Monthly Archives: November 2013

November 27, 2013

Call for nominations: ODGE to sponsor 5 women students to attend the Womensphere Emerging Leaders Global Summit

The Office of the Dean for Graduate Education will nominate and sponsor five women graduate students to attend the 5th Annual Womensphere Emerging Leaders Global Summit, which will be held at Columbia University on January 15th, 2014 (with optional immersion days on the 14th and 16th). This sponsorship includes all travel, accommodation, and registration expenses.

Nomination is open to female graduate students from any discipline. Each graduate program may submit one nomination application by December 10th, 2013 at 5pm electronically to ODGE Manager of Graduate Fellowships, Scott Tirrell. Nomination packet should include an academic transcript, CV, statement from nominee on the benefit of attending to their educational experience, and letter of recommendation (from thesis advisor, if applicable). Direct any questions to Scott Tirrell, Manager of Graduate Fellowships, at or (617) 324-7021.

For more information about the event, visit the Womensphere Emerging Leaders Global Summit website.

November 27, 2013

Liu creates algorithms to analyze flight delays and social networks

In a paper being presented in December at the annual conference of the Neural Information Processing Systems Foundation, MIT researchers describe a new technique that expands the class of data sets whose structure can be efficiently deduced. Not only that, but their technique naturally describes the data in a way that makes it much easier to work with. In technical terms, the researchers’ work concerns probabilistic graphical models. Historically, graphical models have sped up machine-learning algorithms only when they’ve had a few particular shapes, such as that of a tree. A tree is a graph with no closed loops: In a family tree, for instance, a closed loop would indicate something biologically impossible — that, say, someone is both parent and sibling to the same person.

According to Ying Liu, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who co-wrote the new paper with his advisor, Alan Willsky, the Edwin Sibley Webster Professor of Electrical Engineering, loops pose problems because they can make statistical inference algorithms “overconfident.” The algorithm typically used to infer statistical relationships within graphical models, Liu explains, is a “message-passing algorithm, where each node sends messages to only its neighbors, using only local information and incoming messages from other neighbors. It’s a very good way to distribute the computation.”

Continue reading the article on MIT News.

November 26, 2013

Resource Spotlight: Mental Health and Counseling

An office of MIT Medical, Mental Health and Counseling provides mental health services that include evaluations and consultations, brief or interim treatment (counseling, psychotherapy), thoughtful referrals to mental health practitioners, urgent care, group counseling, and neuropsychology consultations to help identify cognitive or attention problems, disorganization, lack of motivation, and more. Located on the 3rd floor of E23, they hold walk-in hours daily from 2-4pm. Appointments are available from 8:30am to 7pm Monday through Thursday, and 8:30am to 5pm on Fridays.

Read more

November 25, 2013

HST grad students volunteer at Boston Children’s Museum PhUn Day

On Saturday, November 2, a group of 20 HST students headed to the Boston Children’s Museum to volunteer their time at Physiology PhUn Day, an event organized by the American Physiology Society and designed to get young children excited about medicine and science. Since 2010, students in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program have helped make the event a success.

HST students manned booths about bones, joints, lungs, hearts, and the medical devices used to examine them. At a hand washing booth, children rubbed a gel that glows under black light on their hands, raced to the bathroom to try to scrub it off, then came back to see how they’d done. “It was very eye-opening for both kids and parents,” says Elisa Walsh, a second year HST medical student who is interested in pursuing pediatrics as a specialty.

Continue reading the article on the HST website.

November 22, 2013

Program Assistants

Now Hiring: Program Assistant applications for MSRP due Dec. 20

Program Assistants (PAs) for the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) are responsible for working closely with the MSRP Director and Assistant Director of Diversity Initiatives to provide mentorship and facilitate a positive research experience for approximately 50 interns. PAs meet with interns to provide assistance and mentoring, and to assist them with various program requirements including scientific posters, abstracts and research papers. Applications are due Friday, December 20th, 2013 at 5:00pm. Direct questions to Monica Orta, Assistant Director, Diversity Initiatives & MIT Summer Research Program, at

The program is scheduled to run from June 8 to August 9, 2014. PAs are expected to fully participate in the Summer Program, with a time commitment during the summer of approximately 20 hours per week. There will be 5 mandatory meetings and trainings throughout the spring. Additionally, PAs must be available for the duration of the program, the first and last week in particular. All MIT graduate students are eligible for this position. Strong organization and communication skills, knowledge of presentation skills and techniques (including PowerPoint), as well as experience teaching and/or mentoring undergraduates are required. PAs must be able to comfortably and effectively interact with students from a variety of ethnic, social and geographic backgrounds. The compensation is a $5,000 stipend for 10 weeks, paid weekly.

