Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Massachusetts



Founded by William Barton Rogers in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, the university adopted the European university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Its current 168-acre (68.0 ha) campus opened in 1916 and extends over 1 mile (1.6 km) along the northern bank of the Charles River basin.

MIT researchers were involved in efforts to develop computers, radar, and inertial guidance in connection with defense research during World War II and the Cold War. In the past 60 years, MIT’s educational disciplines have expanded beyond the physical sciences and engineering into fields like biology, economics, linguistics, political science, and management.

MIT enrolled 4,232 undergraduates and 6,152 graduate students for the Fall 2009–2010 term. It employs about 1,009 faculty members. 75 Nobel Laureates, 47 National Medal of Science recipients, and 31 MacArthur Fellows are currently or have previously been affiliated with the university. The aggregated revenues of companies founded by MIT alumni would be the seventeenth largest economy in the world. MIT managed $718.2 million in research expenditures and a $8.0 billion endowment in 2009

As early as 1859, the Massachusetts State Legislature was given a proposal for use of newly opened lands in Back Bay in Boston for a museum and Conservatory of Art and Science. In 1861, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts approved a charter for the incorporation of the “Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston Society of Natural History” submitted by William Barton Rogers. Rogers sought to establish a new form of higher education to address the challenges posed by rapid advances in science and technology during the mid-19th century with which classic institutions were ill-prepared to deal.

The Rogers Plan, as it has come to be known, reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories. Rogers proposed that this new form of education be rooted in three principles: the educational value of useful knowledge, the necessity of “learning by doing”, and integrating a professional and liberal arts education at the undergraduate level.

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