MacVicar Day 2000 - Celebrating Teachers at the Institute (2/4/2000)
PROFESSOR: Good afternoon. Dr. Vest, Professor and Mrs. Gray, distinguished guests who include today, Mrs. MacVicar and Margaret's two sisters, Anne and Victoria, it's my pleasure to be able to welcome you all today to the MacVicar lecture and subsequent discussions about teaching.
Today we celebrate great teachers, great teaching, and a woman who is passionate about both. We'll hear more about Margaret MacVicar later from our speaker, as well as from a wonderful video that Bob Randolph will show later on in the program. Let me say here, however, that Margaret was really one of a kind. In the 30 years that I've been affiliated with MIT, I don't think I have met anyone who had a shorter mean waiting time between interesting ideas about how to improve the quality of undergraduate education than Margaret MacVicar.
Margaret understood that teaching and learning were not the same thing. She appreciated the role that research plays in teaching of undergraduates. And indeed, UROP is one of her greatest legacies, not only to MIT, but to undergraduate education throughout the United States and the world. She recognized that teaching and learning are not segregated between teacher and student and that students learn from teachers, and teachers learn from students as well. She was truly a remarkable person, and MIT is a far better place because of her.
As research universities go, MIT is a little bit different than most of our competition. While the US is blessed with many great research institutions, the educational experience at MIT is a bit different than one encounters places like Harvard, and Princeton, and Stanford.
In thinking about who to invite today to give the MacVicar lecture, it was important to us that we find somebody who really understood and appreciated what it was to be an MIT student. We also wanted somebody who was a terrific teacher and educator in their own right. And we also wanted somebody who knew and appreciated and could convey the essence and spirit of Margaret. And once we had articulated those criteria, there was really only one person who leapt to mind, and that was Edie Goldenberg, professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
Now Edie attended MIT as an undergraduate, majored in political science, and she and Margaret were roommates and lifelong friends. And indeed, Edie and I were talking on the way over here. Edie had the pleasure, as did Margaret, of being the first group of women to occupy McCormick Hall. That meant, also, that Edie and Margaret had the privilege of being the first residents of McCormick Hall to violate the policy on having pets in the dorm, an issue which lives to this day, I should tell you.
After graduating from MIT in 1967, Edie went west in search of warmer weather and found herself at Stanford, where she received her PhD in political science, and then returned to the colder climes of the north, where she joined the political science faculty at the University of Michigan. She's held numerous positions of leadership at U of M, Including being the Director of the Institute of Public Policy studies, as well as the Dean of the College of Literature Sciences and the Arts.
Now, again, just to give you a sense of the scale of that operation, to repeat a comment that the Chuck made earlier, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, known by us Michiganders as LS&A it has a larger student body than MIT does, it has a larger faculty than MIT does, and it has a larger instructional budget that MIT does. So being dean of LS&A is, indeed, an extraordinarily challenging position, and Edie managed that job with a typical aplomb for the 10 years that she held that position.
Now, what's not widely known about Edie is that she is also directly responsible, personally, I believe, for Chuck Vest being our president. Now, it's not something that everybody knows around here, but it's true because if you read his bio carefully and check the dates, you will see that in 1988, Edie served on a search committee that found a new provost for the University of Michigan, located him amongst the ranks of engineers-- you could tell that she helped engineers in high esteem-- and it was from that position that Chuck joins us. So we thank you for your good work.
Since stepping down as dean, Edie has returned to the ranks of the professoriate. It's nice to know that there is life after deanship. She is a distinguished educator, a distinguished scholar, Edie has written widely and extensively about civil service, she's also written about the role of media in American political campaigns. She's an extraordinarily good friend of MIT and continues to serve this fine institution as a member of the MIT Corporation and Chairman of the Visiting Committee for the Department of Political Science.
I can think of no better person to give the first MacVicar lecture of the millennium, which follows on the heels of the 30th anniversary of UROP, than Professor Edie Goldenberg. Edie, welcome. Thank you.
GOLDENBERG: Well, thanks, Larry. And thanks, all of you. it's a real honor for me to be here to add my congratulations to the new MacVicar Fellows-- we were just together for lunch, and what an impressive group that is-- to honor my undergraduate alma mater; and, of course, to remember my late friend and college roommate, Margaret MacVicar. And it's especially exciting to be here on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of UROP, a program that Margaret launched, that has had enormous impact here at MIT and around the country, but more on that later.
When I think about Margaret, and I think about lecturing in 6120, I can't help but remember a call I had from her one day. She lectured in this room. And Margaret wasn't very tall, as you can see from her family. And she needed to use all of the Blackboard, so she had a student bring in a bench.
And she would write on the Blackboard standing on the bench, and then the student would come and move the bench, and she'd write on the Blackboard standing on the bench. And one day, she got so interested in writing on the Blackboard that she fell off under the bench. She was, of course, very embarrassed, but I've got to say that that was a memorable lecture for her and for her students. And I'm sure that all of us could come up with one story like that, some embarrassment that we suffered while we were teaching.
I want to say a word about the title of the talk. Posters have to be printed. And so the provost asked for a title time ago. And it was late at night, and I was feeling a little silly, kind of the way I used to feel when I was up all night studying for a physics exam.
And I remember one night, Margaret and I were writing slightly bawdy verses about BCS theory or something like that. I suggested this title as a joke. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.
For one thing the letters for "rat" are embedded-- in slightly interrupted order, granted-- in "undergraduate." For another, Margaret and I were both deans at the same time. We were both deeply involved in undergraduate education. And as you all know, a dean is a mouse in training to be a rat. For a third, when a lot of people think about rats, they think about lab rats, a widely recognized symbol of science, and research, and one that's fitting for a talk at MIT.
But when I think about rat and MIT, I think about the Brass Rat, nature's engineer, a real symbol of MIT. More on the rat later.
So I was asked to say something visionary about the place of undergraduate education in the research university, to do this in the special context of MIT, to remember Margaret, and please, to wrap it all up without going on too long. That's a tall order.
As I reflected on my assignment, I decided to let Margaret be the visionary, to use four of Margaret's visionary ideas to organize my comments today. These four ideas are these-- first, undergraduate education is a core responsibility of MIT and of all research universities; second, undergraduate education means breadth and depth; third, research experiences powerfully enhance the undergraduate experience; and forth, every individual student matters.
So let's take up each of these in turn. In 1986, Margaret made remarks at an MIT Corporation meeting, in which she said that MIT must have, at its heart, commitment to a world-class undergraduate educational program. One of her favorite sayings from antiquity was, "To prepare for one year, you plant rice. To prepare for 10, you set trees. To prepare for 100 years, you educate people."
Margaret was an MIT undergraduate and also an MIT doctoral student. She spent three years at each, and therefore never knew what class she was in, by the way. And while she believed in the fundamental importance of research and graduate education at MIT, she never wavered from the view that undergraduate education is the fundamental purpose of MIT, that undergraduates should be at the center of the Institute's complex mission.
And in this as in so many other things, Margaret was a good decade ahead of her peers. Sometime around 1990, the rest of us woke up. Other research universities caught on to the reality that if undergraduates continued to be neglected relative to other aspects of their mission, then universities would suffer, and suffer badly, at the hands of intrusive legislatures, unhappy alums, donors, value conscious parents, and students.
In 1989, I began my years as dean of Arts and Sciences at Michigan with an agenda that included re-centering undergraduate education in our institutional mission. Four years after that in 1993, Donald Kennedy was pondering and writing, "Is it possible to engage a research-oriented faculty such as that at Stanford more deeply with our students?"
The criticisms that galvanize the rest of us weren't exactly new. Back in 1828, the trustees and faculty at Yale concluded that, "not one of our colleges is a place of thorough learning, and not one of the better class of them does half of what it might do by bringing the minds of its instructors to act directly on the minds of its pupils." And in 1893, the president of Vassar commented this way on the Vassar faculty-- "One is obliged to suspect at times that the student comes to be regarded by the faculty as a mere disturbance of ideal schemes and as a disquieting element in what, without students, might be a fairly pleasant life."
What is new about the criticisms of the '80s and '90s is that they came, and still come, from outside of academe. And they were and are frequent, pointed, and relentless. What is also new for our universities today is that our educational challenges are greater than they were in the 19th century. We admit a more diverse student body. We pursue a more varied and complicated institutional mission. Our students face a present and a future of rapid change and demographic diversity in a society that stresses knowledge and information.
The complex societal problems we face have led to more and more specialization. Understanding basic social questions requires more knowledge than any one person has. Our students need broader and more interdisciplinary understandings of the world. They also need to develop the ability to cooperate with others who bring complementary specialized information to address problems as a whole, which leads me to the second point.
A good education requires both depth and breadth. In 1985, Margaret shared her ideas with Paul Gray, then president, as he prepared a speech to welcome new students to MIT. Margaret wrote, quote, "Uncommon excellence in a scientific or engineering field is not enough. It must be accompanied by an understanding of the social and human context, by an ability to comprehend your work in its broadest humanistic terms."
A year later, Margaret herself welcomed the '86 entering class with thoughts about the reforms to be proposed for General Institute Requirements, in particular, the HASS or Humanities and Social Science requirements. And she said, "You are likely aware of the major movement in the liberal arts colleges to reformulate their core curriculum to include strong science, to include mathematics, and to include exposure to technology to complement the humanities, arts, and social sciences core. MIT has long such had a program of the sort of equal weighting of humanities, arts, and social sciences with the sciences and mathematics."
