MIT Commencement Program 2006 - Includes Address by Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve

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ROSCOE: Good morning, and welcome, family and friends, of the MIT graduating class of 2006. We are speaking to you from the stage behind the podium. My name is Tom Roscoe, and I'm the MIT Archivist and Head of Archives and Special Collections here at MIT.

JONES: My name is Marilee Jones. I'm the Dean of Admissions at MIT, and I come to you as the representative of the Office of Personnel who admitted the students who will be graduating here today. Commencement is the most special day of all at MIT.

At an academic institution, it really is a sacred rite. And this year, we have this remarkable opportunity to bestow these degrees on all these young men and women who are a member of a special and exclusive club of people about to claim membership as MIT alumni. Remember, one of the many special things about MIT is that we have no honorary degrees. So there's only one way through here. There's only one way in, and there's one way out, and that's the hard way.

We'll be visiting with you for the next 90 minutes as we await the arrival of our graduates, who will be coming over soon. They're currently gathering over on the west side of campus in Johnson Athletic Center. You can see them on the Jumbotron over here in this corner. We're pointing. And you'll see them on the screen. They'll be coming here about 9:50.

We have some video pieces to share with you today about varying perspectives of the MIT student experience. And as you look around Killian Court, it's the perfect setting for commencement. We wish that the weather was a little better. We have the MIT big weather machine working on this to clear up all the drizzle today. But at least it's not pouring rain, as it has been in the East for the last three months.

But the reason we're here today in this great Court is because it's really the only space at MIT that can accommodate a crowd this size. When everyone is in here at 10 o'clock, there will be 13,000 people gathered in this one space. It's a remarkable gathering. The Court has a rich and interesting history. And no one knows more about this history than my pal, MIT archivist Tom Roscoe.

ROSCOE: Thank you, Marilee. MIT was founded in 1861. It was chartered on April 10 of that year. And actually, two days later the Civil War broke out. So it took a little while before the first classes were held, which were in 1865. MIT was originally located in Boston's Back Bay, across from the Charles River, and it moved to Cambridge in 1916.

We're surrounded here by the original main buildings, which made up the Great Court. This Court was then renamed Killian Court in honor of James Rhyne Killian, MIT's 10th president. In 1979, it was renamed. And since 1979, all commencement services have been held in the Court, except 1992 when there was some really bad weather.

JONES: Maybe snow.

ROSCOE: Marilee?

JONES: Video coverage of these proceedings is being webcast live throughout the world right now. No pressure, Tom. Those of you here in Killian Court will be able to watch a recorded version of this from the webcast from your home or office computers. But this year, very exciting, we're actually for the first time offering a podcast of this. Now, all of the students gathering here at 10 o'clock will know what we're talking about. Those of you adults may not know what we're talking about by a podcast, but you'll be able to download this commencement onto your iPod, or your child's iPod, or your personal digital device later on.

ROSCOE: Earlier this year, MIT began producing a video podcast magazine with the purpose of capturing and communicating the richness and diversity of MIT. Each episode features stories on student life, research, special events, interesting people, and the occasional hack. We'll be showing you sample episodes of ZigZag throughout the morning. This episode you're about to see was podcast on April 5 of this year.


- Welcome to ZigZag at MIT. We've got another selection of events from around the campus to show you. My name is Marsha Bolton, and I will be your host for the month. This week, we have been busy searching around for more brilliance and zaniness that MIT is so famous for.

First, let's start with some science. MIT researchers Rutledge Ellis-Behnke and Gerald Schneider have restored vision to blinded hamsters thanks to a tiny biodegradable scaffold invented by these MIT neuroscientists and bioengineers.

- It's a material that looks like water. So you put it into the brain wound and it flows into the wound and comes into immediate proximity of all the wound edges. So you don't have any separation. In them it immediately starts to form this gel. When you look at the material later with the electron microscope so you get a really close look at it, it would be easy to fool an anatomist into thinking that this was part of the brain.

- This technique may one day help patients with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries as well as stroke victims. Up next, we're going to bring music to your ears, so get ready to rock. OK, ever heard of a theremin? Well, it turns out the theremin is one of the oldest electronic instruments, dating back to 1919 and named after its Russian inventor, Leon Theremin. The coolest thing is you don't actually touch the instrument to make a sound. You just kind of wave your hands around like this. Well, in honor of Valentine's Day, Assistant Professor Brian Robison presented "Waves of Pleasure."


Pretty amazing. But the most fun was that Professor Robison invited audience members to try it themselves.


Although it might not feel like it from the weather, spring is definitely in the air. Last week, MIT students went on their spring break. We were curious what MIT students would do while they were away, so we decided to ask them. What do you plan on doing for spring break?

- I play varsity lacrosse, and so for thing break, we're going down to West Palm Beach in Florida for training.

- I'm road-tripping down the East Coast.

- Oh, that's wonderful.

- Me and six of the guys from the house, we're going to drive from here to DC and then to Atlanta.

- I'm going to Chile for one of my classes. We'll be climbing the volcano, ocean kayaking, and-- yeah, some other cool stuff, I guess.

- Hi, I'm Sonia. I'm '07, and I'll be going down to New Orleans with InterVarsity for the Katrina Relief Urban Project.

- I'm helping a doctor from Hawaii pick up a new two-seat airplane called a Diamond Eclipse, and we are going to fly the airplane from London, Ontario to Hayward, California.

- I'm going to be going to California with my fiancee, and we're going to be looking for places to have our wedding after senior year. And then I'll probably go skiing. And I'm probably going to eat a lot of Asian food.

- For all you sports fans out there, we've got just the thing for you. Senior Caitlin Murray is leading an innovative project called Sportcast using high-definition cameras and a live computerized switcher with software developed by MIT grad student Keith Winstein.


- Stand by, one. Stand by, three. Take three. Three is online.

- I try to do anything I can to get more sports into my life at MIT. It would be great if we could have it on television or on the radio or something like that.

- Well, we've got four cameras. They come into our computers here, and we go out on MIT Cable.

- One of the reasons we did this is that we couldn't get any of the national networks to cover MIT.

- Here they come.


- You can find out more about the latest developments with the project by going to

MIT professors are famed for tackling some of the world's most difficult questions. One of the big questions has been heatedly debated at MIT for years. Last week, six MIT professors gathered to debate the merits and pitfalls of two Jewish delicacies-- the latke, a fried potato pancake served during Hanukkah, and the hamantash, a three-sided, fruit-filled cookie traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim. In true debate format, the professor was given seven minutes to speak.

- There's research in brain and cognitive sciences. Recent studies in the Kanwisher Lab shows there's a latke place in the brain. You show somebody a latke, it lights up like a madman. You show somebody hamantaschen, nothing.

- This graph shows the graph of the density fluxuations as seen by the WMAP satellite. And as you see, the hamantaschen curve fits it perfectly.

- The latke is a single elegant trochee, a nice variation on the iambic norms of English verse. It's a classic. It is transparently superior to the ungainly double-trochee of hamantaschen, which lends itself only to nursery rhymes and bad advertising jingles for Good 'N Plenty.

- A mun-filled hamantash provides a glimpse of heaven. It is worthy of dreams. I long to eat one.

- The competition was judged by the audience. And amazingly, it ended in a tie. Guess we're just going to have to wait till next year on that one. Thanks to MIT Hillel for providing the video footage.

All right, that's all for now. We'd love to hear from you. So if you have any questions, comments, or show suggestions, please email us here. Marsha Bolton, signing off on ZigZag till next time.



JONES: OK, everyone. I'm about to introduce one of our favorite alumni. Eric Chemi graduated last year. Eric had a very well-known radio show at MIT for years. And he's our alumnus on the street over where the graduates are assembling. So we thought we would just see what's going on over there so you can see if you can see your kids. So hey, Eric. It's Chemi time. Uh-oh.

CHEMI: Can you hear me? OK, how's it going? It's pretty crowded out here. There's a lot of people. And I did this last year, and it's interesting that after my MIT degree, this is what I get to do with all that education. And there's a lot of people dressed up in all sorts of outfits. Mostly everyone's all in black, and I think some of the advanced degrees have different colored robes and hoods on. And let me bring a couple of people over here-- a couple of people over here who have some colorful outfits. And tell us your names.

ZAPEDA: My name's Marisa Zapeda.

CHEMI: And what's your name?

HINES: Chantel Hines.

CHEMI: And we got a crasher. Who's this? Who's jumping in the video?

GRADUATE: Charles. I'm Charles.

CHEMI: OK. So tell us where you guys are from and what these different colors are representing here.

ZAPEDA: I'm originally from Houston, Texas.

HINES: I'm from Greensboro, North Carolina.

GRADUATE: I'm Charles from New Jersey.

CHEMI: And so what is this color? Because not everyone has these colors. What do these represent?

ZAPEDA: The graduating seniors of LUChA, La Union Chicana por Aztlan, which is the Mexican-American Association on campus, we all have these stoles for us graduating.

HINES: The black students of MIT all have these stoles. And this stole on my left is represented by my sorority, one of the largest historically black sororities in the country, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, incorporated.

CHEMI: And they're already starting to get the people trying to line up. There's big noise here up on the public announcement system. And I don't know if you can hear me, but it's just really crowded. People are getting snacks. People are lining up. People are still coming in. What do you guys want to know from out here? Marilee, can you hear me?

JONES: I can hear you, Eric.

CHEMI: What do you want to know? Is there a question you want me to ask them?

JONES: They all look so beautiful.

CHEMI: And what are you guys doing after graduation?

ZAPEDA: I'm actually going to be an admissions counselor for the MIT Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

JONES: Marisa! Hello! I'm your new boss. Tell her I'm her new boss.

HINES: I'll be in my second year of my masters in city planning.

CHEMI: So you're going to be working hard, getting more education. And what about you?

GRADUATE: I'm going to Duke for grad school.

CHEMI: Also going to grad school. OK, so that's good for now. Back to you, Marilee. Check in with you later.

JONES: OK, Eric. We'll get back to you in a few minutes. All right. Good.

ROSCOE: Now, MIT's reputation for excellence in the classroom and the laboratory is very well known. What is not widely known is that MIT has one of the most ambitious athletic and physical education and recreation programs in the country. In fact, MIT fields more NCAA athletic teams than any other school in the country except the one up the river. And since the World Cup starts today, it's a good time to see that MIT students don't just sit in the stands. They also participate.



- MIT sponsors a uniquely expansive athletic department which features 25 intercollegiate sports, 40 club sport offerings, and 42 intercollegiate athletic programs.

- Athletics are part of this notion of building a community and building a complete individual's education.

- I certainly feel more well-rounded because of it. I feel that I've had the chance to excel in different aspects of my life.

- MIT has the largest number of academic all-Americans in the country, with 114 since the program began in 1980. I think it showcases that our kids are doing exceptionally well in the classroom as well as on the field.

- At the beginning of each season, the football coach says, gentlemen, the first priority for you is going to be your academics. The second priority is going to be football. And if your list doesn't look like this, then you shouldn't be in this room.

- Nearly 60% of our undergraduates compete in organized sports at some level on campus.

- It's a good thing because I met a lot of people that I wouldn't have met otherwise who I would see afterwards, and I'm like, oh, you're on my IM team. So how is it going? How's your research?

- They don't exist for themselves. They don't exist for the alumni to make the alumni feel good. We have them because they are part of the educational experience.

- OK, good. Roll. Out into the water. Down.

- The crew boat itself, the 70-foot boat, is a micro-managed system in and of itself. You've got the administrator, your coxswain. And then you've got your powerhouse, you've got your stroke, who is your leader of your powerhouse. And then you've got your four and five seats, who are the peak of your boat. And then you've got your bow, who kind of guides you along the little directions, left and right. And so, together you work as a team to the common goal.

- They learn incredible amounts about leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship, and courage, the willingness to take risks and push their abilities beyond what they think they can achieve.

- I have learned to push myself during races and during practices so hard and commit myself to a certain goal unequivocally and in a way that I never had before.

- The MIT I knew in the '60s and early '70s had a proper emphasis on athletics and a tremendous diversity of sports and really emphasized participation. That part hasn't changed. But what's happened is there is an even greater variety of sports today.

- If MIT doesn't have something, be it a club or an organization or a sport, if two people want to do it, they'll let you organize it and you can have it. It's up to the individual, but MIT will embrace that.

- It always has been in the past, and always will be, about opportunity for all.

- One of the things that I think is particularly striking about the athletic program at MIT is the emphasis on participation in sport rather than spectator sports. You don't see the whole campus coming out to watch the football game on a Saturday afternoon like you might find on some college campuses, but you do see an incredible number of students that are engaged. Currently, about 20% of the students are involved in a varsity sport. About 80% of the students are involved in intramural sports. And 100% of the undergraduates are involved in the physical education program.

- So it really lets students pursue their interests, whether they pursued them as an extra-curricular activity through their school previously or whether it's something brand new.

- We've been able to make major investments in facilities and support services that have enhanced an already vital program.

- The biggest single change has been the opening of the Zesiger Center.

- The Z Center-- that thing is just beautiful, man.

- It just seemed like the MIT campus became healthier because people were more willing to work out, because there were more facilities and they were nicer.

- The new facilities have been made possible because there was a vision on the part of MIT. But then the facilities could not have been created without the financial support of the alums who have come forth to say, yes, we recognize that that is an important priority, and we want to be able to support it.

- You'll be in there lifting weights, and your professor will be in there lifting weights also, or something, and say hi to him. And just little things like that-- seeing people outside of the classroom and interacting not an academic way, I think, really helps build the community.

- It's not just about the classroom or just about the laboratory. But it's about growing as a person. And part of that is working with other students or participating in sports or other sort of events, the arts, all of which will carry forward into their future lives.


JONES: Hi. We're back. I'm overhearing-- I grabbed some parents from the audience now, and I'd like to introduce them today. So why don't you introduce yourself?

GOETZ: John Goetz.

GOETZ: I'm Laura Goetz.

JONES: And your child is?

GOETZ: Deanna Lentz.

