Monthly Archives: June 2014

June 30, 2014

MIT alum start-up is shrinking bulky laptop adapters

While laptops continue to shrink in size and weight, the “power bricks” that charge them remain heavy and bulky. But now, MIT spinoff FINsix has invented an adapter that’s roughly one-quarter the size and one-sixth the weight of a conventional brick, and just as efficient. Co-founded by four MIT alumni—Vanessa Green MNG ’08, MBA ’11; Anthony Sagneri SM ’07, PhD ’12; George Hwang PhD ’10; and Justin Burkhart SM ’10—FINsix has developed the world’s smallest laptop adapter, called the Dart. Around 2 1/2 cubic inches in size and weighing around 2 ounces, the adapter is only slightly larger than an ordinary plug. Continue reading on

June 30, 2014

New career advisor for MIT grad students

Jake Livengood starts the week of June 30 as Global Education and Career Development (GECD)’s new career advisor for MIT graduate students. He will be available by appointment through CareerBridge to meet with doctoral and graduate students needing assistance with career skills, and can help with preparation for  individual career paths. Throughout the year, Livengood will be hosting orientations, panels, and workshops with students to strengthen their career skills before entering the workforce.

Prior to his new job on MIT’s campus, Livengood had experience serving in career service roles on other college campuses: Framingham State University, Boston University School of Management, the University of Nevada – Las Vegas Harrah Hotel College, and Loyola University. Moreover, he has taught career planning courses at Boston University’s School of Management, Loyola University in Chicago, Argosy University, and Nevada State University.

June 30, 2014

Canada Day BBQ Jul. 1

The MIT Canadian Club will be hosting a celebratory BBQ for Canada’s 147th birthday on Tuesday, July 1st, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Sidney Pacific Courtyard. The BBQ will also include Canadian treats and a costume contest so make sure to sport some red and white at the event! Prizes will be given out to the best designed costumes. For more information email Photo by Phalinn Ooi

June 28, 2014

Ashdown brunch Jun. 29

All graduate students are invited to the Ashdown June Brunch on Sunday, June 29th from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm in the Hulsizer room of Ashdown House. They will have pancakes, chocolate croissants, sausages, scrambled eggs, yogurt & granola, home fries, and fruits, so come to enjoy some great food and the summer weather! Please bring your own plates and utensils to reduce waste and receive an extra food item as incentive. If you want to help out or have any questions, contact All volunteers should show up at 10:00 am in the Hulsizer room to set up. Photo by Jaime Olmo.

June 28, 2014

Take an Art on Wheels Tour of MIT campus Jun. 29

Sunday June 29th, all graduate students and their friends are invited to participate in the Art on Wheels Tour. The group will meet at the List Visual Arts Center (E15) at 2:00 pm and embark on a bike/skateboard/scooter tour around the MIT campus to learn about public art installations. Cooling refreshments will be provided throughout the afternoon. If interested, sign up online or contact with further questions. Photo by Scott Beale.


June 27, 2014

Kayaking Social Jun. 28

MIT Sangam has arranged a kayaking expedition with Charles River Canoe & Kayak scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 28th, starting at 11:00 am. The ticket price is $7 per person and only 40 spots are available. If interested, sign up online. Once you have registered for a spot, MIT Sangam will send you the link to purchase the ticket. Any questions regarding the weekend kayaking social or MIT Sangam can be emailed to Photo by Paolo Lottini

June 27, 2014

One Night in the Tropics, Ballroom Social Dance Jun. 28

The MIT Ballroom Dance Team is hosting its first summer ballroom social! Come escape to the tropics on Saturday, June 28th at 7:30 pm in Morss Hall. Admission is free for MIT students, $6 for non-MIT students, $8 for MIT Affiliates, and $10 for the general public. Everyone in attendance receives a free beginner Samba lesson and lei with admission. Please direct any questions to mitbdt-ec@mit.eduPhoto by Stig Nygaard.

