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Articles by Ethan A. Solomon

February 8, 2013
Pretty much everybody’s gotten on board the MOOC bandwagon. MIT says its edX platform for “Massive Open Online Courses,” as they’re called, heralds a “revolution in education.” Stanford professors Andrew Ng SM ’98 and Daphne Koeller, who cofounded edX competitor Coursera, have similar ambitions for their startup — and 33 universities have joined with them so far. Political commentators are excited, too: “Let the revolution begin,” proclaimed Thomas L. Friedman in The New York Times.
February 5, 2013
It took MIT less than 86 days to pick a new president. If that sounds like a short amount of time to whittle down, interview, and vet a list of dozens of candidates, consider that the MIT Corporation’s final pick was somebody who the Institute already knew quite well. Somebody, in fact, who was already as close to the presidency as he could possibly get.
November 27, 2012
MIT’s campus as you know it may not exist in 100 years — and if it does, it would likely have a renewed focus on ocean engineering. That’s because, according to a New York Times analysis of major U.S. cities, much of southern Cambridge would be underwater if ocean levels rise five feet, which is “probable” within 100–300 years. If levels rose 20 feet, over half of Cambridge and a third of Boston would be submerged.
October 16, 2012
The University of Texas system — nine universities, six health centers, 212,000 students and 19,000 faculty — announced yesterday it would join edX, the MIT-pioneered online learning platform and university consortium. The move sextuples the number of institutions involved with edX, from three to eighteen, and bolsters MIT’s efforts to make online technology a staple of university education.
July 11, 2012
If you like to laugh, you should see Ted. It’s Seth MacFarlane’s (Family Guy) first try at directing for the silver screen, and he delivers on what he does best — telling hilarious vulgar, racist, or sexist jokes. But MacFarlane’s gift is also a curse, because Ted seems to skimp on everything else, making it feel more like a big-budget vehicle to tell the same jokes you can get from an episode of Family Guy.
June 8, 2012
I had high expectations going into Prometheus. Ridley Scott finally took the director’s chair again to create a pseudo-prequel to Alien — one of my favorite sci-fi films — which he directed in 1979. Scott did such an amazing job with Alien, so how could Prometheus not be good?
May 15, 2012
MIT will announce its 17th president tomorrow morning after a special meeting of the MIT Corporation, according to a press release from the MIT News Office. The Corporation will elect Susan J. Hockfield’s successor, who has been picked after a 3-month long search process conducted by a joint faculty-Corporation committee.
May 4, 2012
The search process to replace President Susan J. Hockfield is on-track to conclude by early June, according to MIT Corporation officials.
May 4, 2012
The world has come to expect great things when the university titans of Cambridge join forces. After all, Harvard and MIT led the international team that cracked the human genome together in 2003.
April 27, 2012
This week, faculty again took to the pages of their Newsletter to chime in on key Institute developments, including the selection of the next president, MIT 2030, and MITx. The March/April newsletter’s editorial page also featured faculty thoughts on the presidential search process, in addition to 10 suggestions for specific people who could replace President Susan J. Hockfield.
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