Dear members of the MIT community,
When I asked last month what makes the MIT community unique, the responses emphasized the quality of the faculty, the spectrum of intelligence, the openness to new ideas, and most resoundingly, the talented student body. “The students are unbelievably brilliant and creative,” said Jeremy Raines ’69, PhD ’74. “I got to attend classes with people who became pioneers in their fields after leaving MIT,” noted George Thompson SM ’63.
One article in this Infinite focuses on MIT professor Yoel Fink PhD ’00. He and his team at Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, a $300 million institute on the edge of campus, are shaping the future of fabrics. Yoel traces the roots of his success to MIT’s meritocratic culture, entrepreneurial spirit, the presence of mentors, and embrace of game-changing ideas. “I think there is a lot of respect for students built into the system at MIT,” he says. “People realize that ideas come from different directions and from all levels, that student sitting in front of you may eventually discover a cure for a disease, discover a fundamental law, or form a great company so you are always listening.”
There is no shortage of ambition at MIT. An article in this edition also announces the leadership for the new Abdul Latif Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health, or J-Clinic, which will bring the best AI technology developed in our labs at MIT to hospitals and clinics in the U.S. and worldwide. This initiative is in keeping with MIT’s mission to serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. My question for you this month: “What does MIT’s public service mission mean to you?”