June 27, 2014

LSC presents: The Breakfast Club Jun. 27

On Friday, June 27th, at 8:00 pm the Lecture Series Committee (LSC) will be showing ‘The Breakfast Club’ in 26-100. It’s open and FREE to the general public so don’t miss out! Before the showing be sure to get your tickets in lobby 16. For more information email Photo by theleetgeeks

June 26, 2014

Informal faculty dinner with Prof. Dava Newman Jul. 7

On Monday, July 7th at 7:00pm (location TBD), Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT) and the Graduate Student Council (GSC) are sponsoring an informal student-faculty dinner with Professor Dava Newman. Professor Newman is a professor in the Aero/Astro department working on multidisciplinary research that combines aerospace biomedical engineering, human-in-the-loop modeling, biomechanics, human interface technology, life sciences, systems analysis, design and policy.

This is a great chance to talk with Professor Newman about her research, your interests, or MIT in general, in an informal and uncrowded setting. A lottery will be held to select 8 students who sign up to attend the dinner. There will also be a wait list in case there are any last-minute cancellations. If interested, enter the lottery here. Please direct any questions to or

June 26, 2014

Grad Hillel Shabbat Dinner Jun. 27

Enjoy a scrumptious, mouthwatering Shabbat dinner with your fellow MIT graduate students on Friday, June 27th from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm! The Grad Hillel Shabbat dinner will take place in the Sidney-Pacific Multipurpose Room. Remember to RSVP to by Monday, June 23rd if you’re interested in attending the dinner. Photo by julie

June 26, 2014

Bangladeshi Students’ Assoc. kite flying and dinner Jun. 27

The Bangladeshi Students’ Association will have a night of fun on Friday, June 27th, at Tang Hall. Enjoy delicious Bangladeshi food, play board games with your friends, and fly a kite in the breezy summer air. Kites will be avaliable for use, but you are free to bring your own!  For more information email Photo by poissantfamily

June 25, 2014

Azzarelli: low-cost sensors to monitor environment and save money

Joseph Azzarelli, a third-year MIT graduate student in chemistry, works on developing inexpensive, low-power chemical sensors — but the spark that set him on his scientific path has an unlikely source: a presentation on fly-fishing in a bookstore near Kankakee, Ill. The speaker let Azzarelli, 9 years old at the time, practice casting a model fly rod in the store, and he was sold: “I was immediately captivated by the whole process,” Azzarelli says. He began saving money to buy a starter rod and learned to cast, fishing for largemouth bass and sunfish in the creeks and ponds around Kankakee. Read more about Azzarelli’s work on MIT News.

June 25, 2014

MIT Writing and Communication Center open in new location!

MIT’s Writing and Communication Center (WCC) has been helping MIT affiliates and students with their writing techniques and oral presentations in building 12 for years. Once located between GECD’s Career Services, Global Education, and Prehealth Advising offices and the hall connecting building 12 to building 24, the WCC has now moved to 55 Hayward Street in building E-39, in the same building as Rebecca’s Cafe in Kendall Square. Building 12 will be the location of a new facility known as MIT.nano, expected to open in 2018. MIT.nano will consist of numerous state of the art laboratories for scientists working on research incorporating nanotechnologyLearn more about MIT’s Writing and Communication center or set up an appointment. Picture by jeffery james pacres

June 25, 2014

MIT Museum Summer Kickoff Jun. 27

On Friday, June 27th, the MIT Museum will be free for all visitors!  Participate in fun activities with the museum staff and see new exhibits and innovative inventions designed by MIT’s very own students. The “Science in the Streets” van will also be visiting in honor of the summer kickoff. See all upcoming events on the MIT Museum calendar.

June 24, 2014

Founder of Next Step Living on energy efficiency and fighting climate change

With a growing list of accolades – No. 84 on the Inc. 500 list of fast-growing companies; named to the Global Cleantech 100 and the TiE Silicon Valley’s “2014 Global Hot Technology Start-Up Watch List”; and recognized as the fastest-growing private company in Massachusetts – Next Step Living has almost 800 employees and is growing by 100% year over year.

The company is built on “practivism”, which its website describes as an “unabashedly activist agenda” to fight climate change and energy waste that’s coupled with practical get-it-done approach to building a sustainable business. I recently had the opportunity to speak with founder and CEO Geoff Chapin. A graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management who worked at both Bain & Company Consulting and the Bridgespan Group, a fully-independent non-profit that was founded by members of and incubated by Bain, Chapin recently was named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 award finalist for New England.  Continue reading at Forbes.

