News & Video

May 26, 2015

Namburi identifies neurons associating emotions with memories

Eating a slice of chocolate cake or spending time with a friend usually stimulates positive feelings, while getting in a car accident or anticipating a difficult exam is more likely to generate a fearful or anxious response. An almond-shaped brain structure called the amygdala is believed to be responsible for assigning these emotional reactions. Neuroscientists from MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have now identified two populations of neurons in the amygdala that process positive and negative emotions. These neurons then relay the information to other brain regions that initiate the appropriate behavioral response.

The findings could also help scientists to better understand how mental illnesses such as depression arise, she says. Many psychiatric symptoms may reflect impairments in emotional processing. For example, people who are depressed do not find positive experiences rewarding, and people who suffer from addiction are not deterred by the negative outcomes of their behavior. Graduate student Praneeth Namburi and postdoc Anna Beyeler are the paper’s lead authors. Continue reading on MIT News.

May 26, 2015

MIT CONNECT (Recreation Edition)

Would you like to ‘connect’ with random pairs of MIT members and take part in friendly, informal, and recreational activities? Through MIT CONNECT you can schedule any activity you would like to enjoy with others – tennis, squash, you name it! MIT CONNECT will connect you with other once a week, every week. All you need to do is sign up, identify your availability, and recreational interests and MIT CONNECT will do the rest. This social activity will take place throughout the 2015 year. Email tuka@mit.edu if you would like to learn more. Photo by Brittany

 

May 22, 2015

Massimino to speak at June 4 doctoral hooding ceremony

Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart announced  that alumnus Mike Massimino SM ’88, PhD ’92 will be the first-ever guest speaker at MIT’s Investiture of Doctoral Hoods, a ceremony for PhD candidates held the day before Commencement. “We are thrilled that Dr. Massimino has accepted the invitation to speak on June 4,” says Barnhart, who hosts the hooding ceremony. “His words will motivate and inspire our doctoral candidates as they make this significant transition from student life.” The 2015 Investiture of Doctoral Hoods takes place Thursday, June 4, at 11:30 a.m. in the Johnson Athletics Center Ice Rink. The ceremony is open to family and friends of doctoral candidates; no tickets are required. To continue reading, please visit MIT News.

May 22, 2015

MIT Connect Tea and Honey Party May 23

The MIT CONNECT program is throwing a Honey and Tea Party on Saturday, May 23rd! Everyone will have the chance to reCONNECT one last time during this celebration filled with exotic honey and tea tasting, desserts, and several light-hearted activities. There will be freshly baked croissants, fruit tarts, 60 varieties of honey from nearly as many countries, a dozen of the highest quality teas and spices, a live string-quartet, and secret prizes for the activities! The party starts at 6 pm and goes until 9 pm in the 6th floor Multi-purpose Room of the MIT Media Lab (E14). Attire can be as formal and as quirky as possible (Top hats, Fedora, monocles, Saris, etc.) Please email Tuka with an RSVP if you plan to come! Photo by Flood G..

May 21, 2015

The Negotiation Tool Kit Jun. 10

Looking for a job and wondering how to negotiate the salary? Have a job and want to re-negotiate? Take part in the Negotiation Tool Kit! This highly interactive workshop focuses on the nuts-and-bolts of negotiation and is designed to help current and future employees navigate negotiations with ease and confidence. Global career strategist Sarah Cardozo Duncan (and founder of careerstrategist.com) will be the guest speaker and will lead the workshop. In 2003, she was recognized by Boston Magazine as one of the 100 most powerful women in Boston. Her commitment and dedication to helping scientists transform their career paths earned her the 2014 MASS AWIS Mentor of Excellence Award. The Negotiation Tool Kit will take place in the Monadnock Room of the Broad Institute (415 Main St, Cambridge) on Wednesday, June 10, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Keep in mind, the event is $5 for MASS AWIS members and $10 for non-members. Register before June 3rd for a chance to win an exciting prize! Photo by usembassyta.

May 21, 2015

ESD Spring BBQ May 22

On Friday, May 22nd join the MIT Engineering Systems Division for a community-wide barbecue to celebrate the end of the Spring Semester! Grab some friends and head down to the Ashdown courtyard for some food and fun in the sun! The event starts at 5:30 pm and goes on until 8:30 pm. This event is open to the entire MIT community and is co-sponsored by the GSC funding board. Photo by daijo1.

May 20, 2015

Boonthai, Kirinruttana, Kunifuda, and Sirikunakorn help Chilean company through G-Lab

Jude Richardson made a mistake. Sales at Lexian, the human resources training company he’d founded in Santiago, Chile, were up 60 percent in 2014. He started to expand. But at the same time the Chilean economy contracted, and his growth rate dropped to 20 percent.

“It got me into a situation that lost me a lot of money,” the entrepreneur said. But while meeting with a former Lexian student who was enrolled at MIT Sloan he learned about Global Entrepreneurship Lab, the action learning program at MIT Sloan that pairs students with businesses around the world for hands-on management projects. Richardson signed on as a host. Four MIT Sloan MBA students flew from Cambridge and stayed for three weeks, leaving Richardson with a roadmap for navigating Lexian forward. “It was one of the seminal decisions in the life of the company,” Richardson said.

In Global Entrepreneurship Lab, also known as G-Lab, students build a relationship with their host company online before traveling to work on the ground in the company’s home country. Sherry Sirikunakorn, Pat Boonthai, Verawat Kirinruttana and Take Kunifuda, all second-year MBA students at MIT Sloan, arrived in Santiago in January. They analyzed Lexian’s core competencies and then went out into the city, seeking the bigger picture. Continue reading in the MIT Sloan Newsroom.

May 20, 2015

MIT Comedy Night May 21

On May 21st come laugh your worries away at the MIT Comedy Night in Kresge! Starting at 7 pm, comedian Jimmy Tingle will be delivering a one of a kind comedic experience with Orlando Baxter, Patty Ross, and Paul Gilligan. Tickets are $15 with a MIT Student ID, $20 otherwise, and are available online, at CopyTech (11-004), or at MITAC (Stata Center). The first 100 students who register online will get free tickets thanks to generous support from the de Florez Fund for Humor! Ticket sales will benefit the MIT Community Service Fund, which funds public service initiatives. Free refreshments will be served afterward!

