Tag Archives: hugh hampton young

July 8, 2014

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Brunskill Receives NSF CAREER Award

Emma Brunskill, an MIT alumna and current assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the agency’s most prestigious award for junior faculty.

The five-year, $670,000 award will support her research on data-driven, machine learning algorithms for automatically constructing personalized strategies. Brunskill will use these methods to help create self-improving tutoring systems that provide individualized learning experiences, focusing on mathematics education.

Brunskill, who joined the faculty of the Computer Science Department in 2011, received a 2012 Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, which recognizes pioneering young academic computer scientists. She was selected as a 2012-2013 Wimmer Faculty Fellow by the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence at Carnegie Mellon. Continue reading about Brunskill’s accomplishments at Carnegie Mellon University News.

March 27, 2014

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Alumna Zurovcik’s WiCare named finalist for Hult Prize

MIT spinoff WiCare, founded by mechanical engineering alumna Danielle Zurovcik SM ’07, PhD ’12, has been named one of six finalists in this year’s Hult Prize competition. The Hult Prize Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on supporting social entrepreneurs. This year’s challenge is to solve non-communicable disease in urban slums, and winners receive $1M in seed funding. Zurovcik, who developed a revolutionary negative pressure wound therapy pump (NPWT) as a PhD student in MechE, started WiCare (Worldwide Innovative Healthcare Inc.) with the goal of bringing high-quality medical devices to low-income countries. She is currently a fellow in the D-Lab Scale-Ups fellowship program. Continue reading about Zurovcik’s project at MIT News.

February 25, 2014

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Meyer chosen in startup project to prevent PTSD

Startups aiming to prevent PTSD, treat a rare genetic disease with no current treatment, measure a diabetic’s blood sugar with no need to draw blood and lower the cost of HIV treatment worldwide, have all been named to participate in MassCONNECT. MassCONNECT, MassBio’s life sciences and healthcare entrepreneur mentorship program, kicked off its first cycle of 2014 with a Technology Showcase, where the chosen entrepreneurs presented their ideas to a room of industry executives and potential mentors. For the next 8-10 weeks, these entrepreneurs (one of whom is Retsina Meyer, MIT alumna and former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) —chosen for their innovative technologies, products, or services—are paired with seasoned life sciences professionals for evaluation and advice as they work toward developing business plans, launching companies, and raising capital. Read about Meyer’s startup idea on MassBio. Photo by Kiran Foster

January 16, 2014

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Laurencin elected AAAS fellow and awarded grants

Former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow Dr. Cato Laurencin has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Currently a professor at the University of Connecticut, he has also been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and received a grant for the Institute for Regenerative Engineering, where he conducts research, through the National Science Foundation’s Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) Program. He is currently working with other researchers on developing a new kind of material with the strength of bone and the potential to be used for implants to repair spinal fractures. He is also researching new technologies to heal long bone fractures and regenerate tendons.

January 14, 2014

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Ankrum develops new method to control cells after transplant

Harvard stem cell researchers working at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have demonstrated a new method of controlling cells after transplant, making them do the necessary behavior such as correcting a defect on a cancer cell or replenishing lost tissue.

The study led by Jeffrey Karp and James Ankrum (MIT graduate alumnus and former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) of Harvard Stem Cell Institute at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital discussed how they used microparticles which supplied the cells with cues on how they should function over a period of time.

“Regardless of where the cell is in the body, it’s going to be receiving its cues from the inside,” Karp said in a news release. “This is a completely different strategy than the current method of placing cells onto drug-doped microcarriers or scaffolds, which is limiting because the cells need to remain in close proximity to those materials in order to function. Also these types of materials are too large to be infused into the bloodstream.”

Continue reading on Headlines and Global News.

January 9, 2014

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Van Alstyne submits idea to boost advertising mail

The Postal Service could help sustain its advertising mail business by adding a scannable code for recipients to provide feedback to advertisers, a report from the office of inspector general says.

With their mobile devices, recipients of advertising mail could scan a code or symbol, such as a QR code, to access a feedback form with questions from advertisers. Participants would receive some kind of coupon as a reward.

The OIG received the idea from Marshall Van Alstyne, a Boston University management professor and MIT former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, and Geoff Parker, a professor at Tulane University’s business school. The pair proposed the digital feedback system in a paper enclosed in the OIG report, dated Dec. 11.

Continue reading on Fierce Government IT.

