Monthly Archives: May 2013

May 31, 2013

Tsai and Liggett (MechE) teach undergrads to make toys

Their theme might have been “in the dark,” but the MIT students who participated in this year’s 2.00b (Toy Design), a first-year elective in mechanical engineering, were anything but: Their creations ran the gamut from innovative board games to puzzles to stuffed animals to a comforter that transformed into a pup tent.

The toy prototypes were unveiled and demonstrated on campus Tuesday night before a large audience — including many children — armed with clipboards to score the varied offerings. Adding to the fun, each of the 16 teams of five students presented their invention as part of a five-minute skit — some featuring sound effects, costumes and choreography — followed by questions from the audience. The instructors and mentors who introduced each team did so with skits of their own.

Mechanical engineering graduate students Geoff Tsai and Lindy Liggett taught the class — which aims to teach basic design, building and testing processes — under the supervision of mechanical engineering professor David Wallace. “The goal is for students to get an experience they get jazzed up about,” Wallace says, and learn about “technology and tools they haven’t worked with before.” Read the rest of the article on MIT News.

May 31, 2013

amanda stoll

Amanda Stoll joins the ODGE

ODGE is pleased to welcome our newest member, Amanda Stoll. Ms. Stoll joined ODGE on May 28 as our new Diversity Initiatives Administrative Assistant. She has recently moved back to the States after spending two years teaching English to first and second grade boys in Thailand at St. Gabriel’s College. Prior to that, Amanda worked as an Office Assistant in the Office of Student Life at Loyola University Maryland. She has extensive writing experience and has edited a book on mastering phone interviews.

In her new role, Amanda will coordinate various aspects of the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) and help plan this fall’s CONVERGE program. Additionally, she will support our recruitment and retention planning for the next academic year. Amanda will join Heather Konar and Monica M. Orta in the 35-332 suite. Please join us in welcoming Amanda to the ODGE community.

May 31, 2013

Handshake Courtesy of Flickr

“Not Networking 101” on June 10

Networking has gotten a really bad name these days. I take your card, you take my card and then we don’t call each other. The Office of the Vice President for Research is sponsoring a workshop designed to reintroduce you to how strong professional relationships can be necessary for most people to succeed in their careers. On Monday June 10 from 3-4:30pm at the Singleton Auditorium, Building 46-3002, Dr. Joanne Kamens speaks  about building relationships for success. Registration to attend is required. The workshop will provide practical tools for meeting people and for nurturing new and established connections.

Dr. Joanne Kamens received her PhD in Genetics from Harvard Medical School then spent 15 years at BASF/Abbott where she led discovery research projects on small molecule and antibody approaches to inflammatory diseases, ultimately serving as Group Leader in Molecular Biology. In 2007 she joined RXi Pharmaceuticals as Director of Discovery and concluded there as Senior Director of Research Collaborations. In 2011, Dr. Kamens became the Executive Director of Addgene, a mission driven, non-profit dedicated to helping scientists around the world collaborate. Dr. Kamens founded the current Boston chapter of AWIS. She was the Director of the HBA Boston Mentoring Program for 3 years and serves on a number of other boards. In 2013 she was elected as a fellow to the Massachusetts Academy of Science for service to science and the community. Photo  by StockMonkeys.

May 30, 2013

Sydney Pacific

Graduate Housing Task Force Listening Session on May 30

As part of the Graduate Housing Task Force, the GSC is hosting a listening session on Thursday May 30 from 3-5pm in 32-124 for all graduate students who live in campus housing on or off campus. Refreshments will be served. Dean of Graduate Education Christine Ortiz and other task force members will be there to hear your opinions on and ideas for MIT graduate housing policy, plans and strategy.
 
The purpose of this session is to understand the connection between quality of life and graduate housing (both on- and off-campus) with a focus on the trade-offs between proximity, productivity, the decision-making process you use to select housing, and your satisfaction with current graduate housing and housing resources at MIT. Please also share your thoughts with this short questionnaire. Two respondents will be randomly selected to win $25 Amazon Gift Cards.

 

May 30, 2013

mit doc vid image

MIT music documentary pays tribute to the Arab Spring

The PBS affiliate WGBH Boston/Channel 2 will air the MIT music documentary “Awakening: Evoking the Arab Spring Through Music” on Friday, May 31 at 10:30 p.m. Several firsts are involved in this event: the broadcast marks the first time PBS has shown an MIT music documentary; this is the first work that MIT Video Productions has produced specifically for broadcast television; and the 30-minute program features the world premiere of “Awakening,” by composer and MIT alumnus Jamshied Sharifi. The work debuted in March 2012, performed by the MIT Wind Ensemble led by Dr. Frederick E. Harris, director of wind and jazz ensembles for MIT Music and Theater Arts.

