Monthly Archives: April 2013

April 30, 2013

Grad students Shih and Paulus are patterning graphene with DNA

DNA’s unique structure is ideal for carrying genetic information, but scientists have recently found ways to exploit this versatile molecule for other purposes: By controlling DNA sequences, they can manipulate the molecule to form many different nanoscale shapes.

Chemical and molecular engineers at MIT and Harvard University have now expanded this approach by using folded DNA to control the nanostructure of inorganic materials. After building DNA nanostructures of various shapes, they used the molecules as templates to create nanoscale patterns on sheets of graphene. This could be an important step toward large-scale production of electronic chips made of graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon with unique electronic properties.

Peng Yin, an assistant professor of systems biology at Harvard Medical School and a member of Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, is also a senior author of the paper, and MIT postdoc Zhong Jin is the lead author. Other authors are Harvard postdocs Wei Sun and Yonggang Ke, MIT graduate students Chih-Jen Shih and Geraldine Paulus, and MIT postdocs Qing Hua Wang and Bin Mu.

Continue reading the article on MIT News.

April 30, 2013

Learn about The Neighborhood’s Story on May 1

Come hear about how Boston Globe jounalists undertook a year-long effort to understand the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester at The Neighborhood Story event on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 at 6:00pm in the Media Lab, MIT Room 15-525.  For decades, journalists have been reporting shootings and homicides there – rushing to crime scenes and then leaving to file their articles on time. The Globe wanted to tell a more complete story of the neighborhood. 

Two journalists – one of them originally from Dorchester – moved into an apartment in Bowdoin-Geneva in the Summer of 2012. With the help of videographers, photographers, data journalists, multimedia producers, editors, and fellow reporters, they spent a year learning this neighborhood.  If you cannot attend in person, follow the live blog.

April 30, 2013

A Crisis in Civics? Lecture on May 1

The MIT Presidential Fellows/Sidney-Pacific Distinguished Lecture Series presents A Crisis in Civics? with Ethan Zuckerman, Director of the MIT Center for Civic Media.  This lecture will take place on Wednesday, May 1st, in the Sydney-Pacific Graduate Residence Multipurpose Room at 6:30pm (light refreshments will be served at 6:00pm).  Is digital media changing what it means to be an engaged citizen?  Countless commentators have declared that America is experiencing a crisis in civics, with young people less engaged with civic life than their parents and grandparents.  But an intriguing possibility exists: the practice of civics may be changing shape, moving from offline to online spaces and focusing on new targets.  Ethan Zuckerman will examine the landscape of this new digital civics and consider whether we should have hope for civic engagement in a Facebook age, or a fear of disaffection and slactivism.  RSVP here.

April 29, 2013

Grad students help create new solar-cell design based on dots and wires

Using exotic particles called quantum dots as the basis for a photovoltaic cell is not a new idea, but attempts to make such devices have not yet achieved sufficiently high efficiency in converting sunlight to power. A new wrinkle added by a team of researchers at MIT — embedding the quantum dots within a forest of nanowires — promises to provide a significant boost.

Photovoltaics (PVs) based on tiny colloidal quantum dots have several potential advantages over other approaches to making solar cells: They can be manufactured in a room-temperature process, saving energy and avoiding complications associated with high-temperature processing of silicon and other PV materials. They can be made from abundant, inexpensive materials that do not require extensive purification, as silicon does. And they can be applied to a variety of inexpensive and even flexible substrate materials, such as lightweight plastics.

The team, which also included postdoc Sehoon Chang and graduate students Patrick Brown, Jayce Cheng and Paul Rekemeyer, was supported by the National Science Foundation.

Read the rest of the article on MIT News.

April 29, 2013

Enrollment Opens for Technology Childcare Centers

Enrollment is now open for fall spaces in MIT’s five childcare centers, including a new facility expected to be completed late this summer that will nearly double the number of children that can be accommodated on campus.

The David H. Koch Childcare Center, named in honor of lead donor David H. Koch ’62, SM ’63, joins four other MIT facilities known collectively as the Technology Childcare Centers (TCC). TCC also includes Eastgate Childcare Center (with an infant classroom at North Court), Stata Childcare Center, Westgate Cooperative Preschool and Lincoln Childcare Center (near Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington). The latter four facilities are also open for summer enrollment.

Continue reading the article on MIT newsphoto courtesy of the Klopfer Martin Design Group

April 29, 2013

Marvin Goody Award; application deadline May 17

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 fall term 2013 (on the February 2014 degree list).  The aims of the award, which was established in 1983, are to extend the horizons of existing building techniques and use of materials, to encourage links between the academic world and the building industry and to increase appreciation of the bond between good design and good building criteria that are intended to reflect the range of Marvin Goody’s interests as a teacher, researcher, and designer.  To be appropriate for the Goody Award a thesis proposal must address one or more of the stated aims.  The criteria the committee will use in judging applications are the promise of the thesis, in the form of evidence that the work it contains is likely to satisfy the intentions of the prize, and the student’s record, as evidenced by letters of support and the student’s statement.  In the last regard, the Committee will look for evidence that the promise of the thesis will be realized.  The application consists of the form, a brief resume, a copy of the applicant’s thesis proposal, confidential letters of support from the thesis advisor and at least one other faculty member, a statement on the application form by the student describing the relationship of his or her proposed thesis to the aims of the Goody Award, and a budget indicating proposed use of funds.  The submission should be unbound, page numbered, and reproducible by black-and-white copier.  Applicants are strongly urged to seek the advice of faculty in the formulation of their statements and applications.  The application deadline is Friday, May 17th, 2013 at 5:00pm in MIT Room 7-337.  Visit the MIT Architecture webpage for more information.

April 26, 2013

Filmmaker Simin Farkhondeh Coming to MIT on April 29

Meet Simin Farkhondeh, an award-winning independent filmmaker, artist, educator, and activist, on Monday, April 29th, 2013, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm in the act cube (Wiesner Building, E15-001, Lower Level).  This event is free and open to the public.  Contact Laura Anca Chichisan ( for more information.  From 1995 to 2003 she produced and directed the acclaimed monthly TV show Labor at the Crossroads.  Her films have been screened at the Whitney Biennial, Margaret Mead Film Festival, and MoMA, as well as on PBS and BBC Channel Four.  Farkhondeh’s personal work includes Caught Between Two Worlds (2007), a documentary about the Iranian Diaspora in the US, and Who Gives Kisses Freely From Her Lips (2009), a film that combines fact and fiction to discuss temporary marriage in Iran.  In addition to teaching film, video arts, and communications theory at the School of Visual Arts, Farkondeh is the Education Director at the news program Democracy Now!

April 26, 2013

MIT Science Policy Initiative grad students visit Capitol Hill to support funding for research and development

On March 12 and 13, a group of 17 MIT students and postdocs traveled to Washington to sound a warning about the future of science and engineering research in the United States in the wake of cuts to federal programs.

The visit followed an array of budget cuts (known as “sequestration”) that took effect on March 1, cutting funds for basic scientific research and development. In meetings with 34 members of Congress from 11 states, members of the MIT delegation argued that those cuts — following flat funding in most recent years’ budgets — would decrease America’s ability to maintain economic growth and remain globally competitive.

Sponsored by the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education.  photo by Charles Haynes

April 26, 2013

Congratulations to the New 2013-14 GSC Officers

The GSC has elected its new Officers for the 2013-2014 Academic Year:

President is Caleb Waugh, MSc student in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering who previously completed a MSc at MIT in Technology and Policy.  Passionate about realizing a sustainable energy future that is informed by the best available science, economics, policy, and business strategies, his research at MIT has ranged from developing advanced integrated energy, economic, policy and environmental models to study energy and climate policy impacts, to plasma physics and inertial confinement fusion energy. Pictured top left.

Vice President is Alex Guo, third year PhD student in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at MIT.  She is currently investigating the physics of breakdown voltage in GaN power electronics. Pictured top right. 

Treasurer is Parthsarathi Trivedi, first year S.M. candidate in the department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at MIT.  Parthsarathi assesses the most optimum use of scarce renewable resources with respect to environmental and economic trade-offs. Pictured bottom left.

Secretary is Chris Smith, first-year PhD Student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.  Chris’s research focus is energy policy and economic development. Pictured bottom right.

Congratulations to the new team!  For more information, visit the GSC website.

April 25, 2013

MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble on April 27

Come to the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble, the 50th Anniversary of Jazz at MIT, on Saturday, April 27th, 2013 at 8:00pm in Kresge Auditorium.  This concert features the world premiere of a piece composed for FJE by Chick Corea.  This concert is also free and open to the public.  Register here.

