The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), consistently ranked among the top engineering/science/business schools in the world and home to over 90 Nobel Laureates,  is located on the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT is a short walk from Boston – the capitol of Massachusetts – across either the Longfellow Bridge (originating near Massachusetts General Hospital / Beacon Hill) or the Harvard Bridge (Massachusetts Ave).

MIT moved across the river from the Back Bay in Boston to its current location Cambridge in 1916, in part to take advantage of the tremendous landscape of industry and manufacturing in Cambridge at the time – everything from soap to fire hoses to candy and electrical wire.  MIT’s motto “Mens et Manus” (Mind and Hand) reflects the emphasis on solving real-world problems by translating discoveries in basic science into practical use through engineering and business.  Several engineering disciplines, including Chemical Engineering and Biological Engineering, had their start at MIT.

Over the past 30 years Cambridge has become a world-wide technology hub, led by the entrepreneurial activity of MIT and the transformation of the Kendall Square area into “the most innovative square mile on the planet”. The area surrounding MIT is now home to scores of start-up companies in biotech, computer science, artificial intelligence, and more.  Further, scores of major companies – in pharma, biotech, computing – have moved the research headquarters to Cambridge.  This activity has driven a renaissance in the local dining, nightlife, and cultural scene.  The large student population combined with the influx of young professionals working in the start-up environment fuels a very active vibe in the city.

The venue for the OEF is in the original historical “Infinite Corridor” building at MIT (recognizable by the two classical domes) and has a view of the Charles River and Killian Court.  MIT’s campus is compact, facilitating easy access to lab tours and sightseeing on campus (e.g., MIT is home to a descendent of Newton’s apple tree) and nearby in Cambridge.  The Boston Museum of Science is a 20 min walk from MIT, on the dam spanning the Charles just downriver from the Longfellow bridge.