Monthly Archives: July 2014

July 31, 2014

Colatat analyzes the rise in autism diagnosis

The headlines are as unavoidable as they are alarming. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 1 in 68 8-year-old children were diagnosed with some form of autism in 2010, up from 1 in 150 a decade before. No one knows exactly why that rate keeps rising. Researchers have delved into everything from mercury exposure to parental age. But Phech Colatat, who has just earned his PhD in economic sociology from MIT Sloan, thinks we’ve been looking for answers in the wrong places. Learn more about Colatat’s research on the MIT Sloan website.

July 31, 2014

Trouble finding mentors on campus? Go online.

The summer after my first year of graduate school, I took a trip to several East Coast cities. Having settled on a dissertation topic, I quickly realized there were few professors at my institution, the University of California at Berkeley, who shared my research subject. Hoping to find some mentors with similar scholarly interests, I packed my bags and headed east. I scoured cities from New York to D.C. with a brief stop in Philly in hopes of finding my intellectual Yoda. Continue reading this article on The Chronicle.

July 31, 2014

Win $250 by entering the MIT Global photo contest

As recently announced by MIT News, providers of global opportunities for MIT students (GECD, MISTI, and D-Lab) have partnered for a campus-wide international photo contest! Current students, staff and faculty can submit pictures of their MIT-related travel and win Amazon gift cards of $250 value. See the GECD web site for contest details. View submissions at their tumblr and by following the hashtag #etmundus, and email with any questions. Photo by Worapol Sittiphaet.

July 30, 2014

Morton and Shah’s research show progress toward better cancer treatment and bone replacement

Personalized cancer treatments and better bone implants could grow from techniques demonstrated by graduate students Stephen W. Morton and Nisarg J. Shah, who are both working in chemical engineering professor Paula Hammond’s lab at MIT. Morton’s work focuses on developing drug-carrying nanoparticles to target hard-to-treat cancers — such as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) — while Shah develops coatings that promote better adhesion for bone implants. Continue reading about Morton and Shah’s research on MIT NewsPictured are Shah (left) and Morton (right); photo by Denis Paiste. 

July 30, 2014

GSC Legislative Actions Subcommittee meeting Jul. 31

On Thursday, July 31st at 5:30 pm, join the GSC Legislative Actions Subcommittee (LASC) outside of 50-220 to discuss political issues concerning MIT graduate students. Learn about going to Washington DC with LASC to advocate on Capitol Hill for MIT graduate students, and contribute to op-ed articles on political issues! This meeting, LASC will also be discussing how negative data affect the scientific community. New members are always welcome and free food will be provided at the meeting. For more information, see the LASC website or contact with any questions.

July 30, 2014

Chinese Valentine’s Day movie and game night Aug. 1

Come and celebrate Chinese Valentine’s Day! On Friday, August 1st, join members of the MIT community in the Ashdown House Hulsizer room at 6:00 pm for a dinner of Chinese food and drinks. After dinner is served, everyone is invited to choose a romantic movie to watch and board games to play. If interested in attending, please sign up online. Contact with any additional questions. Photo by Garry Knight

July 29, 2014

2014-15 Hugh Hampton Young Fellows named

Five new graduate students and one continuing recipient have been chosen to receive the prestigious Hugh Hampton Young Memorial Fund Fellowship in the 2014-15 academic year. This highly selective research fellowship at MIT is named for the pioneering medical researcher Hugh Hampton Young. Recipients are chosen for both academic achievement and exceptional strength of character, focusing heavily on the perceived potential of the candidate to positively impact humanity. Photo by Doris Ulmann.

Read more

July 29, 2014

New MITx Courses coming in Fall 2014

EdX offers interactive online classes and massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world’s best universities. MITx courses embody the inventiveness, openness, rigor and quality that are hallmarks of MIT, and many use materials developed for MIT residential courses in the Institute’s five schools and 33 academic disciplines. Sign up for any of the 18 new courses that will be added to MITx this fall:

  • 3.032x: Mechanical Behavior of Materials
  • 3.086x: Innovation and Commercialization
  • 3.091x: Introduction to Solid State Chemistry
  • 4.605x: Global Architecture
  • 6.00.1x: Introduction to Computer Science & Programming
  • 6.004.1x: Computation Structures: Digital Circuits
  • 6.002x: Circuits and Electronics
  • 6.341x: Discrete-Time Signal Processing
  • 6.832x: Underactuated Robotics
  • 8.EFTx: Effective Field Theories
  • 15.S23x: U-Lab: From Ego-system to Eco-system Economies
  • 24.00x: Introduction to Philosophy
  • MAS.S69x: Big Data and Social Physics
  • Media Lab: Design and Development of Educational Technology
  • Media Lab: Introduction to Game Design and Development
  • ESD.SCM1x: Supply Chain Fundamentals
  • Virology-x: Virology
  • VJx: Visualizing Japan

July 29, 2014

Proposal for the East Campus/Kendall Square gateway study

MIT provost Martin A. Schmidt has released a follow-up of the on-going redesign of the East side of MIT’s campus and Kendall square. MIT will advance a proposal with ideas for the new East Campus/Kendall Square layout of this buzzing area in the Cambridge community. The board of MIT is aiming to “achieve the vibrancy and integration that is essential for that critical gateway area of the campus.” The new layout includes space for the MIT Museum, an Innovation Space, and room for a new graduate student residence building with a child care facility. In this vision, a new residence will be built to house the current residents of Eastgate as well as additional graduate students; Eastgate will then be replaced by a lab building.  The MIT executive board members are hoping to begin this process in the fall.

July 28, 2014

Heber helps protect marine ecosystems in the Coral Triangle

When Kelly Heber goes snorkeling in Bali, she’s not exactly vacationing. In a few minutes, she’ll be onboard a nearby boat, asking the captain if he’s seen any comeback in his fish stocks in recent years. She’ll ask how he decides if a coral reef is healthy enough to support daily visits from boatloads of tourists, and if littering and pollution pose threats.

As a PhD student in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning working in the Science Impact Collaborative, Heber performs her environmental policy fieldwork in rural villages in Indonesia that are fringed by vibrant coral reefs. These reefs suffered during the period from the 1950s to the 1990s, when fishermen commonly exploded cyanide bombs in the water to kill and harvest all the fish in an area at once. Still in recovery, these “post-blast” coral reefs now attract thousands of tourists a year, generating the main source of income for village communities.

Learn more about Heber’s fieldwork on the Oceans at MIT website.

July 28, 2014

Nuts & bolts of an academic job search panel Jul. 29

Are you considering an academic career? Wondering how to mount a successful job search in a highly competitive academic job market? Come and hear how others have done it on Tuesday, July 29th, from 2:30 to 3:30 pm in 32-123. Faculty panelists who successfully landed a position will outline an effective search strategy and discuss important elements of the process – finding opportunities of interest, preparing a strong application, the role of your advisors, interviewing, negotiating, and how the increasingly competitive job market is changing the faculty search process. Snacks and refreshments will be provided!  Sponsored by the GSC Academic, Research and Careers Committee. Photo by Bluefield College

July 28, 2014

MIT Museum Summer Hours

The MIT Museum is typically open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but during July and August, the MIT Museum will be open until 7:00 pm on Thursdays and until 8:00 pm the second Friday of each month.  Visit the MIT Museum Calendar to see what activities will be going on throughout July and August or sign up for a workshop that interests you. Take advantage of the new summer hours and don’t miss out on the incredible exhibits!

July 25, 2014

Dimas 3-D prints materials that resist flaws and fractures

MIT graduate student Leon Dimas is no stranger to resilience: At 18, as a rising soccer star, the long-armed goalkeeper was a promising prospect who played for the youth academy of Rosenborg BK, a top-ranked Norwegian soccer club. He was set, it seemed, on a path that would allow him to pursue a professional career playing the game that was his first love. But when Dimas suffered nagging damage to a shoulder tendon, his professional prospects dimmed. Over the course of the next year, he made the decision to abandon professional soccer for good. “Once that dream broke, you wonder if you can get these kinds of feelings again,” Dimas says, “feelings of accomplishment and that someone believes in you.”

It’s fair to say that Dimas, now a doctoral student in MIT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has bounced back. Fittingly, he is now working on creating new materials that have resilience of their own — by borrowing from the oldest blueprint around. Learn more about Leon Dimas’ research at MIT News.

July 25, 2014

Technology (and other) tips for travelers

Summer is here and the road beckons. Whether you’re on vacation or a business trip, traveling in the States or out of the country, chances are you’ll have one or more devices in tow – a mobile phone, tablet or laptop. While these devices can help you discover, navigate, and keep in touch, you may encounter challenges when using them in new locations. