J.S.: Every department like this one exists within the context of a larger institution. Can you trace some of the history of the mathematics department’s relationship to MIT? K.M.H.: Yes. In modern times, the math department has enjoyed, I think, very strong support of the central administration of MIT. You’ve got to think of the people who were in the math department. Norbert Wiener, of course. Claude Shannon, Mr. Information Theory. Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert, the stewards of artifi cial intelligence at MIT: they started in the math department.