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Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs.
Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering.
In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT.
Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at MIT's Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar.
The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area....a special type of educational institution which can be defined as a university polarized around science, engineering, and the arts.
We might call it a university limited in its objectives but unlimited in the breadth and the thoroughness with which it pursues these objectives. A 1949 report noted the lack of "any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute" to match the return to peacetime, remembering the "academic tranquility of the prewar years", though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities.