Here they are. These are the two speeches on Technology Day 2006 that invited me back after fifteen years away…… One was a speech by President Hockfield on MIT research priorities and the second was a speech from Woodie Flowers about a liberal arts education in the 21st century.
It might seem odd to talk about love and passion in the context of institutions and educational, but that oddness is merely a reflection of how mutated our society has become.
The speech by Woodie Flowers is particularly important. I’m using MIT as the emotional center of my efforts to try to improve the undergraduate physics curriculum, and that is because there is an MIT professor willing to get in front of the entire world and say that there is a problem. If someone from University of Phoenix or the University of Texas at Austin were willing to go an a podium and make a similar speech, I’d be putting my efforts in those institutions, but I’ve found that trying to change a large institution that doesn’t want to be changed is a useless and painful experience. No one from UoP or UT Austin has talked publicly about the need for change, so I’ll leave them alone.