May 19, 2015

Serve on an Institute Committee

Serving on an Institute Committee as a graduate student can provide you with an unparalleled opportunity to significantly impact decisions made by the Institute. You will become a voting member of a committee alongside other students, faculty, staff and administrators. Issues range from student life, education and curriculum, policy, health and community, and matters of the corporation. Whether you are considering an academic, professional or industrial career, the experience gained by serving on an Institute Committee will prepare you with a unique skill set and a network of diverse collaborators to take on broad challenges. To learn more about the Institute Committees, visit the MIT Committees Website. Applications will be sent out in late May. Please contact Daniel Smithwick at gsc-vp@mit.edu with any questions.

May 19, 2015

Music at Whitehead May 20

Come and watch the return of the MIT Meridian Singers at the Whitehead Auditorium, on Wednesday, May 20, beginning at 12:00pm. They will be presenting their program, “Pastime with Good Company: Consorting musics from the time of the Tudors.” Todd Beckham, an artistic director who has performed as a singer, harpsichordist, organist, and conductor in the United States and Europe, will be directing this concert. This event is free and open to the Whitehead community and friends.

May 19, 2015

Transportation Club End-of-year BBQ May 20

Join the Transportation Community at MIT to celebrate the end of the semester! Eat to your stomach’s content, choosing from the delicious selection of classic BBQ favorites. Socialize with friends and reminisce over this year’s best moments. Even get the chance to meet the new members of the Transportation Club Executive Board! The celebration begins Wednesday, May 20th at 5 pm at the Kresge BBQ Pits. Original photos by raghavvidya and Chris Campbell.

May 18, 2015

Chen and Wadhwa develop way to visualize minute vibrations

To the naked eye, buildings and bridges appear fixed in place, unmoved by forces like wind and rain. But in fact, these large structures do experience imperceptibly small vibrations that, depending on their frequency, may indicate instability or structural damage. MIT researchers have now developed a technique to “see” vibrations that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye, combining high-speed video with computer vision techniques.

Normally, high-speed video wouldn’t pick up such subtle vibrations from a building. To do this, the researchers employed a computer vision technique called “motion magnification” to break down high-speed frames into certain frequencies, essentially exaggerating tiny, subpixel motions. Buyukozturk has co-authored a paper, along with lead author and graduate student Justin Chen, which appears in the Journal of Sound and Vibration. The paper’s other co-authors are graduate student Neal Wadhwa and postdoc Young-Jin Cha, along with professors of computer science and engineering Fredo Durand and William Freeman. Continue reading on MIT News.

May 18, 2015

Become a Grad Community Fellow!

Interested in becoming a Grad Community Fellow? Openings are available for 2015-16 Graduate Community Fellows! Positions will be filled on a rolling basis, and some positions begin ASAP. Positions for Graduate Orientation (summer position) and Grad Student Life Grants (training now, position for next year) are open immediately! Additional positions are involved with Addir Interfaith Dialogue, Grad Accomplishments Writing, and Programs for Women, with more to come. For additional information, please see the positions website. Receive a monthly stipend while you gain experience. Apply now! Photo by Flazingo Photos.

May 18, 2015

Mega Muddy Monday May 18

Think Monday, May 18th 2015 is just another regular Monday? Think again! It’s Mega Muddy Monday! Head over to the Muddy Charles at 5:30 pm for free food and drinks, making new friends, and the promise of having a great time on a Monday. This event is hosted by the Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry departments. Original photo by Gemma Amor.

May 15, 2015

Applications for the MIT Volunteer Consulting Group due May 18

The Volunteer Consulting Group at MIT is currently issuing a call for applications! Send in your application by May 18th, 2015 to take advantage of a great opportunity to work part-time on an interesting real-life business problem. Participate in a team project and gain valuable consultancy experience. VCG starts in the middle of June for 6 weeks total (including the first week of preparation). Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed around the week of May 25th. Photo by Peter Hayes.

May 15, 2015

Colorful Shapes Workshop for Babies and Toddlers May 16

The List Visual Arts Center hosts its first ever workshop for babies and toddlers on Family Day! On Saturday, May 16th from 10:30 am to 12 pm in Building 6C and Lobby 7, drop in at two stations for play, exploration, stories, and art-making designed for kids under 3 years old. Discover colors and shapes works, MIT’s public art collection by Sol LeWitt and Martin Boyce. Take a look at the station locations onlinePhoto by Inez Valdez.

May 15, 2015

Eastgate Rainforest Animal Show May 16

The graduate student dorm Eastgate will be hosting a Rainforest Animal Show on Saturday, May 16th, at 10:30 am on the Eastgate Courtyard (rain location: Eastgate penthouse). The show will feature turtles, parrots, amphibians, and much more! For more information, visit the Eastgate webpage. Photo by Danny Chapman.

May 14, 2015

Lopin and Osborne’s Crayon offers marketers a source of inspiration

The world runs on marketing. Increasingly, that means digital marketing. Using software from companies like HubSpot, Marketo, and Eloqua, fortunes have been (and will be) made over the ability to attract potential customers via websites, social media, and e-mail—and get them to buy what sites are selling. Yet your average Joe Digital Marketer doesn’t have a centralized place to get Web design ideas, see what successful sites do to attract customers, and share ideas with other marketers and collaborators. Until now, that is.

A young Boston startup called Crayon recently rolled out a site where marketers can browse through millions of Web designs and have conversations about them. Crayon is led by CEO Jonah Lopin, an early and longtime HubSpot employee, and CTO John Osborne, a veteran of AdMob. Both are graduates of the MIT Sloan School of Management, and both understand the digital marketing and advertising realm. Continue reading on Xconomy.

May 14, 2015

Nominations for 2015 School of Science Teaching Prizes due May 29

Nominate faculty members for the 2015 School of Science Teaching Prizes! These are given for both Undergraduate and Graduate Education. For the Teaching Prize for Graduate Education, preference will be given to nominees who teach mainstream subjects in which fundamental principles of the relevant fields are presented. Such courses typically provide the basis for advanced education and research and prepare students for professional careers. You can nominate a professor teaching a GIR, a fundamental or more specialized Science subject. Science subjects are Courses 5 (Chemistry), 7 (Biology), 9 (Brain and Cognitive Sciences), 8 (Physics), 12 (Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences) and 18 (Mathematics). Nomination letters from faculty members or students for either award are welcome. Nominations are easy and quick to submit: simply fill out the short online nomination form by the deadline on May 29, 2015. Although one strong letter is sufficient, additional letters of support are useful. You may want to get fellow students or colleagues to submit supporting nomination for your candidate. You can use one form or multiple forms to do this. Your nominations are important to recognizing and honoring teaching excellence in Science and at MIT. Don’t hold back!