Now, having been an MIT undergraduate myself, if Margaret were here today, I would certainly quibble with the idea of equal weighting, or at least that that's what was happening in the '60s when I was a student here. But the general idea of balance and breadth is valid and goes back a long way. I was interested to read a copy of the fourth Arthur D. Little Memorial Lecture at MIT in 1949 by Detlev W. Bronk, then president of Johns Hopkins and, by the way, a PhD in physics from Michigan.
His lecture was entitled "The Unity of Sciences and the Humanities." President Bronk described MIT then as a place where the course of technology is guided by considerations of human motives and human values. And he argued in that lecture that historical perspective is essential to creative imagination of all sorts, including creative imagination in science and engineering.
And yet we've seen a shift in student interests around the country away from the humanities and toward pre-professional training at the undergraduate level. I think it's captured quite well on a cartoon some of you may have seen in the Chronicle for Higher Education a couple of weeks ago. A student is talking with a friend of his, and he says, "My dad says I shouldn't waste my time with that general education stuff. But hey, it's my life, and I want to broaden myself. So I'm taking business accounting, international accounting, ecological accounting, and accounting and literature."
In my view, this trend toward the pre-professional and away from the humanities is unhealthy and an unwelcome development that undermines needed balance in undergraduate education. A liberal arts education depends on grounding in the humanities as well as in science and social science. It has staying power beyond the short life of technical training. A good education in the liberal arts introduces students to fundamental issues as they have been explored by others through the ages, including exposure to ideas, feelings, problems, and situations that are common to the human experience and to the ways that respected minds and revered hearts have dealt with them.
My goals for undergraduate education are these. To provide students with a solid foundation for problem solving. To help students understand others from different backgrounds and to interact effectively with them. To help students examine their own assumptions and avoid being taken in by specious argument. To help students feel connected with others who have dealt with similar feelings or situations or problems in the past.
To open students' eyes and minds to other cultures, thereby coming to understand their own better. To provide a deeper sense of self and citizenship. To develop valued employees, responsible citizens, and effective leaders. In sum, to teach students how to learn and to inspire a zest for learning that will last a lifetime. Now, these sound to me very like the goals of an MIT education, or at least what I think of as the goals of an MIT education-- helping students develop a balance between openness to new ideas and a healthy skepticism of those same ideas, a balance that permits knowledge to advance. This requires breadth as well as depth.
Research experiences enhance undergraduate education. The 1957 Arthur D. Little Lecture was-- copies are sitting out there. That was, of course, the famous "Generation of Greatness" by Edwin H Land. He called in that lecture for faculty ushers who would introduce students to the research environment. Others tried to make Land's idea a reality at MIT but failed.
Then, some 30 years ago, Paul Gray turned to Margaret MacVicar. And Margaret built on Land's idea, molding it brilliantly to MIT's culture. That was the beginning of UROP. To succeed at MIT, UROP had to be non-bureaucratic on the one hand, and yet academically credible on the other, and it's been both. Margaret made it work. She stayed with it and personally made those many critical individual decisions to support or not to support, to give credit or not to give credit, to place students off campus or not to place students off campus.
The decisions, these individual decisions that gave UROP its culture, its reputation, its solid grounding. UROP has transformed the undergraduate experience at MIT and at colleges and universities all around the country. In 1973, MIT students presented the Irwin Sizer Award for the most significant contribution to education at MIT to Margaret and to UROP.
In 1986, Margaret was honored with a national award, the Charles A. Dana Foundation Commendation in Higher Education, for her design and implementation of UROP at MIT. Now, university teaching may be the only profession where practitioners feel qualified to practice without any formal training and without reading any of the literature that relates to what they do.
Evidence on student learning dates back to the 19th century. But it has not been well understood or well regarded by faculty outside of the schools of education, which aren't held in all that high repute, and outside of departments of cognitive and developmental psychology. Some of this literature doesn't deserve a lot of attention because it isn't especially convincing. But it is compelling to me on three points.
First, students learn more when they are engaged and involved. Second, students learn more when they cooperate with others on problem solving. And third, the quality of teaching affects what students learn. UROP engages students with real problems in cooperative settings with teacher collaborators who are deeply engaged in the problems themselves. This is a prize-winning recipe for successful learning.
One of Margaret's favorite sayings she attributed to Confucius-- I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. UROP students do. UROP has been emulated all over the country. Many argue that MIT is unique, that a program like UROP can work in MIT but not elsewhere because of the special talents of MIT undergraduates and because of the special place that this is.
I heard this very argument two weeks ago in New York at a meeting of the Carnegie Corporation. It's a meeting devoted to a discussion of undergraduate education. And it's true that many of the early efforts to clone UROP at other institutions . Failed but today, there are hundreds of undergraduate research programs and institutions all around the country. They even have their own national organization of undergraduate research. That's when you know that something has really become mature.
It really got its start right here. I inherited a fledgling UROP program at Michigan in 1989 that at that time enrolled 14 students in an undergraduate student body of 24,000. Over the next period of my deanship, we built UROP to 1,000 first and second year students and probably twice as many juniors and seniors. And it's still growing. There are three distinctive features of UROP at Michigan worth mentioning. First, from the beginning, our program has focused on students at risk.
Underrepresented minority students who we know drop out at higher rates than majority students, regardless of their preparation coming in. And women in science and engineering, who we know often don't complete the majors that they set out to do. We decided to concentrate not on our honors students but rather on students who were more challenged academically.
Second, we needed to reach these students early, so our program has focused on UROP experiences in the first and second years. Many of the juniors and seniors already had research experiences through their majors or through honors, but there were virtually none for first and second year students. Third, and this is unusual for a higher education setting, we decided to evaluate our program seriously, and designed it with that in mind, including random assignment of students to participate or not to participate in UROP.
Our research results show that undergraduate research works. It improves the learning experience for all students, but especially for underrepresented minority students, including those who aren't performing well in class, and for women in science and engineering. The greatest payoff comes in the second term of a full year experience. It takes the students that long to figure out what it is that they're doing.
And there's some kind of aha that happens around the Christmas holiday break when they start getting it, or sometimes it's in January. So our UROP is always a year along because we want them to have that experience. Some of them have it earlier, but we want to be sure they have that experience. Undergraduate research promotes greater involvement by students with the academic life of the university.
A positive side benefit is that working with students in research reminds our faculty of the joys of discovery as seen through the eyes of novices. I've heard from more than one faculty member, especially in professional schools, they say I haven't taught an undergraduate ever because we don't have any, and this is just wonderful. This is just such an eye opener. Over 90% of the faculty at Michigan who volunteer to work with UROP students volunteer a second time.
About 40% of our first and second year UROP placements are in the Medical School. UROP is one of the few effective ways we've found for undergraduates at Michigan to work with Medical School faculty in ways that are valued by the Medical School faculty. And it's not just at Michigan. A 1995 publication reports that UROP experiences at the University of Washington and at Radcliffe College enhanced women's aspirations in science and engineering.
Preliminary findings of yet another study suggest that, I'm quoting, "The most powerful undergraduate learning environments may occur in research universities that also attend to the undergraduate program." So as research universities around the country have struggled to recenter undergraduate education in their missions, their leaders have struggled to articulate what it is that their institutions have to offer to undergraduates.
In fact, research universities have a lot to offer to undergraduates. They enjoy a comparative advantage in providing a wide variety of research experiences with faculty who learn for a living, faculty who are the leading scholars across a wide range of opportunities in arts and sciences and in the professional schools. And undergraduate research is an approach that treats each student as an individual learner, which brings me to the fourth point.
Each individual student matters. Nobody I know believed that more than Margaret. Love and appreciation poured in from her students in notes and cards to Margaret when she became ill. Margaret took a personal interest in every student who came her way, the brilliant ones as well as the merely talented ones. She loved commencements. She actually lost her voice on numerous occasions, you'll remember, because she spent so much time practicing in order to pronounce every single name correctly.
She felt that that moment when the students walked across that stage was a moment that deserved special care and recognition. When one of Margaret's students father died, he had to leave MIT and return to Michigan. Margaret arranged for mentors for him at work and at school. When I was preparing a charge to our own committee on the undergraduate experience at Michigan, Margaret helped me with the language that says, in part, "Every student is an irreplaceable asset of talent, promise, and aspiration." I could never have said it better.
Margaret taught important lessons about the value of every individual student, perhaps especially important lessons for those of us at large public institutions. Our student-faculty ratio is an even greater challenge than yours, and sometimes we feel overwhelmed by sheer numbers of students. One benefit of UROP placements with faculty and professional schools and with research scientists is the pool of mentors for undergraduates is vastly expanded beyond the size of the arts and sciences faculty alone. This makes individual attention to undergraduates in places like Michigan possible.
Margaret's legacy is very much with us. She would be pleased with our progress. Today, undergraduate education is recognized as a core responsibility at MIT and at most research universities around the country. A high-quality undergraduate experience requires depth in one or two areas and breadth across many. Liberal arts colleges are worrying and fussing about how to strengthen their sciences and math. MIT, of course, has an outstanding science and math and engineering capability. But today, there is also much more-- boasts a much stronger humanities and arts environment than when I was here as a student.
Research experiences, whether in class or in the lab, are much more available for undergraduates, even in their first and second years, and even for students who aren't academic stars. And every individual student matters. So where's the rat in undergraduate education? Well, not just embedded in the phrase, it's in the belief that excellence in research and teaching go together, an unwillingness to accept the view that one can be excellent only in research or teaching but not in both.
I've been struck at Michigan that the departments and programs that devoted real energy and imagination to their undergraduate programs are either already rated in the top 10 in terms of research excellence or they're making moves in that direction. Research and teaching, RAT, can and do go together. The rat is also, of course, the brass rat. Where's MIT in undergraduate education? Well, in a leadership position, as it should be.