October 28, 2013

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McGovern recognized by International Desalination Association

MIT doctoral candidate and Hugh Hampton Young Fellow Ronan K. McGovern SM ’12 has received the Best Presentation Award of the Young Leaders Program at this year’s World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse, hosted by the International Desalination Association.

The award was presented “in recognition of superior technical content and oral presentation made at the 2013 IDA World Congress. The award committee judged this paper to have the best combination of scientific and technical innovation, relevance to the theme of the Congress, and style of presentation by a member of the IDA Young Leader’s Program.”

The paper in question, titled “Design and Optimization of Hybrid ED-RO Systems for the Treatment of Highly Saline Brines,” was authored by R.K. McGovern, S.M. Zubair, and J.H. Lienhard V. Continue reading on MIT News.

May 24, 2013

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2013-14 Hugh Hampton Young Fellows Named

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

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

May 14, 2013

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Fleming receives 2013 Elsevier/VSS Young Investigator Award

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

March 11, 2013

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Salzberg receives President’s Award from US Water Alliance

The US Water Alliance is honoring Dr. Aaron Salzberg, Special Coordinator for Water Resources in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science Affairs at the U.S. State Department. The President’s Award recognizes Dr. Salzberg for his public service as a U.S. water diplomat, providing environmental and humanitarian assistance to those in need and advancing global water security, at home and abroad. Dr. Salzberg manages the development and implementation of U.S. policies on drinking water and sanitation, water resources management, and transboundary water. At several international events on water, including the G8, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the UN Commision on Sustainable Development, and the World Water Forums, he has served as the lead water representative for the United States.

February 5, 2013

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Cato T. Laurencin Wins 2012 AAAS Mentor Award

The 2012 AAAS Mentor Award will be presented to Cato T. Laurencin (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) “for his transformative impact and scientific contributions toward mentoring students in the field of biomedical engineering.” He will receive the award during a 15 February ceremony at the 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

Laurencin is the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Chair Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Professor of Chemical, Materials, and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Connecticut. The director of both the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center and the Institute for Regenerative Engineering at the University of Connecticut, he is one of only two designated University Professors at the school.

Read the rest of the article on AAAS.

December 15, 2012

Porcupine Quills

James Ankrum is Taking Inspiration from a Porcupine’s Quills

Anyone unfortunate enough to encounter a porcupine’s quills knows that once they go in, they are extremely difficult to remove. Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital now hope to exploit the porcupine quill’s unique properties to develop new types of adhesives, needles and other medical devices.

To explore the possibility of making stronger adhesives, the researchers created a patch with an array of barbed quills on one side. They found that the energy required to remove this patch was 30 times greater than that needed for a control patch, which had quills but no barbs.

The system could also be tweaked so that it penetrates tissue easily but is not as difficult to remove as a porcupine quill, enabling design of less-painful needles for injections. “If you can still create the stress concentrations but without having a barb that catches tissue on removal, potentially you could create something with just easy insertion, without the adhesion,” says James Ankrum, a graduate student in HST, an author of the paper, and a Hugh Hampton Young fellow. Read the article on Science Daily.

December 7, 2012

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Precisely engineering 3-D brain tissues

Borrowing from microfabrication techniques used in the semiconductor industry, MIT and Harvard Medical School (HMS) engineers have developed a simple and inexpensive way to create three-dimensional brain tissues in a lab dish. The new technique yields tissue constructs that closely mimic the cellular composition of those in the living brain, allowing scientists to study how neurons form connections and to predict how cells from individual patients might respond to different drugs. The work also paves the way for developing bioengineered implants to replace damaged tissue for organ systems, according to the researchers.

Demirci and Ed Boyden, associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT’s Media Lab and McGovern Institute, are senior authors of a paper describing the new technique, which appears in the Nov. 27 online edition of the journal Advanced Materials. The paper’s lead author is Umut Gurkan, a postdoc at HST, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Other authors of the paper are Yantao Fan, a visiting graduate student at HMS and HST; Feng Xu and Emel Sokullu Urkac, postdocs at HMS and HST; Gunes Parlakgul, a visiting medical student at HMS and HST; MIT graduate students Jacob Bernstein (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) and Burcu Erkmen; and Wangli Xing, a professor at Tsinghua University. Read the rest of the article in MIT Media Relations.