The music, and ultimately the documentary film, were set in motion by conductor Harris’ vision for engaging his MIT music students with the momentous events of the Arab Spring. To encourage his students to contemplate and understand the historical context for the Arab Spring, Harris proposed to Sharifi that he compose a piece that related to the movement sweeping Egypt and other Arab countries. Read more.

May 29, 2013

Erich Caulfield (EECS) is supporting low-income residents and the homeless

Erich Caulfield (EECS, PhD) is currently serving as the New Orleans Community Solutions Team Lead for the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative, which is a new partnership between the federal government and seven pilot cities across the country. Embedded in the Mayor’s Office in New Orleans and based locally out of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Erich is coordinating an interagency team with representatives from 11 federal agencies. The Team has been working closely with the Mayor’s Office on a variety of initiatives that have included: developing a primary care health care access plan for low income residents; establishing initiatives to support local startups and small businesses; creating city-wide strategies to address substance abuse and mental health; launching new homicide reduction and ex-offender reentry initiatives; accelerating the launch of $55 million in neighborhood revitalization programs; piloting a federal policy that supports local hiring; and introducing several other new initiatives to support low-income residents and the homeless.

May 29, 2013

GREEK AND ITALIAN DISH

Mediterranean Mixer On June 1

MITaly and the Hellenic Students Associsation (HSA) are hosting a Mediterranean Mixer on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the Muddy Charles Pub. The time of the event is to be announced. The event will have delicious Greek and Italian food and olive oil tasting. Attendees must be 21 years or older and are required to being a government issued ID. For more information, please contact Christos Samolis at csamolis@mit.edu.

May 29, 2013

MIT ARCHITECTURE

MIT hosts Toyo Ito Lecture on May 30

MIT Architecture is honored to host a lecture by Toyo Ito on the night after he is presented with the 2013 Pritzker Award. You are cordially invited to join at 6:30 pm on Thursday, May 30th in MIT Kresge Auditorium, 48 Mass Ave, Cambridge for the event. More information can be found on the MIT Department of Architecture website.

May 28, 2013

ICE CREAM

Grad Assoc. of Aero/Astro Ice Cream Social on June 3

Tired and have nothing else to do? Step away from work for an afternoon of cold and delectable ice cream with the Graduate Association of Aeronautics. The social will be held on Monday, June 3, 2013 at 3pm at Aero/Astro Graduate Lounge. For more information, please contact David Clifton at dclifton@mit.edu.

May 28, 2013

MIT AWARDS Pic

Celebrating graduate achievement at the 2013 MIT Awards Convocation

The 2013 MIT Awards Convocation was held on April 25th, where students and faculty were recognized for their accomplishments on behalf of graduate students with nine different awards for entrepreneurship, visual arts, excellence in teaching, mentoring, and contribution to the MIT community.

Read more

May 24, 2013

SOMETHING VERY SPECIFIC

Something Very Specific Exhibit May 25-June 10

ART SHOW and EVENTS by Art, Culture and Technology graduate students is holding an exhibit on May 25 through June 10 with open hours of 4-6pm. The event consists of exploring silence, ambivalence, non-knowledge, and psychodynamic interaction. It will also feature diagrams for living, Sausage Tank, a signifying baseball cap, and dynamic video displays. Join us at the former Salvation Army thrift store, 328 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

May 24, 2013

2013-14 Hugh Hampton Young Fellows Named

Four new graduate students and one continuing recipient have been chosen to receive the prestigious Hugh Hampton Young Memorial Fund Fellowship in 2013-14. The fellowship, named for the pioneering medical researcher Hugh Hampton Young, is a highly selective research fellowship at MIT. Recipients are chosen not only for academic achievement, but also exceptional personal and character strengths, weighing heavily the perceived overall potential of the candidate to have a positive impact on humanity.

Painting by Eric G. Haupt; oil on canvas, 39.5 by 31.5 inches, 1931. Read more

May 23, 2013

Hang Chen and Chern Chuang (Chemistry) are decoding the secrets of efficient photosynthesis

Purple bacteria are among Earth’s oldest organisms, and among its most efficient in turning sunlight into usable chemical energy. Now, a key to their light-harvesting prowess has been explained through a detailed structural analysis by scientists at MIT.