GOETZ: Deanna is graduating today, and she was MIT's Female Athlete of the Year. She's played varsity sports here all four years-- field hockey and lacrosse. She was MVP for both sports. And she just recently won the Diane Geppi-Aikens National Award for a lacrosse player who shows perseverance, strength, courage, and leadership, along with her amazing sports ability, obviously.

JONES: Yay, a proud mom. I was at the awards dinner-- I mean, the awards presentation that day. And I remember when she was introduced. I'm sure she's the one, Women's Athlete of the Year, and she never missed a single practice in all four years for all of her sports?

GOETZ: It was the same in high school. She was very dedicated to sports, but also her academics. She really works hard in both areas. And I think it's a good balance. That's what we encourage all our kids to do. She's one of six.

JONES: One of six kids. Is she the oldest?

GOETZ: She is not the oldest. Her son graduated from MIT--

GOETZ: No, her brother brother. She has no kids yet.

GOETZ: Her older brother graduated from MIT three years ago. Her step-dad graduated from here in '92. So we're an MIT family.

JONES: And what do you guys do? Where are you from?

GOETZ: We're from Maryland. We're high school teachers. I teach math.

GOETZ: And I teach science.


GOETZ: There you go.

JONES: A big surprise. Now, what did Deanna major in? What is she graduating with today?

GOETZ: Mechanical engineering.

JONES: Ah, she's an engineer.


JONES: Oh, very special.

GOETZ: We're very proud.

JONES: So you missed something to be here today for her, huh?

GOETZ: We missed the high school graduation where we teach, so--

GOETZ: We're very sad.

GOETZ: Two graduations would have been a lot. But hopefully the rain will hold off today.

JONES: Yeah. So is she happy that you're out here talking to me right now, or is she going to be totally humiliated when she sees this on her podcast?

GOETZ: We said we might just tell an embarrassing story about her. So--

JONES: Oh, good. Let's hear it, then. This is a time for revenge of the parents. I was my daughter's commencement speaker when she graduated from high school, and that was major revenge.

GOETZ: Well, let's see. What can we say? Firstly, just us being here is embarrassing to Deanna.

GOETZ: Although she's probably standing in line and not even watching. You just have to tell her about it.

JONES: Right. So what do you think she's going to do after she graduates from MIT?

GOETZ: She's planning to go cross-country for a few months, drive cross-country and explore the US. And then she's supposed to work in August at Raytheon.

JONES: Oh, she'll be at Raytheon.

GOETZ: So she already has a job. She said school, she's done. But she's planned out her whole life. She's going to law school and having a family, becoming a teacher. So we approve.


JONES: But her engineering degree serves her very well for all those things, right?

GOETZ: Along with all her other friends that have graduated from high school, she's the one that's feeling the most secure right now. She has her job set, so she can go across country, relax, take a couple of months off, because she was totally sought after. There were companies vying for her to come work for them, so she wants to stay here in Boston because she loves it here. So she's apartment hunting right now with her sorority sister, Kelsey.

JONES: So if any landlords in the crowd who might want to give their apartment for cheap to Deanna, now is the moment.

GOETZ: Yes, we were hoping she'd go professional lacrosse, but it doesn't pay very well.

JONES: Well, we're very happy for you. You've done a great job raising this beautiful girl. She's a wonderful girl.

GOETZ: We're very proud of her.

GOETZ: We're very, very proud.

JONES: And a wonderful MIT alum. So thanks very much.

GOETZ: Thank you.

JONES: Back to Tom.

ROSCOE: Now we'll see another episode of ZigZag, which was podcast on April 18. This one features the latest hack, a bit of MIT history, and a familiar face.


- Hello and welcome to ZigZag at MIT. My name is Marsha Bolton, and I will be your guide through and beyond the Infinite Corridor of MIT. But first, you need to subscribe to our podcast. Just go to the website, click the Subscribe button, and you will automatically receive our latest episode.

Now let me introduce you to my good friend, Mertz. Mertz is an active vision robot head that learns from social interaction. Linjin Aryananda at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab has worked with Mertz for over two years, putting it in social environments and analyzing how it reacts and learns.

- So Mertz has been built to explore the issues of learning in robots, in particular social learning. If you can put a robot in a shared physical and social environment with humans, is it possible for this robot to learn from these humans and also learn about the humans around the robot? Mertz has been designed to be able to operate for a long time, for many hours of the day, so that it can actually live among people, and to have this sort of ongoing existence and interact with many people. And the goal is for Mertz to be able to incrementally learn from these daily experiences from the humans and about the humans.

- If you want to introduce yourself and be part of the experiment, you can often find Mertz hanging out on Student Street in the Stata Center. Tell him I said hello. OK, how about that cannon? Last week, a strange new addition to MIT's landscape appeared on campus for a brief visit. MIT students have once again pulled off another fabulous hack that will be hard to beat.

The 1.7-ton Fleming cannon was lifted from MIT rival, Caltech. MIT students posing as the Howe and Ser Moving Company, managed to get the cannon off Caltech's campus and transport it 3,000 miles to MIT, with the addition of a large 24-carat gold-plated brass rat around its barrel. We asked Marilee Jones, Dean of Admissions, how the cannon hack affected Campus Preview Weekend.

- It happened the day that Campus Preview began, really. And so at the Student Welcome, I was able to say, and how about that cannon? And that's all I said. And the whole audience exploded with cheers and laughter. They had already heard about it. And they thought it was great, because it was really fun and it was elegant and it was wonderful. And it was performance art.

And the reason I called hacks performance art, especially a hack like this, is because it wasn't there before. Suddenly it surfaces, and it's only there for a short time. And if you're not here, you miss it. And there it is. And it's something extraordinary, and you think, woo, where did that come from? And yet you know that so much time and effort went into planning that. It's a remarkable event. The resourcefulness, the creativity, the joy that brought that hack to us, is such a great reflection of the quality of MIT students, who we are as a community, what we value here, why we matter in this world.

- Now we'll have to wait and see what Caltech has in store for us. It's things like hacks that make the history of MIT so rich. Speaking of history, happy birthday. Last week with MIT's 145th birthday. On April 10, 1861, MIT was founded by William Barton Rogers, just across the river in Boston's Back Bay. We were going to bake a cake for the event, but we found out that the MIT Museum has even bigger plans to celebrate the 150th anniversary. They're leading an innovative project that combines history and science and puts it right in the palm of your hands.

- The MIT Museum is leading an innovative research project to turn the whole world into a museum. We're starting with MIT itself, but the goal is to create a system that anybody can use. Part wiki, part web, pop iTour, part astonishment, blending the magic of new locative technologies with digital information and stories, this is a collaborative effort to create a different kind of Infinite Corridor.

- Radar is the new electronic device that can locate a target in any condition of visibility, including complete darkness.

- The Rad Lab was a hothouse of activity. Most loved the intensity and camaraderie that it fostered. The music you hear is from a play put on in 1942 by the staff and family members of the Rad Lab.

- (SINGING) No one gave us any name. The alphabet was finished. The hostelries were all built up and office space diminished. Well, no one fired off guns for us, and not a hand was--

- Not only will you be able to learn about the amazing history of MIT, you'll also be able to participate by sharing your own stories and experiences. Well, that's it for now. Please don't forget to email us your comments and suggestions to I'm Marsha Bolton, signing off.

- (SINGING) Nelson got behind the ball and gave a portly shove, but nobody hit really hard and Nippon won at love. Nippon whistled in his teeth, and Franklin had to push. So at the end he came to us to Conant, Compton, and Baruch.


JONES: That's a pretty cool little ditty. But it's Chemi time. Back To Eric Chemi. Eric, hey. What's happening?

CHEMI: It's just getting busier and busier, and people are crossing through, not paying attention. There's a big, big set-up for food, and everyone's standing in line. But there's no real line, and no one's getting any food. And they're all staying hungry. It's very dry in here so far, and hopefully it'll not be so bad out there. They've started passing out the ponchos. I got a couple more people with me. This is Mike, and this is Johnny B. So say hello.

GRADUATE: How's it going, everybody?

GRADUATE: Hey, mom. How are you doing?

CHEMI: So where are you guys from, and who is visiting you

GRADUATE: I'm from Larnaca, Cyprus. I have my parents here, my grandparents from my mother's side, and my grandmother from my dad's side.

CHEMI: And what about you?

GRADUATE: I'm from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My mom made the trip all the way out here to see me.

CHEMI: And what did you guys study at MIT?

GRADUATE: Material science and engineering.

GRADUATE: I'm in electrical engineering and computer science.

CHEMI: So we got a couple of engineers here. And you guys are both the athletic types, getting out there. What did you guys do?

GRADUATE: We both swam for the swim team.

CHEMI: A couple of swimmers right here. So maybe the rain won't be so bad for you guys today, huh? You feel what?

GRADUATE: I feel at home.

CHEMI: He feels at home in the rain. What are you guys doing after MIT? What are you getting ready for? What did MIT set you up for?

GRADUATE: I'm going to Santa Barbara for grad school.

CHEMI: Santa Barbara, nice. Nice.

GRADUATE: I'm staying at MIT for a PhD.

CHEMI: OK, so you'll be getting the nice weather. He's going to be still stuck here and maybe getting to go through this process again. Marilee, can you hear me? Do you have any questions for these guys?

JONES: I'm just surprised they don't have jobs.

CHEMI: Can't hear me. OK, well, we'll send it back to you guys, check in with you a little later. Buh-bye.

JONES: OK, bye, Eric. Tom, what's next?

ROSCOE: So now we're going to see another episode of ZigZag. This one is set in the Stata Center. It involves the Energy Council, Swapfest, Media Lab, and a student film.



- Coming to you from the Stata Center at MIT, this is ZigZag. My name is Matt McGann, and I'll be your host. MIT is taking on the challenge of the world's energy crisis. President Susan Hockfield has made energy research a top priority at MIT. Yesterday the president's office hosted a day-long energy forum to showcase MIT's research and to discuss how MIT's unique strengths in science and technology can contribute solutions to the world's energy crisis. Let's take a look at some highlights from the forum.

- Today the Energy Research Council will outline the ways that MIT can offer leadership in one of the most urgent challenges of our time-- finding clean, affordable energy to power up the developed and the developing world.

- We believe we can bring to the table elements that we believe will prove very important-- the ability to bring together people from different disciplines, focusing on an important challenge, and the entrepreneurial spirit that can help hopefully move us from laboratory to influencing the marketplace of goods, services, and ideas.

- The poster section will consist of displays from a sample of the many groups around MIT involved in novel energy research, projects, and start-up companies. Collectively, our group of experts has provided us with a menu of promising alternatives to explore and demonstrate, and we're very grateful for their panel this morning.

- There are tremendous opportunities here for those who take on the challenges. At MIT, we intend to provide the leadership this critical issue demands.

- To watch the MIT Energy Forum panel discussions and presentations in their entirety, visit MIT World. Now, shifting gears a bit, have you ever wondered where in the world can I find myself an old-school multimeter? Well, look no further than the MIT flea market. Swapfest has been an MIT institution for more than 20 years. Every third Sunday of the month from April through October, people have lined up along Albany Street trying to catch a good deal on raw circuit boards, oscilloscopes, ham radio parts, and just to hang out.

- Swapfest is an electronics, computer, high-tech flea market. It's run by the Radio Society at MIT and the Electronics Research Society here. You can find all things nerdly at the MIT flea. And it pretty much describes what's here. Students learn an awful lot from talking to real hardware people, and real people from industry. And the industry people get to meet a lot of students and actually get to pick their brains. So it's one of the better flea markets for interaction.

- This is just stuff I've got kicking around the house and spare stuff, to just get rid of it. It's sort of a nice meeting place, and people have similar ideas and projects, and [INAUDIBLE] these ideas get interchanged. So it's really a little bit more than just a sale of technology.

- So if you need some hardware or just want to have some fun and check out the action, the next Swapfest is Sunday, May 21. Over at the Media Lab, researchers Rana el'Kaliouby and Alea Teeters of the Affective Computing Group are doing a project called ESP, or the Emotional Social Intelligence Prosthesis. Currently, they're researching using ESP as an assistive and therapeutic device for people with autism spectrum disorder. They've developed a wearable video system and software program that can analyze a person's facial expressions and give you instant feedback about their emotional state.

- If you're wearing this-- and it's connected to this little handtop, it's an OQO, which would be recording your facial expressions and analyzing it in real time. So we use 24 feature points on the face, like the eyes, mouth, eyebrows, and we use those to recognize facial expressions like a smile, a lip pucker, an eyebrow raise, and a mouth open, and so on. And we look at these over time, and we sort of use them along with head gestures to make a guess at your hidden mental state.

- We took these cameras down to the Groden Center in Providence, Rhode Island, which is a center for autism, and we gave the children an opportunity to play around with the technology. And they really liked taking video and looking at video. So we're hopeful that they will also enjoy looking at themselves in the video and their conversation partners.

- Then you get to the cognitive layers, which are beliefs, which we don't normally think of beliefs as knowledge, but from a scientific point of view--

- One of the reasons that we got interested in this is that computers have the same drawbacks that people with autism have. They don't understand facial expressions either. And so one of the advantages of working with this is giving insight into artificial intelligence and into robotics and helping those interactions develop as well.

- A couple of episodes back, ZigZag went around campus asking students about their plans for spring break. Now that they've returned, we thought it might be nice to hear about some of those experiences. Juniors Adam Love and John Glowa traveled to Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin for their spring break, teaming up on a collaborative art project based on their journey. Here now is that short film that they produced especially for ZigZag.

- Europe folds around Amsterdam. But where that battered, worn crease reaches its peak cannot be said. Trains stream in and out, as their passengers question consciousness, surrounded by blue skies. It is a different beauty than what we found in Paris. Fountains, Notre Dame. In Amsterdam, sky, earth, water are in perfect balance, measured by human appreciation. We were driven to capture it in some way, but we know we're only still learning.

- When they're not making films, Adam and John are majoring in physics and mechanical engineering, respectively. That's all the time we have for now. From the Stata Center at MIT, I'm Matt McGann. Thank you for watching ZigZag.



