Mark Klein, PhD
Principal Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Welcome Research Teaching Engagement Curriculum Vita Personal Info


Experience I have prepared and taught highly-rated full-semester classes at universities in addition to scores of tutorials at businesses and conferences throughout the world. I have advised Masters and PhD students, post-docs and young faculty members at MIT and throughout the world.
Philosophy My goal as a teacher is to help students find the simple in the complex, so they can have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the goals, techniques and open questions in a given field. I am told that I have a gift for this. I also work hard to engage students in an interactive process, rather than just lecture at them. I make extensive use of novel social computing tools of my own design, such as the Deliberatorium, to augment the learning experience. I also use peer-evaluated class projects to provide students with a simple but complete experience of the research life cycle. I've found that teaching and research are mutually supportive, so I often use my own research and real-world experience to enrich the class materials. As an advisor, I strive to help students find a path that elicits their passion and builds on their strengths. This has I believe helped them be more creative and productive and has led to many long-standing research collaborations.
Breadth My diverse research portfolio has given me a deep background, suitable for teaching upper-level classes in artificial intelligence, social computing, multi-agent systems, knowledge management, and business process engineering. Perhaps my most unique contribution as a teacher is developing, over the last decade, a full semester class on social computing, a comprehensive, well-organized, multi-disciplinary overview of the goals, insights, challenges, techniques and possible future directions for this very important emerging field.

I am, in addition, an active developer with substantial experience with languages including Java, Javascript, Common Lisp, prolog, python, matlab and others, and with web-based and machine learning systems. This, along with my PhD in artificial intelligence, means that I would feel comfortable teaching a wide range of introductory computer and information systems courses including data structures and algorithms, web and other programming, databases, artificial intelligence, and so on.

Diversity I view diversity as a source of joy and value and actively seek it out for myself and others. I've travelled extensively, and have taught, advised, and collaborated with students, researchers, faculty and others from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. I speak four languages (English French Spanish and Japanese) and have taught graduate level classes in Japanese. Through these experiences, I have learned to be very mindful of differing cultural preferences e.g. in terms of being assertive in public, handling conflicts implicitly or openly, and so on, and have developed approaches for making the best of each context. In more restrained collectivist cultures like Japan, for example, I've used anonymous online in-class polls to foster classroom participation. In more unrestrained cultures such as Brazil's, I often make use of small-group discussion formats such as the "World Café" to engender more discussion by parallelizing it. My wife is the organizer for the annual General Assembly for the Unitarian Universal Association (a liberal religious denomination) and through her I have learned much about understanding and respecting cultural sensitivities along religious, political, gender identity, sexual orientation, and racial lines. I look forward to whatever further opportunities I get to teach or collaborate with people with diverse cultures, skills, and perspectives.