A ring-shaped molecule with an unusual ninefold symmetry is critical, the researchers found. The circular symmetry accounts for its efficiency in converting sunlight, and for its mechanical durability and strength. The new analysis, carried out by professors of chemistry Jianshu Cao and the late Robert Silbey, postdoc Liam Cleary, and graduate students Hang Chen and Chern Chuang, has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read the rest of the article on MIT Newsphoto courtesy of Jianshu Cao

May 23, 2013

Jason McKnight receives Multicultural Advocate Award!

At the May 8th Inaugural Multicultural Programs Awards Banquet, the Office of the Dean of Graduate Education’s own Jason McKnight, Assistant Dean for Graduate Education,  was the recipient of the Multicultural Advocate Award for supporting the Office of Multicultural Programs as it works to advance diversity and inclusion at MIT.  Jason is a staunch collaborator, having served as a chaperone, as a committee member, and workshop presentations. Jason can always be called on to advocate on behalf of underrepresented students.  His work is rooted in theory and best practices and provides students with opportunities to be challenged and affirmed.

May 23, 2013

“Continuing the Dialogue: Meritocracy and Inclusive Employment” on May 29

The “Continuing the Dialogue: Meritocracy and Inclusive Employment” discussion will take place on Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 from 10:30am to noon in MIT Room 10-250.  The speakers include Marianna Pierce (Director of Policy, Compliance, and Labor Relations) and Professor Emilio Castilla (Associate Professor of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management).  Participants will view selected clips from the morning panel discussion “Meritocracy and Inclusion: Principles or Practices?” and following this, there will be a presentation by the guest speakers.  There will also be an opportunity to network informally after the session in Lobby 10, from noon to 1:00pm.  Light refreshments will be served.  Please RSVP here and send any questions to Naomi Ryan at nryan84@mit.edu.

May 22, 2013

Yan Chen (Nuclear Science and Eng) is unleashing oxygen to enhance fuel cells

New research at MIT could dramatically improve the efficiency of fuel cells, which are considered a promising alternative to batteries for powering everything from electronic devices to cars and homes.

Fuel cells make electricity by combining hydrogen, or hydrocarbon fuels, with oxygen. But the most efficient types, called solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), have drawbacks that have limited their usefulness — including operating temperatures above 700 degrees Celsius (roughly 1300 degrees Fahrenheit). Now, MIT researchers have unraveled the properties of a promising alternative material structure for a key component of these devices.

Oxygen reduction is one of two main reactions in a fuel cell, and the one that has limited their overall performance — so finding improved materials for that reaction could be a key advance for fuel cells, the researchers say. The new findings are published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials in a paper co-authored by graduate student Yan Chen, professors Harry Tuller and Bilge Yildiz, and three other researchers at MIT.

Continue reading the article on MIT Newsphoto courtesy of Bilge Yildiz

May 22, 2013

End of the Semester Dinner on May 24

Come celebrate the end of the semester at the End of the Semester Dinner on Friday, May 24th, 2013, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm in the Hulsizer Room, MIT Building NW35.  Enjoy free authentic Egyptian food, and learn about how you can spend an awesome summer or winter in Egypt.  Contact rakha@mit.edu for more information.

May 22, 2013

Wellington and Irene Loh Fund Graduate Fellowship; Deadline May 30

The Office of the Dean of Graduate Education (ODGE) is pleased to announce the call for departmental nominations for the Wellington and Irene Loh Fund Fellowship.  Eligible MIT graduate students should direct applications to their departmental graduate administrator.  Questions may be directed to ODGE Manager of Graduate fellowships, Scott Tirrell (stirrell@mit.edu).  There will be 4 awards.  Graduate students from any field are all eligible.  The amount will be one semester of tuition (fall of spring) with a stipend of $2664 for 4.5 months, as well as MIT Student Health Insurance for one term.  This is intended to provide support for graduate students of Chinese ancestry.  Each department may nominate one student.  Nomination packets should include: Read more

May 21, 2013

Narges Kaynia (MechE) is developing a blueprint for reversible wrinkling in composite materials

Many natural composite materials have evolved to wrinkle in response to certain stimuli: The eye of the squid is lined with wavy layers of silvery reflectors that give it a silvery sheen. In the cell walls of many plants, wrinkles allow expansion without strain. Finally, the inner lining of arteries contain wrinkled lamellae that can be indicators of coronary heart disease, and can serve as markers for the condition.