April 25, 2013

Hacking Medicine and athenahealth Hack-a-thon May 3-5

Come to the joint hack-a-thon between athenahealth and MIT’s Hacking Medicine all day Saturday and Sunday, May 4th and 5th, 2013 (with a kick-off social event on May 3rd at Mead Hall) at athenahealth, 400 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA (athenahealth is paying for cabs to and from the event).  The goal of this event is to bring together inventive, forward-thinking minds to change the status quo and create disruptive solutions to healthcare.  If you are an engineer, entrepreneur, physician, designer, or scientist, then come get involved to help drive the much needed change in healthcare.  To participate, apply now through this application.  120 people will be selected to attend.  Contact for more information.

April 25, 2013

Come celebrate at the 2013 Awards Convocation on April 25

You’re invited to celebrate the best of MIT at the 2013 Institute Awards Convocation.  This event will take place on Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at 4:00pm in MIT Room 10-250.  The MIT Awards Convocation honors MIT students, faculty, staff, and community members who have made outstanding contributions to the shared life of the Institute.  The awards recognize many of the qualities MIT cherishes: excellence in academics and teaching, public service, community building, achievements in the arts and athletics, leadership, and entrepreneurship.  Visit the awards website to see past winners and the various awards given.

April 24, 2013

Music @ Whitehead on April 24

The 2012-2013 Whitehead Concert Series continues with Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 at noon in the Whitehead Auditorium.  The program will feature Trio Cleonice: Ari Isaacman-Beck (violin), Gwen Krosnick (cello). and Emely Phelps (piano).  Music includes the Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 78 (1944) by Dmitri Shostakovich, and the Piano Trio in F Minor, Op. 65 (1883) by Antonin Dvorak.  Trio Cleonice, Graduate Piano Trio-in-Residence at the New England Conservatory of Music, has quickly established itself as one of the most creative, communicative, and exciting young ensembles in the United States.  Violinist Ari Isaacman-Beck, cellist Gwen Krosnick, and pianist Emely Phelps formed Trio Cleonice in 2008 at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival; the group enjoys a diverse repertoire that spans early trios of Mozart and Beethoven through romantic masterworks and new pieces, including commissions, for the genre.  Refreshments will be servedAll concerts in this series are free to the Whitehead community and friends.



April 24, 2013

Community Service Fund Grants; Apply by April 30

MIT staff, graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and retirees, as individuals or groups, are eligible to apply for CSF grants to support their personal public service initiatives, which include programs that they run or would like to start, or projects that they want to work on that enhance the public service work of an existing organization or school.  Apply now for summer/fall funding by Tuesday, April 30th, 2013.  Contact for more information.

April 23, 2013

Chinese Culture Contest on April 24

Test your knowledge of China and try to win $120!  Come to the Chinese Culture Contest on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013, from 7:00pm to 8:00pm in MIT Room 4-149.  Registration is required.  There can be two to four people per team, and you can either register as a team, or register as a single player and group with other single players on site.  This event is open to non-native Chinese speakers.  Ability to speak Chinese is optional.  Contact for more information.

April 23, 2013

“In-Between” – 1 Man Show April 24

“In Between” is a semi-autobiographical one man show that portrays the complexities and contradictions inherent in Palestinian-Israeli identity.  On the precipice between two cultures stands Ibrahim Miari, son of a Palestinian Muslim father and Jewish Israeli mother.  During an interrogation by Israeli airport security, he recalls his childhood in Acco, memories of his Jewish and Palestinian grandmothers, of war. Questions surrounding his identity become even further complicated by his imminent marriage to a Jewish American woman. This fascinating intrsopective look into a unique culture will be shown at the Bartos Theatre, E15-070 at 7:30pm on Wednesday, April 24, and is free and open to the public! Presented by the Addir Fellows-MIT Interfaith Dialogue, MIT Hillel Foundation, MIT Muslim Student Association. Technology and Culture Forum at MIT, and Chaplain to the Institute Robert M. Randolh.

April 23, 2013

Martell and Cui to attend 2013 Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates

Jeffrey Daniel Martell, PhD candidate in Biological Chemistry, and Jian Cui, PhD candidate in Physical Chemistry, have been selected to attend the 63rd Annual Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students in Lindau, Germany, June 30th through July 5th, 2013.  Since 1951, Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, Physics, and Physiology/Medicine convene annually in Lindau to have open and informal meetings with students and young researchers.  The Laureates lecture on the topic of their choice in the mornings and participate in less formal, small-group discussions with the students in the afternoons and some evenings.  Students and young researchers are nominated and selected by sponsoring agencies and organizations.

