Monthly Archives: September 2013

September 30, 2013

Focus group to redesign Student Financial Services website to be held Oct. 1

Don’t like the current Student Financial Services website? Do you have ideas to make it better? The Student Financial Services office wants to hear from you during a focus group to be held Tuesday, October 1, from 5:00-6:00 PM in room 11-103. Complimentary dinner will be served. Space is limited, so click here to reserve your space today. Direct any questions to

September 30, 2013

MIT India Conference 2013 on Oct. 6

Registration is now open for the 2013 MIT India Conference, to be held on Sunday, October 6th, 2013 in the MIT Media Lab.  The theme of this year’s conference is “Divided we stand – exploring the role of dissonance in India’s progress.”  The purpose of the event is to facilitate a meaningful dialogue that offers insights into tackling the challenges and opportunities facing India.  Speakers will share their thoughts on India’s march towards progress as the nation tries to maintain a healthy dissonance among varying ideologies and cultures.  In addition, there will be a showcase of multiple innovative projects addressing India’s challenges.  Special guests include Nirupama Rao (Indian Ambassador to the United States) and Mr. Raghuram Rajan (Governor of the Reserve Bank of India).  Register here.  For more information, visit this website.

September 30, 2013

Get your flu vaccine on Oct. 2 or Oct. 10

Come get your flu shot at the MIT Medical walk-in flu shot clinic on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 or Thursday, October 10th, 2013, from 10:00am to 4:00pm, on the third floor of the Stratton Student Center.  This clinic is open to MIT Medical patients (age 10 and up), employees, students, affiliates, and retirees.  Please bring your MIT ID.  For more information about influenza, and about how to get a flu shot if you cannot attend either of the two listed clinics, please visit MIT Flu Central.

September 27, 2013

MIT President Rafael Reif discusses online education in the new issue of Time magazine

In a September 26, 2013 Time magazine column entitled “Better, More Affordable Colleges Start Online: How Digital Learning Can Be a Part of Every Campus,” MIT President Rafael Reif discusses the cost, education, and access implications of online education. “I am convinced that digital learning is the most important innovation in education since the printing press,” he explains, adding, “I strongly believe that by capitalizing on the strengths of online learning, we will make education more accessible, more effective and more affordable for more human beings than ever before.” Continue reading this column at Time magazine’s website. Photo by Presidencia Perú.


September 27, 2013

Come to the One Community Room

MIT’s One Community Room is a private and safe space intended to help build community at MIT.  It is designed to foster a sense of belonging and unity on the MIT campus by providing a home for members of our community seeking a quiet space for reflection, meetings, or working groups with a community-based charge.  Hours of operation are 6:00am to 11:00pm, seven days a week, year-round.  The space may be used without reservation each day between 11:30am and 1:30pm.  Entrance to the room is granted via a valid MIT ID card swipe.  Room accommodations include a table with six seats, a sofa and chairs which can seat up to six, and additional chairs, which are stored.  Cell phones may only be used when one is alone in the room.  Visit the website for more information.

September 27, 2013

Syria: The Mainstream Media and its Role in the War exhibit opens on Oct. 4

Join Jonathan Alpeyrie as he explores the issues facing Syria in the photo exhibition and discussion event, Syria: The Mainstream Media and Its Role in the War, to be held on Friday, October 4th, 2013, from 4:00pm to 5:30pm in MIT Room E40-496 (Pye Room).  This event is open to the public.  Alpeyrie’s career, which stretches over a decade, has brought him to more than 25 countries and 9 conflict zones, mostly in East Africa, the South Caucasus, the Middle East, and central Asia.  In the spring, while in Syria, he was taken hostage for 81 days by Syrian rebels.  Born in Paris in 1979, Mr. Alpeyrie moved to the United States in 1993.  He graduated from the French high school of New York City in 1998, before attending the University of Chicago to study medieval history.  Today he is a staff photographer for Polaris Images. His work has been published in Paris Match, Aftenposten, Time magazine, Newsweek, the Boston Globe, Glamour, BBC, World magazine, Popular Photography, the New York Times, and ELLEView more information here.

September 26, 2013

Bicycle auction to be held Friday, Sep. 27

The MIT Police, in conjunction with the MIT Department of Facilities, Parking, and Transportation will hold an auction of old or abandoned bicycles on Friday, September 27 at 290 Albany Street. You may preview the available bicycles at 11:30AM, and the auction begins at noon. Auction is open only to the MIT community, and all bicycles are sold in as-is condition. Cash and local check are accepted. Click here for more information. Photo by adunt.

September 26, 2013

Office hours with President Reif

With the school year underway, the Office of the President wishes to remind the MIT community that President Reif has set aside time in his schedule for 15-minute meetings with MIT faculty, students, and staff. Interested parties can meet with the president on their own or as part of a group. If you are interested in scheduling a meeting, please fill out this form with your contact information and the topic you would like to discuss. (To use this form you will need MIT certificates. If you do not have MIT certificates follow these instruction from IS&T.) You should receive an email from the President’s Office shortly after submitting your information. Click here for more information.

September 24, 2013

Smalley producing inexpensive holographic video displays

In the journal Nature, researchers at MIT’s Media Lab report a new approach to generating holograms that could lead to color holographic-video displays that are much more inexpensive to manufacture than today’s experimental, monochromatic displays. The same technique could also increase the resolution of conventional 2-D displays.

Using the new technique, Daniel Smalley, a graduate student in the Media Lab and first author on the new paper, is building a prototype color holographic-video display whose resolution is roughly that of a standard-definition TV and which can update video images 30 times a second, fast enough to produce the illusion of motion. The heart of the display is an optical chip, resembling a microscope slide, that Smalley built, using only MIT facilities, for about $10. Continue reading this article on MIT NewsPhoto by Daniel Smalley

September 24, 2013

cell penetration/drug delivery

Lehn, Atukorale, and Yang discover damage-free cell penetration process

Cells are very good at protecting their precious contents — and as a result, it’s very difficult to penetrate their membrane walls to deliver drugs, nutrients or biosensors without damaging or destroying the cell. One effective way of doing so, discovered in 2008, is to use nanoparticles of pure gold, coated with a thin layer of a special polymer. But nobody knew exactly why this combination worked so well, or how it made it through the cell wall.

Now, researchers at MIT and the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne in Switzerland have figured out how the process works, and the limits on the sizes of particles that can be used. Their analysis appears in the journal Nano Lettersin a paper by graduate students Reid Van Lehn, Prabhani Atukorale, Yu-Sang Yang and Randy Carney and professors Alfredo Alexander-Katz, Darrell Irvine and Francesco Stellacci. Read more at MIT NEWS. Image courtesy of Reid Van Lehn.

September 23, 2013

Hone your job search at these upcoming graduate student career events

In the wake of the MIT Fall Career Fair, graduate students will have several opportunities to further refine their job search skills at the following workshops, to be held the week of September 23, 2013.

Read more

September 20, 2013

Simulating Denmark Strait Overflow with Thomas W. N. Haine on Sept 26

The North Atlantic is a special place where the ocean circulation has an important influence on Earth’s climate. The deep flow in particular plays a critical role and the fluid dynamics of the surface-to-sea-floor circulation is subtle and sensitive to extrinsic forcing. This Thursday, September 26th, 2013 at 4:00pm in MIT Room 56-114, Thomas W.N. Haine (the Morton K. Blaustein Professor and Chair of the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University) will focus on the Denmark Strait, where the flow is channeled by bathymetry and dense Arctic waters overflow a shallow gap into the deep North Atlantic. Haine will simulate the fluid dynamics of this region using numerical circulation models, as well as compute the trajectories of 10,000 Lagrangian particles to elucidate the fluid kinematics and diabatic mixing processes. This approach illuminates the nature of the overflow and suggests ways in which it can be efficiently monitored.  The role of scientific computing is central to these efforts, and is emphasized throughout.