Given these examples from nature, scientists say that understanding the mechanisms by which materials internally wrinkle could help in creating new, responsive materials for use in chemical sensing, medical diagnostics and optical and acoustic wave control.

Now researchers at MIT have identified the mechanics involved in the wrinkling of thin interfacial layers within soft composite materials, and developed a model based on material properties and geometry to predict how wrinkled an internal layer may become, given its stiffness and width. The researchers also fabricated composite materials using multi-material 3-D printing, and observed the wrinkling and instability pattern — results that were correctly predicted by their model.

Narges Kaynia, a graduate student in mechanical engineering at MIT, says the model may serve as a blueprint for developing new composite materials with reversibly wrinkling interfaces. Continue reading the article on MIT Newsphoto courtesy of Narges Kaynia and Yaning Li 

May 21, 2013

Canadian BBQ Night on May 21

Meet other Canadian MIT students and friends of Canada over a BBQ dinner on Tuesday, May 21st, 2013, beginning at 6:30pm in the Sydney Pacific courtyard.  Experience the tastes of Canadian snacks imported directly from Canada, including ketchup chips, Nanaimo bars, Smarties (chocolate candy), Rockets, and more.  Discuss and learn about the cultural differences experienced by Canadians in the USA, such as having milk in bags, the word choice of “zee” vs. “zed” and “washrooms” vs. “restrooms,” etc.  Contact canadians-owner@mit.edu for more information.

May 21, 2013

Global Fellows Program: Spots Still Available!

MIT and Imperial College London are jointly offering an intensive 4 ½ day Global Fellows Program for PhD students.  Through presentations, interactive work and hands-on activities, PhD students from Imperial (20) and MIT (20) will develop professional skills required to launch and manage a successful research career.  Emphasis will be on creating and sustaining successful international research collaborations.  The program will take place from Monday, June 24th through Friday, June 28th, 2013 in Sharon, Massachusetts.  Morning programs will begin at 9:30am, and evening programs should be completed by 9:00pm.  Participants must commit to the entire program, which includes full day events and some evenings.  The Fellowship covers the cost of travel, the program, and some meals.  Topics covered will include building successful working relationships and global collaborations, team and project development, global intercultural skills and communication.  Participants will work in small groups with either an MIT or Imperial facilitator.  Faculty members from each university will present on the topic of developing and managing international collaborations as an integral part of a research career.  Eligibility is restricted to PhD students with a preference for students who have passed their qualifying exams and have a few years remaining before completing their PhD program.  Apply soon!  Application available here.  For more information, contact Kim Benard in the GECD at globalphd@mit.edu.

May 20, 2013

BioEngineers take a different view of cancer cells

Most cancer deaths are caused by metastatic tumors, which break free from the original cancer site and spread throughout the body. For that to happen, cancer cells must undergo many genetic and physical changes.

Many of those genetic changes have been studied extensively, but it has been more difficult to study the physical changes. Now, MIT researchers have developed a way to study three key physical properties of cancer cells — their mass, stiffness and friction — on a large scale.

Authors from the paper include lead author and MIT postdoc Sangwon Byun, grad student Josephine Shaw, MIT postdoc Sungmin Son; Stanford University postdoc Dario Amodei; MIT grad students Nathan Cermak, Joon Ho Kang and Vivian Hecht; former MIT postdoc Monte Winslow; Tyler Jacks, the David H. Koch Professor of Biology at MIT and director of the Koch Institute; and Parag Mallick, an assistant professor of radiology at Stanford.

The rest of the article is available on MIT Newsphoto courtesy of Sangwon Byun and Josephine Shaw

May 20, 2013

Moving out Info for MIT students

Are you moving out soon?  Arrange a free pickup of your good-condition furniture!  Visit cambridgeMA.gov/furniture for an interactive list of organizations and details on pickup and drop-off options. These groups taking living, dining and bedroom furniture…and put them to good use. Groups with a star (*) also take mattresses in good condition. Plus, they’ll pick up your stuff for free! Read more

May 20, 2013

Present at the Grad Alumni Poster Session on June 8!

Practice your presentation skills to a non-expert audience, to network with alumni, and even find someone who can give further insights on your projects!  The Grad Alumni Poster Session will take place Saturday, June 8, 2013, from 5:30pm-8:00pm in MIT Building E15, first floor hallway. All presenters will get feedback from attending alumni and students.  Prizes will be given to best presenters.  Free appetizers and open bar for all presenters and attendees.  Register as a presenter here.

