As a child tinkering with household appliances in Michigan, Karlin Bark imagined a career in the automotive industry. But a class in haptics—the science of touch—took her in a new direction, eventually resulting in her efforts as a doctoral candidate to improve prosthetic limb fittings. Now a postdoctoral researcher, Bark has worked on tactile feedback systems to help surgeons during robot-assisted procedures, and she hopes to advance stroke rehabilitation, too. She is one of five female postdocs to receive the 2011 L’Oréal USA Fellowships for Women in Science.
When MIT made a formal decision in the year 2000 to publish their course materials on the Internet, MIT alumni could have been miffed. Here was the institution’s renowned curriculum—previously accessible to students who paid for it with their tuition and hard-won academic achievement—being offered to anyone with a computer.
The executive director of the MIT OpenCourseWare program that manages publication of the curriculum, who herself is an alumna of MIT and the daughter of two more MIT graduates, says she and her former classmates were thrilled.