November 22, 2013

Learn about the path from the lab to a startup on Nov. 26

On Tuesday, November 26 at 3:00pm in 46-3002, graduate students are invited to a panel entitled From Lab to Start-up: Stories of Entrepreneurs Working to Solve Researchers’ Problems. Listen to a panel of four entrepreneurs talk about their path from lab to startup, the birth of their idea while working in the lab, and their involvement in the rise of digital tools for researchers. Presenters will discuss questions such as: What set of skills typically acquired in the lab are transferable? What are the key similarities and differences between the two environments? How did the problem and solutions occur to them? The will also share anecdotes about their magic moments of discovery and innovation. To register, visit this website. Sponsored by the MIT Postdoctoral Association and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Photo by tk-link.

November 22, 2013

The Business of Robotics: 1-day intensive workshop over IAP on Jan. 13

Are you interested in separating hype from opportunity in robotics? Come to this one-day intensive workshop during IAP, The Business of Robotics (15.S62), featuring a panel of experts from industry, mature robotics companies, startups, accelerators, and more. The workshop will take place on Monday, January 13th, 2014 from 8:30am to 5:00pm in MIT Room E62-233.  Enrollment is limited to 105.  Learn more here.

November 22, 2013

ACS Scholars Program video features MIT alumni

LaShanda Korley, Ph.D. and Keith Reed, Ph.D., alumni of MIT, were featured in a video in which they speak about how the ACS Scholars Program changed their lives. Korley was an ACS Scholar from 1995 to 1999 and is now Climo Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University. Reed was an ACS Scholar from 2000 to 2004 and is now a Coproducts Recovery Engineer at ExxonMobil. The award-winning ACS Scholars Program encourages high-potential African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian students to pursue undergraduate degrees in the chemical and engineering sciences. The program provides scholarships, undergraduate research internships, and mentoring. See the video on the ACS website.

November 21, 2013

Learn about Navigating Grad School on Nov. 26

Stipend issues? Having trouble balancing research and coursework? Wondering what to expect from your advisor? These and other urgent issues affecting MIT graduate students will be explored at a panel discussion on Tuesday, November 26 at 4:30pm in room 1-190. Panelists include MIT professors, along with experienced graduate students and PhD candidates. You’ll walk away with useful tips on how to navigate the many facets of graduate school. Complimentary snacks will be provided. For further information, contact Yagnaseni Roy. This panel is presented by the Graduate Student Council.

November 21, 2013

Resource Spotlight: Global Education and Career Development

As both academia and private industry become more expansive, international, and cross-disciplinary, the options and opportunities facing today’s graduate alumni can be overwhelming. Global Education and Career Development (GECD) at MIT, located in 12-170, offers a variety of services designed to assist all MIT students, whether they are preparing to enter the workforce, seeking a relevant internship, or looking for a fulfilling global experience.

Read more

November 21, 2013

Talk by Lyor Cohen, previously of Def Jam and Warner Music, on Nov. 21

Lyor Cohen will be introducing 300, his new Google-backed record label at the cross section of media and technology. He will be giving a talk at MIT on Thursday, November 21st, 2013 at 4:30pm in Stata Center, Room D463. The event is held in conjunction with Berklee College of Music. Admission is free. Contact for more information, and please RSVP here.

