Charles Vest, former MIT president, passed away recently. There is a wonderful statement about his contributions on the MITnews site. Chuck touched the lives of many academics over the course of his career, and we wanted to celebrate his role in the establishment and success of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project.
The genesis of the VTP came in the immediate wake of the 2000 presidential election, when Chuck (then president of MIT) and David Baltimore (then president of Caltech) thought to put together a unique group of scholars who spanned both academic disciplines and the continent. Vest and Baltimore helped to launch the VTP, they helped to secure early funding for the project, and they were both committed to the project’s lasting success.
Chuck played a important role in putting the MIT team together, in helping to secure early funding for the project, and in providing later intellectual, administrative and financial support. He was a long-time supporter of the VTP, and he continued his support of research on election administration and voting technologies when he later became President of the National Academy of Engineering.
The VTP would not have had the impact and durability had we not had the leadership of Chuck. He will be missed.
R. Michael Alvarez and Charles Stewart III