Monthly Archives: January 2013

January 31, 2013

Interdisciplinary Collaboration grows “Immunoforests” – New Microneedles

Peter DeMuth of Biological Engineering and Wilfredo F. Garcia-Beltran in Health Sciences and Technology have developed new dissolving microneedles for transcutaneous delivery of biological agents such as vaccines. This work was is published in and featured on the cover of the journal Advanced Functional Materials. Congratulations to Peter and Wilfredo on this creative combination of polymer synthesis, microfabrication, confocal microscopy, in vitro and in vivo experiments, histology and whole animal fluorescence! Read the full paper here, or see a video of Peter here, as he was one of ten winners of the 2012 Koch Institute Image Awards. Photo by Advanced Functional Materials. Read more

January 31, 2013

GradRat Chocolate Fountain Delivery/Social, Feb. 6

Join the celebration presenting the GradRat with fruits, pastries, crackers and wine in the Bush Room (10-105). Any grad students that ordered a GradRat can pick it up here; the even will be at 5-7pm, February 6Photo by MIT Alumni Association.

January 30, 2013

Bakaya makes Forbes 30 Under 30

Priyanka Bakaya, a graduate of Stanford and the MIT Sloan School of Management, was named in the December 2012 Forbes 30 Under 30 List for her innovations in Energy research. Bakaya has perfected a process to transform landfill-bound plastic waste back into oil and founded her own clean energy startup called PK Clean which has won, among other prizes, a Lightspeed Venture Partners Fellowship, an MIT Clean Energy Prize, and both Best Energy Business Plan and Best Woman Entrepreneur at the Rice University Business Plan Competition. PK Clean manages a self sustaining pilot facility in India that is capable of producing 60 barrels of diesel from every 10 tons of plastic and is starting development of a full scale commercial pilot plant. Read more about her achievements here.

January 30, 2013

Register by Feb. 1 for Conference on Cultural Competency (Feb. 8-9)

The Multicultural Conference (MC^2) is hosting a conference to connect students across the lines of cultural identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, socioeconomic status, ability, and sexual orientation. Entitled Second Thoughts on First Impressions, the day of workshops, speakers, and community building come together to facilitate open and honest communication about the cultural climate at MIT. Join the discussion by registering by Feb. 1; the conference is held February 8 and 9 in the MIT Endicott HousePhoto by the Multicultural Conference.

January 29, 2013

Apply by Feb. 1 for Congressional Visits Day in DC (March 12-13)

Join the Science Policy Initiative in advocating for science in Washington, DC on March 12-13 with the 18th Annual Congressional Visits Day. Participants engage with their members of Congress and other leaders in the science policy field on a broad range of pressing scientific issues, and establish long-term connections to key influencers in their field. To apply, please send the following materials by Friday, March 1 to Michael Davidson ( and Jesse Jenkins ( a 1-2 paragraph statement of interest including a short bio, research areas or major, and any policy interests; your home district, current voting district and other districts where you have lived previously (e.g., undergraduate institution); and your availability during the week of March 11. International students are also encouraged to apply. Supported by the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education.

January 29, 2013

Celebrate at one of the Super Bowl Parties on Feb. 3!

Two campus groups are inviting the MIT community to join and celebrate the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 3. First, get in the game spirit 6:30 pm at the Ashdown House Hulsizer Room (NW35) with wings, nachos, fries, quesadillas, and more! Alcohol is available for purchase with 21+ government photo ID, and vegetarian options will also be provided. Ashdown Associate Housemaster Yuriy Roman will explain the rules of the game with a special presentation Intro to Football at 6 pm. Second, the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education is sponsoring a party at Moksa (450 Mass Ave), beginning at 6:30 pm. They will be projecting the game on three screens in a private area just for MIT grad students with free food, a cash bar, and a DJ starting at 9 pm. Significant others are welcome to join, but please RSVP here (a raffle prize is included)!

January 29, 2013

MIT Medical offers free quit smoking class

MIT Medical is offering a new, seven week quit smoking group class starting on Thursday, February 14th and meeting weekly 12pm-1pm in E23-274. The class is limited to 12 people, and open to all members of the MIT Community. Email or call 617-253-1316 for registration and more information.

January 28, 2013

Apply by March 1 for Communicating Science 2013 Workshop

Applications are now open for the Communicating Science 2013 workshop, to be held on June 13-15th in Cambridge, MA. The workshop will focus on teaching participates to build the communication skills that technical professionals need to express complex ideas to their peers. There will be panel discussions on the topics including Engaging Non-Scientific Audiences, Writing for a Cause, Communicating Science Through Fiction, Sharing Science with Scientists, Non-Academic Publishing, and Communicating using Multimedia and the Web. Workshop participants will produce an original piece of science writing and receive feedback from workshop attendees and professional science communicators. MIT graduate students in all fields of science and engineering are encouraged to apply here by March 1. Supported by the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Faculty of Arts and Sciences and by the MIT Office of the Dean for Graduate Education.

January 28, 2013

Eggsploitation: A Film Screening by Feminists@MIT (Mon. Jan. 28, 8pm)

Feminists@MIT is screening Eggsploitation, a documentary exploring the egg-donation industry and the risks involved for women undergoing the procedure. This film screening is in response to recent egg donor advertisements in the Tech, and calls into question the exploitation of women. After the screening, there will be a brief discussion concerning issues of race, gender, and exploitation which affect students on campus. The film is playing Monday, January 28 at 8 pm in 6-120.

January 25, 2013

MIT Women’s Chorale Searching for New Singers

The MIT Women’s Chorale, directed by Kevin Galiè, is currently looking forward to adding talented singers from the MIT community in preparation for their upcoming spring concert. In May, they will be performing Four Sacred Pieces by Verdi in honor of his 200th birthday, and will also include work from Porpora’s Lauda Jerusalem, Rachmaninoff, and even traditional pieces from South America. Rehearsals are held every Wednesday at 7:15 pm in Room 10-340 (the Emma Rogers Room) at MIT. New singers can join as late as February 13th. Now is the perfect time to join as the Chorale reaches their 80th anniversary. Further information can be found on their website: by MIT Women’s Chorale.

January 25, 2013

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr with President Reif Feb. 4

MIT’s 39th Annual Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr will commence on Wednesday, February 6. All of the MIT community is invited by President L. Rafael Reif to a celebratory breakfast in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy. Included as Keynote Speaker is Paula Williams Madison, the Executive Vice President of Diversity at NBC Universal. Please register online at by 5 pm on Monday, February 4 to join the celebration at 7:30 am in Morss Hall, Walker Memorial (142 Memorial Drive). Photo provided by the Committee on Race and Diversity.

January 24, 2013

GCF Cook-Off on January 25

The Graduate Christian Fellowship will be hosting a Cook-Off on Friday, January 25th from 7-9:30pm in the Sidney Pacific Multipurpose Room. Small groups will engage in a friendly cook-off to vie for culinary supremacy. All in the graduate student community are welcome to partake in judging, food, and games. Email for questions and for more information.

January 24, 2013

Alumna Bryant Daily Featured as Emerging Scholar

Shaundra Bryant Daily showed amazing potential as a student in the Media Lab; her time and effort led to developing successful workshops such as the ODGE’s Path of Professorship as part of the first cadre of Graduate Community Fellows Now an alumna, Shaundra has gone on to achieve substantial recognition for innovation and mentoring in human-centered computing. She is featured in the January 3 issue of Diverse Issues in Higher Education as the 2013 Emerging Scholar. Read the full article herePhoto by Ronald Roach.

January 23, 2013

Cold Weather Precautions

MIT Department of Facilities reminds everyone to keep campus warm and safe in this cold weather by using revolving doors as much as possible to retain heat and conserve energy, and make sure that all windows and doors are shut securely before leaving each day. In addition, if you notice any door or window that is not closed properly, please report the location to their Customer Service Area at x3-4948. Use your cell phone to send a message with a photograph to

January 22, 2013

Global Fellows Program Info Session Wed, Jan. 23; Applications due Feb. 18

An information session for the Global Fellows Program will be held on Wednesday, January 23rd at 2:00–3:00pm in 4-149.  MIT and Imperial College London are offering an intensive 4 ½  day Global Fellows Program for PhD students in June 2013. The program will be held on June 24-28 in Sharon, MA. All PhD students are eligible to apply, though preference is given to students who have passed Quals and have started dissertation research. The Fellowship covers the cost of the program, travel, and most meals. Students will develop the professional skills required to launch and manage a successful research career and create international research collaborations. Applications are due by February 18th, and more information concerning the program can be foundhere.

January 22, 2013

ODGE welcomes Scott Tirrell

Scott Tirrell joins the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education today as Manager of Graduate Fellowships.  Formerly the Student/Academic Administrator of the MIT-SUTD (Singapore University of Technology and Design) program, Scott will coordinate fellowship acquisition, federal requirements, nomination processes, and student advising. Scott has a BA in Psychology with an Asian History minor from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and MA in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University. He speaks Mandarin Chinese.

