Monthly Archives: February 2013

February 28, 2013

Sarah Rosengard and Kyle Delwiche inspire the next generation

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a big question for children, and knowing of only a few options can limit their future aspirations. The Telling Your Story (TYS) Workshop seeks to change that, offering children the opportunity to hear the life stories of scientists and engineers in their very own classroom. At the very least, it helps them know that scientists and engineers are interesting people with whom they might like to be friends. And some might just get that inspirational spark to pursue a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) career.

Sarah Rosengard, a graduate student in chemical oceanography at Woods Hole, and Leilani Roser, a biology teacher from Charlestown High School, shared their tips on how to plan ahead so that the visit satisfies everyone’s expectations. The pair showed highlights from Rosengard’s story and explained how their partnership developed into a rich project including a water sampling field trip to the Charlestown navy yard.

Kyle Delwiche, a graduate student in environmental engineering at MIT, who attended the workshop, believes that scientists have an obligation to society. “It’s not this foreign scary thing, and it is accessible even if you don’t end up doing it. You can still understand and appreciate it and understand that it touches all aspects of our lives.” Delwiche says.

Read the complete article on MIT newsphoto by Anique Olivier-Mason

February 28, 2013

Join the Addir Fellows Interfaith Dialogue on March 5

Join biblical scholar Professor Jon D. Levenson (Harvard Divinity School, Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies) for the Addir Fellows Interfaith Dialogue on Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 at 7:15pm in MIT Building W11 (the Main Dining Room).  Dessert will be avaliable; all are welcome.  Visit the website at  Email or call (617) 610-1060 for more information.

February 28, 2013

Behind Ocean Stories: Panel at Synergy Exhibit March 3rd

Synergy is an experimental program that catalyzes partnerships between local artists and MIT graduate student research scientists. With an emphasis on communication and collaboration, Synergy aims to provide meaningful creative and intellectual experiences for both the general public and for participating artists and scientists. On March 3, 1-3pm, they will host a Panel Discussion in the Gordon Current Science & Technology Center at the Museum of Science followed by a tour of the gallery with the artists and scientists. This is a free event with exhibit hall admission; more information can be found on the Synergy Exhibit website. Sponsored by an ODGE Graduate Student Life Grant. Photo from the Synergy Exhibit Gallery.

February 27, 2013

Graduate students present at global mercury conference in Geneva

International negotiators will come together this week in Geneva, Switzerland for the fifth and final meeting to address global controls on mercury.  Ahead of the negotiations, researchers from MIT and Harvard University are calling for aggressive emissions reductions and clear public health advice to reduce the risks of mercury.  Noelle Selin, Assistant Profressor of Engineering Systems and Atmospheric Chemistry, will be bringing along with ten MIT graduate students to present recent scientific results to negotiators in Geneva.  The students attending are Leah Stokes (Environmental Policy and Planning), Danya Rumore (Environmental Policy and Planning), Philip Wolfe (Aeronautics and Astronautics), Amanda Giang (Technology and Policy), Ellen Czaika (Engineering Systems Division), Bethanie Edwards (MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography), Mark Staples (Technology and Policy), Alice Alpert (MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography), Julie van der Hoop (MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography), and Rebecca Saari (Engineering Systems).  Read the full story here.

February 27, 2013

“Rivers of Ice” at the MIT Museum through March 17

During the past century, many glaciers of the Greater Himalaya have been in retreat.  Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya reveals the dramatic glacial melt through stunning photography taken by mountaineer, filmmaker and GlacierWorks founder David Breashears.  The exhibition also includes artifacts and displays relating to mountaineering and to the inhabitants of the region.  The exhibition at the MIT Museum, a related symposium being organized by the Cambridge Science Festival, and other talks and lectures throughout 2012, will provide insight to some of the most groundbreaking environmental research currently taking place, and offer the general public the opportunity to engage with scientists and researchers.

