EECS Grads are Everywhere

In a few cases, a graduate from EECS at MIT may follow a totally unpredicted course, nevertheless finding good use for his/her education along the way. Upon graduating with his SM and EE degrees in 1986 (under Professor Peter Szolovits), Robert Kunstaetter, who had earned a medical degree from McGill University prior to MIT, decided to take part with his wife Daisy in the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander, Wyoming. This opened the door for the Kunstaetters’ extensive explorations throughout Central and South America (additionally connecting with Daisy’s parents in Ecuador).

Robert (SM and EE '86) and Daisy Kunstaetter, contributors to Adventure Network International

Following a re-supply mission in 1988 with the Chilean Navy to bases in Antarctica, they returned in 1994-95 to work for Adventure Network International, the first company to offer tours to the Antarctic mainland. The Kunstaetters’ experiences have culminated in numerous trekking and travel guidebooks. Robert Kunstaetter shares his thoughts:

“Although we never followed traditional career paths, our educations have left a lasting impact on us. My computer science background, for example, has been an asset when developing digital trekking maps or an intelligent Geographic Information System to store material for our guidebooks.

Much more important though, the principles we learned have continued to help guide our way forward. In retrospect, we have had a great many satisfactions and very few regrets. We therefore encourage other MIT EECS graduates to dare to be different, to regard their education as a means of broadening rather than narrowing their horizons.”

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