September 19, 2013

Sign up for the GWAMIT Mentoring Program by Sep. 20

If you are a woman graduate student and would liked to be matched up with a mentor to help you navigate professional and personal challenges, consider applying to the GWAMIT Mentoring Program. Mentors are drawn from faculty, alumni, and Boston-area professionals. During their one-semester commitment, mentees are responsible for meeting with their mentor each month for a minimum of one hour and attending a beginning-of-term and end-of-term dinner. After one semester, you can choose to continue with your mentor, be matched with another mentor, or leave the program. Applications to the program are due Friday, September 20th. Click here to submit your application, even if you plan to continue with your current mentor. Direct any questions (or recommendations of possible female faculty, alumn, or professional mentors) to Photo by Fortune Live Media.

September 19, 2013


Leveling the Playing Field

Leveling the playing field for males and females has become a tougher matter to handle. Despite men and women performing the same skills and tasks in their career, women still are falling behind. A ScienceMag editorial written by Marcia McNutt assimilate data showing that women do not advance professionally and most often opt for low tier, part time, and other types of positions due to prior responsibilities in the home life. Read the editorial at Sciencemag. Photo by TSBMedia.

September 18, 2013

MIT’s first annual Hacking Arts festival to take place on Sep. 28-29

Explore the intersection of arts, entertainment, technology, and entrepreneurship at MIT’s first annual Hacking Arts festival and hackathon, taking place September 28 and 29 at the MIT Media Lab. Learn from entrepreneurial thinkers from a range of creative industries, check out demos from early-stage arts and entertainment startups, experience tech-enabled live performances, and much more. Visit for further information. To register, click here.

Presented by the MIT Sloan Media and Entertainment Club in partnership with the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, Office of the Arts at MIT, MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology, New England Conservatory of Music, Berklee College of Music, and School of Museum of Fine Arts. Sponsored by Sonos, Houghton Mifflin, and The Echo Nest.

September 18, 2013

Graduate Student Life Grant proposals due Oct. 18

Do you have an idea for a creative, community-building idea that would enrich the graduate student experience outside the lab? Consider applying for a Graduate Student Life Grant to fund your proposal. You may address a specific constituency or discipline, or reach across departments, residence halls, or student groups. Goals of the Graduate Student Life Grant include further instilling a sense of belonging and purpose, creating shared experiences, and encouraging congregation, socializing, and networking beyond the classroom.

The proposal deadline for 2013-2014 is 11:59pm on October 18, 2013. For more information — including model programs, project archive, and submissions guidelines — visit the Graduate Student Life Grants website. Contact the Grants program with questions at gslg [at]

September 17, 2013

Third annual Natural History Gala set for Sep. 27

Join the MIT GSC and Graduate Arts Forum for the year’s first graduate gala, to be held at the Harvard Museum of Natural History on Friday, September 27 from 7:30pm until 10pm. Mix and mingle amongst stuffed mammals and paleolithic-era fossils, while enjoying live jazz, complimentary wine, and hors d’oeuvres. Be sure to dress to impress! All guests must be 21 or older. RSVP here. If you have questions, contact the GSC at Photo by adunt.

September 17, 2013

Nicholas explores intersection of law and business

An 2008 alumna of the MIT Summer Research Program, Shanita Nicholas is currently in her second year of Columbia Law School’s three-year J.D./M.B.A. program. “Business and law are so interconnected,” she says. “To be able to study them at the same time and merge ideas is wonderful.” Her interest in the overlap and intersection of these two disciplines was piqued in 2010, while developing a paperless requisition process for the FBI as an IT consultant. “Being able to merge the two in ways that I’ve always thought of them as being related,” she explains, “and seeing how [that relationship] plays out in everyday life outside of academia, has been really interesting.” Read more on the Columbia Law School website.

