Monthly Archives: January 2014

January 31, 2014

Lenert improves performance of solar energy storage

A new approach to harvesting solar energy, developed by MIT researchers, could improve efficiency by using sunlight to heat a high-temperature material whose infrared radiation would then be collected by a conventional photovoltaic cell. This technique could also make it easier to store the energy for later use, the researchers say. In this case, adding the extra step improves performance, because it makes it possible to take advantage of wavelengths of light that ordinarily go to waste. The process is described in a paper published this week in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, written by graduate student Andrej Lenert, associate professor of mechanical engineering Evelyn Wang, physics professor Marin Soljačić, principal research scientist Ivan Celanović, and three others. Continue reading the article on MIT NewsPhoto by John Freidah.

January 31, 2014


Innovation Initiative Talk and Online Education Policy Panel TODAY

Friday, January 31st at 9 AM in 56-114, take part in a talk and discussion with Professor David Mindell to learn about the work of the new MIT Innovation Initiative. Following the talk, at 10 AM in the same room, take part in a panel and discussion about online education, to conclude the 2014 IAP Science Policy Bootcamp, with: Karen Willcox of the Institute Task Force on the Future of MIT education; Vijay Kumar from the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology; Lee Rubenstein, VP of Business Development at edX; Louisa Rosenheck, Research Manager for MIT’s Scheller Teacher Education Program; and Jonathan Haber, journalist who attempted in 2013 to take the equivalent of a BA’s worth of classes, all MOOCs. photo by herzogbr

January 31, 2014

BGSA Community Lunch on Feb. 1

The Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) is hosting their Monthly Community Lunch on Saturday, February 1, 12:00pm-1:30pm in the Bush Room (10-105). The entire MIT community is welcome to attend this free event with food. Take the opportunity to make connections with your fellow MIT students and alumni. Please RSVP here. Contact for more information.

January 30, 2014

europe flags

How to Work a Career Fair TODAY

Many students are overwhelmed when attempting to navigate a career fair with hundreds of employers. This workshop on Thursday, January 30, 3:00-4:30 PM in room 4-237, will provide tips and strategies on how to be effective at the European Career Fair on February 1st. You will learn what to do in preparation for the fair, what to do at the fair, and what to do after the fair. The fair is an excellent opportunity to connect with employers, so create a strategy that will help you in this competitive employment environment! Events are open to MIT undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and alumni. photo by Gwenaël Piaser

January 30, 2014

MITG&SP present new musical comedy “The Forest of Eoren” Jan. 31st – Feb. 2nd

The MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players proudly present The Forest of Eoren by Matthew Pinson. This new one-act musical comedy, written in the style of Gilbert & Sullivan by MIT graduate student Matthew Pinson, tells the story of the dryads of Eoren who have kept their forest closed to all invaders for centuries. The arrival of a band of ruggedly handsome lumberjacks, however, turns the dryads’ world sideways! Will the dryads lose their home? Or their hearts?

FREE Admission! Put it on your calendar now; no reservation necessary, but seats are first-come, first-served. Showtimes are Friday, January 31st at 8:30pm; Saturday, February 1st at 8pm; and Sunday, February 2 at 2pm. All Performances are held in Twenty Chimneys, located on the 3rd Floor in the MIT Stratton Student Center (MIT Building W20) at 84 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.

January 30, 2014

Graduate Forum on Hacking, Ethics, & Community TODAY

Participate in an MIT graduate student forum on questions from the report “MIT and the Prosecution of Aaron Swartz.” Hosted by Faculty Chair Steven Hall and Biology Professor Chris Kaiser, this forum will take place on January 30th from 5:00-6:00 pm in the Mezzanine Lounge at the Student Center (W20-307). You will have the opportunity to share your views on hacking, ethics, responsibility, and community, as well as other issues raised in the report. Among the questions we invite input on are: What lessons can we draw for MIT’s hacker culture from the Aaron Swartz case? Should an MIT education address the personal ethics and legal obligations of technology empowerment? What are the moral, ethical, and legal challenges that face MIT and the broader community in our increasingly technological and connected society? Hosted by Faculty Chair Steven Hall and Biology Professor Chris Kaiser, in collaboration with the Graduate Student Council. Photo by Thomas Hawk.