November 20, 2013

Submit feedback to Chancellor Search Advisory Cabinet by Nov. 22

MIT is seeking input from graduate students to advise President Reif in appointing the next Chancellor. The Chancellor is MIT’s senior administrator concerned with student education, life, and well-being. The Chancellor also oversees the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE), the Dean for Undergraduate Education, and the Dean for Student Life. The Chancellor Search Advisory Cabinet was appointed by the President to identify qualities and characteristics students seek in the next Chancellor. Submit anonymous feedback by Friday, November 22nd, 2013 through the web form, or contact

November 20, 2013

MIT $100K Accelerate application now open

Applications for the MIT $100K Accelerate Contest are open until Monday, November 25th, 2013 at 11:59pm. Take the opportunity to win $14,000 in prize money. Semifinalist teams will benefit from the network, coaching, designated mentors, and $1,000 to demonstrate their business idea. Demo your idea in front of entrepreneurs, top executives, and an excited audience. Build a team around an idea you want to realize, and jump start the company you want to build. Spend IAP accelerating your idea! Contact for more information.

November 19, 2013

Resource Spotlight: Writing & Communication Center

Located in 12-132, the Writing & Communication Center provides graduate students with a range of services designed to strengthen and enrich their writing and presentation skills. There, students can enjoy free individual consultations to address any writing difficulty, such as grammar, style, overcoming writer’s block, organizing papers, preparing for essay exams, and more. Students may visit during any compositional stage of a paper or presentation. The Writing Center’s primary goal is to increase clarity in student work, impart proven techniques of good writing, and teach that writing is a process. Students can also participate in individual or group sessions in methods of oral communication (speeches, presentation, use of visual aids, etc.). The Writing Center will also give specialized assistance to students for whom English is a second language.

Read more

November 19, 2013

Image- and Function-guided Neurosurgery lecture on Dec 5

The IMES Distinguished Speaker series continues with Image- and Function-guided Neurosurgery, a lecture with Dr. Alexandra Golby on Thursday, December 5th, 2013 at 5:30pm (with a preceding reception at 5:00pm) in MIT Room E25-111.  Dr. Golby is an Associate Surgeon in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Neurosurgery.  She is also the Director of Image-guided Neurosurgery, Co-Director of the function MRI service, and Clinical Co-Director of the Advanced Image Guided OR (AMIGO) at BWH.  For more information, visit this site.

November 19, 2013

Oh is creating better batteries through biology

Lithium-air batteries have become a hot research area in recent years: They hold the promise of drastically increasing power per battery weight, which could lead, for example, to electric cars with a much greater driving range. But bringing that promise to reality has involved a number of challenges, including the need to develop better, more durable materials for the batteries’ electrodes and improving the number of charging-discharging cycles the batteries can withstand.

Now, MIT researchers have found that adding genetically modified viruses to the production of nanowires — wires that are about the width of a red blood cell, and which can serve as one of a battery’s electrodes — could help solve some of these problems. This new work is described in a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, co-authored by graduate student Dahyun Oh, professors Angela Belcher and Yang Shao-Horn, and three others. The key to their work was to increase the surface area of the wire, thus increasing the area where electrochemical activity takes place during charging or discharging of the battery.

Continue reading the article on MIT News.

November 18, 2013

Chinese Government Scholarships Deadline Jan. 31

MIT has a special arrangement with the Chinese Government to sponsor a full scholarship for qualified MIT students (undergraduate or graduate) to study in China for a semester or year. This could be for continued language and cultural study or for study in your major/field. Chinese citizens are not eligible.  Those who are interested in studying in China are encouraged to speak to the Global Education office about this opportunity. Contact The deadline to apply for next year (Spring 2014 or the full academic year) is Friday, January 31st, 2014 (applications should be submitted to MIT Global Education and Career Development).

November 18, 2013

LGO alumna Noramay Cadena speaks up for STEM education

Noramay Cadena, LGO ’11, raised a daughter as a single mother while earning three degrees from MIT. Now she’s a leader among those promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education for Latinas, and was a featured speaker at the ELLA Leadership Institute’s “Latinas Think Big” event in Los Angeles last month. Huffington Post blogger Graciela Tiscareno-Sato included Cadena’s remarks in the top 10 Twitter moments of the October 11 event hosted by Google (Cadena is at #4).