May 14, 2015

Acoustic BBQ May 15

The GSC Activities Committee has put together an Acoustic BBQ afternoon featuring The Cover Story, a popular Boston full service entertainment band! There will be free food galore: burgers (veggie and beef), hot dogs, pasta, and chips. In addition, there will be exciting music and free drinks (21+ ID required for alcohol). The BBQ will take place at the Stata Amphitheater (rain location: Stata Center – 1st floor) on Friday, May 15th, from 5 pm to 8 pm and is open to the whole MIT community. Photo by Jun Seita. 
 
 

May 14, 2015

i-Trek Benefit Dinner May 15

On Friday, May 15th from 6:30 to 8:30 in 10-105, help support i-Trek, a great non-profit working to increase diversity in STEM, and walk away with some great prizes! If you purchase $5 (students) or $10 (non-students) worth of raffle tickets you also get a complementary dinner. Raffle items include a case of wine (12 bottles – must be 21 or over to win), a foldable bike, gift cards and more! For more information visit the event website. Get excited to win big prizes, eat food, and watch live entertainment! Photo by Randy Heinitz.

May 13, 2015

Bartomeus’s investment firm helps aging business owners with succession plans

When Barcelona native Marc Bartomeus graduated from MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 2010, he didn’t head to Silicon Valley or jump into a consulting gig. Instead, he raised a little over €200,000 (about $300,000 at the time) from 16 investors to form Ariol Capital, a small investment firm with one goal—to find a small company for Bartomeus to buy and run—and returned to Spain.

Last October, when Bartomeus’ investors ponied up the funds for him to buy Repli, a Barcelona-area packaging distributor with €17 million in annual revenues, Ariol Capital became the first so-called “search fund” to purchase a firm in Spain. In doing so, Bartomeus is on the leading edge of the international expansion of a trend that could offer an escape hatch for the growing number of aging European family business owners with no succession plan in place. Continue reading on Fortune. Photo by Michael Cogliantry—Getty Images.

May 13, 2015

Mentoring Matters Celebration May 14

Join MASS AWIS on Thursday, May 14th, for the “end of year” Mentoring Matters Celebration event with guest speaker Dr. Lindee Goh, a partner at Tapestry Networks. Dr. Goh has extensive experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical spaces, with particular expertise in strategy and organizational effectiveness. She will speak about her experience with and the importance of mentoring throughout her career. MASS AWIS is also welcoming those interested in participating in future mentoring circles either as a mentor or mentee — a great opportunity to learn about our renowned MASS AWIS Mentoring Circle Program! The event will be from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm and will be hosted in the Yellowstone Room of the Broad Institute (415 Main St. Cambridge). Keep in mind, the event is $5 for MASS AWIS members, $10 for non-members, and free for all circle participants. If interested, in the Mentoring Matters Celebration remember to register online. Photo by MC.

May 13, 2015

GAME and EECS Cookie Decorating Competition May 14

Celebrate the end of the semester with GAME and EECS! Join the cookie decorating battle to win fame, glory, and prizes! Or just come for a late afternoon snack… Cookies, milk, and edible decorations will be provided. All you need to bring is your creativity and sweet tooth. Get ready to create beautiful art and then eat it too! The event starts Thursday, May 14th at 3 pm in W20-491Photo by Lydia.

May 12, 2015

The Science of SciFi Panel May 13

How plausible are space battles? What might aliens really look like? Join engineers and SciFi creators in a panel discussion about the questions that every SciFi fan has mulled over and would love to see answered in his or her lifetime. The panel, taking place Wednesday, May 13th from 7:30 to 8:30 pm in 4-231, will feature Jim Cambias, Joseph Shoer, and Joshua Newman. Dinner will be provided at 7 pm. RSVP as soon as possible! This event is brought to you by Communicating Science @ MIT (ComMIT). Photo by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL).

May 12, 2015

Walk All Night to Fight Suicide Jun. 27

This 16-mile overnight walk is a fundraising event to prevent suicide. All funds that are raised will support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Professor Leslie Kolodziejski and Janet Fischer have organized team REACH OUT; Clarice Aiello is the student contact. They welcome all participants to join their team, or to sponsor the team members with a donation. If you’re interested in taking part in this event be sure to register and/or donate! Email clarice@mit.edu if you would like to learn more. Photo by pengrin.

May 12, 2015

GAME Service Event with the Great Boston Food Bank May 13

Help GAME sort donated food that will get divided out to all regional food pantries on Wednesday, May 13th, from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Greater Boston Food Bank (70 S Bay Ave, Boston, MA). A group will be leaving together from 77 Mass Ave at 4:30 pm. The event is funded by the GCC-PSC Service Fund, so don’t worry about dinner or MBTA costs – they’ve got that covered! There are limited spots available and non-grad students will be considered if there is space available, so sign up if you’re interested in taking part in this community service event.  Photo by Martha Coakley.

May 11, 2015

Hiestand wins the 2015 Infinite Mile Award

This year, a 2015 Infinite Mile Award will go to Sylvia Hiestand, an International Student Advisor for the MIT International Students Office (ISO) in the ODGE. These annual awards recognize exceptional individual employees or teams of employees who have made extraordinary contributions within their own departments, labs, and centers and have provided exemplary service and substantial contributions in helping the Institute carry out its mission.

Hiestand has been described as an encouraging, dedicated, and kindhearted presence in the ISO. She has improved the overall experience of being an international for many students who seek her help. Ultimately, in her four years at the Institute, she has worked hard to provide support for grad students by advocating for them and helping these students get through difficult circumstances, whether they be personal, or academic.

May 11, 2015

MIT Clean Energy Prize Showcase & Grand Prize Ceremony May 11

The finalists have been chosen, and now its time to save the date for the Eversource MIT Clean Energy Prize Showcase & Grand Prize Award Ceremony on May 11, 2015! A prize of $75,000 and the grand prize of $200,000 will both be awarded at this event that will take place from 3:00 to 6:30 pm in Kresge Auditorium. All of the competitors and more information can be found on the 2015 Semi-Finalists page. Come for a night of amazement and wonder as the future of energy is discovered!