JONES: So this commencement is an all admission show, I guess. Matt McGann, who was just your host on ZigZag, is Associate Director of Admissions at MIT. Matt, wave to the crowd. There he is-- Matt. Matt's blogs are unbelievable. So if you even know what a blog is, go on our MyMIT site and read his blogs.

So we've received such great feedback about ZigZag. It's a very interesting show, and many alumni have actually subscribed to it as a way to stay informed about MIT. So now it's time to go back to Eric Chemi. It's Chemi time. Hey, Eric.

CHEMI: I'm back. And it's getting busier and busier now. It's just a few minutes away till they get lined up. And then they're going to be marching out soon enough. And I got two more colorful characters here. They seem to be very popular with the other graduates. They have a lot of friends, and everyone's given a lot of hugs, so I wanted to meet these friendly characters and find out what they're carrying on the top of their mortarboards. So say hi to the crowd out there, and tell us your name and where you're from.

GRADUATE: Hi. My name is Mara Lachniska. I'm from New Jersey. And what's on top of my head is a Beaver. It's the MIT mascot. Because I love MIT.

CHEMI: And what about you?

GRADUATE: I'm Joe Sadler. I'm from Jamaica. And--

CHEMI: And who do you want to say hi to outside?

GRADUATE: Mom, Dad, Jonathan, Joanna, grandparents, grandma, grand-aunts, everybody who couldn't make it, Uncle Peter.

GRADUATE: Yeah. My whole family-- Mom, brother, my best friend, his family, everybody.

CHEMI: And what are you guys finding the most interesting today? What do you feel like today, now that you're here at graduation? They're speechless. They can't come up with anything.

GRADUATE: No comment.

CHEMI: No comment, huh? No comment. And what are you guys doing after graduation?

GRADUATE: I'm staying here for a masters.

GRADUATE: Working at an internship in Ohio.

CHEMI: OK, so one's staying here, and one's going off. And who gave you the idea to put things on your board?

GRADUATE: I just thought of it.

CHEMI: Creative people, huh?

GRADUATE: 30 seconds before leaving, duct tape, and a coat hanger.

CHEMI: You guys afraid of the rain, or you think you can handle it OK?

GRADUATE: Oh, we can handle it.

GRADUATE: We went through four years of MIT. We can handle it.

CHEMI: These guys aren't afraid of the rain, so we're going to send it back out to you. See you later. Buh-bye.

JONES: Thanks, Eric. See ya. OK, Tom. What's next?

ROSCOE: Well, the last video we saw from ZigZag was a nice art film produced by two MIT juniors, one majoring in physics and one in mechanical engineering. The arts at MIT play an important role in overall education, as this next video will illustrate.


- 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 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 out on 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 [INAUDIBLE] 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 focus 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.

- He killed me! Ha!

- Well, right now, theatre is a way I can investigate my own identity, especially my own cultural identity. But I also enjoy theatre 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 Bill Arning. I am the curator at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. And I'm here in our annual Student Loan Exhibition. MIT quite unusually 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 of Scholars of course, because I'm very involved with them. It started with 20 or so undergraduate students, and now we have both undergraduates and graduate students. Computer scientists, they're chemical engineers, they're architecture 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 perform in organizations, like the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. And in a couple of notable situations, I have myself a number of times 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 the door and saw mathematicians hunched in carrels. And I felt right at home, because that looked exactly like walking down the halls of Juilliard in 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 extend 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 that 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.

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

- I think 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.

- 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.


JONES: Hi, again. Isn't ZigZag interesting? It's good-- really interesting, huh? So I found another couple from the audience here. I'm going to introduce them to you, some parents. So who are you?

RIGEL: I'm Darrel Rigel.

RIGEL: Beth Rigel.

JONES: And where are from?

RIGEL: New York.

JONES: New York, New York?

RIGEL: New York, New York.

JONES: The Big Apple. The greatest city in the world, next to Boston.

RIGEL: Home of the greatest baseball team in the world.

JONES: Uh-oh. Where are all the Fenway fans?

RIGEL: Not all of us.

JONES: So who are you here for today?

RIGEL: We're here for our son, Ethan, who's graduating today. And we're very proud of him.

JONES: And what is his-- what's his major?

RIGEL: Oh, he has two. He's getting two degrees-- one in economics and one in finance.

JONES: And you have other kids too?

RIGEL: We have a younger son, Adam, who's going to be entering his junior year here. And we have a daughter, Ashley, who'll be starting her freshman year here.

JONES: So you're broke now, right?

RIGEL: Yeah. My hand's getting tired writing out all the checks.

JONES: So what does Ethan do here? What's he doing? What kind of activities? Did he have a good experience here?

RIGEL: He had a wonderful experience here. He did a lot of sports, ski team, a variety of other things. He also was able to work, and he worked as a sommelier at Smith and Wollensky's in Boston here, for two years.

JONES: Sommelier, that's a wine taster? It's a wine chooser? You ask someone to help you with your wine for dinner?

RIGEL: Basically. He's become very knowledgeable with wines. So hopefully he'll earn a lot of money at the job he's going to get and can afford them.

JONES: He probably knows all the chemistry of the wines too, I'm sure.

RIGEL: I'm sure he does.

JONES: And Adam, what's he doing here?

RIGEL: Adam is just entering his junior year. He'll be president of AEPi next year.

JONES: A fraternity?

RIGEL: A fraternity. And he's doing environmental sciences, and he loves it. Golf team, badminton, bowling-- anything you can think of, he does.

JONES: So your kids really are very active here? And Ashley is going to come next year?

RIGEL: Ashley is coming. She had her high school graduation yesterday, so we're all excited about that.

JONES: So she's between schools right now.

RIGEL: Yes, but she's very knowledgeable about here, and she's excited. I don't know what she's going to do yet, but maybe engineering of some sort.

JONES: And did you go to MIT?

RIGEL: I did too. I'm class of '72 and '74, with a masters from the Sloan School. So this is particularly exciting to be at a graduation here again after so many years.

JONES: And what do you do now?

RIGEL: I'm a Professor of Dermatology at NYU.

JONES: Oh, you're a dermatologist?

RIGEL: Yes, a dermatologist in New York. And I do my research in skin cancer.

JONES: Oh, skin cancer. So should we be using sunscreen on a day like this?

RIGEL: Well, believe it or not, there really is ultraviolet radiation that comes through, even on a day like this in June in Boston. And I actually brought sunscreen with me and I put it on, but I'm on the extreme end of the spectrum, to be fair.

JONES: So what's that thing about 15 versus 30? You should always wear more like 30 if you have skin like mine?

RIGEL: Yeah, Marilee, you're a poster child for sun protection. So definitely SPF 30. Apply it carefully, protect yourself from the sun.

RIGEL: This is good. Free medical advice. What a great job I have, eh? Well, thanks very much. And we're very happy about Ethan and Adam and, of course, Ashley coming. Yeah, a wonderful family.

RIGEL: We want to thank MIT for everything they've done for my family. I know how much it's meant to me, and it's meaning a lot to our kids. So we want to thank you for all you've done for our kids.

JONES: Thank you. That's unpaid, folks.

RIGEL: OK, unpaid.

JONES: Thanks very much. OK, thanks very much.

RIGEL: My pleasure. Thank you.

JONES: And Tom.

ROSCOE: Thank you, Marilee. And just to clarify, I am also a Yankee fan. But when in Rome, I wear the Boston hat. Now, it's time for another episode of ZigZag, this one from May 17. And it features 2.007, the Automotive Lab, and some very special residents of MIT.


- Coming to you from the Pappalardo Lab at MIT, my name is Marsha Bolton. And this is ZigZag. Here in Building 3, this mechanical engineering lab is home to a number of courses that teach design and fabrication. One of MIT's most popular courses is called 2.007, where over 30 years students have designed and built robots to compete in the year-end robot contest celebration.


- The reason the lab is so quiet now is the competition is tonight at 7:00 PM in the Johnson Athletic Facility. On the next episode of ZigZag, we'll bring you highlights from the contest. When we were passing through Lobby 7 last week, we noticed another interesting course demonstration. Professor Herbert Einstein's civil engineering design class was building and testing their newly designed bridges for all of MIT to see.

- I'm Herbert Einstein. I teach the capstone class in civil engineering. And one of the projects I have to do is designing and building a bridge.

- We have to design a bridge that has a minimum of two-foot clearance, 10-foot span, two feet wide, that can hold 2,000 pounds of distributed weight, and ideally the four of us as well.

- All four of this year's bridges passed the one-ton weight test. Last episode, we showed you highlights from the MIT Energy Forum. Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring some of the labs that are working on solutions to help solve our energy problem. The Sloan Automotive Lab has been doing research on improving automotive performance and efficiency since 1929. The laboratory has 12 test cells equipped with modern facilities for combustion, engine performance, and emissions research.

- There are some 800 million vehicles in the world today driving around. Projections are that by 2050, there will be 2 billion, based on population and economic growth. Now, that's an incomprehensible number. And the energy that those vehicles would use is just way beyond what looks like is going to be available.

- One of the more pragmatic but age-old challenges that the lab is working on is how to reduce friction inside an engine.

- And then we're going to run it on a low speed for now. And we're going to change this over to get the acquisition timing correct.

The basic focus of the lubrication consortium is not just oil consumption, which everything thinks about. It also has to do with friction and wear. And one of the main things of this project here, which is a laser-induced fluorescence, is to actually visualize the oil transport along the piston and the ring path. As far as we know right now, it's still the only one in the world that has this exact set up with a laser that does 2D laser-induced fluorescence. So I can actually see the entire stroke-- inside the combustion chamber, I have a sapphire window-- real time, while the engine's running, as if it was in a car.

- This week at the Media Lab, Professor Bill Mitchell, Director of the Smart Cities Group, demonstrated yet another transportation alternative. In this case, a prototype of a remote-controlled, stackable, and rechargeable city car.

- This is a very early prototype of our little wheel rover, which contains all of the mechanics of an automobile in the wheel and just snaps onto the chassis. And just a power cable and a data cable going in. We can control it with a joystick. So it's really a reinvention of the horse. A horse is a nice modular thing. It snaps into the harness to drive a car. So this is a mechanical horse.

- For several years, the MIT campus has been a preferred nesting site for mating red-tailed hawks. In fact, Killian Court has been the favorite hunting ground for the hawks, which has made for a slightly diminished squirrel and rodent population. Two years ago, a pair of expectant parents built their nest in a location that allowed for AMPS, the producers of ZigZag, to videotape and webcast the maturation process of two chicks, from hatchlings to fledglings. Hawk Cam became one of our most popular webcasts, as thousands of enthusiasts shared in the day-to-day feedings, stumbles, and finally the first flight of these beautiful birds.

Last spring, we received many emails from Hawk Cam enthusiasts asking if we were going to offer the webcast again, implying that we could simply put out a Hawks Wanted sign, and they would show up. Well, thanks to the sharp eye and curious nature of MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center staff member Mark London, we located yet another pair of nesting hawks, and we are pleased to offer Hawk Cam, the second season. The webcast is made possible due to our talented video production and webcast team, and thanks to the generous collaboration of Frictionless Commerce.

The chicks were hatched one day apart over Easter weekend. Just last week, the snowy down started to give way to feathers. We invite you to join us over the next two to three weeks as wings and balance are tested in preparation for their maiden flight, their own version of Kitty Hawk. We expect lift-off sometime around June 1. Well, that's all for now from ZigZag. I'm Marsha Bolton, signing off till next time.



JONES: Hi, everybody. We're back. We plunged into the crowd and pulled out this family at random. So this is wonderful to meet you. I'm going to ask you to introduce yourselves. So you're the parents right here, right?

LEGAULT: I'm Nancy. We're from North Richland Hills, Texas. Our son is David Legault.

LEGAULT: I'm Andy Legault.

JONES: And your son is--

LEGAULT: My son is graduating. He's also being commissioned in the Navy today too. He'll be a submarine officer.

JONES: So what's he graduating in? What degree?

LEGAULT: Nuclear engineering.

JONES: So he's a nuclear engineer as of today, and he's also being commissioned in the Navy, in the nuclear Navy, right? So who are you?

LEGAULT: I'm Megan. I am his sister.

JONES: And this is the red side of the spectrum, if you can see us. Three redheads in a row-- that's always good luck. And who are you over here?

LEGAULT: I'm Brian. I'm David's brother.

JONES: What year are you, Brian? You're older, obviously, because you're already commissioned.

LEGAULT: Actually, no. I'm a midshipman. But I'm a junior in college. And I came here to see my brother get commissioned. Perhaps I'll give him a salute. So--

JONES: Yes, that shows what I know about the Navy. My father was in the Navy. He would kill me. And who are you?

LEGAULT: My name is Tricia Legault, and I'm David's aunt. And I love him and I'm so excited for him.

JONES: So you're also from Texas?

LEGAULT: I'm from Dallas, Texas.

JONES: And I heard there was a little University of Texas action going on in this family, right?

LEGAULT: Right. I'm sorry, what?

JONES: University of Texas action going on in this family.

LEGAULT: Correct. Yes.

JONES: Who is the University of Texas here? I say hook 'em, horns. That's what we know-- hook 'em, horns. Longhorns from the University of Texas. OK, well, you have a lot of family here today?

LEGAULT: My mother is here. She's 84, in excellent shape, walks a mile every day, and she's walking faster than any of us all over Boston.

JONES: So hi to her. I know she's here somewhere. Now your son, what did he do here? What kind of life did he have? Was he in a fraternity, dormitory, did he play sports--

LEGAULT: Dave was in FLP all four years. His second year, he went back as a counselor.

JONES: This is the Freshman Leadership Program.

LEGAULT: Yes. We call it Fish Game in Texas. And his senior year, he was the coordinator, or one of the coordinators. And he was very involved with it and made a lot of friends through that. And one thing about David is he says, I want to be everybody's friend. And I'm most proud of him for that. This is a wonderful accomplishment, but he's really a nice man.

JONES: Well, see, that's the bottom line, isn't it, when you're a parent, that your child is a wonderful human being? And you got two more of them here. Oh, there's another one.

LEGAULT: Yeah. We only had five tickets, so she had to be in an auditorium.