January 29, 2014

Hsu develops new transparent display system

Transparent displays have a variety of potential applications — such as the ability to see navigation or dashboard information while looking through the windshield of a car or plane, or to project video onto a window or a pair of eyeglasses. A number of technologies have been developed for such displays, but all have limitations. Now, researchers at MIT have come up with a new approach that can have significant advantages over existing systems, at least for certain kinds of applications: a wide viewing angle, simplicity of manufacture, and potentially low cost and scalability. The innovative system is described in a paper published this week in the journal Nature Communications, co-authored by MIT professors Marin Soljačić and John Joannopoulos, graduate student Chia Wei (Wade) Hsu, and four others. Continue reading the article on MIT News.

January 29, 2014

Michael Heiss

Institute Career Assistance Network Information Session TODAY

The Institute Career Assistance Network (ICAN) connects MIT alumni with each other and students to facilitate career strategies. On Wednesday, January 29 at 6:30 p.m. at Thirsty Ear, NW35, come learn more about ICAN, see how you can identify an advisor, and meet local graduate alumni who serve as career advisors. There will be free appetizers and a first round of drinks followed by cash bar. 21+, Government Issued ID required: Driver’s License/Passport. Registration required. photo by michael.heiss

January 29, 2014


MIT Community Service Fund Grants deadline Jan. 31

Community Service Grants are available for faculty, staff, and students! The MIT Community Service Fund gives grants to support the public service initiatives of the entire MIT community. Apply by Friday, January 31 for the winter cycle. More information is available on the CSF Website.

January 28, 2014

Apply for Intel PhD Fellowship: internal deadline Feb. 3

The Intel PhD Fellowship is a one-time, external fellowship award for doctoral students performing research on:

  • Applications, programming, and new usage models
  • Computing leadership
  • Semiconductor innovation

The award consists of an educational stipend of $45K and a Research Total Industry Experience (TIE) grant of $5K. MIT can submit six general nominations to Intel. The Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE) will evaluate, select, and submit the nominations. Intel does not accept direct applications from students or faculty. Visit the website for more information about eligibility.

The internal MIT competition for the Intel PhD Fellowship will require an unofficial graduate transcript, C.V., research summary (500 words maximum), and a letter of recommendation (one page maximum) from current research advisor. Each department within MIT is requested to forward up to three general nominations as well as an unlimited number of applications from highly qualified students from underrepresented groups (e.g. African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders). Each department should send their nominations and accompanying application materials to ODGE Manager of Graduate Fellowships Scott Tirrell ( as single PDF files.

The deadline for the internal MIT competition is 5:00pm on Monday, February 3, 2014. ODGE will notify candidates of the status of their internal application by Friday, February 28. Nominated candidates will be able to complete their full application via the Intel website between March 3-April 4, 2014. Winners will be announced by Intel in May 2014. Contact Scott Tirrell at (617) 325-7021 or for any questions. Photo by infocux Technologies.

January 28, 2014

“High Profile Publishing in Molecular Biology” Jan. 29

Learn more about current trends in the field of molecular biology, the role of the scientific journal editor, and best practices for getting published. The event titled “High Profile Publishing in Molecular Biology” will be held on Wednesday, January 29, 3:00-5:00pm in 69-181. It will feature a presentation by Helene Hodak and Marina Ostankovitch, the scientific editors of the Journal of Molecular Biology, followed by a panel discussion including MIT Professor Amy Keating. This event is sponsored by the Graduate Student Council and Elsevier. Photo by Libertas Academica.

January 28, 2014

Oil and gas social on Jan. 29

The Tech Geophysical Society is hosting a get-together with the Society of Petroleum Engineers. This is an opportunity for everyone interested in the oil and gas industry to meet and socialize. The event will be held on Wednesday, January 29 at the Muddy Charles. Members from TechGS and SPE will be around between 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The event is GSC sponsored but alcoholic beverages will not be provided. Please remember to bring your ID. Contact for any questions. Photo by Reto Fetz.

January 27, 2014

IAP World Folk Music Jam Session Jan. 27

Learn to play in time signatures you’ve never heard of! The MIT Folk Dance Club presents an open jam session on Monday, January 27 8:00 – 9:30 PM in 66-144, featuring traditional folk dance music from a variety of countries, led by Skorosmrtnica, a local folk dance band with its roots at MIT. Tunes will be from the Balkans (Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Greek, and others) and a variety of other genres (klezmer, Romanian, Armenian, Israeli, Breton (the Celtic part of France), Russian, German, Scottish, Swedish, Quebecois, English, and American old time). Sheet music will be provided. Bring an instrument, or come to listen. No folk music experience necessary! Free for everyone! For more information, see the MIT Folk Dance Club website.