May 11, 2015

Theater Arts Design Exhibition May 11-15

Next week the Rinaldi Tile Building (E33) will be hosting the Theater Arts Design Exhibition! Come see the works of students and attend the opening reception Monday 5/11 at 8pm! The exhibition, open May 12th through 15th from 9am to 5pm, will feature works by students in Introduction to Design (21M.603), Costume Design (21M.732), Lighting Design (21M.734), and Drawing for Designers (21M.851). Photo by Sarah_Ackerman.

 

May 8, 2015

Morey wins KSTF Fellowship

MIT Chemistry alumna and former ODGE Graduate Community fellow (GCF) Shannon Morey recently won a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) Fellowship. The highly competitive KSTF fellowship provides dedicated, passionate teachers with five years of funding for professional development, grants for teaching materials, stipends, and leadership/mentoring opportunities! Additionally, she is also a Boston Public Schools Fellow and is featured on teachboston.org. She is currently working as a teacher in the science department at East Boston High School.

May 8, 2015

Compton Lecture: Climate Change Science, Policy, and Communication May 11

On Monday, May 11, 2015, Dr. Mario Molina, co-winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, former Institute Professor, and one of the world’s foremost scientists in atmospheric chemistry, will visit our campus on Monday, May 11th to deliver the Karl Taylor Compton lecture: “Climate Change: Science, Policy and Communication”.  The lecture will begin at 4:30 pm in the Wong Auditorium (E51), followed by a reception in Ting Foyer. Both locations are in the Tang Center. The work of Dr. Molina and his co-laureates provided the scientific basis for the international agreements that banned chlorofluorocarbons because of their role in depleting Earth’s protective ozone layer. His perspective is particularly relevant as we continue our campus conversation around the most effective actions to combat climate change. Currently on the faculty at UC San Diego, Professor Molina also presides over the Mario Molina Center for Strategic Studies on Energy and Environment and serves as a climate policy adviser to the president of Mexico. Hosted and moderated by President L. Rafael Reif, the lecture is open to the whole MIT community. Photo by Janwikifoto.

May 8, 2015

Tang Hall Brunch May 9

All MIT graduate students are invited to join the Tang Hall residents and enjoy the last Brunch of the semester on Saturday, May 9th, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. Who wouldn’t want to unwind with friends and fellow students near the Charles River while eating breakfast? Enjoy the nice spring weather outside with some delicious food comprising pancakes, eggs, grit, bacon, fruits, beverages, and much more! Try to bring your own plates and utensils to help Tang Hall go green. The event will take place on the Tang Hall Lawn (Rain location: Tang Hall 24th Floor Lounge). Email tang-government@mit.edu if you would like to learn more about the brunch. Photo by Joe Hsu

May 7, 2015

Danielle Keats Citron: “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace” May 7

Most Internet users are familiar with trolling—aggressive, foul-mouthed posts designed to elicit angry responses in a site’s comments. Less familiar but far more serious is the way some use networked technologies to target real people, subjecting them, by name and address, to vicious, often terrifying, online abuse. In an in-depth investigation of a problem that is too often trivialized by lawmakers and the media, Danielle Keats Citron (Lois K. Macht Research Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law) exposes the startling extent of personal cyber-attacks and proposes practical, lawful ways to prevent and punish online harassment. A refutation of those who claim that these attacks are legal, or at least impossible to stop, Hate Crimes in Cyberspace reveals the serious emotional, professional, and financial harms incurred by victims. On Thursday, May 7th come hear Citron speak about the ever more relevant topics in her book from 5 to 7 pm in 4-231. For more information about the event visit the event page.

May 7, 2015

ESD Spring Pizza at the Muddy May 8

Celebrate the end of a hard week and take a break before finals begin at the Muddy Charles. Join your fellow graduate students and eat some freshly baked pizza on Friday, May 8th, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Don’t miss out on the fun! Email mhird@mit.edu if you have any questions pertaining to the event. Photo by rob_rob2001

May 7, 2015

Social Science Happy Hour May 8

Take part in the Social Science Happy Hour on Friday, May 8th, at 6:00 pm in E18-202 with your fellow grads! Join other students and faculty and discuss social science research and meet other social science researchers. Food and beverages will be provided. All are welcome to attend. Email kluender@mit.edu if you would like more information. Photo by

 

 

May 7, 2015

Urban planning & Interfaith discussion May 7

On Thursday, May 7th join a discussion from 4 to 6 pm in 7-338 led by Ora Gladstone, Coordinator of the Addir Fellows Program at MIT, and Whitney Barth, of the Pluralism Project at Harvard. The talk will be about how radically different beliefs can be taken into account when public decisions need to made about the use of public space. Ms. Gladstone will facilitate a discussion on interfaith dialogue, particularly how to appreciate different beliefs. Ms. Barth will lead a discussion of a case study of public controversy entitled A Call to Prayer. Professor Larry Susskind will serve as moderator for the event. This discussion is organized in conjunction with the Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program (MSCP) and the exhibition currently in the Wolk Gallery: Female Faces in Sustainable Places: Malaysian Women Promoting Sustainable Development.

May 6, 2015

Leonard finds links between brain anatomy, academic achievement, and family income

Many years of research have shown that for students from lower-income families, standardized test scores and other measures of academic success tend to lag behind those of wealthier students. A new study led by researchers at MIT, including grad student, Julia Leonard, and Harvard University offers another dimension to this so-called “achievement gap”: After imaging the brains of high- and low-income students, they found that the higher-income students had thicker brain cortex in areas associated with visual perception and knowledge accumulation. Furthermore, these differences also correlated with one measure of academic achievement — performance on standardized tests.

“Just as you would expect, there’s a real cost to not living in a supportive environment. We can see it not only in test scores, in educational attainment, but within the brains of these children,” says MIT’s John Gabrieli, the Grover M. Hermann Professor in Health Sciences and Technology, professor of brain and cognitive sciences, and one of the study’s authors. “To me, it’s a call to action. You want to boost the opportunities for those for whom it doesn’t come easily in their environment.” Continue reading at MIT News.

May 6, 2015

Seeking your input and sharing progress against sexual assault

Recently MIT Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart sent a letter to the MIT community concerning MIT’s progress in minimizing sexual assault on campus. Last fall, students on campus were invited to take an extensive survey on their experiences and attitudes regarding sexual assault.  The Committee on Discipline (COD) is seeking suggestions and recommendations from the community in order to improve their disciplinary process on sexual assault cases. In addition, Barnhart discussed the progress the MIT community made toward attaining “a positive campus culture of sexual respect.” There are currently more sexual assault awareness campaigns, prevention trainings, and support for students who have experienced sexual assault. To read the letter Barnhart sent to the MIT community, visit MIT News.