January 21, 2013

How to Get a Grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT on Jan. 23

The Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT) is hosting an informal discussion on their Grants Program on Wednesday, January 23 from 2 to 3 pm in Room E14-240, the new Media Lab. The CAMIT staff, Susan Cohen and Sam Magee will be talking about the steps involved in the application process, what types of projects are funded, and other details about CAMIT. The invitation is open to all of the MIT community, and guidelines are available here: of the Weisner Building by Lian Zhen.

January 18, 2013

Tutor others learning English as a second language!

The MIT English as a Second Language Program for Service Employees is looking for volunteers to tutor night shift employees both regularly and as a substitute. Tutoring takes place every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 pm to midnight beginning February 19. This program simply hopes to build a student’s confidence, become more productive, and open up other opportunities to advance. No experience is required; only a good command of English and an interest in helping others is needed. This is a great opportunity to make a positive difference; please contact Jim Eggleston at for more information.

January 17, 2013

Edgerton Iron Chef Competition on January 19th

The Edgerton Iron Chef Competition will be held on January 19th, 2-6pm at the Edgerton Large Lounge (NW-10). The theme ingredient this year is APPLES. Prizes are three gift certificates of up to $50 for the winning teams, and ingredients will be reimbursed up to $30 per team. Teams check in at 2pm, shopping and cooking is between 2-6pm, and presentation, judging, and a public tasting starts at 6pm. All MIT Graduate students are welcome! To compete, please sign up here.

January 16, 2013

Free admission to the Gardner Museum on Jan. 17

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is hosting Midwinter Tropics, a Gardner After Hours event on Thursday, January 17th. Join in breezy conversations in the galleries and a terrarium-building project in the studio or listen to jazz music by the Berklee Mixed World Ensemble directed by Alain Mallet. All MIT Students receive free admission to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and all the Gardner After Hours events thanks to the MIT university membership sponsored by the Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT).

January 15, 2013

Volunteer for City Days on January 25!

Register by January 22nd for MIT’s second annual community service day, City Days IAP. City Days will be held on Friday, January 25th, 11am-5pm. Come volunteer at The Greater Boston Food Bank to sort and package food products for hunger relief agencies, or Cradles to Crayons to sort donations into “C2C KidPacks,” individualized packages of clothes, school supplies, and other essential children’s items ordered for specific in-need kids. There will be free lunch at Twenty Chimneys and transportation provided to volunteer sites. Email Amy Fan and Kristi Gundrum Kebinger with questions or check out for more information and community service opportunities. Photo by JPG Photography

January 14, 2013

David Sengeh gives back to Sierra Leone

Motivated by his personal experience with the horrors of the Sierra Leone civil war, David Moinina Sengeh is working at the MIT Media Lab to improve prosthetic limbs. In Sierra Leone many people don’t wear their prosthetic limbs because the hard plastic sockets don’t fit well. Sengeh has been working to produce custom-fitted, yet affordable, sockets. Last spring, Sengeh created a program called Innovate Salone to foster creativity among high-school students in Sierra Leone. Innovate Salone includes a mentorship program and a set of workshops where Sierra Leone’s youth can get help in developing their ideas. The idea was to “get people in the community to think about innovations that they can embrace, to have a positive impact on society [and] to get high-school kids around the country to think about a problem, and how to solve it.”  Read the full article at MIT News.

January 10, 2013


Banzaert: Wellesley’s first engineering faculty member

Lecturer and former MIT Hugh Hampton Young fellow Amy Banzaert joined Wellesley in the Spring of 2013 as the College’s first engineering faculty member; she is also a member of the 2013 Madeleine K. Albright Institute for Global Affairs Wintersession faculty. Along with Wellesley Professor of Physics Robert Berg and Associate Professor of Computer Science Franklyn Turbak—she will present to the Albright Fellows a session called “Building a Better World: Leadership, the Liberal Arts, and Engineering.”

She has been engaged in building a better world herself through her doctoral research and subsequent work. Her doctoral research determined the viability of waste-based cooking fuels intended for use in developing countries, considering combustion emissions and field feasibility. Her work demonstrated that carbonized fuels made from agricultural waste have promise from emissions and socioeconomic standpoints and that certain household and industrial waste fuels have hazardous emissions. Read the article at Wellesley News.