January 27, 2014

MIT’s Open Style Lab designing clothing for people with disabilities

We’ve all had one of those days. You’re wearing slippers to work, but it’s not Wear Slippers to Work day. Now imagine having one of those days every day. Welcome to the world of the disabled, who because of physical limits and health complications are stuck cobbling together whatever clothing works and leaving fashion, professionalism, and pride behind.

With the launch of the Open Style Lab, however, that may be changing. Grace Teo, a graduate student in the Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), and co-chair Alice Tin are bringing the minds and skills of fashion designers together with engineers to design clothing solutions for a group of 10 disabled clients. The Open Style Lab, a 10-week innovation challenge slated to run from June 6-August 9, 2014, has already identified a full slate of clients and is currently accepting applications from designers and engineers who wish to participate. Continue reading this article on HST News.

This project is funded in part by an ODGE Graduate Student Life Grant. If you are interested in applying for funding, learn more and see guidelines here. Photo by garryknight

January 27, 2014


IAP Sessions for International Students Jan. 27-30

The International Students Office is sponsoring three events this IAP regarding international students and employment.

Employment Regulations for F-1 Students on Monday, January 27, 12-1:30 pm, Room 5-135. This seminar, presented by International Student Advisor Janka Moss, will focus on both on and off campus work and employment for practical training allowed by current immigration regulations for F-1 visa holders.

J-1 Student Visa Workshop on Wednesday, January 29, 12-1:30pm, Room 5-134. This workshop, presented by International Student Advisor Aurora Brulé, will focus on employment regulations for MIT degree students only, medical insurance, and the two-year home residency requirement for J-1 students as established by the United States Department of State through the Exchange Visitor Program.

Working After Graduation: Immigration Concerns on Thursday, January 30, 12-1:30, Room 10-250. This seminar, presented by Attorney-at-Law Elizabeth A. Goss, will focus on rules regulating employment opportunities after graduation for international graduates. photo by pmecologic

January 27, 2014

Hockey night at the Thirsty Ear Jan. 27

Come out for hockey night to watch the Boston Bruins face the New York Islanders. The event will be on Monday, January 27, 7:00pm at the Thirsty Ear Pub (NW35). Dave Hunter, head coach of the MIT Hockey team, will be present for a talk and Q&A. Additionally, a special of 10 wings for $2 will be offered. 21+ government ID required. Contact for any questions. Photo by Bridget Samuels.

January 24, 2014


Mailoa makes silicon devices sensitive to a broader range of infrared

Researchers have tried a variety of methods to develop detectors that are responsive to a broad range of infrared light — which could form imaging arrays for security systems, or solar cells that harness a broader range of sunlight’s energy — but these methods have all faced limitations. Now, a new system developed by researchers at five institutions, including MIT, could eliminate many of those limitations. The new approach is described in a paper published in the journal Nature Communications by MIT graduate student Jonathan Mailoa, associate professor of mechanical engineering Tonio Buonassisi, and 11 others. Continue reading this artcle on MIT News.

January 24, 2014

David Kestenbaum

“How to Tell a Story in Four Minutes” feat. David Kestenbaum TODAY

David Kestenbaum, Ph.D. physicist and NPR reporter, will give the keynote address for the ComSciCon-local workshop on January 24th 4:00 PM at Harvard University Geological Lecture Hall. Come learn how to weave complex technical information into a compelling narrative. Free and open to the public! For more information and directions, visit photo by redjar

January 24, 2014

IDS logo

MIT Institute Diversity Summit 2014 Jan. 27-29

From January 27-29, MIT will hold the 2014 Institute Diversity Summit: Demystifying Diversity: Challenge, Expand, Broaden your Perspective. This collaborative effort of faculty, students and staff offers an open forum for sharing data, experiences and ideas on this intriguing, difficult subject that has relevance to every one of us at MIT.