May 5, 2015

Handling Personal Tragedies Around You

In academia, as in any workplace, you encounter the personal tragedies of the people around you. Colleagues experience illness, divorce, death, and more. As much as anything I’ve written about in this series, those traumatic events interrupt the life of the mind. Academics lead uniquely solitary work lives. Yet at the same time, we are uniquely tied to our work — and therefore to our colleagues. For example, we form long-lasting relationships across time and space: We stay in touch with our advisers and fellow students long after leaving graduate school behind. Our fields tend to be closed universes in which relationships grow across institutions, states, and national borders.

All of which means that, in many ways, academia is like an extended family, not just a job. For the sake of our extended academic families, I decided to learn more about how to react better to personal tragedies in our midst. I reached out to two academic professionals who have experienced significant personal tragedies during their careers. It’s normal to have trouble saying the right thing when someone near you is suffering. These colleagues have given some simple guidelines to help make things easier. To read these guidelines columnist Katie Rose has put together, visit Vitae. Photo by Kevin Dooley

May 5, 2015

Campus Planning / Kendall Community Meeting May 6

Exciting developments are taking place in MIT’s Kendall Square and east campus design process, the planning study for west campus, and key steps being taken regarding housing for graduate and undergraduate students., and opportunities are being created for the community to offer input to the process in the coming months. The proposed building designs for Kendall/east campus will be shared at initial community meetings on May 6th. Once broad feedback has been collected, design schemes will be submitted to the Cambridge Planning Board for its public hearing and review process. Both of these meetings will be on Wednesday, May 6th. The first will be from noon to 2 pm in the MIT Student Center, W20 Room 491. The second will be from 6pm to 8pm in the Kendall Marriott at 50 Broadway. Come and be an active, informed member of your community!

May 4, 2015

Arndt solves mystery underlying beetle’s attack

Bombardier beetles, which exist on every continent except Antarctica, have a pretty easy life. Virtually no other animals prey on them, because of one particularly effective defense mechanism: When disturbed or attacked, the beetles produce an internal chemical explosion in their abdomen and then expel a jet of boiling, irritating liquid toward their attackers. Researchers had been baffled by the half-inch beetles’ ability to produce this noxious spray while avoiding any physical damage. But now that conundrum has been solved, thanks to research by a team at MIT, the University of Arizona, and Brookhaven National Laboratory. The findings are published this week in the journal Science by MIT graduate student Eric Arndt, professor of materials science and engineering Christine Ortiz, Wah-Keat Lee of Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Wendy Moore of the University of Arizona.

“Their defensive mechanism is highly effective,” Arndt says, making bombardier beetles “invulnerable to most vertebrates, and invertebrates” — except for a few very specialized predators that have developed countermeasures against the noxious spray. Continue reading on MIT News. Photo by Charles Hedgcock.

May 4, 2015

Apply for 2015-2016 GCWS Graduate Seminars

GCWS graduate seminars are open to students across disciplines at all GCWS member institutions. Masters and PhD students are eligible to apply as well as advanced undergraduate students doing work in a discipline related to the course topics. The current course offerings for Fall 2015 include Workshop for Dissertation Writers in Women’s and Gender StudiesUnderstanding the Pornographic and the Obscene, and American Motherhood and Mothering: Theory, Discourse, Practice, and Change. The Spring 2016 offerings are Feminist Inquiry and The Secret Sex Life of Anthropological Artifacts: Gender and Race in the Museum. The complete course descriptions and faculty bios are in the 2015-2016 course brochure. There is a particular application process for GCWS courses. Applications are accepted until the enrollment deadline and are reviewed by the seminar instructors immediately following. Students will be notified of their final acceptance two to three days after the deadline. Students may apply after the deadline, pending available space in the class. The fall application deadline is August 24th, 2015 and the spring application is January 4th, 2016. Please call or email the GCWS for more information about application procedures, member institution cross-registration policies, or credit questions, and visit the GCWS web site.

May 4, 2015

Off-Campus Housing Fair May 5

The Sidney-Pacific HVAC Committee, GSC HCA Committee, and MIT Housing has gotten together create an Off Campus Housing Fair for grad students looking for off-campus housing for next year. Students will have the opportunity to meet landlords early, schedule viewings, see housing offers, and learn about community resources. The fair will take place on Tuesday, May 5th, from 4-6 pm at the Sidney-Pacific Multipurpose Room. Photo by Xynn Tii

May 1, 2015

May Dissertation Bootcamp May 4-8

Is the May 8th deadline looming on you and you have yet to finish your thesis? Or maybe you haven’t even started?! Calm down, calm down. Take a deep breath and relax, and know that the GSC is providing a quiet place for you to work on your thesis with other graduate students during the May Dissertation Bootcamp! Located in the Hayden Library Basement, this will be everyday from May 4th through 8th from 9:30 am to 5 pm. Breakfast will be provided everyday, and you can sign up to attend everyday or just the days that work best for you. Writing your thesis doesn’t have to be isolating. RSVP now! Photo by PJ R.

May 1, 2015

GEM Conference and Grad Lab Aug. 5 – 7

Register for the Boston GEM Conference coming August 5th through 7th! Interested in being a potential GEM Fellow? Come meet role models who can inform you about the benefits to a graduate degree in STEM related fields. Already a GEM Fellow? Come explore all that is possible in your future by connecting with the 4,000 person GEM Alumni Association (GAA)! This event is perfect for those wanting to learn from or help progress engineering and science education practices for advanced leadership careers, especially among underrepresented ethnic groups within the United States. For more details visit the conference schedule website.

The conference will also feature GRAD Lab (Getting Ready for Advanced Degrees Lab) , an interactive one-day event that offers underrepresented students exposure to the benefits of research and technology careers. GRAD Lab encourages young people of color to consider graduate engineering or science education and applying for the GEM fellowship, so if you are interested in what could lie ahead for you with GRAD Lab, check it out at the conference on Thursday, August 6th!

May 1, 2015

Greek Cooking Class May 3

Love Greek food? Then get ready because the MIT Hellenic Students’ Association is hosting a Greek Cooking Class! Learn how to make traditional greek dishes that will impress all of your Greek friends. The class will run from noon to 4pm on Sunday, May 3rd in the Colbert and kitchen room of the Warehouse graduate residence. Plenty of food will be provided, so bring your friends and come with an appetite! Photo by Zagat Buzz.