February 27, 2013

Nominate a Grad Student for an Institute Award! Deadline March 15

Nominations are now open for the 2013 MIT Awards Convocation.  The nearly 30 awards that encompass the MIT Awards Convocation recognize excellence in academics and teaching, public service, community building, achievements in the arts and athletics, leadership, and entrepreneurship.  The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 15th, 2013 at 5:00pm.  The 2013 MIT Awards Convocation will take place on Thursday, April 25th at 4:00 pm in MIT Room 10-250.  You can also nominate undergraduate students, student organizations, faculty, staff, and community members.  Awards specifically for graduate students include the Edward L. Horton Fellowship Award (presented to any student group that fosters fellowship within the graduate student community) and the Goodwin Medal (presented to a graduate student whose performance of teaching duties is “conspicuously effective over and above ordinary excellence”).


February 26, 2013

Energy Internships Available

CareerBridge and Global Education and Career Development (GECD) provide career counseling and resources for finding internships and jobs, including those in the energy field. Sign up for individual career counseling appointments, workshops, and events, or take advantage of the array of internship information on the GECD website. To schedule an appointment, apply for posted internship opportunities, or register for upcoming events, visit the GECD’s online career management system, CareerBridge. News story courtesy of News@MITSloan.

February 26, 2013

4 students meet President of Singapore at GYSS 2013

Graduate students Agata Wiśniowska (Health Sciences and Technology), Nirmala Paudel (Biological Engineering), Qinxian (Chelsea) He (Aeronautics and Astronautics), and Tea Zakula (Architecture) participated in the inaugural GYSS@one-north (Global Young Scientist Summit) program from January 20th through the 25th, 2013.  The 5 day program addressed key areas of science & research, technology innovation & society and solutions to global challenges, and also brought together almost 300 PhD students and postdocs from around the world, along with 15 eminent speakers, recipients of the Nobel Prize, Fields Medal, Turing Award, and Millennium Technology Prize.  The students were also able to meet with the President of Singapore,  Tony Tan Keng Yam.  Attendance to this summit was by invitation only. Read more

February 26, 2013

Education Designathon on March 9; Register Now!

Do you have an idea that will improve education?  The Education Designathon is a hackathon for coders, builders, and education thinkers that will take place from Saturday, March 9th, 2013 at 9:00am to Sunday, March 10th, 2013 at 5:00pm.  You don’t have to be a coder to participate; the entire MIT community — staff, faculty, undergrads, and grads—is invited to this event.  There will be food and energy drinks all night long as well as over $2,250 in prizes.  Machine, code, and design systems to rethink education.  Particpants will come together to tackle some of the biggest challenges in education and design multidisciplinary solutions, framed around three spheres: digital learning, hands-on learning, and systems re-thinkingStudents will form teams of 3-5 and have a machine shop, prototyping materials, and a $50 budget to develop their idea overnight.  EdExperts from the field will introduce their challenges from experience and help students develop their ideas.  Space is limited; register online.

February 25, 2013

Mrs. Moneypenny, Financial Times columnist, visits SWIM

Dr. Heather McGregor, also known as Mrs. Moneypenny, entrepreneur, pilot, columnist for the Financial Times, and author of the new book Mrs. Moneypenny’s Careers Advice for Ambitious Women visited the Sloan Women in Management club (SWIM) earlier this month. Moneypenny offered career advice and tips to the club’s members in an hour-long talk. She told students in attendance to take control of every aspect of their careers from managing human and social capital (networking) to learning to say “no,” learning to delegate, and building teams. She advised SWIM members to spend time learning and understanding their own financial literacy. Read the rest of the article on News@MITSloanphoto by Sarah Foote

February 25, 2013

Smithsonian recognizes Cohen-Tanugi’s water desalination technology

Smithsonian magazine recently ranked nanoporous graphene, a novel material for water desalination developed in MIT’s Department of Materials Science & Engineering, in its ranking for the top five surprising scientific milestones of 2012. Nanoporous graphene is a one-atom-thick form of carbon with tiny holes that can block salt ions while letting water molecules through, enabling the production of potable water from the world’s virtually limitless supply of seawater. The new graphene membrane was first proposed last June by MIT graduate student David Cohen-Tanugi and Jeffrey C. Grossman, Associate Professor in MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, in the journal Nano Letters. Read more about the story here.

