News & Video

September 23, 2014

Gombolay’s study finds subjects prefer robot’s orders

If you’ve seen a sci-fi flick with autonomous robots in the last 40 years, you may be wary of giving robots any semblance of control. But new research coming out of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) suggests that letting robots have control over human tasks in manufacturing is not just more efficient — it’s actually preferred by workers. “In our research we were seeking to find that sweet spot for ensuring that the human workforce is both satisfied and productive,” says project lead Matthew Gombolay, a PhD student at CSAIL. “We discovered that the answer is to actually give machines more autonomy, if it helps people to work together more fluently with robot teammates.” Continue reading this article on MIT News.

September 23, 2014

Energy and Resources in the Wider Boston Area Sep. 25

Are you new to Boston and looking to get plugged in, or maybe just getting closer to graduating and considering jobs or internships in the energy field? Are you working in energy and want to meet others who are as well? Then don’t miss this introduction to the Boston clean energy ecosystem! On Thursday, September 25th at 7:30 PM in MIT room 6-120, important experts and members of this area of interest will guide you through the resources and events that make Boston one of the most vibrant energy communities in the world. Look forward to speakers Alicia Barton, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC); Peter Rothstein, President of the New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC); and Martha Broad, Executive Director of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI)! This event is part of Energy Week. Photo by Trey Ratcliff.

September 23, 2014

Technology and Policy Program Social Sep. 24

The Technology and Policy Program will be having a social at the Muddy Charles Pub in Walker on Wednesday, September 24 at 4:30 PM. Come hang out with TPP after classes and enjoy great conversation and delicious food. There will be pizza and other refreshments provided. All are welcome! If you have questions, please contact

September 22, 2014

Wright and Winter work on sun-powered desalination

Around the world, there is more salty groundwater than fresh, drinkable groundwater. For example, 60 percent of India is underlain by salty water — and much of that area is not served by an electric grid that could run conventional reverse-osmosis desalination plants.
Now an analysis by MIT researchers shows that a different desalination technology called electrodialysis, powered by solar panels, could provide enough clean, palatable drinking water to supply the needs of a typical village. The study, by MIT graduate student Natasha Wright and Amos Winter, the Robert N. Noyce Career Development Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, appears in the journal Desalination. Continue reading this article on MIT News.

September 22, 2014

Dronological: The Art and Science of Unmanned Systems Lecture Sep. 22

The MIT program in art, culture and technology presents Dronological: The Art and Science of Unmanned Systems – A Tactical Transect across a Complex Techno-Social Domain by Marko Peljhan on Monday, September 22nd at 7PM in the Bartos Theater (E15-070). Unmanned aircraft systems have recently been rediscovered due to their use in the so-called “war on terror,” but are an invention more than 100 years old. The lecture will explore the histories and interconnectedness of these systems with geopolitical, scientific, techno-social, tactical media and conceptual contexts. It will also present cases of their real and imagined appearances, uses, and disappearances in order to track the potential future vectors of utilization and concurrent reflection. The lecture is free and open to the public.

September 22, 2014

Therapy dogs at the Libraries this Fall

The MIT Libraries have a lot of new exciting events planned for the Fall. New homepage, resources and upcoming events including the first Friday of every month for therapy dogs! For more information, visit the Library news page. If you have questions, contact Courtney Crummett, the HST Librarian, at


September 19, 2014

Cohen’s research changes business practices

Maxime Cohen, a graduate student at the MIT Operations Research Center, could be doing just about anything now. Were he solely an altruist, Cohen might have pursued his charitable work full-time: In college, he started an organization to help French immigrants to Israel adjust to their new environment. He also worked with low-income families in Haifa, where the Technion is located, providing groceries and helping children with homework.
But instead, Cohen is at MIT, as a PhD candidate advised by Georgia Perakis, the William F. Pounds Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Operations research applies mathematics and engineering methods to problems typically tackled with traditional business techniques; Cohen is obsessed with using these tools to develop solutions that address industry and government concerns. Continue reading this article on MIT News.

September 19, 2014

IronNerd: Super Sprint Triathlon Sep. 21

On Sunday September 21 at 9 AM, test your physical abilities at the 2014 IronNerd Super Sprint Triathlon! The race, hosted by MIT Triathlon, is on campus, starting at the Z Center Plaza with a 200 yard indoor swim, followed by a 4.8 mile bike ride along Amherst Alley, and finishing with a 0.9 mile run around West Campus. Preregister for only $10! Register for $15 on race day. The event is open to everyone, so invite your friends and see who is the true IronNerd! Visit the Facebook Event Page for more details.

September 19, 2014

Tang Hall Welcome Fall Equinox Brunch Sep. 20

Saturday September 20th, 11AM -12:30 PM, Tang Hall is welcoming back all graduate students with the Tang Hall Welcome Fall Equinox Brunch, the first brunch of the semester. Come join fellow graduate students in enjoying scrumptious breakfast foods outdoors with a wonderful view of the Charles River. Meet new residents and mingle with old. The brunch will take place out on Tang Hall Lawn (Rain Location: Tang 24th Floor lounge). Please bring your own plates and utensils to help MIT go green. This event is open to all MIT Graduate students. Photo by Adam Fagen.

September 18, 2014

Wu creates data-visualization tool

The Database Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has released a data-visualization tool that lets users highlight aberrations and possible patterns in the graphical display; the tool then automatically determines which data sources are responsible for which. It could be, for instance, that just a couple of faulty sensors among dozens are corrupting a very regular pattern of readings, or that a few underperforming agents are dragging down a company’s sales figures, or that a clogged vent in a hospital is dramatically increasing a few patients’ risk of infection. For his thesis work, Eugene Wu, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science who developed DBWipes with Madden and adjunct professor Michael Stonebraker, designed a novel “provenance tracking” system for large data sets. Continue reading this article on MIT News.

September 18, 2014

Council for the Arts Grant deadline Sep. 26

The first academic year 2014-2015 deadline for applications to the Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT) Grants program is Friday, September 26. All currently registered students, faculty and staff are eligible to apply. Alumni, retirees, and spouses are not eligible. If you have never applied before, please contact to discuss your project. For more information and to apply, please visit here.

September 18, 2014

Parking Office and MIT Police Bike Auction Sep. 19

The MIT Police and the Parking & Transportation Office will hold a bicycle auction of old or abandoned bicycles. The auction will be on Friday, September 19, at noon at 290 Albany Street in Cambridge (close to Fort Washington). The lot will open at 11:30AM for an opportunity to preview the bicycles that are up for auction. Proceeds from the auction go towards campus bicycle initiatives. MIT makes no representations as to the condition of the equipment to be made available for auction. In all respects, transfer of ownership of equipment is made from MIT to the assenting buyer in “as is” condition.

Note: A valid and current MIT ID is required to participate. Payment options include cash or local check, with proper ID. For more information about the bicycle auction, email

September 17, 2014

Adib, Lee, Pereira, and He named in 35 Innovators Under 35

PhD student Fadel Adib and MIT alumni Jinha Lee, Maria Mines Pereira, and David He have all been named on MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35. All 35 of these people are doing exciting work that could shape their fields for decades, but they’re solving problems in remarkably different ways. We consider some of them to be primarily Inventors; they’re immersed in building new technologies. Others we call Visionaries, because they’re showing how technologies could be put to new or better uses. Humanitarians are using technology to expand opportunities or inform public policy. Pioneers are doing fundamental work that will spawn future innovations; such ­breakthroughs will be taken up by tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs, ­people who are building new tech businesses. Continue reading this article at MIT Technology Review.

September 17, 2014

I Called 4 Companies for Advice on My Student Debt. This Is What I Learned.

Companies that peddle student-loan debt-relief services insist that they are rescuing borrowers from red ink and red tape. But what’s their pitch to prospective customers? I called four of the companies to find out. I didn’t mention The Chronicle, but I told them, accurately, that I am a recent college graduate and an intern in the private sector, and that I owe $27,000 in federal student loans.

What I heard was a common script performed again and again by the “student loan specialists.” It was a script that contained some holes. Within the first five minutes of each call, the customer-service representative described his or her employer’s tight relationship with the federal government. “Mary,” at Broadsword Student Advantage, told me that her company was “tied to the Department of Education.” And “Angelee,” from Student Loan Relief Inc., said her company worked closely with both the government and loan servicers to ensure that the loan consolidation was a smooth one. Continue reading on The Chronicle. Photo by marsmet471

September 17, 2014

Sangam Orientation Social Sep. 18

MIT Sangam welcomes all new graduate students. Join them Thursday, September 18th at 7PM in the Stata R&D Commons (Bldg. 32-G401) to meet fellow graduate students, old friends, and make some new ones! Find out about upcoming events and how to get involved. Dinner will be served. For more details, visit here. Contact with any questions.

September 16, 2014

Chen proposes recycling old batteries into solar cells

A system proposed by researchers at MIT recycles materials from discarded car batteries — a potential source of lead pollution — into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power. The system is described in a paper in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, co-authored by professors Angela M. Belcher and Paula T. Hammond, graduate student Po-Yen Chen, and three others. It is based on a recent development in solar cells that makes use of a compound called perovskite — specifically, organolead halide perovskite — a technology that has rapidly progressed from initial experiments to a point where its efficiency is nearly competitive with that of other types of solar cells. Continue reading on MIT News.

September 16, 2014

Volunteer to tutor for ESL (Starting Sep. 22)

The MIT English as a Second Language (ESL) Program for Service Employees is looking for volunteers to tutor night shift employees for 1-2 hours per week or to serve as substitutes as needed. No experience is required. A good command of English and an interest in helping individuals whose first language is not English is all that is needed. The goals of the program are to build student’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 11:00 pm – midnight beginning September 22. This is an opportunity to make a real and positive difference. Please contact for details. Photo by Dan Foy.

September 15, 2014

MIT Canadians Club Research Symposium Sep. 15

Join the MIT Canadians Club on September 15, 6-9 PM in 1-190 at 6pm and building 32 location at 7:45pm for their first event of the term, the MIT Canadians Club Research Symposium! The night begins with an excellent guest lecture by Professor Gabor Fichtinger from Queen’s University, followed by a poster session showcasing the research of Canadians at MIT. Please RSVP if you would like to attend. Come out to meet new friends and learn about what Canadians are up to at MIT! Everyone is welcome!

September 15, 2014

Meet with President Reif

Come talk with President Reif about any issue you feel is important to you or the MIT community! Throughout the semester, Reif is setting aside time for 15-minute meetings with students, faculty, and staff. Apply to schedule a meeting to discuss whatever you would like, from research you find captivating to what you would most like to know about the President of MIT! President Reif’s time is of course limited so apply as soon as possible. Photo by Presidencia Perú.

September 12, 2014

Evening with U.S. C3E ambassadors Sep. 15

The U.S. Clean Energy, Education, and Empowerment (C3E) Ambassadors will be gathering in September for the annual Women in Clean Energy Symposium. Join a select group of these ambassadors for a special night on September 15, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM in Room 4-163 to learn about their careers – important decisions made, challenges overcome, as well as the trends they see in clean energy technology and policy that will influence tomorrow’s energy landscape. Panelists include Rose McKinney-James, Managing Principal of Energy Works LLC and President of McKinney-James & Associates; Kim Saylors-Laster, VP of Energy for Walmart; Dymphna van der Lans, CEO of the Clinton Climate Initiative; Nancy Pfund, Founder and Managing Partner of DBL Investors, and Dian Grueneich, Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University with a long history of government service. Take a look at full bios of the panelists and learn more about C3E! Networking begins at 6:30, and the panel at 7:00. Snacks will also be provided! An RSVP is requested for this event.

September 12, 2014

Eastgate Welcome BBQ Sep. 13

Eastgate Community Association welcomes the MIT community to join them for a delicious BBQ feast on Saturday, September 13 from 1-4PM at the Eastgate Courtyard (E55). Please bring your own utensils to reduce waste. Contact with questions. Photo by Thomas van der Weerd.

September 11, 2014

MIT Mini Maker Faire calling for Makers: Apply by Sep. 15!

MIT is hosting its first Mini Maker Faire, an event to celebrate all makers! The mission of Maker Faire is to inspire, inform, connect and entertain thousands of Makers and aspiring Makers of all ages and backgrounds through the public gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkers, hobbyists, science clubs, students, authors, and commercial exhibitors. Have something you want to share in the spirit of the greatest show (and tell) on earth? All projects are welcome, including academic/research projects and hobbies; applications are due by September 15. Want to get inspired? Check out the history of Maker Faire. The Mini Maker Faire will be on October 4, at the North Court and Stata Center. For more information and to sign to volunteer as a helper, visit the MIT Mini Maker Faire website. Sponsored in part by the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education.

September 10, 2014

Siegel helps startups pitch to journalists with Spokepoint

For a startup entrepreneur, crafting a pitch that’s guaranteed to get a journalist’s attention requires data, tech and software. At least, that’s the way Cambridge-based Spokepoint’s co-founder Dan Siegel sees it. Spokepoint, which officially launched Tuesday after a beta test of its software with high-profile customers including singer and songwriter Imogen Heap, gives startups an affordable, effective way for fledgling companies to pitch journalists. The software analyzes thousands of data points to predict whether a journalist will respond favorably to a specific pitch. It also allows users to search for and contact journalists based on topics written about, and allows users to track whether a pitch is successful or not. Continue reading on Boston Business Journal.

September 10, 2014

Alumni Leadership Conference Graduate Poster Reception Sep. 19

The Alumni Leadership Conference Graduate Poster Reception, one of the largest Alumni Leadership Conferences held at MIT, is coming up on Friday September 19th, 6:00 – 7:00 PM in La Sala de Puerto Rico in the Student Center. Come meet and network with MIT alumni in various leadership positions at MIT and share your research with them! Sign up for one of a limited number of positions as a graduate student presenter and show off your poster full of your cutting edge research! The Alumni Association will be giving each presenter a $10 Amazon gift card. The deadline for signing up is September 12th at 5 PMPhoto by Benjamin Golub.

September 9, 2014

Marcus running online corporate catering startup Phoodeez

A few years ago, Christine Marcus found herself going through a pivot in her own life. The former deputy chief financial officer for U.S. Department of Energy found herself craving good, old-fashioned entrepreneurship. So she quit her job in 2011 and enrolled in a program at MITSloan School of Management. It was at Sloan that Marcus first noticed the food culture at the school, specifically the catered events that filled the stomachs of hungry MIT students. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist,” she said. “I saw dollar signs.” Sal Lupoli, owner of the international pizza shop chain Sal’s Pizza, was on board too. So, Lupoli and Marcus decided that they would enter the world of corporate catering. Continue reading on Boston Business Journal.

September 9, 2014

Water Opportunities Workshop (Sep. 12)

Come to the Water Opportunities Workshop this Friday September 12th2:30-6:00pm in room 34-101. The workshop is an annual event hosted by MIT Water Club and Imagine H2O (iH2O), a San Francisco-based non-profit. It is historically well-attended and comprised of three segments: a panel discussion, a business ideation session, and a reception. The panel discussion is moderated by iH2O COO Scott Bryan and consists of four panelists from academia, industry, startups, and government. The panel lineup so far for this year includes Karen Golmer from New England Water Innovation Network, Justin Buck from Cambrian Innovation and Christina Chase from The Martin Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. The business ideation session allows the audience to split into roundtable groups to discuss concepts and share ideas on Infrastrucutre in Water, the theme for this year’s iH2O challenge. The event will end with a catered reception. RSVP for this event.

September 8, 2014

Brenner helping startups impact communities with Tumml

Call it social entrepreneurship, impact investing, or urban ventures—Clara Brenner and her friend Julie Lein were sold on the idea after they each did a summer stint with a community-based enterprise before earning their MBAs in 2012. “We were just really impressed by the ability of these startups to have a huge positive impact on their communities,” says Brenner. One of those growing ventures was Oakland, CA-basedRevolution Foods, a provider of healthy meals to schoolchildren. Brenner and Lein were so sold on local businesses with a public mission that they did a quantitative research study on such enterprises. They found a big need to fill. “These companies are less than one-half as likely to secure seed funding as more traditional entrepreneurs,” Brenner says. To try to change that, the two friends founded the non-profit San Francisco, CA-based incubator Tumml right after they graduated from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. They describe Tumml as a venture accelerator for startup founders who want to solve urban problems that local officials often can’t address themselves. Continue reading on Xconomy.

