MIT Commencement Program 2003 - Includes Address by Senator George J. Mitchell

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KEYSER: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to MIT's 2003rd commencement exercises for the year 2003 in historically Killian Court. That's not 2003 commencements, that's the year. But it's early for me.

In approximately 90 minutes, we'll be joined by our guests of honor, who you'll be able to see on the big screen over there to your right. That's that great big jumbotron. And you will be able to watch the commencement as our guests walk around and then come up into the court. We will visit with a few of them in a few minutes. But right now, we have prepared something to help pass the time pleasantly for you.

But before we do that, I have an announcement that I have to read. So please bear with me. I need to inform you of the following safety procedure. In the event of a sudden emergency, such as a severe thunderstorm that would necessitate evacuation of this Court, you will hear an announcement. Emergency exit signs would be immediately posted, indicating routes you should take to leave. These signs will lead you to a corridor where MIT personnel will further direct your travel to a safe location.

Now, this is a glorious day. And that's MIT commencement speak for "it's not raining." And it's supposed to get better. So let us count our blessings. Welcome to MIT's Killian Court. This setting is a very rich one that plays an important role in MIT's history, and I would like to introduce to you my colleague, Warren Seamans, MIT Historian and Former Director of the MIT Museum, who knows more about MIT lore than perhaps anyone. Warren?

SEAMANS: This is the 87th season for Killian Court. In 1916, MIT moved from its home of 55 years in the Copley Square of Boston's Back Bay to this site. And this, since that time, has been literally the center of MIT activities. For the first several years, graduations were held-- or commencements were held here in the court. However, in 1922 the tent that was housing them blew down. So henceforth, after that, for the next approximately 50 years, there were other sites found for it, including Symphony Hall in Boston and the Rockwell Cage, which is the large athletic center.

However, about 20 years ago they moved back to this area, and so we are here today. To expound a little bit on the historic part of this-- this has been the home of everything from inaugurations of new presidents to the ceremonies commemorating the passing of former presidents. It was originally known as the Great Court, and it comprised three parts-- Lowell and Dupont Courts-- because they're the people who actually paid for the land that MIT was built on in 1916.

In 1974, it was renamed the James Rhyne Killian, Jr. Court, in honor of James Rhyne Killian who, at that point, had been both President and Chairman of the MIT Corporation. It has also served-- this locale has served as the final resting place for at least two presidents whose ashes have been spread throughout the Court. So you are really treading on some of MIT's most holy ground. With that, I will turn back to Jay.

KEYSER: Thank you, Warren. So Killian Court is kind of like MIT's Central Park. All kinds of things go on here-- picnics, research, gatherings like this. And to give you a better idea of that, we are going to offer a bird's eye view of this setting through this video report on MIT's robo-copter project. So please, direct your eyes to the humongous-tron.


- This project is to demonstrate automated acrobatic maneuvering for an aerial vehicle.

- In the Killian Court, we have done a flight in so-called Control Augmentation System, where the pilot gives very high-level commands. For example, go forward or go sideways or turn, go slightly higher, slightly lower. The pilot doesn't have to take care of stabilization of the system. That's done by automatic control system.

- The vehicle we did not work on. We purchased a vehicle directly from a miniature aircraft.

- Nice.

- We picked this machine because it's very cheap. It's mass manufactured. And we could outfit it with our own electronics very quickly.

- This is our ground station. It's a very old laptop, about three years old. It runs a real-time operating system. And it gets the data from the helicopter about the sensors and the state, [INAUDIBLE] velocities, altitude, and everything else. The ground station operator monitors that all of the sensors are doing fine. And then we take all this data. We analyze it, we record the trajectories of acrobatic maneuvers the [INAUDIBLE] has performed. And we designed the controllers that follow this trajectory.

- So what happens is we use filtering technologies in order to synthesize this information into a complete and accurate estimate of where the helicopter is and what it's doing.

- Previously a small rotocraft and large rotocraft as well, when they were flown autonomously, have been flying very non-aggressive trajectories. And what we have contributed is autonomous aggressive Maneuvering. So we were able to design the control laws that allow us to perform an aerobatic maneuver completely hands off.

- The applications could include news gathering, so gathering video footage of hard-to-explore areas, top of mountains, top of volcanoes, fire situations, any environment which is very complicated, very contrived, and that would require very agile maneuvers and very agile machines to operate.

- You can also use it for a number of military applications-- for example, urban surveillance and pursuit.

- There's an aesthetic component to our research, which is to make such machines as graceful as possible. What we would want is that this machine eventually behaves and flies as well, if not better, than a bird.



KEYSER: MIT's mission statement includes the phrase "We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of mankind." The Nepal Water Project illustrates this commitment in action, and we'd like to show you that on the jumbotron.


- The beginning of the Nepal Water Project was in 1998. I was invited as a water expert to a conference called the Second International Women on the Water Conference. There were some 75 Nepali peasant women who had walked two and three days from remote parts of Nepal to attend this conference. About 70% of people in Nepal lack access to clean water. So when a woman goes out and collects water from the source, chances are that water will be contaminated. Moreover, one in 10 children in Nepal are dying from waterborne diseases.

- The most grave or sort of pressing problems in the world today, in my opinion, is diseases caused by waterborne pathogens. So you have the leading cause of childhood death in Nepal, for example, and in many other developing countries is either from a disease caused by pathogens in water or a result of malnutrition. The systems that we're all looking at are point of use water filters, and the idea behind that is that it's an interim way-- because larger distribution systems won't be accessible in the near term.

- When I attended this conference in 1998 and actually met the women whose lives were impacted by the water pollution problems and they looked me in the eye and I looked them in the eye and they said, my children are sick and dying and you are a water engineer who knows the answers, tell us how to solve this problem, I felt a big responsibility to come up with some solutions that would address that problem.

- Well, the Nepal project has been a great project. Susan Murcott has done this for three years now. Many of our competing programs, they only require students to take courses. And we require them to take courses and also do a rigorous group project.


- When they look for post-grad studies, graduate studies, I was specifically looking for something applied in the developing countries. I read on the web that MIT, and specifically the Master of Engineering, was offering this program. And I specifically came for this.

- The Nepal Project is now a good example for students to come together with interdisciplinary backgrounds and work on a real problem and at the same time experience some of the rest of the world that many students don't get a chance to visit and to share that experience with other students in the program. It's a good opportunity to work on something that's real world and important to real people.

- Doing [INAUDIBLE] studies on water treatment for developing countries is a totally new thing, which I probably would not get a chance to do anywhere else. The unique part about this project is actually the ability for every one of us to get down to the field, to the project country, and actually do something and make a difference to the people there.

- Choosing a project to do for my thesis, I wanted to do something that would impact people directly and to help them. And the water and sanitation projects that Susan proposed all fit this bill. Arsenic was found by an MEng student about two years ago in Nepal, and they suspected that there would be arsenic in Nepal because there's high arsenic in West Bengal, India, and in Bangladesh. Arsenic is naturally occurring in the ground water there. And this year we're tackling three technologies, and I'm doing an iron-coated sand technology that will remove arsenic when the water is passed by.

- My arsenic filter works excellent. It removes 100% of all the arsenic, and I was really impressed. And I also did some arsenic species and tests. And I visited over 50 different wells and took samples, and it was personally very successful.

- Even though MIT is famous as being the pinnacle of high technology, it's also a pinnacle of entrepreneurial and creativity and innovation and problem solving. And we are using the best and brightest to focus their attention on one of the biggest problems. I think of it as being something like an Outward Bound expedition for these kids, only on a scientific level.

- That is one of the very important reasons why I choose this program instead of the other offer that I got from other universities, is I have the chance to work in a developing country and actually do something good. This kind of program can actually help to promote women's role in society, because they trained women to be the well mechanics. So when they gain this kind of position, they can gain more respect from the society.

- I think this project really is my MIT experience. I think that course work and the other things I'm doing, it helps with this project, but I think that this is the reason I came to the program. And this project is-- I'm hoping to take as much as I can away from this project, and I think that it's really the centerpiece of my MIT experience.

- Kids come back from these experiences changed-- not just changed as scientists, but changed as human beings. And I've seen this time and again, and it's very exciting.

- See-- students from all around whom are attracted to this project and interested in these things is there's a genuine desire to make a difference, not through small steps and science some time off in the future but now. You know, these are pressing problems that need to be solved now.

- I have this poster from UNICEF. It says, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And there's a picture of a child. And the answer below is "alive," exclamation point. That's basically to tie it back to the Women in Water conference-- what these women were asking for is, how do I take care of my children?


KEYSER: We're going to use, through the magic of technology, we're going to go over to the Howard Johnson Athletic Center and interview one of the students there. It occurs to me that I didn't tell you I'm an MIT Professor. That's why it's important that you pay attention to what I say. Consider this free tuition. So now we're going to go over to Howard Johnson's and see if there's anybody for us. Hi, can you hear me?

BENIFLAH: I can hear you loud and clear.

KEYSER: What's your name?

BENIFLAH: Jacob Beniflah.

KEYSER: Jacob, what-- say your name again.

BENIFLAH: Jacob Beniflah.

KEYSER: Uh-huh. And what school are you in?

BENIFLAH: School of Science.

KEYSER: And you're getting your degree in what today?

BENIFLAH: Brain and cognitive science.

KEYSER: Hey, that's what I'm in.

BENIFLAH: Awesome.

KEYSER: Tell me, do you have family here?

BENIFLAH: Yeah, I have-- both my parents have been there since 7:20 in the morning.

KEYSER: Where are they? Where are Jacob's parents? Raise your hand, please. Are they here?

BENIFLAH: They should be right at the front.

KEYSER: Stand up and raise your head. Everybody's standing up. How many parents do you have, Jacob/

BENIFLAH: I don't know.

KEYSER: Oh, there they are. Hi, everybody. Say hello to them.

BENIFLAH: Hi, Mom and Dad. How are you doing?

KEYSER: We don't have a mic on them, but they say hello to you, Jacob. Tell me, Jacob, where did you live when you lived here at MIT?

BENIFLAH: I lived at AEPi, right across the river.

KEYSER: And how did you like it?

BENIFLAH: It was awesome. Best experience ever.

KEYSER: But during the winter when you had to cross the bridge, wasn't it cold?

BENIFLAH: I'm from Texas, so I drive everywhere.

KEYSER: [CHUCKLING] What do you drive?

BENIFLAH: Jeep Grand Cherokee.

KEYSER: I mean, is it a big Jeep?

BENIFLAH: Yeah. Heated seats. It's awesome. It is the way to cross the river.

KEYSER: So tell me, Jacob, have you paid for the car?

BENIFLAH: Uh, my daddy.

KEYSER: Ah, good. Daddy also paid for the tuition, right?


KEYSER: But he's from Texas.

BENIFLAH: Yes, he is. Originally from Spain, though. Both my parents are from Spain.

KEYSER: Ah. Buenas dias.

BENIFLAH: Buenas dias.

KEYSER: [SPANISH]. I just said, I can speak a little Spanish. Tell me, Jacob, what are you going to do when you graduate?

BENIFLAH: I'm going straight to medical school.

KEYSER: And you're going to become a-- do you know what medical school you're going to?

BENIFLAH: UT Southwestern in Dallas.

KEYSER: And have you picked what sort of a medical career you want?

BENIFLAH: I have no clue. Some kind of doctor. I don't know.

KEYSER: All right. Thanks a lot, Jacob. And I see you have some friends with you.

BENIFLAH: Yeah. They want to say hi to their parents. Can they?

KEYSER: Yes, of course.

BENIFLAH: All right.

KEYSER: We'll take them all. Okay, what's your name?

STUDENT: Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad.

KEYSER: No, that's not your name.

STUDENT: Oh, I'm Naomi Schmelzer. And I'm majoring in Course 9.

KEYSER: Wait a minute, wait a minute. These people--

KURNIK: Hi, I'm Rebecca Kurnik. I'm a biology major. Hi!

