About the Fund

For nearly two decades, the d'Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education has been an important catalyst for innovation in MIT’s undergraduate curriculum. The Fund was established in 1999 with a generous $10 million donation from Alex, ’49, and Brit, SM ’61, d’Arbeloff while Alex served as chairman of the MIT Corporation. At the time, he said:

"MIT is already known for innovation and for new ideas in how to educate scientists and engineers. In the light of new technology, we have a tremendous opportunity to go further. We can add value to the residential experience by stimulating innovation in teaching. The Institute is already churning with new ideas. This is a chance to bring them into the light of day."

When the d’Arbeloff Fund was established, technology was the web. Early projects, such as Studio Physics — which shaped the Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) format used for the Physics General Institute Requirements (GIRs) today — put technology front and center in the classroom. MITx allowed for the development of digital tools to enhance and support the residential experience. In recent years, our emphasis has shifted toward active learning and pedagogies that are enabled by the use of technology both in and out of the classroom, including self-paced online music education and chemistry “goodie bags,” which gives students materials to conduct mini-experiments outside of class.

In the face of this ever-changing technological landscape, we remain committed to the core principles of Mr. d’Arbeloff’s vision:

“We need to add value and excitement for the extraordinary students who come here. I hope that we generate proposals that start with education and then determine how technology can be applied to support those educational goals.”

Proposals for projects that improve the quality of teaching and enhance learning experiences through creative curricular and pedagogical initiatives are accepted each fall. They are reviewed by a committee chaired by the Vice Chancellor and comprised of deans or their faculty representatives from each School and from the Schwarzman College of Computing at MIT.

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Contact Us

d'Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education
Curriculum & Faculty Support
77 Massachusetts Ave, Room 5-133
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-253-6776
Fax: 617-253-6969