Monthly Archives: April 2012

April 30, 2012

Jason Chen

Taking flight at Boeing

Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) students spend six months interning with partner companies around the globe as part of their dual degree requirements for the Schools of Engineering and Management. Jason Chen, LGO ’12, interned for The Boeing Company at their new manufacturing plant in Charleston, S.C., where he used his engineering and management acumen to improve manufacturing operations on the shop floor. The Charleston plant assembles mid-body fuselages for the entire 787 program. Boeing has 870 orders for the aircraft, so Chen was tasked with finding ways to make the assembly work more efficient, faster, and of higher quality. “As a person who loves airplanes, mechanical systems, and building things, it was fun to crawl inside of the aircraft and watch as it came together,” he said. “While the 787’s engineering design is impressive, I was curious about how the manufacturing system organizes thousands of people, parts, and processes to build such a complex product in a short time.”  Continue reading the article on News@MITSloan. photo by Sarah Foote

April 30, 2012


My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Dissertation

I am the proud owner of a nearly finished first draft of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad dissertation. When I started writing, I realized that I couldn’t aim for perfection because perfection would paralyze me. I don’t know that I’ve been aiming for terrible, but letting go of the idea that my first draft had to be brilliant has helped me put a lot of words on my computer screen. Read the rest of the article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. photo by Brian Taylor

April 29, 2012

Daniel Chavas Wins Max Eaton Prize for Best Student Paper

Dan Chavas has won this year’s Max Eaton Prize for the best student paper at the American Meteorological Society’s 30th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology held last week in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Dan is trying to understand what determines the size (i.e. diameter) of a hurricane, which is not well understood and in nature is relatively independent of how fast its fastest winds are. The work he presented used a computer model of a hurricane in a simplified physical environment to determine the fundamental aspects of this environment that serve to modulate the final size of the model storm. For more information on Daniel’s research, read this article.

April 27, 2012


Ethics and Religious Faith on May 3: One Without the Other?

The Addir Fellows-MIT Interfaith Dialogue and The Technology and Culture Forum will bring Dr. Thomas Groome of Boston College to speak on campus on May 3 at 7:30pm in the MIT Stata Center, Roo 32-D461. Dr. Groome is a Professor of Theology and Religious Education, and will address Ethics & Religious Faith: Is one possible without the other? Dinner will be served; RSVP to Addir is a word in Ancient Samarian that means “bridge”. The Addir Fellows Program aspires to build bridges of dialogue and understanding.

April 27, 2012


Spatocco to represent MIT in the Russian Federation

 The Center for American-Russian Engagement of Emerging Leaders (CAREEL) recently announced Brian Spatocco’s acceptance to the Kremlin Fellows Program. Spatocco, a graduate student in Materials Science and Engineering and the Graduate Student Council President, is one of only 15 student leaders selected nationwide to participate in the Summer 2012 Kremlin Fellows Program, an exchange program sponsored by the Russian Federation’s Federal Agency on Youth Affairs. Read more

April 26, 2012


UNBOUND: Speculations on the Future of the Book, May 3-4

The UNBOUND: Speculations on the Future of the Book event will be taking place from Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 6:00 PM to Friday, May 4, 2012 at 8:00 PM.  This symposium explores the future potential of the book by engaging practitioners and performers of this versatile technology to ask some key questions: is the book an artifact on its deathbed or a mutable medium transitioning into future forms? What shape will books of the future take? Grounded in this technology’s history, we will reflect critically on possible futures, promises, and challenges of the book, showcasing practices by writers and artists, putting them in conversation with scholars and thinkers from across the disciplines who are framing discourse and questions about book-related technotexts. This symposium hopes to foster a lively discussion where audience members participate and invoke their multiple perspectives of the book. This is a free event; register through Eventbrite.