KEYSER: You see, that's an MIT student for you. They don't listen to their professors.

STUDENT: Hi, I'm Stephanie. I'm majoring in Course 3. And I just wanted to say hi to my mom and dad and the rest of my family.

BERGER: Ah. Okay, you're Stephanie who? What?

BENIFLAH: Stephanie Berger.

KEYSER: Where's the Bergers? Are the Bergers here?

BENIFLAH: Are your parents here?


BENIFLAH: They should be here.

KEYSER: Raise your hand. Would the Bergers raise their hand? Oh, there you are. Good. Now, let's have the-- and who's the other people? You talked so fast, I couldn't catch up. What's your other names?

BENIFLAH: This is Rebecca Kurnik.

KEYSER: Okay. Where is your parents? Where's Rebecca's parents?

BENIFLAH: Rebecca, are your parents here?

KURNIK: Yeah, they should be. I told my dad to get up really early.

KEYSER: So tell me, Rebecca, where are you going after you graduate?

KURNIK: I'm also going to medical school. I'm going to be in Boston, though. I'm going to Tufts.

KEYSER: And what kind of--

KURNIK: I'm excited.

BENIFLAH: What kind of doctor do you want to be?

KURNIK: I don't know what I want to be. We'll see. Right now I'm just going to graduate.

KEYSER: Oh, great. Well, look, I think it's really interesting that of the four that we've talked to, two of them want to be doctors.

BENIFLAH: Not two, but three.

KEYSER: You mean there's a third--

KURNIK: Naomi's also going to medical school.

STUDENT: I'm going to Mt. Sinai next year for an MD/MPH.

KEYSER: Well, I'll be darned. Three doctors. And I was talking to one of the gentlemen here in the audience who tells me that he lives next door to a hospital. So there must be a real affinity between MIT students and medicine.

BENIFLAH: There definitely is. There definitely has to be.

KEYSER: All right. Hey, listen guys, we'll be seeing you over here in a minute. But it's been great talking to you.

BENIFLAH: Nice talking to you too.

KEYSER: Nice talking to you. And we'll see you soon.

KURNIK: Thank you.




KEYSER: I feel as if America's health is in good hands. I'm interested in learning a little bit about the audience here. For example, is there anybody here for whom this is not your first commencement? Have you been here more than once? If you've been here more than once, come up here, will you? If this is your second or third commencement, come up here.

And I'm also interested in who came here from the-- who came from the farthest distance? I want to see who wins that prize. So if you think that you've come here from the longest distance-- we're going to roll a tape, and while we're rolling the tape, you guys come up here and we'll talk.

Okay. MIT is world-renowned for its excellence in science and engineering education and research. What is less known is that MIT also has a thriving arts program. Look at the huge-atron over my shoulder.



- One morning I came up the steps of Massachusetts Avenue and walked through the door, and the entire space had been transformed into a wheat field. Innovative visual arts projects like that are happening all the time on campus. The arts at MIT, like science and engineering at MIT, are on the cutting edge of their disciplines. They are serving the students--

- And I've got a rap sheet that's got a list of--

- --and in the way they're serving the students, ultimately they're going to be serving the entire society.

- At MIT, you'll find some of the best musicians. Virtuosos-- it could be the person who lives next door to me has perfect pitch, and if you name any song whatsoever he can strum it down out his guitar. If it has multiple lines of music, he can strum out all lines on his guitar. And you can see that. It's indicative of the level of quality of the MIT Symphony Orchestra, the MIT Concert Choir, et cetera.

- Last year I got to premiere a song cycle written by an MIT composer, and that was a lot of fun. Modern poetry, modern music, and everything.

- Everyone at MIT cares about something, whether it's their classes or their UROP or some student activity they do, there's always something that they really care about.

- The thing about MIT students that I most appreciate is the elegance of their thinking and the fact that it's sort of live and let live here.


- There's a point of concentration that any discipline requires, whether it's engineering or it's directing or acting or painting. That point of concentration is the focal point. It is the thing around which you organize your thinking and your technique. And so the fact that there is ensemble work where people learn to work collaboratively is something that I see that people take into their labs in a way that you would hope that labs work collaboratively.



- I'll kill you!

- Ooh, he kills me!

- Well, right now it's sort of the-- theatre is a way I can investigate my own sort of identity, especially my own cultural identity. But I also enjoy theater because it's such a collaborative art. And it's a lot like engineering, which is one of my majors, and I also intend to pursue engineering in that it is so collaborative, and so you get a lot of different people's perspective on things.

- I'm Arning. I'm the Curator at the MIT List Visual Art Center. And I'm here in our annual Student Loan Exhibition. MIT, quite usually, has a collection of artworks that students get to live with for a year.

- Arts are in every new building now. It's pervasive from that point of view, and it's pervasive from the things that you see people doing all over. My favorite program is the Council Scholars, of course, because I'm very involved with them. It started with 20 or so undergraduate students, and now we have both undergraduate and graduate students. Computer scientists, they're chemical engineers, they're architectural students, and they are not, with a few exceptions, actually going out and leading professional lives as artists. But this is something that's been very important to them all their lives.

- We find our students, a certain number of them, go on to graduate study in music and in the arts. Some of them go on to become leaders of arts organizations within their communities. Some of them go on to sing in organizations or performing organizations like the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. And in a couple of notable situations, I have myself a number of times I've been engaged by organizations whose presidents were either in my class at MIT 20 years ago or had been at MIT years before that.


My first visit to MIT, when I walked through the halls, I remember passing through the math department on the way to Building 14, where we used to be. And I looked in a door and saw mathematicians hunched in carrels, and I felt right at home, because it looked exactly like walking down the halls of Juilliard into the practice rooms and seeing people working personally on something.

- One of the amazing things about MIT students is the incredible wide range of interests and abilities that extends far beyond the intellectual and the academic. And our special guest with us this section of the concert is no exception to that. His name is Jonathan Lee.



- I think that being involved in activities like this only enhances your education. I think it's important while you're at school to focus on things besides your own research.

- So people come here as scientists, as engineers, as mathematicians, but when they are making art, they're artists.

- (CHANTING) People moving out, people moving in. Why? Because of the color of their skin. Ball of confusion.

- I think that it's a way of chilling out some of the stresses you have. It's a way of looking at the things you're doing with a broader picture.

- It's like, anything you want to do, MIT students will go off and form a group for it. And then they'll actually carry it through, because they put all their engineering skills to work and they engineer these art groups. And there are piles of them.

- Hi. We're the Chorallaries. We have our new CD, which you should buy. We're the Institute's only coed, secular, all-MIT, non-jazz, completing a capella group. So that makes us special. And you're all special too. We're going to sing another song now.

- (SINGING) We are the engineers, we are the engineers, we are the engineers, we are the engineers, we are the engineers, we are the engineers--

- So you shouldn't think that MIT has no art, because they've got them sprawling all over the place.

- Well, now the advice I give to incoming freshmen consistently is don't leave your trumpet at home. You can use it here.

- (SINGING) Engineers. Go, go, go, go-- engineers. We are, we are, we are the engineers. Engineers. We are, we are, we are the engineers. Engineers. We are, we are, we are the engineers. Engineers. We are, we are, we are the engineers.

A lady and an engineer were sitting at the park. And the engineer was working on some research after dark. Scientific method was--


KEYSER: Well, when I asked if there were people who had come the farthest and there are people who have been to more than one commencement, I got a windfall. All of these people that you see around me have something interesting to say about their experience with previous commencements or distance. Let's do distance first. This gentleman here and his wife I think wins the prize. He's from Malaysia, and your village is?

AUDIENCE: Malacca.

KEYSER: And you're, what, 12,000 miles away?

AUDIENCE: It is exactly halfway around the world. Because every time when I phone my son at 9:00 AM in the morning, It's 9:00 PM in MIT.

KEYSER: That's great. But we have some people here from Texas, Mercedes Valley. Raise your hands. And where is the young woman from Alaska? Did she go away? Yeah, there was somebody from Alaska. Where else? Anybody else from an interesting place? Oh, Delhi. Where's Delhi? Oh, you're from Delhi, yeah. How far away is that?

AUDIENCE: When it's 11:00 in the morning over here, it's-- 8:00 PM in New Delhi.

KEYSER: So what is it, it's like 6:00 PM? It's 6:00 or 7 o'clock in the morning now-- I mean, in the evening in New Delhi now.

AUDIENCE: That's right.

KEYSER: Does that make you homesick? No? Are you still suffering from jet lag?

AUDIENCE: Not really. I'm too excited to attend my son's graduation. My son is graduating from doing a masters in architecture and urbanism I'm really excited about that.

KEYSER: That's wonderful. Okay, so now we have somebody here who has a multi-generational connection with MIT. Tell us about that.

AUDIENCE: Well, my grandfather graduated in 1911. My father taught at the MIT Radar School.

KEYSER: What's your name?

AUDIENCE: My name is Peter Bloomsberg. I graduated in 1971, and my son John is graduating today from mechanical engineering.

KEYSER: Are you related to the Bloomsberg in the financial district?

AUDIENCE: No, I'm not.

KEYSER: So I can't ask for a stock tip or anything like that. All right, well, it's been nice talking to you anyway. So now, how many people here, this is your second commencement? Let's see the hands. One, two, three, four, five, six. Third commencement? One, two, three.

How about fourth? One, two three. Fifth? OK, fifth. The fifth? Come on out here. You win.

AUDIENCE: I thought you meant commencement in general.

KEYSER: Oh, a technicality. You win on a technicality. I mean, how many times have you been here in Killian Court watching the parade?

AUDIENCE: I'm a professor at Rice University. I go to commencements every year. So I thought you--

KEYSER: Well, you win that anyway. All right. Where's the guy with four? Come on out here. So when was the last time you were here?

CROSS: 1977.

KEYSER: What's your name, sir?

CROSS: I'm John Cross.

KEYSER: And tell us, have you noticed anything different between commencements then and now?

CROSS: It's better to be on the receiving end.

KEYSER: Well, what about-- say something nice about how they've improved.

CROSS: Well, they're having them in Killian Court, which makes it a much nicer setting.

KEYSER: Oh they didn't have them in Kilian when you were here?

CROSS: I think we had it in the cage way back then.

KEYSER: Well, what about the other three that you went to? After '77, then what did you go to?

CROSS: The first one was '72. The second one was '76 with my wife's PhD. She's right over here.

KEYSER: Please come up, ma'am. What's your name?

CROSS: Virginia Cross.

KEYSER: All right, I want to show you how her blouse matches the microphone. We worked on that. Okay, so the four are, '72--

CROSS: '72, '76, '77, and '03.

KEYSER: And '03, wow. Very good. So who is-- oh yeah, now you. What are yours? Tell us yours, sir. What's your name?

AUDIENCE: My name is [? Raman, ?] and I'm here with my wife [? Reika. ?] In 1999, my son Sunil graduated in EECS. In year 2000, he got his masters. And last year, my son Sanjay got his bachelors, and this year he's getting his masters in EECS.

KEYSER: And I'd like to show you with this close-up shot how the microphone matches his wife's blouse. All right, folks. Thank you. Hey, everybody, give them a big hand, huh? Thank you very much, folks. You've all been wonderful. I'm sorry I didn't get to all of you, but stick around. God bless you all. It's a pleasure.

AUDIENCE: I actually came to say something interesting.

KEYSER: You know what? I'm working now. You can't talk to me. I'm supposed to be working. Wait just a second. For God's sake. Don't go away. I'll be right with you.

I've got an interesting piece of information for you. I don't know if you know this or not, but you can tell-- you can tell what the temperature is outside if you can hear a cricket. What you do is you count the number of chirps in 15 seconds, add 40, and that's the temperature outside.