May 18, 2013

Particpate in UP: The Umbrella Project on May 19

MIT students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in the second performance of UP: The Umbrella Project on the evening of Sunday, May 19th, 2013, at 7:45pm in Jack Barry Field.  A collaboration between CSAIL’s Distributed Robotics Lab and internationally acclaimed dance company Pilobolus, UP will bring together members of the MIT community to participate in a large-scale live performance piece using umbrellas outfitted with LED lights.  Each UP participant will be provided with an umbrella equipped with red, green and blue LED lights.  Using hand controllers, participants will be able to independently change the color of their umbrella.  Guided by the Pilobolus creative team, UP participants will traverse the field and manipulate the hue of their umbrellas, creating a colorful and ever-changing display of live art.  All members of the MIT community, including students, faculty and staff, are invited to participate.  Those willing to participate must be at the field by 7:45pm.  The performance will be photographed and filmed for promotional purposes.  Participants must be at least 18 years of age and must be affiliated with MIT.  Visit this site for more information on UP.

May 17, 2013

Sean Collier Cook Out! on May 17

Celebrate the life of Sean Collier by doing what he enjoyed to do so often…cooking out!  Come to the Sean Collier Cook Out on Friday, May 17th, 2013, from 12:30pm to 2:30pm in the North Court between the Stata Center and Koch Institute.  Gather with others to share memories and stories of Sean among friends, food, and country music!

May 17, 2013

Tang Hall Egg Drop on May 18

 Come to the Tang Hall Egg Drop on Saturday, May 18th, at 2:00pm (MIT Building W84, 24th floor).  Materials, snacks, and drinks will be provided, so join Tang Hall for this epic egg drop competition.  Design your own contraption in a team of up to 4 students to keep the egg in one piece as it falls down the facade of Tang Hall.  Gift cards for the winners will be awarded.  This contest is open to graduate residents and is sponsored by the Tang Hall Residents Association as well as the GSC Funding Board.  For more information, contact the Tang Hall Residents Association at sreoshyb@mit.edu.

May 17, 2013

Graduate Fellow Sumit Dutta “Tells His Story”

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program celebrated its 60-year anniversary at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciencec (AAAS) in Boston in February.  NSF Graduate Fellows have a unique and important place in America’s STEM research enterprise.  Students were encouraged to take the opportunity to step inside a booth at the meeting and chat for a few minutes about their stories so that they could be captured by video.  These videos help us to celebrate the 60-year anniversary recognizing NSF Graduate Research Fellows whose impact on research and teaching will last for years to come.  One of these fellows was Sumit Dutta, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, who talked about his research into making computers more (energy) efficient.  View his video here.

May 16, 2013

Katherine Buckingham and Devin Helfrich announced as Presidential Management Fellows finalists

Congratulations to Katherine Eleanor Buckingham, Master in City Planning degree candidate in the department of Urban Studies and Planning, and Devin Helfrich, Master of Science in Technology and Policy graduate, who have both been named finalists in the Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF).  The PMF Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates, designed to develop a cadre of potential government leaders by providing sustenance during the first years of employment and encouraging development of leadership capabilities. Read more

May 16, 2013

Acoustic BBQ on May 17

Come celebrate the end of classes with fellow graduate students at the GSC Acoustic BBQ, on Friday, May 17th, 2013 from 4:30pm to 7:30pm in the Stata Amphitheater.  There will be free food and beverages, as well as a live band; don’t forget your 21+ ID!  This event is open to all graduate students.  Sign up here to volunteer, meet new friends, and skip the line.  Contact gsc-ac@mit.edu for more information.

May 16, 2013

Join the GWAMIT Mentoring Program

Interested in helping women graduate students connect to faculty and alumni mentors?  Excited about applying your technical and organizing skills to creative projects?  Come and join the GWAMIT Mentoring Program Committee; apply by contacting either Ricarose (ria@mit.edu) or Xuwen (xwzhu@mit.edu).  The mentoring program is a yearlong program where GWAMIT matches mentors and mentees during the summer, and groups meet individually every month.  Events during the year include a kick-off dinner, February social, spring reception, and more informal events during the summer.  GWAMIT is also holding monthly dinner meetings, and all are welcome to join (committee members get to choose their own mentors).