There's a strong tradition of national impact by MIT in undergraduate education, in physics and in some areas of engineering. What is special over the last 30 years is MIT's leadership in undergraduate research, which has transformed colleges and universities, affecting areas of inquiry in science and engineering, of course, but also in social science, the arts, and the humanities.
Undergraduate research works, and the full set of possibilities for advances in undergraduate research are not yet realized. We're clearly on the right track. Now, Will Rogers once said that even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. Margaret would never have wanted us to rest on our laurels and become complacent with our achievements. She would insist on a constant stir in undergraduate education, in using our imagination to continue to improve the learning environment for our students.
I don't know what the next nationally notable educational innovation will be to emerge from MIT. Maybe it'll grow out of the partnership with Microsoft and other corporations, or maybe from the partnership with Cambridge University and other universities around the world. Or given the role that MIT's on of late, maybe it'll be an interplanetary partnership. I imagine n squared IT, a collaboration with some university on Mars.
But more likely, it'll emerge from the imagination in a single lab or classroom. John Gardner wrote that an institution's true supporter is a loving critic who must never be indifferent. Margaret was always a loving critic of MIT. I'm delighted that Margaret's name is associated with the MacVicar Fellows, since they so appropriately capture her devotion to students and to the educational experience of undergraduates.
And as an alum and another loving critic of MIT, I'm delighted that the McVicar Awards publicly acknowledge the outstanding contributions individual faculty make to the MIT experience. This has been a special honor for me today. I'm glad we're all here together to remember Margaret and her signal contributions and to celebrate faculty, students, and a very special place, MIT.
PRESENTER: Institutions are 90% people and 10% image. The people create and sustain the image, and then they move on. This is another way of saying that we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. We all nurture the image that is MIT. Now, we know that to be true, but sometimes we fall off the track in one of two ways. We may worship those who've gone before, or we may forget those who have preceded us.
It seems to me that these last two days, we have avoided both extremes while remembering Margaret MacVicar. Shortly after the announcement of last year's McVicar Fellows, President Vest wisely asked if there was some way those who were new Fellows could be introduced to Margaret, her spirit, and her values. He had been prodded, I suspect, by others.
But this film that you're about to see is the result of his request, his interest, and let it be said, his budget. We are in his debt as well as we are in the debt to the talents of J. Collier and Larry Gallagher. And I think debt is the right word and not too strong a word, for this film, while brief, really does approach the profound. Margaret MacVicar, you see, personifies what is best about this place, and in remembering her, we are reminded of the values that are at the heart of MIT.
And these values are each year personified afresh in the new McVicar Fellows. May the film not only remind us of the strong and influential colleague, but call us all to reaffirm what we each do to MIT the flagship institution that it is. Enjoy the film.
GOLDENBERG: She was an educator, a catalyst, an innovator.
GRAY: She had the ability to step up to almost any challenge or opportunity.
BELLINGHAM: She was a person who could hold 30 different projects together and still have time to go up to her farm in Maine for the weekend.
GRAY: She was not a person who was easily discouraged.
GOLDENBERG: She fought for her students.
BELLINGHAM: She held us to high standards.
GRAY: And she had a certain inner strength and inner confidence.
GOLDENBERG: She was also a wonderful human being.
GRAY: A great colleague and a great friend. Well, let's start with Margaret's undergraduate years here. She came in the middle '60s, at a time when MIT was endeavoring to admit more young women.
GOLDENBERG: Margaret and I met as roommates in McCormick Hall at MIT.
GRAY: She served while she was a student as president of the Association of Women students.
GOLDENBERG: And we explored all of the states in New England together. We drove all over the place. But the place that really caught her attention was Maine.
GRAY: After her undergraduate education here, she pursued a doctorate, and she spent some time in England. And she returned here in the late 1960s with an appointment as an instructor in physics. And so beginning in the summer of 1969, she began preparing the way for the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, as it came to be called.
BELLINGHAM: I started in Margaret's laboratory as a UROP student, and when I left her laboratory, I had my PhD.
GRAY: As I recall, that first fall, there were just 20 or 30 students who participated. There was a UROP office. She was it.
GOLDENBERG: She prided herself on putting that program forward with relatively little money.
BELLINGHAM: Margaret really valued the people in the laboratory, and that was how she focused her energies. The advances were going to be made by the people, not by the equipment.
GRAY: The only condition associated with involving a student in UROP is that a faculty member had to say, this work, if performed, is worthy of academic credit. That was it.
BELLINGHAM: There was this point where you realize, this person is in their element. There's these big plumes of frost and cryogenic smoke billowing through the laboratory. And I don't remember exactly what it was she said, but it was something like, isn't this cool?
GRAY: She worked on her own research activities. She had a number of graduate students who worked with her on those programs.
GOLDENBERG: She saw that they had not just the research skills that they needed, but the life skills that they needed.
BELLINGHAM: I remember going and parking and the vice president's spot at the Carnegie Institution and proudly marching up to her office. There was just a whole level of exposure that you got if you worked for that you just couldn't get any other way.
GOLDENBERG: It was Margaret who once told me that every student is an irreplaceable asset.
BELLINGHAM: In a very real sense, we were sort of an extended family.
GRAY: Within a decade, the program had grown to about 3,000 students.
GOLDENBERG: The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program is such a great innovation in higher education, and it's one that we've emulated at Michigan. And of course, it has been emulated all over the country.
GRAY: I've had a number of students tell me that UROP was the reason they decided to come here. By the middle '80s, she was interested in having a role which gave her a broader sweep with respect to the undergraduate educational program.
GOLDENBERG: She had very deep thoughts about what a good education means.
GRAY: She made her imprint there by helping the faculty rethink the role of the humanities, arts, and social sciences at MIT.
GOLDENBERG: She loved commencements. The fact that MIT has every student recognized individually was something that was very important to her.
GRAY: She was engaged in those activities and was looking forward to activities that would have gone beyond those kinds of efforts when she was taken ill in the fall of 1990.
BELLINGHAM: I'm extremely proud of the preparation that Margaret gave us.
GRAY: She was a teacher in every respect. She was a teacher of her students. She was a teacher of her colleagues, of institutions in a very important way.
GOLDENBERG: She packed a lot of life into 47 years, and I think she would have liked to have gone on for about 100, which I always thought was about right.
BELLINGHAM: There's a piece of her in every one of us, and it makes us stronger, more capable people.
PRESENTER: I think for any of us who ever knew Margaret, this is-- I'm sort of choked up. It was very moving. And I really appreciate everybody who participated in making that film. I think it's a real treasure, and especially for the McVicar Fellows. As time goes by, those of us who knew Margaret individually are going to be less and less common around here, and I'm really glad that we have this connection.
But I think the point was best set at the end, that there's a piece of her and everybody who loves to teach. And that's what we're going to turn to now. You know, at MIT, the demo is part of the culture. And I don't know, though, if you've ever had a teaching demo, but we're going to try that today. And we have a couple-- I'm going to introduce a couple spectacular teachers who are going to try to do this. And we'll see what happens.
Yeah, Arthur. You both-- where's Alex? Is Alex here? Alex is here. You guys are among the most unpredictable people at MIT. So I'm just going to let it roll. Arthur, professor of anthropology, show us how you do it in ISP. And then, next, Alex, just come on after Arthur's done. I have to be ruthless. This is all about time pieces, and I'm going to be ruthless about the time.
STEINBERG: Right. You've all been able to sit here peacefully being talked at by people. That's going to end in a couple minutes. Some interesting words were said about learning and that learning is done by getting involved in what you're doing and-- for recording purposes? Okay. And using your hands and solving problems. So in 15 minutes, we're going to try to do all those things.
Now, we're not going to solve these problems, but we're going to at least take a slug at them. And you're going to take a slug at them. Okay? So I do this in the context of a freshman course on technologies and cultures. This gentleman spent 40 years solving this problem. He's a English scientist by the name of John Harrison, born in 1693, died in 1776. Anybody know what he's famous for?
STEINBERG: Longitude, exactly. He's the guy that developed the first accurate timekeeping instrument that could keep-- that could measure the longitude. One of the reasons he was after it-- he did it, I suspect, is that the prize that the British government put out in 1714 said they'd give 20,000 pounds, which was an enormous amount of money in that period, to a person who could measure the longitude within half a degree on a trip from Portsmouth, England, to the Caribbean.
And he set out to do this. It took him 40 years because no one knew anything about accurate timekeeping. There were other conflicting methods at the time. If a clock could keep time to within a couple of minutes a day, that was pretty good. He began with this absolutely remarkable gadget that didn't go all the way to the West Indies. I want to point out to you that it has wooden-- it's made of brass and wood. It has wooden gears in it. It has an extraordinary temperature compensation device in there that's made of steel and brass.
And because this is on a ship that's rocking back and forth, you can't use a pendulum clock, obviously, but he has opposed pendulums connected together with springs. Very ingenious gadget. Pretty accurate. But he decided it wasn't accurate enough, so he didn't have it tested. He built two more. This machine is this size that you're just looking at there. He built another machine suddenly, very suddenly, in the late 1750s. 1759 it was finished.
It's a watch that's five inches in diameter. Why he changed to this size, where he got the idea to change to this size, no one knows. A lot of his papers are extant, but no one has ever really figured that out. This is the heart of that watch. This is the balance wheel with a very small spring. Now, with all that said, you're going to have to figure out the problems that he had to deal with. And I'm going to show you in a minute how you do it.
First of all, he had to sail, or the clock had to sail-- the time keeper, let's say, had to sail from Portsmouth down to the West Indies. It was also supposed to go back, obviously, but the prize was supposed to be given for that one-way trip. As a matter of fact, he had a hell of a time winning the prize. At the risk of making a snide observation, he was a very geeky kind of guy. This word's going to come up again in Alex's presentation I realize.
