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Harold (Hal) Abelson PhD '73

Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Co-founder of OpenCourseWare

Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Co-founder of OpenCourseWare

Harold (Hal) Abelson PhD ’73
Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Co-founder of OpenCourseWare
 
Hal Abelson, the Class of 1922 professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, has played key roles in fostering MIT institutional educational technology initiatives such as OpenCourseWare and DSpace. He is co-director of the MIT-Microsoft iCampus Research Alliance in Educational Technology, co-chair of the MIT Council on Educational Technology, and he serves on the steering committee of the HP-MIT Alliance. In 1992, Professor Abelson was recognized for significant and sustained contributions to teaching and undergraduate education in being named one of MIT's six inaugural MacVicar Faculty Fellows. He holds an AB degree from Princeton University and a PhD in mathematics from MIT.
 
Highlights of this interview include:

  • Growing up and early education
  • Being ""bad at arithmetic, but good at math""
  • Early work with Seymour Papert
  • Rethinking the teaching of computer science
  • Development of interest in educational technology
  • Research into distance education and the Internet that led to the founding of OpenCourseWare
  • The importance of open networks and protecting the intellectual commons
  • MIT's great strengths as an institution dedicated to open access
  • What's next for educational technology and the future of classroom learning

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