The MIT Media Laboratory occupies a unique position in the
rapidly evolving landscape of new media and information technologies.
It was founded by MIT Professor Nicholas Negroponte and the late
Jerome Wiesner (former science adviser to President John F. Kennedy
and former president of MIT), who foresaw the coming convergence of
computing, publishing, and broadcast, fueled by changes in the
communications industry. As this convergence accelerated, it spurred
interconnected developments in the unusual range of disciplines that
the Laboratory brought together, including cognition, electronic
music, graphic design, video, and holography, as well as work in
computation and human-machine interfaces.
Since opening its doors in the fall of 1985, the Media Laboratory has
pursued its educational and research mission, and helped create
now-familiar areas such as digital video and multimedia. True to the
vision of its founders, today's Laboratory continues to focus on the
study, invention, and creative use of digital technologies to enhance
the ways that people think, express, and communicate ideas, and
explore new scientific frontiers.
The Laboratory is also understaking a major initiative abroad. In May
2000, the Laboratory signed a 10-year collaboration with the Republic
of Ireland to establish Media Lab Europe (MLE) in Dublin. This
independent, university-level educational center is expected to grow
to a community of 20 faculty members and 35 full- and part-time
research staff, more than 100 graduate students, and 100 undergraduate
students. To facilitate the free exchange of information, the MIT
Media Laboratory and MLE and will share all intellectual property
developed at both locations over the initial 10-year period.