June 24, 2014

Introduction to Finance seminar Jun. 25

On Wednesday, June 25th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm in room 56-154, The Consulting Club at MIT presents a lecture for all students who are interested in the field of finance. The presentation will be given  by an alumni of Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, and MIT with a special focus on concepts and jargons frequently used in consulting. Hand-outs will be distributed at the beginning of the lecture. For more information, contact The Consulting Club at consultingclubmit@yahoo.comPhoto by Dave Dugdale.

June 24, 2014

MIT Snowriders End-of-Year BBQ Jun. 24

Do you like Blue Ribbon BBQ? Would you like to eat free food and meet new people? On Tuesday, June 24th, the MIT Snowriders club will be hosting a BBQ that will take place at Kresge BBQ pit #1 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The organization will also be electing the club’s new board for next year. If you’re interested in getting involved in the club or want to meet members of the Snowriders club, mark your calendars for Tuesday afternoon and take your appetites! Contact if you would like to learn more.

June 23, 2014

2014-2015 MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars announced

The new MLK Visiting Professors and Scholars who will join the MIT community for the 2014-2015 academic year have been announced. This program was established to recognize outstanding scholarship and honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by increasing the presence of minority professors and scholars at MIT.
The Office of Institute Community and Equity is honored to sponsor the visits of the following distinguished scholars, whose bios are compiled online:
  • Dr. Coco Fusco, Visiting Associate Professor of Comparative Media Studies/Writing, hosted by Professors Edward Schiappa and Junot Diaz, arriving July 2014
  • Dr. Malika Jeffries-EL, Visiting Associate Professor of Chemistry, hosted by Professor Timothy Swager, arriving January 2015
  • Dr. Calestous Juma, Visiting Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, hosted by Professors Bishwapriya Sanyal, Phillip Clay and Lawrence Susskind, arriving September 2014
  • Dr. James Mickens, Visiting Scholar in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, hosted by Professor Frans Kaashoek, arriving September 2014
  • Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, Visiting Professor of Physics, hosted by Professor Sara Seager, arriving January 2015
  • Dr. Andre Taylor, Visiting Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, hosted by Professor Yang Shao-Horn, arrived June 2014
  • Dr. Kimani Toussaint, Visiting Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, hosted by Professor Peter So, arrived May 2014
The selection of these scholars was made with the advice of a newly constituted MLK Faculty Advisory Committee, whose members are:
  • Prof. Nittai Bergman of the Sloan School of Management  
  • Prof. Kenneth R. Manning of Comparative Media Studies/Writing
  • Prof. Muriel Medard of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Prof. Hazel Sive of the Department of Biology and Whitehead Institute
  • Prof. J. Phillip Thompson of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning
We are fortunate to host scholars of such distinction at MIT thanks to the generosity of the Office of the Provost, whose support is greatly appreciated.

June 23, 2014

Investment Basics 101 Jun. 24

The MIT Federal Credit Union will be hosting a free seminar on Tuesday, June 24th, for students and staff interested in learning more about investments. The seminar is geared to teach attendees how to identify financial goals and measure one’s risk tolerance. Attendees will also learn about the effects of inflation and get a better grasp of what stocks, cash equivalents, bonds, and asset allocations are in the field of finance! The event will take place from 11:45 am to 12:45 pm at MIT’s Lincoln Lab room AC-120. Register or call 617-324-7492 to reserve a spot in the seminar. Email or visit their website if you would like to learn more. Photo by 401(K) 2012

June 23, 2014

Japanese Tea Ceremony Lesson Jun. 24

On Tuesday, June 24th, come to McCormick Hall between 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm to be instructed in the traditional Japanese ceremony of serving and drinking tea by Mrs. Kyoko Wada. Each student receives 30-45 minutes of individual instruction, and students are guests when not being taught. Everyone in the general public is welcome, and the lesson fee is $10. For more information, visit the event page or contact Kyoko Wada at Photo by Nomadic Lass.


June 20, 2014

Apply for Institute Committees by Jun. 25

All graduate students may now apply to serve on the Presidential and Faculty Committees for the 2014-2015 academic year. Serving on one of these Committees will enable you to participate in the decision-making process of the Institute and have a significant impact on the MIT community. All information about the application process, including a complete list and description of all the Committees, can be found on the GSC website. If interested, fill out this application form by Wednesday, June 25th. Faculty Committees will be selected at the beginning of July, while Presidential Committees will be selected at the beginning of August. Please contact with any additional questions. Photo by European Union 2014 – European Parliament.