So now what I'm going to do is, I'm going to give you a little test. [CHIRPS]. Okay, what's the temperature? Good. In the next video, you're going to learn about research that also uses crickets, but they aren't insects. The Cricket Indoor Location System is an example of a research initiative within the School of Engineering that focuses on information engineering. These crickets are part of Project Oxygen, a partnership among the laboratory for computer science, the Artificial Intelligence Lab, and several major corporations that seek to make computation and communication as abundant and natural to use as oxygen in the air. Now let's look at the Cricket Indoor Location System.


- Oxygen is a large project between the labs, computer science, and the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT. And it's trying to build systems in a world where computing is plentiful and communication is pervasive. So today we have computers on our desks, but in the Oxygen vision, you have computers everywhere around us-- in the walls, in objects and devices all around us. And they're all networked together.

A critical piece of information that you need is location. You need to know where objects are, you need to know where devices are, and you need to know where users are. So Cricket is a technology that provides location information to users in indoor areas and in urban areas. So Cricket is intended for indoor deployment-- places like campuses or museums or shopping malls or subways or airports, where GPS doesn't work.

The way Cricket works is there are devices called beacons. It has a radio transmitter on it, and it has a couple of other funny-looking things that are ultrasonic transmitters. And what Cricket beacons do is they transmit information. They're programmed with information about their own location, and they periodically transmit this information in the form of chirps. Now, you have users and other devices in the environment that have an analogous piece of machinery, or a little device attached to them, called listeners. And what the listeners are doing is they're receiving the information from these chirps, and they're doing some calculations and computations on these listener devices and determining their location.

You often are asked as a child how far away a cloud is. And the way you estimate that is to first observe when you see the lightning and then wait a few seconds and you hear thunder a little bit later. And you use that time difference to estimate how far away the cloud is because sound travels so much slower than light.

This is the same idea. Our equivalent of lightning is the radio frequency message sent on a wireless channel, and our equivalent of thunder is an ultrasonic message. It's ultrasound. You can't hear it, but it travels at the speed of sound. And we use this time difference of arrival technique.

We started off doing things like navigation application, which automatically discovers where you are, downloads maps, and shows you where you want to go. You tell it where you want to go, and then it gives you directions. We've also worked on entertainment-style applications, where we have live television coming onto handheld devices. You're watching television on your handheld computer and you enter a room with a bigger screen, and with a single operation you can cause that television stream to seamlessly migrate to a bigger screen.

We've also done applications for hospitals where the idea is to use this to keep track of patients and keep track of medical equipment. We are now starting to work with MIT facilities to deploy sensor networks, networks of little tiny sensors attached with location that will keep track of smoke and fire and chemicals and so forth for safety.

We've also done some fun applications like games, where you're actually in the real world moving around, and you see your actions in the virtual world of the computer. People have also talked about using cricket in construction systems, where you want to keep track of equipment, lots of which are moving, and make sure that your planning of construction goes according to what you had envisioned. So I think it's an important project because it's interdisciplinary and brings together a lot of different disciplines within information engineering.


SEAMANS: For those of you old enough to remember the popular 1970s television series The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman, you may think that some of the new medical developments we hear about in the news are reminiscent of bionics, those technological advanced components that give our bodies superhuman physical abilities although we haven't quite reached that frontier, we are building the foundation for a new age of medical, environmental, and other societal breakthroughs made possible by the melding of modern biology and engineering.

MIT's School of Engineering is at the forefront of this new field of biological engineering. The next video presents one example of current research in its biological engineering initiative, the Liver Chip.


- I originally got started in the field of tissue engineering by trying to replace developed methodologies for replacing organs in people. So for example, ways to take a single donor organ like liver and use it in 100 patients so that you could take cells out and grow them in little reactors and transplant them into the patient.

And then I had an epiphany about five years ago, in that right now the leading cause of transplants in the Western world is hepatitis C. And it's been very difficult to develop drugs for hepatitis C-- we've known about it for over 20 years-- because there's no way to culture the virus in vitro. So liver cells lose their ability to be infected when you take them out and put them in culture.

So the epiphany was, maybe what we should really be doing is building physiological models of tissue so we can understand disease, because if it's me, I'd rather have a cure for the disease and never get an organ transplant than ultimately have some organ grown in my lab. So if we can head off and prevent organ transplants, it will be much better for the patient than if we build an organ to put in them after they get really, really sick.

So we're developing a hepatitis model. That's really the proof that you have something that functions as liver. We still have a ways to go to demonstrate definitively that we're getting the kind of functional responses that you want to mimic the in vivo liver. So we're not all there yet, but we have every indication that we're headed very much in the right direction compared to other methods of keeping liver cells alive outside the body.

What we're doing is using micro-fabrication technology to build little three-dimensional scaffolds that coax a mixture of cells out of the liver to reform a liver tissue and culture. So in liver, there are a number of cell types that form the tissue. And they're put together in repeat units called a capillary bed. And when the liver needs more mass-- so let's say you have a little tumor taken out of the liver, it will regrow. It adds a whole bunch of these capillary beds.

So all we do is try to rebuild that in culture by building a scaffold that causes cells taken out of the liver to grow into the shape that they would in the body. Although we're currently still using silicon, we're also moving into polymers and other material to build our scaffold. Everything is put together in a bioreactor and so we flow fluid through the tissue, just like blood would flow through in the body. And then we can look at it via microscopy and measure things and understand what's happening in the tissue.

There are an enormous number of applications. In a way, almost everything you would like to do to human tissue you could think of doing in this system. Cell cultures only goes so far. We're trying to capture the complexity of the cell-cell interactions in human tissues and study a variety of diseases, a variety of drug therapies, and so forth. It's really, I think, a new frontier for how we study human disease.

I can't imagine doing this kind of research at any other place than MIT. MIT has really been at the forefront of, how do you connect modern biology, forefront-leading biology, with forefront-leading engineering? And MIT did this by creating a special structure in the School of Engineering called the Division of Biological Engineering. So some of the faculty in the School of Engineering have 50/50 appointments in this division so we can all come together around an interest in biology. Some of the biology faculty are also appointed in the division, and we have a core group of biologists who are 100% in the division. So we have a continuum from those engineers who don't know anything about biology but are inventing really cool technologies all the way to the biologists who know really all the things about stem cells but who don't necessarily get involved in technology development. And the Division is a way to do this and train a whole new breed of students who will go out and push the frontier even further by creating a new discipline of biological engineering.


KEYSER: We're going to go back over to the Howard Johnson Athletic Center and visit briefly with the students who will soon be graduating. And they'll be making their way over here in a procession. If you'll take a look at the gigantic-tron over my shoulder, you'll see them. Can you see them? Blackout. It looks like a blackout. Oh, there they are.

So that's what the scene looks like over there. And you can imagine, we've got all kinds of people whose function it is to line them up, get them in the right order, because-- I don't know, how many are graduating this year, a couple of thousand? 2,500? Yeah, 2,500 degrees. And they've all got to be lined up in alphabetical order by schools. So this is not an easy thing to do. And that's what all of the tumult is over there.

You may have noticed while you've been around here that those of you who have been to more than one MIT commencement, you may have noticed that the face of MIT is changing. We've added $1 billion worth of new facilities, more than 1 million square feet of state of state-of-the-art residential, academic, and recreational buildings by world-class architects, several of them MIT associates. This building project is focused on improving the quality of student life at MIT, and boy, has it done that.

This past October, the Zesinger Sports and Fitness Center was opened, providing students with a world-class recreational complex. MIT students work hard, and they play hard. And this next clip will show you this impressive new facility and offer a glimpse of how MIT students like to unwind. So take a look over my shoulder at the humongous-otron.




KEYSER: Hello, everybody. I'm over here at the head of the procession, where you're going to see the students coming in. And to my left and right, they'll split up. And this next tape, the last one we're going to show you before the students actually come over here, is one very close to my heart. I'm a musician myself. I'm a jazz trombonist, and I'll be playing over in the tent by the Howard Johnson Athletic Center later, if you want to come and listen to the band.

And this next one shows-- the next tape shows you that MIT has an incredible music program with student musicians of amazing talent and ability. You're going to see the MIT Symphony Orchestra. You'll see Marcus Thompson, a world-class violist, playing with a group of students. And you'll also see, under the tutelage of Fred Harris, you'll see the MIT Concert Festival Jazz Band. So take a look at the gigantic-tron over on your right.


- My name is Ellen Harris. And as head of Music and Theater Arts section, it is my pleasure and privilege to welcome you to our gala concert, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.





KEYSER: Well, I hope you've all gotten the idea that MIT is a remarkable place. We've tried to give you a little bit of that. As a longtime faculty member at MIT, I am of course biased. I love this place. I've been here for something like 35 years, and I'm actually one of the youngsters in that regard.

But this opinion of MIT being such a great place is not just my own. We're going to offer you a sampling of thoughts and insights about MIT from the outside. It's been great meeting with you. Warren and I wish you all well. We wish your family and your children well. And thank you very much.



- --to see MIT helping us to train these high-level managerial persons.

- I promise I will pay what you are paid here.


Thank you.

- I personally, and Microsoft, have been an incredible beneficiary of the kind of work that goes on here and other places like this. Here at MIT, over 50 years ago, there was a vision laid down by Vannevar Bush that we're probably about 20% of the way to achieving.

- I can't tell you how much I have personally benefited from this institution. As part of this wonderful campaign, I would like to put $100 million on the table.


- If one is unfortunate enough to be disabled, this is the age in which to be so. The disabled have a lot to thank technology for. I probably wouldn't have survived, and I certainly wouldn't have been able to write a best-selling book if I had been born any earlier.

- Managing innovation and figuring out how to actually turn good ideas into products is a really interesting thing that you probably don't learn about in universities. It's not about just technology. It's about the way people are treated. It's about how you motivate people.

- What was that inspiration which led suddenly to the world wide web? For me, I wanted the thing to be a project management tool that allowed us all to work together. Not management from the top down, but management in the working together way. So I then said, it should be intercreative-- a universal space for people to communicate through sharing knowledge.

- We are at the dawn of a true innovation age. It's estimated that the entire store of human knowledge now doubles every five years.

- I would like to thank MIT for this incredible honor, which is, I have to say, the first academic honor I've ever received. So it's nice to start at the top. This is such a great institution, dedicated to the search for the new and to the openness of thought that that search requires.

- This case is is the great test of where we stand on the issue of freedom and solidarity and the future of our own culture.

- For in the end I believe the real challenge of history is to resist the tendencies so prevalent today to label, to stereotype, to expose, to denigrate, and instead to bring common sense and empathy to our subjects so that the past can truly come alive if only for a few moments in all of its beauty, glory, sadness, and complexity.

- Young people like you are always the vanguard of any social movement, setting an energetic tone of courage and commitment. And now we need you to once again lead us to a higher and more noble destiny.

- 21st century America belongs to you. Take good care of it. Thank you, and god bless you.


KEYSER: Hello, everybody. I keep popping up like a bad penny. I'm over here under the tent. Can you see me? I'm talking to Larry Isaacson, who is Assistant Director of the Music Division at Boston Conservatory. Larry has been affiliated with MIT in the past. He was director of the brass ensemble. And now Larry is conducting the music for the procession today. I mean, no commencement would be anywhere without music, and we've got a terrific conductor and ensemble here. mass Brass it is. Let me introduce Larry Issacson.

ISAACSON: Hello. How are you?

KEYSER: Larry, who do we have here? Do we have any musicians who actually are also at MIT here?

ISAACSON: We have several musicians, actually, who work here at MIT-- Bob Marlatt, who's in our horn section, Wes Hopper is in the trombone section, and Mike Epstein used to work here at MIT.

KEYSER: And let's see, you also have a group playing on the front steps?

ISAACSON: Yes, we do. And actually an MIT grad is on the steps of 77 Mass Ave.

KEYSER: Now, Larry, I know this is your fourth time here. And I know that each time you like to do something a little different. What have you done different for us for the 2003 commencement?

