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Letter regarding the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing working groups and Idea Bank

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The following letter was sent to the MIT community on Feb. 7 by Provost Martin A. Schmidt.

To the members of the MIT community:

In October 2018, MIT announced the establishment of the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. The College aims to create a shared academic structure to facilitate the connection of computing scholarship and resources to all disciplines at MIT, and to provide opportunities for pathbreaking initiatives in computing-related education and research.

At that time, we anticipated the formation of several working groups to develop ideas and options for creation of the College that can help the administration plan for its launch.  I am writing to let you know that we have created five working groups for this purpose, as follows:

  1. Organizational Structure — Co-chairs:  Asu Ozdaglar, Department Head, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and School of Engineering Distinguished Professor of Engineering; Nelson Repenning, Associate Dean of Leadership and Special Projects, and School of Management Distinguished Professor of System Dynamics and Organization Studies
  2. Faculty Appointments — Co-chairs:  Eran Ben-Joseph, Department Head, Urban Studies and Planning; William Freeman, Thomas and Gerd Perkins Professor of Electrical Engineering
  3. Curriculum and Degrees — Co-chairs: Srini Devadas, Edwin Sibley Webster Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Troy Van Voorhis, Haslam and Dewey Professor of Chemistry
  4. Social Implications and Responsibilities of Computing — Co-chairs:  Melissa Nobles, Kenan Sahin Dean of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Julie Shah, Associate Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics
  5. College Infrastructure — Co-chairs:  Benoit Forget, Associate Professor, Nuclear Science and Engineering; Nicholas Roy, Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Member, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory   

The full memberships of these groups, which include faculty, staff, and students from a wide range of MIT departments, can be found here.

These groups will convene throughout the spring 2019 semester with the aim of producing a report describing their thoughts on these important issues by May. A steering committee — composed of the 10 co-chairs, Dean of Engineering Anantha Chandrakasan, MIT Faculty Chair Susan Silbey, and me — will provide collaborative guidance to the working groups. In addition, we have established an Idea Bank in order to gain input from the MIT community. Community members can submit ideas related to the working group topics to the Idea Bank until the end of April.

I wish to express my appreciation to all members of the working groups and the steering committee for their efforts on the important task of planning for the launch of the new MIT Schwarzman College of Computing in fall 2019. I am certain the guidance from their recommendations will help shape the College’s path to lasting success. 


Martin A. Schmidt

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