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New initiatives in graduate education at MIT

Three new committees will advance important topics.
MIT Dean for Graduate Education Christine Ortiz announced on Feb. 17 that faculty, students and staff from across the Institute are coming together to advance three important topics in graduate education.

All-electronic graduate admissions system moves forward

During the 2011-2012 academic year, the Institute transitioned 10 graduate programs to an all-electronic graduate admissions software platform developed by Professors Frans M. Kaashoek and Robert T. Morris of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, which has already resulted in enormous improvements. The new Committee on Graduate Admissions (CGA), chaired by Professor David L. Darmofal of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, will serve as the primary Institute body for review and oversight of the ongoing transition.

Increased cohesion for graduate professional development

Today's graduates are in need of an increasingly sophisticated transferable skillset. The charge of the new Task Force on Graduate Student Professional Development (TFPRO), co-chaired by Professors Yang Shao-Horn, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Stephen C. Graves, of the MIT Sloan School of Management, will be to review desirable skillsets for MIT graduate students in various disciplines and employment sectors and to identify core competency areas, as well as to map current MIT professional development offerings to those areas. The Task Force will provide recommendations for formulating a comprehensive and coherent set of offerings to all MIT graduate students.

Best practices for student entrepreneurship

Student interest and participation in the formation of new businesses has exploded on the MIT campus in recent years. The new Committee on Student Entrepreneurship (CSE) — co-chaired by Professors Anantha Chandrakasan, head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), and Yoel Fink, of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) — will review policies and procedures, best practices, resources (e.g. Responsible Conduct of Research, or RCR training) relevant to student involvement in entrepreneurship and commercialization activities. The CSE will create documentation clarifying these topics for broad distribution.

Read the full announcement on the dean's letters page.

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