News & Video

October 2, 2015

Apple Picking, Oct. 3

We will be visiting Russell Orchards located in Ipswich, MA on Saturday, October 3, at 9 am. The farm offers variety activities such as pick your own apples and petting barnyard animals. This will be a perfect opportunity to enjoy nature and to have some fun.  Contact:   Photo by Jordan Confino

October 2, 2015

HUBweek and Solve, Oct. 3–10

During the first week of October, there will be two huge events:

  • HUBweek (October 3–10), a first-ever weeklong celebration of the arts, science and innovation culture of Boston, co-sponsored in locations throughout Boston and Cambridge by MIT, Harvard University,The Boston Globe and Massachusetts General Hospital, and
  • Solve (October 5–8), the launch of an ongoing program on the MIT campus to bring together a global group of creative thinkers, doers and influencers to explore, model and test new solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

There are public sessions of Solve:

  • Monday afternoon, October 5, Kresge Auditorium: Solve’s opening convocation, featuring a keynote address from Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs and roundtables on Solve’s “Cure” and “Make” pillars
  • Tuesday evening, October 6, Bartos Theater: Roundtable on the “Fuel” pillar, with Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons Ltd.
  • Wednesday evening, October 7, Bartos Theater: Roundtable on the “Learn” pillar, with Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder, Emerson collective
    You must register in order to attend, with seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. In the event that any of these sessions become sold out, you can watch the live stream here.

At locations throughout Greater Boston, HUBweek will showcase the region’s strengths in art, science and technology through more than 80 events, most of which are free and open to the public, including “Inside Kendall Square,” on Thursday, October 8 – a day for celebrating the most innovative square mile on the planet. Registration for HUBweek is now open.

Additional details on HUBweek and Solve are available here.


October 2, 2015

Apply to MIT $100K Pitch Competition, Deadline Oct. 2

Apply now for the first phase of the 2015-16 MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition.

Pitch is an elevator pitch competition, and new this year: submit your best idea for a start-up in a 90-second video posted to YouTube. Industry experts will judge the entries.

The teams who best articulate how they will create and capture value will move on the Final Round. Finalists will pitch in front of a live audience and jury on Wednesday, October 28 and compete for the chance to win $4,000.  The deadline for applications is October 2.  For more information visit this site.

October 2, 2015

Sun: How the brain encodes time and place

When you remember a particular experience, that memory has three critical elements — what, when, and where. MIT neuroscientists have now identified a brain circuit that processes the “when” and “where” components of memory.

This circuit, which connects the hippocampus and a region of the cortex known as entorhinal cortex, separates location and timing into two streams of information. The researchers also identified two populations of neurons in the entorhinal cortex that convey this information, dubbed “ocean cells” and “island cells.”

Previous models of memory had suggested that the hippocampus, a brain structure critical for memory formation, separates timing and context information. However, the new study shows that this information is split even before it reaches the hippocampus.

“It suggests that there is a dichotomy of function upstream of the hippocampus,” says Chen Sun, an MIT graduate student in brain and cognitive sciences and one of the lead authors of the paper, which appears in the Sept. 23 issue of Neuron. “There is one pathway that feeds temporal information into the hippocampus, and another that feeds contextual representations to the hippocampus.”  Read more

October 2, 2015

China National Day BBQ, Oct. 4

Come and join the CSSA to celebrate China National Day (which is Oct. 1st) with free BBQ!

The BBQ will be held on October 4, 12–2 pm in the Ashdown Hulsizer Room. Special Chinese style BBQ will be served. No registration is required. Contact:  Photo by boB Rudis

October 2, 2015

Where do I go? Who do I ask? Financial literacy talks, tools, and pizza

The ODGE has recently partnered with the MIT Federal Credit Union to make an online financial literacy platform available to the entire MIT community including our graduate students!

“Where do I go? Who do I ask?” you ask? The iGrad platform (link can be found at been customized for MIT and includes videos, articles, games, a job board, searchable scholarship database, and interactive modules on a wide range of topics, including emergency-funding, credit card management, identity protection, spending-smarts, etc.

To help roll out this exciting new tool, the ODGE is happy to announce a fall semester workshop (and pizza) series for graduate students on various financial literacy topics as part of the ODGE’s larger financial literacy initiative (an MIT news article will be out shortly providing more details on this initiative).

RSVP is required and spots are limited (free pizza!) so RSVP here.

  • 12:00-1:30 on Tuesday, October 6 (68-180): Financial Resources on Campus: Where Do I Go, Who Do I Ask?
  • 12:00-1:30 on Tuesday, October 20 (68-180): Securing Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • 12:00-1:30 on Monday, November 16 (W20-308): Navigating Credit and Debt: From Student Loans to Credit Cards
  • 12:00-1:30 on Tuesday, December 1 (W20-308): Personal Budgeting for the Uninitiated and Overwhelmed

October 1, 2015

Bulgarian Independence Day Celebration, Oct. 4

Come celebrate the Bulgarian Independence. Enjoy delicious traditional Bulgarian food. Stop by Ashdown House Sunday, October 4 at 1 pm. If possible, let us know you are coming. Send your RSVP here or contact: Photo by Klearchos Kapoutsis

October 1, 2015

Field trip to an artist’s studio, Oct. 3

The List Visual Arts Center wants you to meet artist Lina Viste Gronli in her Somerville, MA studio! Visit the studio of a contemporary artist and see works in progress while enjoying light food and drinks with other arts enthusiasts from MIT.  The bus leaves from outside of the List Center (Bldg. E15) at 1 pm, on Saturday, October 3, returning just after 4. The exhibition “List Projects: Lina Viste Gronli” is on view at the List (Bldg. E15) until October 25.  LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE. Sign up here.  Contact:  Photo by cgc76

October 1, 2015

Fifth annual graduate arts gala at Harvard MCZ, Oct. 2

Join the MIT GSC and Graduate Arts Forum for this fall’s graduate arts gala on Friday, October 2, from 7:30–10 pm at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Mix and mingle amongst stuffed mammals, birds, and paleolithic-era fossils, while enjoying live jazz, complimentary wine, and hors d’oeuvres.

Space is limited and you must be 21+ to register. Students are permitted to bring a guest (who must also be 21+).  RSVP here or contact:  Photo by: Chris Devers

October 1, 2015

Narasimhan: Learning language by playing games

MIT researchers have designed a computer system that learns how to play a text-based computer game with no prior assumptions about how language works. Although the system can’t complete the game as a whole, its ability to complete sections of it suggests that, in some sense, it discovers the meanings of words during its training.

In 2011, professor of computer science and engineering Regina Barzilay and her students reported a system that learned to play a computer game called “Civilization” by analyzing the game manual. But in the new work, on which Barzilay is again a co-author, the machine-learning system has no direct access to the underlying “state” of the game program—the data the program is tracking and how it’s being modified.

“When you play these games, every interaction is through text,” says Karthik Narasimhan, an MIT graduate student in computer science and engineering and one of the new paper’s two first authors. “For instance, you get the state of the game through text, and whatever you enter is also a command. It’s not like a console with buttons. So you really need to understand the text to play these games, and you also have more variability in the types of actions you can take.”

Narasimhan is joined on the paper by Barzilay, who’s his thesis advisor, and by fellow first author Tejas Kulkarni, a graduate student in the group of Josh Tenenbaum, a professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. They presented the paper last week at the Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing conference.  Read more

October 1, 2015

Open mic lunch hour at the Lewis Music Library, Oct. 2

Open mic will be held in the Lewis Music Library, 14E-109, on Friday, October 2, from 12–1 pm.  Come jam, perform, or just listen.  This is your chance to play our piano or your own instrument.  Everyone is welcome. Free audience supplied for all performers. Light refreshments will also be provided.  Contact: 617-253-5636  Photo by Nic McPhee

September 30, 2015

Research paper submissions for IAAC due Nov. 30

The 6th IEEE International Advance Computing Conference (IACC- 2016) is accepting research papers for their conference on February 27–28. The deadline to submit is November 30, and the conference listing at IEEE can be viewed here.

Prospective authors are invited to submit full and original research papers in the areas of: High Performance Computing, Advances in Communication and Networks, Advanced Algorithms, Image and Multimedia Processing, Databases and Data Management, and Teaching and Learning Systems. For a detailed list of topics please visit the conference websitePhoto by Ivan Walsh

September 30, 2015

3 Grad Students Bring Art to Airbnb

What do technology and art have in common? Thanks to three MIT grad students, it’s Tekuma, a platform that connects artists and Airbnb hosts.

Although those two demographics seem like a strange pair, their venture makes so much sense. Tekuma’s goal is to create pop-up art galleries in apartment spaces around the world. It gives artists, who don’t always have the best luck making it big, the chance to display their work—and make some money off of it. At the same time, Airbnb hosts can boost their rental appeal, giving their guests a dynamic aesthetic experience. And don’t forget the travelers, who then have a unique stay.

Tekuma’s three co-founders, Marwan Aboudib, Kun Qian, and Tengjia Liu, met during their first semester of their Master of Architecture program at MIT. They were all a part of the same studio project, and that’s where the roots of Tekuma first sprouted.

After pouring sweat and tears into the project, the class ended and the three had a feeling of let-down. “We worked so hard all semester and pulled all-nighters. There was so much excitement to get our 15 minutes of fame when we’d present our finished project,” said Aboudib. “But then the day of, no one showed up except for the judges.”  Read more

September 30, 2015

MIT MTA concert: Jeremy Huw Williams, Oct. 2

MIT Music and Theater Arts is hosting a concert by Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams and pianist Paula Fan featuring music by Shadle, Child, Harbison, and Alwyn on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 8pm in Killian Hall (160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge).  Admission is free.

Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams and pianist Paula Fan will present the world premiere of Primordia: A Song Cycle to Early Poems of Wallace Stevens by Charles Shadle; the premiere of a new version of The Great Panjandrum by Peter Child; the US premiere of  William Alwyn’s Nocturnes, and John Harbison’s The Flute of Interior Time.

Visit this site for more information.  Photo by Christina Raphaelle

September 29, 2015

DOE Scholars Program application, deadline Dec. 15

The Department of Energy (DOE) Scholars Program is now accepting applications for Summer 2016. The deadline is December 15, 2015.

The DOE Scholars Program offers unique opportunities that introduce students or post-graduates to the agency’s mission and operations. Participants in the DOE Scholars Program gain a competitive edge as they apply their education, talent and skills in a variety of scientific research settings within the DOE complex. Appointments are available in a variety of disciplines at participating DOE facilities nationwide.
Being selected as a DOE Scholar offers the following benefits:

* Career possibilities with the nation’s leading sponsor for scientific research
* Opportunities to learn from top scientists and subject matter experts
* Stipends are a minimum of $600 per week (depending on academic status)
* Travel arrangements to and from appointment site

Applicants must be US Citizens and undergraduates, graduates or post-graduates of an accredited college or university. The program is open to majors in: Engineering; Physical Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Computer Science and Information Technology; Physics; Business; Policy; Program Management; Mathematics; Statistics; Safety and Health; Accounting and Finance; Law; Communications; and other related areas.

Visit the website for more information or to apply. Contact:  Photo by: DonkeyHotey

September 29, 2015

Inoue: Extending super-resolution techniques in RNA imaging

Overcoming limitations of super-resolution microscopy to optimize imaging of RNA in living cells is a key motivation for physics graduate student Takuma Inoue, who works in the lab of MIT assistant professor of physics Ibrahim Cissé.

Inoue, 26, was the first student to join Cissé’s lab at MIT in January 2014, and he built the lab’s super-resolution microscopy setup to study enzyme clusters that enable gene copying and protein production within living cells. Inoue, who this September enters his fourth year toward his PhD, originally started his experimental work in an atomic physics lab, where he worked on an imaging setup to trap extremely cold atoms in a vacuum. He is studying biophysics, atomic physics, and condensed matter physics.

After learning that Cissé needed someone to set up his super-resolution microscopy, Inoue switched to Cissé’s lab. Because he did not have a biology background, Inoue says, “I wasn’t very much familiar with that, but the tools that you use and the methods for imaging are very common with what I had previously done. By building the setup, I got used to what things we can do in the lab. Then I made the transition to actually targeting some biomolecules within the cell to image and for me that was RNA.”  Read more


September 29, 2015

“It’s Alive!” play reading on Oct. 1

Its Alive! play reading series presents an Homage to Oliver Sacks (1933-2015) the late British neurologist and author.

On Thursday, October 1 at 7 pm, in the Rinaldi Building (E33), there will be a free reading of The Man Who by Peter Brook, English theater and film director. The play is based on the 1985 Oliver Sacks book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, a best-selling collection of case histories about some of his neurologically impaired patients. Photo by C. Mario del Río

September 28, 2015

Effective CVs for the Academic Job Search, Sep. 29

The CV is used for the academic job search and in some cases for PhDs seeking a research position in other settings. This workshop will be held on September 29, 2015, 1:30-3 pm in 5-217 and will cover the important elements of a CV, including strategies for how to showcase your particular knowledge and experiences effectively. We will also discuss some aspects of the academic job search – such as writing a research or teaching statement, or obtaining letters of recommendation. It’s helpful to bring a copy of your CV or a draft with you to refer to as we go through the material in the workshop.  Please register here in advance.  Photo by desiitaly

September 28, 2015

“Getting from Here to There” faculty talks, Sep. 30

Want to know how your professors made their academic and career choices?  Come hear their stories at the new faculty talks series.

On Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 5:15pm in 6-120, Professor Emery Brown will share his journey to becoming a renowned neuroscientist, anesthesiologist, statistician, and MIT faculty member.

Dates and speakers for the rest of the series:

  • Shigeru Miyagawa, Oct. 6, 5:15 pm, 3-133
  • Maria Zuber, Oct. 14, 5:15 pm, 6-120
  • Paula Hammond, Oct. 28, 5:15 pm, 6-120
  • Will Broadhead, Nov. 10, 5:15 pm, 3-133
  • Robert Langer, Nov. 30, 4:15 pm, 6-120

September 28, 2015

Pace: 3D-printed heart models for surgical planning

Researchers at MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital have developed a system that can take MRI scans of a patient’s heart and, in a matter of hours, convert them into a tangible, physical model that surgeons can use to plan surgery. The models could provide a more intuitive way for surgeons to assess and prepare for the anatomical idiosyncrasies of individual patients. This fall, seven cardiac surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital will participate in a study intended to evaluate the models’ usefulness.