February 25, 2013

MIT Grad Gala 2013 “Masquerade Ball” – Sat. April 13

Be regaled by the mystery and glamour of this year’s Grad Gala, the premier event for MIT grad students! The theme this year is Masquerade Ball, and the first 200 guests to register are eligible for discounted ticket prices! As an added bonus, gift vouchers will be available for the first three full tables to register. Join the fun on Saturday, April 13 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel; all MIT graduate students and Post-Docs are welcome and may bring one guest. Contact for more information.



February 22, 2013

Haeupler wins prize for algorithm

Ad hoc networks — communication networks set up on the fly by mobile sensors — pose problems that ordinary office networks don’t. Ad hoc networks are usually decentralized, meaning that no one node knows what the network as a whole looks like. One of the questions raised by decentralized networks is how to relay messages so that they will reliably reach all the nodes, even when the network’s shape is unknown. At the ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms this month, Bernhard Haeupler, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, won one of two best-student-paper prizes for a new algorithm that answers that question. Continue reading here.

February 22, 2013

Student Artists wanted at the Graduate Art Soiree! March 15

The Third Annual Graduate Art Soiree will be held on March 15th, 2013 on the top floor of the New Media Lab. Student artists will have a chance to exhibit fine art pieces to fellow peers. Dance and music groups should feel free to show off their talents by performing at the event! Art of all types, shapes, sizes, and forms are welcome, including architectural models, toy lab projects, and even DNA structures. To take advantage of this great exposure of your work to the MIT community, contact to RSVP by March 7th.


February 21, 2013

Sun discovers more efficient phased arrays

Phased arrays are light sources that don’t move, but can project a beam in any direction. In a recent issue of Nature, researchers from MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) describe a 4,096-emitter array that fits on a single silicon chip whose wide range of potential applications include more efficient laser rangefinders; medical-imaging devices; and even holographic televisions that emit different information when seen from different viewing angles. Michael Watts, an associate professor of electrical engineering published the paper along with first author Jie Sun, a graduate student in Watts’ lab, and Sun’s fellow graduate students Erman Timurdogan, Ami Yaacobi, and RLE postdoc Ehsan Shah Hosseini. Read the full article here.

February 21, 2013

Book Discussion of “Excellence Without a Soul” on Feb 25

There will be a book discussion of “Excellence Without a Soul – How a Great University Forgot Education” with Harry Lewis (Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, Former Dean of Harvard College) on Monday, February 25th, 2013 at 7:30pm in MIT Room E62-250.  Explore how education has evolved as society modernized, and discuss recent events against the backdrop of the education debate.  RSVP here.  For questions, email

February 20, 2013

Daniel Jimenez ’12 wins Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Daniel Jimenez SB ’10, MEng ’11, who studied civil engineering at MIT, has been named a Gates Cambridge Scholar for 2013. Jimenez will head to the University of Cambridge this fall to undertake an a Master of Philosophy in engineering for sustainable development. His graduate studies will complement and enrich the work he has already done on structural engineering in the developing world as an MIT student and independently.

While an undergraduate at MIT, Jimenez took part in D-Lab, which allowed him to work with a community-based organization in Zambia called Light of Hope, designing and building soil blocks that are used in affordable housing; he independently acquired funding to continue this work in summer 2010. This experience led to his involvement with Bridges to Prosperity in Bolivia, conducting geographical surveys so that footbridges could be built over impassable rivers in isolated communities. Continue reading the article on MIT newsphoto by Genevieve E. Ho

February 20, 2013

TODAY through Friday: Family Week at the List Visual Arts Center

Come visit the List Visual Arts Center (MIT E15-109) and enjoy a week of FREE activities, just for families.  Adults and children are invited to visit the List and participate in family-friendly activities together from Tuesday, February 19th through Friday, February 22nd, 2013, from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.  There will also be kid-friendly tours of our new exhibition, Amalia Pica, daily at 1 pm.  No registration is required; just show up!