Cadena earned her LGO graduate degrees (an SM in mechanical engineering and MBA from MIT Sloan) in 2011, capping an MIT career that began with her arrival as a freshman—and single mother of a toddler—in 1999. After earning her SB in 2003, she worked at Boeing for several years before returning (with her daughter) to MIT as a Boeing-sponsored LGO student in 1999. She is now Satellite Assembly, Integration and Test Integrated Product Team Leader for Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, California.

Read more about Cadena on the MIT LGO webpage.

November 15, 2013

MSRP Alum Gopeesingh named Rhodes Scholar finalist

MSRP Alum and Hampton University senior Josh Gopeesingh (Chemical Engineering) has been named a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. He will interview in Barbados on November 23rd. Out of approximately 1,000 applicants who are endorsed by their respective universities, only 200 achieve finalist status. Rhodes Scholars further their studies at Oxford University in England.

A native of Trinidad, Gopeesingh is a student in the Honors College and captain of the HU sailing team. He was awarded the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award this year as well. Gopeesingh has a 3.76 grade-point average and during the summer months has conducted research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Syracuse University.

Read more about Gopeesingh on the Hampton University News website.

November 15, 2013

MIT Clean Energy Startup Weekend Nov. 15-17

Have you always wanted to participate in a business plan competition but don’t have an idea?  Do you have an idea for a startup but don’t know how to take the next step?  Are you looking for a team to work with on your idea?  Come to MIT Clean Energy Weekend on Friday, November 15th to Sunday, November 17th, 2013 (with the event taking place in MIT Room 10-250 on Friday, and subsequent events on Saturday and Sunday at the Martin Trust Center).  Prior Clean Energy Prize contestants will discuss how they formed their team, came up with their idea, and what the process of participating in the contest was like.  On Friday, there will be an evening Pitchathon where you can hear other people’s ideas, meet like-minded individuals, and find a team to work on a project.  On Saturday, there will be a workshop on how to build the perfect CEP application.  On Sunday, participants will have the opportunity to present their ideas to a team of mentors who will give feedback.  Please RSVP.

November 15, 2013

Informational meeting on Nov. 19: New USAID and NSF Research and Innovation Fellowships in developing countries

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide Program (GROW) provides NSF Graduate Research Fellows an international travel allowance to engage in research collaborations with investigators in partner countries located outside the United States. This program currently offers placement in the following developing countries: Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Senegal, and South Africa. Students have the chance to peruse a unique online catalog of opportunities in these seven countries focusing on cutting-edge research in a variety of research centers, universities, NGOs, government ministries, and private sector companies.
The USAID Research and Innovation Fellowships Team will be on the MIT campus on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm in Kresge Little Theatre (W16-035) to give an informational meeting about this new program as well as discuss future ways in which all students, both graduate and undergraduate, may participate.  Contact for more information.

November 15, 2013

Marvin E. Goody Award Deadline Dec. 13

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 in June 2014.  The thesis research must explore new building methods and materials and combine good design with good building.  Submit an application form, resume, thesis proposal, two letters of recommendation, and a budget indicating the proposed use of funds.  The application deadline is Friday, December 13th, 2013, with the announcement of the winner on the following Friday, December 20th, 2013.  Visit this webpage for more information, or visit the headquarters of the Department of Architecture in MIT Room 7-337.

November 14, 2013

Senior Associate Dean Blanche Staton honored by YWCA

As a part of their 21st Annual Tribute to Outstanding Women, the YWCA Cambridge recognized the efforts and achievements of MIT Senior Associate Dean Blanche Staton. This annual event honors the professional and volunteer contributions of women who share the YWCA’s mission and vision of a world free from racism, a world in which women are fully empowered, and a world in which all people live with peace, justice, freedom, and dignity.

An excerpt from Dean Staton’s citation reads: “The YWCA Cambridge is pleased to honor Blanche Staton for her work as an advisor to graduate students, especially women and underrepresented students of color, and as creator of the Path of Professorship, a workshop that given women the tools to be successful on the academic track and provides initiatives to promote professional development. Blanche has taken the time to encourage and provide resources to students who have felt marginalized.”