Martell’s most current research includes developing genetically-encoded reporter enzymes for electron microscopy, engineering split enzyme systems to enable fluorescence detection of protein-protein interactions, and designing enzyme-based sensors for biological analytes.  Cui’s research includes developing and implementing a new spectroscopic technique called photon‐correlation Fourier spectroscopy to study the emission spectra of single nanocrystals in solution.

April 22, 2013

Movie Night: “Flirting with Danger” (Wed. Apr. 24, 7-9pm)

Social and developmental psychologist and author Lynn Phillips explores the line between consent and coercion in this thought-provoking look at popular culture and the ways real girls and women navigate their heterosexual relationships and hookups.

Featuring dramatizations of interviews that Phillips conducted with hundreds of young women, the film examines how the wider culture’s frequently contradictory messages about pleasure, danger, agency, and victimization enter into women’s most intimate relationships with men. The result is a refreshingly candid, and nuanced, look at how young women are forced to grapple with deeply ambivalent cultural attitudes about female sexuality. Join the MIT’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month discussion on April 24, 7-9pm in 3-133. For more information, feel free to take a look at the website at

April 22, 2013

2013 MIT Sustainability Summit on April 27-28

The Fifth Annual MIT Sustainability Summit will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 27th through the 28th, 2013 from 9:00am to 5:00pm in the MIT Media Lab (E14).  The Summit has the theme of empowering action towards sustainability and intends for attendees to leave feeling empowered to take action towards a sustainable future, either in their existing personal or professional context or in a new one.  Saturday will feature three keynote speeches and 10 breakout panels on topics related to “sustainable consumption,” “innovations in urban planning,” and “environmentally & socially responsible decision-making.”  Learn more about the art and science about environmental photography in the event An Evening with James Balog.  Sunday will feature design charettes that offer Summit participants hands-on learning through new product designs, software tools, campaigns, business ideas, and organizational models.  Register for the Summit here.

April 22, 2013

Honoring Patrol Officer Sean Collier

This Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 at noon, MIT will host a memorial service honoring the late Sean Collier, President L. Rafael Reif announced this morning in an email to the MIT community. The event will be open to the MIT community and to law enforcement officers from across the nation.

Top state and federal officials will also be invited to the event, which will be held on Briggs Field and is expected to draw up to 10,000 attendees. The event will follow a private memorial service and funeral in Wilmington, Mass., early this week for Collier, the MIT Police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Thursday evening.

“We grieve with his family, his many friends and his fellow MIT Police officers,” Reif wrote. “Many at MIT knew and lovedOfficer Sean Collier; for those who didn’t, he was someone we could all wish to have had the opportunity to know.” Continue reading the article on MIT News.

April 19, 2013

Three from Course 22 named to Forbes ’30 under 30′ list

Nuclear science and engineering graduate students Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie and recent alum Robert Petroski PhD ’11 have been named to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list in the energy sector for 2013.

Dewan and Massie were cited for their work on a new kind of molten salt reactor optimized to run on spent fuel discharged from conventional light water power reactors. Petroski was cited for his design work on the traveling wave reactor, a new kind of reactor under development by the start-up TerraPower.

Continue reading the article on MIT News.

April 19, 2013

“Do The Math” Free Film Screening on April 21

Come to this free film screening about the rising movement to change the terrifying math of the climate crisis and challenge the fossil fuel industry.  “Do The Math” will be shown on Sunday, April 21st, 2013, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm in MIT Room 32-123, followed by a live webcast and discussion.  Earn 10 Green Points for MIT Earth Day Challenge!  RSVP here or feel free to just show up.  Contact for more information.

April 19, 2013

Miller Lecture: “The Research University in the Digital Age” on April 22

The Annual Charles L. Miller Lecture is taking place on Monday, April 22nd, 2013 at 4:00pm in the MIT Faculty Club, Dining Room 5.  Refreshments will be served at 3:30pm.  The lecturer is Lawrence S. Bacow, President Emeritus of Tufts University and Former MIT Chancellor.  The topic for this lecture is “The Research University in the Digital Age.”  Online learning threatens to revolutionize undergraduate education. Many predict that the lecture will cease to exist as faculty “flip their classrooms.” As online education improves, colleges and universities will be under increasing pressure to justify the value added by the residential experience. What are the consequences of all of this for the research university? Undergraduate and graduate education are, after all, joint products. How will graduate education and the research function change in response to developments in online undergraduate education?

