Log out
My profile and settings
My bookmarks
Comment history
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
today
This verification token has expired.
today
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
today
Your account has been deactivated. Sign in to re-activate your account.
today
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
today
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
today
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
today
0
0
Back to profile
Comment Items
You have not left any comments yet.
title
in reply to
name
description
Saved Posts
You haven’t bookmarked any posts yet.
“I’ve read a couple of John’s books and enjoyed each one, and his latest is no exception.”
read review
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Sign up
Personal Information
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
Cancel
Save
This email is already registered
Cancel
Save
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Cancel
Save
Address
Cancel
Save
Email and Notification Settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Send me Gates Notes survey emails
On
Off
Send me the weekly Top of Mind newsletter
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
Interests
Select interests to personalize your profile and experience on Gates Notes.
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Alzheimer's
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Account Deactivation
Click the link below to begin the account deactivation process.
If you would like to permanently delete your Gates Notes account and remove it’s content, please send us a request here.
Unrivaled Research
Why MIT Matters
MIT's 150th anniversary prompts reflection on the university's many contributions to the advancement of science and technology.
|
0

When MIT was founded 150 years ago, it adopted a novel approach for the world of higher learning. It combined theoretical knowledge with hands-on learning and emphasized research and teaching equally. It was exactly what the United States needed to help ignite the country’s Industrial Revolution.

Today, MIT remains unrivaled when it comes to the basic and applied research needed to address the complex challenges of this century. It is on the forefront of advancements in areas such as energy, climate change, disease, and poverty alleviation. At 150 years old, it shows no signs of slowing down.

I was lucky enough to take a few courses at MIT when I was studying next door at Harvard. And over the past three decades, I’ve visited MIT many times and have always been impressed with the caliber of its students, professors, and academic leaders. It’s remarkable to think that 76 current and former MIT members are Nobel Prize recipients.

Many other MIT faculty and graduates have distinguished themselves in their fields. In the late 19th century, Ellen Swallow Richards, the first woman to graduate from MIT, pioneered water-quality testing in the United States. A.D. Little, a member of the class of 1885, discovered important uses for cellulose acetate and went on to establish the country’s first management consulting firm. Pierre S. du Pont, who earned a chemistry degree at MIT in 1890, played a key role in the growth of his family’s chemical company and the US automotive industry.

In the 1930s, MIT professor and administrator Vannevar Bush advanced the visionary concept of a database-like device called the memex "in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications." During World War II, MIT scientists developed radar, a critical contribution to the Allied war effort that enabled the modern era of flight.

More recently, MIT researchers have been at the forefront of breakthroughs in molecular biology, biomedicine, and the study of cancer and genetic diseases. Breakthroughs in these areas could revolutionize health care and profoundly improve the lives of the world’s poorest.

Professor Donald Sadoway is a standout MIT educator whose courses I’ve enjoyed online. He’s also leading research to dramatically improve battery efficiency and develop commercial-scale batteries that can store energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar, making them vastly more useful than they are today. (In a spirit of full disclosure, I’m an investor in a company backing this technology.)

MIT’s OpenCourseWare Internet site makes videos, lecture notes, and sometimes even exams from 2,000 undergraduate and graduate courses available to the world, free of charge. These include the world-renowned physics courses taught by professor Walter Lewin, which have been viewed more than 5 million times and which I’ve watched repeatedly. OpenCourseWare has become a national model for delivering online education and democratizing learning.

MIT has also been a leader in partnering with industry on research, and it encourages an entrepreneurial spirit, while asking faculty and students to consider the social relevance of their research and learning. A recent study showed that MIT alumni have founded nearly 26,000 companies, which collectively employ 3.3 million people and generate about $2 trillion in annual sales.

At a time when high schools and many colleges and universities are struggling to attract women and minorities to science and technology, almost half (48 percent) of MIT’s undergraduates are minorities and 45 percent are women.