September 12, 2012

Sarah Stewart Johnson

Sarah Stewart Johnson Explores New Worlds

During her final year in the Department of Atmospheric and Planetary Science at MIT, Sarah Stewart Johnson received the 2008 Hugh Hampton Young Fellowship. The fellowship opened her opportunities during graduate studies, giving her time to take on a side pursuit: Johnson joined the Energy and Environment Advisory Committee for the Obama ’08 campaign. When Obama won the election, this led to a position as a policy analyst with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Her time in public service gave her a different sense of her future career path than she would have had otherwise, she says. Read more at MIT News.

July 23, 2012

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2012-13 Hugh Hampton Young Fellows Named

Five graduate students at MIT have been named recipients of the prestigious Hugh Hampton Young Memorial Fund Fellowship for the year 2012-13. The fellowship, named for the pioneering medical researcher Hugh Hampton Young, is a highly selective research fellowship at MIT. Recipients are chosen for traits that include academic achievement, demonstrated leadership skills, and research that shows breadth of vision and crosses disciplinary boundaries, as well as passion for a field that promises broad social impact. Candidates must display integrity and moral character, strong will and determination, coordination and leadership skills, broad interests, interdisciplinary development and creativity in cross-disciplinary concepts.

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

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May 18, 2011

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Locately Will Find Which 50% Of Your Advertising Is Wasted

Companies want insight into whether their ads have any effect on consumers’ driving route and what they purchase along the way. Delivering such insight is how Locately, a start-up founded by two MIT PhD graduates, is getting paid. And in the process of commercializing their technology, Locately is winning millions in grants from the U.S. government.

In a May 13 interview with Locately co-founder and CEO, Dr. Thaddeus Fulford-Jones (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow), we started off our conversation watching a presentation that Fulford-Jones narrated of Nikki, a woman who volunteered to share her location data via the GPS chip in her mobile phone.

Location analytics revealed that Walmart (WMT) was a favorite shopping destination, with Nikki willing to drive past rivals Target (TGT) and Costco (COST) just to get there. But on Friday afternoons after leaving work early, she would head to the Family Dollar (FDO) instead, to avoid the after-school rush at her favorite Walmart. Continue reading the article on Forbes.

May 18, 2011

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Thomas Heldt is Sensing Brain Pressure without Surgery

One of the most important things to monitor in patients who’ve sustained a severe blow to the head or a serious hemorrhage is pressure in the brain. This can reveal an increase in the brain’s volume, thanks to bleeding, swelling, or other factors, which can compress and damage brain tissue and starve the organ of blood. Increases in pressure have also been implicated in other, less critical neurological problems, such as migraines and repeated concussions. But current methods for monitoring intracranial pressure are highly invasive—a neurosurgeon drills a hole in the skull and inserts a catheter, which carries a risk of infection.

Thomas Heldt (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow), a research scientist at the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT, and collaborators Faisal Kashif and George Verghese, also at MIT, hope to change that with a new, noninvasive method for monitoring intracranial pressure. While the technology is still in its early stages of development, initial studies on data from comatose patients show that it is about as accurate as intracranial monitoring with a catheter and more accurate than other, less invasive options, which involve inserting a catheter into the tissue layers between the inner skull and the brain. Heldt presented the research at the Next-Generation Medical Electronic Systems workshop at MIT earlier this month. Continue reading the article in the MIT Technology Review.

May 10, 2011

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Alan Davidson to Discuss Issues of Privacy and Tracking with Congress

Representatives from Apple and Google are set to publicly speak about privacy matters next week. Guy Tribble, Apple VP of software technology and Alan Davidson (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow), Google’s director of public policy for the Americas will appear as witnesses at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law will preside on the hearing, which is titled, “Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell phones and your Privacy. Read the rest of the article on PCWorld.

November 15, 2010

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Amos Winter is Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Finalist 2010

Amos Winter, a Ph.D student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is dedicated to solving the problems of mobility in the developing world. Winter has used inspiration from the design of mountain bikes to invent the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC). The LFC utilizes a variable speed lever-drive gear train in an ingenious way, allowing the user to maneuver and drive the wheelchair on a variety of terrains. The chair is made of off-the-shelf bicycle parts, so it is easily affordable to users. For this invention, Winter was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the Inter-American Bank for a trial in 2010. Winter and his Leveraged Freedom Chair have won many awards including the 2009 American Society of Mechanical Engineering’s Graduate Student Design Competition and the MIT IDEAS Competition for International Technology. Winters has a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and is a 2003 graduate of Tufts University. For more information on Winter’s research, please see the original Lemelson-MIT article.