ISAACSON: There's two things that we've done. We've added some Boston Pops-style music, believe it or not, some Leroy Anderson, some Strauss, "Tritsch-Trasch Polka," and the professionals and recessionals, as well as a new arrangement for Hartman-- by Hartman, called "Festival Sounds." And it's a wonderful new processional that we're going to be using this year, in addition to the ceremonial march we had commissioned three years ago by Kevin [INAUDIBLE].

KEYSER: That's terrific. Thank you very much, Larry. So I think, without further ado, we're going to turn to the music and wish you all a wonderful day. Thank you, Larry.

ISAACSON: You're welcome.





KEYSER: [NO AUDIO] --15 minutes. You'll be able to tell the graduates. They'll be the people.

Well, I've got some good news, everyone. The procession is underway. We are on time and under budget. The procession will be here in about 15 minutes, and it will come up the center aisle. And you'll recognize the graduates. They'll be the ones in the long black gowns and the funny little hats.

Now, for those of you who are smoking, I wonder if I could ask you to stop smoking at this point, both for your own safety and for their safety and comfort of those around you, for the rest of the commencement. Thank you very much, and have a wonderful time. Bye-bye.





KEYSER: [INAUDIBLE]. And we are sitting in a vantage point beneath the stage. But through the wonders of modern technology, we've got a bird's eye view of the entire processional.

SEAMANS: Everything is happening right in front of us. From our vantage point, we see the three flags coming in under the guard of the state police. This will soon drive across, up to the podium where the flags will be planted in place. The view here, of course, is the main dome of MIT, dedicated exactly 87 years ago on June 13. You will find, as we go through this, we'll be talking a lot about tradition. MIT is an institution that is exceedingly rich in tradition. And we will try and pinpoint a lot of those things as we go through.

KEYSER: The facade that you see up there is, of course, the same facade that is burnished onto the MIT Brass Rat, which is the name that the students give to the ring that they get, their MIT class ring. And typically every year there is some secret message that is encoded in the sides of those columns. For the people who are graduating, if their parents and friends will ask them, they can tell them what the message is this year.

SEAMANS: Okay, directly across from MIT is Boston's Back Bay. You see the tallest building is the Prudential Center, the Sheraton Hotel to its right, from our vantage point, and this is MIT's traditional view. As we mentioned earlier, that view across the river is where MIT was from 1864 until 1916.

KEYSER: The sign on the Sheraton-- of course, if you spell Sheraton, it's spelled S-H-E-R-A-T-O-N. And every year during rush, it used to be that the students would go up onto the roof of the Sheraton, the students from ATO, an MIT fraternity, and they would block out S-H-E-R and the N, so that the sign would read A-T-O. Well, after years of futilely trying to prevent the students from finding their way up to the roof, the management of the Sheraton agreed for safety's sake that it would be best to block it out themselves. So during rush week, in many years in the past, you would see just A-T-O on the roof of the Sheraton Hotel.

SEAMANS: Brightly lit, of course, because it was the time of year that the lights would be on. The other new building, which changes this landscape to the left of the Prudential as we're looking at it is one of the more phenomenal buildings ever built in Boston. It houses primarily law firms. A lot of them moved from the downtown section to the Back Bay to be in that particularly new building.

KEYSER: I really like that building, Warren. I think it really does a lot for the Boston skyline. Do you?

SEAMANS: No, it's growing on me. I must admit that when it was first going up, it wasn't that attractive. But now it's really quite spectacular.

KEYSER: Yeah, it has a kind of an art deco feel about it. And I thought it really was a nice punctuation. The Boston skyline, by the way, is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. And that includes, for example, the spectacular skyline in Sydney, Australia. And especially at night on a clear night, when you go across Mass Avenue and you look to your left and you see all of the buildings lit from the golden dome of the City Hall all the way up past the Prudential Center, it's just gorgeous.

Now, that's a marvelous contrast, isn't it? You see that art deco of that new building, that dome, and here is this solid MIT stanchion that has been here since when? 1916?

SEAMANS: Yes. It was dedicated in 1916, the work of William Welles Bosworth, Class of 1889, who also was known for his work in Paris. The stage immediately below it is where all of the dignitaries, faculty, and deans will sit, as well as the speakers and so forth. The kite-like thing over the top is really a sail that was actually designed and constructed by MIT's own Ocean Engineering department. It has served to protect the people sitting under it from all sorts of things-- from broiling sun to rain such as we had last year. The flowers are done by MIT's own grounds crew each year. And they are sold following the event to raise funds for, I believe, MIT's community service fund.

KEYSER: If you take a look in the upper right hand corner of the screen now, you can see the piles of diplomas. Those are the actual diplomas.

SEAMANS: Yes, those red stacks of things are MIT's diplomas. The MIT diploma has been exactly the same since 1936.

KEYSER: That is the State Police Honor Guard that precedes every procession. It is the signal that the academic procession is about to begin. And you can see the state police moving forward with the colors. And they'll take a position right in front of the stage very shortly.

SEAMANS: The three flags are, of course, the US flag, Massachusetts, and MIT's flag.

KEYSER: And the MIT flag is the one on the-- which one is it?

SEAMANS: It says-- it has Massachusetts on it. And it has also a variation of the seal. The seal-- which we'll see as we turn around, facing the stand where the speaker will be speaking from-- is the official version of the official MIT seal, which was designed by MIT's founder, William Barton Rogers in 1863, prior to the beginning of classes. There's the view of the seal.

The chairs you see in the center there will designed by Eduardo Catalano to be part of the new student center, and that was the Julius Stratton Student Center in 1966. These are the few remaining examples of those original chairs, by the way.

KEYSER: You know, Bosworth-- you mentioned that Bosworth had designed the hall and the dome, of course. These policemen that you see coming down off the stage are, in fact, not the state police. These are actually MIT campus policemen. That was my error. And these men work during the day keeping the campus safe and also interacting with the student body in as helpful a way as possible. There's a nice shot of the diplomas now.

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, the academic procession, led by the Chief Marshal, will now enter Killian Court.


SEAMANS: The procession into the Great Court is being led by by Jim Lash, who is President of the MIT Alumni Association. He is carrying the mace, which is the official symbol of graduation. And we'll say a bit more about it later. You'll notice that the-- later came soon-- that the very top of it is the beaver, which, of course, is the mascot of MIT. And at the very bottom, which you'll see in a minute, is an acorn.

KEYSER: What you see behind the President of the Alumni Association are the faculty in their regalia. The regalia represents, of course, the universities from which they received their own degrees. And there is President Vest is coming up the walk on the--

SEAMANS: On the left hand side.

KEYSER: And the gown that he's wearing is the newly designed MIT gown, with the crimson and gray. President Vest is going to take his seat. And there's the members of the faculty. That's Alec Marantz, head of Linguistics, David Vogan, Mathematics.

SEAMANS: Yeah, here we're getting a close-up of the mace, with the mascot, the beaver, on top of it. This was designed by an MIT alumnus and has been the official symbol of graduation for approximately 30 years. The faculty are represented by-- 50 or so of the faculty out of a faculty of 1,000 that actually sit on the stage representing the rest of their colleagues.

KEYSER: Right. I think there's actually some-- the faculty is-- yeah, that's right, about a little bit under 1,000. And they're up there to represent the entire community and to also honor their graduates. That's Paul Lagase, the man in the gray suit, that you're looking at now. And Paul is the Chief Marshal of the ceremonies. And the faculty now streams up, takes their seat.

SEAMANS: Paul is also head of the faculty committee that organizes the commencement services. Here we see two Chairmen of the Corporation Paul Gray is right in the center, former president of MIT, and former chairman of the Corporation. And to his right--

KEYSER: Alex d'Arbeloff, who is the current Chair of the Corporation.

SEAMANS: Stepping down right now--

KEYSER: That's right.

SEAMANS: --to turn over the reins to another chairman. The City of Cambridge has always represented these services. That's Mayor Sullivan from the good city of Cambridge.

KEYSER: That's Michael Sullivan. And I believe his father was Walter J. Sullivan, who lives in Cambridge now. He lives on Prospect Street.

SEAMANS: Each year the 50 year class, the class that graduated 50 years ago, is represented in the commencement parade by all the members attending their 50th reunion. You will also notice they're carrying the '53 flag. And to the right of the stage when you're looking at it, there is the class of '03's flag. Each class has at least two different flags. You saw a short one being carried by this group coming in, and the one on the left of the stage is the traditional one that joins all the other class flags.

The red coat that you see is the honor that is bestowed upon members of the 50-year class. It is cardinal red. And some of the ties you see are the old freshmen tie which represents the colors of cardinal red and silver gray.

KEYSER: Although you can't see them now, but you may have caught a glimpse of him earlier, Warren is wearing exactly that outfit right now. He has a red jacket and also a striped red and gray tie.

SEAMANS: I should explain that I am an honorary member of the class of 1935, which is why I am allowed to wear a red coat.

KEYSER: My god, Warren. I was born in 1935. So were you?

SEAMANS: Me too.

KEYSER: Oh, I'll be darned. What's your birthday?

SEAMANS: August 8.

KEYSER: August 8? I'm July 7. Now, there's a guy wearing glasses 2003. I wish I could identify him, but I don't recognize him. But those are really cool glasses.

SEAMANS: Those certainly are. There's a record turnout for the 50-year class. Starting in this period, this is the period immediately following most of the returning veterans from World War II had graduated. So these now tend to be younger than the classes-- the average age of these 50-year classes is younger than it has been for the last several years.

KEYSER: We should probably mention that this telecast is going out not only to the 30 monitors located all around the MIT campus for those people who are not sitting in the Court itself, but it's actually going all around the world, from Kyoto to Carlsbad. Warren and I probably have an audience of hundreds--

SEAMANS: At least.

KEYSER: --out there listening to us comment on this. But to all of you out there, wherever you are, we say hello to you. And welcome to the MIT world webcast.

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, the guests of honor, the Class of 2003.


KEYSER: There's a lovely shot over the shoulders of the faculty. And the students will be coming up the center aisle.

SEAMANS: The 50-year class have an honored place this year to the left of the stage, looking away from the stage.

KEYSER: There is the procession beginning. And the two men at the head of the procession are the deans of Student Affairs on the right-- that's Larry Benedict. And on the left is Bob Redwine, who's Dean of Undergraduate Education. This is the second or third year now, I think, that MIT has held these two dual functions, taking the undergraduate office and dividing it up in this way. And it's been a remarkable success. Both Dean Redwine and Dean Benedict have just done a superb job in meeting the needs of the MIT undergraduate student body. We're really very lucky to have them here. And as you can see behind them are the graduates of the Class of 2003.

SEAMANS: And this year, nearly 2,500 diplomas will be given to both the grads and undergraduate students. And that is-- it's very important that all of these people come in and sit exactly in the right chair, because they file up to get their diploma, they have to be in the right position to get their diploma. It's another tradition that every student who graduates from MIT, who attends a graduation ceremony, is handed his diploma personally. The president literally shakes hands with every person who gets a degree from an undergraduate course. And the provost, who is the chief academic officer, hands the diploma handshakes to the person graduating with a graduate degree.

KEYSER: Over the years, there's been a longstanding concern about the size of the graduating class. And do we really want everyone to come up and get their degree? In many schools, they actually divide the class up into schools and have a vulcanized graduation. But MIT thinks that it's important for everyone to be recognized. And we've done-- about 10 years ago, we introduced this dual system, where the students will be coming up-- two, perhaps, one on the left and one on the right side of the stage-- and they'll be interweaved. And it actually is extremely efficient. And everybody gets their day in the sun-- or at least today, their day in the shade.

SEAMANS: And every person, in addition to getting their diploma, has their picture taken receiving a diploma. So it's all very much part of the system. It works very well for MIT. There's Larry Benedict on the right, Bob Redwine on the left now, approaching the ramps. They'll probably split off, left and right.

MIT is very proud of the fact that approximately 40% of the graduating class is women. And this has crept up over the years to where it is something that MIT is not only very happy about, but it is a wonderful sign of the times.

