Quizlet inventor Andrew Sutherland '13

Quizlet inventor Andrew Sutherland '12

When 15-year-old Andrew Sutherland was preparing for a French vocabulary test, it took hours of his time and his dad’s, who was testing and retesting him on more than 100 words. There had to be a better way thought Sutherland, now an  MIT sophomore from Albany, California. And he came up with it—a software program that lets you enter words and definitions, test yourself, and then it retests you on any weak spots. An article in the summer issue of Spectrum calls Sutherland’s discovery a “lightning fast way to memorize vocabulary words.”

Sutherland launched the Web site Quizlet.com to share his innovation. Now you can set up your own customized flashcard sets or tap into quizzes created by others on the Web site for free. Existing quizzes focus on languages, math and science, history, literature, medicine, and many other fields. You will also find links to standardized tests for SAT, GRE, LSAT, etc.

Recently Sutherland founded Brainflare, a company designed to turn a great idea into a profitable business. The five employees include Sutherland’s father, who is CFO and secretary. A member of the Albany High School Science Bowl, which won fourth place in the national championships, attests, “Quizlet cut my studying time in half.” Hmmm…this might be useful to Sutherland’s classmates.

Spectrum articles also report on Magnificent Desolation, a new book by astronaut Buzz Aldrin PhD ’63; efforts to save coral reefs by Assistant Professor Janelle Thompson PhD ’05; why real estate investor Ed Linde ’62 is giving $25 million to MIT for undergraduate financial aid; and more.