JONES: Oh, so the other sibling didn't make the cut. Only five tickets.

LEGAULT: Can I say who else is here? My sister Susan, who's from near Fort Worth, is here also. And our eldest daughter, Lindsey, and her husband Daniel, and Chris Meeg, who's also in the Naval Academy, and one more. My sister.

LEGAULT: That's it.

LEGAULT: My grandmother. Anyway, hello to all of y'all.

JONES: It's a big family.

LEGAULT: These two are twins.

JONES: And these two are twins. Not identical, we see. Well, it's wonderful to see you here. And I'm sure your son really is a leader, did Freshman Leadership Program here and commissioned as a Naval officer. Pretty soon he's going to be running that submarine. So thank you very much. It was a pleasure to meet you all, and have a wonderful day.

LEGAULT: Thank you.

JONES: OK, bye-bye now. Thanks. Tommy, back to you.

ROSCOE: Well, thanks, Marilee. And the next thing we're going to see is-- the end of the last ZigZag video, you saw a feature story on hawks at MIT. And as predicted, the hawks did fledge last week. So we prepared this brief piece about growing up and leaving the nest.


- --nesting site for mating red-tailed hawks. In fact, this location, Killian Court, became a favorite hunting area for the hawks, which made for very nervous resident squirrels. Two years ago, a pair of expectant parents built their nest in a location that allowed for MIT's Media Production Group to videotape and webcast the maturation process of two chicks to the MIT community and beyond. This year, we had the good fortune of locating yet another pair of nesting red-tailed hawks. On Easter weekend, these eggs were cracked open, not by enthusiastic children in search of chocolate, but by two baby hatchlings in search of space-- space to stretch and grow and eat and grow and grow and grow.

Nourished by a constant supply of food from their prolific hunter parents, the chicks seemed to double in size each week. Soon we had a global audience enjoying the day-to-day activities in the nest. A blog was created, and remote contributors shared their reactions, observations, and considerable knowledge about raptors of all kinds. Sites from around the world have linked enthusiastic birdwatchers to MIT's Hawk Cam. A virtual community gathered around their computer screens and shared in the excitement of sibling rivalry, parents being parents, curious first wanderings from the nest, and earlier this week, their maiden flights. We wish our fledglings the best as they explore the world beyond MIT. We were fortunate to watch them grow and learn as we also learned from them. Best of luck, class of 2006.


ROSCOE: And now we have a few public address announcements. Each of you here is going to be very anxious to get the best possible view or photograph of your graduate, but I urge you to remain respectful of your fellow guests when doing so. Please, do not stand on the chairs to take pictures. We've had folks get hurt in the past doing this, so please don't.

We would like to also request that you take the time to put your cell phones in a non-audible mode. The medical tent is located at the rear of Killian Court. Official photographs and DVDs and videos may be ordered. Ordering info is at the info tents in the court. Refreshments are available for purchase in the lower courts, and the words of the National Anthem and MIT's school song are printed in the commencement program. Now on to another video. The most recent episode of ZigZag featured an interesting story on the marriage of art and technology. Let's take a look.


- Coming to you from Killian Court at MIT, my name is Matt McGann, and this is ZigZag. Behind me, you can see preparations being made for this year's commencement ceremonies. Each year, Kilian Court is transformed to a majestic setting for MIT's most important annual event. On Friday, June 9, 13,000 people will gather in this Court to celebrate the achievements of the students and their families, but also the achievements of the greater Institute community.

Gracing the stage this year will be commencement speaker Ben Bernanke, current Chairman of the Federal Reserve and an MIT graduate in 1979. Previous commencement speakers have included Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, and Tom and Ray Magliozzi, better known as Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, from NPR's National Public Radio, MIT alumni themselves.

Last time, we told you we'd be bringing you some highlights from the 2.007 robotics competition. It was an exciting year with lots of drama going into the final rounds.

- 2.007, if you want multiple techno-gasms, you just come here, and [HOWLING]. Oh, my goodness. Are you guys ready to rock? Go!


The table I have to fantastically pass takes them from entering MIT as sweet innocents, looking forward to the graduation goal-- well, that's not so hard. And then as their machines go [GROANING]-- and some of them went all the way down fast, other ones got hung up between freshman and sophomore year, as they collected their scoring balls. But every one of the students did a fantastic job. That's why they're here, to have fun and learn and get those neurons connected.

- My robot picks up balls, not much unlike everybody else's, but with a slight emphasis on looks as was function and form, because I think it's important to look good as well as work good.

- I made it to the top 16. If you were just looking at my robot, you wouldn't really think it'd work. It's too long, it's too wide, it really shouldn't run at all. But it seems to work OK, and I'm pretty proud of it.

- I didn't think at many colleges that you could actually build something in your sophomore year, when you're really only starting mechanical engineering classes. But I thought this was great.

- I knew before I got here that 2.007 would be the best course that I'd take in my life, and it has not disappointed.


- Lots of vibrations. Look at that. Lots of vibrations.

- Because I had trouble in the beginning of the semester to get stuff done, but it all came together at the end. I just rushed. I think it's a great class. It's really, really fun. Everybody gets a lot of experience building stuff. It's great.

- The top four finalists get to go to Japan to compete in the International Design Competition. As you can tell, courses like 2.007 are great because they give students the opportunity to learn, to be creative, and to make new discoveries. But this creative spirit at MIT isn't just limited to the lab. You'll find students engaged in collaborative and hands-on projects in and out of the classroom. Over at the Dormitory East Campus, a group of enterprising students designed and built their very own disco dance floor from scratch.

- Every year, each campus throws the Bad Ideas Competition, which is a weekend in January where we buy a whole bunch of different materials and people just design crazy, crazy ideas and build them. And this always ends in a party on Sunday night. This floor definitely started as a joke of, you know, how awful of a party could we throw, in the sense of being retro and disco-y. But then it turned out to be awesome.

The floor is built in eight sections. We call them modules. And each module contains one of these custom circuit boards, which is effectively just a USB interface to controlling 192 LEDs and 64 switches, so that we have 4,000 different colors in each cell, plus a pressure sensitivity option. So you can have feedback using patterns generated to move across the floor.

- There were about probably 15 or 20 people who just put in an incredible amount of time. I mean, this was sort of filled with five soldering irons, and people stripping wires and people soldering the LEDs on. And then down in the other lounge, we had a table saw out. We had a chop block saw. And we were just cutting these blocks to make the little grids.

- It was awesome. There were 50 people in the hall. Two days before the party, people were soldering all night. There was music. There was lots of energy. I mean, it was one of the most fun times I ever had at MIT.

- People really liked that we put the code and the plans sort of out there for them to use. So we ended up actually making more boards and selling them, and eventually even making a company called Dropout Design, where we sell the boards and we sell kits so you can make your own project, which has been pretty cool too, because some people have made a table. Other people made it their own floor. Some people have made wall displays, all using this board. We've gotten a lot of publicity out of it. People seem to like it. It's a very one-of-a-kind installation.

- MIT is a place where advanced research leads to amazing new discoveries. And MIT is also a place where art flourishes and can sometimes lead to technological innovation. Elizabeth Goldring is an artist and poet who's been affiliated with MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies since the late 1970s. Her collaborative research at CAVS includes visualizing her own vision loss and developing both a visual language and a seeing machine for people who are blind or are visually imapired.

- Disappearance. Things are disappearing. Branches from trees, pieces of words, lines in faces.

I've been visually impaired since the late '70s. I currently, after several operations, have limited vision in my left eye, and in my right eye I have light and shadow perception.

A friend of mine at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies and I got together, and we began to visualize my vision loss using video and using my writing. I then was exposed to the scanning laser ophthalmoscope at the Schepens Eye Research Institute. The physicians wanted to look at my retinas to see if it would make any sense to try to operate.

- An ophthalmoscope is a device for looking inside the eye so that a physician can see what's wrong with it.

- They projected some stick figures onto my retinas, and I could see the figures. And I asked if they could write a word. And they wrote the word "sun." It was the first word I had seen for many months. And at that point, I said, I've just got to get in touch with the inventor of the machine, Rob Webb, who is senior scientist at the Schepens Eye Research Institute.

He and I have been collaborating ever since, and with his consultation, I developed a visual language and visual experiences that I could use with the scanning laser ophthalmoscope in the same way that it was being used as a diagnostic tool. But I was using it as a seeing machine. With the advent of LED technology, it made it possible to build these new prototype seeing machines-- first the black-and-white one, and now the even smaller and, I think, really exciting color prototype.

- This right here is an LED projecting an image that comes from the computer. This is the LCD screen here. This board is processing the input from the computer. And this is the lens that is in charge of focusing the image onto the retina.

- You know, I can't believe that this eye that sees nothing can look into this machine and see an image in all clarity.

- Elizabeth is addressing a whole set of attitudes and approaches to this world of impaired vision.

- My dream was to develop something that people could afford to have in their home.

- I got involved with this project because I have an uncle who has died recently, but he had macular degeneration as he was aging. And remembering what it was like for him to all of a sudden not recognize me is an important thing. And I feel personally quite connected to the project.

- People say-- people who have macular degeneration-- oh, well, at least they'll always remember what their grandchildren look like. I'm not sure. My experience is that you really-- your visual memory really does erode. I think the seeing machines will keep that from happening.

- Well, that's all for today. Next episode, we'll be bringing you highlights of this year's commencement. But if you'd like to watch the ceremonies live, check out MIT's webcast on June 9. Thanks for watching ZigZag. We'll see you next time.



JONES: Hi. Welcome back. I want to dance on that dance floor. We'll have a dance off with anybody in the audience after the commencement is over, OK? I believe our graduates are heading this way, is that right? This is the reconnaissance I've heard. And it's Chemi time. Hey, Eric.

CHEMI: The dean of the freshman class and the most important person in this entire building. She's the nice one that let's us actually get away with putting video cameras in here and distracting her from her work. This is Julie Norman, and you can hear the sirens going off now. Julie, thanks for coming out of your busy morning here and telling us what is going on, because MIT does graduation a little differently than everybody else. What makes it special?

NORMAN: Well, actually, Eric, right now we are accounting for every student. Either they're here, they're absent, or they're late, and they're outside the building, because we've locked down the building. Once we have accounted for all the students, we'll begin processing out. This process is very important, because we're letting the registrar know who is here, and they will actually receive their individual diplomas when they cross the stage.

CHEMI: So they actually get their real degree right on the spot. Nothing's mailed to them later, right?

NORMAN: That's correct. Nothing is mailed to them. It's got their name. It's their own.

CHEMI: And what time did you wake up this morning to get ready for this?

NORMAN: A long time ago.

CHEMI: A long time ago? You don't want to say?

NORMAN: About five and a half hours ago.

CHEMI: And so you're going to start the student procession, and then they're going to be joined by faculty, staff, and administrators out there, right?

NORMAN: That's correct. We leave the building, we pick up the faculty, and then we pick up the stage party right in front of us.

CHEMI: And Julie is a real pro. She was first very nervous about letting us in here. And I'm hopefully not screwing up everything so far. We have not messed up anyone. No one is out of line. No one's in the wrong spot-- because if you can pan back at all, I imagine you can probably see, people are really just nicely organized now, and they're getting ready. It's not a big commotion. Julie is making sure people are getting into line if there are strays. And how many years have you been doing this, the graduation organization?

NORMAN: This is my fifth year.

CHEMI: This is your fifth year? And you want to keep on doing this, or is it time to let the stress go on to somebody else?

NORMAN: This is the wrong time to ask that question.

CHEMI: This is the wrong time to-- this is the worst possible minute, huh?

NORMAN: As long as everyone gets their degree on schedule today, I'll do it again next year.

CHEMI: And then you'll keep doing it until it doesn't work anymore, and then-- and so far-- OK, all right. So--

NORMAN: I need to get back.

CHEMI: OK, Julie's got to go now. Thanks a lot, Julie.

NORMAN: Thank you. You're welcome.

CHEMI: OK, so Julie's going to get this thing started. I don't know if you guys want to stay with me as we see them get ready, or if you guys have anything else to show out there, because it's getting easier now, because everyone is lined up. Tell me what you guys want to do. Marilee, can you hear me?

JONES: I can hear you, Eric.

CHEMI: So can you guys-- you guys get a good view of what's going on in here?

JONES: Yeah, it's pretty good. I'm curious about what happens to all the students who are late, who are outside the front of the building.

CHEMI: Well, most of them have not put on their ponchos. Most of them are just letting it go as their normal clothing. What is the weather like out there?

JONES: Actually, it stopped drizzling, stopped raining. It's very nice now. We have a little window of opportunity.

CHEMI: So it's not too bad. Yeah. And how have you guys found the talking to the families out there? How's that been?

JONES: Oh, it's very good. I wish we could talk to everybody here.

CHEMI: Look at that. Somebody is coming in late over there. He's going to be in big trouble. He just showed up, coming from the staircase. So Julie is going to get mad at that guy. And I'd say-- I'd say 1,990 people out of 2,000 are probably lined up. And we've got a couple strays over there. So this should get going pretty soon, and then you guys will see them out there.

JONES: OK, thanks Eric. We'll see you soon.

CHEMI: OK, see you later, Marilee. Have fun.

JONES: Thanks. Bye-bye.

CHEMI: Bye-bye.

JONES: OK, Tommy. What's going on?

ROSCOE: Well, MIT has been visited by many interesting and inspiring people over these years. Here's a sampling in a compilation we call "Voices @ MIT."


- What was that inspiration which led suddenly to the world wide web? For me, I wanted a thing to be a project management tool that allows all to work together-- not management from the top down, but management in the working together way. So I then said, it should be inter-creative, 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 tendency 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.


JONES: Hi, Everyone. We're back. We're back for the final time. Because I'm sure that you're waiting for your graduates to come. You want this to start before the rain starts pouring down. So we're very grateful for your attention this morning and for your goodwill in semi-trying circumstances.

I want to say a word from my heart right now, as the Dean of Admissions. MIT is a unique place on this planet, founded to teach people to apply science and technology for the benefit of civilization itself. And truthfully, that's what we do in the admissions office. We worked very hard to pick your children years ago. And you've given them to us in an act of faith, and now they're in the world.