February 19, 2013

Institute-Wide Task Force aims to sketch the MIT education of the future

President L. Rafael Reif has announced the creation of an Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education, saying that the stunning rise of online learning may “offer us the historic opportunity to reinvent the residential campus model and perhaps redefine education altogether.”

In an email message today to the MIT community, Reif said that he has charged the panel — to be co-chaired by Professor Sanjay Sarma, director of digital learning, and Israel Ruiz, executive vice president and treasurer — with completing a preliminary report in approximately six months, and a final report in roughly one year. Sarma and Ruiz will select individuals from across MIT to serve on the Task Force.

Reif wrote in his charge to the Task Force that American higher education is currently in the midst of “disruptive changes,” with many students struggling to afford higher education even as colleges and universities are straining to cover the cost of providing that education. At the same time, he noted, rapid advances in online teaching are making it feasible to offer highly effective instruction to millions of learners at comparatively low cost — wherever in the world those individuals are located.

Continue reading the article on MIT newsphotos by Bryce Vickmark and Patrick Gillooly

February 19, 2013

Graduate Art Soiree; Submit art by Mar. 7

The Third Annual Graduate Art Soiree will be held on Friday, March 15th, 2013 from 7:30pm to 10:00pm on the top (6th) floor of the New Media Lab.  Student artists are encouraged to exhibit their fine art pieces at the soiree.  Dance and music groups can perform at this event.  Art of all types, shapes, sizes, and forms are welcome: architectural models, Toy Lab projects, DNA structures, etc…  Contact by Thursday, March 7th to have your art exhibited.

February 18, 2013

MIT holds Design Thinking Workshop

A group of MIT undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs met in January for an interdisciplinary workshop sponsored by the Department of Biology that centered on injecting design thinking into scientific research. Graduate student Greg Steinbrecher ’12 said of the workshop, “More and more, the truly inspiring and innovative research occurs at the intersection of multiple fields, and by applying the successes of one discipline to the work of another. Accordingly, science is becoming more complicated and collaborative.” Read the full story here. Photo by Charles Harper Illustration

February 18, 2013

Tax Talk for International Students, Feb. 25 at 12:00PM

Philip Berger, a Master Tax Advisor and Enrolled Agent from H&R Block, will be hosting a seminar about the complexities of filing a tax return as a non-resident alien. The seminar will run approximately 45 minutes with a 15 minute Q&A session afterward. Philip will also be arriving early and will be available, before the talk, for questions. The talk will be held in 26-100, on Feb. 25 at 12:00 pm. For any questions, please contact Sponsored by the International Students Office.

February 15, 2013

Last Chance to Enter IDEAS Global Challenge! Deadline Feb. 27

Are you working on a project to help undeserved communities?  Do you need funding (a chance to win up to $10,000 for your project)?  Do you want to recruit new members for your IDEAS Global Challenge team?  Come to the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge Spring Generator Dinner on Thursday, February 21st, 2013 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm in the Lobdell Dining Room (W20-208).  Learn about the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge and hear what other teams are working on.  RSVP here.  This is your chance to pitch your idea and handmade poster to impress and recruit teammates, or pitch your skills to get hired onto a team, before the deadline to submit a Scope Statement approaches (Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 at 11:59pm).  Eligible teams will be invited to submit a Proposal on April 5. Teams must be led by a full-time MIT student and must demonstrate that MIT students have made a significant contribution to the project.  Visit this webpage to learn more about how to enter the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge.  For questions, email  photo courtesy of Kate Mytty

