If you take the traditional MIT campus tour, your student guide will give a nod to William Barton Rogers, the Institute’s founder and first president. His memorial plaque on the far side of Lobby 7 is an especially fitting starting point for tours in 2011, as MIT celebrates its 150th year.
But if you can’t catch a student-led tour, there’s now an up-to-date alternative. Visitors with an iPhone or Android device can download the latest version of the MIT Mobile app, which includes links to the MIT150 website as well as a campus tour with a map, text and images.
The mobile tour provides much of the same detail you would get on a guided tour. You can take in Plensa’s Alchemist, the sculpture in front of the Student Center that commemorates MIT’s sesquicentennial. You’ll learn about MIT’s newest buildings — the state-of-the-art David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research; the Media Lab’s striking addition, with its emphasis on transparency; and the new MIT Sloan School of Management building, the greenest structure on campus. As the tour ends, a walk down Student Street in the Stata Center — with its classrooms, childcare and fitness centers, “Information Intersection,” café, and benches for hanging out — offers an engaging look at everyday MIT.
If you plan to attend the Open House on April 30, check for an update to the MIT Mobile app. It will provide an audio version of the tour’s text as well as more robust support — just in time for the thousands of visitors expected on campus that day.
Once the MIT150 celebrations end on June 5, the mobile campus tour will head down some new paths. One idea is for students to record the audio version of the text, spicing it up with anecdotes of life at MIT. The Institute will encourage the addition of customized tours — for example, of gardens or sculptures on campus. Another possibility will be to add custom videos — say a tour for prospective engineering students narrated by an MIT student majoring in Course I.
Downloads and Development
The MIT Mobile app requires iOS 4.0 or newer or Android OS 2.1 or newer. To get the app for you device, search for “MIT Mobile” at the iPhone App Store or the Android Market.
If you have ideas for tour enhancements, please send an e-mail to IS&T’s mobile project lead and developer, Justin Anderson. If you or your group or department would like to develop a custom tour or video, contact Joe Coen or Rachel Russell in the MIT Information Center to learn about next steps.