June 20, 2014

YouKu Night Part 2: Fun Glimpses into China Jun. 22

Trivia and food? To promote their culture, China Crossroads will be hosting a session in which a series of interesting videos are shown. After each video, trivia questions and discussions will be brought up. Chinese Dimsum will also be provided. If interested, show up to Tang Hall’s 24th Floor Lounge on Sunday, June 22nd, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm! If you would like to learn more, email Photo by Pockafwye

June 20, 2014

Learn International Cha-Cha Jun. 21

On Saturday, June 21st, learn International Cha-Cha in a beginner-friendly Dance Camp! The camp will be taught by guest instructor Yulia Bobovick from Dance Fever Studio in four 45-minute sessions in Lobby 13, and the entire MIT community is welcome. If interested, find more information and register online at the MIT Ballroom Dance Club website, or contact with any questions. Photo by Ailura.

June 19, 2014

Janet Fischer recieves EECS Caloggero Award

The 2014 Richard J. Caloggero Award was given to Janet Fischer for her amazing work with the graduate student body in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department (EECS). She mentors graduate students and strives to get to know individuals in order to customize their EECS experience. Additionally, she works with other members of the graduate office team to coordinate graduate visit days and engage students with various activities.

June 19, 2014

Decorate your Flip-flops Jun. 20

Summer is finally approaching and to celebrate the beginning of the sunny season, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) Funding Board will be hosting an event on Friday, June 20th, at 6:30 pm where you can decorate and personalize your flip-flops! Bring your flip-flops, old or new, and the GSC will provide some yummy ice cream and fruits. Be prepared to learn techniques to make your flip-flops the talk of the town! The event will be held at the Westgate BBQ area (rain location: lounge). Be sure to sign up! Contact for more information. Photo by Chewy Chua

June 18, 2014

Chuang and Brown improve a new breed of solar cells

Solar-cell technology has advanced rapidly, as hundreds of groups around the world pursue more than two dozen approaches using different materials, technologies, and approaches to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Now a team at MIT has set a new record for the most efficient quantum-dot cells — a type of solar cell that is seen as especially promising because of its inherently low cost, versatility, and light weight.

While the overall efficiency of this cell is still low compared to other types — about 9 percent of the energy of sunlight is converted to electricity — the rate of improvement of this technology is one of the most rapid seen for a solar technology. The development is described in a paper, published in the journal Nature Materials, by MIT professors Moungi Bawendi and Vladimir Bulović and graduate students Chia-Hao Chuang and Patrick Brown.

The new process is an extension of work by Bawendi, the Lester Wolfe Professor of Chemistry, to produce quantum dots with precisely controllable characteristics — and as uniform thin coatings that can be applied to other materials. Learn more about Chuang and Brown’s on MIT News.

June 17, 2014

Retirement Income Planning Seminar Jun. 18

The MIT Federal Credit Union is hosting an event that will go through the “how-to’s” of retirement on Wednesday, June 18th from 12:00pm to 1:00pm. Learn how to design your retirement income plan, get the most from your Social Security and pension, and generate income after your retirement! The event will be located in Building 56 in room 154. Contact for more information and register here if interested. Photo by 401(K) 2012

June 17, 2014

Participate in MITOC’s Circus trip Jun. 21-22

Join the MIT Outing Club (MITOC) for their June Circus, a weekend of hiking and climbing trips based out of MITOC’s Camelot cabin in Groton, New Hampshire. Everyone is welcome to join the community, meet fellow lovers of the outdoors, and explore the White Mountains of New Hampshire. You can find more information about the trip and sign up at the MITOC website, and the Circus will be over the weekend of June 21stJune 22nd. If interested, check out the page soon because trips can fill up quickly! Contact with any questions.