April 18, 2013

Calling All Veterans! Kickoff Event April 24

The newly-formed MIT Veterans Club will hold its inaugural social on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm in the Chipman Room (6-104).  This event will bring together and engage MIT’s veteran community to lay the groundwork for future events and build a network for years to come. Going forward, the MIT Veterans Club will provide a forum for discussion of veteran’s issues and voice on campus. Pizza and beverages will be served; the event is open to the MIT community. Co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education.

April 18, 2013

Salsa Workshop on April 21

Learn Salsa with the MIT Casino Rueda Group on Sunday, April 21st, 2013 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm in the Coffeehouse Lounge on the 3rd floor of the Student Center.  Lessons are given at different levels (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) from 12:00pm to 2:00pm.  The final hour is reserved for social dancing.  No partner or prior experience is required and the event is free for MIT students.  Contact

April 18, 2013

Free for MIT Students: Made By Hand event on Thursday, April 18

Thanks to the Council for the Arts at MIT, all MIT students with ID will receive free admission to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, including this special event on Thursday, April 18th, 2013 at 5:00pm called “Gardener After Hours: Made By Hand.”  This event focuses on dazzling works in the historic collection that are often overlooked, like Isabella Gardner’s collections of furniture and lace.  Learn more about these and other handmade items in the Museum by twilight, enjoy a drink by the Courtyard, and try your own hand at a project in the Education Studio.  A jazz concert is also taking place at 7:00pm.  The Ron Savage Berklee Trio returns with Modern Impressionism, a unique blend of Afro-Brazilian, jazz, gospel, and soul, all performed in the acoustic intimacy of the classic jazz piano trio.

April 18, 2013

Frankenstein’s Cat Author Emily Anthes Comes to MIT on April 18

Emily Anthes, SM’ 06, will be at MIT to talk about her new book Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts on Thursday, April 18th, 2013, at 7:00pm in MIT Room 56-114.  Emily is a graduate of the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing.  Copies will be available for purchase at the event.  Anne Fadiman, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down says the book is “smart, lucid, and full of surprises” while Alan Lightman, bestselling author of Einstein’s Dreams, praises Anthes’s “wit, high intelligence, and lively writing style [in portraying] the new world of biotechnology.”  The event is free and open to the public.

April 17, 2013

Singer-Songwriter Molly Ruggles performs April 19

This upcoming April 19 in Killian Hall at Noon, Singer-Songwriter Molly Ruggles will perform with special guests Jeffrey Sun ’16 and Sarah Quinn ’16. Molly Ruggles, writes about almost anything including MIT, deep sea fishing, and the impossibility of perfection. She will be joined by student and colleague guest artists, and the event promises a range of lively music.

Artists Beyond the Desk is a subcommittee of the Working Group on Support Staff Issues (WGSSI), and is funded in part by WGSSI, the Council for the Arts at MIT and MIT Human Resources. To find out more information, take a look at the Artist Beyond the Desk website herePhoto courtesy of MIT Artists Beyond the Desk.

April 17, 2013

Nominate for the Student Leader Awards by April 26

Nominations are now being accepted for the 12th annual Student Leader Awards – staff, faculty, and students are all eligible.  These awards recognize individual student leaders as well as student organizations, living groups, dorms, and teams.  Nominate as many groups and students as you want.  Nominations are due by Friday, April 26th, 2013 at 5:00pm.  Recipients will be celebrated during the Student Leader Awards celebration on Friday, May 17th, 2013 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm in Walker Memorial, Morss Hall.  Email with questions; visit the website for more information.

April 17, 2013

The Etiquette of Accepting a Job Offer

The academic job market is overcrowded, but departments are hiring, and each year thousands of graduate students and other candidates will get phone calls offering them tenure-track positions. It is typically a moment of mutual giddiness. The department heads are excited at the prospect of a terrific new colleague; the job applicants now know that their immediate future is assured. Then, well, complications may ensue.

