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MIT 150 Infinite History Interview (Read Transcript)

In an interview celebrating MIT’s 150th anniversary, Ray reflects on his experience at MIT, both as a student and then later in life, the impact which MIT had on his life and career, and how MIT has evolved over the decades when he was involved. He also talks about entrepreneurship and how his company, Analog Devices, got started and developed over many decades. He describes how the Stata Center came into being, how the quality of student life has improved and his aspirations for MIT in the future.

On the Nature of Progress

H. B. Phillips, American Scientist, October 1945

In defense of liberty, progress is driven by trial and error. Thus progress is greatest with the largest number of independent thought centers with the freedom to make decisions. Governance structures which optimize freedom will result in the most progress. Our ability to predict and plan for the future is limited by accidental occurrences which have a disproportionate impact.

Ray Stata, MIT Sloan Management Review, April 15, 1989

When we think of innovation it is mostly about product and process innovation. Japanese companies have demonstrated that management innovation can have even more impact on performance. This article points out that the rate of organizational learning is a key factor in management innovation. Approaches to accelerate the rate of organizational learning are drawn from experiences at Analog Devices and other companies that participated in MIT’s New Management Style Project.

An Interview by David Mindell for the Computer Museum, 2012

A discussion of the origins and evolution of converter products – analog-to- digital and digital-to- analog – and the role which Analog Devices played in the growth and development of this category of semiconductor products.

Ray Stata, April 20, 2004

A description of Analog Devices’ Parallel Ladder Program, the selection criteria for fellows, the highest rung on the technical ladder, the roles that Fellows play and the contributions Fellows make to the success of an innovation driven business strategy.


As a post script, recommendations are made for changing the selection criteria as the transition to a system solution orientation emerges.

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