Education: M.I.T.: Beyond Technology

Dancers cavort before a student film crew while near by a gallery displays subtle canvas-on-canvas paintings. Elsewhere young men and women read their latest poetry and a symphony orchestra rehearses a new work, Metamorphoses. The title is appropriate, for the setting is not some artsy experimental college but the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where students traditionally have been more at home with scientific pursuits like laser technology, cancer research and hydroacoustics.

Just a few years ago, such goings on would have been rarely seen at M.I.T. For 112 years, it has dedicated itself...

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