This country has many extraordinary universities. But few excel as MIT does in combining rigorous academic inquiry, breakthrough research, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a social conscience – qualities that will ensure its stature and relevance far into the future.

This essay was published on May 15th in the Boston Globe's special magazine recognizing 150 valuable contributions MIT has made in the worlds of technology, science, health care, culture, transportation, economics, and more.

Read this next
NEXT
Comments
posting ...
Please verify your email in order to make comments. Click here to resend verification email
Sorry, duplicate comments are not allowed. 
Sorry, that HTML is not allowed. 
Sorry, something went wrong. 
In order to comment you must be a Gates Notes Insider. Please sign up or log in to continue. 
Be the first to leave a comment.
Comment Locked
Comments more than 2 months old are locked. For more information, contact us.
Report
Delete Comment?
Deleting this comment will remove replies to this comment by you and others as well. This action cannot be undone.
Delete Comment
Why do you want to report this comment?
It's annoying or not interesting
It's abusive and/or vulgar
It's spam
Report Comment
Your report has been submitted.
Close
Save
Cancel
Thanks for visiting the Gates Notes.
We'd like your feedback. Yes, I'll take the survey No thanks
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.
Already joined?
LOG IN
Logout:


Become a Gates Notes Insider
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.
Already joined? Log in
LOG IN
SIGN UP
Use your social account:
Or sign up with email:
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Why are we collecting this information? Gates Notes may send a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. Additionally, some campaigns and content may only be available to users in certain areas. Gates Notes will never share and distribute your information with external parties.
Bill may send you a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. We will never share your information.
Sign up
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Sign Up" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
Street address
City
postal_town
State Zip code
administrative_area_level_2
Country
Data
Gates Notes Insider Sign Up FAQ

Q. How do I create a Gates Notes account?

A. There are three ways you can create a Gates Notes account:

  • Sign up with Facebook. We’ll never post to your Facebook account without your permission.
  • Sign up with Twitter. We’ll never post to your Twitter account without your permission.
  • Sign up with your email. Enter your email address during sign up. We’ll email you a link for verification.

Q. Will you ever post to my Facebook or Twitter accounts without my permission?

A. No, never.

Q. How do I sign up to receive email communications from my Gates Notes account?

A. In Account Settings, click the toggle switch next to “Send me updates from Bill Gates.”

Q. How will you use the Interests I select in Account Settings?

A. We will use them to choose the Suggested Reads that appear on your profile page.

BACK
Forgot your password?
Enter the email you used to sign up and a reset password link will be sent to you.
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Reset Password
Reset your password.
Set New Password
Your password has been reset. Please continue to the log in page.
Log in
Get emails from Bill Gates
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
This email is already registered
Finish
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign up FAQ. By clicking "Continue" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
You're in!
You're in!
Please check your email and click the link provided to verify your account.
Didn't get an email from us? Resend verification email
Upload a profile picture
Choose image to upload
Uploading...
Uh Oh!
The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.
Ok
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
Cancel
Save
This email is already registered
Cancel
Save
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Email and notification settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
Select your interests
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Alzheimer's
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Finish
Confirm Account Deactivation
Are you sure you want to deactivate your account?
Deactivating your account will unsubscribe you from Gates Notes emails, and will remove your profile and account information from public view on the Gates Notes. Please allow for 24 hours for the deactivation to fully process. You can sign back in at any time to reactivate your account and restore its content.
Deactivate My Acccount
Go Back
Your Gates Notes account has been deactivated.
Come back anytime.
Welcome back
In order to unsubscribe you will need to sign-in to your Gates Notes Insider account
Once signed in just go to your Account Settings page and set your subscription options as desired.
Sign In
Request account deletion
We’re sorry to see you go. Your request may take a few days to process; we want to double check things before hitting the big red button. Requesting an account deletion will permanently remove all of your profile content. If you’ve changed your mind about deleting your account, you can always hit cancel and deactivate instead.
Submit
Cancel
Thank You! Your request has been sent