April 25, 2012

Presidential Fellow Places Second in De Florez Graduate Design Competition

A joint entry by David Fenning (Presidential Fellow) and Doug Powell, the Impurity to Efficiency Simulator, won second place in this year’s De Florez Competition for the category of Graduate Design. The competition had 38 applicants in four categories, all of which competed against each other for a total of $18,000 in prize money. The categories were Undergraduate Engineering Design, Undergraduate Engineering Science, Graduate Engineering Design and Graduate Engineering Science. Applicants try to “sell” their products and judges look at the entries’ level of creativity, innovation, practical application, scientific basis and design skill. For more information and the full list of this years’ winners, please visit April 2012 MechE News.

April 24, 2012


Alumna Lisa Freed Named as a Woman to Watch for 2012

Lisa Freed has two doctoral degrees, two full-time jobs and two teenagers. Needless to say, her life is never dull. Freed is a highly respected scientist in the field of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine who has focused much of her research on cardiac tissue, developing new solutions to regenerate hearts damaged by heart attacks. She currently leads collaborating teams at Draper Laboratory and MIT, and she lectures at MIT and Harvard. Her latest research leverages the strengths of both Draper and MIT to develop tissue scaffolds that more closely mimic the three-dimensional shapes and mechanical properties of real tissues — hopefully leading to improved cell growth, healthier organs, and ultimately better health and quality of life for patients. She also advises teams at all levels, from NASA scientists to a team of 9- to 13-year-olds competing in the FIRST LEGO League. Continue reading the article on photo courtesy of Mass High Tech

April 24, 2012


Panel on Academic Publishing for Graduate Women on May 10th

The Panel on Academic Publishing for Graduate Women will be held on Thursday, May 10th, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Koch Institute Auditorium, 76-156.  The event consists of a dinner and discussion featuring Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia (John J. and Dorthy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology & Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT), Dr. Andrea Dupree (Senior Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Past-President of the American Astronomical Society), Prof. Paula Hammond (David H. Koch Professor of Engineering at MIT and an Associate Editor at ACS Nano), and Dr. Elena Porro (Senior Deputy Editor at Cell).  The event is free but space is limited.  Register by May 3 at (MIT certificates are required).  Dinner will be served at 5:30pm followed by the panel discussion at 6:00pm.

April 23, 2012

Marvin E Goody Work

April 30 Deadline for the Marvin E. Goody Award

The Marvin E. Goody Award of $5,000 is awarded to an MIT graduate student in any department at MIT who is expecting to complete his or her Master’s thesis at the end of the 2012 Fall Term and who: explores the bond between good design and good building, extends the horizons of existing building techniques and materials, and fosters the links between the academic world and the building industry.  The Award was established in 1983 by Joan A. Goody in the name of Marvin E. Goody (1929-1980), an MIT alumnus and faculty member.  Applicants need to submit an application form, resume, thesis proposal, two letters of recommendation, and a budget indicating the proposed use of funds.  The application deadline is April 30th, 2012, and the winners will be announced on May 21, 2012.  For more information, visit the Department of Architecture, 7-337.

April 23, 2012

What do students want in a pres.?

On April 6, the Student Advisory Committee to the Presidential Search released their preliminary report, entitled “The Student Perspective on the MIT Presidency.” Drawing upon the responses they received from six town hall meetings, each of which were attended by between 10 and 60 people, as well as hundreds of student responses from online forms, paper questionnaires, focus groups, and informal discussions, the SAC described in their 20-page report what they found to be the most important challenges, desires, and concerns of MIT. This preliminary report does not contain the list of candidates that the SAC would like to nominate.  Continue reading the article on The Tech Online Edition.

April 20, 2012


MIT Sustainability Summit on April 27th

The 2012 MIT Sustainability Summit is being held on Friday, April 27th at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center.  Speakers and panelists include leaders from business, technology, and academia.  Sessions include Scaling Social Enterprise, Promise of Big Data, Geoengineering, Socially-Mediated Collaboration, Transportation, and more.  Register at, and for more information, contact

April 19, 2012

Seibert awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

From cognitive neuroscience to theoretical physics, this year’s National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellows from the University of Houston (UH) have their sights set on careers in fields ranging from medicine to energy.