And I just pray that they use their education to fulfill the mission of MIT to advance civilization in every way possible. And I have complete faith in every one of them. They're very special people. So now we're going to turn you over to the Mass Brass, under the direction of Larry Isaacson. Thank you very much. We've enjoyed your company today.

ROSCOE: Yes, thank you very much. And the MIT Police Honor Guard will be presenting the colors.

JONES: And now you're the MIT family.

ROSCOE: Thank you. Good luck to everybody.

JONES: Goodbye.

ROSCOE: Thanks a lot.

JONES: Bye-bye.

ROSCOE: Congratulations.

JONES: Congratulations.




MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the MIT Police Honor Guard.



ROSCOE: --Roscoe, Institute Archivist and Head of MIT's Archives and Special Collections.

JONES: And I'm Marilee Jones, Dean of Admissions. We'll provide commentary leading up to the beginning of the commencement ceremony. We're going to offer some insight into what you're witnessing and provide some current as well as historic context.

ROSCOE: We welcome those just joining us, and we welcome-- the greater Boston Cambridge area and around the world. MIT was founded in 1861, with the first classes occurring in 1865. Its original campus was Boston's Back Bay Area, and it moved to Cambridge in 1916.


What you're looking at is a scene from Killian Court at MIT, the surrounding of the original-- the campus that was created in 1916, for MIT's commencement.

We apologize to our audience for some audio troubles that we had, but I think we have them corrected now. Welcome to MIT's 140th commencement exercises, the commencement for the class of 2006. I'm Tom Roscoe, the Institute Archivist and Head of Archives and Special Collections at MIT.

JONES: And I'm Marilee Jones, the Dean of Admissions. We'll provide commentary leading to the beginning of this commencement ceremony, we're going to offer insight into what you're witnessing, and we'll provide some current and historical context.

ROSCOE: We welcome those just joining us, and we welcome our audience from across the MIT campus, the greater Boston Cambridge community, and from around the world. MIT was founded in 1861, with first classes occurring in 1865. The original campus was located in Boston's Back Bay, when MIT was known as Boston Tech. The campus moved to Cambridge in 1916, and commencement has been held in the court you're looking at now, Killian Court, since 1979, except for one occasion when the weather was too bad and it went inside in 1992. We have fine weather today. The rain has stopped after all the rain we've had in soggy New England. Hopefully that will hold off and the MIT great weather machine will be able to keep up the good work.

JONES: We just want it to hold off for the ceremony and into the afternoon. This looks like it's going to happen.

ROSCOE: I'm going to review just the elements of the ceremony for you. What you'll be seeing is first a procession, the students coming in. The MIT Police Honor Guard proceeded with the colors of the nation and MIT and placed them on the podium that you see at the stage in front. There will be an academic procession led by the President of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae, Scott Marks, then there will be followed by the stage principals, which will include President Susan Hockfield as well as former presidents of MIT, the Corporation Chair, Dr. Dana Mead, Mayor of Cambridge, Kenneth Reeves, Cathy Minehan, President and CEO of the Boston Federal Reserve, Miriam Rosenblum, Chaplain and Director of Hillel, the Provost, Rafael Reif, Chancellor Phil Gray, and the deans, as well as guest speaker, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke. Then it will be followed by members of the Corporation and then members of the faculty, then members of the class of 1956, an MIT tradition that the class holding its 50th reunion marches during commencement, then followed by the graduates.

Elements of the ceremony include a greeting from the Corporation Chair, the invocation, the National Anthem, which will be sung by the MIT Chorallaries, the speech of the guest speaker, a salute to the class by Sylvain Bruni, President of the Graduate Student Council, then presentation of the class gift by Kimberly Woo, President of the Class of 2006, a charge to the class by President Hockfield, and then the awarding of degrees. The degrees will be awarded on both sides of the stage. And MIT does things a little differently for such a large institution, in that every student will actually receive their actual diploma. It's quite an organized affair, and quite a remarkable thing to actually achieve.

JONES: It takes about 3,000 people to make it work.

ROSCOE: Speaking of people, there are about 13,000 people expected to be in attendance today, even with the weather. Following the presentation of the degrees will be remarks from the Association of Alumni and Alumnae President, then the school song, and then the recession. Needless to say, it will take quite a while for all the degrees to be presented. So those chairs you see now, the empty chairs, of course, are where the graduates will be arriving.

You see a shot of the buildings, the original buildings from the campus. And members of the audience, the people seated on the sides. What we're looking at is some of the members of MIT Brass, which is a brass ensemble led by Larry Issacson. And they'll be playing music up to and during the procession. And what lovely music it is.

JONES: That's a beautiful shot of--

ROSCOE: There you see a shot of--

JONES: Lobby 10?

ROSCOE: Lobby 10, the main building of MIT, site of many of the hacks.

JONES: I remember that police car on the roof there.

ROSCOE: The police car and the Wright Brothers' biplane. That was up there.

JONES: And the ring from "Lord of the Rings."



ROSCOE: Many, many hacks. We may see something again today.

JONES: Yeah.

ROSCOE: I noticed a hack as I came by. There was MIT's student newspaper, The Tech, and next to it was Les Techs. And I won't necessarily read any of the headlines and the articles from--

JONES: From Les Techs.

ROSCOE: Now, as far as some facts about MIT, there are approximately 4,000 undergraduate students and 6,000 graduate students, and a staff of about 10,000 and almost 1,000 professors and faculty. MIT consists of five schools-- the School of Engineering, the School of Science, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Architecture and Planning, Sloan School of Management.

JONES: I like all the flowers here. It takes--

ROSCOE: They are lovely.

JONES: It takes at least a month to actually prepare the Court for graduation. My office happens to sit right back behind here, so I watch it.

ROSCOE: So now we see the academic procession. It's led by Association of Alumni President Scott Marks, carrying the ceremonial mace, which was created by the class of 1907 and features many symbols related to MIT. To the right of President Marks, of the Association, you'll see to his right, your left on camera, behind him, is President Susan Hockfield. To the right you'll see Chair of the Corporation, Dana Mead, behind Susan Hockfield is Ben Bernanke, the Chair of the Federal Reserve, and behind Dana Mead, you'll see former President of MIT, Chuck Vest.

JONES: Lorna Gibson, Chairman of the Faculty.

ROSCOE: And you see the colors of MIT, which are cardinal red and gray.

JONES: The Provost, Rafael Reif.

ROSCOE: And Provost Reif is actually carrying a shepherd's staff, which was a symbol presented as he leads-- that's chair of-- actually, I'm sorry, Rafael Reif is the Provost, and it is actually the Chair of the Faculty who will be carrying that staff. It is quite a glorious procession, full of the pomp and circumstance. You can see still with the traditional academic regalia, the gowns.

JONES: More press here than usual because of the speaker for today's commencement, the Chairman of the Fed.

ROSCOE: Who is an alumnus of MIT, graduating with a PhD in 1979.

JONES: Everyone wants to know what he has to say.

ROSCOE: I'm sure people will be listening intently.

JONES: Very carefully today.

ROSCOE: So they're working their way up the middle of Killian Court, towards the stage.

JONES: Now Susan Hockfield's sash there, specially made for her?

ROSCOE: Yes, that represents the schools of the Institute. Actually, I'm sorry. The five bars on the side represent the schools of the Institute. And this was actually-- the robe was actually designed for Paul Gray, when he was president. You see Paul Gray, former president of MIT and Chair of the Corporation, behind Chuck Vest.

JONES: Oh, yes, in the yellow hood.

ROSCOE: Now we see the procession of members of the Corporation.

JONES: The Corporation and the Board of Trustees at MIT.

ROSCOE: Right. MIT has a Corporation which would be the same as when we think of a board of trustees, MIT being incorporated, actually, in 1861.

JONES: Paul Gray has a beautiful robe.

ROSCOE: He does. I think that perhaps was made when he was Chair.

JONES: Must have been, because he's an MIT graduate.

ROSCOE: It is usual that the doctoral robes have three bars, and the undergraduate robes do not have bars on the sleeves. Now you see them walking up either side of the stage, because the actual awarding degrees will be taking place on either side. There will be some to the left and some to the right for the various schools. There you see the diplomas themselves.

JONES: Under plastic wrap.

ROSCOE: Guarded from the rain.

JONES: Just in case. If we had the plastic wrap there, it won't rain.

ROSCOE: So far things have worked out well.

JONES: There's Barrie Zesiger. She and her husband Al donated the money for the Z Center, the athletic center, the Zesiger Center here at MIT.

ROSCOE: You'll see a lot of different colorful robes from different institutions represented.

JONES: There's Professor Don Sadoway, one of our favorite professors here, teacher of the largest freshman class, 3.091.

ROSCOE: As the MIT faculty process. Led by marshals, those would be leaders of the procession with the very floppy hats.

JONES: You see Nigel Wilson here on the left. Nigel is the chair of our Faculty Oversight Group, the Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, all-important Institute committee.

ROSCOE: Nice shot of the stage principals. More of MIT faculty. There is a shot of the mace, with the lever on top, and symbols of acorns for strength, and also other symbols of various scientific pursuits. I believe it's gilded gold. Silver--

JONES: Gilded gold.

ROSCOE: Gilded gold.

JONES: It must be heavy.

ROSCOE: I bet it is. Once again, you're listening to Mass Brass playing music in the background for the procession.

JONES: There's Dava Newman. That's Professor Steve Lerman, many good friends here coming onto the stage at Killian Court. Commencement is a very solemn event at MIT. There are not very many solemn things that happen here, but this is truly one of the few sacred rites of academia. And it's treated very seriously here.

There is only one way in and only one way out for students at MIT, because we offer no honorary degrees. The one way in and the one way out is the hard way. Very hard to be admitted here, and it's the most rigorous education on the planet.

ROSCOE: But once you have that, nothing does compare. Now we see a shot of the class of 1956.

JONES: Yes. Now, this is a very interesting class, the class of '56. They graduated 50 years ago. They get to wear the ceremonial red jackets, which they really look forward to wearing. Life magazine recognized them in 1956, on May 7, with an article titled, "The Need for Better Scientists and MIT's Answer." The article featured 27 photos by life photographer John Millie, who was graduated from MIT in 1927. Then there was a three-page story by President James Killian entitled "A Bold Strategy to Beat Shortage."

They were offered-- they were pursued by industry and government. They were offered average starting salaries of $425, 10% higher than years before. This is a remarkable class. Many members of this class went on to do world-changing things. And I don't know if you were alive in 1956, but if you were, a gallon of milk was $0.97. A gallon of gas, don't even go there.

ROSCOE: Don't mention that one.

JONES: $0.23. Bread cost $0.18. I think that was even pre-Wonder Bread. A postage stamp was $0.03. And the number one song in 1956, the song that all of these entering red coats knew very well, was "Don't Be Cruel," followed by "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley. They spent 11 weeks as number one on the charts.

ROSCOE: And there was just an announcement that the guests of honor have arrived, the graduating class of 2006 about to enter the court.

JONES: In 1956, there were 500 faculty members, compared to about 1,000 today. Half the size. President James Rhyne Killian was the President of MIT when these red coats graduated in 1956.

ROSCOE: And the shot from the stage, looking over into Boston. In the background there, you can see it. That's the Charles River.

JONES: Killian Court is one of the most beautiful places in the greater Boston area-- peaceful, serene, always a place to sit in the shade, home of the hawks who live here, the red-tailed hawks who live at MIT. And I look out my window in my office sometimes and see them swooping down on--

ROSCOE: And indeed there's a webcam set up that you can actually watch the progress. And they just fledged last week.

JONES: They fledged.

ROSCOE: Left the nest.

JONES: So they've kept the rodent population down, and the squirrels. And they are beautiful birds to behold. Look how many red coats there are here.

ROSCOE: I'll say, the spirit of MIT certainly keeps them coming back.

JONES: It certainly does.

ROSCOE: The bond you have, as certainly evidenced by so many individuals. So many alumni return.

JONES: How many of those people came from humble beginnings. Unlike many other selective universities, MIT has a very high percentage of first--

ROSCOE: And we see the class coming in forward.

JONES: Ah, the two deans-- Dean Dan Hastings--

ROSCOE: On your left.

JONES: --with the red and gray. He's the Dean for Undergraduate Education. Dean Larry Benedict in the black robe, with the pretty robin's egg blue collar. He's the Dean for Student Life. These are two deans that oversee life in the undergraduate school at MIT.

ROSCOE: And we see the students coming forward in the class of 2006.

JONES: And here come our kids. I say that as the Dean of Admissions. I sign off on every single one of our admits, so I consider that they belong to me. In this class graduating, there are two Gates Scholars, a Mitchell Scholar, two academic All-American athletes, one in track and field and basketball, two junior academic all-Americans. There's a Best Soloist at the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella Singers. There's also the discoverer of the largest star in the known universe. She is an undergraduate student, just graduating today. This class comes from all 50 states, they come from 50 different countries, including Bangladesh, Belgium, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kazakhstan. They're from everywhere.

When we admitted these students four years ago, 10,664 students applied to MIT. We admitted 16% of that pool, or 1,724. 980 enrolled. They were here four years ago in this very place for their freshmen picture. Including double majors, we're going to award 1,036 bachelor's degrees today. When they were in high school, 43% of them were number one. There were the valedictorians. 93 were in the top 5% of their class. Today there is no valedictorian because MIT does not have a class rank.

Interestingly, their SAT mean scores-- that was the old SAT in those days. Math score was 757 out of 800. That's the mean score. And verbal SAT was 712 out of 800.

ROSCOE: Impressive. Now, there are over 2,000 students today, and roughly half of these students will be receiving bachelor of science degrees-- over 1,000. Over 1,000 will be receiving masters degrees. Nine will earn engineering degrees, and 2,070 will receive their doctorates. The total number of people receiving degrees-- 2,089. Once again, you see both the graduates and undergraduates coming through, graduates on the left, the three bars on the gown. The marshals lining up.

JONES: It's a very tightly choreographed procedure, because students need to be in the right seat in the right place in line in order to receive their very own diploma. MIT is one of the few schools that actually awards students their very own diploma when they come onto stage.