June 16, 2014

Shih explains a new algorithm that can spruce your selfie

A new algorithm could transfer acclaimed photographers’ signature styles to cellphone photos. Celebrated portrait photographers like Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, and Martin Schoeller made their reputations with distinctive visual styles that sometimes required the careful control of lighting possible only in the studio. Now MIT researchers, and their colleagues at Adobe Systems and the University of Virginia, have developed an algorithm that could allow you to transfer those distinctive styles to your own cellphone photos. They’ll present their findings in August at Siggraph, the premier graphics conference.

“Style transfer” is a thriving area of graphics research — and, with Instagram, the basis of at least one billion-dollar company. But standard style-transfer techniques tend not to work well with close-ups of faces, says YiChang Shih, an MIT graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science and lead author on the Siggraph paper. Continue reading on MIT News.

June 13, 2014

Sipser named Dean of the School of Science

Michael Sipser, the Barton L. Weller Professor of Mathematics and head of the Department of Mathematics since 2004, has been named dean of the School of Science. Sipser has served as the school’s interim dean since December, when he was chosen to replace Marc Kastner, the Donner Professor of Physics; in November, President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Kastner to head the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. “In 10 years as head of MIT’s Department of Mathematics, Mike Sipser sustained its extraordinary stature while building a warm sense of community,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif says. “His integrity, fairness, and patience will serve him very well in the role of dean. And as the School of Science faces difficult trends in federal funding, I believe Mike’s gift for explaining complex scientific concepts will be a tremendous asset in Washington.” Continue reading at MIT News.

June 12, 2014

Adib and Kabalec: wireless techology that measures heart rates

Last year, a CSAIL team developed a wireless system that can track movement through a wall. Their latest report demonstrates that they can now detect gestures as subtle as the rise and fall of a person’s chest. From that, they can determine a person’s heart rate with 99 percent accuracy. The research could be used for health-tracking apps, baby monitors, and for the military and law enforcement.

The team — which includes Robert Miller, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and graduate students Fadel Adib and Zach Kabalec — has also developed the capability to track the movements of up to four distinct individuals, which could be helpful for search-and-rescue operations (such as when emergency responders are trying to find survivors inside a burning building). Learn more about Adib and Kabalec’s work at MIT News.

June 12, 2014

Macmillan, Brueckner, and van de Velde win Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts

The Schnitzer Prize was established in 1996 through an endowment from Harold and Arlene Schnitzer of Portland, Oregon. Schnitzer, a real estate investor, graduated from MIT in 1944 with a degree in metallurgy. The prizes are awarded to MIT students, undergraduate and graduate, for excellence in a body of artistic work. The 2014 winners are:

First Prize: Anne Macmillan (G)
Second Prize: Sophia Brueckner (G)
Third Prize: Floor van de Velde (G)
Honorable Mention: Alison Malouf ’14

Learn more about the Schnitzer Prize and the selection process.

June 12, 2014

Screening of BOMBAY TALKIES and dinner Jun. 13

MIT Sangam will be screening “Bombay Talkies,” a movie consisting of four short films which show how Indian cinema has evolved over the years. The movie is known for including one of the first mainstream films to take on the taboo of homosexuality in present-day India. “Bombay Talkies” was also created as a tribute to the centennial anniversary of Indian cinema. The film will play on Friday, June 13, in 6-120 at 7:00 pm and a short discussion will follow after the showing. Take your appetites, invite some friends, and spend Friday night watching a movie with good company! For more information email Photo by mlanghans


June 11, 2014


Lavine Lecture: Hito Steyerl Jun. 13

Join Hito Steyerl, one of the exhibiting artists in the List’s current exhibition 9 Artists, for a special talk presented as part of the Leroy and Dorothy Levine Lecture Series on Friday, June 13, 2014 at 7pm in the Bartos Theatre (E15 Atrium level). The talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the artist.  This program is FREE and open to the general public.

Hito Steyerl’s films and essays explore the impact of the proliferation and dissemination of digital images on our everyday lives. Steyerl often looks to how digital images constitute a new reality whose politics are determined by their being embedded in a specific economic regime, a new reality which may only be understood through other forms of moving or still images. In her recent film How Not To Be Seen. A Fucking Didactic Educational.MOV File, on view in the 9 Artists exhibition, Steyerl introduces a series of lessons on how to avoid being seen, how to escape either physical or mental forms of surveillance. How Not To Be Seen playfully instrumentalizes the methods of the digital world, exploring the potential of images that arrive already coded, inscribed with a variety of disparate, sometimes contradictory meanings. As Steyerl recently wrote, “images are not objective or subjective renditions of a preexisting condition…They are rather nodes of energy and matter that migrate across different supports, shaping and affecting people, landscapes, politics, and social systems.”

