The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.
Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, the Institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. MIT's early emphasis on applied technology at the undergraduate and graduate levels led to close cooperation with industry but curricular reforms under Karl Compton and Vannevar Bush in the 1930s re-emphasized basic scientific research. MIT was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934 and researchers were involved in efforts to develop computers, radar, and inertial guidance in connection with defense research during World War II and the Cold War. Post-war defense research contributed to the rapid expansion of the faculty and campus under James Killian.
The current 168-acre (68.0 ha) campus opened in 1916 and extends over 1 mile (1.6 km) along the northern bank of the Charles River basin. In the past 60 years, MIT's educational disciplines have expanded beyond the physical sciences and engineering into fields like biology, economics, linguistics, political science, and management.
MIT enrolled 4,232 undergraduates and 6,152 graduate students for 2009–2010. It employs around 1,000 faculty members. 76 Nobel Laureates, 50 National Medal of Science recipients, and 38 MacArthur Fellows are currently or have previously been affiliated with the university.
According to the British newspaper, The Guardian, "a survey of living MIT alumni found that they have formed 25,800 companies, employing more than three million people including about a quarter of the workforce of Silicon Valley. Those firms between them generate global revenues of about $1.9tn (£1.2tn) a year. If MIT was a country, it would have the 11th highest GDP of any nation in the world." MIT managed $718.2 million in research expenditures and an $8.0 billion endowment in 2009.
The Engineers sponsor 33 sports, most teams of which compete in the NCAA Division III's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference; the Division I rowing programs compete as part of the EARC and EAWRC.