November 14, 2013

Diverse undergraduates discover MIT graduate programs through CONVERGE 2013

From November 7th – 10th, a diverse group of underrepresented undergraduate students from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico were introduced to the breadth and scope of MIT’s graduate programs as a part of the 2013 CONVERGE program. These 16 students, representing a range of backgrounds, spent the weekend exploring MIT’s facilities; learning about the graduate admissions process; and interacting with faculty, staff, and graduate students. Attendees were introduced to research being conducted at MIT and were able to ask individual questions based on their specific needs and department interests. They also took time to explore the city of Boston – discovering local landmarks aboard an amphibious duck boat tour and capturing a view from above at the Prudential Skywalk while reading about Boston’s first inhabitants. The mission of the annual CONVERGE event is to increase the presence of underrepresented and underserved students in MIT’s graduate programs.

November 14, 2013

Paxson and Yagüe developing new approach to hydrophobic material

Steam condensation is key to the worldwide production of electricity and clean water: It is part of the power cycle that drives 85 percent of all electricity-generating plants and about half of all desalination plants globally, according to the United Nations and International Energy Agency. So anything that improves the efficiency of this process could have enormous impact on global energy use. Now, a team of researchers at MIT says they have found a way to do just that.

It has been known for years that making steam-condenser surfaces hydrophobic — that is, getting them to repel water — could improve the efficiency of condensation by causing the water to quickly form droplets. But most hydrophobic materials have limited durability, especially in steamy industrial settings. The new approach to coating condenser surfaces should overcome that problem, the MIT researchers say. The findings are reported this week in the journal Advanced Materials by MIT professors Karen Gleason and Kripa Varanasi, graduate student Adam Paxson and postdoc Jose Yagüe.

Continue reading the article on MIT News.

November 14, 2013

MIT Giving Tree: Gift Collection Nov. 25-Dec. 16

The winter can be challenging for local families, as nearly thirty percent of children in the Boston metropolitan area live in low-income families. Many of these 30,000 children may not receive gifts or possess the winter clothes they need to fully enjoy this season. Since 1992, the Public Service Center has hosted the annual MIT Giving Tree to help provide gifts for these local children.
This year’s MIT Giving Tree will kick off before Thanksgiving Break, and the PSC will collect gifts from November 25th to December 16th. You can sponsor a child’s gift request individually or participate in a group with friends or co-workers. For more information, contact

November 13, 2013

Discover ‘Soft’ Skills to Achieve Success in Academia on Nov. 18

Numerous young PhDs enter academia every year. However, many face the problem of uncertainty over what to focus on beyond publications. Come learn about the skills you need to achieve success in academia on Monday, November 18th, 2013, from 5:30 to 6:30 in MIT Room 1-190. The speakers at this event are experienced researchers who have gone through the tenure process, and will tell you how the system works, what is expected of you, and how to balance your life between ‘soft skills’ and research.  Registration is encouraged but not required via CareerBridge. Contact for more information.

November 13, 2013

Thanksgiving Break Airport Shuttle on Nov. 26-27

The Parking and Transportation Office will provide shuttle service to Logan Airport for the Thanksgiving Break. Shuttles will be available on Tuesday, November 26th, and Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at the scheduled times available at the Parking and Transportation Office’s website reservation page. Seats must be reserved. The shuttle fee is $10. All reservations will be processed via the website, and the shuttle fee will be billed to student bursar accounts or via employee payroll deductions. Shuttles will depart from the Kresge parking lot at the scheduled time and will not wait for late-arriving passengers.  Normal trip time from MIT to Logan Airport is about half an hour, but please allow up to one hour for this trip. Traffic, construction, and airport security delays should be expected.

November 13, 2013

Ceremony to name the MIT Memorial Lobby on Nov. 18

MIT is changing the name of Lobby 10 to Memorial Lobby during a ceremony on Monday, November 18th, 2013 at 5:00pm. The name change is intended to honor MIT’s veterans, whose names are inscribed on lobby walls.  All are invited (no RSVP required), and there will be a reception following the ceremony.  Speakers include John S. Reed (Chairman of the MIT Corporation), Ronald G. Ballinger (Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and Materials Science Engineering), Eric Victor (Co-President of the MIT Veterans Organization), DiOnetta Jones Crayton (Associate Dean and Director in the Office of Minority Education), Phillip L. Clay (Professor of Urban Studies and Planning), and Robert M. Randolph (Chaplain to the Institute), who will be giving the benediction.  The program will include a joint honor guard comprised of ROTC cadets and MIT Police Officers, as well as music provided by the MIT Chorallaries and a brass ensemble.