Golland and her colleagues will describe their new system at the International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention in October. Danielle Pace, an MIT graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, is first author on the paper and spearheaded the development of the software that analyzes the MRI scans.

Mehdi Moghari, a physicist at Boston Children’s Hospital, developed new procedures that increase the precision of MRI scans tenfold, and Andrew Powell, a cardiologist at the hospital, leads the project’s clinical work. Read more

September 28, 2015

Water Pollution Control Overview from Len Miller, Sep. 29

Leonard Miller, one of the Co-Founders of the US EPA, will be giving this month’s MIT Water Club Lecture Series talk on Tuesday, September 29, at 4:30pm in 1-150.  The lecture will provide an overview of the historical evolution of the US EPA, and the regulation of wastewater in the United States.  While discussing regulation development from the 60’s until now, relevant policy/engineering issues and some short case histories will be presented.  Not only does Len have extensive experience in government, but also in private practice as one of the leading environmental lawyers in the US.  The lecture is open to everyone, and snacks will be served!  Contact: Photo by Wilfredo Rodríguez

September 25, 2015

New graduate student child care network at MIT launching Jan. 2016

The MIT Work-Life Center, in collaboration with the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE), the Graduate Student Council (GSC), and the Division of Student Life (DSL), will launch a new Family Childcare Network pilot in Eastgate and Westgate campus housing this academic year. The MIT Family Childcare Network will support the training, state licensing, and program operations of child care providers, who will care for children of graduate students in the providers’ licensed homes located within Eastgate and Westgate. The Family Childcare Network is the product of ongoing efforts to support graduate student families and enhance their educational experience at MIT. It will launch as a two-year pilot.

The first phase of the pilot program will involve recruiting caregivers from among graduate student spouses and partners residing in Eastgate and Westgate. Only those spouses and partners eligible to work in the United States may become licensed to provide care in the network. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Office of Early Education and Care (OEEC) will license caregivers who meet the requirements, which focus primarily on home safety but also include some training and caregiving experience. Read more. Photo: Mim Adkins Photography

September 25, 2015

Dr. AnnMaria De Mars: as diverse as tech gets, Sep. 28

An informal discussion with a judo world champion on the psychology of success in the tech industry.

AnnMaria De Mars is the CEO and founder of 7 Generation Games, a startup that develops educational video games in which students learn about math and Native American history. She is also the president of The Julia Group, a consulting firm offering software development for statistical analysis and psychometrics. The mother of four daughters, she was the first American to win the world judo championships. In 2013, she was listed as one of Forbes’ 40 Women to Watch Over 40.

On Monday, September 28 Mars will host an informal discussions in Building 3-270 from 1–2 pm. Light refreshments will be available and it is recommended that you preregister using this form.

September 25, 2015

MIT-Mexico Program alumni launch careers

“In just the past year I have published a book with the housing commission of the Mexican Senate and presented at international urbanism conferences,” says MIT alumna Jody Pollock. “I am not sure I would have been able to have such an impact if I had stayed in the US.” Pollock, who received her Master’s in City Planning in 2013, traveled to Mexico two years ago for a three-month internship and stayed for a career.

As a graduate student at MIT, Pollock interned with Mexico’s federal police through the MIT-Mexico Program, one of the 20 country programs that comprises the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI). In Mexico City, Pollock researched forced internal displacement and, she says, “proposed public policy recommendations in order to address the problem.”

After her internship, Pollock connected with another MIT program that set her up with a position at a housing organization. Pollock is now the senior program manager at Fundación IDEA, a Mexican public policy think tank. “The opportunities for professional development in Mexico are huge,” Pollock says, “and it seems like a very dynamic place to be right now.” She doesn’t attribute her move to Mexico City solely to work, however: “I decided to stay in Mexico because I loved it. I have found a great community of friends here,” Pollock shares.  Read more

September 25, 2015

TPP Pizza Night at Muddy Charles Pub, Sep. 29

Join the Technology and Policy Student Society for our next installation of pizza night!
The feature food will be Pizza! There will be vegetarian options! It will be at the Muddy Charles Pub on Tuesday, September 29 at 5 pm. Co-sponsored by the GSC Funding Board. Open to MIT community. Please contact for more details.

September 24, 2015

Sep. 24: Jim Crow and Segregation Outside of the South

Police shootings and the Black Lives Matter campaign have shone a spotlight on how different the everyday experiences are of white Americans and Americans of color. While much attention has been paid to these seemingly daily occurrences, the historical forces that led to our current situation have been less discussed: Is the de facto segregation that exists in many Northern cities a result of the lack of forced integration of the type that took place in the South? And is the mass incarceration of and police brutality inflicted on black Americans a result of these same forces?  The Communications Forum will be hosting a discussion, “Jim Crow and the Legacy of Segregation Outside of the South,” this Thursday, September 24 at 5 pm, in 3-270.


Melissa Nobles, the Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science at MIT

Tracey Meares, the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law at Yale Law School

Moderator: Seth Mnookin, director of the Communications Forum and the associate director of the Graduate Program of Science Writing at MIT

For more information, please visit this site.  Photo by Tina Leggio

September 24, 2015

Apply for Graduate Student Life Grants before Oct. 16

The Graduate Student Life Grants program is a request-for-proposal process inviting graduate students, spouses, faculty, or staff to submit creative, community building ideas for possible funding.

The ODGE encourages all graduate students to apply for funds–especially in collaboration with other students or student groups. Proposals may address a specific constituency such as families; they may cross departments or focus within a discipline; they may target several residence halls or a variety of student groups. The grant’s purpose should in some way explore the role and relevance of community in creating a more balanced and fulfilling graduate experience.

Previous successful grants include Weekly Wednesdays at the Muddy Charles, Teaching MIT to Code and Collaborate, Science Policy Bootcamp, Ballroom Dance Workshop, and Skydive Saturday.

The application deadline is Friday, October 16, 2015.  Proposal authors will have the opportunity to answer any questions from the selection panel; funds will be released in early December 2015. Please contact us with any questions:

September 24, 2015

Community Fellowship: Institute Community and Equity Office (ICOE)

There is one opening still available in the Graduate Community Fellows program in the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education, as follows:

  • Institute Community and Equity Office

Graduate Community Fellows are a cadre of graduate students who work on projects and assignments that enhance MIT graduate community in unique ways. Fellows receive partial stipend support for the length of their appointment period. Each Fellow reports to a staff member either in the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education or in a partner organization, and focuses on a specific project. Join the fellows program for positions that are fun and rewarding! Please see our web site for position description and an application form. Contact Julie Kukharenko,, with any questions.

September 24, 2015

Botla & Bhatia: More personalized online shopping

All activity on your social media accounts contributes to your “social graph,” which maps your interconnected online relationships, likes, preferred activities, and affinity for certain brands, among other things.

Now MIT spinout Infinite Analytics is leveraging these social graphs, and other sources of data, for very precise recommendation software that better predicts customers’ buying preferences. Consumers get a more personalized online-buying experience, while e-commerce businesses see more profit, the startup says.

The neat trick behind the software — packaged as a plug-in for websites — is breaking down various “data silos,” isolated data that cannot easily be integrated with other data. Basically, the software merges disparate social media, personal, and product information to rapidly build a user profile and match that user with the right product. The algorithm also follows users’ changing tastes.