May 15, 2013

Yoga Remix, Mind-Body Dance Party on May 16

Yoga Remix, Mind-Body Dance Party, is a revolutionary new way to celebrate while connecting deeply with your self, and on the last day of classes, Thursday, May 16th, 2013, you can experience this fresh combination of live music, dance, yoga, and meditation in the Walker Memorial (Morss Hall, MIT Building 50).  Come to Happier Hour with Organic Snacks and Drinks from 6:00pm to 7:00pm.  Afterwards until 9:30pm, pursue connective partner yoga and dance-rock chant fusion with live band Butterthief.  Also, enjoy guided meditation.  Reserve tickets here; MIT students receive free admission.  Contact artofliving-officers@mit.edu for more information.

May 15, 2013

MIT alum Thad Starner to discuss wearable computing on May 20

MIT Alum Thad Starner will be speaking at the Coolidge Corner Theatre on Monday, May 20th, 2013 at 7:00pm as part of the Science on Screen series.  This event will feature a rare 35mm print of director James “King of the World” Cameron’s 1991 blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  Before the screening, Starner will discuss how the Terminator films influenced his work in wearable computing and augmented reality; he will also share some of his exciting research.  Starner is an Associate Professor at Georgia Tech and a Technical Lead on Google’s Project Glass.  He received a B.S. in Brain and Cognitive Science and Computer Science (1991), an S.M. in Media Arts and Sciences (1995) and a Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences (1999) from MIT.  You can purchase tickets online or at the theatre at 290 Harvard Street in Brookline.  Prices are $10 for general admission and $8 for students, seniors, and Museum of Science members.  Coolidge Corner Theatre members get free admission.  With Science on Screen, the Coolidge Corner Theatre shows a feature film or documentary paired with lively presentations by notable experts from the world of science and technology.

May 14, 2013

Fleming receives 2013 Elsevier/VSS Young Investigator Award

Roland W. Fleming is the 2013 winner of the VSS Young Investigator Award. Dr. Fleming is the Kurt Koffka Junior Professor of Experimental Psychology at University of Giessen in Giessen, Germany. His work combines deep insight about perceptual processes with rigorous experimentation and computational analysis, and he communicates his findings with exemplary clarity. Roland is well-known for his transformative work connecting the perception of object material properties with image statistics. Equally important is his work on shape estimation from ‘orientation fields’, which has been widely appreciated for highlighting raw information in the image that is diagnostic of 3D shape. Roland has also applied insights from perception to the advancement of computer graphics. He takes an interdisciplinary approach that combines neural modelling, psychophysical experiments, and advanced image synthesis and analysis methods. In addition to his formidable array of intellectual contributions, Roland has been a tireless contributor to the academic community, serving on editorial boards, organizing symposia and short courses, and training first rate students and postdocs. Source: Vision Sciences Society site.

May 14, 2013

Documentary Screening of Glass Band on May 15

Come to a special screening and discussion of Glass Band on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 at 6:00pm in the MIT Chipman Room, 6-104.  The Glass Band documentary is about the glass instrument band created by Mark Stewart, multi-instrumentalist, composer and instrument designer during his residency at the MIT Glass Lab in partnership with director Peter Houk.  Read about the Glass Lab’s Glass Band.  This discussion will feature Pablo Correa (Editor, MIT Knight Science Journalism Program) and Peter McMurray (Music Department, Harvard University).  Glass Band was filmed at the MIT Glass Lab.

 

May 14, 2013

Currency ~ Revolution: Spacial Strategies of Resistance on May 14

On Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 at 7:00pm in the act cube (E15-001), join thresholds 41 REVOLUTION! editor Ana María León and Scapegoat: Architecture/Landscape/Political Economy: 04 CURRENCY issue editor Adrian Blackwell for short presentations on the overlapping contents of their journals’ latest issues and the objectives that inform their respective structures.  Both will talk about the spatial strategies that have been deployed to resist the political and economic repressions of past and present, as well as the methods by which journals can function as research vehicles.  The ensuing discussion will be moderated by Rebecca Uchill and introduced by Gediminas Urbonas Antoni Muntadas.  Ana María León is an architect, a teacher, and a historian.  Adrian Blackwell is an artist, designer, and urban theorist.  Rebecca Uchill is an activist, writer, and curator.

May 13, 2013

A Spring BBQ to Honor DUE Dean Dan Hastings on May 13

Come celebrate Dan Hastings’s seven years of dedicated leadership as Dean of Undergraduate Education at a picnic barbeque on Monday, May 13th, 2013, from noon to 1:30pm in Killian Court.  There will be delecious food, soaring voices, and high-spirited fun as we thank Dan Hastings for his time and services at MIT.