October 25, 2010

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Benjamin Rapoport is working on fuel efficiency for marathoners

Most marathon runners know they need to consume carbohydrates before and during a race, but many don’t have a good fueling strategy. Now, one dedicated marathoner — an M.D./Ph.D. student in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology — has taken a more rigorous approach to calculating just how much carbohydrate a runner needs to fuel himself or herself through 26.2 miles, and what pace that runner can reasonably expect to sustain.

The result is a new model, described in the Oct. 21 issue of the journal PLoS Computational Biology, which allows runners to calculate personalized targets using an estimate of their aerobic capacity.

The Harvard-MIT scientist, Benjamin Rapoport (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow), was inspired by his experience in the 2005 New York Marathon. As he entered Manhattan for the last several miles of the race, his legs just didn’t want to keep up the pace. He was experiencing a common phenomenon among marathoners, known as “hitting the wall.” Essentially, the body runs out of fuel, forcing the runner to slow down dramatically.

Continue reading the article in the Harvard Gazettephoto by Justin Ide

October 23, 2010

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NASA missions uncover the moon’s buried treasures

Nearly a year after announcing the discovery of water molecules on the moon, scientists Thursday revealed new data uncovered by NASA’s Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO.

The missions found evidence that the lunar soil within shadowy craters is rich in useful materials, and the moon is chemically active and has a water cycle. Scientists, including co-author Maria Zuber, head of MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, also confirmed the water was in the form of mostly pure ice crystals in some places. The results are featured in six papers published in the Oct. 22 issue of Science.

“NASA has convincingly confirmed the presence of water ice and characterized its patchy distribution in permanently shadowed regions of the moon,” said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington and former Hugh Hampton Young fellow. “This major undertaking is the one of many steps NASA has taken to better understand our solar system, its resources, and its origin, evolution, and future.”

Continue reading the article in MIT Media Relations.

June 20, 2010

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Researchers seek to put the squeeze on cancer

Cancer researchers have been studying angiogenesis — the growth of new blood vessels — since the early 1970s, when Judah Folkman first theorized that tumors could be destroyed by cutting off their blood supply. For most of that time, scientists have focused on the biochemical signals that promote angiogenesis, in hopes of finding drugs that can starve tumors by blocking their ability to release the proteins that promote vessel growth. More recently, a few scientists have taken a new approach: studying how contractions in nearby cells can stimulate angiogenesis.

In a paper published in April in the Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, Van Vliet, Herman and MIT students Sunyoung Lee (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow), Adam Zeiger and John Maloney and Tufts research associate Maciej Kotecki reported measuring and imaging the force of pericyte contractions using an atomic force microscope — the first time that had ever been done. Atomic force microscopy generates very high-resolution images (about 5-nanometer resolution) by “feeling” the surface of a sample with a tiny probe tip.

Continue reading the article on MIT News.

June 15, 2010

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IDG Alum Elisabeth Stock’s NGO Awarded $23 Million to Improve Home Learning Environments

MIT International Development Group Alum Elisabeth Stock, former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow and named one of Crain’s 40 Under Forty for professional success, received an award of $23 million to improve the home learning environment of families in New York City and Los Angeles. For some years, Stock has headed a small NGO in New York, which she founded, called Computers for Youth (CFY). In February 2010, the U.S. Department of Education asked CFY to submit a letter to the department about their ideas on family involvement in children’s education. CFY urged the Department  to increase the percentage of Title I dollars set aside for family involvement, and the result was an award to CFY of $23 million. Read more to see Stock’s TEDxUSC talk titled “Can You Change a Child’s Education?” Read more

June 7, 2010

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Matthew Angel and Mehmet Fatih Yanik Discover Sustainable RNA Transfection

MIT scientists Matthew Angel (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) and Mehmet Fatih Yanik have discovered a method for transfecting mRNA into fibroblasts without triggering the immune response that normally defends cells against exogenous RNA infection. Cells are usually able to differentiate between endogenous and exogenous RNA through activation of pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) that initiate a subsequent immune response. While this immune response is important for defending cells against unwanted viral RNA invasion, it also serves as a barrier for scientists interested in delivering protein-encoding mRNA into cells for a variety of purposes.