Think of the software as a digital salesman, says Chief Technology Officer Purushotham Botla SM ’13, who co-founded Infinite Analytics and co-developed the software with Akash Bhatia MBA ’12. A real-world salesperson will ask consumers questions about their background, financial limits, and preferences to find an affordable and relevant product. “In the online world, we try to do that by looking at all these different data sources,” Botla says.  Read more

September 24, 2015

Scott: Code Wars lecture, Sep. 24

This lecture by Felicity Scott on Thursday, September 24 at 6 pm in the Long Lounge (7-429) will address the Open Land communes which emerged in Northern California during the late 1960s, focusing in particular on the escalating “code wars” and attempts to abandon private property rights, normative forms of life, and other trappings of modernity and capitalism elicited from the State.

September 23, 2015

Startup in America: Foreign entrepreneurship in the US, Sep. 25

International students at MIT (more than 40 percent of the graduate student population) face unique challenges in founding companies in the U.S. after graduation. On September 25, 6–7 pm in Stata Center (32-123), a panel of alumni entrepreneurs and experts in this field will share experiences and insight on navigating this complex process. Join the MIT Alumni Association and the Graduate Student Council for this panel discussion on legal options for international entrepreneurs, followed by a networking reception from 7–8 pm in La Sala de Puerto Rico, Stratton Student Center (W20-2nd floor). Register here today!

Alumni and friends of MIT: $10. MIT Students: free


  • Bernat Olle SM ’05, MBA ’07, PhD ’07
  • Perihan Abouzeid MBA ’15
  • Vince Lau
  • Catherine Fazio JD ’93, MBA ’14

Photo by Robert Scoble

September 23, 2015

Horelik: Finding 911 callers instantly

The nation’s 911 dispatch centers aren’t really equipped for the mobile world.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), around 70 percent of 911 calls today are made via mobile phones. Yet when fielding such calls, dispatchers rely on landline-based systems that sometimes fail to pinpoint a mobile caller’s location quickly — or at all — during time-sensitive emergencies. Experts have estimated that 60 percent of 911 calls come through with inaccurate or no location data.

Now RapidSOS, a startup with MIT roots, is gearing up to release a one-touch 911 app that automatically sends location and preset medical data from a smartphone to dispatch centers, with aims of drastically reducing the time it takes first responders to get to a scene.

In that way, RapidSOS acts as a fast “data pipeline” for 911, says Chief Technology Officer Nick Horelik PhD ’15, who co-founded the company and co-developed the app with Michael Martin of Harvard Business School.

This is important, Horelik adds, as smartphone location data are increasingly becoming extremely precise. “Location services will [soon] get down to inches instead of feet,” Horelik says. “We’re providing the pipeline to get that data to dispatchers.” Read more

September 23, 2015

Design Biennial at Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston

The Design Biennial is well underway, with a host art pieces to see in the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston. The park itself serves as a stage to highlight the art and enhance the experience for the viewer. Many of the pieces are also interactive. A new mural, Lawrence Weiner’s “A Translation from One Language to Another,” is going up in Dewey Square Park. Permanent installations include Ross Miller’s “Harbor for Sculpture” and the animal sculptures on Jeff Briggs’s Greenway Carousel. The fully functioning carousel is open daily until October 12 and weekends until December 20. Many of the other featured works are leaving in late September or early October.

More information on the Greenway and many of the art exhibits can be found on their site.

Photo by deborahlee713


September 23, 2015

Jherek Bischoff at Lewis Music Library Sep. 24

Bischoff is a composer, producer, performer & film scoring professional from the west coast. Bischoff has served as an arranger, producer and muse to a who’s who of “in the know” creators including internet phenomenon Amanda Palmer, legendary New York musician David Byrne, Australian pop star Missy Higgins and novelist Neil Gaiman.

He will be performing at the Lewis Music Library at 5 pm, Thursday, September 24. Admission is free.

September 22, 2015

CAST Visiting Artists 2015–2016

MIT’s Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) welcomes the following visiting artists to campus in the 2015–2016 academic year. From photographers to filmmakers and architects to musicians, these artists will collaborate with MIT faculty and researchers and present public programs.

CAST Visiting Artists 2015–2016:

  • John Fitzgerald and Matthew Niederhauser, documenting suburbanization across the world and its physical, social, and environmental manifestations
  • Tomás Saraceno, collaborating with Lodovica Illari in MIT Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) for the Aerocene project
  • Keith Ellenbogen, acclaimed underwater photographer and videographer, documenting marine life with a focus on conservation
  • Lara Baladi, internationally recognized multi-disciplinary transmedia artist
  • Karim Ben Khelifa, award-winning photojournalist documenting some of the world’s longest standing conflicts

Visit the website for more information on each artist and tehir upcoming projects and presentations.

September 22, 2015

MSRP Alum: Prof. Asegun Henry at S3TEC Seminar at MIT

Asegun Henry, assistant professor of heat transfer, combustion, and energy systems, at Georgia Tech, and an alumni of the ODGE’s MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP), presented at a recent S3TEC Seminar at MIT about his work in heat transfer, particularly regarding phonon gas models. You can watch his talk here and find out more on his work on his faculty website.

September 22, 2015

Taste of Brazil, Sep. 22

The Graduate Student Council (GSC), MIT-Brazil (MISIT), and the MIT Alumni Association will be sponsoring a kick off for the “Taste of …” dinner series with Taste of Brazil.

Come to Morss Hall Tuesday, September 22 from 5:30–7:00 pm and enjoy several Brazilian dishes and beverages. There will also be information on Brazilian culture and visiting Brazil.

September 21, 2015

Innovation in the Built Environment: Sep. 21 panel on MIT-inspired startups

Technology startups are well known for disrupting and re-imagining the way we shop, share photos, and hail cabs, but what about the built environment? Taking place on Monday, September 21, at 12:30 pm in Long Lounge, 7-429, this panel features four speakers, all MIT alumni, from recent startup ventures that address key issues in building technology in new ways, from an innovative wearable device that adjusts thermal comfort to a community-driven web platform for urban planning discourse. The discussion with include insights from the panelists on both the details of their technological innovations and their experiences in founding and joining startup companies.  The panel will be moderated by Les Norford:

  • Jaime Gagne is the Principal Building Scientist at KGS Buildings, where she manages and develops KGS’s library of fault detection diagnostics for HVAC systems.
  • Sam Shames is co-founder of embr labs, where he is currently Head of Product.
  • David Quinn is a co-founder of coUrbanize, a startup that helps cities and real-estate developers communicate with residents.
  • David Warsinger is co-founder of Coolify, a national-award-winning startup providing cold storage to the developing world.

For more information on this panel, visit this site.

September 21, 2015

Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) International Fellowship Program application due Oct. 8

The Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE) is accepting applications for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) International Student Research Fellowship Program. Students interested should send preliminary application materials directly to the ODGE by 5 pm on Thursday, October 8. MIT is able to submit 7 nominations to HHMI.

HHMI will award three-year fellowships to international predoctoral students studying in the United States who are ineligible for fellowships and training grants through U.S. federal agencies to support years three, four, and five of a Ph.D. program.

Eligible fields include those in the biomedical or related sciences such as biology, chemistry, physics, math, computer science, interdisciplinary research at the interface of the physical and biological sciences, among others.

Each fellow will receive an annual stipend of $30,000, an educational allowance of $3,000, and an annual institutional allowance of $10,000 for tuition. MIT is able to nominate 7 students for this fellowship.

More information is available on HHMI’s website.

