Teresa Marrin Nakra
Begun in 1896, one of the most beloved reunion events is Tech Night at the Pops. It was originally the idea of the MIT Association of Class Secretaries, which was formed that same year to promote class spirit and organization. In 1899, this group also initiated MIT’s first alumni publication, Technology Review. Today, the Pops concert tradition continues with the added feature of performances by accomplished members of the MIT community. The 1998 concert was unusual in that the featured “artistic” performance was actually an experiment for Teresa Marrin Nakra’s doctoral thesis at the MIT Media Laboratory. Conductor Keith Lockhart donned this bright red jacket wired with sensors that monitored his heart rate, limb position, respiration, and muscle response. Along with abstract art images, the data was projected onto screens above the orchestra in a performance that captured the attention of local television stations and provided a memorable night for the MIT reunion audience.
MIT Museum Collection, 2011.028.001