He probably was a hyper geek, in fact. Anybody that can obsess so over a time keeper for 40 years-- it's probably almost all he did. He was supported by various and sundry grants, by the way. And then build a machine-- this is-- H4 is that silver thing that I showed you that essentially lost a minute-- just under two minutes, but going and coming. This was on the first trip. This is unheard of.
And the Board of Longitude, which was made up of professors and admiralty people and nobility-- professors of mathematics largely, incidentally, from Cambridge and Oxford-- didn't have a clue that a machine could work like this. Their pocket watches didn't work very well. This one works a lot better, but it's a modern one. So if a rate was applied, which means how much it gains and loses every day, it in fact only lost 5.1 seconds, which is absolutely extraordinary given it was traveling on a ship, et cetera, et cetera.
So they made him go through a second trial, and again it gained only 39.2 seconds over the one-way voyage. Again, if a rate was-- with a rate applied. If you applied temperature rates as well, it gained only 15 seconds, which is really unheard of, was totally unheard of, which is part of the reason why he had so much trouble getting the prize. People simply thought there was something wrong with the experiments.
There wasn't anything wrong with the experiments. They're amazing pieces of machinery. Now, here's what we're going to do. I have a lot of clocks here. Can someone help me hand these out? I'd like you to form into groups of about five. So talk to people in front of you. Talk to people behind you. You're going to stop be--
Okay. Here, let me let me get your attention for just a second. Hang on. These are alarm clocks. These are very, very cheap mechanical alarm clocks. Here's what-- you've got to wind them up slightly. You wind them with the left knob. The right one is the other-- the right knob, sorry. And then shake it so that it starts running. Here's another one.
Now, here's what I'd like you to do. Hey. My classes are just this disorderly, by the way. It's exactly this disorderly. Here's what I'd like you to do. Oh, you stopped good. You're quiet for a second. I expected this would be. I'd like you to look at the clocks pretty carefully. I'm not going to ask you to really figure out exactly how they work because that takes too much time.
But I'll tell you what I would like you to try to figure out, and I want you to do this jointly as a group. What do you think are the impediments to making this thing accurate? These are very, very inaccurate clocks. They're analogs to the kind of stuff that Harrison's contemporaries were using. I've had students try to calibrate these, and it's really difficult. Really, really difficult. They're off by as much as 20 minutes a day in some cases.
Another question. How might you correct these problems? Now, I want you to spend about five minutes worrying about this. Talk about it. Discuss it. Come up with some solutions. Then, I think you probably-- someone in your group ought to write down on a piece of paper what you think. I'm going to call on someone from various groups to come up and write on the board what their conclusions are. This is the way I run classes. That's what you're getting, guys. That's what you're getting. Here's some paper. Yeah.
AUDIENCE: Give me paper. I'll hand it out up here.
STEINBERG: About five minutes.
AUDIENCE: Arthur, our clock doesn't work.
STEINBERG: Yeah, that happens sometimes. Sorry. Have you wound it?
AUDIENCE: It keeps banging into the--
STEINBERG: Okay. So he's doing the right thing. He's bending it. Have you wound it enough to get it running? Oh yeah, okay. You probably ought to worry about the inside of it. Yeah, right. I think it winds the other way. You took-- yeah, the winder comes off if you wind it the wrong way. You want to get in a group with these guys?
AUDIENCE: I'm not mechanically inclined, actually.
STEINBERG: I've given you-- I've given you a couple hints. You might think about materials. Think about the regularity of the oscillator. Now, someone in your group I hope can figure out what the oscillator is and what its importance is. And then, figure out about how you can regularize the output of the power. Come on, write something up here.
Hey, can I get your attention back for a minute? I've got to really-- I obviously have a very recalcitrant class. Oh no, here they come. Here they come. Someone from over here is supposed to come help me out. We want him to write up-- we want you to write up your solutions, or some solutions. Write something. Yeah, go ahead. You do it. Here. Here. Here, here. Oh, you're going to use that piece of board. Okay, good. Good. I need some more board space for you.
AUDIENCE: Slip one in here?
STEINBERG: Slip one in there. No, it's okay. It's okay. Leave it. Leave it. Leave it. That's good. That's a good list. That's a good list. Wow. Super. That's good. That's good. That's good. That's excellent.
AUDIENCE: Do you want us--
STEINBERG: Go ahead.
AUDIENCE: What's wrong on the left side, or what?
AUDIENCE: What's wrong on the left side?
STEINBERG: However you want it. However you want it. Whatever you want to put.
AUDIENCE: They share the board.
STEINBERG: They all want to do it. I can't stop them, right? I can't. [LAUGHS]
AUDIENCE: A-ha. They're having fun.
STEINBERG: Of course they are. That's the object. I'm going to stop this minute. How--
AUDIENCE: We're ahead of time--
STEINBERG: How much--
AUDIENCE: --so you could go to 5 to.
STEINBERG: Oh, I could? Yeah? I will. I'll stop. Hey, can I get your attention back? Good. Thanks. This is sort of-- hey, class. Yoo-hoo. Thank you. This is sort of the way I like the classes to work. There's a lot of commotion. There's a lot of discussion about what's going on. People-- what I would do is get the people who were writing on the board to talk about it themselves, but we don't have time to do that.
And then we'd get-- we'd start you arguing about, no, that's not the way to do it. Yes, that is the way to do it. You've got really an awful lot of the stuff, which is nice. There are material problems. There are bearing problems. Whoops.
We could use a-- here it is. There is this problem. There a quip that any MIT faculty member worth his salt can walk into any classroom and lecture about what's on the board. I'd have a nice time with this one. I have a lot of acid rain in my pool. Anyway. So constant temperature. Constant pressure. The springs. The springs are just impossibly-- very difficult.
Especially the balance spring, that really crucial one, the hair spring on your clock, is a very difficult thing to get beating the same way in both directions. And when it has a lot of force pushing it or when it has little force pushing it-- all these problems were ones that Harrison dealt with for, as I said, 40 years. Solved the problem. We obviously don't have much of a problem anymore because we use quartz watches now.
But I think the point still is to-- what I'm trying to do is engage the students-- obviously engage them. I was very intrigued by your very uncomfortable laugh when I said what I was going to do. But you obviously got into it really wonderfully. You're to be congratulated for being a wonderful class. We could go on most of the afternoon talking about these problems. I could show you the way Harrison solved them. We don't have time for that because Alex is going to do something next. Have you got any comments about what happened? Yeah.
AUDIENCE: I have a question.
AUDIENCE: How big is your size, to make this--
STEINBERG: No, it's much smaller. They're 40 students. But you can do it with maybe 50, but this is much too many people. But within-- I think if we had another 15 minutes, we probably would have a very interesting discussion going. But we don't have the time to do that. Any other comments and queries, experiences, reactions? No? Yeah.
AUDIENCE: There's pieces of knowledge among various people. So putting a group together--
STEINBERG: Yeah, which help. Well, you had a couple of mechanical engineers there, which isn't really fair. There's a clock guy up here, which isn't fair either. Oh, go ahead. What where you going to say, Lynn?
AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] as a freshman seminar. And as Arthur well knows, what is really exciting is your kids take things apart. And then the challenge is trying to get them back together. And let me tell you, once they get them back together, they understand how a clock works.
STEINBERG: Right. And then you-- this year, I did a bunch of different experiments to get them to understand some of these concepts that you've highlighted here. Yeah?
AUDIENCE: I think one thing that's nice about these kind of interactions, of breaking people up into little groups, is that when you put people in groups and they share their knowledge, individuals who might not feel confident to speak about-- voice their opinion, get an opportunity to do that and then perhaps give them some confidence to actually speak in class and say something about what they've discussed in a group of people.
STEINBERG: We certainly have that experience. We have that experience a lot. Yeah, thanks. That's a very nice comment. Yeah?
AUDIENCE: I thought it was interesting that none of the suggestions include operator training, somebody who has to wind the watch.
STEINBERG: You're right.
Well, in fact, the winding was a problem. That watch was in a box, but the trip over was very, very-- the silver watch was in a box-- was very bumpy and rocky. And William Harrison, who was John's son who was in charge of the experiments-- John was very old by this time in the 1760s-- had to go and cradle the clock to make sure it didn't get wet. Someone had to take care of it. The winding was a huge problem because four people had to be present for the winding to make sure that there wasn't anything-- there wasn't something wrong being done. Yes, it is a problem.
As a matter of fact, an interesting problem about winding is keeping the power running to the mechanism while you're winding it. That's something that Harrison, in fact, figured out how to do before anybody else had done before. This is also the guy who developed the bimetallic strip which powers all your thermostats. We owe the roller bearing to this gentleman too. He's really quite an extraordinary character, very under-appreciated. There's a pile of MIT freshmen that know a lot more than they ever wanted to know about John Harrison, though. Thanks for your attention.
I actually would like the clocks back eventually, okay? By the end of the session. Don't throw them.
SLOCUM: Arthur and I go way back. We'll need one of the clocks. While I'm getting ready, I want you to start. Hi, I'm Alex Slocum, and I've got to put that in so the AV guys don't get mad. And some people say I'm scatterbrained. If you know me, you might agree a wee bit. But the truth is I just like everything. And I'm not even going to try either, although maybe he has acid rain in his basement.
But Alex-- is Alex here, Brit?
SLOCUM: Well, Alex [INAUDIBLE] and I have co-evolved a major feature. We call it the F word-- focus. And everybody knows that in order to do something really well, you have to focus, and you have to do things really well. So today, we're going to learn the method of Frobenius. And we'll spend an hour doing that. And that may sound boring, and we're actually not going to do that. It's a differential equation thingy.
You can do really well and do good if you focus, but as every optics camera person knows, focus is not really the issue. To really excel, you have to have what? Depth of field, which means you can focus over a very wide range of what you're looking at. That is really the key. And what I try to do is get kids, besides break chalk, to think about as much stuff as they can before they spontaneously combust.
Because if you think about it, in life there are so many things that if you're only thinking about just one thing, it gets pretty boring. So that's why I've got all these doodads out here. This one wins. Did anybody even notice this one wins? And I want to start passing out the toys. And Arthur is the first one. Does anybody notice how that flew? Who wants one? Watch how they fly. And what I try to get students to know-- notice-- oh! Oh, sorry, Priscilla.
AUDIENCE: Good hands there.
SLOCUM: Good hands, Kim. We'll just throw these gentle this time.
I try to get people to notice as much about everything as possible. And it's when you keep your eyes open, you get good depth of focus. Rohan will take one. Does that fly well that way? They're pretty soft. Ros is going to save me. So let's start listing things we notice. And your guys-- you have two tasks. And I'm one who believes that the humanities should be fully integrated with engineering.
So we're going to have two tasks. The first thing is, who can develop the best acronym to summarize everything we do in the next 15 minutes? Words. Who can develop the best educational toy using this? And who can come up-- we'll do this as a team-- with the most engineering things about these doodads? So what's the first one? And I want you to describe the physics and why and what happened.
So we'll start with a little hint for what I think is the acronym to sum up life, the universe, and everything. And I'm attempting to draw a bulldozer.
And there's actually a reason why I can't draw worth anything. I'll put a big pile of dirt here, and it's pushing it along. So that's a visual hint. Now, let's start with the engineering thing. About how many engineering principles we can come up with that are exemplified by these plungers. So what's the first thing that happened when I came in?
And when I try to teach, I'm not really teaching. What I'm doing is I'm working with my students. Because most of my lecturers, including this one, are totally ad hoc. I have a general goal of what I want to do, and then I work with my students in terms of what gets them to have passion. Because if you can't have passion yourself and you can't get your students to have passion-- 47, 4--
So you want to-- it's like snowboarding. So what's the first thing that happened when we came in?
SLOCUM: We put it down. We put down two of them. And why do we think one let go before the other?
SLOCUM: Excellent. And leakage is caused by-- so then we'll go and we'll start analyzing the thing, looking at things. Help me out. So we had different leakage rates. So we had leakage rates.
No, no, no, no, no. Draws vacuum. He said it. I didn't. So whenever students observe a physical effect or whenever I observe a physical effect, I start looking at the interfaces and what happens. And according to the clocks, what drives everything is errors. Remember these little differential increments-- given that epsilon, there's a delta? Our goal is to find out what connects the epsilon and the delta.
So my goal is to try to get students to identify what the overall thing that's happening is, and then what are all the variables. So then we'll just start looking at the interface. There's the flatness of the table. There is the planarity of here. And then, remember that movie the powers of 10 when you move back? So now we'll look closer. And it's not just the flatness of this. There's actually a smoothness here too, and there's a mold line and that sort of thing. So we'll have flatness.
Oh, by the way, what was the guy Harrison's first name?
SLOCUM: John. Well, John kind of sounds like George, right? So it's kind like G-- Harrison. So--
I want people to see if they can detect this. So John Harrison. I would test your history here. And history is a very, very important part of engineering. See, this is kind of the same, especially-- that's why cursive writing was invented for engineers. This also says Harrison. And there's another Harrison. And does anybody want to put some time on it and why they're all similar? This dude did clocks.
AUDIENCE: All English.
AUDIENCE: They're all English.
SLOCUM: Close. This one did laser interferometers. He was dean of science at MIT in the '30s, George Harrison. The first Michelson interferometer.
SLOCUM: Chuck. You're an interferometer man.
And this dude did music. So if you think about it in terms of this was dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun. The laser interferometer is the national standard-- international standard for distance, but it's really time, measure the time of flight. And this guy makes music. So maybe there's something, some kind of connection here. It's a long one, huh?
But think of how cell phones work. Isn't that amazing that you can have this silly little thing driving on the highway in your car with only-- you're melting your brain with what, only a couple watts? And somehow, they pick that signal out amongst all that loud music that's playing in my car. Some geeks figured it out somewhere how to pull nothing out of something and make a clear signal. And that's really the essence of what we're trying to do in engineering, whether it's--
And I view engineering, actually, as not engineering but creation. So we're creating poems. We're creating music, light. Now, what else is happening? How come I haven't seen you guys breaking these things yet? So let's pull on it. Everybody who's got one, pull on it and tell me what you start to see.
Ah, hoop stress. So now, we could do an entire mechanics lecture on this, that when you pull here, what happens to the stresses in this thing? This thread here-- I could grab someone to hold it and attempt that. Let's see if we can do it over here. We will succeed. So we could demonstrate, for example, the power of a screw thread. Almost, maybe. Let's see if we can get something else going here. Would you hold this, Kim?
A screw thread. Does everybody know how to figure out the force from a screw thread? We always like to resort back to fundamental principles. And if I'm unscrewing this with very little effort, what's happening? Who's winning? You see, I'm hardly putting any effort at all. The screw thread is moving. What's happening?
AUDIENCE: Compressing there.
SLOCUM: I'm compressing the bellows. So right away, I could make a judgment of spring force. And sooner or later, what's going to happen here? Yeah, eventually, it's going to do this and that. So this is another thing we try to do, is get students to look at the world around them in very, very fundamental principles. And perhaps the most fundamental principle will be conservation of energy. So E in, E out. And there's some for the federal government.
Wow. That's a lot. This is where all the missing mass is of the universe the physicists are looking for.
So let's do our little test of the power of a screw thread. Screw threads. There's a lead, and the lead is, for example, in millimeters per revolution. And I'm going to apply some twisting or torque. And I want to know, when I twist this thing, assuming this is going into some sort of nut, when I apply some torque, how much force is this pushing back with me on? What's happening to this system?
And when I try to work with students in design, and often, he will say, well, I'm not very analytical. I just think visual. I say, well, no, no. You can think anywhere you want. You can physical, analytical, visual, whatever method you want. That's really a key, is we have to find many different ways to reach these students, because they all have different bio-neural nets. And to say that all students should do it this way because this way is the best way-- all zealots should be beaten.
Remember that. What makes the world so much fun is all the different stuff. I ski, and I snowboard on powder, and I like-- well, I don't like ice, but I like trees and I like moguls. It's the combination that makes it such a rich existence of fun. So anyway, power in is going to be the torque, and you go through-- hello-- one revolution times 2 pi equals--
Well, I knew I had to go through one revolution because I got revolution over here. And this is where pattern matching becomes very important, I think. I want people to learn to look at patterns and grab these weird, obscure relationships. Because very few things are really just obvious, wham, hit you in the face. Say, fore! So I've got some effort times some distance equals some effort-- this is the force I'm looking for-- times some distance.
Effort, distance. Effort, distance. Force times a lead. And you can figure out the force, and then you can divide by lead. And what you'll find, for example, assuming you're infinitely efficient, blah, blah, blah-- the force equals the amount of torque you put in times 2 pi divided by the lead. The lead may only be a millimeter. The torque may be 1 Newton meter. And what sort of force can we generate?
This another thing I want people to be able to do, is do things in your head real quick order of magnitude. 2 times pi is about 6, times 1 Newton meter, that's Newton times 1,000 millimeters. So that's 1,000 times 6. 6,000 divided by 1. I can generate 6,000 Newtons of force with about the torque that I can put on with my hand. It's amazing the power of this group. Infinite cosmic force! And real slow motion. So it's very important to develop that visualization.
Now, so we've got force from a screw. We've got surface finish. We've got hoop stresses. There's a lot more engineering you can do with these things. Remember Pascal, dude who invented pressure? Try to remember Pascal, you feel under pressure. Well, I teach a course. It's called a second summer program at Leo Osgood in Office Minority Education. And every January, I get about 40 undergraduate freshmen-- or excuse me-- "undergraduate freshman." Freshmen.
And we put him through a two-week boot camp on how to design. And all we do is we just teach him them in one-hour lecture what is the basic principle of design-- define what you want to do, figure out what you have to do it with, and what's the physics. Now, go. Define a product. You have two weeks to create the product, prototype the product, and make a professional presentation to a bunch of industry people.
And in those two weeks, those kids do about 50% to 70% of what teams of 10 seniors will do. It's absolutely astounding. And they do it because they don't know they're not supposed to not be able to do it and because they have incredible passion because we give them ownership. Say, here's how you design. Here's a field toys and games. Now, come up with something. And when you empower the kids this way, it is absolutely amazing what their minds do. And anybody want to make a guess what they came up for a toy with this dude?
AUDIENCE: Blow a smoke ring.
SLOCUM: Bubbles. A bubble blower. And discovered you don't need a ring to blow bubbles. Actually, all you need is an orifice, and when it bubbles through and it bubbles up and it blows out the orifice, you blow perfect bubbles every time. You don't need one of these. And then, so they put a seat on it, and they put one of those little animal heads like--
And then you jump up and down it like a squirting pogo stick in the pool for little kiddies in little pools. So we're going to run and file a patent on that and work with them and teach them injection molding. Yada, yada, yada. So it's like the book. If you give a mouse a cookie, and he says, oh, I'm thirsty. He wants some milk. He has a milk mustache. Has to trim mustache. Yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda.
So the goal is you keep going faster, faster, faster until they say, enough! But not enough because they're hurting. It's because they're having too much fun. Now, who wants to take a crack at the acronym test? And the best acronym will win a plunger.
AUDIENCE: Acronym for what?