KEYSER: Yes, that's absolutely right. And the percentage of women this year has gone up incredibly during my years at MIT. And it's been a wonderful move, not only because of the justice of it, but it turns out that the cost of vandalism in the dorms went down. Women tend to [INAUDIBLE].

SEAMANS: Very much of a civilizing and healthy effect. I think it's also important to recognize that students from nearly 100 countries are represented in the student body. And, of course, those will be represented here today, those same country.

KEYSER: I know everybody likes a sunny day because it is so pretty. But I must say that having sat through-- oh, maybe 20 commencements myself-- when there are sunny days, they can be really brutal on the students, because the sun is merciless. And a day like today, it seems to me, is really very, very desirable because it's dry, but it's pleasant.

SEAMANS: For those of you who are not in the Cambridge area, it has been on the verge of seeming to rain almost all day. And we've had a very miserable spring here. But yesterday it was sort of nice. Today is sort of nice. Saturday was a disaster. Had this been on Saturday, we would have been underwater the entire day.

KEYSER: The people that you see now, the ones with the hoods, are people who have received their hoods at a special hooding ceremony that MIT does for all of its doctoral students. That actually occurred yesterday in the Howard Johnson Athletic Center. And it's really a very nice ceremony. It's an informal ceremony. The families of all of the doctoral students come to watch their offspring receive their PhD hoods.

But it also is, once again, a time-saving thing. Because we no longer need to worry about having to hood them on the stage itself. So this is a typical way in which MIT turns lemons into lemonade. It's really a wonderful occasion.

SEAMANS: Okay, here we have some shots of the faculty.

KEYSER: That's Stanford Anderson. And the man you see now with the black hat with the mustache, that's Rafael Bras. And he is going to be the new Chair of the Faculty, replacing Steve Graves who just stepped down. There's Jay Fay in Engineering next to him. And let's see. Who else do I recognize? As I get older and they get-- there's John de Monchaux.

SEAMANS: Former Dean of the School of Architecture.

KEYSER: Right. And who's that? Who else do I know? Oh, there's Gabriel Bitran, that's right. Right, Subra Suresh. Gabriel Bitran is Sloan school. Subra Suresh is-- there's Dan Hastings in the middle there, with the glasses. And he is also Engineering. There's Eleanor Westney. She is a marshal, and she's looking so proud and chipper there. Eleanor is an expert on Japanese industry. She's in the Sloan school.

SEAMANS: Okay, we're back at the mace, with this view representing the tradition of commencement, which they signify [INAUDIBLE] in all its glory. The Corporation is the governing body of MIT of approximately 100 people from all walks of life. Only some of them are alumni. And these are-- we're now getting a view of some of the Corporation.


KEYSER: Well, our speaker this morning-- it's always a question of great suspense at MIT, who the speaker is going to be. And the president, there's a shot of Chuck Vest now on the left, looking at the program. Chuck gets input from all kinds of sources at MIT. And it's always a surprise and often an occasion of delight to see who got it right. And our speaker this time is someone who needs no introduction. Everybody knows George Mitchell.

SEAMANS: Former Senator from Maine, who also is the peace leader for the North Ireland settlement that is still sort of in effect. He was a longtime Senator from Maine, and one of the greats of the-- I wish we had more like him in the Senate today.

KEYSER: Yes, absolutely. Two years ago, our speakers were Click and Clack, the Car Guys. So this is from the sublime to the ridiculous.

SEAMANS: Well, [INAUDIBLE] ridiculous.

KEYSER: From the ridiculous to the sublime.

SEAMANS: I think we've had a couple nice shots of Chuck Vest. Chuck has been president now for-- I think this is his 11th year. The Institute has gone through phenomenal change during that period of time. We announced earlier that there is more than $1 million worth of construction taking place, or nearing completion on the MIT campus. Nearly 1 million square feet have been added, primarily to make living easier for the community, particularly student housing and student facility. There's a brand-new fitness center, which is a tremendous addition to the campus.

KEYSER: As I see the students walking by, you'll notice how conservative the student body is dressed. Every so often, you'll see a piece of color. There's a young man, the Class of 2003, with a scarf. But decorating their costume, the academic costume, is not so much in fashion.

SEAMANS: But also the haircuts and so forth are far more conservative than they were three years ago or 10 years ago or certainly 20 years ago.

KEYSER: Absolutely. Now, let's see--

SEAMANS: That my be a sign of the economic times as well, because who knows what-- I'm sure everybody of this group who wants a job in the outside world will have gotten one by this time, or be admitted to their additional schools.

KEYSER: You wonder what's in their hearts as they walk up here, because they're leaving four years of a university which has, of course, got to be one of the hardest academic grinds in the world. And yet it's what they do, and what they do very well.

SEAMANS: Our treasurer.

KEYSER: There's our treasurer, Allan Bufferd, disappearing out of the right. So the students, it's got to be a bittersweet moment for them, because they're leaving a marvelous environment, some place where they can [INAUDIBLE].

SEAMANS: There's a Corporation member, [INAUDIBLE].

KEYSER: Oh, yes. Those are three members.

SEAMANS: Class of '45.

KEYSER: And it's a bittersweet moment for the student.


KEYSER: Oh, there's in the back, putting his hat on, that's Steve Lerman.

SEAMANS: Oh, yes.

KEYSER: He's a house master at the new graduate dorm on, I think, Albany Street. I think they call it the warehouse. That's Ros Williams, her hand to her chin. She used to be Dean of Undergraduate Education. She's Science Technology Society. That's Wesley Harris behind with the orange--


KEYSER: --hood. And he's talking to Steve Lippard, who is the head of the Department of Chemistry. I was talking to Steve the other day. I mean, he's one of the country's great chemists. And he told me that he had majored in English literature in undergraduate, as an undergraduate. He always wondered-- there's somebody with a-- there, he's got a little teddy bear on his [INAUDIBLE]. Good for you. There's somebody holding a-- no, just a tassel.

SEAMANS: Okay, the stage mysteriously appears here in Killian Court every year, about 10 days ahead of the commencement services. And then a day later, it totally disappears. It is a phenomenal piece of a jigsaw puzzle that goes together so readily and so easily that it seems almost like a miracle that appears, and then suddenly it's gone.

KEYSER: Warren and I are actually sitting underneath that stage right now. The faculty is right on top of us. And sitting here, we have a beautiful view of the joists that hold up the stage. And I can't help but wishing that my house were as well built as this stage.

SEAMANS: You see the Class of 2003's flag just to the right, as it's moving off screen.

KEYSER: There's one of MIT's favorite venues for hacks. Of course, the great hack was the police car on the dome about five or six years ago, when the MIT community--

SEAMANS: I hate to tell you, Jay, it's 11 years ago.

KEYSER: Oh, no. Was it 11 years?

SEAMANS: 11 years.

KEYSER: Oh, god.

SEAMANS: But one thing we need to comment perhaps on is, those who are graduating with a degree from a commissioning from one of the US military services wear those uniforms. You see the Navy in white. You saw somebody with an Air Force cap before. So that is part of the tradition as well, not only here, but in every school.

KEYSER: I think we have all three services.

SEAMANS: Yes, we do.

KEYSER: Army, Navy, and Air Force ROTC, and they're graduating. There's Michael Sullivan next to Paul Gray. And in the lower left hand corner, you can see the shot there of Allan Bufferd, the Institute treasurer. And Michael Sullivan is, of course, the one without the hat. You could see Paul Gray leaning over talking to him. He was probably trying to get a parking ticket fixed.

And here's a nice shot over the shoulders. There's Tom Magnanti on the left there. He's the Dean of the School of Engineering. Warren, I'm surprised that the MIT flag doesn't have gray in it.

SEAMANS: I am surprised as well.

KEYSER: In fact, it's neither crimson nor gray. No, I agree.

SEAMANS: It looks sort of like a salmon color.

KEYSER: There's Brit d'Arbeloff, Alex d'Arbeloff's spouse. He's the Chairman of the Corporation now stepping down.

SEAMANS: And also an alumna.

KEYSER: She's an engineer, I think.


KEYSER: From the School of Engineering.

SEAMANS: Coming to Becky Vest, current First Lady of MIT. This is Priscilla Gray, who has-- obviously Paul Gray's wife. And so she has been both First Lady and First Corporation woman.

KEYSER: Laura Mersky is sitting next to Priscilla. And Laura is President Vest's special assistant. And next to Laura is Paul Parravano, who is MIT Liaison with the town of Cambridge. And next to Paul is [INAUDIBLE]. He works for Gail Gallagher, who is the éminence grise of the commencement. She is the--

SEAMANS: The major-domo. She tells us all what to do.

KEYSER: She's the one who makes it all happen. There's a lei.

SEAMANS: Obviously we know where she's from. There's somebody with a cell phone.

KEYSER: There's somebody with a decorated tab, but we can't-- there's another lei.

SEAMANS: We do have a large number of students from Hawaii. Hawaii has some absolutely superb school systems, and they send a disproportionately high number of students to MIT.

KEYSER: From Hawaii?


KEYSER: Have you ever visited Hawaii?

SEAMANS: No, I haven't.

KEYSER: Neither have I.

SEAMANS: But over the years, as freshman advisees, it seems like every other year, I always have somebody from Hawaii.

KEYSER: Some more PhDs. [INAUDIBLE] gold hood. It's Doctor of Science, I think.

SEAMANS: Just again, briefly, those who are watching as we get through-- we will be leaving you as soon as the commencement services start. Then there will be the introductions of various of the senior class, of the 50-year class. There will be Chuck Vest's charge to the students, plus the keynote speech by George Mitchell, not necessarily in that order.

Then they will start distributing the diplomas, and they will be done simultaneously. The Grad School and the Undergraduate School are going up individually to receive their diplomas directly from either their president or the provost. It is also one more tradition, it's interesting to note, we've talked about the ring, the brass rat, that a good number of the students wear. It's a tradition that immediately following the receipt of the diploma, the ring is turned around so that the beaver faces the world. As an undergraduate, the beaver faces the bearer of the ring. This is a longstanding tradition, and it has something to do with--

KEYSER: Look at that-- four cell phones. Right there, four cell phones. They're all talking on cell phones. Now there's a change. Look, five-- one, two, three, four, five. Who in the world are they talking to? I mean, look, six cell phones! My god. My god. Look, there'll be even seven cell phones. They'll even be talking cell phones as they walk up on the stage.

SEAMANS: Can't miss-- look how--

KEYSER: Amazing.

SEAMANS: I assume they're talking to their parents in the back rows and so forth.

KEYSER: Amazing shot.

SEAMANS: Who knows? That is a change that has--

KEYSER: That's a real change.

SEAMANS: --you didn't notice last year or previous years.

KEYSER: Right. Those are the Navy graduates, Navy ROTC.

SEAMANS: Another phone.

KEYSER: Another cell phone.

SEAMANS: I wonder if we'll have to make an announcement to have everybody turn their cell phone--

KEYSER: I'll be you they're going to have to because it might interfere with the sound system. So what do we have? We have 2,500 graduating today?

SEAMANS: 2,500 diplomas given out. There's actually-- a lot of those are duplicate. By that, a person gets two degrees at once.

KEYSER: Because there's a lot of-- right, dual majors.

SEAMANS: And there's about 1,000 from the undergraduate school. And probably about 1,200 from the graduate school, individuals that receive them.

KEYSER: Right. And then there's 2,200, 2,500 degrees.

SEAMANS: And some of the undergraduates will receive a master's degree as well as an undergraduate degree. But it totals up to about that amount. And that has remained con--

Yeah, here they are. They're all keeping in touch with one another, just in case.

KEYSER: Yeah. You see those two guys with their backs to one another. They're actually talking to one another. You see, they--


KEYSER: Uh-oh. Yeah, they've-- now they're waving. Yeah, look. He's telling the guy next to him, look. Look at the camera. That's the new generation. Yes, that's right. You're either talking to the world over a cell phone or looking at it through the lens of a camera.