ROSCOE: And MIT has been doing that since 1923, actually.

JONES: 1923?

ROSCOE: And before that, though, they used to just dump all the diplomas in a basket, and when they were done, students just went up and found theirs.

JONES: See, that's what a lot of people think of MIT. They don't realize that it actually puts tremendous individual attention on each student.

ROSCOE: Now, to contrast the class of 1906 with 2006, the freshman class consisted of 400 students. Tuition was a little different. It cost $200.

JONES: $200?

ROSCOE: Marilee, you have a daughter going to college?

JONES: Yes. We don't want to talk about that $50,000 price tag per year.

ROSCOE: My four daughters-- Ingrid, Fiona, Maid, and Prudence-- are very young, so I don't need to worry about that. It'll have to be free by then, or else--

JONES: We hope you win Powerball, Tom.

ROSCOE: So there we see, seated in the middle, former MIT President Chuck Vest.

JONES: My hero.

ROSCOE: To his right, left on the screen, is former President Paul Gray.

JONES: Another hero.

ROSCOE: And to the right is Chair of the Corporation, Dana Mead.

JONES: Yes, Dana.

ROSCOE: In the back on the left was Alice Gast. She's actually the Vice President for Provost for Research. And actually, now the incoming president of Lehigh University. And there, seated in the middle, is Kathryn Willmore, the current Secretary of the Corporation and Vice President. And actually, Kathryn is retiring at the end of the month in a huge loss to MIT.

JONES: Kathryn's been here for a very long time and is deeply, deeply beloved by everyone who knows her.

ROSCOE: And here is one more shot of the guest of honor.

JONES: The thing about Kathryn I just want to say is Kathryn knows how to take good vacations. She really does. This is very important when you work in an institution like MIT, where everyone works so hard. It's so important to go away and then get recalibrated. And she does that extraordinarily well. She's very, very balanced. And therefore she's been a terrific role model for the rest of us coming up as young administrators, to keep balance in our lives.

ROSCOE: There we see on the left is Phil Cray-- Phil Clay, sorry- the Chancellor of MIT and--

JONES: Lorna Gibson, who's the Chairman of the Faculty.

ROSCOE: The Chair of the Faculty.

JONES: The Chancellor oversees all of the undergraduate students, the undergraduate school. Phil is a professor in Urban Studies, and Lorna Gibson is a professor in Material Science, as the Chair of the Faculty.

ROSCOE: We pan across other members of the faculty. Some more of the students.

JONES: It'll take a while for all these students to come into this court. We hope when you're watching, you'll see some people you know. They have no idea they're on camera, so it's a wonderful-- it's a real authentic moment for these young ones. And when you really think about all the time and effort that these young students have spent preparing for college, preparing for MIT, and then all of the effort they have put into their degrees at MIT, it is absolutely remarkable.

ROSCOE: And here we see various heads of the departments at MIT, the various academic pursuits.

JONES: Wes Harris from AeroAstro. And Nigel Wilson again. We see some graduates in military uniform. MIT does have ROTC programs and is the site for ROTC for the Greater Boston Area. So there are students at MIT in the ROTC programs from Harvard and Tufts and Wellesley, I believe.

ROSCOE: And here we see a shot on the left of President Susan Hockfield, MIT's first woman president, and first life scientist. And to the right, and her left, is the Chair of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke who, as I mentioned, is an alum of MIT. He actually did his PhD thesis on effects leading up to the Great Depression.

JONES: You can see them still filing in here.

ROSCOE: We hope that the weather still continues to hold.

JONES: Mm-hmm, and hope that they all stay in line. When I was a junior staff member, I spent time helping people in the Great Court in commencement, making sure people were in line. It was a very, very stressful job, because these students are just so happy to graduate.

ROSCOE: That's Allan Bufferd.

JONES: Allan Bufferd. Allan Bufferd is retiring as well. He's been Treasurer at MIT for quite a long time. Very well loved here.

ROSCOE: Now, graduating today are both the undergraduates and graduate students. And a hooding ceremony for PhDs occurred yesterday afternoon.

JONES: The ubiquitous cell phones.

ROSCOE: But not a lot of ornamentation.

JONES: No, that's really true. I believe that the students have orders not to carry a lot of material with them. They're not supposed to have phones.

ROSCOE: And today is a-- security a little higher, with the Chair of the Federal Reserve being here.

JONES: Yes. You see some leis around people's necks, from the Hawaiians. Their people, their family members come in with fresh leis from halfway around the world.

ROSCOE: And of course, MIT a huge international population. Students from--

JONES: It's one the best things about going here, is going to school with people from every country, all over the planet. Remarkable human beings. And because MIT is a residential school, what these students have the benefit of is simultaneity, of being in the same place at the same time with each other. Very different experience than learning material online, which many people feel is helpful. Many other people do not consider online education to really be a true education. Great debate about this. But it's true that something magic happens when human beings like these are all together on common projects, studying classes together. Remarkable, innovative things happen at MIT. And we, who work here, wait for those moments. Very creative kids.

ROSCOE: Once again, I'm Tom Roscoe, Institute Archivist and Head of Archives and Special Collections at MIT.

JONES: And I'm Marilee Jones, the Dean of Admissions here.

ROSCOE: And we welcome you to this webcast of MIT's 140th commence, the Class of 2006. There we see MIT's seal. So MIT was founded in 1861, and MIT's colors of cardinal red and gray. And the motto on the seal, mens et manus, mind and hand, the notion of both the general knowledge and applied practice combining together in MIT's education.

JONES: Not an ivory tower.

ROSCOE: By no means.

JONES: We're the fix-it people. We're the ones who go into the world and fix things for those who can't fix them for themselves.

ROSCOE: Indeed, the seal has a laborer at an anvil, and a scholar with a book to embody the educational philosophy of William Barton Rogers, the original founder, to quote that MIT was founded with the interests of commerce and arts as well as general education. They call for the most earnest cooperation of intelligent culture with industrial pursuits.

JONES: William Barton Rogers was the preeminent geologist of his day.

ROSCOE: Indeed, he was. And in fact he did the survey of Virginia. Before coming to MIT, he actually was at the College of William and Mary and then the University of Virginia. And that's actually where he came up with his object for the plan for MIT.

JONES: He was hand-picked by Thomas Jefferson to be a faculty member at the University.

ROSCOE: Actually, it was his father who was hand-picked.

JONES: Oh, see, there you go.

ROSCOE: He actually succeeded his father at MIT.

JONES: This is why I'm with a historian here. But very much in the Jeffersonian mold. He was a true visionary, William Barton Rogers.

ROSCOE: This is true. And we're happy to celebrate him. It's actually 2003, 2004, the day after Susan Hockfield's first day here, was William Barton Rogers' 200th birthday. And we do have-- MIT is quickly approaching its 150th anniversary. And I know there's many plans in the works for our wonderful celebration. And there we see Susan Hockfield again. She's, as I mentioned, been here two years now, coming from Yale University, where she was Provost.

JONES: Very well known neurobiologist.

ROSCOE: And behind, her we see Dean Sibley, Dean of Science.

JONES: Dean of the School of Science.

ROSCOE: We're getting a nice pan of the Dome and Building 10.

JONES: It's a beautiful building.

ROSCOE: I'll say, the courtyard is actually-- it's surrounded by buildings. But it's actually one large inter-connected building that forms a U and then faces over the Charles River. The original plans actually called for a large statue of Minerva to be placed right in the middle, which wouldn't allow for the wonderful procession we have today.

JONES: We'd have to move her out one day a year.

ROSCOE: Those plans never came to fruition. Welles Bosworth, the original architect, who designed the Beaux-Arts style buildings-- actually, based on some of the work of John Ripley Freeman, a very influential MIT person of the turn of the last century, a civil engineer who did some work on the Panama Canal and other very noted projects.

JONES: So he brought us the Infinite Corridor.

ROSCOE: Yes, indeed.

JONES: The much beloved Infinite Corridor. I love the Infinite Corridor. It's Main Street at MIT. It's hard for me to go from one meeting to another without running into--

ROSCOE: You have to time it right.

JONES: --100 people who want to do business in the hallway. I love the floors. I just love the whole utilitarian feel.

ROSCOE: The Infinity Corridor, running from Lobby 7, connecting from Massachusetts Avenue across to the eastern side of campus. MIT always a changing campus. The latest building projects of note is the physics building, which is actually going to be a building inside a building, filling in one of the courts in between, which has been interesting to see from an engineering standpoint, as they've hoisted a giant crane right outside my window. I didn't sleep well that night when they put that up. Well, here we see some of--

JONES: More faculty members.

ROSCOE: --MIT's faculty. Mildred. Mildred Dresselhaus on the right.

JONES: Millie Dresselhaus from electrical engineering, computer science.

ROSCOE: The faculty positioned on the stage.

JONES: Lively conversation happening. You see Charles Stewart from the Department of Political Science in the foreground. This group of faculty seems happy and--

ROSCOE: Steve Lerman.

JONES: --all friends.

ROSCOE: Richard Schrock, MIT's latest nobel laureate.

JONES: There's Ros Williams in the front from STS, Science Technology and Society.

ROSCOE: And there's Albert Richards in the back, with the beard. Very easily recognized.

JONES: I'll hold the ZZ Top jokes. Oh, here they are, the last but not least.

ROSCOE: As the student procession continues. Once again, the awarding of the degrees will happen on both sides of the stage. The left side will have President Hockfield, who will award bachelor of science degrees, bachelor of science, master of science degrees, and bachelor of science, master of engineering degrees-- the left side. Then she'll also award advanced degrees in the School of Science and the Whitaker College of Health. And at the end, she'll be joined by Dr. Yoder, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution degree. Provost Reif will award the advanced degrees in the School of Architecture and Planning, the School of Engineering, the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and the Sloan School of Management from the right side of the stage. We're actually coming to you from below the stage.

JONES: Yes, we're actually-- you can't see us, but we can see you. We're tucked in underneath all these faculty.

ROSCOE: Well, now it sounds like perhaps it's--

JONES: Oh, yes. We can hear the cheering in the Court, so we must be close to the end. Maybe it's these families who have been sitting out there listening to us, Tom, from 8 o'clock this morning.

ROSCOE: They're ready for the show to begin.

JONES: Yes, we were the pre-commencement show this morning, Tom and I, and many wonderful video clips, members of the audience.

ROSCOE: I believe our webcast will be available online and after.

JONES: And we're-- there'll be a podcast available for downloading to your iPod or your personal digital device.

ROSCOE: So we have a nice pan of the buildings and at the Memorial Drive side of the campus, where on the tops of the buildings there are inscribed the names of many of the world's greatest philosophers and scientists acting, of course, as inspiration to the future great philosophers and scientists. And the students actually came across from the Johnson Athletic Center, where they were all lining up to get ready.

JONES: So the students have been over there since about 7:30 this morning. It's now 10:30.

ROSCOE: I believe the gift of the Class of 2006 is a scholarship that's being awarded this year. I'm not quite sure. But I know the gift of the Class of 1906 was a hygienic marble fountain.

JONES: Hygienic marble fountain?

ROSCOE: Fountain, yes.

JONES: And where did they install that fountain?

ROSCOE: It was installed in the Rogers Corridor.

JONES: Is it still there? Is it the one I drink from every day?

ROSCOE: It may well be.

JONES: It's hygienic. Actually, one of the fountains in the corridor just now has the sounds of running water in the background. And flickering lights that make it look like a waterfall. It's a very cool effect. So somebody just did that recently. I think that must be a nice little hack.

ROSCOE: Once again, the shot of the ceremonial mace. And we saw the lovely flowers in front of the stage, which I believe will be actually on sale after commencement to support good activities.

JONES: Student activities. Going over those last-minute directions, making sure everybody knows what's going on. Everybody has a role to play here. And MIT likes to do things on time.

ROSCOE: There you see the marshals taking their positions.

JONES: Class officers, who will receive their diplomas on stage.

ROSCOE: And it'll be the opening of the ceremony, at which point we'll be leaving you. So we hope you enjoyed the commentary we were able to give, and to particularly typically those who have been with us since the very beginning earlier this morning.

JONES: Yes. Thanks for being such good sports and laughing at all our jokes.

ROSCOE: Or some of them.

JONES: I see Danny's looking at his watch saying, OK, let's go. We want to stay on time.

ROSCOE: And once again, I'm Tom Roscoe, Institute Archivist at MIT.

JONES: And I'm Marilee Jones, Dean of Admissions. Thank you.

ROSCOE: So thank you again, and enjoy the ceremony.

Good morning. The Corporation and the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are now declared convened together with this assembly, on the occasion of the commencement exercises of this institution for the conferring of its degrees. I'd now like to ask the stage assembly and the audience to rise for the invocation by Ms. Miriam Rosenblum and to remain standing to join the MIT Chorallaries in the singing of one verse of "The Star-Bangled Banner."

ROSENBLUM: [SPEAKING HEBREW] These Hebrew words describe the three things upon which the world rests according to the rabbinic sages of 2,000 years ago. [SPEAKING HEBREW] on learning, [SPEAKING HEBREW] on service, [SPEAKING HEBREW] and on acts of loving kindness. This is a day to celebrate the learning achieved by our graduates and to give thanks to those who taught, guided, and supported each student in their journey through MIT. This is a day to be thankful for having been endowed by the creator with the gift of spirit and the gift of mind capable of wondrous things, capable of healing our world.

This is a day for our graduates to go forth and shine a light upon the earth through acts of loving kindness towards family and community, toward friends and strangers, acts that enhance the well-being and human dignity of all people.

On this day, God of life, let our graduates give thanks for their learning by using it as a force for good. Let them go forth imbued with their knowledge and talents to lives filled with learning, service to humanity, and acts of loving kindness. May the creator bless us and guard us. May the creator show us favor and be gracious unto us. May the creator deal kindly with us and grant us peace.


(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 rocket's 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?