November 12, 2013

Glover is creating better robot vision

Object recognition is one of the most widely studied problems in computer vision. But a robot that manipulates objects in the world needs to do more than just recognize them; it also needs to understand their orientation. Is that mug right-side up or upside-down? And which direction is its handle facing?

To improve robots’ ability to gauge object orientation, Jared Glover, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is exploiting a statistical construct called the Bingham distribution. In a paper they’re presenting in November at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Glover and MIT alumna Sanja Popovic ’12, MEng ’13, who is now at Google, describes a new robot-vision algorithm, based on the Bingham distribution, that is 15 percent better than its best competitor at identifying familiar objects in cluttered scenes.

Continue reading the article on MIT News.

November 12, 2013

Quantum Computing lecture by Prof. Scott Aaronson on Nov. 14

The MIT Sidney Pacific / Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series presents Quantum Computing and the Limits of Efficient Computation, a lecture by Professor Scott Aaronson on Thursday, November 14th, 2013 at 6:30pm (with refreshments at 6:00pm) in the Sydney Pacific Mark Multipurpose Room.  Professor Aaronson’s research centers around the capabilities and limits of quantum computers, and more generally, computational complexity theory.  RSVP for this lecture here, and contact for more information.

November 11, 2013

Applications for the MIT Innovation Initiative Committee due Nov. 18

Apply to be on the MIT Innovation Initiative Committee and represent the graduate student body and provide input on what MIT does well now in terms of fostering innovation, as well as how the Initiative can give students the space, skills, knowledge, tools, and opportunities they need to transform academic ideas and their own projects into practical innovations.  Committee members will participate in meetings with the Faculty Advisory Board to discuss these important topics.  The Initiative is led by Professor Bulovic and Professor Murray.  Applications are due on Monday, November 18th, 2013 (recommendations can be delivered by Friday, January 31st, 2014).  Apply online.  For more information contact,

November 7, 2013

From PhD to Business: A Panel on the Consulting Industry on Nov. 13

Come listen to the MIT PhD alums talk about their experience in the consulting industry and learn about making the transition from a PhD to business on Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 at 5:30pm in MIT Building 32-155.  The panel features representatives from McKinsey, ClearView Healthcare, Oliver Wyman, and Clarion Healthcare.  This event is open to all graduate students and post-docs.  Refreshments will be provided.  Contact for more information.

November 7, 2013

Invitation to Community Forums on East Campus/Kendall Gateway Study

MIT has commissioned a design study to help the Institute envision the future of East Campus and the Kendall gateway area.  A critical element of the study process is the gathering of thoughts and ideas from the MIT and Cambridge communities.  To facilitate this exchange of information, MIT is hosting community forums between November 2013 and January 2014 to share progress and invite discussion and ideas.  The community forums will help MIT build on the work of a three-year, community-wide effort to align the interests of a broad group of stakeholders around the future vision for Kendall Square.  At these gatherings, the urban design team will solicit participants’ input and share the study progress.  As the team develops concepts, it will take into consideration the analysis developed by Elkus Manfredi Architects and the City of Cambridge during the rezoning effort, the important design goals and planning principles recommended by a faculty design group, as well as input from the community.
The dates for the forums will be:
  • Thursday, November 7th, 2013, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, MIT Room 3-270
  • Wednesday, December 11th, 2013, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, MIT Room 32-155
  • Tuesday, January 21st, 2014, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, Location TBD
Recognizing that the work to re-imagine the East Campus of MIT will require collective wisdom, and the administration hopes you will join them at these forums to learn more and share your thoughts.