September 8, 2014

2015 MIT Global Startup Workshop info session Sep. 10

Interested in entrepreneurship with a global impact? Apply to be a part of the organizing committee for the 2015 MIT Global Startup Workshop! MIT GSW is a student-led initiative that is dedicated to fostering cross-cultural connections and building entrepreneurial ecosystems throughout the world. The annual Workshop brings together hundreds of international attendees and features three days of panel discussions, networking, cultural activities, and elevator pitch and business plan competitions. MIT GSW is currently recruiting conference committee members for the MIT Global Startup Workshop to be held in Guatemala City, Guatemala over the spring break in March 2015. This is a great opportunity to be a part of the 2015 organizing team! To learn more, come to the MIT GSW information session on Wednesday September 10th at 7pm in 32-G449. Dinner will be provided!

September 8, 2014

t=0 Fesival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Sep. 8-13

An event and exhibition that brings together MIT student clubs, startups, organizations, projects and labs, t=0 is hosting a variety of famous MIT professors and other speakers who have gathered to discuss some of the compelling innovations they are working on right now. Monday through Thursday, September 8-11, come to Innovation Nights to learn about the most innovative technologies and get to know some rockstar MIT startups in specific industries! The Innovation Expo will be on Saturday September 13, and it will be an entire day dedicated to showing off innovation taking place across MIT from clubs, startups and organizations. Also, there is free food! For more information and to RSVP visit the event website. Photo by Nietnagel.

September 5, 2014

Sharon’s Consumer Physics presents handheld smart sensor

The world’s search engines provide an overwhelming amount of instantaneous information, but for Dror Sharon, MBA ’06, and the company he co-founded, it’s just not good enough. Consumer Physics, Inc., based in Tel Aviv, Israel, where Sharon serves as CEO and “Chief Happiness Officer,” recently launched SCiO which promises fast information about the physical things that surround us with specificity the Internet cannot provide. The size of a flash drive, SCiO is a hand-held optical sensor that can read the chemical makeup of the things around us. Sharon describes information from search engines as “cumbersome” and envisions Scio as a practical tool to extract useful information from objects and materials in real time. Continue reading this article on MIT Sloan.

September 5, 2014

@HASTS_MIT: A collaborative project on Twitter

History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology & Society at MIT (HASTS) is excited to announce a new collaborative Twitter project: @HASTS_MIT! Each week of the fall 2014 semester a different HASTS community member — students, faculty, alumni, staff, affiliates, etc. — will run the @HASTS_MIT account. Check it out for thoughts and different perspectives on research, projects, reading, fieldwork, and much more. Look forward to a great lineup for the semester, reflective of the many interests of the HASTS community. Starting with the week of 9/1-9/7 the September schedule is Mitali Thakor, Ian Condry, Amy Johnson, Wade Roush, and Lan Li. Join in by following the account or, if you don’t have a Twitter account of your own, stop by now and then!

September 4, 2014

Zhu assembles array of dynamic magnetic microhairs

MIT engineers have fabricated a new elastic material coated with microscopic, hairlike structures that tilt in response to a magnetic field. Depending on the field’s orientation, the microhairs can tilt to form a path through which fluid can flow; the material can even direct water upward, against gravity. Each microhair, made of nickel, is about 70 microns high and 25 microns wide — about one-fourth the diameter of a human hair. The researchers fabricated an array of the microhairs onto an elastic, transparent layer of silicone. “You could coat this on your car windshield to manipulate rain or sunlight,” says Yangying Zhu, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “So you could filter how much solar radiation you want coming in, and also shed raindrops. This is an opportunity for the future.” Read the full article on MIT News.

September 4, 2014

Diversity social mixer Sep. 6

Meet graduate students from diverse backgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 6, from 5-7 PM in the Kresge BBQ pits. Enjoy free food and drink, and take the time to Learn about different cultural/ethnic organizations on campus. Contact with questions.

September 3, 2014

Hsu: Long-lasting medication delivery

About one in four older adults suffers from chronic pain. Many of those people take medication, usually as pills. But this is not an ideal way of treating pain: Patients must take medicine frequently, and can suffer side effects, since the contents of pills spread through the bloodstream to the whole body. Now researchers at MIT have refined a technique that could enable pain medication and other drugs to be released directly to specific parts of the body — and in steady doses over a period of up to 14 months.  The method uses biodegradable, nanoscale “thin films” laden with drug molecules that are absorbed into the body in an incremental process. Professor Paula Hammond and Brian Hsu PdD ’14 have been instrumental in the development.” Continue reading at MIT News.

September 3, 2014

Eboney Hearn named Assistant Dean for Graduate Education, Diversity Initiatives

Eboney Hearn, formerly Program Director, Diversity Initiative at the Broad Institute has just joined the ODGE as Assistant Dean for Graduate Education, Diversity Initiatives.

In her tenure at the Broad, Hearn oversaw all aspects of 5 national biomedical research training programs for high school students, undergraduates, medical students, post-doctoral trainees and visiting faculty. She collaborated with the Broad’s Human Resources Department and Office of Academic Affairs to lead efforts that address the professional development needs of women throughout the Institute and to implement a seminar series to prepare Broad research technicians to pursue graduate degrees in STEM and medicine. Hearn was also a speaker at the Institute Diversity Summit in January 2014 – “Community Conversation: promoting authentic dialogue between members of different groups.”

As Assistant Dean in the ODGE, Eboney will provide creative and strategic leadership, direction, coordination, and assessment of initiatives to enhance diversity, climate, academic success and retention for students in MIT’s graduate degree programs, in particular underrepresented minority groups. She will provide advice and counsel to departments, programs and individual faculty on strategic operations related to enhancing diversity and promoting success of key constituencies; she will also engage alumni in achieving diversity goals through convening events, celebrating their accomplishments, and engaging them in recruitment and retention activities. As part of her duties, she will also oversee the MIT Summer Research Program, and direct recruitment efforts.

Eboney’s connection to the ODGE began when she was an undergraduate working in our office, and we are thrilled that she will return now as a senior member of our staff.

September 2, 2014

The Value of 10 minutes: Writing advice for the time-less academic

Write every day. Over the years, this is the single bit of advice I’ve given most regularly to graduate students who aim to become professors. Unfortunately, after grad school, it’s a lot easier said than done. The seminar and ABD stages present young scholars with a misleading sense that an academic schedule leaves relatively large blocks of time for writing. With the possible exception of the summer research months, it doesn’t. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that writing time shrinks for most of us as our careers advance. Continue reading this article on Vitae.

September 2, 2014

Dental plan enrollment open through Sept. 19

Enrollment in the MIT Delta Dental PPO Value Plan is now open, and will continue through Friday, September 19th. This plan is also known as the MIT Graduate Student Dental Plan and is administered by Crosby Benefit Systems (Crosby) on behalf of MIT. The plan subscriber must be enrolled in a graduate program at MIT at the time of enrollment; re-enrollment each year is not automatic. The coverage period is 10/1/14 – 9/30/15. Read the full details on this plan and alternate coverage plans, and find the enrollment link on the dental information page. Photo by Hakan Dahlstrom.

August 29, 2014

Davis and Wadhwa: Algorithm to extract audio from visual information

Grad students Abe Davis (EECS) and Neal Wadhwa (18) and researchers at MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe have developed an algorithm that can reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. In one set of experiments, they were able to recover intelligible speech from the vibrations of a potato-chip bag photographed from 15 feet away through soundproof glass.

In other experiments, they extracted useful audio signals from videos of aluminum foil, the surface of a glass of water, and even the leaves of a potted plant. The researchers will present their findings in a paper at this year’s Siggraph, the premier computer graphics conference. “When sound hits an object, it causes the object to vibrate,” says Abe Davis, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and first author on the new paper. “The motion of this vibration creates a very subtle visual signal that’s usually invisible to the naked eye. People didn’t realize that this information was there.” Continue reading at MIT News. Photo by Tess Watson

August 29, 2014

Fun with flower arranging Aug. 31

Join Westgate residents on August 31 at 2pm to make a flower arrangement! No experience necessary; children 5 years old and up are welcome to participate. Participants will meet in the Westgate BBQ Area, or Westgate Lounge in case of rain. Register here to attend. Contact with any questions.

August 28, 2014

Krippendorf: Co-founder of the world’s best cookie jar

You shouldn’t feel bad about your lack of self-control. Willpower fatigue—or the inability to make a lot of good decisions in a row—is well documented by social scientists. But that still doesn’t make it a good excuse for sucking down cookie number 14 of the day. Luckily, David Krippendorf, MIT MBA grad, understands your inner fat-kid desires. He’s the creator of the Kitchen Safe, a locking, time-release cookie jar that solves the perennial problem of too many cookies in the kitchen.

The plastic container has a lid with a programmable timer. You tell it when to re-open and it goes to work keeping whatever you crave out of reach. Krippendorf says that there’s no way to circumvent the timer once it’s set—even taking out the batteries will only freeze it in place. If you really need to get into the bin, your best bet is channeling hangry Godzilla and stomping it to smithereens. Continue reading on Outside Online.

August 28, 2014

The Afterbirth and the Academy

When people asked me what I expected from childbirth, I told them that I thought it would be bloody and painful. And it was. But what nobody tells you about having a baby is that the delivery may be the easiest part. Contrary to popular belief, what comes afterward isn’t instant bliss; the first weeks and months of parenthood are largely uncharted territory for many new parents. They’re often just as difficult and terrifying as labor and delivery themselves, if not more so.

As a pregnant graduate student, I did what most parents-to-be do—I took a prenatal class, made a baby registry, and tried to cram in as much work as possible before the big day. Despite all that, I wasn’t nearly prepared for the reality of daily life with a baby. I hadn’t considered how to balance the challenges of nursing with the demands of my graduate-student life, not to mention the feelings of confusion and exhaustion that babies often bring. Continue reading on Vitae.


August 27, 2014

Pulido: Independent director for Bankinter

The Board of Directors of Bankinter will appoint MIT alumna Maria Teresa Pulido to the Director of Corporate Strategy at Ferrovial to fill the existing vacancy until the date in the board of management of the bank, as reported by the company. Bankinter knew Pulido was fit for the postition. She received a polished degree in Economics from Columbia University and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT and has over twenty years of professional experience in strategic consulting and corporate and private banking (Citi and Deutsche Bank). Pulido also has experience with business development projects, strategy, organization, and change management. Continue reading on

August 27, 2014

MIT Fall Career Fair Sep. 19

On Friday, September 19th, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, 400 companies will be participating in the annual MIT Fall Career Fair. The fair will be located on the first and second floors of the Johnson Athletics Center (Building W34) and will only be open to MIT students and alumni. If you’re looking for exposure to companies in your field or seeking a full time job or summer internship, then make sure to register on the Career Fair website. Registered participants will have access to resume, CV, and networking tips and the career week schedule of networking events prior to the Career Fair. Once registered, students will be able to upload their resumes and browse the 400+ companies at fair.

August 27, 2014

ODGE staff members lend a hand

On July 30th, MIT hosted CityDay, an annual one-day volunteer opportunity for MIT faculty. The Public Service Center secured service placements for MIT faculty who registered for the CityDays campaign, provided the staff with logistical support, and sponsored a celebratory BBQ for those who completed their service and returned to campus. ODGE staff members assisted the Heading Home Inc. program, an organization which provides support to formerly homeless or low-income families in and and around the Boston community. The service also bestows emergency, transitional and permanent housing for the homeless in order to help individuals “get back on track” and restore and develop stability in their lives. Click “more” for images from the event.

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August 26, 2014

Winter GEARs technology for developing markets

Several years ago, as a graduate student at MIT, Amos Winter spent a summer in Tanzania surveying wheelchair technology. What he found was a disconnect between products and the lives of their customers. “You had normal wheelchairs that worked fine indoors but were tough to take off-road, and you had hand-powered tricycles that worked pretty well on smooth terrain over long distances, but were difficult to manage off-road and way too big to use indoors,” Winter says. “I saw a need for a product that could go fast and efficiently on rough terrain, but was still small enough to use indoors.” Continue reading this article on MIT News.

August 26, 2014

Fall 2014: 6.811, Principles and Practice of Assistive Technology (PPAT)

Principles and Practice of Assistive Technology (PPAT) or 6.811 is a popular course

in which small teams of students work with a person with a disability in the Cambridge area and design a device, app, or other solution that allows them to live more independently. The course was developed by Professor Seth Teller who has instructed PPAT for the past three years. This fall, Professor Rob Miller will oversee PPAT with Grace Teo and William Li as co-instructors. A handful of PPAT alumni will be back in class to assist as TAs and laboratory assistants. To learn more about the course and curriculum visit MIT CSAIL.

August 26, 2014

Israeli Dancing Aug. 27

The MIT Folk Dancing Club and Hillel MIT are planning an night filled with Israeli Dancing for Wednesday, August 27th, to take place 32-044, the Stata Center basement. Teaching and beginner dances will start at 8:00 pm, followed by open requests until 11:00 pm+. Kosher snacks will be provided. The event is free for all MIT students. Don’t miss out on the fun! The event begins at 8:00 pm and will end at 11:30 pm. Email with any questions. Photo by Embassy Tel Aviv

August 25, 2014

Master of Science in Management Studies program celebrates five-year anniversary

In 2009, the Master of Science in Management Studies degree program debuted at MIT Sloan. Five years in, the program is now an integral part of the school’s portfolio. Open to students who have received or are working toward an MBA or a comparable master’s degree program at an institution abroad, the intensive, customizable, nine-month program is designed for students from outside the United States who want to deepen their knowledge of management education. They spend a year at MIT Sloan pursuing a master’s degree in management studies, and ultimately graduate with a Master of Science degree from MIT in two semesters. The average MSMS student is similar to a second-year MIT Sloan MBA student, and has approximately 4.5 years of work experience and, on average, is about 28 years old. Continue reading about this program on the MIT Sloan Newsroom.

August 25, 2014

The Professor Is In: I Didn’t Get the Job. Can I Ask Why?

Well, I didn’t get the job. I thought the campus visit was great, but in the end the offer went to someone else. Can I contact the department to find out why?

If you made it to the campus-visit stage, then yes, in my opinion, you can contact the search-committee chair or department chair and ask for some feedback on your candidacy. But there’s a caveat: You have to stick to general, non-desperate sorts of questions. Questions like: “I would like to ask if you can provide any feedback on my materials or visit that would provide insight as I move forward in my job search.” Continue reading this article on Vitae.

August 25, 2014

Join the GSC Green Team

Have you seen the GSC Green Team in snazzy shirts at brunch? Become a member to get your own shirt, work with event organizers to help make more sustainable events, and educate attendees on how to do their part. Other benefits include eating first, meeting new people, and helping promote sustainability across campus! If interested, contact for more information or to join.

August 22, 2014

Bakaya: What you miss with an online engineering masters

When MIT MBA student Priyanka Bakaya sat in on her chemical engineering friend’s class on Energy Ventures, a light bulb went off. She was finally able to see a path towards her entrepreneurship. Remembering her family friend Percy Kean’s invention for depolymerization, she signed into the program and started her own company. This type of connection would not have been possible taking a masters online. There is no easy way to “sit-in” on a class online like Bakaya did in real life. Typically everything is password protected and gated within online classrooms. Without coming to class, her first PK Clean depolymerisation plant in Salt Lake City might have remained a dream. To continue reading visit

August 22, 2014

Community conversation on issues raised in Ferguson today

Institute Community and Equity Officer Edmund Bertschinger invites MIT community members and alumni to participate in a gathering today, August 22 from noon to 3 pm in the Bush Room 10-105. It will be an opportunity to share thoughts and feelings with each other on the issues raised in Ferguson, MO. His hope is that this gathering will then spur each of us to continue the conversations in our own departments, small groups, homes and neighborhoods. Now, more than ever, is the time to come together as a caring community in solidarity and peace. This is an MIT-only event.

Noon – 12:30 pm
Refreshments/water provided or bring your own lunch

12:30 pm – 12:45 pm
Welcome – Ed Bertschinger, Institute Community and Equity Officer
Words of inspiration – Robert Randolph, MIT Chaplain

12:45 pm – 1:15 pm
Viewing of selected videos
Affinity groups announcements

1:15 pm – 1:45 pm
Guest Speaker – Malia Lazu, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Future Boston Alliance
MIT Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) Mel King Community Fellow, Class of 2011

1:45 pm – 3:00 pm
Facilitated conversations

August 21, 2014

MIT’s Open Style Lab featured on NECN

Open Style Lab’s founder, Grace Teo, was recently featured on the New England Cable News (NECN) morning newsroom and will soon be interviewed on WBNW-AM’s Money Matters radio show. Open Style Lab (OSL) is a 10-week program based at MIT consisting of student engineers, designers and occupational therapists to create clothing for people with disabilities which limit their clothing choice. This is Open Style Lab’s first year and the lab has 24 students and 8 clients this summer. Most of the engineers are from MIT, but the designers and occupational therapists are from other schools, such as, RISD, BU, Harvard, Tufts, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Each client is teamed up with an engineer, designer and occupational therapist, and has a unique clothing challenges relating to the disabilities which ranged from arthritis and paraplegia, to sensory processing disorder and amputations.