SLOCUM: I don't know. Everything I just did. What your vision of what we want to do with-- what we ideally should try to do with education.
SLOCUM: Okay. What does it stand for?
AUDIENCE: Hallucinating In Public.
SLOCUM: You get to keep your plunger anyway.
SLOCUM: I can't write that. I can't spell "hallucinate." Kim, what'd you say?
AUDIENCE: Oh, I said WMIC.
AUDIENCE: Wild Man in a Classroom.
SLOCUM: No, no, no. No, I'm serious. This is supposed to be the moral message from all this. Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on. I gave you guys all the words. We even drew you a picture.
SLOCUM: UDOP! Yes! Undergraduate Design Opportunities Program. Is that cool?
SLOCUM: All right. See, I think Woody started it really well here. There's research, but there's also design. There could be UMOP, like Undergraduate Music Opportunities Program. Where in any of the religious texts that I've written does it say it's got to be an R? And I think the spirit of Margaret MacVicar herself-- and I remember she ran into me a few times, and I was running into the UROP office because I did UROP a lot. She had, I think, more energy than I did. That was really cool.
It could be research, design, music, , literature snowboarding, science, chemistry. What's research? What's design? Let's let the kids-- and that's the thing my main message is. We admit so many brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, exciting students. I don't think we admit anybody who comes here, "Ha, I'm going to get into MIT and just--" and then get a MIT degree. Yeah. That's not a statistically significant portion. We need to empower our students.
When they come to us and say, listen, I don't fit in any degree program. I want to take some computer science. I want to take some literature, some mechanical, some music, and I think when I put all that together, I can create the future-- we should listen to them and not say, well, no. Sorry. Page 47 in the handbook here says you can't do that. So the cool acronym I was thinking of is this. I'll write it, and then you guys see if you can come up with what the words are. We've got to pave the way to the future by-- No.
SLOCUM: Oh, you know what? Let's write all these down.
AUDIENCE: Personal view.
SLOCUM: So we've got-- we'll make this the P board. I think I don't have any more erasers left.
AUDIENCE: They're all behind.
SLOCUM: So we have-- and remember, all zealots should be beaten. So we have perseverance. Cursive writing was invented for engineers. What was the other one? Personal. Project.
SLOCUM: Play. Yes. Now we're talking. That's how you learn.
SLOCUM: Yes. I was thinking of ways of learning, but all these are great. Physical, just like we did here with touching, feeling, playing. What else? Let's do the A board now. Action. A. We have action.
AUDIENCE: I'm hungry now.
SLOCUM: Pardon? Did Apple. Apple, yes. Apples have sugar for more energy.
SLOCUM: There you go. Analysis. Is anybody seeing the pattern? This is like, ding, I'd like to buy a-- what's that show? I don't have a TV at home, so-- Visual.
SLOCUM: There you go. Experience.
SLOCUM: Extraterrestrial. I've got to beam up in a minute. Education. Enlightenment. Whatever the kids want to make it. Because in the end, most of these kids-- and this is something we have to realize-- are a lot smarter than we are. We just have greater follicle impairment factors.
So thanks a lot for coming. Food's outside. Toodles.
They have sandpaper if you need it. I was going to sand the bottom of this and show you we could actually make it stay almost all day, but we ran out of time. Guys have fun.
VANDIVER: Thank you.
SLOCUM: I didn't make my pool. Sorry.
VANDIVER: Thank you, Alex and Arthur. That was terrific. I'm Kim Vandiver. I'm proud to be the second faculty director of UROP. As you've heard a lot today, yesterday we celebrated the 30th anniversary, and Paul Gray recently wrote these couple of sentences about Margaret and the creation of UROP. "She was smart, wise, passionate, and energetic beyond imagining. And she by force of personality and intellect created what future observers will regard as the most significant educational innovation of the last half of the 20th century."
I have the pleasure today of introducing two faculty members and their students. And my view is that being a successful mentor is one of the greatest pleasures of being an MIT professor. And today, we will hear from two successful mentors and their students. They are Professor John Essigmann and his student Millie Roy. And they will discuss their work on anti-cancer drugs. And the other is Professor Margery Resnick and her student Soyini Liburd. Hi, Soyini. Soyini and I have worked together just recently during IB. We'll discuss the project Margaret MacVicar AMITA Oral Histories of MIT Women So John and Millie.
ESSIGMANN: Can we get the lower screen down? So Millie Roy and I are going to be playing tag team here. Could we get that? Could you lower the lower screen? Thank you very much. I think this is certainly a very difficult act to follow after these two really interactive presentations. I think many of you know I'm a toxicologist. And anyway, I think toxicology isn't the kind of thing we want to interact within in a group setting anyway.
Although I've got to say I was, in watching Alex-- I've worked with aflatoxins, some of the most deadly toxins known to man, over my entire career. You notice I have a very steady hand. But I think that I almost had a heart attack when I saw him using the overhead projector that I have to use with Millie right now and balancing it on a box of Kleenex. This was just to me--
Well anyway, first of all, I think that, as we all know, Margaret's signature element was UROP, and I think it's terrific to have as a component of this program a presentation from UROP students. And we're very delighted to be here. Now, my work-- the work in my lab concerns all cancer research, and in particular how cells respond to DNA damaging agents.
And it divides into two parts. The first part involves how chemicals, radiation cause cancer. And the other part, the part that Millie Roy and my graduate student Maria Kartalou work on, concerns how chemicals are used to treat cancer. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to start out by telling you a little bit about how cancer is caused and what the conventional methods are that we use to treat cancer.
And then we're going to turn things over to Millie who's going to tell you about some of her recent discoveries in UROP. And I want to say that Millie has been a terrific graduate student. She has three publications to her credit. She's the president of all kinds of undergraduate organizations, and she's been a pleasure to have in the lab. So let me tell you about cancer. So as I think many of you know, the cancers arise from the conversion of normal cells into a tumor cell.
And the kinds of things that cause this conversion are chemicals, radiation, and, to a lesser extent, viruses. These cause normal cells to mutate into cancer cells. That is, they acquire genetic changes. And in one component my program, we're quite interested in that. When a series of genetic changes occurs, what will happen is that the cell will acquire the inability to stop growing. They acquire the commitment toward unremitting cell division. Clonal expansion occurs into this mass on the right that we call a tumor.
And there are two things about tumors I want to mention. First of all, the best way to remove them is by surgery or radiation. And by far, the least favorite option for treating tumors is to treat them with chemicals. And the reason for that is that when you treat a person with toxic chemicals, the chemicals that we have available to us today don't show a very large differential toxicity in favor of killing the tumor cells over the normal cells of the body. So people suffer a huge amount of collateral toxicity.
But we have to use chemotherapy. It's the best thing that we have in cases where surgery and radiation fail. So what will happen in the treatment of a malignant tumor with chemotherapy is there'll be a large reduction in tumor cell mass. But turns out that tumors grow very quickly, and their chromosomes lose-- the fidelity in replication of their chromosomes drops off in fidelity over time.
And there are few cells that are left that have acquired resistance. New genes have been turned on that make those cells non-responsive to the therapeutic modality. So what happens is the patient goes into a brief period of remission, and then the tumor regrows. Now, the sad thing is that when the tumor regrows, that it tends to be resistant to the original types of therapy that were used to treat it. And it's usually the end for the patient.
So our interests are in what are these genes that are turned on, and in some cases turned off, that make these tumors either succumb to or resist chemotherapy? So could I have the next overhead, Millie? Now, the drug that we study in most of our work is in the upper left is called cisplatin. This drug from a clinical perspective is a lifesaver for men with testicular cancer. This is one of the very few success stories where you've got a drug that actually cures a disease.
It's also the drug of choice for women with ovarian cancer. But in that case, it's very much like I showed in the previous slide. The tumor initially regresses, and then it comes back. And when it comes back, it's typically resistant to therapy. We're interested in why that is. What are the genes that might be turned on? Now, let me tell you a bit about cisplatin from the chemical perspective. I worked together for about 15 years with Steve Lippard, the chairman in the chemistry department, on this compound.
And it enters the cell and undergoes a set of chemical reactions that result in it becoming chemically reactive. What that means, it will go off and form chemical bonds with the bases of DNA. DNA is the cellular target for cisplatin. These little spider-like black objects that you see are what we call adducts, which are the chemical species cisplatin linked covalently to DNA bases.
And these block DNA replication of a tumor cell. They block the ability of that genome to be expressed as well. So these are the killing lesions. Now, a number of years ago, Steve's lab and my lab, along with Gilbert Chu's lab at Stanford, discovered that there were proteins that bound very tightly to some of these adducts in DNA. And we've been studying these for quite a while.
Now, one of the things in a paper that Steve Lippard recently published shows that these proteins that bind, or at least one of them, has a side chain that inserts itself, if you can see where I'm hitting the laser, right here at the end of the blue arrow between the two bases that are coordinated by cisplatin. And we think that that insertion of a side chain might be very much of central importance in the efficacy of the specific drug.
Now, this is where Millie takes over. And it turns out that Millie and her mentor Maria Kartalou realized that there was another class of proteins called like glycosylases that did this type of insertion of a side chain into DNA as a critical part of their mechanism of action. Now, I want to just say that no one had ever seen any association between glycosylases and cellular sensitivity to cisplatin before. And I'm going to turn things over to Millie now. I'll become the audio visual specialist, and she'll be the scientist here.
ROY: Great. So as John said that Maria and I were mostly focused with DNA glycosylases, which are DNA repair proteins that are known to repair oxidized bases. And they weren't previously known to be implicated in the repair of cisplatin DNA damage I guess something that happened was there was a discovery that these glycosylases actually had a common feature with those platinum binding proteins that John had mentioned earlier that insert that amino acid side chain.