Preliminary applications must be submitted electronically as a single consolidated PDF file to by 5pm on Thursday, October 8 for review by an internal MIT faculty committee.

Please feel free to contact Scott Tirrell, Manager of Graduate Fellowships in the ODGE with any questions by emailing or calling 617-324-7021.

September 21, 2015

Matus: Studying human waste to examine community health

Matus is a fourth-year PhD student in computational and systems biology at MIT. She is part of a team collecting samples of sewage to understand community health and behavior.

The project that Matus is now involved in has two goals: collecting sewage samples from manholes around Cambridge and Boston, and collecting stool samples from individuals. Though both have the same aim — to use human waste as a resource for understanding health — one is firmly entrenched in community health, while the other focuses on individuals’ health.

“I want to design systems to tackle problems that have real people on the other end of them,” says Matus. She expects that her desire to guide her experiments with real-world needs will nudge her toward a career in industry after she completes her PhD.

Read the full article about Matus and her research.

September 21, 2015

MindHandHeart Innovation Fund, application cycle closes Sep. 30

The MindHandHeart Innovation Fund seeks to leverage the enthusiasm and problem-solving skills of the MIT community to find new and inventive ways of increasing awareness about mental health, building communities of support, and promoting life and wellness skills. The Fund offers grants of up to $10,000 to invest in cutting-edge ideas developed by MIT’s faculty, students, and staff offering  grassroots solutions to promote mental health and well-being within the MIT community or, potentially, beyond.

The criteria for funding are simply that the goals of the project align with the MindHandHeart Initiative and that the project has a benefit to the MIT community.

The first application cycle closes at midnight on September 30. Apply online.

The MindHandHeart Initiative was launched this September to tap into MIT’s community spirit and innovative problem-solving skills, to enhance mental health and well-being at MIT. Students, faculty, staff, and health and wellness experts are collaborating in several working groups to launch promising new efforts and coordinate existing support services. Over time, MindHandHeart hopes to help members of our community feel more comfortable asking for help, and overall, to build a healthier, stronger community.

September 18, 2015

RUNE artwork submission & free magazine distribution

MIT’s Journal of Arts and Letters invites students to submit their original artwork and writing for publication!

RUNE will be distributing FREE Magazines of the 2014-2015 issue this week (September 14-18) from 9am-5pm in Lobby 10.

If you are interested in joining the staff, come to the next meeting this Sunday, September 20, at 2pm in Steam Café (Building 7, 4th floor).  Contact:  Photo by Mario Felipe


September 18, 2015

Graduate Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS) information session, Oct. 9

Institute for Medical Engineering (IMES) and Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST)  is holding an information session about MIT’s Certificate Program in Graduate Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS)—a part-time certificate program to supplement existing MIT PhD curricula. GEMS provides students with the training to translate their basic research to clinical settings.

If you are interested in learning about medicine and how your work may have relevance to medicine, and answer yes to any of the following questions, then attend the GEMS Information Session, Friday October 9, 2–3 pm. 

  • Do you want first-hand clinical experiences to see where engineering and science meet real world health care?
  • Do you want to build a professional network that includes physicians and physician-scientists from the Harvard Medical community?
  • Are you early in your program and interested in ideas for medically-relevant thesis research?
  • Are you near graduation and interested in post-doc opportunities in a medical setting?
  • Do you aspire to create a biomedical business?

Please RSVP to Dominique Altarejos: Visit the GEMS website for more information or to download an application to the certificate training program.

September 18, 2015

Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) students: autonomous golf carts

At the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in September, members of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and their colleagues will describe an experiment conducted over six days at a large public garden in Singapore, in which self-driving golf carts ferried 500 tourists around winding paths trafficked by pedestrians, bicyclists, and the occasional monitor lizard.

“We would like to use robot cars to make transportation available to everyone,” says Daniela Rus, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a senior author on the conference paper. “The idea is, if you need a ride, you make a booking, maybe using your smartphone or maybe on the Internet, and the car just comes.”

SMART is a collaboration between MIT and the National Research Foundation of Singapore. With lead researchers drawn from both MIT and several Singaporean universities — chiefly the National University of Singapore and the Singapore University of Technology and Design — the program offers four-year graduate fellowships that cover tuition for students at the affiliated schools, as well as undergraduate and postdoctoral research fellowships.

Joining Rus on the paper are Emilio Frazzoli, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT; Marcelo Ang, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the National University of Singapore; and 16 SMART students, postdocs, and staff members, from both the U.S. and Asia.  Read more.

September 18, 2015

“Hacking Science Demos,” Sep. 20

There will be a “Hacking Science Demos” workshop on Sunday, September 20, 2–5pm at the MIT Museum. The workshop will focus on learning how to make science demos and teams will work together to make new designs, and the top five will be included in state science outreach initiatives. RSVP at this site.

September 18, 2015

LGBTQ Community Leadership Retreat to Provincetown Sep. 25–27

There are still spaces for about 10 graduate students in the LBGTQ Community Leadership Retreat to Provincetown. The goal of the retreat is to foster relationships and plan initiatives among LBGT and Ally students and organizations on MIT’s campus. All students are welcome on this fun weekend of community-building, planning for the year ahead, and enjoying Provincetown. This retreat is for new and returning undergraduate and graduate students, people who have or who might not have been involved in programs or planning, or for people who have questions, ideas, hopes, and energy for making the most of the 2015–2016 academic year.

There is no cost for you to attend, and meals and transportation will be provided.

Take a break from classes, hang out with other grad students and undergrads, and reflect on issues of sexual and gender identity and how they relate to life and leadership at MIT. The retreat is free of cost to students, although bringing some money for down time is advised. The bus leaves from Rainbow Lounge at 5pm, Friday, September 25, returning to MIT around 6pm, Sunday, September 27.

September 17, 2015

Water and data analytics ideation workshop, Sep. 18

In partnership with ImagineH2O, a Bay-Area-based water tech accelerator, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) is excited to host a Water & Data Analytics Ideation Workshop on Friday, September 18 from 3–6pm in the Student Center W20-306.

Expert panelists from water tech, entrepreneurship, big data, and venture capital followed by breakout sessions. Reception and refreshments to follow.

You can RSVP at this site.

September 17, 2015

Silbey and Kolodziejski latest “Committed to Caring (C2C)” honorees

In 2014, ODGE invited graduate students to nominate MIT “Committed to Caring (C2C)” professors, who go above and beyond expectations to make a positive impact on the lives of graduate students. A selection committee chose the top nominees and ODGE has been honoring them—two at a time—with a feature on our website and posters throughout the institute showcasing each professor’s particular style of impactful teaching.

This week, on Monday, September 14, Eboney J.N. Hearn, Assistant Dean of Diversity Initiatives in the ODGE, announced and congratulated two new Committed to Caring (C2C) honorees.

  • Susan Silbey, Sociology and Anthropology,
    Extending proactive counsel  
    Silbey’s genuine interest in her students’ professional and personal well-being makes a deep impression. She takes a proactive role in helping students think through the type of research they pursue. One nominator recalls how Silbey sat for two hours on a weekend, giving the student feedback to improve a paper. Silbey is interested in the governance, regulation, and audit processes of complex organizations. Her current research focuses on the creation of management systems for containing risks, including ethical lapses, and environmental health and safety hazards.
  • Leslie Kolodziejski, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
    Investing in students
    Kolodziejski has called supervising and supporting graduate students the highlight of her professional career. Her nominator relates Kolodziejski’s “honest interest and support” in such situations as a student’s loss of her father, and the Qualifying Exam of another student gone “crazily rogue.” Kolodziejski was awarded the 2009 Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising. She is principal investigator of the Integrated Photonics Devices and Materials Research Group and the NanoPrecision Deposition Laboratory—where she supervises the use of molecular beam and ion beam deposition.

You can see the C2C professors on the infinite display and in the infinite corridor this week and all over campus as a reminder of the good work they do and of their students’ appreciation. In October we will again solicit nominations for a new round of C2C awards and assemble a new selection committee for 2015–16. When nominating, students submit stories about faculty members who, check-in about a student’s well-being, who create a supportive and positive working environment, and who provide outstanding mentorship. Over the course of the C2C campaign, we have been delighted to showcase many individual styles of teaching and caring at MIT! 

September 17, 2015

Lee: Learning spoken language

Knowing a language’s phonemes can make it much easier for automated systems to learn to interpret speech. In the 2015 volume of Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, MIT researchers describe a new machine-learning system that, like several systems before it, can learn to distinguish spoken words. But unlike its predecessors, it can also learn to distinguish lower-level phonetic units, such as syllables and phonemes.

Unlike the machine-learning systems that led to, say, the speech recognition algorithms on today’s smartphones, the MIT researchers’ system is unsupervised, which means it acts directly on raw speech files: It doesn’t depend on the laborious hand-annotation of its training data by human experts. So it could prove much easier to extend to new sets of training data and new languages.

The system could offer some insights into human speech acquisition. “When children learn a language, they don’t learn how to write first,” says Chia-ying Lee, who completed her PhD in computer science and engineering at MIT last year and is first author on the paper. “They just learn the language directly from speech. By looking at patterns, they can figure out the structures of language. That’s pretty much what our paper tries to do.”

Lee is joined on the paper by her former thesis advisor, Jim Glass, a senior research scientist at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and head of the Spoken Language Systems Group, and Timothy O’Donnell, a postdoc in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.  Read more

September 17, 2015

HUBweek festival and conference, Oct. 3–10

HUBweek, is an intellectual festival and conference showcasing art, science, and technology, offering 40 events in Boston and Cambridge, and running October 3–10. More than 150 companies, nonprofits, and universities will be in attendance.  In addition to sessions with speakers, there will be many areas designed to draw participants and stimulate fresh thinking.  Read more.

September 16, 2015

Career Fair prep workshops and panels, Sep. 15–24

Career Services is offering workshops and employer resumé critiques throughout September.

How to Work a Career Fair, Tue., Sep. 15th, 3–4:00 pm, Bldg. 3-270 
Many students are overwhelmed when attempting to navigate a career fair with hundreds of employers.  This workshop you will learn what to do in preparation for the fair, what to do at the fair, and what to do after the fair.  The fair is an excellent opportunity to connect with employers — create a strategy that will help you in this competitive employment environment! All GECD events are open to MIT undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and alumni. Advanced registration requested via CareerBridge

The Art of Behavioral Interviewing, Wed., Sep. 16, 2–3:30 pm, Bldg. 5-234
While your technical skills will get you the interview, it is your behavioral attributes that will get you the job.  This session will discuss preparation and strategies for a successful interview.  In addition, sample behavioral interview questions will be provided along with tips on how to answer these tough questions. All GECD events are open to MIT undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and alumni. Advanced registration requested via CareerBridge

Ace the Case with Putnam Associates. Wed, Sep. 16, 5–6:30 pm, Bldg. 6-120
Stop by to learn the DOs and DON’Ts of a successful case interview from Putnam Associates. Putnam Associates is a premier strategy consulting firm dedicated to the life sciences, whose clients include all of the top-10 global biopharmaceutical companies, many of the top -10 global brands, as well as venture backed biotechs, device, and rare disease franchises. All GECD events are open to MIT undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and alumni. Advanced registration requested via CareerBridge           

Resumes and Cover Letters 101, Tue., Sep. 22, 5:30–7 pm, Bldg. 3-270
Come learn the essential components of a strong resume and cover letter from a career expert as you prepare for the Fall Career Fair. All GECD events are open to MIT undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and alumni. Advanced registration requested via CareerBridge

Thinking about a Master’s degree? Thu., Sep. 24, 6–7:30 pm, Bldg. 4-145
Join MIT Sloan Admissions representatives for an on-campus information session to learn about what makes MIT Sloan distinctive, the various masters program offerings, and the ins-and-outs of the application process. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and meet program representatives from MBA, LGO, SDM, SCM, and MFin. Pizza will be served. RSVP here

Resume Drop-ins: GECD will be offering drop-in resume critiques to help students prepare for the Fall Career Fair on Sept 25. These quick 15 minute meetings with a GECD staff member will take place in the TSR space (16-159) every weekday, Sep. 14– 24. This service is available to all MIT students and recent alumni of the Institute.  No appointment is necessary, but there may be a wait. For hours, please see below:
Sep. 14– 21,  11 am – 5 pm;  Sep. 22–24, 11 am – 6 pm

Employer Resume Critiques: What do employers really want to see on a resume? You can ask them! Employer Resume Critiques are an opportunity to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth: what about your resume they like, and what they think could be better. Sep. 15–17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the 2nd floor of Building E39.
Sign up in CareerBridge under “On-Campus Interviews.” Click on “Interviews I Qualify For” and do an Advanced Search for “Employer Resume Critiques.”

Check for more Career Fair Prep Week events. See a complete list of company presentations on campus like Bain & Company, Sonos Inc,  and GE. To learn more about careers in medicine, you can speak to a Prehealth Advisor by calling 617-715–5328.

GECD contact for more info:

September 16, 2015

Laurendi: Using algorithms for wine matching

After roommates Richard Yau ’10 and Joe Laurendi ’10, MEng ’11 earned their undergraduate degrees, they headed separate ways. Yau helped NutraClick, a vitamin and beauty products firm, grow to $65M in revenue during his time as director of business development. Joe Laurendi stayed for a master’s degree and prototyped a web-based securities trading platform at Broadway Technology and, after MIT, joined a early-stage social networking startup.

Then last year, they came back together and co-founded a firm that grew out of their MIT experience.

“We knew we wanted to start a business together, as we have very complementary skill sets,” says Yau, the company CEO with MIT degrees in both management and music and arts. “We entered 6.470 [Independent Activities Period Programming Competition] together and the100K business plan competition. Our friendship was solidified when I forced him to come to my acapella events — which he enjoyed thoroughly.” Laurendi, company CTO, earned his degrees in mathematics and computer science and engineering.

Their startup, Bright Cellars, is an online wine club that uses a questionnaire and customer feedback to recommend wines, which can be shipped monthly to customers. In May, Bright Cellars graduated from the gener8tor program and relocated to Milwaukee, after the company received early backing from venture fund CSA Partners.  Read More

September 16, 2015

MIT-Africa Interest Group (MAIG) dinner, Sep. 16

The first MIT-Africa Interest Group (MAIG) meeting of the semester will be held Wednesday, September 16, 5–7 pm, in the Whitehead Institute Cafeteria, 9  Cambridge Center. Dinner will be provided through generous sponsorship from Associate Provost Philip Khoury.

This meeting, will be aimed at reconnecting the community and welcoming incoming students and others, hosting report backs from summer activities in Africa and discussing MIT-AFRICA plans for the semester.

Included in presentations are:

  • Michael Beeler, PhD, Operation Research, RARE Education, Kenya
  • Brandon Benson ’17, Physics, Market research for avocado oil extraction, Tanzania
  • Chukwunwike Iloeje, PhD, Mechanical Engineering & Babatunde Alawode, Graduate
  • Student, Mechanical Engineering, Impact Labs, Nigeria
  • Megan Mansfield, ’16, EAPS, South African Astronomical Observatory(SAAO)
  • Margaret Okobi, ’16, Biology, Early Infant Diagnosis, Nat. Health Laboratory, South Africa

RSVP here

Additionally, there will be courses offered this semester focused on Africa, particularly, Professor Clapperton Mavhunga’s STS.089 Technology and Innovation in Africa. Photo by Cristina Rigutto

September 15, 2015

Coyle: Awarded for work in nuclear thermal hydraulics

MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) graduate student Carolyn Coyle was a winner of the NURETH-16 (American Nuclear Society International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics) Young Professional Award and was one of eight winners of the Best Paper Award for her paper entitled “Synthesis of CRUD and its Effects On Pool and Subcooled Flow Boiling.”

Coyle’s work with Professor Jacopo Buongiorno, Tom McKrell, and Bren Phillips focuses on the effects of Chalk River unidentified deposits (CRUD) on critical heat flux (CHF) and heat transfer coefficient (HTC). CRUD is a naturally occurring porous, hydrophilic layer that forms on fuel rods during reactor operation. CRUD deposits can have large effects on CHF and HTC. Coyle investigated these effects by preparing synthetic CRUD on indium tin oxide-sapphire heaters. Information about the heater surface temperature, nucleation site density, bubble departure diameter, and bubble departure frequency was monitored and collected in the pool and flow boiling facilities in MIT’s Reactor Hydraulics Laboratory.  Read more.

September 15, 2015

Versatile PhD, non-academic career path discussions

Every year Versatile PhD does a series of panel discussions in the asynchronous discussion forums on the site. Each discussion focuses on a specific non-academic career that is open to PhDs, and features 4-6 PhDs or ABDs currently working in that career. Panel discussions coming up in this academic year:

Sept. 14-18: “Careers in Technology Transfer” in the STEM forum (more information)
Oct. 19-23: “Careers in Publishing” in the Humanities/Social Science forum
Nov. 16-20: “University Administration for STEM” in the STEM forum
Jan. 25-29: “Careers in Business” in the Humanities/Social Science forum
Feb. 22-26: “Careers in Software Engineering” in the STEM forum
Mar. 14-18: “Careers in Technical Writing” in the Humanities/Social Science forum

Visit this website to access the Versatile PhD online community.  Photo by GotCredit

September 15, 2015

MIT Museum open studio, Sep. 16

All MIT students are invited to come learn about the MIT Museum Studio’s projects. The Studio supports experimental projects in perception, interaction, expression and communication at the interface between MIT and the wider world.

An Open Studio with drop-in workshops will be held Wednesday, September 16 from 5:30–7:30 pm in Building 10-150. You can find out more at the MIT Museum Studio.

Photo by Alan Doyle.

September 15, 2015

Soros Fellowship information session, Sep. 15

The ODGE is pleased to announce an informational session on the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans on Tuesday, September 15 from 2–3 pm in the Mezzanine Lounge in the Stratton Student Center (W20-307).

Craig Harwood, director of the Soros Fellowship, will be on hand to provide a brief presentation on the fellowship and to answer questions. More information on the fellowship can be found on their website. A MIT news article on last year’s recipients can be found here.

September 14, 2015

Grama: MIT spinout’s milk-chillers reduce spoilage in rural India

India is the world’s leading milk producer, with many of its people relying on milk as a primary source of income. Indian dairies buy milk from local farmers at village collection centers, and then sell the milk or use it to make dairy products.

But with rural India’s limited electric grid, often available for only several hours daily, keeping milk fresh — it must be refrigerated within a few hours of milking — becomes very difficult. Many dairies use expensive diesel generators for refrigeration, or risk high percentages of spoiled product: Of the roughly 130 million tons of milk produced by India each year, millions of tons go to waste or reach the market as low-quality dairy products that pose safety threats. All this also reduces the income of Indian farmers

Now MIT startup Promethean Power is bringing India milk-chillers that quickly drop the temperature of milk to reduce bacterial growth, even without electricity. Powering the chillers is a novel thermal battery that stores thermal energy when the grid’s available, and releases the energy without need of electricity. So far, Promethean has installed about 100 chillers for top dairies around India.

“Milk for many Indian farmers is literally like liquid cash,” says Promethean co-founder and chief technology officer Sorin Grama SM ’06. “An entire family may live off the money they make from milk. Each of our systems allows 20 to 30 farming families to generate a steady income by selling a portion of their milk to dairy processors.”  Read more.

September 14, 2015

Teaching at Teaching Intensive Institutions, Sep. 25

The Teaching at Teaching Intensive Institutions workshop will take place on Friday, September 25 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus Center (1 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA).

This one-day workshop will introduce graduate students and post-docs to faculty careers at teaching-intensive institutions. Many faculty enjoy rewarding careers at colleges and universities that primarily emphasize teaching, including liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and regional comprehensive universities. This event will provide participants with a valuable opportunity to learn from and network with faculty and deans from a range of teaching-intensive institutions across the New England region. They will be available to review and offer advice on CVs and cover letters, so bring yours along. In addition, sessions are scheduled on a variety of topics pertinent to careers in Teaching-Intensive institutions (view the flyer). Space is limited and registration is required.  Photo by Life@Microsoft Australia

September 14, 2015

“Getting from Here to There” faculty talks debut Sep. 16

Each professor has a personal story of how they got into their position and career. The faculty talk series, “Getting from Here to There,” debuts with Professor Arthur Bahr sharing his story of going from student to professor. Prof. Bahr will kick off a fall series sponsored by Chancellor Barnhart’s Office and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Lorna Gibson, designed to give students new insights into how MIT faculty “got from here to there.” Prof. talk about an improbable journey from professional figure skater to MIT Professor of Literature.

Prof. Bahr’s talk takes place Wednesday, September 16, 5:15 pm, in Building 2-105.

September 14, 2015

Athletic funding grant, Sep. 30

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) has funding available for students traveling to competitive sporting events. The GSC supports athletes representing MIT through the Athletic-and-Performance-Activities Funding Grant.

These grants are not exclusively athletic. They supports graduate students who pursue a non-research/non-academic activity, such as competitions, concerts, other events, at competitive levels. The grant covers fees and expenses such as registration, accommodation, travel (air, car rental, gas, tolls, parking, public transportation), equipment shipment if needed, etc. Apply by September 30 at the GSC website.


Photo by bradfordst219

September 11, 2015

Yu: First new cache-coherence mechanism in 30 years

In a modern, multicore chip, every core—or processor—has its own small memory cache, where it stores frequently used data. But the chip also has a larger, shared cache, which all the cores can access. If one core tries to update data in the shared cache, other cores working on the same data need to know. So the shared cache keeps a directory of which cores have copies of which data. That directory takes up a significant chunk of memory. Envisioned chips will need a more efficient way of maintaining cache coherence.

