Noelle Selin and Ken Oye

Noelle Selin and Ken Oye win 2018 Martore teaching award; 5 additional faculty awarded retroactively

June 25, 2018

The Joseph A. Martore Award for Excellence in Teaching in IDSS was awarded to two faculty members for 2018. IDSS also retroactively recognized five faculty members for the last three academic years. For a decade, the Martore Award has recognized outstanding contributions in education to the Engineering Systems Design program, which transitioned into IDSS in 2015.

The Martore Award recipients are:

2018: Noelle Eckley Selin and Ken Oye

The Technology and Policy Program curriculum underwent a periodic revision in 2017, requiring the merger of Noelle Eckley Selin’s modeling subject with another core subject. Over summer 2017, Selin and Ken Oye worked together to incorporate key lessons from Selin’s modeling subject into Oye’s longstanding subject Science, Technology, and Public Policy. The synthesis reinvigorated both of their lesson plans while affording the students a learning environment that showcased their differing perspectives on the subject. TPP’s teaching “bench depth” was also strengthened after a period of fruitful collaboration and co-teaching.

2017: Caroline Uhler and Stefanie Jegelka

Professors Caroline Uhler and Stefanie Jegelka are recognized for creating a capstone subject for the new IDSS Minor in Statistics and Data Science, IDS.012 Statistics, Computation and Applications. However it has quickly become apparent that the demand for the class is much broader than the statistics minor, whose intake is on the order of 15 new students a year. With 41 students enrolled the first time Statistics, Computation and Applications was offered, the subject was instantly IDSS’s most popular subject. By its second year the subject grew another 83% as more students enrolled. In particular, students from the Technology and Policy Program opted to use the graduate version of the subject to satisfy their quantitative methods program requirement. The popularity of the subject is also reflected in strong subject evaluations. Students particularly responded to the project-based learning using real-world data.

2016: Philippe Rigollet and Devavrat Shah

Devavrat Shah and Phillipe Rigollet created and coordinated Data Science and Big Data Analytics, an online subject offered by IDSS and MIT Professional Education targeted to data science professionals. The subject provides continuing education for a rapidly advancing field, designed to teach the fundamental math and theories underlying very new machine-learning techniques. During its inaugural run 1256 students enrolled in the subject. Since then it has been offered several more times; the cumulative enrollment currently stands at 4814 students. Also notable is that these students participate from many different locations including the US, Canada, Spain, Thailand, the UK, and other countries. Two more offerings of the subject are scheduled for September and October 2018. The subject is proving to be an excellent and effective ambassador for Statistics and Data Science at MIT. Its quality, in terms of teaching and content, is attributable to the hard work of the Professional Education team, SDSC and guest lecturers, and especially to the hard work and care of the subjects’ lead instructors, Professors Shah and Rigollet.

2015: Jessika Trancik

Jessika Trancik’s research combines the development of new models and theories with the analysis of large data sets to evaluate energy systems and technologies in terms of both economic and environmental performance. Her work seeks to identify which technologies might be the most effective and cost-efficient—and appeals to the many MIT students interested in tackling the critical issue of climate change mitigation. Her highly-rated courses, Energy Systems and Climate Change Mitigation (ESD.124) and Mapping and Evaluating New Energy Technologies (ESD.125), attract students from throughout the Institute, engaging them in developing and using quantitative models to inform complex policy decisions about timely, real-world challenges.

We look forward to continuing the tradition of acknowledging teaching excellence via the Martore award in the years to come.

MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society
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