Continue reading the article in The Chronicle of Higher Educationphoto by Brian Taylor

April 16, 2013

Summer Teaching Certificate Program Registration Opens April 16

In the summer of 2013, the Teaching and Learning Lab will once again offer the Graduate Student Teaching Certificate Program.  This workshop series is for students interested in developing their teaching skills to support their teaching at MIT, as well as those who are planning careers in academia.  To earn a certificate, students must participate in 7 classroom workshops, one online session, and a videotaped teaching/learning presentation.  Registration is required and open on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 at 9:00am; register here The summer program is offered in an accelerated format.  Class meetings will take place every weekday from Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 to Wednesday, June 5th, 2013.  There will be 3 or 4 sections offered, with one dedicated to students in non-science/engineering departments.

April 16, 2013

FREE Family Programs at the MIT List Visual Arts Center till April 19

The List Visual Arts Center (E15-109) will be hosting a week of free drop-in events for families during April School Vacation Week.  Adults and children are invited to visit the List and participate in family-friendly activities from Tuesday, April 16th to Friday, April 19th, 2013, from 11:00am to 4:00pm.  Hands-on art-making activities will take place in the List’s atrium, with a new project daily.  Materials will be available for family-friendly, self-guided tours of the public art collection.  Family events are free and open to all; no reservations are required.  More information can be found on the website.  Shuttle buses will run between Eastgate, Westgate, and the List for the duration of the event.

April 16, 2013

“What High School Science Should Have Been” at the MIT Museum on April 17

Remember that awful biology class where you had to memorize a million Latin names?  Did you struggle to balance chemistry equations and swear never to do that again?  MIT scientists Tyler Dewitt (G, Biology), Raoul Correa (G, Chemistry), Kate Goldstein, Sabine Hauert, Filippo Menolascina, Tal Danino, and Eben Cross will share their most memorable moments from high school science class on Wednesday, April 17th, 2013, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the MIT Museum.  They will also describe how those lessons continue to shape their research careers!  Tonight, allow yourself to flash back to high school, but this time with friends, acquaintances, and drink, to share those science experiences with good humor.  For a sneak peak at what to expect, check out Tyler’s TEDx talk.  Admission is free.  This event is recommended for older teens and adults.  Cash bar for ages 21+.  Check out the Facebook page.

April 15, 2013

Dissertation Boot Camp 4/22-5/2

The GSC Dissertation Boot Camp is offered for students who would like additional support while writing their dissertation.  It will take place from Monday to Thursday, April 22nd through May 2nd, 2013, from 8:30am to 5:30pm in Pritchett, Walker Memorial.  Please register by Friday, April 19th, 2013; the registration fee is $20.  By offering an environment for focused writing time, besides exercise breaks conducted by the MIT Center for Health Promotion and Wellness and writing tips from Writing Center representatives, the camp intends to build up healthy writing habits that students will then continue on their own.  Dr Xiaolu Shi from MIT Medical Center will also talk to the participants about her experience counseling students working on their defense thesis.  Coffee and breakfast will be provided.  Please provide your own laptop computer.  Contact or visit the website for more information.

April 15, 2013

Greek Cooking Class on April 16

Join us for a Greek Cooking Class hosted by the MIT Hellenic Student Association on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013, from 5:00pm to 8:00pm in the Sidney Pacific 9th floor kitchen.  Learn to make (and enjoy) traditional Greek dishes such as spanakopita, souvlakia, greek salad, and baklava.  The first 20 people to sign up will get a spot, so register here.  Co-sponsored by MIT HSA and the GSC Funding Board.  Contact for more information.

April 15, 2013

Shahnaz Husain: Pioneer and Entrepreneur – Lecture on April 24

Come to the Shahnaz Husain: Pioneer and Entrepreneur lecture on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm in MIT Room E62-223.  Meet the person whose revolutionary business model and marketing approach is well-known throughout Asia.  She will share the experiences and views of a female entrepreneur who has seen the growth of entrepreneurship in India, the increased role of female entrepreneurs, and the changing opportunities for people living at the bottom of the pyramid.  More information is available here.

