's international students and the offices that support them.

Oct. 27 - Students launch campus-wide music library

Two students unveiled a music library that will provide students, faculty and staff with on-demand access to thousands of classical and contemporary recordings from many areas on campus.

Oct. 29 - MIT freezes salaries

Faced with "substantial financial pressures in the year ahead," MIT will institute a one-year freeze for campus salaries and will close the campus for a week at Christmas.

Nov. 5 - Vassar Street renewal progresses

The first phase of the Vassar streetscape project on the MIT campus is nearing completion, with new bicycle paths, sidewalks, trees and streetlights.

Nov. 19 - Newt-onian principles

A polyhedron made of 30 double-headed wooden salamanders, ultimately destined for MIT's Stata Center, was assembled by a team of students in just under three hours.

Dec. 3 - Environmental Virtual Campus site a big hit

MIT's Environmental Virtual Campus, designed to aid colleges' compliance with federal environmental regulations and implement "green" practices, has attracted more than 10,000 visitors from 71 countries since it went public six months ago.

Dec. 5 - Vest to step down from MIT presidency

Charles M. Vest, the 15th president of MIT who has shaped his 13-year presidency into a campaign of determined advocacy for research, science, and diversity and openness in education and research, announced today at the quarterly meeting of MIT's board of trustees his intention to step down from that post.

Dec. 15 - Largest book created at MIT

Michael Hawley of the Media Lab made publishing history with the release of the largest book ever published.

Dec. 17 - Women swell ranks of engineering faculty

Daniela Rus and Yang Shao-Horn are among the 19 women who joined the School of Engineering faculty in the past three years. The 355 full-time faculty members in the school's eight departments and two divisions now include 50 women.

Dec. 17 - High-flying hack

Students took a break from finals to top MIT's Great Dome with a replica of the Wright brothers' biplane, "Flyer."


Topics: History of MIT

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