And that's exactly what we saw. On the right there, the blue and the red structure on the right is a glycosylase. And you see that it's inserting a non-polar residue into the DNA helix, and that's how it's actually getting in there and doing the repair. And so this gave us a clue into the action of these glycosylases and made us want to probe into whether these glycosylases act in the repair of cisplatin DNA adducts.
And so from this arose two main questions. And one is whether the glycosylases bind to the cisplatin adducts. And Maria experimented through biochemical means, and she found that three of the glycosylases actually bind to the adducts. And then, the second question that arises from that is, is this binding biologically important? And this is what I studied.
And I approach this from a genetic standpoint. And when you do that, what you do is you actually study bacterial strains and actually just get rid of the glycosylase and study the effects. And so that's exactly what I did. The experiments that I did-- Marie and I worked on two glycosylases in particular. We worked on MutM and MutY, which are both DNA repair proteins involved in the base excision repair pathway, which is just one DNA repair pathway.
And what we did is we used E. coli cells, which is very popular strain of bacteria, and we knocked out the different proteins, both MutY and MutM . And so in the first set you see in the left over there, we knocked out the MutY protein. And we administered cisplatin in different doses, and we studied the survival rates as compared to the wild type strain which has all of its proteins intact.
So in the cells that lack MutY, you see that there's a significant drop in survival as compared to the wild types. And so from that, you can extrapolate that MutY in some way protects the E. coli cells from cisplatin toxicity. Similarly, with the MutM case, we got bacterial strains that lacked the MutM protein, and we did the same experiment. We administered cisplatin in different doses, and we studied the survival rates.
And in this case, you actually see higher survival rates as compared to the wild type. And this may seem paradoxical because both MutM and MutY are DNA repair proteins that are involved in the same pathway, but they show very different results. And so these results basically point to the fact that these glycosylases do probably play some sort of a role in defining the cellular sensitivity to cisplatin.
So after you get data and you get results, I think the next step is to come up with some sort of a model to frame the problem and to really allow future experiments to be performed. So the model that Maria and I came up with to explain our results-- first with the MutY case because we're saying that MutY is somehow protecting the cells from cisplatin toxicity.
We're thinking that MutY, it's normal substrate is an oxidized base. We're saying it could also possibly go in and repair the cisplatin adducts that we see. We haven't actually seen this yet in the lab, but that is a possibility. Or it could actually be recruiting a DNA repair complex to get the adduct repaired. And then, the adduct ends up getting repaired, and that leads to cell survival.
In the MutM case, which is very different, we're thinking MutM in some ways sensitizes the cells to cisplatin. And how does that happen? We're thinking that MutM may bind to the adduct and prevent the action of the DNA repair complex. It in some way obstructs the vision from the DNA repair complex. And then, the adduct persists, and that leads to cell death.
So this model basically points to the fact that MutY is protecting the cells from cisplatin by recruiting another repair complex. And MutM is potentiating cisplatin toxicity by inhibiting the repair of cisplatin adducts. And so this is basically our working hypothesis, and it really presents opportunities for drug design. And if you see in the red down there, if you actually take a look at--
The next step would be to take a look at resistant tumor cells and see if there is in fact an upregulation of human MutY in those cells that would lead to tumor resistance, or downregulation of human MutM that would lead to the tumor resistance. And then, once we've actually seen that and can establish that, hopefully to come up with certain drug possibilities, perhaps-- for example, an inhibitor to MutY that might lead to tumor sensitivity and to possibly overcome the problem of tumor resistance to cisplatin.
So these are the kinds of approaches that are left to be performed and on the basis of these conclusions. And right now, I just wanted to talk a little bit about my UROP experiences-- I'm a senior right now-- and just how they've shaped my academic career at MIT. I've been involved in the UROP program since my freshman year, and I really had the opportunity to gain a tremendous amount of insight from the vastness of biological research.
As a biology major with hopes of becoming a doctor, I feel that MIT's UROP opportunities have really provided me with an essential research background and have enhanced my understanding of several concepts in both biology and chemistry. As I prepare to leave MIT after this semester, I know that the experiences and knowledge that will have been the most significant to me will be those from my UROP experiences.
And that's because the ability to experience something hands-on provides a unique and satisfying means of learning about a subject matter. The book learning was, of course, essential to my basic understanding of scientific principles, but it's putting the book learning to actual use and practice that really allows an imprint to be made. I chose MIT as my undergraduate school because of the research opportunities I would gain as compared to those at other schools, and I'm thrilled to be able to leave here feeling that I was more than correct in that decision.
Specifically, the project that I worked on in John's lab may directly affect my interactions with patients as I go on to pursue a career in medicine. In a clinical setting, I almost certainly will encounter many cancer patients because cancer is, in fact, the second leading cause of death in this country. Many of these patients will be treated with chemotherapy, and unfortunately, some of these people will become resistant to their drug therapy.
My UROP gives me a clearer idea of the biological basis of resistant, and it also gives me a well informed way in which to explain to my patients the reality of their disease. Finally, I am hopeful that the science that I've done as a UROP will point to new ways that future UROPs can explore to overcome the human problems of resistance to cancer drug therapy. Thank you very much.
RESNICK: Well, you might think that I feel totally marginalized as a humanist and the last person and a person who's going to speak about women and women's history. But I don't, because actually, Millie Roy was in my class, and she was also a Burchard scholar, which is a program I run. So I feel a connection. Let me begin by saying that the Margaret MacVicar Women's Oral History Project documents the life histories of women graduates from MIT.
As they are collected and recorded and transcribed, many people gain access to these materials which really have three purposes. First, they give us a sense of what-- who were the path breakers? Who were the women who in the early '20s and the '30s were engaging in careers in science and technology when very few other women were? Secondly, they give us a sense of what these women's lives were like. What were their barriers? How can we better address those problems they faced in the past today?
But finally, and possibly most importantly, they give us a sense of MIT as an institution, because although we have many wonderful histories written about us as an institution, about our faculty and about our administration, very many of those, unfortunately, have great lacunae when it comes to the contributions of women. Now, this resource, the fact that it is an oral history is very, very important, because first of all, it's done by undergraduate students.
And they work with me. And in developing the kinds of questions they're going to ask our women graduates, they have a chance to think about their own lives, their own concerns, and what they can possibly learn from older women. It also gives them a chance to understand firsthand what I always lecture about and that you probably know and. Mary Wollstonecraft on what she said in Thoughts on the Education of Women. "To have in this uncertain world some stay which cannot be undermined is of the utmost consequence." And students learn firsthand what did that mean to these women.
The funding for this project comes entirely from AMITA. The Association of MIT women graduates. We have an endowment, over $100,000 endowment, that feeds this program. And we named it-- when Margaret died-- Margaret had helped me very, very much as an individual as we thought out, how is this project begun? You can imagine there were all kinds of fights. Whom should we interview? Who are the most important women? Should it be famous women? Should it be the women who-- Larry, stop fiddling with your clock.
If he was in my class, I'd make him talk about the clock if he interrupted me this way. But anyhow, when we started the project, you can imagine there were lots of arguments. Should we only interview women who were famous in their field? How should we determine who was going to be first? And Margaret and I debated over a year at the inception of this project as to how we were going to decide how to begin.
And I said, finally, let's begin with the oldest. So I'm going to show you-- because we did complete all the women in the class of 1922 before they died. I'm going to tell you a little bit about their oral histories. And then we're going to see a video, a three-minute video, of a student who completed four of them, and then talk to Soyini, who's a freshman and who's just started working on the project. So let me show you these three. Oh, they're upside-down.
We decided to do oral history because oral history doesn't tell us-- when people write about their lives, they tend to be very linear. And they say, well, I went to high school. I got this award. I got that one. Oral histories tend to show life's processes. People tend to talk about the private dimension, the personal and institutional relationships they have. And there's a wealth of information that rarely gets written in biography.
Oral history probes for recollections of roles and relationships, and particularly events and settings, as well as seeking information about an individual's perceptions and responses to people and issues. We can also learn how these graduates practiced their field, how, why, for whom, and for what rewards they worked, and how they feel about it. And they're also wonderful for networks.
I remember that in the course of reading-- the student goes and does the interview, and then I help with the editing-- reading one from a graduate in the '50s. She said, and I remember this woman, Vilma Espin. And you know, I think she's married to Raul Castro. Now, Raul Castro is Fidel's-- that's my other field, Spanish. Raul Castro is Fidel's brother. So one of my colleagues was going to Cuba, and I said Elizabeth, please.
Apparently, there's an MIT student from the '50s who married Raul Castro. Take her this letter. So I wrote this very nice letter saying, I'm the head of this MIT oral history project. And if indeed you remember anything about the '50s, would you agree to an interview which might have to be done via-- I thought about distance learning because I've been working in that. And she wrote back just about three weeks ago, yes. So hopefully, Raul Castro's wife, who was here in 1952, will be part of the oral history project.
But what it gives to our students is a sense of "I am thou." And let me just share with you some words that come out of these interviews. At the end of one interview, the alumnus says, quote, "I was just thinking it would be interesting to interview you." And the student says, "Oh, I've only been around a couple of years. I don't have all that much to say." And the alumnus says, "40 years from today when you're sitting some place, you'll see. It's fun to remember all this stuff." The student says, "Oh yeah, reminiscing. That's fun." The alum says, "I usually don't think about it, but obviously, a lot is stuffed away there. I feel sorry for whomever translates this." The students says, "It's me." And the alum says, "Well, skip anything you want." And the student says, "Never. Everything you've said is so awesome."