April 12, 2013

Annual Dodgeball Tournament on April 13

MIT Recreation will be hosting its Annual Dodgeball Tournament on Saturday, April 13th, 2013, starting at 11:00am in the Zesiger Center duPont courts.  This is a free event, and the winner will receive a $100 Asgard gift card.  Registration and additional information is available on the website.  Send questions to

April 12, 2013

Graduate Hillel Shabbat Dinner on April 12

Enjoy a delicious Shabbat dinner with an awesome community of MIT graduate students on Friday, April 12th, 2013 from 7:30pm to 10:00pm.  The theme of this Shabbat dinner will be Sustainability Shabbat.  We will be learning about the Jewish perspectives on protecting the environment.  RSVP by sending an email to (location provided upon RSVP).

April 12, 2013

Tips for Safer Computing

Whether you’re at work, at home, or traveling, on a desktop computer or a mobile phone, there are a few good measures you can take to help keep your data secure. Think of it as hygiene – just don’t take your device into the shower with you!

Anyone can benefit from implementing basic security practices on the devices they use – you don’t have to be a system administrator or know secret codes. Mike Halsall, of the IS&T Security Team, recommends three basic practices for secure computing.

See the three practices on the IS&T website.

April 11, 2013

MIT Sloan alumnus wins Scientific and Technical Oscar for visual effects software

Visual effects software co-created by an MIT Sloan alumnus won a Scientific and Technical Oscar this year. The software, Mocha, simplifies motion tracking in post-production, allowing for improved visual effects in movies, including Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Black Swan, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest—remember the pirate’s spinning eyeball or the feathers growing out of Natalie Portman’s arm as it morphs into a wing?

Allan Jaenicke, MBA ’11, began to develop the software in 2000, eventually becoming CEO of a new company, Imagineer Systems, which would rise to the forefront of the film industry both in Hollywood and around the world. He later attended MIT Sloan and today is an associate at McKinsey & Co.

Continue reading the article here.  photo by Michael Yada

April 11, 2013

Graduate Economics Association Happy Hour on April 12

Join the Graduate Economics Association for Happy Hour on Friday, April 12th, 2013 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm in MIT Room E52-232.  Socialize over bites and share ideas.  All are welcome.  Contact for more information, or click here.

April 11, 2013

From Academe to Market Research

So much has happened in the decade since I last wrote for The Chronicle about my nonacademic job search. Then I was finishing up my Ph.D. in the life sciences and considering a career in consulting. Ten years later, I am living overseas in London, I’m married to a Brit, and, most relevant here, I have a career in the pharmaceutical industry. My years as a bench scientist feel like they occurred several lifetimes ago.

Toward the end of graduate school, I began looking for a job in management consulting, since that industry was actively recruiting Ph.D.’s and I knew very little else about other nonacademic career options. What I was really looking for was something on the interface of the scientific and commercial worlds that would tap into the analytical skills and scientific knowledge that I had gained during graduate school. I explored my options in management consulting, in boutique health-care consulting firms, and in the realm of licensing, intellectual property, and patent law. Eventually I found my ideal position as a pharmaceutical market-research analyst.

Read the rest of the article in The Chronicle of Higher Educationphoto by Brian Taylor

April 10, 2013

MIT Inner Tube Water Polo Tournament on April 12

Come to the MIT Inner Tube Water Polo Tournament on Friday, April 12th, 2013 from 7:30pm to 10:30pm in the Zesiger Center Teaching Pool.  This is a free event, and the winner will receive a $100 Asgard gift card!  No experience is necessary.  Teams must consist of 9-13 players.  The registration deadline is Thursday. April 11th, 2013; contact for more information.

April 10, 2013

Free BMOP concert on April 14

Come to a free Boston Modern Orchestra Project concert on Sunday, April 14th, 2013 at 8:00pm in Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory (30 Gainsborough Street, Boston).  Seating is assigned; to reserve your seats, email or call the Jordan Hall Box Office at (617) 585-1260.  Tickets are also available at the door after 6:00pm.  A pre-concert talk hosted by The Score Board will take place at 7:00pm.  The concert will be conducted by Gil Rose.

April 10, 2013

Is the Genome Useful in Medicine? – April 10

Part of the IMES Distinguished Speaker Series, the “Is the Genome Useful in Medicine?” event will take place on Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 at 5:30pm (with a pre-lecture reception at 5:00pm) at the Broad Institute Auditorium.  The speaker will be Steve Quake, Lee Otterson Professor, Stanford University; Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Quake says we are living in the genome age, where the productivity of DNA sequencers is advancing faster than Moore’s Law.  He will describe one contribution of biophysics to this field – the development of the first single molecule DNA sequencer, and then will go on to discuss several applications of high throughput DNA sequencing in medicine, ranging from non-invasive diagnostics to the first clinically annotated human genome.