Darren Seibert is a biomedical engineering major and also a member of the Honors College. He is working toward understanding the neural computations underlying visual perception. He has had the opportunity to collaborate on projects that use functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, with Michael Tarr’s lab at Carnegie Mellon University and electrophysiology in Dr. James DiCarlo’s lab at MIT. Continue reading about Seibert on the University of Houston News website.

April 18, 2012

Sexual Assualt

Engaging the Bystander on April 22: Attitudes about sexual assault

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Join peer counselors and MIT Violence Prevention and Response on Sunday, April 22 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm in the Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence, Seminar Room, for dinner and discussion concerning sexual assault portrayal in the media, and how this shapes popular beliefs about this issue.  Dinner is provided, but please bring your own dishware.  For more information, contact

April 17, 2012


What I Learned About Surviving Graduate School

In spite of all that, I am writing now—in my first position as an assistant professor—to offer a few words of advice on how you can have a successful doctoral experience in the sciences, if you accept a few realities of the graduate-student lifestyle. I was a full-time, fully financed (which is of critical importance unless you are independently wealthy) graduate student. I had a paid position as a teaching assistant, which means, of course, that you do a lot of work without any credit. Here is what I learned.  Read the rest of the article in The Chronicle of Higher Education photo by Brian Taylor

April 13, 2012

Trayvon Martin

“Race and Extreme Violence in American Society Today” Event on April 19th

The panel discussion entitled “Race and Extreme Violence in American Society Today” will take place on Thursday, April 19th from 4:00pm to 5:30pm in Building 4 Room 237.  The panelists will compare the Trayvon Martin incident and the death of Jicun Wu, owner of a Chinese takeout in Philadelphia, as instances of extreme violence against the black and Asian American communities.  Martin was killed in Florida in February 2012, Wu died in Pennsylvania in March 2012: what does this say about the state of race relations in US society today?  Panelists include Elijah Anderson, PhD (Prof. of Sociology, Yale) and Andrew Leong, JD (Associate Professor of Legal Education and Immigration Law, UMass Boston).  The event is sponsored by the Postdoctoral Association, the Office of the Dean of Graduate Education, the Center for Bilingual/Bicultural Studies, the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies, the Office of Minority Education , the Committee on Race and Diversity, and the Office of the Chancellor.

April 13, 2012


MENS ET TENEBRAE: It’s not you, it’s a disease

We MIT kids are a messed up bunch. Alright, fine, I haven’t been immersed in enough collegiate environments to say that we are more or less messed up than anyone else our age, but still — we have problems. Over the last three and a half years, I’ve met a lot of people who are having a really crappy time and think there’s no feasible way to improve their lives. I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill, overworked MIT students, I’m talking about people whose relationship with life is tenuous at best. People who are suffering because of their anxiety, lack of motivation, sadness, or whatever else. I’m extrapolating from what I’ve seen first-hand, but it’s a safe bet that there’s a silent fraction of MIT students who are experiencing some kind of depression but not addressing it.  Continue reading the article in The Tech Online Edition.

April 13, 2012


Dorothy Brown to receive 2012 Latino Science and Engineering Award

Graduate student Dorothy Brown (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering) will receive a 2012 Latino Science and Engineering Award at a celebration to be held on Monday, April 23rd.  The event will take place at 7:00pm in the Microsoft Horace Mann Conference Center at One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, and will feature national leaders from MAES, SHPE, and SACNAS, as well as an astronaut and a state senator.

April 12, 2012


“Ways of Seeing” Student Project Exhibition through April 18th

“Ways of Seeing,” a student arts exhibition opens today, April 12th in the MIT Museum on the second floor.  “Ways of Seeing” features projects that explore the use of light for changing the way we see and communicate.  Seven projects are included, using light for data visualization, communication, and shaping viewer perception of space and form.  The students are from the Media Arts and Sciences, Architecture, Art and Design Fields.  The exhibition will be up for one week, closing on Wednesday, April 18th at 5:00pm.  A closing reception will follow from 5:30pm to 7:00pm.