Monday, January 27, 2014: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Registration. At 1:30 p.m. the welcome address from Edmund Bertschinger, Institute Community and Equity Officer. Keynote Speaker Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, followed by Summit Keynote Reception beginning at 4 p.m.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Workshops

Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 6:00 p.m. A showing of the film Brother Outsider: The Story of Bayard Rustin. Come join us for an exciting and compelling film featuring the life and work of Bayard Rustin—a visionary strategist and activist, mentor to Martin Luther King Jr., as well as architect of the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin dared to live as an openly gay man during the fiercely homophobic 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

For more details please visit the Summit registration site.

January 24, 2014

Whitehead Concert Series Jan. 27

The 2013-2014 Whitehead Concert Series presents traditional Chinese music played by Hui Weng on the guzheng (Chinese Zither) and Sanwei Zhang on the piano. Music will include The Sorrow of Linan Town by Zhanhao He and At Night On the Lake Beneath the Maple Bridge by Wang Jianmin. Hui Weng is the first guzheng player to study at the New England Conservatory (NEC). She is devoted to exploring a distinctive, personal style of guzheng performance that maximizes the potential of the instrument and generates its unique expressive tension on stage. Sanwei Zhang won the China National Piano Competition for young musicians at the age of eight and has performed on numerous stages since. She is currently also pursuing her master’s degree at the NEC. The concert will be held on Monday, January 27, 12:00-12:45pm at the Whitehead Auditorium. All concerts in this series are free for the Whitehead Community and friends. Refreshments will be served and discount lunch tickets will be available at the door on the day of the concert.  Photo by USDAgov.

January 23, 2014

4 Women

Careers in Science Communication Panel Jan. 23rd

On Thursday, January 23rd 3:00 to 5:00 PM in 6-321, come learn about career paths in science communication from a panel of experts in the field including: Laura Grego, Senior Scientist, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists; Deborah Douglas, Director of Collections and Curator of Science and Technology, MIT Museum; Bethany Halford, Senior Editor, Chemical and Engineering News; and Jenny Rood, Biology Ph.D and Master’s Student, MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing.

January 23, 2014

The Great Gatsby reading marathon TODAY

The Literature Section hosts its annual IAP mobile reading marathon of a crowd-pleasing work of literature. For IAP 2014, you are invited to read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925). MIT Community members will each take turns reading from the novel until it is finished in its entirety. The reading will be followed by a screening of Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 film adaptation of the novel, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The event will be held on Thursday, January 23, 10am-8pm. Drop in, and excuse yourself at any time. The event is mobile, so it will be in four different places throughout the course of the day. For more information, contact Sandy Alexandre at for any questions. Don your flapper dress, felt fedora hat, or something 1920s appropriate if you have it! Photo by RhonsTopModel.

January 22, 2014

Max Flow

Lee and Sidford help quickly solve “max-flow” problem

Finding the most efficient way to transport items across a network like the U.S. highway system or the Internet is a problem that has taxed mathematicians and computer scientists for decades. To tackle the problem, researchers have traditionally used a maximum-flow algorithm, also known as “max flow,” in which a network is represented as a graph with a series of nodes, known as vertices, and connecting lines between them, called edges. In a paper to be presented at the ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms in Portland, Ore., Kelner and his colleague Lorenzo Orecchia, an applied mathematics instructor, alongside graduate students Yin Tat Lee and Aaron Sidford, describe a new theoretical algorithm that can dramatically reduce the number of operations needed to solve the max-flow problem, making it possible to tackle even huge networks like the Internet or the human genome. Continue reading this article on

January 22, 2014

Learn to dance Rueda Jan. 25

Rueda is a form of salsa danced in a circle with a single person calling out the moves to be done. All skill levels are welcome to attend the workshop on January 25, 5pm-8pm in Lobby 13 hosted by MIT Rueda. If you have never danced before, come learn! If you have danced Rueda before, come brush up on your skills. For more information about Rueda and MIT Rueda, visit the website or contact Photo by aracelota.

January 22, 2014

MIT Sloan Tech Conference “Disrupting Life” on Feb. 22

Come explore bleeding-edge technologies and ideas at the 2014 MIT Sloan Tech Conference. This conference is centered around the theme of technologies that are disrupting life. Founders of companies that create flying cars and are in the field of quantum computing will give keynote speeches. The conference will also host panels with startups that are disrupting life in the areas of education, wearable devices, markets and communities. “Disrupting Life” will be held on Wednesday, February 22, 8:30am-4:30pm at the MIT Media Lab. For more information, contact Nakul Jamadagni at Photo by rom.