February 15, 2013

Health and Fitness Club makes a comeback

At the start of her first semester at MIT Sloan, Yscaira Jimenez, MBA ’14, an avid athlete, wanted to create a Capoeira martial arts club for MIT Sloan students interested in learning more about the sport. With the help of classmate Lior Paritzky, MBA ’14, she broadened the scope of her plan, and the two resurrected the Health and Fitness Club for all MIT students. The club is now co-lead by Jimenez and Paritzky and started with just 30 students. Word quickly spread and by the end of the fall semester, 50 students had joined. The pair hopes to offer a variety of activities and events to the community and turn unhealthy habits into healthy and fit lifestyle changes that students will sustain the rest of their lives. Continue reading the article on News@MITSloanphoto by Sarah Foote

February 15, 2013

Panel on Careers in Education for Graduate Women on Feb 21

The Panel on Careers in Education for Graduate Women, presented by the ODGE, is taking place on Thursday, February 21st, 2013 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm in the Koch Institute Auditorium (76-156).  The panelists include Dr. Connie Chow, Dr. Brindha Muniappan, Prof. Susan Freeman, and Dr. Sneha Veeragoudar Harrell.  They will discuss paths in education for scientists and engineers and share their wide experiences, from formal to informal education and from elementary to college level, as well as answer questions.  The event is free, but space is limited.  Register by Tuesday, February 19th, at (MIT certificates required).

February 14, 2013

Annual ODGE Update to the MIT Faculty from the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you have had a wonderful start to the new semester. Here (ODGEInfographic2012) please find an infographic summary of highlights of the activities of the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE), which includes the International Students Office (ISO) and support for the Graduate Student Council (GSC), during calendar year 2012, grouped by our strategic theme areas ).

Following is an update on selected ODGE new initiatives for 2013:

1)      Educational Innovation:  Read more

February 14, 2013

Winter Crafts (with recycling theme) on Feb. 18

Come to this make-your-own craft event, using (mostly) recycled materials, for adults and kids on Monday, February 18th, 2013 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Eastgate Penthouse (E55-PH).  We will use daily materials such as glass jars and cork to create new products, useful for your house/apartment.  Transform these daily objects that are usually thrown away to new useful items, and use your artistic skills to the max!  All materials and snacks will be provided.  Contact for more information.

February 13, 2013

2013 MIT MLK Seminar Series

The 2013 MLK Celebration Seminar Series is taking place during the month of February.  Celebrate and learn from this year’s outstanding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professors and Scholars.  Details for each seminar are below:

The Light Side of Dark Matter: A Luminous Convolution Model
With Sophia Cisneros, MLK Postdoctoral Fellow, Physics
Friday, February 8th, 2013

Mentorship in the Mathematical Sciences & the New American Public University
With Professor Carlos Castillo-Chavez, MLK Visiting Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics
Friday, February 15th, 12:00pm-1:00pm

Materials Innovation Using Nanoscale Structured Plastics
With Professor Thomas H. Epps, III, MLK Visiting Professor, Chemistry
Friday, February 22nd, 12:00pm-1:00pm

The Romance and Glamour of American Slavery
With Ta-Nehisi Coates, MLK Visiting Scholar, Writing
Monday, February 25th, 12:00pm-1:00pm

The Birth of a High Tech Industry: Wireless Telocommunication
With Professor Susan Perkins, MLK Visiting Professor, Sloan School of Management
Thursday, February 28th, 12:00pm-1:00pm
Sloan E62-262

February 13, 2013

Registration open for MIT Energy Conference March 1-2, 2013

The aim of the 8th Annual MIT Energy Conference on March 1-2, 2013 is to generate productive and powerful ideas on the theme From Idea to Impact – Collaborating to Meet Global Energy Challenges. The event will feature open panel sessions, an energy showcase of the most recent and innovative technologies by academies and startups, and an “idea storm” that brings together industry leaders, policy experts and students to discuss solutions to current energy challenges. The keynote address will be given by David Crane, President and CEO of the Fortune 300 company, NRG Energy. Conference registration and ticket sales are now open. Read more about speakers, program information, and registration. 

