The MIT Media Lab is home to research into technologies that enhance communication and expression. The field is rooted in communications and the computer and cognitive sciences, drawing heavily upon design and the expressive arts. Since 1999, Media Arts and Sciences, the academic program housed at the Media Lab, has offered a small group of first-year undergraduates the opportunity to pursue first-year subjects through an alternative program. The goals of the program are to:
- introduce students to university research, both how it's carried out and how current research projects use the concepts presented in first-year subjects;
- involve students in the Media Lab community, particularly through the learning-by-apprenticeship that is a hallmark of the MAS academic program; and
- expose students to the intersection of technology and communication/expression that is the mission of the Media Lab.
Students in the program take project-oriented, hands-on versions of core subjects (taught in conjunction with the Experimental Study Group), with an emphasis on connections between the subject matter and current Media Lab research. Students will also be able to participate in one of several MAS advising seminars, and will take two MAS subjects, one design-oriented and one an introduction to carrying out research and documenting/presenting results. During spring semester, students participate in UROP at the Media Lab in conjunction with the latter subject.
This program is intended for students who will pursue any undergraduate major at MIT.