January 22, 2014

Chinese Lantern

Chinese Spring Festival Party Jan. 24

Eat delicious Chinese food and celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival on Saturday January 24 7pm-10pm in W20-208 (Lobdell’s Room) with MIT-CAST. All MIT students are welcome!

January 21, 2014


Shulman re-envisions the early history of public opinion research

The Twitter account @HistOpinion is utterly simple and endlessly fascinating. The brainchild of Case Western history professor, MIT alumni and MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, Peter Shulman, the account tweets findings from public opinion surveys taken between 1935 and 1946, inserting results from Depression- and WWII-era opinion polls into your feed at the rate of three tweets a day. The volume that supplies source material for the tweets is Public Opinion, 1935-1946, by Princeton psychologist Hadley Cantril. Cantril was a pioneer in the field of public opinion research, which took off in the mid-1930s after pollsters George Gallup, Elmo Roper, and Archibald Crossley successfully predicted FDR’s victory using statistical sampling in 1936. A few months after starting the feed, Shulman hit upon the idea of creating graphics based on the poll results. The charts make the tweets pop on your timeline, and they also give Shulman a way to pack more information on the source of the poll, and its methods, into a tweet. Read the full article about his popular online blog on Slate.

January 21, 2014

Finding a nonfaculty job with a Ph.D

For most Ph.D.’s, the nonacademic labor markets are shrouded in mystery: Where do I look for jobs? How do I meet people if I don’t have contacts outside academe? Did I just waste the past eight years of my life on this doctorate when I should have been earning an M.B.A.?

Ill-equipped to manage a nonfaculty job search, many new Ph.D.’s struggle to find openings relevant to their interests and skills. As a Ph.D. who came up short myself on the tenure-track market and left academe to start my own consulting company, I designed a “Boot Camp for the Postacademic Job Seeker” to help graduate students interested in positions beyond the professoriate. In the boot camp, Ph.D.’s spend four weeks exploring career options, identifying their transferable interests and skills, writing résumés, and learning how to network beyond academe. Here are seven tips I’ve learned from teaching at the boot camp to help you begin your nonfaculty job search. Continue reading this article on the Chronicle of Higher Education. Original photo by gtmcknight.

January 21, 2014

Register for the Multicultural Conference Feb. 7-8

The Multicultural Conference (MC^2) will take place February 7-8 at the MIT Endicott House in Dedham, Massachusetts. The mission of the Multicultural Conference (MC^2) is to bring students together across race, ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, socioeconomic status, ability, sexual orientation, and other aspects of cultural identity. At the conference, partake in an honest, open, and interactive dialogue about the cultural climate at MIT, learn from people’s experiences, and develop plans to cultivate a campus environment that promotes equality, not simply tolerance. As MIT’s mission statement clearly promotes a diverse campus community, it is crucial for students to discuss the role of diversity and inclusion in education and campus life. There will be workshops, speakers, community building, action, and reflection centered on issues of culture, identity, and social justice at MIT and beyond. Free for all MIT students! Register for the Multicultural Conference (MC^2). MC^2 is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Programs and Student Activities Office. For more information, email:

January 20, 2014

Nano weight scale

New device weighs at the attogram scale

MIT engineers have devised a way to measure the mass of particles with a resolution better than an attogram — one millionth of a trillionth of a gram. Weighing these tiny particles, including both synthetic nanoparticles and biological components of cells, could help researchers better understand their composition and function. “Now we can weigh small viruses, extracellular vesicles, and most of the engineered nanoparticles that are being used for nanomedicine,” says Selim Olcum, a postdoc in Manalis’ lab and one of the lead authors of a paper describing the system in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Graduate student Nathan Cermak is also a lead author of the paper, and Manalis, a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, is the paper’s senior author. Researchers from the labs of MIT professors and Koch Institute members Angela Belcher and Sangeeta Bhatia also contributed to the study. Continue reading this article at MIT News.