February 12, 2013

Documentary Film about 5 MIT students from Africa

One Day I Too Go Fly is a four year chronicle of how five students from Tanzania, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zimbabwe become engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  As they arrive from varied African backgrounds and immerse themselves in the challenge of rigorous academics and navigating a new world, they receive an elite education and grow into their adult selves.  Director/Producer Arthur Musah, also an MIT Alum, recently acquired the funding necessary to produce this film as well as strong, enthusiastic Institute support.  Musah, who holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from EECS (2002, 2004), has been given unprecedented permission to film extensively on campus.  Supported by former President Paul Gray and the International Students Office as well as by many Kickstarter donors.  See the teaser for the film below.

Read more

February 11, 2013

Kevin Jerome Everson at MIT on Feb. 20

Kevin Jerome Everson, video/film artist and Professor of Art at the University of Virginia, is coming to MIT to a give a multimedia presentation in words, images, and films titled “Recent Practice.”  Everson’s expansive body of short and feature-length films present images of the lives of black Americans through a blend of fiction and documentary. The event will take place on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 from 5:00pm to 6:30pm in MIT Room 5-134 and is free and open to the public.  Here is a recent write-up on his exhibition for the Whitney’s 2012 Biennial including a short video about his work, and here he is as featured artist in the current edition of the online journal “drain.” Sponsored by The Office of the Dean for Graduate Education, the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and Literature at MIT. 
Photo by Pamela Pecchio

February 11, 2013

Dove contributes findings to quantum computation

In early 2011, a pair of theoretical computer scientists at MIT proposed an optical experiment that would harness the weird laws of quantum mechanics to perform a computation impossible on conventional computers. In December, four different groups of experimental physicists reported the completion of rudimentary versions of Aaronson and Arkhipov’s experiment within a span of three days. Justin Dove, a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a member of MIT’s Optical and Quantum Communications Group is a coauthor of the paper from the University of Queensland. Read more about his research here.

February 11, 2013

MIT Have a Heart Night, Feb. 13

Kickoff the spring semester at the 1st annual MIT Have a Heart Night benefiting the Boston Ronald McDonald House! Dance the night away to your favorite MIT Sloan bands on Wednesday February 13th at 8pm at Church Night Club in Boston. Tickets on sale in E62 the week of February 4th. Your $20 ticket will get you great music, delicious food, and access to some exciting raffle prizes. Best of all, the entire ticket price will go to helping children with cancer! Sponsored by SAB, SLO, and the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education. Contact for more information. Photo by Ronald McDonald House.


February 9, 2013


Task Force on the Future of Graduate Education in the Context of MITx Announced

Residential graduate education, which is intimately entwined with the university research enterprise and mission of MIT, is evolving to include increasingly deeper and diverse collaborations between individuals, laboratories, universities and countries – ever more intellectually and socially engaged, interactive, rapidly connected to resources, information, the Institute, the nation and the world. Technology has enhanced graduate education significantly in many ways already; consider literature organization software, instrument training webinars, scientific social media platforms, online disciplinary discussion groups, remote experimentation and simulation, virtual scholarly conferences and open e-print archives − and yet it is still very early on. MITx, and more generally online learning, hold many possibilities to enhance the quality of graduate education: for recruitment competitiveness; for reducing cost-of- education; for building intellectual, collaborative and cross-disciplinary networks; for professional development and engaging with alumni; for innovations in teaching and research; and for educating society at massive scales to advanced levels. The work of this Task Force will feed into The Institute-Wide Task Force on MIT Education announced recently By President L. Rafael Reif: Read more

February 9, 2013

Broader Impacts Group Kickoff Event on Feb. 11

The Broader Impacts Group (BIG) is starting up at MIT with guest speaker John Bohannon at a Cambridge-based kickoff event on Monday, February 11th, 2013, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at the MIT Museum (265 Massachusetts Avenue).  Come hear about BIG’s recent and ongoing efforts to spread science beyond the laboratory, while exploring the art and skill of science communication.  Learn about how you can contribute to the growing dialogue on shared science, network with others like yourself, and enter a community of active, skill-seeking players to bring science to diverse audiences.  Light refreshments will be served.


