Monthly Archives: June 2012

June 29, 2012

Dissertation for Sale: A Cautionary Tale

A Google search brought me to a link to, where with one click I soon discovered that my dissertation was being sold. It took a minute of staring at the computer screen to fully accept that my work could be purchased for (at the time) $32.34 as an eTextbook for the Nook reader. I thought the price was a steal. Literally.

I had graduated about a year earlier with a Ph.D. in sociology. Although I had hoped to turn my dissertation into a book one day, I had not yet started that process. I hadn’t even secured a contract with a publisher. Read more of the article by Manuel R. Torres at The Chronicle.

June 27, 2012

Are you Rugged? Join the Rampage on July 8!

Join the MIT Outing Club at Wompatuck State Park on July 8, from 9 AM to 3 PM for  an awesome 6-hour adventure race!  Teams of 2 or 3 will bike, swim, hike, and run their way to as many checkpoints as possible, optimizing their potential to earn points and choosing their own route through the course using just a map and compass. Teams will earn additional points by solving challenging puzzles along the way. The day will end with a barbecue and awards ceremony. The race will be capped at 100 participants, so be sure to sign up as soon as possible!

June 22, 2012

Fluffy CV’s and Cluttered Ones

In an early episode of The Office, Jim and Pam prank their co-worker, Dwight, by writing a mock résumé that casts his various manias as positive traits. “Gun nut,” for instance, translates as “sticks to his guns.” Eventually, they post the document online to various job sites, and Dwight receives an interested call from a competing paper company. He is excited and flattered, but, worried the prospective employer hasn’t seen his official résumé, he forwards an appendix of special skills along with the details of his martial-arts training. Despite Dwight’s insistence that “about a billion Asians” consider his yellow belt relevant, he’s not ultimately offered the position.

Our CV’s are rarely as misleading as Jim and Pam’s euphemisms or as misguided as Dwight’s addendums, but for many graduate students and younger scholars it is a real challenge to balance clarity and comprehensiveness, polish and accuracy. Read more of the article by George David Clark at The Chronicle.

If you would like the chance to have your CV and resume reviewed by The Chronicle, please visit The CV Doctor is Back for the chance to be considered.

June 20, 2012

Show Them You Really Want the Job

During a humanities search at a regional state university, one candidate’s CV and letters of recommendation pushed him to the top of the shortlist. His papers had won honors at national conferences; he had been awarded a prestigious fellowship; his ratings as a teaching assistant were high; he already had solid publications; and his references spoke of him as “our best student in decades.” At the campus interview, the young man was indeed as brilliant in person as he was on paper. But during the final meeting to decide which candidate to recommend for the hire, doubts arose. They were best summarized by a phrase that in the current academic-employment market can kill a candidacy: “I don’t get the feeling he really wants the job.” Read more of this article by David D. Perlmutter in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

June 18, 2012

CAC’s Summer Lunchtime Concert Series

The Campus Activies Complex’s Coffeehouse Lounge Program presents Summer Lunchtime Concerts! These concerts will take place outside on Thursdays from noon to 1:30 PM on the W20 Student Center Steps. They are free and open to the general public. Take a break, enjoy your lunch and listen to beautiful music by performers from MIT and the Berklee School of Music. Rain location will be the Student Center 1st Floor Lobby. For more information about activities around campus, please visit the Campus Activities Complex website.

June 15, 2012

Exhibit Center

See the Broader Impact of Your Research

On Tuesday, June 19th from 4 to 6 PM, the Broader Impacts Group (BIG) will host a summer kick-off in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute’s Exhibit Center by the Village. BIG is a student-run organization based in Cambridge and Woods Hole whose mission is to explore opportunity and dialogue in science communication, outreach, and their broader impacts. At its first ever meeting, representatives from the WHOI communications department and the Exhibit Center will greet this new student organization. The purpose of this meeting is to start dialogue on science communication and the broader impacts of research, and define what BIG might mean to its new membership. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please visit the Broader Impact Group website.

June 14, 2012

Heather Konar and Monica Orta

Konar and Orta of the ODGE Win 2012 Infinite Mile Awards

This year’s recipients of MIT’s Infinite Mile Awards include Heather Konar and Monica Orta of the Office of the Dean of Graduate Education. Winners were chosen from across the Institute to recognize individuals and teams who make extraordinary contributions within their organizations to help the institute carry out its mission: to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

Heather Konar serves as Communications Officer in the Office of the Dean of Graduate Education, and has taken on both innovative and challenging projects in support of the graduate community, one of which has resulted in a professional development portal for graduate students.

Monica Orta serves as a model of the ideal engaged employee, displaying attitudes and behaviors as such, and is always willing to take up a new learning opportunity or challenge. She tirelessly contributes to the greater good and well-being of the team, enabling her colleagues to more effectively provide services to students, faculty and administrators.

Both Konar and Orta have attributes and accomplishments that reflect the idea of “going the extra mile.” Read more of these testimonials and other on the webpage for the 2012 Infinite Mile Award Winners. Pictured at left: Orta and Konar.

