Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a renowned research and educational institution located in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is widely recognized as a leader in science and technology and research, as well as in management, economics, linguistics, political science, and philosophy. They are one of five universities in the U.S. to consistently receive the highest peer assessment score of 4.9/5.0, the others being Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and Princeton. MIT is an independent, coeducational, and privately endowed institution. Its five schools and one college encompass 34 academic departments, divisions, and degree-granting programs, as well as numerous interdisciplinary centers, laboratories, and programs whose work cuts across traditional departmental boundaries. MIT welcomed its first students in 1865, four years after its founding charter received the nod of approval. The construction of the first MIT building was completed in Boston's Back Bay in 1866. In the late 1890s, the institution went through a financial crisis. At that time, a proposal to merge the institute with Harvard was mooted, but the plan was subsequently dropped owing to stiff resistance from the MIT alumni. MIT moved to its present location across the Charles River from Boston in 1916. MIT assumed prominence in the post-World War II period, when the U.S. government started funding projects in research universities with immediate or potential defense or national security applications. Throughout its history, MIT has focused on research and invention. No wonder, to date, 61 of MIT's alumni have won the Nobel Prize in various disciplines. An illustrative report published in 1997, showed that the aggregated revenues produced by companies founded by MIT and its graduates would make the institution the 24th largest economy in the world. MIT’s recent venture to offer free online course materials as part of the OpenCourseWare project by 2007, has been hailed as an honest attempt to provide access to academic material for people around the world. The MIT campus spreads over 68 acres and stretches more than a mile along the Cambridge side of the Charles River Basin. Its prominent departments and schools are the Lincoln Laboratory, the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the MIT Media Lab, the Whitehead Institute, and the MIT Sloan School of Management. The school maintains close academic relationships with top universities in the U.S. and across the globe. Harvard and Boston University, along with MIT, jointly run the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology. They have student exchange programs with the University of Cambridge in England, and maintains informal ties with the University of Southampton. In addition, MIT has been closely associated with IIT Kanpur – one of the top technical institutions in India under the Indian Institute of Technology umbrella.