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Sanjay E. Sarma

Vice President of Open Learning
Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Vice President of Open Learning
Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Sanjay E. Sarma
Vice President of Open Learning
Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Sarma became MIT’s first Director of Digital Learning in 2012.  Prior to that he was Director of MIT’s collaboration with Singapore and the establishment of the Singapore University of Design and Technology.  He co-founded the Auto-ID Center at MIT and developed many of the technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide.   He has authored more than 75 publications in computational geometry, manufacturing, CAD, RFID, signal processing, security, sensors and automotive systems.   

Dr. Sarma received his bachelors degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, his masters degree from Carnegie Mellon University and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Growing up in New Delhi and the challenges of studying to become an engineer at the India Institute of Technology.
  • Working on an oil rig in North Sea in Scotland.
  • Came to the US for graduate school and eventually a job at MIT.
  • Work with colleagues at MIT on RFID technology.
  • Origin of the “internet of things”.
  • How he teaches - inspire, instill and anchor. Keep it loose and have fun.
  • Setting up MITx and the Office of Digital Learning at MIT as an opportunity to rethink education.
  • The amazing uptake of MOOC-related online technology on campus.
  • MOOC’s make the real magic of MIT even more powerful.  In the future MIT will need more campus rather than less.
  • As we understand how the brain works we will make advances to the way we learn.

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