June 13, 2012

President-elect Rafael Reif

Presidential Transition Advisory Cabinet – Call for Applications

The Presidential Transition Advisory Cabinet, formed by the Undergraduate Association and the Graduate Student Council, will serve as a joint advisory committee for President-elect Rafael Reif during his upcoming transition this Summer and early Fall. The committee will include equal representation from both the undergraduate and graduate student bodies. Prospective members will be nominated jointly by the UA and the GSC’s nomination boards and confirmed by President-elect Reif. Membership will be limited and participants will be expected to speak knowledgeably on a vast collection of topics relating to MIT policy. Service on the PTAC will require exceptional responsibility and commitment to the student body. Deadline to submit the application is June 22nd by 11:59 PM.

June 12, 2012

Stephanie Yaung and George Xu

Stephanie Yaung and George Xu Receive Legatum Seed Grants

Medical Engineering and Medical Physics team members Stephanie Yaung (a 2010 MIT Presidential Fellow) and George Xu were awarded 2012 Legatum Seed Grants from Health Sciences and Technology for their project Quantamerix. Quantamerix is developing more accessible and widespread testing for newborns in China, where the screening rate for easily treatable disorders is less than 10% in resource-limited settings. This technology provides doctors with quantitative results before newborns go home with their families, without requiring a separate device to read out the result from a test strip, making the device portable and low-cost. The Legatum Center at MIT awards Seed Grants to assist student teams in developing for-profit enterprises in low-income countries with funding for travel, market research, prototype development, pilot testing and other related expenses that directly advance the project. Read more in the Boston Herald. To learn more about the Legatum Center at MIT, please visit

June 11, 2012

MIT Dome

GSC Institute Committee Rep Applications Now Open!

Applications for Graduate Student Council Institute Committee Representative positions are now open! Apply to serve on an MIT Institute Committee by June 30, 2012 using the Online Application. Representatives serve as a vital link between the administration, the GSC and the community as a whole. More information on various committees can be found here. If you have any further questions, please contact Aalap Dighe, GSC VP.

June 7, 2012

MEMP Students with UAV

MEMP Team Receives Global Challenges Exploration Grant

Health Sciences and Technology Medical Engineering and Medical Physics students Justin Lee, Adam Pan, Vyas Ramanan, Nikhil Vadhavkar, and Andrew Warren, working under Prof. George Barbastathis, have received a Round 8 Global Challenges Exploration Grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The team will be using this $100,000 grant to develop unmanned aerial vehicles for developing world countries that can be deployed by health care workers via cell phones to swiftly deliver vaccines to hard-to-reach locations.

June 6, 2012

Ulric Ferner, PhD Candidate

Ulric Ferner to Attend LERU Doctoral Summer School

On behalf of MIT, Ulric Ferner will be attending the 3rd League of European Research Universities 2012 Doctoral Summer School: ‘Beyond Open Access: Open Education, Open Data and Open Knowledge.’ Ferner is a PhD candidate in Computer Science, researching information theory and sustainable information technology. He is interested in methods and implications of open-sourcing his own work and how open knowledge can help build international relations. This opportunity, hosted by the University of Barcelona in Spain, provides doctoral candidates with unique professional and personal development beyond what they are generally exposed to in their PhD training. 42 students from all disciplines will be brought together to identify and analyze challenges and opportunities brought to universities by the open scholarship agenda: open access to education, data and knowledge. Practical and interactive workshops will allow students to develop projects aimed at “opening” their research, and educate them on the appropriate use of tools for knowledge and research sharing.

June 5, 2012

IS&T Laptop

Travel Safely with Your Laptop This Summer

IS&T strongly recommends that you take the following precautions if you are planning on traveling or working remotely:

  • Back up your computer content
  • Renew certificates for all web browsers you use
  • Update passwords before and after trips
  • Update software before traveling
  • Use VPN for connecting remotely
  • Beware of pop-ups, especially on hotel internet connections

For more information on loss, theft and computer safety, please visit IS@T News on Laptop Safety.

June 4, 2012

Dustin Kendrick and Smith Johnston from NASA

Dustin Kendrick Awarded 2012 Space Technology Research Fellowship

Dustin Kendrick, a Bioastronautic PhD candidate, has been selected as one of forty-eight recipients from universities all across the country to receive a graduate student fellowship from NASA’s Space Technology Program. Through this program, NASA is providing the nation with highly skilled engineers and technologists, improving U.S. competitiveness and developing a foundation for future science and exploration missions. The program emphasizes technology and is designed to inspire the innovation of the nation. Selected candidates will perform research on their respective campuses and at NASA centers and nonprofit U.S. research and development laboratories. Kendrick will be researching the Gravity Loading Countermeasure Skinsuit, a device that uses elasticity to simulate gravity’s effects on the body of the wearer.

June 1, 2012

Matthew Everett Lawson and 'Glitch'

Four Graduate Students Recognized in Schnitzer Visual Arts Competition

The Student Art Association has chosen recipients for the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Competition. The students work was judged by a panel from the Student Art Association, Council for the Arts at MIT, and MIT visual arts community to determine the artist’s overall talents and creative concepts.

Graduate students Matthew Everett Lawson (first place), Narda Alvarado (second place), Nathan Lachenmyer (third place), Elizabeth Anne Watkins (honorable mention), and Emily Tow of the Undergraduate Class of 2012 (honorable mention) have their artwork on display in the Wiesner Student Art Gallery during June. The gallery is located in the Stratton Student Center, 2nd Floor and is open to the public.