September 16, 2013

Announcing new Somerville shuttle line pilot program

MIT Transportation and the GSC Transportation Subcommittee are happy to announce the launch of a new Shuttle Line this Fall. The line will serve Imman Square, Union Square, and East Cambridge, running every 30 minutes on average on a daily basis. Hours of service will be 6 pm – 2:30 am on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 6 pm to 3:30 am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The routing and schedule of the line can be found below. This service is already in effect, and will continue until December 23. More information, including a route map, can be found here. 

This Shuttle Line is a pilot program, and its continuation in 2014 will depend on ridership numbers. So if you live in one of the areas served by the new line and are interested in using the line in the future, we encourage you to use it as much as possible from now through December.

September 16, 2013

Appy to the Undergraduate to Graduate Women’s Mentorship Program by Sep. 21

Applications to the Undergraduate to Graduate Women’s Mentorship Program are due Saturday, September 21st at midnight. This program seeks to connect undergraduate women to graduate school mentors with mutual interests (both academic and extracurricular) for monthly, informal meetings to discuss everything from classes and MIT in general to career possibilities and personal issues in the hopes of facilitating the growth of a fun, informative, and supportive relationship. To inquire, fill out this application. Participants will be expected to attend the program kick-off on Saturday, September 28 and meet with their group during the weeks of October 13 and October 27. A closing reception will take place on Saturday, November 23. Email with any questions.

September 16, 2013

Three MIT grad students receive Gates Millennium Scholarship

Phillip H. Daniel, Stephen J Maouyo, and Folkers E. Rojas have received the Gates Millennium Scholarship. The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. Since its inception, the program has produced over 16,000 scholars who have attended over 1,800 institutions of higher education. Students can pursue up to a doctoral degree in any of the following disciplines: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science. The scholars are provided with personal and professional development through leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career. Daniel is set to start his academic career in 2013 in Mechanical Engineering (MechE) while Maouyo and Rojas started in 2012 in The Engineering Systems Division (ESD) and Mechanical Engineering (MechE).

September 11, 2013

Rishabh Singh is developing software that automatically grades programming homework

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), working with a colleague at Microsoft Research, have developed a new software system that can automatically identify errors in students’ programming assignments and recommend corrections. Teaching assistants at MIT have already begun using the software. But some variation on it could help solve one of the biggest problems faced by massive open online courses (MOOCs) like those offered through edX, the online learning initiative created by MIT and Harvard University: how to automate grading.

The system grew out of work on program synthesis — the automatic generation of computer programs that meet a programmer’s specifications — at CSAIL’s Computer-Aided Programming Group, which is led by Armando Solar-Lezama, the NBX Career Development Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering. A paper describing the work will be presented this month at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Programming Language Design and Implementation conference. Joining Solar-Lezama on the paper are first author Rishabh Singh, a graduate student in his group, and Sumit Gulwani of Microsoft Research. Read more on MIT News.

September 10, 2013


TEDxCambridge returns Sep. 13

TEDxCambridge is back and bringing new ideas to several stages around Kendall Square. The event will be held on Friday, September 13 from 6pm -11pm at various locations around Kendall Square. It features a new TEDx event format and audience experience while celebrating the world class innovation within Cambridge and the impact it is having globally. To attend, please sign up. For more information, please contact leap@mit.eduPhoto by Aaron Tang.

September 9, 2013

art sharing

Student Loan Art Program Exhibition and Lottery Reception Sep. 10

The MIT List Visual Arts Center (bldg. E15) presents the annual Student Loan Art Program Exhibition and Lottery from September 3-15, 2013. Through this popular loan program MIT graduate and undergraduate students have the opportunity to borrow original works of art from the collection for their living and work spaces.