January 9, 2013

How “The Other” Worships – A Look into Practices of Different Faiths

The MIT Interfaith Dialogue Program will be hosting a series of services designed to give a fresh perspective on different forms of faith, including denominations that are often looked over. Jewish Worship Services will take place Friday, January 13 from 3:45 to 8:00 pm at Young Israel of Brookline (Orthodox) and Temple Beth Zion (Renewal/Unorthodox). Christian Worship follows on Sunday, January 20, from 8:45 am to 12:30 pm. This includes services at St. Paul’s (Catholic) and St. Paul’s AME, both in Cambridge. The last round of services is Muslim Worship, Friday January 25, from noon to 3 pm. The group will meet at the Kendall Square T Station at noon, traveling inbound to Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center/Mosque. Reserve space by RSVPing For more information, please see

January 8, 2013

Lindsey Anne Gilman: Better boiling for more efficient energy production

For Lindsey Anne Gilman, SM ’12, playing with bubbles is serious work. Her PhD research project, launched this past summer, concerns ways of improving heat transfer for energy production utilizing boiling water. In nuclear reactors, the formation and movement of bubbles in boiling water turns out to be a critical issue: “If instead of nice little bubbles leaving the surface of the fuel, you get a film of vapor forming, the temperature of the fuel rods can increase,” says Gilman. “When this happens, you have reached critical heat flux. The concern is that if the temperature of the fuel rods gets high enough, the structural integrity of the rods might be compromised, and even fail.”

Gilman’s studies focus on optimizing flow conditions to achieve maximum power without compromising safety. She has just begun the first phase of her project, which entails building a software model that describes precisely what is taking place inside reactors as water heats up and approaches the boiling point. Read the full article.

January 7, 2013

“7 Resolutions to Advance Your Career” By Julie Miller Vick and Jennifer S. Furlong

Resolution No. 1: Network smarter and more often. Take some time to update your LinkedIn profile, your long unused blog, or your professional Web site. A while back, the folks over at the ProfHacker blog wrote a terrific primer for establishing a Web presence. If you missed it, take a look now. This may not be your idea of fun, but it’s essential to keep your Web profile up to date, particularly if you’re on the job market…
Read the other resolutions here.

January 4, 2013

Writing about science, tech, and society? Apply for Benjamin Siegal Prize by Feb. 15

The Benjamin Siegal Prize of $2500 is offered to the MIT student submitting the best written work on issues in science, technology, and society.  The Prize is open to undergraduate and graduate students from any school or department of the Institute.  Submit one hard copy of a single-authored work of no more than 50 pages written within the last two academic years to: SIEGAL PRIZE COMMITTEE; STS Program; E51-163.  The deadline for submission is Friday, February 15th, 2013. The prize was established in 1990 by the family and friends of the late Benjamin Siegal (S.B. 1938, Ph.D.).  For more information, visit, call (617) 253-3452, or email

January 3, 2013


McIntyre on HPCwire’s People to Watch 2013

Cynthia R. McIntyre (former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) is the Senior Vice President at the Council on Competitiveness, a non-partisan, NGO, which is dedicated to developing public policy recommendations to enhance American competitiveness by creating new domestic jobs in the U.S. McIntyre has established herself as a driving force in influencing HPC development. She has a proven track record of cultivating government and private industry collaborations to create various new technology innovations.

McIntyre’s responsibilities include leading the High Performance Computing (HPC) Initiative that involves helping to develop policies to enhance the use of HPC in the private sector for greater economic return and competitive advantage. As a result of these efforts, the Council was asked by the White House in 2010 to create and lead a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to help small- and medium-size manufacturers (SME) in the Midwest to use HPC modeling and simulation. The PPP is known as the National Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium (NDEMC). Since its inception, several of these emerging enterprises have seen improvement to their product development process and bottom line sales projections. Read the full story on McIntyre at HPCwire.

January 2, 2013

MSRP Alumnus Valencia Makes Forbes List

Pedro Valencia PhD ’12, an alumnus of the MIT Summer Research Program, was named in the December 2012 Forbes 30 under 30: Science and Healthcare list as one rising stars who are transforming their fields. Valencia figured out how to more quickly synthesize nanoparticles that can be used to make drugs more effective and less toxic and to put multiple drugs inside the same nanotech medicine. His research led to many distinguished publications and a start-up Blend Therapeutics. Valencia earned his BS in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007, and completed his MS in chemical engineering practice at MIT in 2009. He was the recipient of the NSF Graduate Fellowship, and co-advised by Professor Langer and Dr. Omid Farokhzad of the Brigham Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School. See the original post at