June 10, 2014

Ivery, Granese, and McKnight receive 2014 Infinite Mile Awards

Imani Ivery, Elizabeth (Betsy) Granese, and Jason McKnight of the Office of the Dean of Graduate Education (ODGE) are among the 2014 recipients of MIT’s Infinite Mile Awards. Winners were chosen from across the Institute to recognize individuals and teams who make extraordinary contributions within their organizations to help the institute carry out its mission: to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

Imani Ivery serves as Financial and Event Assistant for the MIT Graduate Student Council (GSC) and Betsy Granese serves as Administrative Assistant for the GSC. Ivery manages all financial transactions for GSC and coordinates GSC events such as the annual graduate orientation, Ski Trip, and Grad Gala. Granese works with Ivery, providing support for detailed logistics of the aforementioned events, in addition to other programs and meetings at GSC. They have demonstrated exceptional commitment to their jobs and the students both as individuals and a collaborative team.

Jason McKnight serves as Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Support and is recognized for his deep commitment to improving the academic climate and overall well-being of MIT graduate students. His experiences and contributions have allowed him to truly understand and communicate with the students. He also makes a special effort to support the LBGT community and other underrepresented or marginalized students, in addition to serving as the ODGE Title IX Deputy Coordinator.

Ivery, Granese, and McKnight have dedication and accomplishments that reflect the idea of “going the extra mile.” Pictured at left: Ivery, Granese, and McKnight.

June 9, 2014

Product Design and Development class partners with MIT Sloan and RISD

“It’s all about the process,” says Warren Seering, a professor of mechanical engineering. He’s referring to his spring class, Course 2.739 (Product Design and Development). “We want 2.739 students to leave with a set of methods readily available to them to use at whatever stage they are at in the development process,” he says. “This is their introduction to a much more structured approach to developing new products.” The students experience that structure first-hand as they design and develop a new product throughout the semester in teams of six to eight. Each team consists of at least one engineering student, one MIT Sloan School of Management student, and one student from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) — which partners with MIT for the class. Continue reading on MIT News.

June 9, 2014

MIT Comedy Night at the Thirsty Ear Pub Jun. 10

Get ready for a night of laughter and fun! On Tuesday, June 10th, the Thirsty Ear Executive Committee (TEEC) will have an MIT Comedy Night featuring Dan Boulger, known for his acting on the television series “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” The show starts at 8:30 pm and will be hosted by Rob Crean, Ryan Donahue, Scott McLaughlin, Arty P, Ted Pettingell, and Guitler Raphael. Snacks and soda will be provided by the TEEC. This event will take place at the Thirsty Ear Pub, Ashdown House (NW35) and a 21+ government ID and MIT ID are required to view the performances.  Contact the TEEC at with any questions.

June 6, 2014

MIT graduates urged: “Solve the unsolvable!”

MIT’s 148th Commencement ceremony took place today under a cloudless blue sky, as a total of 990 undergraduate and 1,717 graduate students received their degrees before a gathering of some 11,000 guests in Killian Court.

Embracing a use of technology popular among today’s graduates, MIT President L. Rafael Reif injected a moment of spontaneous levity into the serious business of Commencement by posing, at the podium, for a “selfie” with senior class president Anika Gupta — with the entire graduating class as a backdrop — before beginning his charge to the graduates.

Gupta had just announced that the graduating class’s gift had set new records both for its participation rate and for the amount of money raised: a total of $21,207.50, donated by 86.5 percent of members of the Class of 2014. Gupta quipped that these records reflect dedicated work by volunteers, as well as “the fact that our class is the best that MIT has ever seen!”

Read on at MIT News.

June 6, 2014

Dragon Boat Festival social and game night Jun. 7

Saturday, June 7th, MIT’s Chinese Scholars and Students Association (CSSA) will be hosting a social and game night at the Ashdown House Hulsizer Room from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Come and eat some scrumptious Chinese food and Zongzi (rice dumplings) and learn more about the Dragon Boat Festival. The CSSA will also be providing lessons on making your very own Zongzi! Game night will start at 8:00 pm and multiple board games will be available for you to play! If interested, register online or email with further questions. Photo by Stephen Rees.