The exhibition features over 500 framed prints and photographs by leading modern and contemporary artists. New works available for loan this year include pieces by Sonia Almeida, Geoff Hargadon, Damien Hirst, Matt Rich, Sarah Sze, and Walid Raad, among many others. In conjunction with the exhibition the List Center will host a public reception Sunday, September 8 at 11 a.m. The reception will feature refreshments and a tour of the exhibition. In addition, a reception for MIT graduate students will be held on Tuesday, September 10 from 5-7 p.m. Although only MIT students can borrow art, the exhibition is free and open to the public. For questions or more information, please contact Mark LingaPhoto by LISgirl.

September 6, 2013

dance steps

Two-day intensive beginner tango bootcamp Sep. 7-8

On September 7-8, 2013 in W20-491, W20-Lobdell, there will be an intensive introduction to Argentine Tango designed to get you from no dancing to tango in two quick days. No dance partner or experience needed. Space is limited: the bootcamps have been wildly popular in the past so be sure to sign up now. Check out the 2011 IAP bootcamp demonstration video. For more information or questions, please email Photo by Paulo Scardine.

September 6, 2013


MITourist 2013: Orientation Photo Scavenger Hunt Sep. 8

Come to Sidney-Pacific’s Orientation Scavenger Hunt and get the chance to explore campus on September 8, 2013 at 3pm in the SP Mark Multipurpose Room. Dinner will be provided after the Scavenger Hunt where we’ll show the solutions. To participate, please sign up; registration will be available until September 7th. Teams should have between 5 and 8 people, but incomplete teams can sign up and will be merged later. For more information, please contact Photo by OCAL.

September 5, 2013

brass rat rings MIT

The New GradRat Ring Unveiling Sep. 5

The new design of the GradRat will be revealed at a big event on Thursday September 5, 2013 from 5-7pm in Walker Memorial (Bldg 50). Chocolate, desserts, and wine will be served. There will be free giveaways of various goodies and 10 $50 discounts for the ring will be raffled off. Orders will be taken and ring sizing will occur. For more information, please contact Photo by Birdies100.

September 5, 2013

Positions available in Institute committees: Applications due Sep. 7

Applications for four GSC Institute Committee Representatives are now open.  Those who are interested in one of the committees are encouraged to apply.  The committees with open positions are: the Recreational Advisory Committee (RAC) at DAPER, the ODGE Graduate Student Grants Selection Panel, the Academic Integrity Working Group, and the Student Benefit Advisory Committee.  Institute Committees form a vital link between the administration, the GSC and the community as a whole.  Institute Representatives have the opportunity to see how MIT works behind-the-scenes, as well as impact short and long term MIT policy decisions in a very significant way.  The application deadline is Saturday, September 7th, 2013.  Visit the GSC website for more information, or contact

September 4, 2013

malarial infection prototype team

Sungjae Ha and researchers create prototype for early-stage malarial infection detection

Graduate student Sungjae Ha and a team of researchers at MIT have found a way to detect early-stage malarial infection of blood cells by measuring changes in the infected cells’ electrical properties.

The scientists, from the laboratories of MIT’s Anantha Chandrakasan and Subra Suresh — who is now president of Carnegie Mellon University — have built an experimental microfluidic device that takes a drop of blood and streams it across an electrode that measures a signal differentiating infected cells from uninfected cells. The work, published Aug. 8 in the journal Lab on a Chip, is a first step toward a field-ready, low-cost, portable malaria-detection device.

“Ultimately the goal would be to create a postage stamp-sized device with integrated electronics that can detect if a person has malaria and at what stage,” says Chandrakasan, the Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Professor of Electrical Engineering and a principal investigator at MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL), who specializes in developing low-power electronic devices. Similar diagnostics may be applicable to other infections and diseases. Continue reading at MIT NEWS. Photo by Patricia Sampson/EEEC. 