May 1, 2015

GSC Battle of the Bands! May 2

Come rock out this Saturday, May 2nd at the GSC Battle of the Bands! Four bands enter, and only one band shall leave victorious. The show will feature Jill McCrakin and the Misadventures, Slim Overdrive, The WangStars, and Love and a Sandwich. Come join your fellow rockaholics with music and refreshments! Find out which of your fellow MIT community members are secretly rock legends! The night begins in Morss Hall (50-140) at 7pm. A 21+ ID is required for the cash bar. Original photos by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and alonis.

April 30, 2015

Zhu, Opel, and Gai stimulate both sides of immune system to combat tumors

The human immune system is poised to spring into action at the first sign of a foreign invader, but it often fails to eliminate tumors that arise from the body’s own cells. Cancer biologists hope to harness that untapped power using an approach known as cancer immunotherapy. Orchestrating a successful immune attack against tumors has proven difficult so far, but a new study from MIT suggests that such therapies could be improved by simultaneously activating both arms of the immune system. Until now, most researchers have focused on one of two strategies: attacking tumors with antibodies, […] the innate immune system, or stimulating T cells, […] the adaptive immune system.

By combining these approaches, the MIT team was able to halt the growth of a very aggressive form of melanoma in mice. “An anti-tumor antibody can improve adoptive T-cell therapy to a surprising extent,” says Dane Wittrup, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor in Chemical Engineering at MIT. “These two different parts of the immune therapy are interdependent and synergistic.”  Wittrup, an associate director of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and also a faculty member in the Department of Biological Engineering, is the senior author of a paper describing the work this week in the journal Cancer Cell. Lead authors are graduate students Eric Zhu and Cary Opel and recent PhD recipient Shuning GaiContinue reading on MIT News.

April 30, 2015

Discussion: Best Practices on Graduate Student Advising May 7

On Thursday, May 7th in room 3-270, The Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE) and the Academic, Research, and Careers Subcommittee (ARC) of the Graduate Student Council (GSC) will host a one-hour discussion starting at 4pm on Best Practices in Graduate Student Advising. This event is intended to discuss a new set of written guidelines that were drafted in collaboration with the Committee on Graduate Programs over the past year. The content of the two resulting documents, “Common Values on the Graduate Student Experience” and “Institute Policy Guiding the Graduate Student Experience” can be found incorporated into the Graduate Policies and Procedures on the ODGE website. Hardcopies of these documents will be available at the panel event and in the ODGE offices.Graduate student advising is critical to the success of our students, our disciplines, and to MIT, so your thoughts and comments on these documents are welcome at odge@mit.edu. The following panelists will be participating in this conversation: Professor Randall Davis (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Professor Jeffrey Grossman (Department of Materials Science and Engineering), Professor Bengt Holstrom (Department of Economics/Sloan School of Management), Professor David Hardt (Department of Mechanical Engineering), Professor Leslie Kolodziejski (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), and Professor Kay Tye (Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences). They will be asked to describe effective advising, and how they and their respective graduate programs embody specific advising values. The discussion will be facilitated by MIT Ombudsperson Judi Segall.

April 30, 2015

New England Philharmonic: 2 world premieres May 2

The New England Philharmonic will perform its final season program at BU’s Tsai Performance Center May 2nd at 8:00 p.m. The exciting program includes 2 world premieres: Matthew Browne’s How the Solar System was Won (DMA composition candidate, the University of Michigan and this year’s Call for Scores competition winner) and Andy Vores’ Violin Concerto No. 2 – “Drive” (Featuring the NEP concertmaster, Danielle Maddon, as soloist). MIT students, faculty, and staff can receive the admissions tickets at a reduced price of $10 each if they visit this link. Photo by Henry Burrows

 

April 29, 2015

Kulkarni uses probabilistic programming to code less and do more

Most recent advances in artificial intelligence — such as mobile apps that convert speech to text — are the result of machine learning, in which computers are turned loose on huge data sets to look for patterns. To make machine-learning applications easier to build, computer scientists have begun developing so-called probabilistic programming languages, which let researchers mix and match machine-learning techniques that have worked well in other contexts. In 2013, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, an incubator of cutting-edge technology, launched a four-year program to fund probabilistic-programming research.

At the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition conference  in June, MIT researchers will demonstrate that on some standard computer-vision tasks, short programs — less than 50 lines long — written in a probabilistic programming language are competitive with conventional systems with thousands of lines of code. “This is the first time that we’re introducing probabilistic programming in the vision area,” says Tejas Kulkarni, an MIT graduate student in brain and cognitive sciences and first author on the new paper. Continue reading on MIT News.

April 29, 2015

Claire Tomlin CCE Seminar Apr. 30

The Distinguished Seminar Series in Computational Science and Engineering is excited to announce Claire Tomlin as their guest speaker for Thursday, April 30th! Tomlin will be discussing reachability and learning for hybrid systems. She’s a Charles A. Desoer Chair in the College of Engineering and a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley. The event will take place in 37-212. Lunch will be provided at 11:45 AM, and Tomlin’s seminar will begin at noon. Photo by Adam Greig 

April 29, 2015

Join us at the Collier Memorial dedication Apr. 29

In honor of Sean Collier, an MIT Police Officer who lost his life protecting the community in the week of the Boston Marathon bombings two years ago, MIT has created the Collier Memorial. On Wednesday, April 29th, a ceremony for Collier will be held at noon at the memorial, and afterwards there will be a picnic for the MIT community at North Court. Photo by Lorianne DiSabato

April 28, 2015

Four grad students receive Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Four MIT graduate students and an alumni are among 30 new recipients nationwide of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. The four current or incoming MIT graduate students who have won Soros Fellowships are Stephanie Speirs, whose mother emigrated from Korea, and who will pursue an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management; Yakir Reshef, from Israel, and Andre Shomorony, from Brazil, both of whom are currently enrolled in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program; and Krzysztof Franaszek, from Poland, who will enroll in HST this spring. In addition, alumnus Allen Lin ’11, MEng ’11, whose parents are Taiwanese immigrants, will use his Soros Fellowship to pursue a PhD in systems biology at Harvard University.