February 8, 2013

Melom finds new culprit for epilepsy seizures

Epileptic seizures occur when neurons in the brain become excessively active. However, a new study from MIT neuroscientists suggests that some seizures may originate in non-neuronal cells known as glia. This is the first time anyone has shown that mutations in glial cells can produce epileptic seizures. Counteracting the effects of the glial mutation may be a promising new strategy for developing epilepsy treatments, says Troy Littleton, an MIT professor of biology and leader of the research team. Biology Professor Troy Littleton and lead author Jan Melom, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Biology, described their new findings in the Jan. 16 online edition of the Journal for Neuroscience. Read the full article here.

February 8, 2013

Labyrinth Choir presents The Dance of Love (Feb. 10 and 16)

The Labyrinth Choir is performing two love-themed winter concerts The Dance of Love, featuring dance couple Theresa Vallese and Matt Sorrentino from the MIT ballroom dance team! The music/dance combo is a great getaway from the cold winter. The first performance is on Sunday, February 10 at Cary Hall (1605 Mass Ave, Lexington, MA 02420) and begins at 7:30 pm. The second is Saturday, February 16 at First Church in Cambridge in the Margaret Jewett Hall (11 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138). Tickets are available at the door, $15/$14 for seniors/students respectively. Feel free to visit Labyrinth Choir’s website for more information. Photo by Labyrinth Choir.

February 7, 2013

Ng is lead author of research paper on Huntington’s disease gene

About 20 years ago, scientists discovered the gene that causes Huntington’s disease. The mutant form of the gene has many extra DNA repeats in the middle of the gene, but scientists have yet to determine how that extra length produces Huntington’s symptoms. In a new step toward answering that question, MIT biological engineers have found that the protein encoded by this mutant gene alters patterns of chemical modifications of DNA.  MIT Associate Professor of Biological Engineering Ernest Fraenkel coauthored the paper with lead author, graduate student Christopher NgRead the full story here.

February 7, 2013

Develop Communication Skills with Dr. Jean-luc Doumont on Feb. 14 and 15

Due to popular demand, Dr. Jean-luc Doumont is returning to teach two seminars concerning vital presentation and writing skills. Dr. Doumont specializes in professional speaking, writing, and graphing; he holds an engineering degree from the Université Catholique de Louvain and a doctorate in applied physics from Stanford University. His first seminar, entitled Make the Most of Your Presentation, takes place on Thursday, February 14 in 54-100; this will cover all the skills needed to deliver effective presentations. His second, entitled Structuring Your Scientific Paper, continues on Friday, February 15 in 32-123 (Kirsch Auditorium). This presentation based on Dr. Doumont’s book Trees, Maps, and Theorems focuses on how to grab the reader’s attention and optimize the message in scientific writing. Both events last from 2 to 4 pm, and no reservations are required. Feel free to send questions Leann Dobranski (, or learn more about Dr. Doumont at Sponsored by the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education, the Teaching and Learning Lab, and the Sloan School of Management.

February 6, 2013

Sharei coauthors paper on cell membrane transport

Researchers from MIT have now found a safe and efficient way to get large molecules through the tightly regulated cell membrane, by squeezing the cells through a narrow constriction that opens up tiny, temporary holes in the membrane. Any large molecules floating outside the cell can slide through the membrane during this disruption. Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT, is a senior author of the paper. Lead authors are chemical engineering graduate student Armon Sharei, Koch Institute research scientist Janet Zoldan, and chemical engineering research associate Andrea Adamo. Continue reading here.

