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Commencement miscellania: MIT Press and a jazz band

Just in case President Clinton has some spare moments during his plane ride to Boston on Friday (or back home at the White House library), the MIT Libraries and MIT Press have shipped him a batch of books. All 15 titles (plus a copy of Technology Review) were either written by MIT authors and/or published by MIT Press, and many were presented as part of the "authors@mit" series.

"We hope you will find the ideas in these books challenging and that they will provide insight into recent scholarship and research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology," wrote "authors@mit" coordinators Theresa A. Tobin, head of the Humanities and Dewey Libraries, and Jeremy Grainger, manager of the MIT Press Bookstore.

Among the books by MIT professors that Mr. Clinton received are What Will Be by Michael Dertouzos, director of the Laboratory for Computer Science; American Scripture by Pauline Maier; The Age of Diminished Expectations (third edition) by Paul Krugman; City of Bits by William J. Mitchell; Affective Computing by Rosalind Picard; and How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker.������������������


As usual, a jazz band led by retiring Professor Samuel Jay Keyser will play on Commencement day--but this year, he was hoping to recruit a star soloist to sit in.

At the May 20 faculty meeting, Professor Kayser of linguistics suggested to the Commencement Committee that President Clinton be invited to play his sax with the jazz band that assembles every year to entertain parents and graduates at the McDermott Court reception after the exercises. But the President will already be gone by that time. The long-standing MIT tradition was begun by Professor Emeritus Warren M. Rohsenow of mechanical engineering and the late Roy Lamson; Professor Keyser keeps the band connected to the original trio by calling it "The Intermission Trio Plus."

"After Roy died, I took it over and started adding professional musicians to it," Professor Keyser said. The musicians typically include Herb Pomeroy on trumpet, Eddie Freedman on clarinet, John Repucci on bass, William Kane on drums, Jimmy Mazzy on banjo and vocals, Bill Youngren on piano and Dr. Keyser on trombone.

In addition to playing at Commencement, the band plays for the Quarter Century Club picnics in August.

"The Intermission Trio Plus" will provide tunes for the Class of '47 dance in Walker Memorial at 7:30pm.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 3, 1998.

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