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D'Oliveira to lead MIT OpenCourseWare

Cecilia d'Oliveira
Cecilia d'Oliveira
Photo / Patrick Gillooly

Cecilia d'Oliveira '77, SM '79 has been named executive director of MIT OpenCourseWare, having led the groundbreaking organization on an interim basis for the past year, Provost L. Rafael Reif announced this week.

D'Oliveira will be responsible for leading OCW, the highly successful initiative that has published virtually the entire MIT undergraduate and graduate curricula online, in the next phase of its development. Reporting to the Office of the Provost, and with the assistance of a distinguished 18-member external advisory committee, d'Oliveira will guide the development of programmatic initiatives, institutional partnerships and external support for OCW.

"With her strong technical background, decades of experience at MIT and proven ability to build and lead teams, Cecilia is ideally qualified to lead OCW as it enters an exciting, new phase. I look forward to working with her as we realize the full potential of the OCW web site," Reif said.

D'Oliveira said among her key goals as executive director is to make OCW as useful as possible for the MIT community while building on MIT's worldwide leadership in the field of open education.

"MIT OCW will continue to lead the open education movement by example, sharing the quality educational resources created by the MIT faculty and showcasing the innovative educational programs at the Institute for a large global audience of students, educators and self-learners," she said.

Having served as technology director for OCW since 2002, d'Oliveira has been responsible for planning and support of the initiative's technical infrastructure, including software, hardware, networks and technical standards used in production and delivery of MIT course materials to users around the world.

Prior to her work with OCW, d'Oliveira co-founded and served as vice president of operations for SupplyWorks, a service provider for Internet-based manufacturing e-procurement. Before that, she spent more than 13 years in a variety of technology leadership positions at MIT, including director of information technology support and director of distributed computing & network services.

Launched in the spring of 2001 with more than $30 million in gifts and foundation grants, OCW publishes the educational materials from all MIT undergraduate and graduate courses on the web for worldwide use, free and open to anyone. D'Oliveira noted that OCW is possible because of the voluntary contributions of educational materials from MIT faculty, teaching staff and students; every week, new courses and updated course materials are added to the site.

Over the past six years, OCW has become one of MIT's most important global outreach activities, with more than a million visitors each month -- more than two million if one includes the affiliated sites around the world that host OCW mirrors and translations.


A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 17, 2008 (download PDF).

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