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Charles M. Vest, President of the National Academy of Engineering and President Emeritus of MIT, to Speak at Fifth LINC Conference

September 17, 2009

Charles M. Vest will give a keynote address at the Fifth International LINC Conference to be held at MIT in May of 2010. Dr. Vest is currently President of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), an organization whose mission is to promote the technological welfare of the nation by marshaling the knowledge and insights of eminent members of the engineering profession.

Many members of the LINC community around the world are familiar with Dr. Vest’s role in creating MIT’s groundbreaking OpenCourseWare Initiative. In his 2005 article, Educating Engineers for 2020 and Beyond, Dr. Vest discussed the need to create open environments and shared resources and intellectual property across institutions:

“In my view, openness is creating a global meta-university, a transcendent, accessible, empowering, dynamic, communally constructed framework of Web-based open materials and platforms on which much of higher education worldwide can be either constructed or enhanced. Like the computer operating system LINUX, knowledge creation and teaching at each university will be elevated by the efforts of individuals and groups all over the world. It will rapidly adapt to the changing learning styles of students who have grown up in a computationally rich environment. But the biggest potential winners are clearly in developing nations.”

Dr. Vest became president of MIT in 1990 and served in that position until December 2004. As president of MIT, he was active in science, technology, and innovation policy; building partnerships among academia, government and industry; and championing the importance of open, global scientific communication, travel, and sharing of intellectual resources. During his tenure, MIT launched its OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative; co-founded the Alliance for Global Sustainability; enhanced the racial, gender, and cultural diversity of its students and faculty; and established major new institutes in neuroscience and genomic medicine; and redeveloped much of its campus.

Charles Vest

Charles M. Vest