Read more

August 21, 2014

Graduate Hillel Shabbat Dinner Aug. 22

Enjoy a delicious Shabbat dinner with fellow MIT grad students on Friday, August 22nd, at 7:30 pm. RSVP to the event by sending an email to Isaac Oderberg at The dinner will take place in the Sidney-Pacific Multipurpose Room. Photo by Julie.

August 20, 2014

Pandit, co-founder of KPIT, on his way to owning billion dollar business

In the late 1980s, three guys from an accounting firm in Pune came up with the idea of offering IT services knowing they were entering uncharted territory. Two were accountants – Ravi Pandit, graduate of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and Kishor Patil–teamed with an in-house tech expert, Shirish Patwardhan. During this time, personal computers were still getting popularized, and Indian businesses were new to computers in general. And the trio themselves were having to reorient–but they had an edge. All were part of Pandit’s father’s accounting firm, Kirtane & Pandit, which had a list of well-established clients. So the first 50 or 60 customers for the new IT company, christened KPIT, came from the accounting firm.

The company, founded in 1990, soon evolved into one of the fastest-growing IT enterprises in the country. Revenues went from $10 million in 2002 to $100 million in 2007 to $444 million in 2014. Profits have more than tripled to $42 million in the last seven years. This performance has earned it a spot on the Best Under A Billion list for the second straight year. Continue reading on Forbes.

August 20, 2014

Report of Institute-wide Task Force offers recommendations to help MIT evolve for a new world

The MIT education of the future is likely to be more global in its orientation and engagement, more modular and flexible in its offerings, and more open to experiments with new modes of learning. Those are some themes of the 16 recommendations contained in the final report of the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education, convened 18 months ago by President L. Rafael Reif to envision the MIT of 2020 and beyond.

Reif released the Task Force’s final report today with a letter to the MIT community, saying the occasion “marks the beginning of an exciting new period of educational experimentation at MIT.” The report’s recommendations aim to lay the groundwork for MIT to reinvent education for future generations of learners both on its campus and beyond. Continue reading at MIT News.

August 19, 2014

Levine’s algorithm to collect targeted data

Much artificial-intelligence research addresses the problem of making predictions based on large data sets. An obvious example is the recommendation engines at retail sites like Amazon and Netflix. But some types of data are harder to collect than online click histories —information about geological formations thousands of feet underground, for instance. And in other applications — such as trying to predict the path of a storm — there may just not be enough time to crunch all the available data. Dan Levine, an MIT graduate student in aeronautics and astronautics, and his advisor, Jonathan How, the Richard Cockburn Maclaurin Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, have developed a new technique that could help with both problems. Continue reading about his research on MIT News.

August 19, 2014

Submit your questions to Dear Kate

Each month, the GWAMIT mentors answer questions anonymously posed by students on Dear Kate, the GWAMIT Mentoring Committee’s advice blog. Questions are now being accepted for next month’s edition. Submit yours for next month’s edition! If your question is chosen, it will be submitted to a panel of GWAMIT mentors and their replies will be featured in the GWAMIT blog. The namesake of the Dear Kate advice column is Katharine McCormick, a 1904 graduate from MIT. She was also a suffragist and a philanthropist. GWAMIT hopes to continue her legacy and dedication to the advancement of women through this advice column. Photo by Monty

August 18, 2014

Liao’s new theory: magnets may act as wireless cooling agents

The magnets cluttering the face of your refrigerator may one day be used as cooling agents, according to a new theory formulated by MIT researchers.

The theory describes the motion of magnons — quasi-particles in magnets that are collective rotations of magnetic moments, or “spins.” In addition to the magnetic moments, magnons also conduct heat; from their equations, the MIT researchers found that when exposed to a magnetic field gradient, magnons may be driven to move from one end of a magnet to another, carrying heat with them and producing a cooling effect.

“You can pump heat from one side to the other, so you can essentially use a magnet as a refrigerator,” says Bolin Liao, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “You can envision wireless cooling where you apply a magnetic field to a magnet one or two meters away to, say, cool your laptop.” Continue reading about his research on MIT News.

August 18, 2014

Sharing the “How” as well as the “What” of MIT Education

What really goes on behind the scenes in designing a course at MIT? What considerations underlie the multitude of decisions leading to the material presented on OCW (OpenCourseWare) course pages? What do MIT faculty say about what worked and what didn’t? OCW has initiated a new venture designed to pull back the curtain on these issues. Named OCW Educator, it is explicitly addressed to educators, reaching out to our colleagues at MIT and across the world to share what we can about teaching the courses we teach. Learn more about the MIT OpenCourseWare’s new project on MIT Faculty Newsletter. Photo by Michael Coghlan 

August 18, 2014

Mentor an International Graduate Student

Have you ever wanted to help welcome a new international graduate student to MIT? If so, you can become a mentor for the International Graduate Student Mentorship Program (IGSMP). As a mentor you will guide your mentee through their first year at MIT and help them navigate life in a new environment. Information you provide in the google doc signup form will help the GSC match you to a mentee according to national/regional origins or similar interests. Photo by Kaht

August 15, 2014

Alumnus Roush serves as the Knight Science Journalism director this academic year

Deborah K. Fitzgerald, the Kenan Sahin Dean of MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS), has announced that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Deborah Blum will join MIT in 2015 as the director of Knight Science Journalism at MIT, a fellowship program that enables world-class journalists to spend a year at MIT studying everything from science, technology, and engineering to history of science, literature, policy, and political science.