The Soros Fellowships, established in 1997, award $90,000 for immigrants and children of immigrants to complete graduate studies in the United States. Applicants may propose graduate work in any discipline, and are selected for their potential to make significant contributions to American society, culture, or their academic field. Continue reading on MIT News.

April 28, 2015

New EdX course: Making Science and Engineering Pictures starts Jun. 15

Online registration is now open for the new EdX course Making Science and Engineering Pictures, a class intended to help grad students and post-docs raise the level of their research photography. The course starts June 15, 2015 and is taught by MIT research scientist and photographer Felice Frankel. Course information and registration is available online! Go check it out and start improving your photography skills.

April 28, 2015

SLUT: The Play May 1-3

For the conclusion of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, VPR has organized the showing of SLUT the Play, a production that addresses the impact of rape culture, gang mentality, and the over-sexualization of girls and women on individuals and communities. SLUT follows the journey of 16-year-old Joey Del Marco, who is assaulted by three of her friends during a night out in NYC. Through Joey’s story and those of girls in her community, audiences witness the damaging impact of slut culture and the importance of being heard. The play was developed by The Arts Effect in collaboration with high school students over two years of weekly creative sessions. Come get a chance to see it on May 1st and 2nd at 8 pm in Wong Auditorium and on May 3rd at 12 pm in Kresge! Buy your tickets online!

April 27, 2015

Kumar awarded MRS Silver Graduate Student Award

Priyank Kumar, graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was recently awarded the MRS Silver Graduate Student Award for a presentation on Bottom-up design of graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide for electronic and optoelectronic applications at the 2015 MRS Spring Meeting in San Francisco! The MRS Graduate Student Awards are intended to honor and encourage graduate students whose academic achievements and current materials research display a high order of excellence and distinction. MRS seeks to recognize students of exceptional ability who show promise for future substantial achievement in materials research. Emphasis is placed on the quality of the student and his or her research ability. The criteria for selection range from excellence in the conduct of materials research to displaying promise for future substantial achievement in materials research. Photo by Giuseppe Romano, MIT.

April 27, 2015

GWAMIT Empowerment Conference: Speak Out, Speak Up! THIS WEEK

This year’s Spring Empowerment Conference will take place during the week of April 27th, and the theme is Speak Out, Speak Up! Many of the speakers will be people who have had to (in some way) stand up for themselves or something in which they believe.

  • On Monday April 27th the week starts with the Kick-off Luncheon (RSVP) from 12 to 1 pm in Walker Memorial Hall.
  • On Tuesday the Feminism Showcase (RSVP) will take place in Stata from 11 am to 2 pm, followed later by the Comedy Night (RSVP) in the Thirsty Ear Pub from 8 to 10 pm.
  • On Wednesday from 10:30 am to 12 pm in the Mezzanine Lounge, the first event is Deconstructing Gender & Power @ MIT (RSVP), a workshop where participants will work together to define gender, power, and control and how this may impact the dynamics here at MIT. The second, from 6 to 7:30 pm in 32-155, is Trailblazing @ Any Age (RSVP), an event where two local students will be speaking about their experiences as minorities and how they have spoken out via their actions or words.
  • On Thursday come see a screening of the film Pray the Devil Back to Hell (RSVP) from 8 to 10 pm in 26-100.
  • Finally, the week concludes on Friday with Women, Politics, & the World (RSVP), a discussion from 12 to 1pm in 3-270 that will explore why women’s political participation is essential to building and sustaining democracy globally.

Also, for those that are interested, there are still ways you can get involved with the  running and advertising of the conference. If you’d like more information or are interested in helping out, email the conference organizers. Photo by Daniela Vladimirova.

April 27, 2015

Joan Jonas: Selected Films and Videos, 1972-2005

The MIT List Visual Arts Center presents seven seminal film and single-channel video works by pioneering artist and MIT Professor Emerita Joan Jonas, accompanying the List’s presentation of They Come to Us without a Word, Jonas’s new work made for the U.S. Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Selected from Jonas’s four-decade-long, distinguished career in video, performance, and installation art, the works are featured in an intimate exhibition in the List’s Bakalar Gallery at the MIT List Visual Arts Center for public viewing. The exhibition will be available until July 5th, 2015, so be sure to check it out soon! Photo by svennevenn

April 24, 2015

Interviewing While LGBTQ

“I never hid my sexual orientation on my application materials, yet neither did I state it directly. I left it to search committees to infer. Over the years, I have spoken to LGBTQ colleagues who took a variety of approaches on the academic job market. Some chose to be even more direct than I was, mentioning their sexual orientation and their partners in their cover letters and during interviews. Others chose to be discreet — and discrete — presenting a professional self neatly divorced from the personal. They had both a regular CV that listed everything about them, and a “closeted” CV on which all references to anything remotely LGBTQ-oriented (conferences, workshops, courses, publications) were scrubbed from the professional narrative.

Being LGBTQ on the academic market was a far more sensitive issue 10 years ago, yet it remains dicey for candidates in large swaths of the country. To help other LGBTQ people struggling through the interview process, I’d like to offer the following tips.” To check out what tips writer Richard D. Reitsma has to offer to increase your performance in the job market, continue reading at the Chronicle of Higher Education. Photo by nwlynch

April 24, 2015

Interfaith Evening Film Screening & Conversation Apr. 26

On Sunday, April 26th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm, come to a free film screening of Out of Cordoba, directed by Jacob Bender. This compelling documentary about Averroes the Muslim and Maimonides the Jew, the two leading thinkers of Islamic Spain, explores the historical importance of these two “wise men of Cordoba” and their contemporary impact on today’s Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and interfaith relations. The film will begin promptly at 5:40 pm and will last 82 minutes. A conversation with the director, moderated by Beena Sarwar, will be held following the conclusion of the film screening. Both events will take place at Christ Church Cambridge (Zero Garden Street, Cambridge, Ma 02138) in the auditorium located on the upper level. Light fare and refreshments will also be served, so don’t be late! To RSVP, please email Polly Malcolm.