Why the need to deliver mRNA into cells? Why not just deliver DNA as is normally done utilizing traditional transfection techniques? Or, better yet, why not just skip the translational step altogether and deliver protein directly to the cells? Read the rest of the article in American Biotechnologist.

April 15, 2010

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Danielle Zurovcik is making better wound treatment for all

Nobody knows precisely why it works, but doctors have known for decades that the healing process for open wounds can be greatly speeded up by applying negative pressure — that is, suction — under a bandage sealed tightly over the affected area. The speculation is that it helps by drawing bacteria and fluid away from the wound, keeping it cleaner.

For patients, there is a benefit even beyond the speedier healing. Traditional dressings need to be removed and replaced — sometimes painfully — up to three times a day, but with the negative pressure system dressings can be left in place for a few days. But in the developing world, there’s a problem: The systems are expensive, and they need to be plugged in or powered by batteries that last only a few hours. In many developing nations, a reliable source of electricity is rarely available.

That’s the problem that students in an MIT mechanical engineering class decided to tackle a few years ago. With the help of Dr. Robert Sheridan from Massachusetts General Hospital, the students developed a simple, inexpensive and lightweight version of the system that required no power supply and could be left in place for days. One of those students, Danielle Zurovcik SM ’07 (2012-13 Hugh Hampton Young fellow), continued to work on the project and made it the subject of her master’s thesis. She has continued to work on it on the side as she pursues her doctorate. Continue reading the article on MIT Newsphoto by Melanie Gonick

October 18, 2009

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Peter Doshi shows CDC mind-behavior control duping doctors and public to buy vaccine

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) officials are almost ready for their PR company to unleash a sophisticated, powerful H1N1 ‘swine flu’ vaccine multimedia marketing campaign to dupe doctors and exploit society’s most vulnerable through what social scientists call mind control that aims for behavior control.

In this case, the desired behavior is to accept a toxic spray or injection by obediently obeying the mind control marketing ploy, even against personal better judgment. Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null reported today that Peter Doshi first brought public attention to a CDC public relations influenza strategy known as the Seven Step Recipe. Continue reading the article in The Examiner.

October 15, 2009

Joaquin Blaya

PDAs Aren’t Just for Checking Email

Joaquin Blaya, a 2007-09 Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, took a year off during his graduate studies to return to Chile, where he was born. During this time, he realized that the key to his studies was to focus on the population he wanted to help, instead of simply stating that he was a mechanical engineer and wondering what kind of device he could build. After returning to MIT, he took lecturer Amy Smith’s D-Lab course and got connected with Partners in Health, a non-profit whose mission is to promote health care in resource-poor areas. Blaya has since launched a project in Lima, Peru, to equip healthcare workers with PDAs so that patients’ test results could be more easily transmitted to their doctors. The average time for data to reach the doctors dropped from 23 to 8 days. Also, the problem of data going missing for several weeks or months was eliminated. Peruvian health care workers embraced the program and it has now been expanded into all five of Lima’s districts. The current version of the tracking software, OpenMRS, can be found at http://openmrs.org/wiki/OpenMRS. Blaya used an earlier version of the software for his Peru study. For the full story, please see the original article on the MIT Media Relations website.

July 8, 2009

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SDM Alum Eric Cahill to Lead $10M X Prize Competition

MIT System Design and Management (SDM) alumnus Eric C. Cahill (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) has been named senior director of the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, a $10 million competition to design and build a production-capable super-efficient car. Sponsored by the nonprofit X PRIZE Foundation, the automotive competition follows in the tracks of the 2004 Ansari X PRIZE, which made headlines worldwide by awarding $10 million for the successful demonstration of privately funded, manned spaceflight. “The grand challenge format, which the X PRIZE Foundation is leading—is ideally suited to precipitate advances along technology pathways that are fundamental to human advancement,” said Cahill. Continue reading the article on MIT SDM.

August 7, 2007

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MIT team cooks up simple fuel recipe

Deforestation is not only an environmental problem in that country, but it also makes life difficult for Haitians who rely on wood to cook their food. Now, a team of MIT students including Jules Walter is working to bring affordable, environmentally friendly cooking fuel to developing countries like Haiti. The technique, which grew out of an MIT class, offers a simple way to produce charcoal briquettes from organic material such as sugarcane waste. The students have formed a company to produce and distribute the charcoal to Haitian villagers. Their firm, which includes Walter, MIT graduate students Amy Banzaert (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) and Kendra Leith, and Haitian community organizer Gerthy Lahens, recently won $30,000 in seed money from the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. Read more at Phys.Org.