KEYSER: I mean, I suppose I can't really take a superior position, since I wear glasses. She's tired, and we haven't even started yet. There's a female graduate of the--


KEYSER: I do wish they'd be a little more inventive with their mortarboards.

SEAMANS: Yeah, that phase seems to have passed.

KEYSER: The color of the-- you've probably noticed-- there is Rafael Bras on the right, the incoming Chair of the Faculty. And you can see he has a rather unusual and ornate academic costume. I believe that's from the University of Toledo, is that right, in Spain.


KEYSER: And you can see it has a bib and gold embroidery. You'll notice that the way it works in academia is the higher up you get, the more ridiculous the costume.

SEAMANS: Well, I guess you have to have something that embarrasses you, reaching such a high level.

KEYSER: But you know what was really good? Yesterday, after the hooding ceremony, I walked into the coffee shop in Lobby 7. And the woman who was serving me, her name was Carrie, she had a hat on which looked exactly like the hat I had on. So I asked her if I could come behind the counter and help her--

SEAMANS: Get a good paying job?

KEYSER: She welcomed me behind there. I went behind the counter and served a couple of customers. Well, I always kept my mortarboard on throughout these ceremonies because I knew that there'd be camera shots like this. And I'm losing a lot of my hair.

SEAMANS: Well, you don't have to worry about that under here, because nobody can really see--

KEYSER: Nobody's looking, right. That's the great thing about this job. Nobody can see us. Now, there's Suzanne Flynn, the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, who's straightening her hair.

SEAMANS: Without her mortarboard.

KEYSER: In between those two august-looking gentlemen. And next to her on the left is Pete Donaldson, who has done some wonderful work in putting Shakespeare onto--

SEAMANS: DVD and other--

KEYSER: --DVDs. And there's Phil Clay, the upper right, with his hand on his chin. And he's the Chancellor. And talking to him is Bob Brown, who's the MIT Provost.

SEAMANS: The chief academic officer.

KEYSER: The chief academic officer. And the two of those are really the people who report directly to Chuck Vest. And there, to the right, is the outgoing Chair of the Faculty. That's Steve Graves, I believe. And in front is Paul Legase, who is Chair of the Commencement Committee, and one of the chief organizers of this event, one of the chief shepherds. And next to him is Eleanor Westney, who is an expert on Japanese--

SEAMANS: Technology.

KEYSER: --industry.

SEAMANS: Industry.

KEYSER: And she's in the Sloan School.

SEAMANS: Well, we don't have that blue sky, but at least we don't have sheets of rain coming down as we did last year at this particular juncture.

KEYSER: You really have to have experience of a whole host of these under your belt to know how nice it is a day. I remember one time that it was pouring rain, and there was a 20-knot wind, and I thought that the sail was actually going to take off and carry us all up into the steps.

SEAMANS: From the opposite extreme, in 1930, when Carl Compton was inaugurated in the Great Court, as it was known at that time, it was over 100 degrees in the--

KEYSER: Well, that's brutal.

SEAMANS: Because people just were fainting it was so hot. In fact, the only people who stayed out were the faculty. Everybody else was lined up against the side of the-- in the shade of the buildings and of the trees.

KEYSER: Well, there's Larry Benedict.

SEAMANS: The mace is being [INAUDIBLE].

KEYSER: [INAUDIBLE] is carrying the mace up now, yep.

SEAMANS: Again, the symbol of MIT, transferring its degree-giving power to the students. There's the seal again. The seal, which you will have lots of views of it during the ceremony, will indicate-- you have two figures on either side of an anvil. And these are, again, the mind and the hand, which are part of the--

KEYSER: We're going to say goodbye now. The program is about to start.

D'ARBELOFF: The Corporation and the faculty--

So so long everyone.

D'ARBELOFF: --of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology--

KEYSER: This is Jay Keyser.

SEAMANS: And Warren Seamans.

D'ARBELOFF: --are now declared convened. Together with this assembly on the occasion of the commencement exercises of this Institution for the conferring of its degrees. The stage assembly and audience will please rise for the invocation by Reverend Paul Reynolds, and remain standing to join the MIT Chorallaries in the singing of one verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

REYNOLDS: Shalom, salaam, peace. Creator of life, bless us as we gather in your presence. Your spirit of wisdom fills the earth, reminding us that we are sisters and brothers in a single human family. Pour out your blessings on these women and men, graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sustain the passion of their intelligence, and nurture in them a restless curiosity, which marvels at the intricacy of the universe and revels in its beauty and wonder. Sharpen the focus of their insights and temper the generosity of their hearts with deepening compassion for themselves and others, that they may always carry a thirst for truth, a longing for justice, and an abiding sense of hope.

Enclose them in the circle of your care, and create in them the courage of honest conviction, that you may use the work of their hands in the service of the family of nations. Pour out your joy on their family and friends during these festive days of celebration, and nurture always the life of this Institute and its community of research, scholarship, and service. May our graduates go forth into the world and their future with a passion for knowledge and wisdom.

May they go forth into the world and illumine the universe with hope and light. And with our well-wishes to accompany them on their way, may they set the world on fire with love for peace and for justice. Shalom, salaam, peace. Creator of life, bless us as we gather in your presence. Amen.


CHORALLARIES: (SINGING) O, say can you see, by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?


D'ARBELOFF: Be seated. I am pleased to welcome to the platform George J. Mitchell, former United States Senator from Maine, and the honorable Michael A. Sullivan, Mayor of the City of Cambridge. Senator Mitchell will now give the address.


MITCHELL: To the graduates, their families and friends, it's an honor for me to be part of this important day in your lives. I know that many of you already are worrying about how long I'm going to speak. So I begin by reassuring you that my intention is to stop speaking before you graduates stop listening.

I've been asked to discuss my work in conflict resolution in Northern Ireland and the Middle East. Mindful of the commitment I've just made, my comments will have to be brief. I spent five years working for peace in Northern Ireland. For almost all of that time, there was no progress. There was political posturing, delay, doubt, and many people died.

After each death, I spent a sleepless night trying to fight off a growing feeling of despair and failure. But after years of effort, a peace agreement was finally reached. From that experience, I formed the conviction that there is no such thing as a conflict that can't be ended. Conflicts are created, conducted, and sustained by human beings. They can be ended by human beings.

After completing my work in Northern Ireland, I was asked to go to the Middle East. There, the committee which I chaired made recommendations which have been incorporated into the roadmap, recently advanced by the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, and Russia. As we all know, last week it was accepted by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Although only a first step, that acceptance was significant. And it reinforces my conviction that like all others, the conflict in the Middle East can be ended.

Among the steps we recommended and which are included in the roadmap are by the Palestinian Authority the renunciation of violence, an end to hatred and incitement, and a 100% effort to crack down on terrorism, an effort which has not yet been made. By the government of Israel, the withdrawal of its military forces to their pre-intifada positions, and the freezing of all settlement construction activity. Then there must be a prompt resumption of negotiations to achieve a two-state solution.

What is most important is that both recognize that the only way to achieve a lasting solution is through negotiation. If they are to succeed, illusions must be abandoned on both sides. Some Palestinians and other Arabs continue to believe that they can destroy Israel and rid the Middle East of a Jewish state. That cannot and will not happen. It is a fantasy that will only generate more misery and suffering on both sides. Some Israelis believe and advocate that all of the Palestinians-- every man, woman, and child-- can be physically uprooted and moved to another country. That cannot and will not happen. It, too, is a fantasy.

Contributing to the difficulty of finding a peaceful resolution is the fact that the circumstances and objectives of the two sides are different. The Israelis have a state. What they want is security. That is their overriding objective. The Palestinians don't have a state, and they want one-- an independent, economically viable, geographically contiguous state. That is their overriding objective.

I believe that neither can attain its objective by denying to the other side its objective. Palestinians will never achieve a state if Israel does not have security. Israel will never get sustainable security if the Palestinians don't have a state.

There are some in both societies-- perhaps some here today-- who disagree with this assertion. But for me, it has been validated by the tragic events of the past two and a half years. Our committee's report was very tough on terrorism. We branded it "morally reprehensible and unacceptable." It is also politically counterproductive. It will not achieve its objective. To the contrary, with each suicide bomb attack, the prospect of a Palestinian state is delayed. Such tactics also are destructive of Palestinian civil society and the reputation of the Palestinian people throughout the world.

The roadmap offers Palestinians the alternative of a nonviolent path to a Jewish state-- to a Palestinian state living in peace alongside a Jewish state, the two-state solution that a majority on both sides continue to say they support. Palestinians, in turn, must accept that the Israeli demand for security is as real and as necessary as is their demand for a state. Both are more likely to occur if reciprocal steps are taken to create a context in which meaningful negotiation can be conducted.

This can't be done by the two sides themselves. Their mutual mistrust is total. The culture of peace, so carefully nurtured over the previous decade, has been shattered. In its place, there has developed a sense of futility and despair of the inevitability of conflict.

And yet public opinion polls on both sides show consistent and strong majorities in support of a two-state solution and of the political process needed to bring it about. But because of the impact of the prolonged violence a majority of Palestinians support suicide bombings of Israelis, and a majority of Israelis support the use of whatever force is deemed necessary to suppress such attacks. In other words, majorities on both sides largely agree on the solution, but they no longer trust the other side's intentions to reach it. They're caught in a zero-sum contest in which both are suffering.

Time does not permit me to repeat the long list of our committee's recommendations or the details of the roadmap. Most attention has been given to the cessation of violence and incitement by Palestinians and a freeze on all settlement construction activity by Israelis. I have already commented on and condemned the failure of terror to advance the Palestinian cause. As to settlements, our committee adopted what has been the policy of every American administration for more than a quarter of a century.

During the more than 50 years of its existence, Israel has had the strong support of the United States. In international forums, the US has at times cast the only vote in Israel's behalf. Yet even in such a close relationship, there are some differences. Prominent among them is the United States government's long-standing opposition to the government of Israel's policies and practices regarding settlements. That US opposition has been consistent through the Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush administrations. Just as consistent has been the continued settlement activity by the Israeli government.

It his major policy speech on the Middle East last year, President Bush was explicit. He said, and I quote, "Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories must stop, consistent with the recommendations of the Mitchell committee." The roadmap also refers specifically to our recommendations on settlements.

As we read in this morning's newspaper, there already are serious problems in implementation of the roadmap's recommendations. There will be more. So I don't underestimate the difficulties. But I believe that an end to this conflict is possible. It is especially important that we Americans not turn away when the inevitable setbacks occur, that we not resign ourselves to the inevitability of conflict. American commitment and determination are essential to the preservation of a sovereign and secure Israel and to the peaceful and just resolution of the conflict in the Middle East. There, as elsewhere, there is a universal human desire to lead lives that are full, free, and meaningful.

Because of the wisdom and foresight of our founding fathers, we're fortunate to live in a society which despite its imperfections is the most free, the most just, the most open society in all of human history. From that society, each of us receives many benefits. With benefits come responsibilities. You've had the good fortune to receive an advanced education, so you have an important role to play in preserving and improving our way of life.

There is much for all of us to do. Each of you students, graduates, undergraduates, every person present today, will have your own list of our society's domestic challenges. I will mention just a few that are important to me.

If you believe, as I do, that every American child is entitled to a good education, regardless of background or family wealth, you must oppose any actions which have the effect of denying them that opportunity. If you believe, as I do, that we have an obligation to leave for future generations the very basics of healthy human life-- clean air, pure water, unpoisoned land-- you must demand public policies to honor that obligation. If you believe, as I do, that every American is entitled to equal opportunity and equal justice, you must speak out against all forms of discrimination and injustice. Never forget that in the presence of evil, silence makes you an accomplice.

The education you have received that this great institution is important, even necessary, but it is not a guarantee of self-worth. It is not a substitute for a life of effort. How you do it is important-- just as important as what you do. If you take pride in what you do, you will excel. If you do not take pride in what you do, you cannot excel. John Gardner put it best when he wrote, "An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society which scorns excellence in plumbing, because it regards that as a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy, because it is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."