OFFICIATOR: Please be seated. I am pleased to welcome to the platform the Honorable Kenneth E. Reeves, Mayor of the City of Cambridge, and Ms. Cathy Minahan, President and CEO of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank. I am also very pleased to welcome to these exercises the distinguished members of our 50th Reunion Class, the Class of 1956.


It is now my pleasure to introduce our commencement speaker, Dr. Ben S. Bernanke, the 14th Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Dr. Bernanke is an illustrious graduate of MIT, having received his PhD in economics in 1979. Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, graduates, parents, and graduates to be, Dr. Bernanke.


BERNANKE: Good morning. President Hockfield, members of the faculty, alumni, families and friends of graduates, and especially members of the 2006 graduating class, I am honored to speak at the 140th Commencement exercises of this distinguished institution.

It's wonderful to be back at MIT. I graduated from the Institute with a PhD in economics in 1979. That year President Wiesner gave the commencement address. He spoke about, among other things, the nation's transition from an era of cheap energy to one of energy scarcity and the need for new technologies to aid in that transition. Obviously, these issues still confront us and one can't help but wonder whether that theme will feel as current 27 years from now as it does today.

As for today, you may have been surprised to learn at some point that an economist rather than an engineer or a scientist would be serving as your commencement speaker. But in my remarks, I hope to illustrate that this address continues a long and productive tradition of collaboration at MIT between economics and the engineering and scientific disciplines.

Building on that theme, I'd like to discuss the essential complementarity of technology and economics in modern economies. And finally, I'd like to have a few words with you as MIT graduates about what you can do to strengthen our economy and our society even as you pursue your personal and professional goals.

If you'll bear with me, I'd like to begin with a short history of economics at MIT. The MIT Economics Department is of course the part of the Institute that I know best and I hope to persuade you that it has played a unique and special role in this institution.

MIT's connection to economic dates at least back to 1881 when Francis A. Walker became the institution's third President to say that Walker had already had a distinguished career would be an understatement. He was named a brevet brigadier general at the end of the Civil War at the age of 24. He served as the superintendent of the 1870 and 1880 decennial censuses of the United States and was one of the leading economists of his era.

The year he arrived at MIT, he taught the first economics course ever offered at the Institute. The course covered political economy and was so popular that it was soon accorded its own course classification as Course Nine General Studies. Walker helped found the American Economic Association which is still the leading professional association for economists. And during his tenure at MIT, he moonlighted both as the first president of that association and as president of the American Statistical Association.

In the early 20th century, the economics program at MIT aimed to prepare undergraduates for leadership roles in business. During those years, economics as a discipline gained greater prominence both here and abroad.

But the modern era of economics at MIT began in 1940, the year that Paul Samuelsen, not yet having even received his doctorate, was persuaded to emigrate here from a somewhat less technically proficient institution on another stretch of the Charles River. In part, Samuelson was willing to leave Harvard because his Foundations of Economic Analysis, a book now universally regarded by economists as inaugurating the modern mathematical approach to economics, was not well received by the old guard at the Harvard Economics Department.

MIT's PhD program in economics was established a year after Samuelson arrived. And right from the start, the department attracted strong graduate students. The very first of these, Lawrence Klein, received a Nobel Prize for Economics in 1980 for his work in econometric modeling. With support from MIT's administration, the department expanded rapidly after World War II and MIT led the development of a more mathematically rigorous approach to economics.

Given the emphasis on quantitative reasoning at MIT, it makes perfect sense that the economics department here was in the vanguard of those using mathematics as a framework for organizing economic thought. These developments laid the foundation for economics as a discipline in the second half of the 20th century and the department quickly rose to the top of national rankings.

Besides Samuelson, many economists contributed to the department's outstanding reputation. Franco Modigliani, Robert Solow, Charles Kindleberger, Rudiger Dornbusch, and Stanley Fischer to name just a few. Modigliani, Samuelson, and Solow all won Nobel prizes for their research. And in addition, nine other economists with MIT connections have won Nobels. The MIT Economics Department has trained many economists who have played leading roles in government and in the private sector, including the heads of four Central Banks, those of Chile, Israel, Italy, and I might add, the United States.

One of my teachers at MIT, Stan Fischer, is a sterling example of what MIT training can produce. Stan followed a brilliant career as a researcher and a teacher at MIT with important work as a public servant, including top positions at the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and, currently, the Bank of Israel.

Why did economics at MIT become so successful? Perhaps Paul Samuelson and the people he helped to attract here could have been equally successful anywhere. But I suspect that the placement of economics in a milieu where quantitative reasoning and the scientific method were the coin of the realm was an important contributing factor. The Sloan School with its close links both to the Economics Department and to other parts of the Institute has benefited from the milieu--


--and has been the source of many important and fundamental advances as well. Notably in recent years, the global financial industry has been transformed by quantitative approaches to pricing complex financial instruments, such as derivatives, and the measuring and management of risk. This transformation stemmed from the application of formal tools of mathematical economics that were developed, to a substantial extent, by the faculty at the Sloan School including Fischer Black, Robert Merton, and Myron Scholes, the latter two of whom won Nobel prizes for their work.

As MIT economics has benefited from its proximity to the scientific and engineering expertise of MIT, so the Institute has benefited from the presence of a world class economics department over and above the addition of still more luster to the MIT name. The exposure of students and faculty from other disciplines to economics has stimulated creative thinking about how technology can be used to improve the economic welfare of the average person.

That thought brings me to my second topic, which is the link between technology and economic growth. As has always been the case, technological change and innovation are today in large part driving economic growth and the improvement of living standards. But it's important to understand that even the very best ideas in science or engineering do not automatically translate into broader economic prosperity.

In large measure, the material benefits of innovation spring from complementarities between technology and economics, where I include in economics not only economic ideas, but also economic policies, and even the entire economic system. When the economics is right, scientific and technological advances promote economic development, which in turn, in a virtuous circle, may provide resources and incentives to help foster more innovation.

A negative example is the former Soviet Union which certainly did not lack for scientific and engineering talent, but which had an economic system that was poorly suited for translating scientific advances into economic progress.

The experience of the United States over the past decade illustrates the essential complementarity of technology and economics. Before the mid-1990s, the growth of productivity, the amount of output produced per worker or per hour of work, had been relatively sluggish for more than two decades in this country. As productivity is perhaps the single most important determinant of average living standards, a country in which an average worker can produce a lot is also typically a country in which an average consumer can consume a lot. The so-called productivity slowdown of that earlier period was the source of much concern on the part of economists and policy makers.

The growth rate of productivity increased and picked up in the mid-'90s in the United States and increased still further around the turn of the century. And it remains strong today. This productivity revival augers very well for the future of the US economy.

But why did it happen? You graduates of all people will not be surprised to hear that research suggests that the pick up in US productivity growth in the mid 1990s was importantly related to advances in information and communication technologies. But these technical advances in and of themselves can't be the whole story.

For example, even though the new technologies are widely available around the world, many other countries appear not to have derived the same benefit as has the United States. Notably, productivity in Europe which increased rapidly in the decades after World War II but then decelerated in the mid 1990s, about the same time that US productivity growth picked up. Thus the gap between the productivity levels in the United States and Europe which had nearly closed by 1995 have been widening.

What accounts for the apparent differences in the effects of technology here and abroad? Differences in economic policies and systems likely account for some of the differences in performance, another example of the complementarity of technology in economics. One leading explanation for strong US productivity performance is that labor and product markets in the United States tend to be more flexible and competitive and that these market characteristics have allowed the United States to realize greater economic benefits from new technologies. For example, taking full advantage of new information and communication technologies may require extensive reorganization of work practices, reassignment and retraining of workers, and, ultimately, some reallocation of labor among firms and industries.

Regulations that raise the cost of hiring and firing workers and reduce the ability of firms to change work assignments, like those in a number of European countries, may make such changes more difficult to achieve. Likewise in product markets, a high degree of competition and low barriers to entry of new firms in most industries in the United States provide strong incentives for firms to find ways to cut costs and to improve their products.

Competition is one of the key benefits of a free and open trade. And companies that are exposed to global competition tend to be more efficient and produce goods of higher quality than companies that are sheltered from international competition.

Other economic factors have probably been important in translating technological change into material progress. Some observers point to the depth, liquidity, and sophistication of American financial markets as contributing to recent productivity gains. Sizable markets for venture capital and ready access to equity financing facilitate startup enterprises, which are often the best means of bringing new technologies to market.

The United States also benefits from its high quality research universities, which have shown both the willingness and the ability to collaborate with the private sector, and in some cases with the government as well in the development and commercialization of new ideas. For example, Intel was co-founded by an MIT graduate. And MIT graduates have played key roles in designing and developing the internet.

One interesting feature of US and global experience with major innovations is that often a significant amount of time passes between the initial development and diffusion of new technologies and the realization of the associated productivity benefits. Computers were first commercialized in the 1950s, for example. And personal computers came into widespread use in the early 1980s. But until the mid 1990s, these developments had little evident effect on measures of productivity. Indeed MIT's Robert Solow famously said in 1987 that computers are everywhere, except in the productivity statistics.

Moreover, despite the sharp decline in information technology investment after the meltdown of high sector stocks earlier this decade, the growth rate of productivity has actually increased in recent years, as I mentioned. These long legs raise additional questions about the nature of the links between new technologies and the resulting productivity gains.

Perhaps the answer lies in taking the longer view. Some research by economists has drawn an analogy between modern information and communication technologies and earlier so-called general purpose technologies, such as the steam engine, the electric motor, and the internal combustion engine. General purpose technologies have broad application and thus have the potential both to revolutionize methods of production and to make a host of new goods and services available to businesses and consumers.

As graduates of MIT, you will be at the heart of this critical process at developing new technologies and, in some cases, taking them to the marketplace. We are in an age in which technology and its fruits will be a dominant force, not only in our economic lives, but in the cultural, social, political, and personal aspects of our lives as well. Your training at MIT equips each of you exceptionally well to take the fullest advantage of the professional and personal opportunities that technological innovation and change will create. Each of you, because of your youth, your talent, your demonstrated commitment to learning, and your personal and intellectual achievements during your time at MIT, will soon find to, paraphrase Shakespeare, that the world is your oyster.

I hope that you will contribute in some measure to economic progress, whether in the United States or elsewhere. And I hope you find some measure of financial reward. But the world has a great deal more to offer than money. And a key question each of you will face repeatedly in your lives is how to use the talents and education that you've been given and the knowledge that you have attained.

With respect to your professional lives, I hope that when you make career choices, you will look first for opportunities that excite you intellectually, that allow you to use your creative powers to the fullest extent, and that let you continue to learn and grow. I hope you will not be afraid to be unconventional, to do something that nobody else has thought of before.

And remember that the paths to success and fulfillment may not be well-marked, the scaling of some predetermined ladder. It may instead be a road without signs and without maps. And remember, it's OK to fail, really. New opportunities will always arise for those who seek them. And if you remain nimble in searching out new and unexpected opportunities, it will not only benefit you but it will also benefit the economy and the society, because long experience has shown that dynamism and creativity are the seeds of innovation and of progress.

In the personal sphere as you make your way in the world, I hope you will not forget the importance of your family and how much it has already contributed to your journey through life. Remember, too, family members are the ones who are going to still love you even when things aren't going so well. And even as you focus intensively on your professional interests, I hope you will remain intellectually broad, well-read, well-informed, and open to new experiences.

And finally, I hope you will remain engaged with the broader society. That may involve entering public service at some point, as many MIT graduates have chosen to do, but it need not. There are always opportunities to make a difference in the world through volunteering, civic participation, charitable activities, or just the nature of the work that you choose to do.

I congratulate all the graduates and your families for what you have accomplished. And let me end by wishing you the very, very best for the future. Thank you very much.


OFFICIATOR: Thank you very much, Dr. Bernanke for your interesting, thoughtful, instructive, and inspiring words and also for serving as a great example of what an MIT graduate can accomplish in the area of public service in the future.

Now I'd like to ask Mr. Sylvain Bruni, president of the Graduate Student Council, who will give a salute to MIT from the graduate student body. Following this, Ms Kimberly Wu, who's president of the senior class, will present the class gift to President Hockfield, after which the president will deliver her charge to the graduates.

BRUNI: Graduates of 2006, families, and friends of the Institute, may this day be remembered as a landmark in our lives as we celebrate those entering MIT's grand pantheon of exceptional technologists. My fellow Beavers, on behalf of the Graduate Student Council it is my sincere pleasure to congratulate you for the completion of an outstanding academic program. From Killian Court, 145 years of intellectual accomplishment reflect upon you. My friends, you are now part of this institution's history of excellence.

Whether this magnificent day marks the end of your formal educational journey or a milestone in your graduate career you are being honored today for the dedication and commitment to academic excellence which you exemplified over the many years you spent within these walls. You withstood sleep deprivation and other hazards, the so-called MIT student life, in order to conquer the holy goal of intellectual empowering. Exhibiting unwavering mental strength, resolute drive, and passion, you delved into the knowledge labyrinth and you came out proud and glorious. Quite a journey indeed.

But academic excellence was not enough. In addition to using your MIT enhanced little gray cells to overcome the snags of intellectual conundrums and make you sharp and talented thinkers and problem solvers, you took on additional curricular challenges and responsibilities, thus becoming accomplished leaders. Whether in a lab or in a student group, I have observed many of you take charge by leading the few the way Napoleon and was leading the many with openness and sincerity engaging in fair collaboration for the greater good of your fellows.

Your drive and perseverance cultivated a passionate ambition to succeed. And here you are now graduates of MIT, indeed top notch thinkers and leaders among your peers. But make no mistake, becoming a graduate from MIT comes with responsibilities. You have implicitly entered a lifelong contract. A contract that binds you to make good use of your top-notch thinking and leadership abilities. Voltaire believed that every man is guilty of the good he didn't do.

Graduates of 2006, do not forget the power to change the world is right here today in your hands and in your minds. Now that you possess the tools to advance the world, I challenge you to transform the dreams of a better future into the reality of a better today for you, for your children. I know you can and I know you will.

