From the Blog

Founded in 1990, the Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) checking out Professors and Scholars Program honors the life span and legacy of Martin Luther King by increasing the existence of, and acknowledging the efforts of, underrepresented minority scholars at MIT. MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars improve their scholarship through intellectual involvement with the MIT community and enhance the cultural, academic, and professional experience of students. This system hosts between four and eight scholars every year with monetary and institutional support from the Office of Provost and supervision from Institute Community and Equity Office. Six scholars are going to MIT this academic year included in the program.

Kasso Okoudjou is returning for a 2nd year being an MLK Visiting Professor inside Department of Mathematics. Originally from Benin, he relocated to the usa in 1998 and attained a PhD in math from Georgia Tech. Okoudjou joins MIT through the University of Maryland College Park, in which he could be a teacher. Their research interests consist of applied and pure harmonic evaluation, particularly time-frequency and time-scale evaluation; frame principle; and analysis and differential equations on fractals. He’s contemplating broadening the participation of underrepresented minorities in (undergraduate) research into the mathematical sciences.

Matthew Schumaker joins MIT for another 12 months within the Music and Theater Arts part in the class of Humanities, Arts, and personal Sciences. Schumaker got his doctorate in music composition from University of California at Berkeley. At MIT, he shows a fresh program, 21M.380 (creating for Solo Instrument and Live Electronics), a hands-on songs technology composition workshop incorporating instrumental writing with real-time computer songs. In addition, The Radius Ensemble in Cambridge, Massachusetts features commissioned Schumaker to publish a fresh piece of music that seeks to result in songs the vibrant, curved gestures and slashed markings within the abstract surroundings of celebrated Ethiopian-born painter Julie Mehretu.

Jamie Macbeth is checking out from Smith College, where he’s an assistant teacher in computer system technology. He received their PhD in computer research from University of California at Los Angeles. Although this is his first 12 months being an MLK Visiting Scholar, he is not a new comer to MIT, since he has already been a seeing scientist since 2017. He could be managed because of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Macbeth’s research is focused on building and learning intelligent computing systems that display a human-like capacity for detailed understanding and production of normal language, and thus is capable of richer communications with human people. He’s particularly thinking about creating methods that decompose this is of language into complex conceptual structures that reflect humans’ embodied cognition, memory, imagery and understanding of social circumstances.

Ben McDonald has become a postdoc in the Department of Chemistry since 2018 and is now an MLK Visiting Scholar. McDonald obtained their PhD in synthetic natural biochemistry from Northwestern University. Their research dedicated to the sum total synthesis of flavonolignan natural products therefore the growth of reverse-polarity carbon-carbon relationship forming responses. Like a member of the department’s Chemistry Alliance for Inclusion and Diversity, he’s centered on advancing variety, equity and inclusion efforts. Among the projects he seeks to ascertain is just a summer analysis system, which recruits gifted future experts from underrepresented experiences.

Tina Opie is definitely an connect teacher into the control Division at Babson College. Opie received her PhD in general management (by way of a concentration in business behavior) from ny University’s Stern class of Business. As an MLK Visiting Scholar in MIT Sloan class of Management, with usage of MIT’s Behavioral analysis Lab, she is carrying out research to build up the construct of Shared Sisterhood. “Shared Sisterhood examines exactly how high-quality connections (age.g., relationships seen as an trust, emotional vulnerability) between black, white, and Latinx ladies at your workplace facilitate workplace inclusion and equity.” Though the woman work possesses specific focus, individuals of all genders and racioethnic experiences may be “sisters” and that can donate to fostering a far more inclusive workplace. Opie established Opie asking Group, a diversity-and-inclusion consultancy that includes Shared Sisterhood in producing comprehensive workplaces.  

Rhonda Williams, an MLK Visiting Professor hosted because of the Department of History, joins MIT from Vanderbilt University, in which she had been recently appointed the John L. Seigenthaler Chair in United states background. This woman is the creator regarding the personal Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University. Her article entitled “Black Women Who Educate for Justice and place Their particular Time, resides, and Spirits at risk” was recently posted in “Ebony Women And Social Justice knowledge: Legacies and Lessons” (2019, SUNY Press). On Oct. 25, Williams will deliver a social justice-related performance-lecture known as “The Things That Divide United States: Meditations” at MIT. In spring 2020, she’s going to facilitate a social justice workshop for pupils, faculty and staff.

To learn more about our scholars plus the program, visit