June 5, 2014

The MIT-vs-Harvard Musical: We’ll Get it Right Jun. 7 and 9

We’ll Get It Right is a romantic musical comedy produced by a few members of MIT’s class of 1954 that has been reproduced for the summer of 2014 in honor of its 60th anniversary! Follow the story of Claire, an undergraduate music major at Harvard dating Harvard’s football team quarterback, and Joe, an undergraduate engineering student at MIT, as the two begin to fall for one another even through the rivalry between the two schools. Who will Claire chose? Does true love win? Attend the musical and find out! One showing will take place on Saturday, June 7th, at 3 pm at Kresge Little Theater; it’s free but tickets are required and will available at the door. The second showing will take place on Monday, June 9th, at 7:30 pm at Kresge Little Theater; it’s free and open to the public with no tickets required.

June 4, 2014

First two faculty members honored as Committed to Caring!

This past April, the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE) invited graduate students to nominate MIT professors who go above and beyond to make an impact on the lives of graduate students through a new Committed to Caring campaign (C2C).  We asked for stories about faculty members who, check in about a student’s well-being, who share their own struggles, who create a supportive and positive working environment and who provide outstanding mentorship. The response was moving.  Nearly 90 nominations came in for 40 faculty members, and the descriptions of support for graduate students made us even more proud to be part of the MIT community.

To honor these wonderful expressions of caring, we will profile two faculty members each month in an ongoing celebration. The first two honorees have just been posted on the ODGE web site and on posters across campus:

John Belcher, Physics
Supporting mental health

Kay Tye, Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Building an inclusive culture

Our hope with this campaign is that we are able to come closer to the vision President Reif articulated at commencement one year ago, “that the family members of MIT become known for the way we treat each other: famous for sympathy, humility, decency, respect and kindness.”  The nomination process remains open so that we may continue to receive these impactful stories from graduate students. Over the course of this campaign, we would love to highlight and acknowledge the many faces of caring at MIT!

June 3, 2014


Stock models a two-gear construct for envisioning blended learning

Elisabeth Stock, CEO and Co-Founder of CFY, the nonprofit behind PowerMyLearning, and former MIT Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, recently released a simplified approach to blended learning formalized in two gears: The first gear represents a cycle in which educational activities are selected for each student from a vast array of choices, then instruction is delivered through a number of modalities, then student learning is assessed, and finally that assessment data is used to select a new set of activities for each student so that the cycle can repeat again.

The second gear represents a cycle in which students drive their own learning at their own pace, receive immediate feedback, and try again. Students can find help with a topic they are struggling with in school (self-remediation), or they can explore something based on their own interests (self-enrichment). This cycle promotes the development of student ownership of learning — recognized as an essential element to college and career readiness. Read the full article on her research at EDUTOPIA

June 3, 2014

Register for summer art classes at the SAA

Have you ever wanted to learn how to paint, draw, or create ceramics or learn more about photography and printmaking? This summer the Student Art Association (SAA) will be hosting 2.5 hour weekly art classes for 8 weeks taught by professional instructors for a low cost! Classes begin on June 9th and will take place in the Stratton Student Center. If you’re interested in releasing your inner creativity and/or learning more about art please email to register.



June 2, 2014

Lewandowski receives MIT $100K prize for better malaria detector

Talk about resourcefulness: An MIT team that has leveraged two novelty items to more rapidly and accurately diagnose one of the world’s most deadly diseases — malaria — captured the grand prize at last night’s MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition.

“What if I told you I could save 1 million lives, every year, with just refrigerator magnets and a laser pointer?” John Lewandowski, a PhD student in mechanical engineering, posited during his winning pitch for Disease Diagnostics Group (DDG).

DDG’s device — called “RAM,” for Rapid Assessment of Malaria — uses these magnets to align, and lasers to illuminate, the iron-based crystals left behind by malarial parasites; this approach can determine infection level using a single drop of blood, in one minute, with 94 percent accuracy. This offers drastic improvement over traditional methods…

Continue reading on MIT News.