Both in the academic and leadership realms, you have superbly crossed the meritocratic finish line of MIT's challenges. Through this very education, you have blossomed as citizens of the world now intellectually set to pursue the betterment of mankind. 50 years ago, the Class of 1956, seated by you today, was nationally recognized as MIT's answer for the need for better scientists to address the world's challenges. And they addressed them, not just for their own benefit, but also to the benefit of the subsequent generations.

I hope to see you standing here 50 years from now empowered with the same proud feeling that you contributed to making the world a better place. A citizen of the world before his time, President Woodrow Wilson declared, "You are not here merely to make a living, you are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit and of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world."

My graduate student comrades, I urge you to continue the mission of those citizens of the world who came before you. For it falls upon you to shape the skies of tomorrow. Don't rest on your laurels. I encourage you to continue to strive for greatness. You set the bar high by entering this Institute. You are setting the bar higher by graduating from it.

My fellow engineers, scientists, leaders, and citizens of the world, I wish you the best for the years to come. Good luck. The future is now yours. Thank you.


WU: There's a famous saying at MIT that goes work, friends, and sleep, an MIT student only has enough time for two. My statistics professor taught me that the number of permutations of three categories taken two at a time is 3 factorial over two factorial, which equals 3. How's that for an MIT education?

So, there must be three types of people here at MIT. First, there are the people who chose work and friends. They're the ones whose heads you watch dip left and right throughout lecture. Or sometimes, they would get up and leave at the beginning of class, because they slept through from the previous class.

Second, those who chose sleep and friends. We never saw much of them in lecture, because they all cross-registered at Harvard after freshman year. But at least they've always been good for a round of drinks at Rhodes.

Finally, our friends who chose work and sleep at MIT. Well, commencement is a joyous time, because we haven't seen any of these people since freshman orientation day. Congratulations on finishing. We've missed you.

It's been quite a journey for the Class of 2006, but we've made it. There are a lot of things I think we take for granted and we'll all miss about MIT. For example, referring to everything in numbers as in I have 1803 in 54-100 at 10:30. We'll have to stay up until 6:00 AM if I want to keep up my 5.0.

Or drinking from the proverbial fire hose of MIT education every day. Going to class and finding that MIT hackers have put a police car on top of our dome, or borrowed the Caltech cannon to grace MIT's campus.


Or cheering for the Red Sox and taking to the streets after they reversed the curse. Spending long nights in Athena clusters with friends, 801 showering night, and watching the MIT weather machine fool yet another class of incoming freshmen during campus preview weekend. Our experience at the Institute is priceless. And the memories we have made here will remain with us forever.

At this point, I'd like to share with you a story that someone once told me. There was once a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Every year he entered his corn into the state fair. And each year it won a blue ribbon.

One year a reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. Puzzled, the reporter asked the farmer, "How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they compete with you year after year?"

"Why, sir," said the farmer. "Didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn."

As MIT students, we must all understand the importance of improving the welfare of others, as well as ourselves, just as the farmer did. We all know MIT is an excellent university. But what you may not know is that MIT was ranked number one this past year by Washington Monthly for its dedication to community service. Only three years ago, MIT ranked near the bottom in service. Among others, MIT students have played an important role in the change. We organize concerts and banquets to benefit disaster relief efforts. We raise money for Habitat for Humanity, volunteered in soup kitchens, worked in health clinics. Our senior class even sponsored the largest community team in the Annual Susan G. Komen Race to support breast cancer research.

Through technological innovation as well as community service, MIT dedicates itself to giving back to society. Let us not forget this important aspect of our education and culture.

I have no doubt that we will all go on to do amazing things. We will become engineers, doctors, lawyers, professors, policymakers, and scientists. We have the knowledge and drive to achieve greatness. But let us not forget our responsibility to the world. Let us use our greatness to help those around us. Thank you.


And now for the presentation of the senior gift, I am pleased to announce that our class has achieved the highest participation rate in the history of MIT with 50%.


No class has ever even come close to such a high giving rate. We far exceeded last year's giving rate of 27% and shattered the 39% records previously set by the class of 2001. A portion of the senior gift will go towards the Class of 2006 Student Life Scholarship Fund which will provide financial aid to seniors who held leadership positions in organizations that impact student life.

On behalf of the student class, I would like to thank MIT Alumni Association President Scott Marks for his generous matching donation of $20,000 for a class giving rate of over 50%.


At this point, I would like to invite President Hockfield to the podium.


President Hockfield, it is with great pleasure that I present to you our senior gift of over $31,000

HOCKFIELD: Amazing. Thank you very much.


WU: Finally the "turning of the Brass Rat." Sylvain Bruni, would you please join me at the podium? Graduates, this is the moment we've all been waiting for. Take one last good look at your Brass Rat and the view of the Boston skyline. Now take your Brass Rat and turn it around to symbolize that we are now graduates of MIT.


Congratulations, Class of 2006. We made it!


HOCKFIELD: Thank you, Sylvain. And thank you, Kimberly. And thank you, members of the Class of 2006 for your gift. And thank you to Alumni Association President Scott Marks for his generous challenge grant. Class of 2006, you have made history. You buried all previous records for class participation. I am delighted. And in doing so, you have set a new standard for those who will come after you. And you set an example for all of us.

Participation is not about the dollars, although I assure you that the students who receive these new Student Life Scholarships will be immensely grateful for your contributions. This shared effort is a statement of the values and dreams that unite the members of a unique community.

To your right, you see the red jackets of the members of the Cardinal and Gray Society, graduates of the 50 year class. Their presence here today reflects their own commitment and their gratitude to this extraordinary community. I know they join me in thanking you, the class of 2006, for your example of generosity and for your focus on service.

I also want to thank you, Dr. Bernanke, for your thoughtful and inspiring remarks. The Institute is honored to count you as an alumnus. And the nation is fortunate indeed to have your leadership at the Federal Reserve.

Graduates of MIT, you have arrived at a day that seemed very far off when you first walked through the doors at 77 Mass Ave. Thousands of us have gathered here today in Killian Court to celebrate your accomplishments, the successful completion, often over the course of several years, of demanding courses of study. You have our deepest respect for all that you have achieved.

But today is not yours alone. None of you would be here this morning were it not for the families and friends who have nurtured and supported you since childhood. The people who have embraced your dreams and lighted your path. This is their day, too. Graduates, please rise and thank these family and friends.


You, our graduates, are truly exceptional individuals. Even before you arrived here at MIT, you had already demonstrated your great talents and your willingness to work hard. But at MIT, we raise the bar for ourselves and for one another. We challenge every member of our community to reach farther and to dream larger than ever before.

Fortunately, along with MIT's challenge comes it's inspiring teachers and guides, a brilliant faculty, and just as important, brilliant students. Every part of the Institute from lecture hall to residence hall, from problem sets to athletics, from the Public Service Center to the music practice rooms, every part of MIT has provided opportunities for your education. An education that embraces not just the subjects you have studied, but the lessons of how to work together for the common good. And probably the most important of all, how to live a life of learning.

You will draw on all these lessons after you leave here, because the world looks to you, the graduates of MIT, to lead in answering its most pressing challenges. And at times in the years ahead, when a choice of direction presents itself, I hope you will ask yourselves where can I do the most good? How can I make the greatest difference in the world?

During your years here, your passion and ideas have already changed the world. You've tutored students in Cambridge public schools. You have brought your design and planning expertise to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Katrina. You have launched a promising startup ventures. And you have participated in pathbreaking research with faculty all across the Institute.

In the years ahead, you will help the world meet its need for sustainable energy. You will use the converging tools of the life sciences and engineering to cure and even to prevent disease. You will develop ways to accommodate urban growth without urban sprawl. You will bring the benefits of economic growth to developing economies. And you will answer fundamental questions about nature and society.

And even as you take up the world's challenges, you will remain part of this community. At the close of this morning's ceremony, Scott Marks, the president of the Alumni Association, will formally welcome you into the Association's membership. We hope that even after you leave campus, your lives will be enriched by an ongoing connection with the Institute.

It is my fervent hope that you will transmit the values that define this community to the other communities you will now join. I hope that you will see leadership as an opportunity to serve the common good. I hope that you will make integrity the touchstone of your judgments, that you will exemplify the pursuit of truth, and an unwavering drive for excellence, and that you will continue to demonstrate the value of good, old-fashioned hard work.

Finally, and perhaps most crucially, I ask you to inspire your own generation and the generations to come with a renewed sense of possibility and optimism for the future. Here at MIT we see up close the myriad ways in which science and technology promise to benefit humankind. If we are to realize that promise, we need to kindle in others the same love and passion for truth and discovery, for creativity and problem solving that brought all of us here. I hope that each of you will embrace this challenge as your own.

I would not set you this charge if I did not think you could meet it. I have tremendous faith in you. Your intelligence, dedication, and creativity have inspired us during your time here. And I know that in the years ahead you will do even more. You will surprise and delight us with your further achievements.

But for today, for your accomplishments on this campus, I offer my congratulations, graduates of MIT.


OFFICIATOR: Thank you, President Hockfield. Now we're getting to the point of this ceremony that maybe a few of you have been waiting for. By virtue of the authority delegated to them by the Corporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and on the recommendation of the faculty, President Hockfield 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 Whitaker College of Health, Sciences, and Technology.

Provost Reif 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 ramp, the undergraduate degree recipients will be greeted by the Chancellor, the Dean for Student Life, and the Dean for Undergraduate Education. Graduate degree recipients will be greeted by their school deans. The first graduates to be recognized are the Class Marshals who are seated on the stage.

REIF: Recognition will now be given to the officers of the Class of 2006 and the officers of the Graduate Student Council, who are seated on the stage.


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--


HOCKFIELD: 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--


REIF: 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--


HOCKFIELD: Master of Science and Architecture Studies--


REIF: Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering Science--


Bachelor of Science as recommended by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering--


Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering--


HOCKFIELD: Master of Science in Building Technology--


Master of Science in Visual Studies--


Master in City Planning--


Master of Science in Urban Studies and Planning--


Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences--


REIF: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering--


Bachelor of Science as recommended by the Department of Mechanical Engineering--


HOCKFIELD: Master of Science without Specification of Field--


Doctor of Philosophy with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


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


REIF: Bachelor of Science in Material Science and Engineering--


HOCKFIELD: Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering--


Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering--


REIF: Bachelor of Science as recommended by the Department of Material Science and Engineering--


Bachelor of Science in Archeology and Materials as recommended by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering--


Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Electrical Science and Engineering--



HOCKFIELD: Master of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering--


Master of Science in Ocean Systems Management--


Master of Engineering in Material Science and Engineering--


Master of Science in Material Science and Engineering--


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science--


HOCKFIELD: Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science--


REIF: Master of Science and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science--


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering--


REIF: Master of Science in Chemical Engineering Practice--


Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics--


Master of Science and Nuclear Science and Engineering--


Master of Engineering and Biomedical Engineering--


Master of Engineering and Logistics--


Master of Science in Bioengineering--


Master of Science in Engineering and Management--


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering--


REIF: Master of Science in Engineering Systems--


Master of Science in Technology and Policy--


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science in Chemical Biological Engineering--


REIF: Master of Science and Transportation--


PRESENTER 1: Bachelor of Science as recommended by the Department of Chemical Engineering--


PRESENTER 2: Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering--


REIF: Master of Science without Specification of Field--


PRESENTER 2: Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering--


REIF: Engineer in Computer Science--


PRESENTER 3: Doctor of Science with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


Doctor of Philosophy with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


PRESENTER 2: Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology--


Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Science and Engineering--


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--


Bachelor of Science in Political Science--


Bachelor of Science in Anthropology--


Bachelor of Science in History--


Bachelor of Science in Literature--


Bachelor of Science in Music--


Bachelor of Science in Writing--


Bachelor of Science in Humanities--


Bachelor of Science in Humanities and Engineering--


Bachelor of Science in Linguistics and Philosophy--


Bachelor of Science in Comparative Media Studies--


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--


PRESENTER 4: 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 Biology--


PRESENTER 3: 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 Comparative Media Studies--


Doctor of Philosophy with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


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 4: Bachelor of Science as recommended by the Department of Biology--


Bachelor of Science in Physics--


PRESENTER 3: Master of Science and Management Sloan Fellows--


PRESENTER 4: Bachelor of Science in Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences--


PRESENTER 5: Bachelor of Science in Mathematics--


Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Computer Science--


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 Earth and Planetary Sciences--


Doctor of Science with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


Doctor of Philosophy with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offered joint programs of education and research in oceanography and applied ocean science and engineering. James A. Yoder, Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is here to participate with President Hockfield in awarding the following joint degrees. Master of Science in Oceanographic Engineering--


Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science--


Master of Science in Physical Oceanography--


Doctor of Philosophy with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


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 Engineering in Biomedical Engineering--


Master of Science and Biomedical Informatics--


Master of Science in Health Sciences and Technology--


Doctor of Philosophy with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


PRESENTER 6: Master of Science in Management of Technology--


Doctor of Philosophy with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto--


OFFICIATOR: Congratulations, graduates. It's now my pleasure to introduce Scott P. Marks, Jr. the Chief Marshal who will greet the graduates. Mr. Marks is a member of the Class of 1968 and is currently serving as the President of the Association of Alumni and Alumnae of MIT. Scott.


MARKS: It is my honor to recognize the distinguished Class of 2006, the newest alumni of MIT, a record setting class.


The entire alumni body, now some 115,000 strong, joins me in congratulating the 2006 graduates and officially welcoming you into the alumni family. You're infinite connection to MIT.


OFFICIATOR: The 140th Commencement Exercises of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are now concluded.


A reception will follow on Kresge Oval on the West Campus Plaza. And at this time, I'd like to ask the stage assembly and the audience to please rise and join the MIT Chorallaries in singing the school song.


(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 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.

[MUSIC - MIT CHORALLARIES, "TAKE ME BACK TO TECH"] 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, twas horribly awfully tough. Hurrah for Technology, 'ology 'ology oh! Glorious old Technology, 'ology 'ology oh!

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 the special train to glorious institute, I yearn for the inspiration of a technological toot. I 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 la la la la la la la la la la la la la la Duh duh dun duh dun duh dun duh dun.

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 that is-- C-H-N-O-L-O-G-- and Y comes after G. It's the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hey!