September 4, 2013


IronNerd Super Sprint Triathlon Sep. 8

Ever wanted to try-a-tri? Curious about multisport events? Nervous about transitions? The IronNerd is a super-sprint triathlon hosted on campus as a low-barrier entry into training and racing triathlon. New racers and veterans are welcome. The event is open to MIT students, affiliates and friends of these communities. It will be held on September 8 from 9:30-11:30am at the MIT Z-Center. For more info and registration, please visit the site and/or contact morganh@mit.eduPhoto by Grayskullduggery

September 4, 2013

Graduate Student Council Logo

Graduate Student Council Open House Sep. 4

Come meet-and-greet leaders of the Graduate Student Council (GSC) and get the inside scoop for the upcoming year while enjoying some appetizers and free drinks! In addition to great company, this open house will feature manned stations, each dedicated to discussing a certain aspect of the GSC mission. GSC programs and initiatives, like graduate student orientation, rely on the dedication and involvement of graduate students. The open house will be held on Wednesday, September 4 from 6-8pm in Morss Hall (Bldg. 50). This is a great opportunity to consider how you can get involved! The event is open to spouses & partners, but is not suitable for children. Alcohol requires a 21+ photo ID (US issued ID or passport).

September 3, 2013

keplar 78b

Sanchis-Ojeda and team discover exoplanet that orbits star in 8.5 hours

In the time it takes you to complete a single workday, or get a full night’s sleep, a small fireball of a planet 700 light-years away has already completed an entire year.

Researchers at MIT have discovered an Earth-sized exoplanet named Kepler 78b that whips around its host star in a mere 8.5 hours — one of the shortest orbital periods ever detected. The planet is extremely close to its star — its orbital radius is only about three times the radius of the star — and the scientists have estimated that its surface temperatures may be as high as 3,000 degrees Kelvin, or more than 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. In such a scorching environment, the top layer of the planet is likely completely melted, creating a massive, roiling ocean of lava. Details appear in a paper published in Astrophysical Journal, with physics graduate student Roberto Sanchis-Ojeda as first author.

What’s most exciting to scientists is that they were able to detect light emitted by the planet — the first time that researchers have been able to do so for an exoplanet as small as Kepler 78b. This light, once analyzed with larger telescopes, may give scientists detailed information about the planet’s surface composition and reflective properties. Continue reading at MIT NEWS. Photo by Cristina Sanchis Ojeda.

September 3, 2013

fun ahead sign

Graduate Orientation Olympics on Sep. 3

Come and enjoy an afternoon of soccer, frisbee, unihoc, volleyball, badminton, athletics and new friends at the Graduate Orientation Olympics on September 3 at 2pm at the Z Center, Brigg’s Field! Participants will be teamed on the spot to battle in a variety of sports. Meet new friends, win prizes, enjoy the dinner served after the games! The event is open to all MIT students, spouses & partners but is not suitable for children. For more information, please contact sp-orientation-chair@mit.eduPhoto by updowngirl.

September 3, 2013

wonder woman

Wonder Woman photo shoot and film screening on Sep. 3

Please join the Women’s Gender Studies Program in celebrating ALL Wonder Women on REG DAY Tuesday, September 3, 2013. Both events are free and open to the public.

WGS will host a Wonder Woman photo shoot from 11AM – 4PM in LOBBY 10 including the Wonder Woman costume  is provided at the photo shoot: lasso of truth, tiaras, T-shirts and skirts for children and adults of all sizes. Free Wonder Woman swag for all participants!

MIT Women’s and Gender Studies Program and Student Activities Office present a REG DAY film screening: “WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines”at 7PM in 6-120. The film traces the fascinating evolution and legacy of Wonder Woman. From the birth of the comic book superheroine in the 1940s to the blockbusters of today, WONDER WOMEN! looks at how popular representations of powerful women often reflect society’s anxieties about women’s liberation. WONDER WOMEN! goes behind the scenes with Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, comic writers and artists, and real-life superheroines such as Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna and others, who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre. Discussion with WGS Professor A. Walsh to follow. Photo by Cory Doctorow.