April 12, 2012


Two MIT graduate students short essays published in Science

Two MIT graduate students short essays were selected for publication in the April 6, 2012 issue of the journal Science under “NextGEN Voices,” a new feature that calls upon young scientists to speak up. The current issue asked the question, “What is your definition of a successful scientist?” and “How has this definition changed between your mentor’s generation and your own?” The MIT students whose essays were selected include: Kai Quek (Political Science) and Pavitra Krishnaswamy (Medical Engineering and Medical Physics, Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology). Please see: Science 6 April 2012: vol. 336 no. 6077 pp. 32-34 DOI. 10.1126/science.336.6077.32. The second NextGen survey is now open on the question “Describe a specific experience and how it changed your science, training, and career goals.” Submit your own response. The submission deadline is 18 May.

April 10, 2012

Caribbean Pelicans

Birds of a feather flock together

At the wildly-successful MBA Charity Auctions last semester students bid on big-ticket items like professional sports tickets and shopping trips to New York. But one lucky student bid on and won a group hug from the Caribbean Pelicans. It went for $50 and the winner scored an embrace with six MBA ’12 students. Group hugs are what the Pelicans, a close-knit group, are known for. The Pelicans are just one of several teams in the Caribbean Cohort, or “ocean.” At the start of the MIT Sloan MBA program, all students are divided into oceans and then divided further into multiple teams, to support their success in the first-semester MBA Core. The Core teams, assigned by the MIT Sloan administration, are designed to be as diverse as possible. The students spend nearly three-and-a-half intense months together, but then typically disband and go their separate ways after the Core ends.  photo by Amy MacMillan

April 9, 2012


Fellowship Opportunity for Chilean Citizens: Due April 17 PhD/May 17 Masters

Chilean citizens have the opportunity to apply for the CONICYT Advanced Human Capital Development Program.  Prospective candidates must also be graduate students or incoming graduate students (with a letter of admission from MIT).  Visit their website for links to details and applications (for Masters students / for PhD students). For incoming Masters students, the fellowship may be granted for a maximum period of two years.  For continuing students, the fellowship will be granted for the time remaining to complete time remaining in the program (up to two years).  For Masters students, the application call will close on May 17, 2012.  Read more

April 9, 2012

Plastic Alphabet

Plastic Alphabet: Graduate Student Reception on April 12th

A reception for the exhibition Plastic Alphabet, organized by the MIT List Visual Arts Center in conjunction with residents of Sidney Pacific, will be held on Thursday April 12th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at The Dean’s Gallery, Building E60-315.  Plastic Alphabet centers on the 1960’s Op Art movement, in which intricate works built from basic geometric and abstract elements create the impression of movement and vibration.  This exhibition explores the relationship between these compositions and reflections on the communication of aesthetics in a technologically evolving world.  The program is free and open to the MIT Graduate Community.  Click here to RSVP.

April 6, 2012


Diversity Dialogues on April 23rd

The Committee on Race and Diversity (CRD) and the Council of Staff Diversity and Inclusion (CSDI) have organized four sessions of Diversity Dialogues for Monday, April 23rd.  The topic will be “What can inclusion@MIT become?”  To attend, please respond to one of the following polls to select a meeting time and location (and feel free to bring your lunch if you are attending a lunchtime session).

12:15pm to 1:15pm
68-150 (Biology Building)
Maximum participants 14 Read more

April 6, 2012

Thesis Statement

GSC Dissertation Boot Camp on April 9th-20th

The GSC is hosting a Dissertation Boot Camp from April 9th through April 20th, from 8:30am to 5:30pm in Pritchett Dining Hall.  Enjoy a quiet and focused environment for writing theses.  Coffee and breakfast will be provided.  The GSC asks that you please supply your own laptop computer.  Register by April 9th; the registration fee is $20, with a refundable deposit of $40.  Visit the web page or contact Lindsay O’Brien,, for more information.