November 7, 2013

2014 GSC-Snowriders Ski Trip on Jan 10-13; Ticket sales begin Nov. 12

The 2014 GSC-Snowriders Ski Trip will take place from Friday, January 10th to Monday, January 13th, 2014 at the Jay Peak Ski Resort in Vermont.  The first round of ticket sales begins on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 at 12:00pm.  The second round begins on Thursday, November 14th, 2013.  Each round of ticket sales will remain open until they sell out, but please note that spots are expected to fill up fast.  The weekend will consists of three days of skiing, snowboarding, and fun, with private parties at the indoor water park and ice arena.  This event is open to all MIT graduate students, post-docs, and their guests. For more information, contact

November 6, 2013

Taste of Egypt on Nov. 12

Feast on authentic Egyptian food and desserts on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm in Morss Hall.  There will be booths at this free event to learn about the culture of Egypt as well as a live musical performance by a local Egyptian artist.  Contact for more information.

November 6, 2013

United Nations Internship Program; Deadline for first session Nov. 19

The United Nations provides opportunities for students enrolled in a graduate program to undertake an internship at its headquarters in New York, Geneva, Vienna, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut, Santiago, Arusha, and The Hague.  Eligible candidates interested in doing an internship at the United Nations Headquarters in New York or any of the mentioned countries can apply.  The program is offered on a two month basis three times a year:

  • Spring Session 2014 (January to March): Deadline for submission is Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
  • Summer Session 2014 (June to August): Deadline for submission is Thursday, February 20th, 2014
  • Fall Session 2014 (October to December): Deadline for submission is Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Interested undergraduate or graduate students should write via email only to the Ad Hoc Internship Coordinator, Human Resources Operations Section, Human Resources Management Service, United Nations Office (  For more information, visit the website.

November 6, 2013


Prabal on the Working Cities Challenge

Living Cities is proud to join state and private sector partners to support the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s innovative effort to catalyze collective impact to improve the lives of low-income people in smaller cities in the state of Massachusetts. Since launching the Working Cities Challenge, Boston Fed staff in the Regional and Community Outreach department have been working closely with the applicant cities on proposals that seek to enhance collaborative leadership and improve the lives of low-income residents. Vice President Prabal Chakrabarti (former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) provided an update in an interview on the Working Cities site. Read the interview at Living Cities to learn more.

November 5, 2013

Meyer discovers new role for ‘hunger hormone’

About a dozen years ago, scientists discovered that a hormone called ghrelin enhances appetite. Dubbed the “hunger hormone,” ghrelin was quickly targeted by drug companies seeking treatments for obesity — none of which have yet panned out. MIT neuroscientists have now discovered that ghrelin’s role goes far beyond controlling hunger. The researchers found that ghrelin released during chronic stress makes the brain more vulnerable to traumatic events, suggesting that it may predispose people to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Perhaps we could give people who are going to be deployed into an active combat zone a ghrelin vaccine before they go, so they will have a lower incidence of PTSD. That’s exciting because right now there’s nothing given to people to prevent PTSD,” says Goosens, who is also a member of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research. Lead author of the paper is Retsina Meyer, a recent MIT PhD recipient, 2009 Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, and former MSRP Program Assistant. Other authors are McGovern postdoc Anthony Burgos-Robles, graduate student Elizabeth Liu, and McGovern research scientist Susana Correia.

Read the rest of the article on MIT News.

November 5, 2013

Engineering Boutique Night on Nov. 13

Engineer your future at the Engineering Boutique Night on Wednesday, November 13th, 2013, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at the Harvard Faculty Club (20 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138).  Meet representatives from small engineering firms across the area seeking engineering students for full-time and internship opportunities in innovative fields including robotics, energy, medical devices, and civil/environmental design. This event is a collaboration between Harvard, Boston University, Olin College, Tufts University, and MIT.  All levels of engineering students from these five institutions are invited to attend.  Registration is required as attendance is capped for each participating university.

November 4, 2013

Ivy Plus Symposium: Advancing Diversity in Higher Education applications due Dec. 7

The second annual Ivy Plus Symposium: Advancing Diversity in Higher Education will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 13-15, 2014. Co-hosted by MIT and Harvard University, the Ivy Plus Symposium is designed to explore ways to enhance student diversity at the graduate level as a step toward enhancing diversity in the faculty and at every level of the academy and beyond. Students will have the opportunity to interact with faculty and graduate students, present their work, and learn about cutting-edge research. Attendance is open to students from all fields (not just STEM disciplines), and the application deadline for students is December 7, 2013. To apply, students need to submit their contact and academic information, supporting documentation (a personal statement, a CV or resume, and a copy of their undergraduate transcript), and two letters of reference. Click here to visit the symposium’s online application.

