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These are the notes for a talk that I’m giving tomorrow at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. I’m posting them here because it is a convenient way to write and others might find these interesting. I’ll talk about MIT because that is where I have the most experience teaching. MIT operates the same way that it did upon opening in 1865: two semesters with long vacations in between; students do most of their learning in take-home problem sets (6-9 hours/week/course) for which they get some inspiration in lectures (2-3 hours/week); evaluation/grading is done by the same people who are teaching/coaching. The calendar was designed for rich families. You want your kid available in the winter so that you can take him down to your estate in Florida.
When someone writes for a publication like MIT’s Technology Review , they have an obligation to write articles that are objective and scientifcally sound. To represent a brand like MIT, they have to observe the standards of review journalism such as creating measurable comparison criteria, applying those standards consistently, and giving consistent, even-handed treatment to their subjects. However, Wade Roush of Tech Review last month ignored all of these rules in his article What’s the Best Q&A Site? Perhaps it was Roush’s objective to take a light-hearted look at the Social Q&A space and therefore was lax in his editorial rigor, but if that’s the case, his review should have been published on a blog somewhere, not on Tech Review, and it should have had the appropriate disclaimers. When MIT Tech Review publishes an articles with hard numbers comparing websites, that review becomes gospel for the hordes of other sites that reference it, so it had better be accurate.
MIT researchers today unveiled a new social networking application that will make it possible for anyone on the Institute's 168-acre campus to locate anyone else, via their laptop. Known as iFIND, the new technology was developed by researchers in the Institute's SENSEable City Laboratory. iFIND will give all 20,000 members of the MIT community the ability to accurately calculate their location on campus, using WiFi access points, and to choose if, when and with whom they want to share it with. It could become another case of campus culture having a major impact on the real world, like Facebook or YouTube, researchers said.
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MIT Exokernel Operating System Putting the Application in Control. An operating system is interposed between applications and the physical hardware.
My work on HTML started a couple years after graduating from U.T. Austin, with messages such as rethinking the HTML DTD to www-talk in July 1992: I have been troubled by the fact that HTML documents look like SGML documents, but technically, they are not. So I have tried to come up with a DTD that captures the features of HTML. I have come to the conclusion that HTML has very little structure, and that this is by design.