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MIT offers third graduate program in distance learning collaboration with Singapore

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a technological university in Singapore will offer a third graduate program in an on-going collaboration in long-distance education and research.

A press conference will be held simultaneously in Singapore and at MIT via video conferencing on Monday, November 15, at 6:30 a.m. EDT to announce the program's launch and provide an update on the collaboration. The press conference will be followed by a regularly scheduled class attended by 32 Singaporean students and more than 20 MIT students.

The Singapore-MIT Alliance (SMA) was created a year ago as a global partnership among MIT, the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Through this unique alliance, Singaporean and MIT students enroll in new degree programs that are created and delivered by faculty from the three institutions using a combination of faculty and student exchanges and state-of-the-art communications technology.

At MIT, Dean of Engineering Thomas Magnanti and Professor Merton Flemings, co-director of SMA, will chair the event. "Our vision for SMA is that of a world-class entity devoted to education, research and technopreneurship stretching across 12 time zones and linked by modern distance communications," Magnanti said.

"From MIT's perspective, SMA affords us the opportunity to enrich our faculty and students through close collaboration with two outstanding universities in a country and region that will play an increasing role on the world stage. SMA also provides us a wonderful new opportunity for global outreach," he said.


The third graduate program, "Innovation in Manufacturing Systems and Technology" (IMST) will be hosted at Nanyang Technological University. It joins the two originally offered to students through NUS in July 1999: "Advanced Materials" and "High Performance Computation for Engineered Systems" (HPCES). IMST will enroll its first students in July 2000.

In all three programs, SMA Faculty Fellows from MIT, NUS and NTU develop graduate-level coursework. Courses are delivered through a combination of face-to-face lectures and state-of-the-art distance education technology. The alliance, which offers professional master's degrees, research master's degrees and doctoral-level research degrees, is expected to grow to five graduate programs after two years.

All Singaporean students will be at MIT as part of an immersion program in which they attend intensive classes and seminars on entrepreneurship. Ph.D. students spend an additional semester at MIT to attend graduate courses and conduct research. An annual symposium, scheduled for January 2001, will be held in Singapore for students and faculty to interact with industry.

A total of 18 Faculty Fellows from MIT and 26 Faculty Fellows from Singapore are involved in the academic program. There are currently 64 students enrolled in SMA. The infrastructure for distance learning uses Internet 2. An initiative involving Microsoft and SMA in software development for distance learning has been announced.

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