In another interview, a student who lives in McCormick call, surrounded by the formal pictures that those of you have been in McCormick know-- Mrs. McCormick hears this alum say, Mrs. McCormick invited us to tea. I didn't know what to expect. And she said, "Well, young ladies, thank you for coming here. Glad to see you all. I assume you all know about birth control."
And the student said, I can't believe it. You mean Mrs. McCormick and Norma, who is house manager of McCormick-- when I was housemaster, we'd sit there and we'd took these posters. Who could believe that this woman dressed so formally could say that? And neither could our students. But among the completed oral histories are the oral histories of these three women who graduated from MIT in 1922-- Martha Munzer-- she's the one closest to me-- Marjorie Pierce, and Bertha Dodge.
In the very few minutes we have today, I want to introduce you to them in their own words so that you can imagine what it was like for our 19-year-old students to come face-to-face with the past and with these women for whom risk was just not important at all. Martha Munzer, who was born in 1899, majored in electrical engineering. The student says, "How did you get into science?" thinking that she's going to be this great pioneer and a woman who thought long and hard.
And Martha said, "I often wonder what it is that makes you choose a certain path of life, and sometimes it's because your family were all doctors or lawyers and you decided to follow in their footsteps. Or perhaps you had an inclination for a special field. Well, in my case, and please don't laugh, it was because I had a crush on my science teacher, Augustus Clock. And if he had taught Latin, I might have become an ancient language major. But he was a physics and chemistry teacher and felt that I should become a scientist, so I did. I was supposed to go to Smith, but a friend said, you should go to MIT. I went to see the dean. He said, you're not for us. I said, if I pass the exams, will you take me? I suppose we'll have to. And that's how I got here."
Martha, she published widely. She became a real activist for environmental issues well into her 90s. Incidentally, one of the positive aspects of this project is that I get to have ongoing communication with the alums even when the interviews are done. And she called me all the time. But Eleni Digenis, who was the student who interviewed Martha, wrote in an essay for my class, a different class, that I want to share with you.
"Martha Munz's spunk has served her well over her lifetime. She survived a life so wrought with trial and tribulation that many would have given up long ago-- a mother's depression and near suicide, an unhappy marriage, a lover, a illegal abortion, and her own daughter's mental illness. She outlived two husbands and her son. Martha's curiosity about life always led her to new adventures and new careers.
She's a scientist, teacher, writer, environmentalist, mother, and swimmer. Knowing her has changed my concerns about choosing the right major, over-determining my future the way so many of my peers try to do. It's given me the strength to know you can face great sadness and still look back on a life well lived and a sense that one can go forth from MIT and reach the goals to which one aspires."
Marjorie Pierce died recently. And in rereading the transcript of her oral history-- she was an architect-- we hear that risk-taking determination again. Quote, "If I had stayed at Charles T. Maine, I could have stayed there the rest of my life. But in that office, I never would have gotten anyplace as a woman, nor as an architect. So I cut the umbilical cord and started out on my own."
And the student voice, which on the tape-- I have these on tape-- says, sort of quivering, "But weren't you scared of leaving a firm and going out on your own?" And Marjorie said, "Of course, but you have to turn discrimination to advantage. When clients said, well, I don't think a woman is as practical as a man, I turned it around and said, look, men don't know how a house works. They don't know how a kitchen works. Why should they design it? Here's a stove that men designed. You have to reach across the burners to turn it off. I've done more than 1,000 houses, and I'm 90 and still taking jobs. There's a new has to do in Lexington, and I'm thrilled."
And finally, Bertha Dodge, who graduated from Radcliffe College and then came to MIT, tells the student, "MIT is much nicer to deal with than Radcliffe." And the student said, well, weren't you worried about-- the students are always asking, well, weren't you worried? Weren't you worried about being only one of six women at MIT? "No, I don't frighten easily."
Now, I should say Bertha Dodge published very widely in plant biology. And when we collect the artifacts of these women for the permanent archive at MIT, we have their books. We have letters. We have anything the family gives them. But I had made the mistake of saying to the student, who was I think only a freshman when she did the interview, Anuja, listen, she was Norbert Wiener's sister.
So the student, not on my advice, said, well, what was it like to be Norbert Wiener's sister? She gets furious. You have to listen to the tape. And she says, "I thought this interview was about me, not about him. Why is everybody asking me about my brother?" And the student tries to get out of it, and it's very interesting. And then Dodge explained how she taught chemistry for several years at Washington University.
And she said, "That wasn't what I was intending to do as a career. I wasn't intending to be a writer either. It just happens." And the student says, well, what were you intending to do? And she said, "Well, I'll answer as they say in Spanish. Quien sabe? Who knows? A lot of things happen in life that way. You don't plan for it. But if you're qualified and the opportunity comes, you take it."
I wanted to save the time for you to hear from two students who have participated in the project. Right now, you're going to look at my virtual student because she's now in medical school, Rellen Hardke, who did four interviews. And I cut this three-minute tape from an IEP offering that I did with Jill Kerr Conway and Charlie Wiener, who's now emeritus from STS, on the project. And I thought you'd like to see what Rellen says about the project and then meet Soyini, who's just done her first interview. So can you show the video of Rellen? What do I have to do? Turn off the light? I thought it was going to be there.
- To give us an example of some of that work.
- Well, I'll tell you first of all that this was the most moving thing I've done while at MIT. And it stayed with me longer than most of the other work I've done here. It was very important, scholarly, to place things of a woman's life in a historical and social context. But I'll be very honest. This was very intimate and a very personal story, and that affected me. It still does. I think about it. I sit and think about it for hours.
So although it was an academic endeavor, it was personal. It became very personal. And I think Marjorie really touched on that. It's what happened. I'll just briefly give you a sketch of the woman I spoke with over the course of two interviews and several hours. The woman is about 70 years old and I spoke with her. She went to MIT in the late '30s, graduated in three years. Did very well. Went to medical school during World War II. Also finished medical school in three years.
She was very-- did a lot of research, clinical research. Very, very pioneering type work. A lot of publications on open heart surgery and the pacemaker. She was very, very much a part of that and did a lot of research. I'll tell you, in her life very much was reflected of the general ideas that you would expect and many of the things that Dr. Conway referred to.
What I found very interesting is that she did mention her family, her husband and three children, only in passing and only when prompted. She was very consumed with her career and her research all along, and that is very much what she was concerned with relating. She also talked very frankly about discrimination and relayed absolutely just these horrid incidents of harassment, especially during medical school. She also talked about the problems of trying to deal with her family and work. When she did talk about it, she talked about how difficult it was. And so those things were all there.
There were many more personal aspects. And I think what affected me from this interview is that so much of what she said about her experiences I see reflected in my women peers today at MIT. And as someone just graduating from MIT, that's really what I can relate to at this point, and that's really what I saw when she spoke. For example she's done all these incredible things, and I was literally in awe of this woman. And more than once, she would talk about how things she had accomplished were really a joke.
She referred to things as a joke. She really-- she said, I was just-- I was working as hard as I could. and just getting by. This incredible lack of self-confidence from this amazing woman. And it struck me so much because I see that in many of my peers in MIT today. The women-- first of all, if I can do this well, it just means that anybody could do it. Or I couldn't possibly major in that, or I can possibly do this. Or what I've accomplished, well, it can't be that important. And I'm not saying that I see that in every woman in my classes, but it's very prevalent, and it struck me.
Much of what she talked about was different, being 50 years ago, and yet there were so many things, direct quotes that I hear women at MIT say today about things they're bitter about or things that they've found gave them strength. Very similar.
RESNICK: And now I'd like to introduce Soyini And Soyini Liburd has just finished-- she's a freshman, and she's just finished her first oral history. And I hope she does more. Go ahead.
SOYINI LIBURD: Hi. I was interested in the oral history project firstly because I wanted to look at pioneers and people who are making a difference.
RESNICK: We need to-- you're taller than I am, so-- even though you're younger.
SOYINI LIBURD: So I guess I was a bit different at first because I decided to do a young person, and everyone was doing the older people, because I wanted to see somebody who was doing it now. So I interviewed Dr. Patricia Christie. And she's working at ESG now. And I was just so impressed by how dedicated she was to education. Everyone's doing their research. They give a lecture. They go back and do the research. And she was here really concerned with the students. And it really impressed me how un-intimidated she was. Okay, I'm a woman, and I'm going to do all of this. And she has so much planned.
I really enjoyed working at UROP project, so thanks to everyone who set it up. Because I found a mentor in Marjorie Resnick, and I found a mentor in Dr. Patricia Christie, who is now one of my close friends. And I couldn't have done it without the UROP project. Plus, I now have a role model. So that's just briefly what I did and what I thought of it. So thanks.
RESNICK: I'd like to say one thing at the end and why I do this project, because it's labor intensive, that there are lots of theories about women around, all kinds of theories about women. And I feel that anyone who sits and reads the archives and looks at the lives of MIT women will see them as a cautionary tale against the myriad theories that try to determine how women should be, how women learn, how we should get married or not, how we should have children or not, how we should dress.
And what I love about these theories-- what I love about the oral histories is that they define women's growth and prove that the American dream transcends gender. Thank you.
PRESENTER: Well, I think the last hour or so has just been spectacular. And I really want to thank all the people who have participated. And I'd also like to thank Ros Wood for organizing this day. And I'd like a round of applause for everybody.
And it was just about an hour ago-- it was about two minutes into Arthur's presentation that I began to realize it was much better to let it go on a little longer and cut short at the end here. I'm supposed to lead a pedagogical discussion, and just saying it, I can't even-- so instead of the meta-discourse, I think it was better to have the discourse. And it's also better to have the discussion among ourselves outside with the tapas. So I just invite you to join me out there now. And again, thank you for coming and participating.