January 20, 2014

“Transportation for Tomorrow” Showcase on Feb. 12

Join the MIT Transportation Club for the 4th edition of the MIT Transportation Showcase. The main objectives of the event is to showcase transportation research conducted at MIT and foster connections among the MIT transportation community, particularly between industry and academia. The Showcase is also an excellent avenue for students and faculty to get advice, feedback, and ideas for future research, as well as to connect with possible research collaborators. This year, the Showcase will feature a keynote seminar about tomorrow’s transportation systems. The Showcase will be held on Wednesday, February 12, 6pm-9pm at the MIT Museum. In addition to participating, you can present your research, submit your resume, and/or help as a volunteer. For more information, visit the website or contact Photo by Trey Ratcliff.

January 20, 2014

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Feb. 6; Register by Feb. 4

MIT’s 40th annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held on Thursday, February 6, 7:30am at Morss Hall in Walker Memorial. All members of the MIT community are invited to attend the celebratory breakfast. Keynote speaker Michael Eric Dyson will present “Should human rights be determined at the ballot box?”. Dyson is an author, scholar, and cultural critic. Register here by 5pm on Monday, February 4Photo provided by the Committee on Race and Diversity.

January 17, 2014

Battery Materials

Lee finds disordered materials make better batteries

Lithium batteries, with their exceptional ability to store power per a given weight, have been a major focus of research to enable use in everything from portable electronics to electric cars. Now researchers at MIT and Brookhaven National Laboratory have found a whole new avenue for such research: the use of disordered materials, which had generally been considered unsuitable for batteries. Certain kinds of disorder can provide a significant boost in cathode performance, the researchers have found through a combination of computer modeling and laboratory experiments. These surprising findings are reported this week in the journal Science, in a paper by MIT graduate student Jinhyuk Lee, professor of materials science and engineering Gerbrand Ceder, and four others. Continue reading this article on MIT News.

January 17, 2014

“Challenge Accepted” – Sloan Women in Management Conference on Feb. 8

At different points in your lives and careers, you will be faced with opportunities, setbacks, and difficult choices. Sloan Women in Management (SWIM) presents “Challenge Accepted”, a conference about facing these events head-on — whether you hope to start your own business or join the C-Suite. You will hear from leaders across a variety of industries that have achieved success in often arduous environments. This interactive forum will discuss how to approach each new opportunity and setback with confidence, forward-thinking, and trust in your abilities and networks. “Challenge Accepted” will be held on Saturday, February 8, 8am-4:30pm at the MIT Media Lab. Visit the website for more information and register here.

January 17, 2014

Celebrate TIM the Beaver’s 100th birthday TODAY!

MIT’s beloved mascot, TIM the Beaver, is turning 100 and that requires lots of MIT friends to come out and wish TIM a happy birthday. Come take a break and enjoy cupcakes, giveaways, live music, and photos with TIM on Friday, January 17, 11:30am-1:30pm in Stratton Student Center Lobby (W20). This event is open to anyone in the MIT Community. For more information, visit the website or contact Jennifer Smith at

January 16, 2014

Laurencin elected AAAS fellow and awarded grants

Former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow Dr. Cato Laurencin has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Currently a professor at the University of Connecticut, he has also been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and received a grant for the Institute for Regenerative Engineering, where he conducts research, through the National Science Foundation’s Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) Program. He is currently working with other researchers on developing a new kind of material with the strength of bone and the potential to be used for implants to repair spinal fractures. He is also researching new technologies to heal long bone fractures and regenerate tendons.

January 16, 2014

Learn with your fingertips 24×7 with Skillsoft Jan. 17 or 22

Want access to free courses, books, tools, and job aids on hundreds of business skills topics that will help you succeed in school and at work? Join MIT Human Resources for an Open House to learn about MIT’s new online learning option for non-credit courses, Skillsoft. Demonstrations and on-site help will be available for you to create your own learning plan that can be readily accessed when, where, and how it best suits you. Drop-in times will be held on Friday, January 17, 10am – 2pm in 32-144 and Wednesday, January 22, 11am – 3pm in 4-145. Free snacks and raffle entry for participating! Bring your laptop (optional). Read more here. For more information, contact Ronnie Haas at or David Hosmer at

January 16, 2014

Take a survey for the “Innovation Initiative” through Jan. 18

MIT’s Innovation Initiative team wants your input. Graduate and undergraduate students are invited to participate in the survey in an effort to map out entrepreneurial activity happening around campus. Take the survey in only 5-8 minutes between January 13 – January 18. If you have more ideas to share, visit the website or contact Mariana at Photo by Paul Hocksenar.