April 6, 2012

GSC Officers 2012-13

GSC names its new officers for 2012-13

The Graduate Student Council has announced its newly elected officers for the 2012-13 school year.

GSC President: Brian Leonard Spatocco ( – Materials Science and Engineering
GSC Vice President: Aalap Shirish Dighe ( – Mechanical Engineering
GSC Treasurer: Eric Victor ( – Chemistry
GSC Secretary: Bomy Lee Chung ( – Chemical Engineering

Congratulations to Brian, Aalap, Eric, and Bomy, who will formally begin their new roles on May 9th, 2012!  The current officers will be training and transitioning the new team over the next month.

April 5, 2012

MIT Dodgeball

MIT Third Annual Dodgeball Tournament on April 21st

MIT Recreational Sports is hosting its Third Annual Dodgeball Tournament on Saturday, April 21st at 10:00am at the duPont basketball courts at the Zesiger Center.  This is a free event; you can register online.  Prizes include Individual Champion T-shirts and Championship Hall of Fame plaque placement.  Contact for more information.  photo by Erik Kolb

April 4, 2012


Women@MIT Forum on April 6th and 7th

This women’s retreat aims to bring together the diverse array of women students from across the Institute to start to unpack what it means to be a woman at MIT, and specifically for participants to engage in honest conversation about the opportunities and challenges they face, discuss the stereotypes, expected behaviors, and social norms they encounter, reflect on what it means to live as your genuine self, forge relationships with new individuals, and build community based off of mutual respect.  The retreat starts with a dinner on Friday, April 6th, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm in the R&D Common, Stata Center (E62).  Dinner will begin with a keynote address from Professor Evelyn Wang, focused specifically on her experiences as an MIT student and her challenges both personal and academic.  From there students will have the opportunity to interact with faculty and staff seated throughout the venue.  The main portion of the retreat continues on Saturday, April 7th, from 9:00am to 5:00pm at the Sloan School, E62, with a series of open forum discussion, break-out sessions, and one-on-one conversations.

April 3, 2012

China City

China Urban Development: Discussion series through May 9

China’s massive population, high-density, and fast economic development have a high impact on regional and urban issues; on transportation; housing and development; resource and energy use; sustainable development; local public finance; and social media impact on society in China.  This weekly lunch discussion series touches on many of these issues and benefits from the wisdom of noted professors and experts. Attendance is open, but an RSVP is required.  For more information, contact Dong Wang ( or visit the series web page. Sponsored by an Office of the Dean for Graduate Education Graduate Student Life Grant.

April 3, 2012

SDM Student Eugene Kwak

Eugene Kwak, A Rocket Man, Settles Into SDM

SDM student Eugene Kwak literally had a front-row seat in the ambitious private-sector space race. Kwak, who is a member of the SDM class that entered in 2012, was the lead flight termination systems engineer for the Falcon 9, the first liquid-fuel spacecraft launched into orbit by a private company, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). After launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on June 4, 2010 (Kwak’s 31st birthday), the unmanned rocket completed two orbits around the earth. Read the rest of the article on News@MITSloan. photo by Amy MacMillan

April 2, 2012

Justin Bates

Justin Bates announced as Presidential Management Fellows finalist

Congratulations to Justin Bates, Master in City Planning degree candidate in the department of Urban Studies and Planning, who has been named a finalist in the Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF).  The PMF Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates, designed to develop a cadre of potential government leaders by providing sustenance during the first years of employment and encouraging development of leadership capabilities. Justin has been a dedicated public servant, working as a Zoning Administrator, Deputy Health Officer, and Assistant Radiological Officer for the town of Brattleboro, Vermont, and observed the “incredible impact that governments… can have on the livability, character, and health of a community.” We wish him the best in the final round of selection!