Course VI: the Best and Getting Better

A Message from Department Head L. Rafael Reif

“This has been an exciting year for Course VI. A great deal has happened, including a number of important educational initiatives. I will summarize here some of the highlights of the last twelve months.”

Department Head and future MIT Provost, Rafael Reif, Spring 2005

Department Head and future MIT Provost, Rafael Reif, Spring 2005

A new EECS administration took over on September 1, 2004. Besides myself, the new administration includes Associate Department Heads Professors Duane Boning and Eric Grimson, Education Officer Professor George Verghese, and Administrative Officer Ms. Agnes Chow. One of the first topics we addressed was to articulate a mission and a vision for the Department, and identify the initiatives needed to implement our mission and vision. In our view, the mission of our Department is to:

Prepare EECS students for the future by providing them the highest quality education, which includes:

> Fundamental knowledge: students should learn fundamentals that last a lifetime
> Transferable skills: students should learn skills that are transferable to new areas of
intellectual endeavor
> Multiple modes of learning: students should experience different learning modes, and should learn how to learn on their own
> Flexibility: students should be able to pursue individual interests within the EECS disciplines and branch out from there.

Provide exciting research opportunities for all EECS faculty and students

Advance the state of knowledge in EECS disciplines and at the interface between EECS and related disciplines

We envision a department that, ten years from now, will have a curriculum, education, and research program that is influenced as much by the life sciences as by physics and mathematics, and that will influence the life sciences as much as it has influenced physics and math. We envision a department that is more permeated by notions from quantum physics, so that the wave function takes its place alongside the electron, the photon and the bit (where the bit is the ‘binary digit’ for computation and also the ‘binary unit’ for information).

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