January 15, 2014

Ghaffari creates new approach to vertex connectivity

Computer scientists are constantly searching for ways to squeeze ever more bandwidth from communications networks. Now a new approach to understanding a basic concept in graph theory, known as “vertex connectivity,” could ultimately lead to communications protocols — the rules that govern how digital messages are exchanged — that coax as much bandwidth as possible from networks. Mohsen Ghaffari, a graduate student in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, will present a new technique for addressing vertex-connectivity problems at the ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms in Portland, Ore., in January. Read the whole story on MIT News.

January 15, 2014

Art of Astrophysics Multimedia Contest (Deadline Jan. 29)

The MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research is running an IAP Astro Art/Multimedia contest entitled “The Art of Astrophysics.” Cash prizes will be given for the best entries (including a $300 first prize). Either submit an entry, or let them know if you would be interested in collaborating with a local artist! Deadline for submitting an entry is Wednesday, January 29th at 5pm. The Art of Astrophysics will conclude with a “gallery” of submissions. Please join us in Lobby 10 from 4-5:30 pm on Friday, January 31. This contest is organized by Bryce Croll and Zach Berta-Thompson with the generous assistance of Debbie Meinbresse. For more information please see “The Art of Astrophysics” website.

In addition to the Art of Astrophysics, MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research will be running public lectures and tours for IAP. Check out their IAP listings. Original photo by chiaralily

January 15, 2014

GRTs in Burton-Connor

Apply to be a Graduate Resident Tutor by Jan. 31 (Info session Jan. 21)

The Department of Residential Life and Dining has officially started the process of recruiting Graduate Resident Tutors for the 2013-2014 academic year. GRTs play an integral role in the undergraduate community by fostering a supportive, safe, and positive living environment in MIT residence halls. (Photo: GRTs Lisa Burton, Christy, and Jamie Teherani at the annual Burton-Conner Apple Fest.) The online GRT application is available now. The deadline for applications is January 31, 2014. A final information session will be held on January 21, 7pm at W20-491. Read more.

January 14, 2014

Ankrum develops new method to control cells after transplant

Harvard stem cell researchers working at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have demonstrated a new method of controlling cells after transplant, making them do the necessary behavior such as correcting a defect on a cancer cell or replenishing lost tissue.

The study led by Jeffrey Karp and James Ankrum (MIT graduate alumnus and former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow) of Harvard Stem Cell Institute at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital discussed how they used microparticles which supplied the cells with cues on how they should function over a period of time.

“Regardless of where the cell is in the body, it’s going to be receiving its cues from the inside,” Karp said in a news release. “This is a completely different strategy than the current method of placing cells onto drug-doped microcarriers or scaffolds, which is limiting because the cells need to remain in close proximity to those materials in order to function. Also these types of materials are too large to be infused into the bloodstream.”

Continue reading on Headlines and Global News.

January 14, 2014

Submit an article for The Graduate by Jan. 24, get paid!

Themed “Spring Forward,” the next issue of “The Graduate” will provide MIT grad students with information, advice, and stories about how to use the Spring semester to plan summer research projects, to find awesome internships, and to arrange amazing travel opportunities. Submit your personal stories and best advice on how to arrange for a productive and career-enhancing Summer starting in the Spring. If your article is selected for publication, you will receive a $50 Giftcard! The submission deadline is Friday, January 24th, 5pm. Send article submissions to: photo by underthesun

January 14, 2014

GetFit – Register for the challenge by Jan. 30!

Join MIT Medical in celebrating the 10th anniversary of getfit@mit, a 12-week, team-oriented fitness challenge open to the entire MIT community. Make a team of five to eight members or find teammates online to contribute to this year’s challenge goal: a grand total of 10 million minutes of exercise. Register here before the end of the day on Thursday, January 30th. The challenge begins on Monday, February 3rd.

Enter the following contests today hosted by getfit@mit:

  • Two getfit@mit participants will have a chance to try 12 weeks of new fitness activities absolutely free. In exchange for classes, you’ll write a weekly blog post about your experience learning to dance the Lindy Hop or killing it in fighter-fitness classes. Learn more and enter this contest.
  • Like getfit@mit on Facebook to be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card.

Photo by Calibe Thompson.