April 9, 2013

Project Unbreakable & Take Back The Night on April 11

The Project Unbreakable & Take Back The Night event will take place on Thursday, April 11th, 2013 in the Stata Balconies, with the Project Unbreakable photo exhibition from 9:00am to 5:00pm, the project unbreakable reception from 5:00pm to 6:00pm, and the Take Back The NIght event starting at 6:00pm.  Project Unbreakable was created in October of 2011 by Grace Brown.  Grace works with survivors of sexual assault, photographing them holding a poster with a quote from their attacker.  Grace has photographed over four hundred people and has received over a thousand submissions.  TIME magazine has also named it one of the top 30 Tumblr blogs to follow.

April 9, 2013

The Neuroscience of Musical Improvisation – April 10

How do freestyle rappers create lyrics off the cuff? How are musicians able to improvise on the spot? What makes their brains tick? Professor Charles Limb (MD) is a hearing specialist, surgeon, and lifelong musician who researches the way musical creativity works in the brain. Dr. Limb has spent more than a decade studying the brain activity of musicians as they improvise. Known for his brain-imaging studies of jazz musicians, he has expanded his research into another musical genre that emphasizes rhythm and improv: hip hop. He and his team at Johns Hopkins have put freestyle rappers into functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machines to see what happens in their brains when they rhyme off the tops of their heads. Join us for a multisensory, multimedia, music-meets-neuroscience experience with this TEDx speaker on April 10 at 6PM in the MIT Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence Multipurpose Room. RSVP for the event here. There will even be a live jazz combo! Photo courtesy of Committee on Scholarly Interactions (CoSI).

April 8, 2013

Performance: Operation Epsilon, April 11

It’s the close of World War II – the dawn of the atomic age. The Allies have captured Germany’s top ten nuclear scientists and sequestered them at Farm Hall– a lavish estate in England – keeping them under surveillance to learn what they know about the American nuclear program and to gauge how close the Nazis are to making an atomic bomb. Nine of these men, including Nobel Prize winners Otto Hahn and Werner Heisenberg, are known as Hitler’s “Uranium Club.” Based on actual transcripts of secretly recorded conversations, playwright Alan Brody illuminates the ethical complexity of pursuing scientific discovery at the risk of wreaking catastrophic consequences.

Join GWIS at Operation Epsilon (presented by The Nora Theatre Company, a project of Catalyst Collaborative at MIT) on Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at 7:30pm at the Central Square Theater (450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge).  Following the performance will be a Post-Performance Talkback with Janet Conrad (MIT, Department of Physics).  Get tickets here.

April 8, 2013

piano accompaniment

Music @ Whitehead on April 8

The 2012-2013 Whitehead Concert Series continues with An Afternoon of Viennese Classics on Monday, April 8th, 2013 at noon in the Whitehead Auditorium.  The program will feature Ying Xue on the violin and Qing Jiang on the piano.  Music includes Mozart’s Sonata for violin and piano No. 18 in G major, K. 301, Schubert’s Impromptu in Eb major, D. 899 No. 2, and Beethoven’s Sonata for violin and piano No. 2 in A major.  The New York Times praised the two musicians in their Carnegie Hall debut saying that the “surging climaxes were passionately rendered by these two fiery musicians, whose vigorous playing elicited sustained applause between movements.”  Refreshments will be served.  The concert will end promptly at 12:45.  All concerts in this series are free to the Whitehead community and friends. Discount lunch tickets will be available at the door for the day of the concert.

April 8, 2013

Making sense of big data

When Jameson Toole explores the streets of Boston and Cambridge, he sees problems waiting to be solved — and he believes some solutions are already in our pockets. “Mobile phones are amazing data sensors,” says Toole, a native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and a second-year PhD student in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT. “Every time you use your cellphone, there is a little breadcrumb that’s stored that can be used in a lot of different ways to help improve human lives.”

Together with his adviser, Marta Gonzalez, the Gilbert W. Winslow Career Development Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Toole is an advocate of big data: Specifically, he aims to harness the stockpile of information collected by our electronic devices. Whether it’s via an app or simply the data a phone company collects about its customers, Toole says, information stored in cellphones can be valuable in urban planning.

Read the rest of the article on MIT Newsphoto by Allegra Boverman