For those undergraduates going on to further education, I have some advice on what not to do. I serve as the Chancellor of the Queen's University of Northern Ireland. Last December, our students took a graduate school entrance exam. One of them, frustrated by the difficulty of the questions, wrote, in answer to the last question, "God alone knows the answer to this question. Merry Christmas." Two weeks later, he got his paper back with this note. "God gets an A. You fail. Happy new year."

You are part of a highly privileged elite-- in the education you received, in the opportunities that will be available to you. It is inevitable and appropriate that you devote much of your life to earning the income you need to support yourself and your family. Like all human beings, you will want status and wealth, and most of you will get them. But the more successful you are, the more evident it will become to you that there is more to life.

You will find that fulfillment in your life will not come from the expensive things you acquire, not from leisure, not from self-indulgence. Real fulfillment in life will come from striving with all of your physical and spiritual might for a worthwhile objective that helps others and is larger than your self-interest. Most of all for you graduates, I hope that each of you is fortunate enough to find such an objective in your life.

Congratulations. Good luck. May God bless each one of you.


D'ARBELOFF: Thank you, Senator Mitchell. These are words that give us hope for the future. And we all hope that the parties in the Middle East follow the Mitchell Report and the resulting roadmap. And also, you've given the graduates a wonderful roadmap for their future. Thank you. Now, Mr. Suneth Wijesinghe, President of the Graduate Student Council, will give a salute to MIT from the graduate student body. Following this, Mr. Sina Kevin Nazemi, President of the Senior Class, will present the class gift to President Vest, after which the President will deliver his charge to the graduates.

WIJESINGHE: Fellow colleagues, Sigmund Freud, the great medical doctor and psychologist, is quoted as saying, "One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful." Indeed, as we gather here today in Killian Court to celebrate our accomplishment on becoming MIT's newest ambassadors to the nation and the world at large, it is a time to reflect on those memories and experiences that have shaped our journey here at MIT.

Now, you might ask yourself what hope there is to find beauty in struggle. Ultimately, this will depend on your particular definition of beauty. However the writer and educator Walter Pater gives us some guidelines. "Beauty, like all other qualities presented to human experience, is relative. And the definition of it becomes unmeaning and useless in proportion to its abstractness. To define beauty not in the most abstract but in the most concrete terms possible, not to find a universal formula for it but the formula which expresses most adequately this or that special manifestation of it, is the aim of the true student of aesthetics." Hence, in order to remember those special manifestations or expressions of beauty, I ask that you take your mind back to the start of your MIT journey and remember the excitement you felt on the day you received the letter announcing your admission, the first days at orientation, settling into a new home and academic department, your first class and problems sets, tailored to a very unique style of MIT education, one that teaches you how to learn and to think, and the challenging research and teaching you undertook where you were given opportunities to make your mark on the world.

There are bound to be very personal expressions of beauty captured here in a landscape of ideas, relationships, and emotions. While the specifics of our experiences may be quite varied, there are many common threads that do, however, bind our collective endeavors. On the surface, this consists of a shared sense of place, defined by our living and working spaces, a shared passage of time, captured by the pace and intensity of our daily chores, and perhaps the most profound, a shared sense of attraction to events with free food. But beyond this is a common thread that I believe is especially unique to graduates of MIT. This is a quality that allows us to seamlessly relate to one another when we meet in five, 10, 15, or even 50 years from now. This is a quality of unbounded passion that we bring to bear on any activity that captures our hearts, our minds, and our souls. It is this passion that crystallizes solutions to serve fellow citizens, that pushes the boundaries of research and teaching excellence, and which fuels scientific, technological, and business innovation.

Passion has indeed defined the journey we embarked on here at MIT and is the very source of beauty in any endeavor of excellence. As you take on the role of an MIT ambassador to the world, your demonstrated passion for excellence will translate to a unique style of leadership second to none. I charge you to motivate, inspire, and assist those around you to formulate and reach new goals through high standards of professionalism, courtesy, and mutual respect. But more importantly, I charge you to help realize solutions for a society that is seeking to find new meaning and new role models.

In closing, I encourage you to maintain relationships with the multitude of student groups that you may have been involved with and benefited from over the years. By and large, we cherish most experiences we share with our friends and colleagues. And student groups undoubtedly played the greatest part in helping to create these bonds. I encourage you to serve as a mentor to the new generation of student leaders who will face many of the same challenges that you did. With that, I'd like to congratulate you all once again on reaching the conclusion of one journey and the start of another. Here's wishing you the very best of good fortune in all your future endeavors.


NAZEMI: My fellow graduates, it's been quite a journey. Four years, 72 freshmen year problem sets, 4,394 Anne Hunter emails, eight MIT Nobel Prizes, 15 calls to mom and dad asking for more money, 30,000 sequenced human genes, 45 hacks, 43 Sloan C-Functions, one dot-com boom, one dot-com bust, and finally a 786 smoot procession from Johnson Athletic Center to Killian Court, we, the 2,202 graduates of the MIT class of 2003 are here.


Giving the parting words is difficult. We can leave obvious advice for the next generation. If your GPA is suffering, cross-register for classes at Harvard. But on a more serious note, we have all been given the greatest gift anyone could ever ask for-- the gift of opportunity. We are all here because of the sacrifices of our loved ones. For many of us, the sacrifices involved our loved ones leaving their homelands and their families in the name of creating opportunities for us. While the stories of sacrifice differ among us, graduation for all of us represents not just our own work but also that of our loved ones. Let us clearly say to them on this day of celebration, thank you.


As the old adage goes, much is expected from those to whom much has been given. We have been blessed with a lot. It's time for us to give back. We can leave MIT merely being reactive to the world's problems, considering the world's problems in the abstract and at a distance. But it is my hope that we leave the world being active world citizens. The route of treating the world's problems in the abstract and at a distance will likely be comfortable, both financially and emotionally, and we may very well be deemed as extremely successful people. On the other hand, we can leave MIT committing to actively engaging the world's many and growing problems by saying what needs to be said, doing what needs to be done. We can look at problems like world poverty not as mere statistics but as challenges-- challenges we are willing to face head on.

My fellow classmates, the commitment need not be uniform. I hope that each of us finds it within ourselves to take a few moments at every stage of the very busy lives that we are likely to lead to reflect on where we can be active, on where our words and our actions can have great impact. While making such a commitment may not result in as comfortable a life as merely being reactive, it has the collective potential to be revolutionary.

I'd like to end this morning with a story once shared with me about a boy named Jimmy. On one of the few days this school year when the sun was shining in Cambridge, Jimmy grabbed his baseball and glove and approached his father, who was sitting on the living room couch, reading his copy of MIT's Technology Review magazine. Dad, let's go play catch, Jimmy begged. Not now, son. I'm reading a magazine.

Well, Jimmy went away for about two minutes. And he came back and he said, Dad, can we go out and play catch now? You said later. It's later.

Father, trying to occupy Jimmy's time so he could get back to reading his magazine, flipped through the magazine to a page with a picture of the world from space on it. And he tore the page out, and he ripped it into small pieces. He said, son, Jimmy, when you put the pieces of the world together, we will go out and play catch.

Well, the father went back to reading his magazine, and to his surprise, Jimmy came back just two minutes later with the pieces of the world all taped together. The father was shocked. He said, son, Jimmy, how did you do that? How did you put the world together so quickly? The world is so complicated.

Jimmy smiled, and he held up the page with the picture of the world on it, and he flipped it over and showed his father that on the other side was a picture of a man. He said, Dad, it was easy. I put the man together, and the world came together by itself.


My fellow classmates, today is our day. And shortly this will be our world. Let us better ourselves and the world we inherit by putting ourselves together as active world citizens. Thank you. I now have the privilege of taking part in two MIT traditions, the first being the turning of our MIT ring, the Brass Rat. I now ask all graduates to join me in taking off your ring and turning the beaver around to officially let the world know that you are an MIT graduate. Congratulations.


I would now like to invite President Vest to join me on the stage for the presentation of the senior gift. Dr. Vest, I'm proud to announce that 25% of the members of the Class of 2003 have contributed to our senior gift, for a total of $28,187.


Part of this money will be used to fund a seal of the Institute, which will be placed in the main lobby of MIT, Lobby 7, as well as a scholarship fund for future MIT students. The amount of our gift has been made possible by the President of the Alumni Association, Jim Lash, who has progressively matched our donations. Mr. Lash, thank you. Dr. Vest, on behalf of the MIT class of 2003, I proudly present to you our senior gift.


VEST: Thank you very much, Mr. Nazemi and Mr. Wijesinghe. I am most grateful for your words and your gifts but especially for all that you and your fellow students have meant to this great institution. At this time, I want to take particular note of a group of remarkable individuals here today, the members of the Class of 1953. You can recognize them by their red jackets--


--by their red jackets and, I suspect, by a certain aura of experience they carry with them. The world has changed greatly since their own graduation. And with all that they have witnessed in the intervening years, I am sure that they could tell us much about what is truly valuable in life. And they could also tell us about one thing that never changes-- the pride you take in knowing that you have earned a degree from MIT. To the Class of 1953, welcome.


So here we are, gathered once again in Killian Court to celebrate accomplishment, heritage, and passage. It may perhaps seem odd that a community so dedicated to the future comes together donning strange and colorful medieval regalia. But indeed, it is fitting and seemingly fulfilling of a deep human need that such rituals take place.

One of our MIT poets, Professor Stephen Tapscott has reminded us, however, that the solemnity of such elegant scenes is sometimes broken by the faculty themselves when, as he once wrote, "From deep in the drooping sleeves of their robes, surreptitiously they bring out peanut butter sandwiches to sustain them during the long ceremony." Be that as it may, this ritual reminds us of the continuity through the ages of our role in an unbroken centuries-old chain of discovery and accomplishment.

But above all it celebrates your accomplishments during your student years. This is not to say that you have accomplished this remarkable feat of graduating from MIT on your own. We are surrounded by parents, family, spouses, and children, who have supported and sustained you through these years. You will recognize them today by their smiles, brought about by their great relief, by their great pride in your accomplishment, and no doubt by a sense of great relief to their bank accounts. We are very grateful that they are all here.

And it is also especially wonderful to see the babies and small children who come to see their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, graduate. They too are welcome. And as this ceremony stretches onward, I give them special presidential approval to comment upon the proceedings at any time and in any manner they see fit.

And now some thoughts for our students. You are soon to become graduates of one of the world's most prestigious universities. We celebrate your journey to this graduation, but more importantly, we look forward to the continuation of your journey as you dedicate your talents and scholarship to the service of your nations and the world. The world we share today is one of enormous complexity. At the dawn of this new century, we have unprecedented capabilities and opportunities in science and engineering to explore and improve the human condition.

Indeed, this is the most exciting period in science and its applications in all of history. We have before us the ability to come ever closer to understanding the origins of our universe and the life within it. We can learn the evasive facts of dark energy and dark matter that may pervade our cosmos. We are accelerating our understanding of the human brain and mind. We have mapped the human genome, and now begins the task of relating this knowledge to the origins and resolution of disease.

We have the ability to improve human learning and communication. We can now build materials and devices at the molecular level and can mimic more closely the beautiful and efficient designs found in nature. We can dramatically improve our use of energy and materials and learn to better steward our Earth's environment. We can learn to feed and shelter the peoples of our planet.

Behind the advances in each of these areas of knowledge and of challenge lies some common features. They all require work at the highest levels of complexity. They all cross traditional boundaries-- boundaries between academic disciplines, between academia, industry, and government, and between nations and peoples around the globe. Many of these advances originate in the ability to think more holistically, think more in terms of systems, to combine and integrate as well as to apply reductionist concepts.

