3 Questions: The fact finders

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 22:24 in Mathematics & Economics

When publication such as U.S. News and World Report roll out their annual university rankings, typically with MIT among the top schools listed, some may wonder where the data they’re based on actually come from. The source of that information is MIT Instituational Research, which collects and compiles data on many facets of the Institute, or, as Director Lydia Snover puts it, on MIT’s “people, money, and space.” The Institutional Research (IR) website is a wonderland of data that tells the story of MIT’s evolution over recent decades. There are surveys of faculty, graduate students, undergraduates — and even undergraduates’ parents. Users can also take a deep dive into the demographics of different subsets of the MIT community and peruse financial figures on research expenditures, tuition, and more. Public universities have been providing this kind of information for decades to state and federal agencies that fund them. It’s unusual for a...

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