MIT Financial Explorer: Opening the Brown Book data for everyone

MIT Finance Explorer

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Brown Book is the “annual report of sponsored research activities” for MIT Campus and Lincoln Lab (a federally funded research and development center of technology for national security). While the Brown Book is published on a regular basis, with details about the millions of dollars in funds provided by major sponsors such as the Air Force or Shell; and expenditures by MIT Schools and Centers, it is not well known by academics, staff, students or citizens of Cambridge. Nor it is available in a format that is easy to understand by people who are not subject experts. Which are MIT`s top money receivers? Who are the top donors? How much funds does a Center receive and for what? What companies and government organizations are the major sponsors of grants and contracts? The MIT Financial Explorer is a project developed by Austin Hess, Michael Greshko and Miguel Paz. It aims to give you answers about the financial structure of MIT and release all the data in a friendly format so you can reuse it for your own projects and amusement. Please enter here.

1 thought on “MIT Financial Explorer: Opening the Brown Book data for everyone

  1. Really looking forward to seeing this one on the Tech’s site – I think the article you present there will serve as completion of the assignment, which involves both building the tool and writing a story with it. As you guys know, I’m more interested in the sponsor side of this than the researcher side – I think it makes it easier to ask big questions: what percent of money supporting MIT is government versus commercial? What percent is private foundations? What percent is military?

    I think you accomplished something very impressive with converting this massive stack of PDFs into machine readable data. Here’s hoping for something next year that lets your successors focus on the data and storytelling, not on the scraping.

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