May 13, 2013

The Future of Science and Technology in International Development; keynote on May 13

The Future of Science and Technology in International Development, a keynote by Dr. Alex Dehgan (Science and Technology Adviser to the Administrator at USAID), will take place on Monday, May 13th, 2013 from 5:30pm to 8:00pm in MIT Room 34-101.  This keynote will explore science and technology’s role in alleviating international development’s greatest challenges and will be moderated by Eric Grimson (Chancellor of MIT), with a question and answer session from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.  Can’t attend in person? Live stream this event!  You can also tweet your questions for Dr. Dehgan to #DEHGANMIT. Contact nai@mit.edu for more information.

May 10, 2013

bbq

Two BBQs on May 11

The MIT Muslim Students Association and the MIT Arab Students Organization will be hosting a BBQ and Volleyball fundraiser on Saturday, May 11th, 2013, from 11:00am to 4:00pm at the MIT Kresge BBQ Pits.  Registration is $5 per person for the volleyball tournament.  All proceeds will go to UNICEF in Syria.  Contact msa-ec-current@mit.edu for more information.

Later in the day, there will be another BBQ from 6:00pm to 7:30pm at the Kresge BBQ Pits organized by Christians on Campus. Enjoy a relaxing time of singing, bible reading, games, food, and snacks.  Attendees will have the opportunity to share their experiences of Christ and encourage each other to pursue God together at MIT.  All are welcome to attend, regardless of faith; contact christiansoncampus-info@mit.edu for more information.

May 10, 2013

Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things

Light bulbs, paper clips and even tea bags are catching the attention of the media and the arts community.  Come to this new exhibition through September 1, 2013 at the MIT Museum which explores every day objects and shines a light on their inventors.  Learn more and view photos in this WBUR/NPR review. Admission to the MIT Museum is always free for MIT students.

May 9, 2013

Brahms Requiem with the MIT Concert Choir on May 11

MIT Concert Choir is going to be at Kresge Auditorium in MIT with Conductor William Cutter, Assistant Conductor and Pianist Joseph Turbessi, Soprano Kerry Deal, and Baritone Robert Honeysucker on Saturday, May 11th, 2013 beginning at 7:30pm.  Music includes Vaughan Williams’s Toward the Unknown Region and Brahms’s Ein Deutsches RequiemFree advanced tickets are available here, or they are $5 at the door.

May 9, 2013

Start a Company, Create Your Own Job! – Advice on Managing the Academic Career

Given reports that fewer recently minted life-sciences Ph.D.’s are landing full-time academic jobs while more are spending an increasing number of years as postdocs, it may be time to consider some alternatives. One alternative is to create your own job. If you are a graduate student or a postdoctoral fellow working on a project that has potential commercial value (i.e., it could result in a product that someone will buy), consider turning the project into your first job. How?

First, disclose your idea to your university’s technology-transfer office (Technology Licensing Office at MIT]. The personnel there can help you determine whether your idea has merit, and whether it can be protected by patents, trademarks, or copyright. If you are conducting your research at a university, the university probably has ownership rights; and if your idea is a good one, the university may file for intellectual-property protection on its own dime. Fortunately for you, it is obligated by U.S. law (under the Bayh-Dole Act, aka the Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act) to share the proceeds with inventors, who typically receive 25 to 35 percent. To read more about these strategies, take a look at the Chronicle of Higher Education’s page on creating your own job here. Photo by Brian Taylor for The Chronicle.

May 8, 2013

MSMS student taps MIT Sloan to power energy research

Vikalp Sabhlok, MSMS ’13, grew up in a small city in India where the electricity supply was notoriously unreliable.  Now, as a student in MIT Sloan’s Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS)  program, he is exploring ways to improve the energy distribution system for the next generation. “I have always had an interest in going back to India to make things better,” he said. “If you provide electricity, productivity levels go up, and incomes increase.” To read the rest of the article, visit the Sloan webpage.

May 8, 2013

Turkish Faculty Dinner on May 10

The Turkish Student Association organizes a Turkish Faculty Dinner every year, giving the MIT community a chance to meet and chat with Turkish Faculty.  This year’s dinner will be held on Friday, May 10th, 2013, beginning at 7:00pm in MIT Room W20-407.  They will be serving delicious Turkish dinner, free of charge.  There are limited seats, so RSVP here; priority will be given to those who sign up the earliest.  Please note that you don’t need to be fluent in Turkish to be able to participate in this event.