June 18, 2007

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Sunyoung Lee Uses Force to Image of Cell Receptors

MIT researchers have found a way to glimpse interactions between molecules on the surface of a cell. By measuring the force generated by these cell surface interactions, the MIT team was able to image and measure the rate at which individual molecules join and separate from receptors on the cell surface. These interactions are not visible with traditional light microscopy.

“We were able to measure regions of strong intermolecular binding on the cell surfaces, which enabled us to map the locations of the receptors,” said Sunyoung Lee, a graduate student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and lead author of a paper on the work in the June 5 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead author of the paper is graduate student and former Hugh Hampton Young fellow Sunyoung Lee. Continue reading on MIT News.

April 18, 2007

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Ayanna Samuels Reaching for the Skies

Reach for the sky and you just might fall in a tree. Ayanna Samuels (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) reached for outer space and by all appearances, she has strong prospects of getting there. As a young girl, Ayanna’s dream of becoming an astronaut led to her studying aerospace engineering at one of the most highly regarded technical institutions in the world, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the United States.

“I was always intrigued by the idea of zero gravity and going out of space,” said Ayanna, who has the full support of her parents Pauline and Bert Samuels. “They made me believe that it was fully possible. They didn’t flinch,” the 26-year-old said. “Whenever my father heard information about astronauts and where they were educated, he would fill me in on what he had found, and MIT kept on coming up.” So MIT would be the school of choice but she would soon change her original path. Read the rest of the article in Jamaica Gleanerphoto by Ian Allen

June 18, 2006

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Alan Davidson is Applying Technology and Policy Expertise at Google

Alan Davidson ’89, SM ‘ 93 (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow) says that doing his job at Google is a lot like drinking from MIT’s legendary fire hose. Davidson joined the Google team in May 2005 as head of its Washington, DC, government affairs office. He quickly found himself dealing with a conflict with the U.S. Justice Department, censorship in China, and debates about the company’s future.

“Google is a very, very interesting place,” he says with a laugh. But Davidson is well qualified to meet the demands of engineers, lawyers, and politicians. He holds a JD from Yale Law School and has served as the associate director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit group in Washington, DC, dedicated to promoting civil liberties online. “I really had a front-row seat for the early legal battles surrounding the Internet,” he says. His role at Google involves advocacy and bridging the gap between engineering and government cultures.

Continue reading the article in the Infinite Connection: News & Views.

May 18, 2005

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Sumila Gulyani Tackles Poverty from the Classroom and the Field

One of the hallmarks of Columbia is the ability of its faculty to combine scholarship and teaching with personal and professional commitment so as to use their knowledge to address the global issues of our times. Nowhere is this more evident than in recently arrived Sumila Gulyani (former Hugh Hampton Young fellow), a new assistant professor of urban planning at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Gulyani balances her continuing interest and experience in helping to alleviate poverty in developing nations with a strong sense of how that experience can inform and energize her classroom teaching where she is intent on nurturing the next generation of leaders and professionals. Read the rest of the article in Columbia News.

May 1, 2000

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Long-term safety of concrete for holding nuclear waste is focus of MIT study

Small cylinders of cement rolling to and fro in a gently rocking bath are key to MIT work that could aid efforts to safely contain nuclear waste. Temporary measures for storing such waste already employ cement, a material that binds together small particles to make concrete. Concrete, in turn, is used to encase steel containers holding the waste. For permanent storage, however, researchers would like to be able to predict how the concrete — specifically, the cement that makes it strong — will weather over hundreds of years.

Enter the MIT work. Engineers led by Franz-Josef Ulm, the Gilbert T. Winslow Career Development Associate Professor of civil and environmental engineering, have created a laboratory test that allows them to observe in one day what nature takes 300 years to accomplish. This accelerates concrete aging by a factor of three over what other researchers have achieved.

His coauthors are Franz H. Heukamp (former Hugh Hampton Young scholar), a graduate student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), and Dr. John T. Germaine, a CEE principal research associate. Two other key members of the team are Dr. Marc Mainguy, a CEE postdoctoral associate, and Jennifer Burtz, a CEE junior working on the project through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

Read the rest of the article on MIT News.