Speakers and panelists will be announced shortly, so continue to visit the Ivy Plus Symposium’s website for updates.


November 4, 2013


2013: A record-breaking year for graduate admissions at MIT

In 2013, MIT received the largest number of graduate applications in the history of the Institute (24,029), admitted 3,320 students (14% selectivity or admit rate), enrolled 2,163 new graduate students (65% yield), bringing the total number of enrolled graduate students at MIT to 6,609. Of the newly enrolling graduate students, 32% are female, 44% are international (from more than 75 countries worldwide), and 14% of domestic graduate students are under-represented minorities (US citizen or permanent resident).

November 4, 2013

East Campus/Kendall gateway study begins

MIT’s East Campus Steering Committee has selected a multidisciplinary urban design team to help advance plans for the redevelopment of Institute-owned property in East Campus and Kendall Square. The team will build upon the work of Elkus Manfredi Architects, which led to the adoption of new zoning regulations in the district, as well as the work of a faculty design group led by the School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), which recently developed design typologies for the Institute’s property in the Kendall Square area.

Continue reading the article on MIT News.

November 4, 2013

Alumni Networking Reception on Nov. 12

Join members of the Association of MIT Alumnae (AMITA), corporate representatives, nad members of Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT) for the Alumni Networking Reception on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.  Enjoy this relaxed and informal reception at the unique MIT Museum, and get personal advice on seeking careers in academia or industry by communicating with alumni.  Refreshments will be served.  The event is open to all graduate students, regardless of gender.  Register here.

November 1, 2013

Chancellor Search Cabinet: Call for applications, deadline Nov. 1

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) is forming a Chancellor Search Cabinet to identify qualities and characteristics students are seeking from the next Chancellor and to provide that feedback to President Rafael Reif between the end of November and the first week of December.
The cabinet will not participate in the official selection process, but rather provide student inputs and make recommendations.  Applicants must be able to attend team meetings on November 14th, 21st, and 26th, 2013 (Thursday, Thursday, and Tuesday, respectively) from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Applications must be submitted online by Friday, November 1st, 2013.  Tasks may include but are not limited to publicizing the search and gathering student inputs through outreach, survey, focus groups, and/or creative activities, as well as soliciting student feedback, collecting suggestions, and making recommendations by writing a report/list and meeting with the MIT President.  Questions and comments can be sent to or by letter to MIT Room 3-208.  Keep in mind that emails and letters are reviewed daily by the President’s Office and treated as confidential. Questions for the Graduate Student Council can be sent to

November 1, 2013

Reed is building robots that can explore the ocean’s dynamic features

Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Brooks Reed (MIT WHOI, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute) is building fast, cooperating robots that can explore the ocean’s dynamic features using the Charles River as a testbed. If you take a stroll past the MIT Sailing Pavilion on Memorial Drive, you may see, among the usual glut of sailboats on the Charles River, two red child-sized kayaks riding the waves. Instead of the 80-pound human they are each designed to hold, the kayaks carry an array of electronics and a pull-along a string of plastic flags that flutter in the wind. These baby kayaks are a key element of robotic control systems research led by Franz Hover, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, graduate student Brooks Reed, and their colleagues – a project which was just accepted into the International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR).

Reed is monitoring real-time data streaming in from the GPS mounted on the kayaks.  Each of the kayaks tow an acoustic WHOI Micro-Modem at a depth of about 1.5 meters. Icarus, the target vehicle, sends out a pulse of sound, called a “ranging ping.” Silvana and Nostromo receive it and calculate the the ping’s travel time. By dividing that number by the speed of sound in water, they can compute their own distances from Icarus. Then, they coordinate. Each swap their own location measurements and control actions by sending data packets to each other using the modems. Therefore, the pursuers know where to go next. The pair achieve their joint goal of maintaining a tight triangular formation relative to the position of Icarus, tracking their target even as it turns in unpredictable loops.

Read more at Oceans at MIT or MIT News.