May 8, 2013

Learn about D-Lab student research on May 10

Always popular, the D-Lab Second Fridays showcase provides visitors with the chance to see what the creative and compassionate students are working on in the labs upstairs.  The event will take place on Friday, May 10th, 2013 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, with free admission.  Founded by MacArthur award winner Amy Smith (who once was the Regional Beekeeping Officer for the Okavango River Delta in Botswana) the D-Lab’s mission is to improve the quality of life of low-income households through the creation and implementation of low cost technologies.  Learn more about D-Lab.


May 7, 2013

Radius Ensemble concert May 11, featuring MIT’s Harbison and Southworth

Come to the Radius Ensemble concert on Saturday, May 11th, 2013 at 8:00pm in Pickman Hall at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, 27 Garden Street in Harvard Square.  This concert features Mozart (String duo in B-flat major, K.424), Morrison (Lonesome Whistle for solo flute), and MIT’s own Harbison (Woodwind Quintet) and Southworth (JAMU for ensemble and Balinese Gamelan World Premiere).  When Michael Haydn, younger brother of Franz Joseph, found himself in hot water with the Archbishop of Salzburg for not completing a commission, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart quickly stepped in as an ally for his friend.  He composed two duos for violin and viola, sent them to Haydn, and sanctioned plagiarism by instructing Haydn to include them in the collection as his own.  John Harbison’s Wind Quintet is embroidery in sound, “mixtures rather than counterpoints,” to quote the composer.  A single strand of melody winnows from a flute in John Howell Morrison’s Lonesome Whistle—exploring the intricate tie between performer and instrument.  The concert will close with a world premiere, Christine Southworth’s alchemic Jamu for ensemble and Balinese Gamelan.  Student admission is $10; general admission is $20.  Buy tickets here.

 

 

May 7, 2013

The Future of MIT (and education)

On Wednesday, February 6th, 2013, President L. Rafael Reif announced the creation of the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education and requested that its members work to “reinvent the residential campus model and perhaps redefine education altogether.”  Technology has changed very rapidly in the past decade, especially with the advent of the Internet and the omnipresent communication it entails.  However, the institution from which the Internet grew out of has failed to fully adopt the potential of these emerging technologies to change a model of education that has been relatively the same for hundreds of years.  In support of the initiative, MIT launched the website future.mit.edu in early April designed to engage the MIT community in a larger conversation about where education is headed.  It also serves as a resource for the Task Force’s three working groups: Education and Facilities for the Future, The Future Global Implications of edX and the Opportunity it Creates, and A New Financial Model for Education.

May 6, 2013

James Dashow, Electronic Music Pioneer, at the Media Lab on May 6

Composer and electronic music innovator James Dashow will give a special presentation (The Dyad System) about his musical compositions and theories on Monday, May 6th, 2013 at 4:00pm in the MIT Media Lab (E14-244).  “The Dyad System” will focus on the integration of pitch structures into electronic sounds.  This system describes the basis and methods for embedding specific pitches into electronic sounds that are generated by the pitches themselves through various techniques that James Dashow will feature.  There will also be an excursion into the spatialization of sound, for which Dashow has a double approach: movement IN space, and movement OF space.  A variety of audio examples and a couple of pieces will be played.  For further information about this program, please contact Simone Ovsey at sovsey@media.mit.edu.

May 6, 2013

“It’s Alive!” presents: The Rest I Make Up on May 6

Come view The Rest I Make Up, a reading of “Fefu and her Friends” with original video footage of Michelle Memran, a homage to the work of Maria Irene Fornes, Cuban playwright, feminist, and activist.  This is directed by Anna Kohler, MIT Music and Theater Arts, and is presented as part of “It’s Alive.”  This event will take place on Monday, May 6th, 2013 at 7:30pm in Killian Hall, MIT.

May 3, 2013

Ezeozue (TPP/EECS) devotes energy to his fellow Nigerians

Like many Nigerians, MIT graduate student Chidube Ezeozue grew up frustrated by his nation’s erratic electrical grid. “Electrical outages are a huge problem in Nigeria,” says Ezeozue, who is pursuing dual master’s degrees in MIT’s Technology and Policy Program and in electrical engineering and computer science. “The outages really interrupt everyday life.”

Nigeria’s supply of electricity is severely limited, resulting in rolling outages: Power is cut off every few hours and redirected to neighborhoods that were previously in the dark. While Nigerians know to expect these power cuts, they rarely know when the outages will happen, or how long they will last. Read the rest of the article on MIT News.  photo by Allegra Boverman