Until then, MIT’s Knight Science Journalism program will be led by Wade Roush, former editor-at-large at the online innovation news service Xconomy. His appointment as acting director is effective July 1, 2014. Roush is a PhD graduate of the MIT-SHASS Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS), in which the Knight program resides. “It’s an incredible honor to be asked to lead the fellowship program for the coming year, especially given my historical connections to MIT through STS and founding Knight program director Victor McElheny, a longtime mentor and friend,” Roush says. “The Knight fellowships are invaluable to the media business because there’s no better opportunity for journalists covering science, technology, health, and the environment to devote a year to deep learning and professional renewal.” Learn about MIT’s Knight Science Journalism on MIT News.

August 15, 2014

Things you should know before publishing a book

A few years ago I was desperately seeking a book contract. Things weren’t going well on the project I’d spent years working on, and I wanted a quick fix. In a frenzy I put together a crappy proposal for an advice book for graduate students and professors on writing and publishing and sent it to an editor I didn’t know at Harvard University Press. Five days later, Elizabeth Knoll responded by telling me she was already publishing a how-to-write-better book for academics, Stylish Academic Writing by Helen Sword (it’s excellent). Then she conveyed in the kindest way something I already knew: What I had proposed wasn’t a book. I had merely submitted a bunch of prose framing a table of contents for a collection of my Chronicle columns. She suggested we brainstorm an idea for a real book. Continue reading this article on The Chronicle of Higher Education.

August 15, 2014

Free weekly yoga and meditation on Saturdays

Join the Art of Living at MIT every Saturday from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm for some fun, relaxing yoga and meditation. These sessions are held year-round in 24-121 and feature group dance warmups, sun salutations, the lotus yoga sequence, pranayama, and meditation. In addition, the group participates in fun mindfulness games on days prior to the ‘YesPlus’ happiness workshops. If interested, please RSVP online or contact with any questions. Photo by Tucker Sherman.

August 15, 2014

Indian Independence Day Celebrations Aug. 16

MIT Sangam is inviting the MIT student body to join them in celebrating the Indian Independence Day on Saturday, August 16th, beginning at 11:30 am. Meet the organization at 11:30 am at the Student Center steps for the flag hoisting ceremony. Free lunch and a discussion led by the Association for India’s Development (AID-MIT) will follow afterwards at 12:00 pm at 1-190. If interested, signup for the event and and contact MIT Sangam at with any questions. Photo by T. A Joseph.

August 14, 2014

El-Zanfaly studies learning through making — with one eye on her native Egypt

After taking Design and Computation Group and Neil Gershenfeld’s class on rapid prototyping, MAS.863 (How to Make (Almost) Anything) in 2010, Dina El-Zanfaly felt inspired. “That class (MAS.863) changed my whole life,” El-Zanfaly says. “Every week you learn a new skill and you use another machine.” El-Zanfaly realized the value of her new skill set, but also wished she and other design-minded young people in her home country could have access to laser cutters, 3-D printers, and CNC (computer numeric control) mills. So after the class was finished, she approached Gershenfeld and asked him, “Why don’t we have this in Egypt?” El-Zanfaly got to work, and by early 2012, with help and funding from several aspiring Egyptians, Fab Lab Egypt became the first fabrication lab in the Middle East. Read more about El-Zanfaly’s Fab Lab and other lab startups at MIT News.

August 14, 2014

Three-tiered Conflict Management Training by Conflict Resolution@MIT Aug. 27

Want more ease in your interactions with other people or more confidence in dealing with labmates, roommates, or authority figures? Would you like to learn why others behave the way they do (or even why *you* behave the way you do)? Due to overwhelming demand, the Three-Tier Conflict Management Training by Conflict Resolution@MIT is being piloted over the course of the fall semester this year! With skills modules in negotiation, reflective listening, dealing with emotions in difficult conversations, behavior change, and inter-cultural communication – among others – you’ll come away with plenty of tools to help you manage the challenges in your life and work.

The training is tiered at 16-hour, 32-hour, and 40-hour levels, and will take place over the course of the fall semester. The dates, times, and tier descriptions are as follows. Read more

August 14, 2014

GSC Summer Harbor Islands Day Trip Aug. 16

Spend the day outdoors and enjoy the harbor islands with your fellow grad students on a day trip planed by the GSC activities co-chairs. You’ll take ferry rides to George’s Island and Spectacle Island and get to explore the areas. Barbecue and games will be provided, and the event is also opened to families! The day trip will take place on Saturday, August 16th, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Students need to meet at Long Wharf by 9:30 am that morning. Tickets go on sale soon, so sign up to be notified when ticket sale information becomes available. Email if you have any concerns or would like more information. Photo by Beverley Goodwin

August 14, 2014

MITaly Ferragosto BBQ Aug. 15

The GSC Funding Board is sponsoring a BBQ in celebration of Ferragosto, a traditional Italian holiday. The BBW will take place on Friday, August 15th, starting at 5:00 pm at the Tang BBQ pits.  On Ferragosto, people gather together on the beach, grill food, and play soccer and volleyball on the sand. The Mitaly organization will be recreating that same atmosphere outside of Tang for the evening. Contact if you would like more information about the event. Photo by Beniamino Baj

August 13, 2014

Six MIT grad students awarded Fulbright grants

Nine MIT students and alumni recently won U.S. Student Fulbright grants for the upcoming academic year which are to be used for research programs or academic/humanitarian projects the student wishes to pursue. The Fulbright Program is an educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government to help increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the U.S. and other countries. Fulbright applicants go through a holistic selection process where their academic or professional achievement are considered, as well as leadership potential in their field of study. Read more