The advance of knowledge increasingly comes from combining and pulling together rather than breaking down into finer and finer elements. As graduates of MIT, you of all people stand ready to drive these advances and lead their wise applications. You can make a better future. Gerard O'Neill once discussed the work of those who had made serious attempts at various stages of history to predict the future. He analyzed whether those predictions had come true. What he learned was that we invariably underestimate the rate of scientific and technological progress, and we invariably and dramatically overestimate the rate of social progress. So you should strive to change this situation, to bring better harmony to technology and society.

As you work to advance scientific and engineering knowledge or to apply it, you must increasingly understand the social, political, economic, artistic, and historical contexts in which you work. And when you do so, I think that in these realms, you too will find a familiar tension. Because our social and political world also is subject to two opposing forces. One force is that of fragmentation, pulling us apart. The other force is that of integration and connection, bringing us together.

We are increasingly fragmented by politics, poverty, hatred, absolutism, and fear. Yet we are pulled together by information technology, by the challenges of the Earth's environment that we all share, by the globalization of trade, economies, and education, and by hope. Fragmentation stems from our worst tendencies. Integration stems from the best of our shared aspirations. And today we have many new opportunities to apply our skills in science and engineering in a way that advances these shared human aspirations.

I have spoken of the opportunities before you. But as has just been said, with great opportunities comes great responsibilities. As you leave MIT, I hope that you will take with you more than just the knowledge you have gained. Take with you the sense of wonder and joy that drives science and that science instills in us. Recognize the promise that is held in the exploration of nature and the quest for new knowledge and new understanding. And recognize the value of the intellectual heritage on which you build.

But your task is to shape the future. This will require more than the knowledge and skills that you have gained here. The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once said, it is the business of the future to be dangerous. And so you will need to be more than smart and knowledgeable. You will need to be courageous. You will need to be creative and compassionate as well. We expect no less of you, and indeed, we are counting on you.

I urge you to help us build a world community that embraces and values different cultures and heritage that respects individuals and works toward the betterment of all people. There is fulfillment in such service. In the words of Albert Schweitzer, "I don't know what your destiny will be. But one thing I know-- the ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."

As graduates of MIT, you are in a unique position to serve and to lead. You've acquired an outstanding education. It has not been a gift. You have worked for it, and worked hard. Nonetheless, your education has been a privilege. Now you have a responsibility to use your education, to use it wisely, and use it well.

Today, we celebrate with joy your journey to this graduation ceremony and look forward with hope and optimism to your journey into the future. But as we do so, I would like to share with you a brief personal reflection, because I had an experience this spring that brought this issue of fragmentation versus integration home to me in a very personal way.

I was invited to give the commencement address at the University of Tokyo. Now, to put this in perspective, you need to know that when I was a young boy growing up in a small town in West Virginia, the United States and Japan were at war with each other. We were separated by cultural, historical, and political differences vastly greater than the geographic distance that separated us. At that time, it would have been inconceivable to me that I might someday serve as President of MIT. And it would have been even far more inconceivable that I might someday stand to address the graduating class of the University of Tokyo.

Yet there I was, having crossed a bridge made possible by the conviction of leaders and of ordinary citizens in both countries that we had more in common than we had differences. And while I was halfway around the globe from Cambridge, I was speaking at a university that has much in common with MIT-- a commitment to advance human knowledge and to work toward a world in which all people can develop their talents, economies, health, security, freedom, and opportunities. What better ambition could there be for any institution or individual in our world today?

And now as you embark on the next stage of your journey, I offer this charge to you, the graduates of MIT. Ponder the unthinkable, question the status quo, live in the world as well as in your own nation, dream of a better future, but contribute to the present, share your talents, commune with all people, be steady friends and bold companions, address the truly important issues of your time, be honest in all that you do. Take your education your talent and your energy, and build a nation and a world community that considers knowledge a gift to be shared, a healthy planet, a place to be cherished, and human dignity and opportunity fundamental conditions to be enjoyed by all people. Men and women of MIT, I wish you godspeed and the very best of good fortune.


D'ARBELOFF: By virtue of the authority delegated to them by the Corporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and upon the recommendation of the faculty, President Vest will now present the following degrees-- Bachelor of Science; Bachelor of Science, Master of Science; Bachelor of Science, Master of Engineering; and the advanced degrees for the School of Science and the Whittaker College of Health Science and Technology. Provost Robert Brown will present the advanced degrees for the School of Architecture and Planning, the School of Engineering, the School of Humanities, Arts And Social Sciences, and the Sloan School of Management. As they approach the stage, undergraduate degree recipients will be greeted by the Chancellor, the Dean for Undergraduate Education, and the Dean for Student Life. Graduate degree recipients will be greeted by the deans of their schools. The first graduates to be recognized are the class marshals who are seated on the stage.

PRESENTER 1: Recognition will now be given to the offices of the Class of 2003 and the offices of the Graduate Student Council, who are seated on the stage. Sina K. Nazemi, President of the Class of 2003, is awarded the degree of Bachelor of Science in Political Science. Michael R. Hall, Vice President of the Class of 2003, is awarded the degree of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering. Suneth Wijesinghe, President of the Graduate Student Council, is pursuing the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. John P. Locke, Vice President of the Graduate Student Council, is pursuing the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Bachelor of Science diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Architecture and Planning who have completed the specified degree requirements. Bachelor of Science in Art and Design.


PRESENTER 2: Advanced degree diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Architecture and Planning who have completed the specified degree requirements. Master of Architecture


PRESENTER 2: Master of Science and Architecture Studies. [READING NAME]

PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science, as recommended by the Department of Architecture.


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science in Planning.


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Engineering who have completed the specified degree requirements. Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.


PRESENTER 2: Master of Science in Building Technology.


PRESENTER 2: Master of Science in Visual Studies. [READING NAME]

PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering Science. [READING NAME]

PRESENTER 2: Master in City Planning.


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.


PRESENTER 2: Master of Science in Urban Studies and Planning.


PRESENTER 2: Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences.


PRESENTER 2: Master of Science in Media Technology.


PRESENTER 2: Master of Science in Real Estate Development.


PRESENTER 2: Master of Science without specification of field.


PRESENTER 2: Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.


PRESENTER 2: Advanced degree diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Engineering who have completed the specified degree requirements. Master of Engineering in Civil and Environmental Engineering.


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science, as recommended by the Department of Mechanical Engineering.


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science in Material Science and Engineering.


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science, as recommended by the Department of Material Science and Engineering.


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science in Archeology and Materials, as recommended by the Department of Material Science and Engineering.


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Science and Engineering.


PRESENTER 2: Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering.


PRESENTER 2: Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.


PRESENTER 3: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.


PRESENTER 2: Master of Engineering in Materials Science and Engineering.


PRESENTER 2: Master of Science in Material Science and Engineering.


PRESENTER 2: Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.


PRESENTER 3: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Chemical Engineering.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Chemical Engineering Practice.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Ocean Engineering.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Naval Construction and Engineering.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Ocean Systems Management.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Engineering in Aeronautics and Astronautics.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Engineering in Logistics.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Bioengineering.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Engineering and Management.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Technology and Policy.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Toxicology.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science in Transportation.


PRESENTER 4: Master of Science, without specification of field.


PRESENTER 4: Naval Engineer, Naval Construction and Engineering.


PRESENTER 6: Doctor of Science, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.


PRESENTER 6: Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science, as recommended by the Department of Chemical Engineering.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences who have completed the specified degree requirements. Bachelor of Science in Economics.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Political Science.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in History.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Literature.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Music.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Humanities.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Humanities and Engineering.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Philosophy.


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Linguistics and Philosophy. [READING NAME]

PRESENTER 6: Advanced degree diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences who have completed the specified degree requirements. Master of Science in Political Science. [READING NAME]

PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science diplomas will now be presented to students in the Sloan School of Management who have completed the specified degree requirements. Bachelor of Science in Management Science. [READING NAME]

PRESENTER 6: Master of Science in Comparative Media Studies.


PRESENTER 6: Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.


PRESENTER 6: Advanced degree diplomas will now be presented to students in the Sloan School of Management who have completed the specified degree requirements. Master of Business Administration. Sloan Fellows.


PRESENTER 7: Bachelor of Science diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Science who have completed the specified degree requirements. Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.


PRESENTER 6: Master of Science in Management. Sloan Fellows.


PRESENTER 8: Master of Business Administration.


PRESENTER 7: Bachelor of Science in Biology.


PRESENTER 7: Bachelor of Science, as recommended by the Department of Biology.


PRESENTER 7: Bachelor of Science in Physics.


PRESENTER 7: Bachelor of Science in Brain and Cognitive Sciences.


PRESENTER 7: Bachelor of Science in Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.


PRESENTER 7: Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.


PRESENTER 7: Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Computer Science.


PRESENTER 7: Advanced degree diplomas will now be presented to students in the School of Science who have completed the specified degree requirements. Master of Science in Chemistry.


PRESENTER 7: Master of Science in Physics.


PRESENTER 7: Master of Science in Brain and Cognitive Sciences.


PRESENTER 7: Master of Science in Geosystems.


PRESENTER 7: Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.


PRESENTER 8: Master of Science in Management.


PRESENTER 7: The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offer joint programs of education and research in Oceanography and Applied Ocean Science and Engineering. John W. Farrington, Vice President of Academic Programs and Dean at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is here to participate with President Vest in awarding the following joint degrees. Electrical Engineer.


PRESENTER 7: Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.


PRESENTER 7: Advanced degree diplomas will now be presented to students in the Whittaker College of Health Sciences and Technology who have completed the specified degree requirements. Master of Science in Medical Informatics. [READING NAME]

PRESENTER 8: Master of Science in Management of Technology.


PRESENTER 7: Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.


PRESENTER 8: Master of Science in Operations Research.


Doctor of Philosophy, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.



D'ARBELOFF: It is now my pleasure to introduce James A. Lash, the Chief Marshal, who will greet the graduates. Mr. Lash a member of the Class of 1966 and is currently serving as the President of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT.

LASH: Please join me and the distinguished members of the 50th reunion Class of 1953 as we congratulate the graduates and welcome them into that most select company of men and women who are the MIT alumnae and alumni.


D'ARBELOFF: The 137th commencement exercises of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are now concluded.


A reception will now follow in the West Campus Plaza and the Johnson Athletic Center. The audience and graduates are requested to remain seated until the stage assembly has recessed. And now please join the MIT Chorallaries in singing the school song. It's on page five in the front section of your program. Please rise.


CHORALLARIES: (SINGING) Arise all ye of MIT, in loyal fellowship. The future beckons unto ye, and life is full and rich. Arise and raise your glass on high. Tonight shall ever be a memory that will never die for ye of MIT.

Thy sons and daughters, MIT, return from far and wide and gather here once more to be renourished by thy side. And as we raise our glasses high to pledge our love for thee, we join all those of days gone by in praise of MIT.


Oh, I wish that I were back again at Tech on Boylston Street, dressed in my dinky uniform, so dapper and so neat. I'm crazy after calculus, I never had enough. 'Twas hard to be dragged away so young. It was horribly, awfully tough.

Hurrah for Technology, 'ology, 'ology, oh! Glorious old Technology, 'ology, 'ology, oh! All Back in the days that were free from care in the 'ology varsity shop, with nothing to do but analyze air in an anemometrical top. The differentiation of the trigonometric powers, the constant pi that made me sigh in those happy days of ours.

Hurrah for Technology, 'ology, 'ology, oh! Glorious old Technology, 'ology, 'ology, oh! Take me back on a special train to that glorious institute. I yearn for the inspiration of a technological toot. I'd shun the quizzical physical profs, the chapel, and all that. But how I'd love to go again on a scientific bat.

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la-- doot-doo-doo-doo, doot-doo, duh-dah, duh-dah, duh-dah.

O, M-A-S-S-A-C-H-U-S-E-T-T-S, I-N-S-T-I-T-U-T-E O-F-T-E, and then there's C-H-N-O-L-O-G and Y comes after G. It's the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hey!