April 23, 2015

Sustainability Summit on Food, Farming, and the Future Apr. 24, 25

The 2015 MIT Sustainability Summit on Farming, Food, and the Future is right around the corner. Buy your early bird ticket today! The summit, taking place in McDermott Court on Friday and Saturday, April 24th and 25th, consists of two intensive days exploring food and farming challenges through the systems-thinking lens of the “Circular Economy.” Learn what it takes to build a flourishing, sustainable world from production to consumption, from farm to table and back again. In addition to a range of engaging panels with industry leaders, this year’s keynote speakers include Fedele Bauccio (CEO, Bon Appetit Management Company and 2014 EY Entrepreneur of the Year), Paul Matteucci (Operating Partner, U.S. Venture Partners), Ray Offenheiser (President, Oxfam America), and Britt Lundgren (Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture, Stonyfield Farm). Plus, there will be tasty food from in-kind sponsors such as Boloco, Stonyfield, and Ben and Jerry’s! Original photo by fishhawk.

April 23, 2015

Boston Symphony Chamber Players May 3

On Sunday, May 3rd welcome the Boston Symphony Chamber Players to MIT as they perform a complimentary community concert in Kresge Auditorium at 6 pm. The program will consist of DVORÁK (arr. Ingman) Octet-Serenade in E for winds, strings, and piano, Op. 22, followed by BRAHMS (arr. Boustead) Serenade No. 1 in D for winds and strings, Op. 11. All are invited and the concert is free, but tickets are still required, with a maximum of two tickets per individual. Please register via Eventbrite, providing your MIT email address as the contact. It is important to note that because this is a community concert, a separate pool of tickets will be made available to the public. Registration will be monitored to ensure that those reserving MIT community tickets are affiliated with the Institute. A waitlist will begin when capacity has been reached.

April 22, 2015

Kao and Dementyev create thumbnail track pad for devices

Researchers at the MIT Media Laboratory are developing a new wearable device that turns the user’s thumbnail into a miniature wireless track pad. They envision that the technology could let users control wireless devices when their hands are full — answering the phone while cooking, for instance. It could also augment other interfaces, allowing someone texting on a cellphone, say, to toggle between symbol sets without interrupting his or her typing. Finally, it could enable subtle communication in circumstances that require it, such as sending a quick text to a child while attending an important meeting. The researchers describe a prototype of the device, called NailO, in a paper they’re presenting next week at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Computer-Human Interaction conference in Seoul, South Korea.

According to Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao, an MIT graduate student in media arts and sciences and one of the new paper’s lead authors, the device was inspired by the colorful stickers that some women apply to their nails. “It’s a cosmetic product, popular in Asian countries,” says Kao, who is Taiwanese. “When I came here, I was looking for them, but I couldn’t find them, so I’d have my family mail them to me.”  To build their prototype, the researchers needed to find a way to pack capacitive sensors, a battery, and three separate chips — a microcontroller, a Bluetooth radio chip, and a capacitive-sensing chip — into a space no larger than a thumbnail. “The hardest part was probably the antenna design,” says Artem Dementyev, a graduate student in media arts and sciences and the paper’s other lead author. Continue reading on MIT News.

April 22, 2015

Inaugural Waste Research & Innovation Night Apr. 24

MIT Waste Alliance invites you to the first ever MIT waste poster night on Friday, April 24th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm in Memorial Lobby (Lobby 10)! Highlighting research and start-ups around waste, this poster session will be a great opportunity for learning about different avenues being explored in waste research and waste-sector start-ups in the Boston area while connecting with others in the same field. This event is brought to you by MIT Waste Alliance, with funding from GSLG and collaboration with the MIT Sustainability Summit. If you have any questions please contact trashiscash@mit.eduPhoto by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – PNNL.

April 21, 2015

MLK Jr. Inspired Art and Performance Contest deadline Apr. 24)

Are you inspired by civil and human rights leaders such as Dr. King, Nelson Mandela, Ella Baker, Ellie Wiesel, Harvey Milk and Malcolm X? Express yourself! On Thursday, April 30th at 6:30 pm come to Wong Auditorium in building E51 for a great evening with dinner, entertainment, and the opportunity to win cash prizes by entering the Martin Luther King, Jr. Inspired Art and Performance Contest. Win cash prizes of up to $250.00 each! This contest is open to all MIT Undergraduates and Graduate Students and Wellesley students cross registered at MIT this semester. Your entry should be related to or inspired by any of the ideals of Dr. King and/or other civil rights leaders in the past or current human rights activists in the US and the World. These ideals include freedom, justice, peace, equality, civil rights, human rights and/or social justice. To participate, just create your work and submit the contest entry form by April 24th!

April 21, 2015

Before You Sign the Lease: Laws, Landlords, and Living with Roommates Apr. 21

On Tuesday, April 21, the MIT Work-Life Center will be hosting a presentation on renting apartments in the greater Boston area. Presenter Linder Jason (J.D. , M.Ed, and real estate lawyer and educator) will help you explore the important legal and relationship facts you need to know about renting an apartment in the greater Boston Area. Many people do not know their basic rights and responsibilities as tenants when renting an apartment. What do you do when your heat isn’t working? How do you know if someone will make a good roommate? In this seminar, you will learn about all the do’s and don’ts of the renting process, including what to look for in a landlord, a broker, roommates, and the condition of the apartment. You will also learn about moving in, moving out, and budgeting for savings, utilities, and parking, as well as important health and safety codes and laws. The seminar will take place in 76-156 (David H. Koch Institute) from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Remember to register for this event if you’re interested in attending. Photo by Jeremy T. Hetzel 

April 17, 2015

Liu makes sensor to detect rotting meat

MIT chemists have devised an inexpensive, portable sensor that can detect gases emitted by rotting meat, allowing consumers to determine whether the meat in their grocery store or refrigerator is safe to eat. The sensor, which consists of chemically modified carbon nanotubes, could be deployed in “smart packaging” that would offer much more accurate safety information than the expiration date on the package, says Timothy Swager, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry at MIT.

It could also cut down on food waste, he adds. “People are constantly throwing things out that probably aren’t bad,” says Swager, who is the senior author of a paper describing the new sensor this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The paper’s lead author is graduate student Sophie Liu. Other authors are former lab technician Alexander Petty and postdoc Graham Sazama. Continue reading on MIT News.

April 17, 2015

Call for nominations for ODGE Awards: Deadline May 1

The Office of the Dean for Graduate Education is soliciting nominations for awards including the Ho-Ching and Han-Ching Fund Award, the Robert Guenassia Award, Louis G. Seigle Award, Neekeyfar Fund Award, and the Elie Shaio Memorial Award. Detailed information about these fellowships can be found at the ODGE Awards website. Each graduate department and program may nominate one student per award. Nominations should be coordinated through the graduate administrator and submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday, May 1, 2015 Photo by peddhapati.