Editor’s note

2012 – A year in review

The world may not have ended in 2012, but it was still a year full of news for MIT and the world. In this special issue of The Tech, we look back on the biggest headlines at the Institute.

At the helm, Susan J. Hockfield, MIT’s first female president, resigned in February. She was succeeded in May by then-Provost L. Rafael Reif, who has promised to advance MIT’s educational mission.

MIT collaborated with Harvard to merge MITx and HarvardX under the MOOC umbrella of edX, a multi-university effort to bring more classes online and make college level education more accessible. While the long-term effect on the residential education system at MIT remains unclear, some classes are beginning to integrate edX into their curriculum in attempt to “flip” the traditional classroom.

On the student side, the Class of 2016 — MIT’s most competitive class ever — was admitted with a record low rate of 8.9 percent and a record high yield of 70 percent, resulting in no students taken off the waitlist. This class was the first to experience the shortened orientation and revamped FPOP system, which has students pay for FPOP housing and limits the duration of each program.

After a bumpy introduction last June, RLADs joined the communities of seven dormitories in 2012. They are slated to be in all dorms except Senior House by the beginning of the fall term.

Sadly, MIT lost three students last year; Heng “Nikita” Guo G to suicide, Brian G. Anderson ’13 to drug overdose, and Allison Tovo-Dwyer G to cancer. These deaths shook the MIT community, prompting the administration and all of MIT to look inwards once again. In response, The Tech ran a pressure survey, which provided insight into the stresses facing the average MIT student.

In the following pages, you’ll find a recap of the year’s biggest stories — from the potential shutdown of Alcator C-Mod to an overview of the MIT sports scene. Our arts staff looks back on 2012’s best movies and video games, and remembers some choice campus performances. Opinion and campus life share the favorite columns from the past year; examining the future of MIT’s online presence, comparing the Institute to the other Cambridge, and discussing other hot topics that rocked MIT, from affirmative action to the best way to respond to stress.

It’s often difficult to get away from the daily grind when you’re at MIT. As we settle into 2013, take a moment to pause and reflect on last year. We hope that our Year-In-Review helps you remember 2012 and provides perspective as you begin the spring semester.

—Jessica J. Pourian, Volume 132 Editor in Chief