February 6, 2013

Whitehead Concert Series on Monday, February 11

The 2012-2012 Whitehead Concert Series presents  Notorious Folk: Mountain Music from the Old Country and the New World on Monday, February 11th, 12:00-12:45pm in the Whitehead Auditorium. Notorious Folk musicians Eden MacAdam-Somer on fiddle and vocals, and Larry Unger on guitar and banjo will perform a mix of traditional tunes from Appalachia and Eastern Europe, as well as original works. Refreshments will be served, and discount lunch tickets will be available at the door for the day of the concert.

February 5, 2013

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.

February 5, 2013

Hsieh Chen studies the mechanism of blood clotting

When you get a cut, blood starts to flow from the wound. But very quickly, complex biochemical processes spring into action to stanch the flow. A team of MIT researchers has analyzed the process of blood clotting and found, for the first time, exactly how the different molecular components work together to block the flow of blood from a cut. Now, they are working on applying that knowledge to the development of synthetic materials that could be used to control different kinds of liquid flows, and could lead to a variety of new self-assembling materials. The research was published this week in the online journal Nature Communications, in a paper co-authored by MIT assistant professor of materials science and engineering Alfredo Alexander-Katz, graduate student Hsieh Chen, and six other researchers in the United States, Germany and Austria.

February 5, 2013

Ashdown Lunar New Year Celebration, Feb. 9

Join in the biggest and most important East Asian celebration of the year at the Ashdown House Hulsizer Room (NW35). They will provide traditional New Year’s dishes like dumplings, steamed buns and New Year’s Cake. Participate in traditional celebratory events like making dumplings, writing calligraphy, and paper cutting. The festivities take place on February 9, 6-9pm. 


February 4, 2013

Lunch and Career Development Discussion with Intel VP on Feb. 7

Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT) are invited to join Ann Kellerher, Vice President of Intel’s Technology and Manufacture Group and Fab/Sort Manufacturing General Manager for a free lunch and a discussion on graduate degrees and career development on Thursday February 7th, from 11:30am – 1:00pm in the Bush Room (10-105). Kellerher manages Intel’s network of factories around the world, including all aspects of production, people, safety and operations and has built a reputation of operational excellence by delivering Intel’s fastest transfer, start-up and ramp of 32nm technology. Space is limited to 50 women, so RSVP here.


February 4, 2013

Weins, Moore and Eslick may help reshape health care

With the recent launch of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, MIT News examines research with the potential to reshape medicine and health care. Jenna Weins, a graduate student at CSAIL’s Data-Driven Medicine group is using machine-learning techniques to comb through dozens of variables — such as age and complaint upon admission, vital signs and lab results — to find patients that suggested elevated risk of infection with the nasty intestinal bug Clostridium difficile.

Based at the Media Lab is the New Media Medicine Group, headed by Frank Moss, professor of the practice of media arts and sciences. The group’s Collective Discovery project, which involves Moss and his graduate students John Moore and Ian Eslick, seeks to provide tools to enable members of online discussion boards to gather and organize medically relevant data about their own experiences with particular diseases and courses of treatment. Read the full article here.

February 1, 2013

Kwon and Paxson coauthor paper on water repellant surfaces

MIT researchers have now come up with a new class of hydrophobic ceramics that are highly hydrophobic, but are also durable in the face of extreme temperatures and rough treatment. The work, by mechanical engineering postdoc Gisele Azimi and Associate Professor Kripa Varanasi, along with two graduate students, Hyuk-Min Kwon and Adam Paxson, and another postdoc, Rajeev Dhiman is described this week in the journal Nature Materials. Durability has always been a challenge for hydrophobic materials, Varanasi says — a challenge he says his team has now solved. Read the full story here.

February 1, 2013

Graduate Hillel Shabbat Dinner, Feb. 8

Enjoy a delicious Shabbat dinner with an awesome community of MIT graduate students!
The theme of this Shabbat dinner will be faculty Shabbat, as several MIT Faculty members will join and speak about their academic career path. Receive the location with your RSVP to The dinner will take place Friday, February 8, 7:30 – 10pmPhoto by MIT Graduate Hillel.