At the International Conference on Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques in October, MIT researchers will unveil the first fundamentally new approach to cache coherence in more than three decades. Whereas with existing techniques, the directory’s memory allotment increases in direct proportion to the number of cores, with the new approach, it increases according to the logarithm of the number of cores.

“Directories guarantee that when a write happens, no stale copies of the data exist,” says Xiangyao Yu, an MIT graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science and first author on the new paper. “After this write happens, no read to the previous version should happen. So this write is ordered after all the previous reads in physical-time order.” Read more.

September 11, 2015

Sidney-Pacific Orientation Dance Party, Sep. 11

Sidney-Pacific is throwing a massive dance party for MIT graduate student orientation! Come get to know the Sid-Pac community by dancing the night away to the musical stylings of Dr. Dinonaut.  Snacks and refreshmens will be provided.  21+ ID required for alcohol.

The party will be held in the Sidney-Pacific courtyard, on Friday, September 11, which will be decked out in black light. If you want your clothes to glow, dress accordingly. There are even glow-in-the-dark cupcakes. The event is sponsored by the Graduate Student Council Funding Board(GSC FB), FB and the Association of Student Activities Large Event Fund (ASA LEF).  Contact:  Photo by Fred Benenson

September 10, 2015

OneWorld OneMIT reception, Sep. 12

Come celebrate and experience MIT’s rich cultural and national diversity!

The Graduate Student Council is hosting the OneWorld OneMIT reception on Saturday, September 12, 5-7pm, in the 20 Chimneys Room in the Stratton Student Center (84 Massachusetts Ave). Meet both incoming first-year and continuing graduate students from various international as well as racial and ethnic backgrounds. This reception is also an excellent opportunity to connect with graduate student cultural organizations and to learn how you can get involved! There will be a variety of cultural foods and non-alcoholic beverages for all to enjoy. Among the groups expected to participate are: MITaly, Club Argentino, Latinos in Science and Engineering, Black Graduate Students Association, International Students Association, and the Arab Students Organization. Contact: Photo by Nicolas Raymond

September 10, 2015

GradRat wine and cheese welcome, Sep. 11

Come enjoy wine, beer, and cheese on Friday, Sep. 11, 5–7 pm in Walker Memorial! There will be free givewaways, raffles for a free “Grad Rat,” and five $50 discounts.  The first 200 rings sold will receive a $25 discount. Contact Photo by Isabelle Puaut.

September 10, 2015

Tutors needed, MIT ESL for service employees, Sep. 28

The MIT English as a Second Language Program for Service Employees is looking for volunteers to tutor night shift employees for 1–2 hrs per week, or to serve as substitutes as needed for the Fall semester that runs from Sep. 28–Dec. 11, 2015.

No experience is required, just a good command of English and an interest in helping individuals whose first language is not English. The goals of the program are to build the language learner’s confidence, to help them become more productive in their jobs, and to perhaps open up further opportunities for advancement.

Tutoring takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 pm–midnight, beginning Sep. 28.

This is an opportunity to make a real and positive difference. Please contact for details. Read more about the program’s history. Photo: Melanie Golnick.

September 9, 2015

Information session on fellowships with JSPS, Oct. 9

JSPS is one of the largest research funding agency in Japan supporting all fields of disciplines incl. natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, and the humanities,

Its Washington Office invites you to attend an info session, Friday, Oct. 9, 6–8 pm Northwest Bldg. Harvard University, 52 Oxford St., Cambridge. The session will offer an overview of the following funding opportunities:

Summer Program: 2 months in summer for Pre/Postdocs; Postdoctoral Fellowships: 1–12 months for Pre/Postdocs; 12–24 months for Postdocs; Invitation Fellowships: Long-term (2–10 months for assist. prof./higher level), Short-term (14–60 days for assoc. prof./higher level), Short-term (7–14 days for Nobel Prize level)


September 9, 2015

Macdonald: A tool to identify nuclear weapons—without detection

“Energy is incredibly fundamental to life,” MIT graduate student Ruaridh Macdonald says. “That’s why I keep studying it.”

This tenet has been the thread throughout Macdonald’s nearly eight years at MIT — first as an undergraduate, then as a master’s student, and now as a PhD student — all spent studying nuclear science and engineering. Though he has remained engaged in this one department, he’s participated in a variety of projects, first studying reactor design as he pursued his master’s degree and now working on a nuclear weapons verification project in the Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy.

Transportable reactors

Macdonald, who grew up in West London, spent his grade school days equally interested in the arts and humanities and in physics. But he ultimately chose physics when faced with the U.K.’s school system, which requires students to pick a concentration, similar to a major in college.

“I still have immense respect for the arts, but I asked myself which would allow me to help people most broadly, and I chose science,” Macdonald says. Read more.

September 9, 2015

Graduate Student Life Grants Deadline Oct. 16

Do you have an idea for an event to improve graduate student life at MIT? Do you need funding to make this idea a reality? Apply for a Graduate Student Life Grant! Previous grants have funded dance workshops, video competitions, code lessons, social hours, and more. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to apply. Deadline for applications is midnight of Friday, October 16. For more information, please see our website or contact: Photo by ArchivesACT

September 8, 2015

Deadline Sep. 21: Global Young Scientists Summit, Jan. 17–22, 2016, in Singapore

MIT has been asked to nominate 3 PhD students to attend the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Singapore International summit: Global Young Scientists Summit @One-North: An International Meeting of Bright Young Researchers, Nobel Laureates and Eminent Scientific Leaders” Jan. 17-22, 2016, in Singapore

20 eminent science and technology leaders, comprising Nobel Laureates, Turing Award winners, Millennium Technology Awardees, and Fields Medalists, will speak at GYSS 2016. Please see their website for more details.

Note that NRF will cover all local expenses only (meals within campus, transport to site visits & social programs and accommodations during the summit); participants or their research advisors/ departments are responsible for airfare. ODGE will provide one coach class round trip airline ticket for the top graduate student applicant.

 Eligibility (Set by NRF):

  • Full time PhD student at MIT, under age 35
  • Fields: Multi-disciplinary (Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Medicine, Mathematics, Computer Science, Technology/Engineering); focus is on use-inspired research to address major global challenges
  • Demonstration of passion and interest in research
  • Strong organizational support, preferably recommendation letter from academic advisor or supervisor
  • Possession of good English skills for active discussion and engagement with peers and speakers, demonstrated strong academic achievement in area of research, assessed within the top 5-10 percent of cohort
  • Must not have attended previous editions of GYSS

Application procedure: Please send to Scott Tirrell, by 5 pm Monday, Sept. 21, 2015 for an internal ODGE competition to produce MIT’s 3 nominees, the following materials as a single PDF file: 

  • Cover letter as to why this opportunity would benefit their doctoral education
  • CV
  • Half page research summary
  • Letter of recommendation and support from faculty advisor (please indicate source of funding for airfare)
  • Unofficial transcript

 MIT will provide our 3 PhD student nominations to the NRF by September 25, 2015. Those nominees selected by the GYSS secretariat to participant will be contacted directly by GYSS to complete the registration in phases in the fourth quarter of 2015. The GYSS secretariat reserves the right to make the final selection decision of nominated participants. The VPR office will be having a separate competition for 2 postdoc spots. Please contact Debra Martin for more details.  Please see additional information attached (please note the deadlines in the attachment are incorrect), and feel free to contact me with any questions.