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Articles by Sam Shames

October 12, 2012
Science today has an image problem. Too often it is seen as an esoteric activity of academics, whose results have no influence on the daily lives of the American people. When the news of the neutrinos supposedly going faster of light was reported and the public saw the scientific community scramble to debunk this claim, I cannot help but wonder what an American who does not follow science thought of the coverage.
October 5, 2012
With the evolution of massive open online course (MOOC) and online learning, in the near future students will no longer need a lecture to learn material. We are already seeing the beginning of this trend; independent learners can teach themselves in an online environment and receive immediate feedback. This represents a major change in model of education. Teachers are no longer the gatekeepers of knowledge and students can take charge of their own educations. The democratizing of knowledge will completely reshape the classroom. When students no longer need to come to lecture to learn the material, what role does the classroom have in education? Where is the added value?
September 7, 2012
In prepared remarks to the MIT community last year, President Reif declared that one of his most cherished values includes “a commitment to meritocracy.” Indeed meritocracy is one of the values which make MIT great. Recognizing, rewarding, and encouraging the talents of its students and general population help MIT attract the brightest people in the world and keep these people happy and productive during their time here.
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