January 13, 2014

Primack seeks to raise awareness, understanding of transgender population

Willow Primack, LGO ’15, like many MIT Sloan graduate students, is here because she’s transitioning between careers.  Primack is also transitioning between genders, with the support of her classmates in the Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program.  Born the middle of three sons to a suburban Massachusetts family 27 years ago, Primack today identifies as a transgender woman.  She is only the second openly-transgender student to attend MIT Sloan, according to School officials.  Primack’s transition from living as male to female has been a difficult one, but she wants to share her story so that others will understand her journey.  “I am confident and outgoing, and think that the transgender community needs more professional role models.” Continue reading about Primack here.

January 13, 2014

Government and Policy Panel Jan. 23

A scientist’s skills need not be applied only to the lab and classroom. Come find out how scientists can employ their expertise in government and policy agencies, playing a role in shaping research infrastructure and public perception and understanding of science! A Government and Policy Panel will be held Thursday, January 23 at 2pm in 68-181.  Panelists include: Amanda Arnold, MSc, Senior Policy Advisor, MIT Washington Office; Zofia Gajdos, PhD, Lecturer and Curriculum Fellow in Microbiology and Immunology, Harvard University; Ellie Graeden, PhD, Director of Strategic Systems Analysis, Gryphon Scientific; and David Healey, PhD candidate, Gore Lab, MIT Biology Department.

January 13, 2014

Dear Kate: Accepting questions now (Submit by Wed. Jan. 15)

Each month, the GWAMIT mentors answer questions anonymously posed by students on Dear Kate, the GWAMIT Mentoring Committee’s advice blog. Questions are now being accepted for next month’s edition. Submit yours by Wednesday, January 15 for next month’s edition! If your question is chosen, it will be submitted to a panel of GWAMIT mentors and their replies will be featured in the GWAMIT blog. The namesake of the Dear Kate advice column is Katharine McCormick, a 1904 graduate from MIT. She was also a suffragist and a philanthropist. GWAMIT hopes to continue her legacy and dedication to the advancement of women through this advice column. Read the most recent edition of Dear KatePhoto by Vilseskogen

January 10, 2014

Kirmani creates 3-D images with only one photon per pixel

In this week’s issue of the journal Science, researchers from MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) describe a new lidar-like system that can gauge depth when only a single photon is detected from each location. Since a conventional lidar system would require about 100 times as many photons to make depth estimates of similar accuracy under comparable conditions, the new system could yield substantial savings in energy and time — which are at a premium in autonomous vehicles trying to avoid collisions.

As Ahmed Kirmani, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and lead author on the new paper, explains, the very idea of forming an image with only a single photon detected at each pixel location is counterintuitive. “The way a camera senses images is through different numbers of detected photons at different pixels,” Kirmani says. “Darker regions would have fewer photons, and therefore accumulate less charge in the detector, while brighter regions would reflect more light and lead to more detected photons and more charge accumulation.”

In a conventional lidar system, the laser fires pulses of light toward a sequence of discrete positions, which collectively form a grid; each location in the grid corresponds to a pixel in the final image. The technique, known as raster scanning, is how old cathode-ray-tube televisions produced images, illuminating one phosphor dot on the screen at a time. Continue reading the article on MIT News.

January 10, 2014

Teaching Certificate Program begins Feb. 7

The Teaching and Learning Lab will offer its Teaching Certificate Program in Spring of 2014.  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 and two videotaped teaching/lesson presentations.  Registration is required.  The program begins on Friday, February 7th, 2014.  Contact Leann Dobranski at with any questions.

January 10, 2014

Help pick the new Assistant Dean for Grad Education

The Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE) seeks three graduate students to participate in ODGE’s search process to fill the position of Assistant Dean for Graduate Education. Graduate student feedback on and input into this process is desired and will add tremendous value to the selection of the best person to represent the ODGE. The selected students will join ODGE for interviews with prospective candidates during the week of January 20th, 2014. The Assistant Dean for Graduate Education provides creative and strategic leadership of initiatives to enhance diversity, climate, academic success, and retention in MIT’s graduate degree programs, in particular, for underrepresented minority students. Please submit a CV and a statement explaining your relevant background and your interest in participating via the GSC’s online application form. Application deadline: Monday, January 13th, 5pm. For questions or concerns, contact: Photo by bpsusf.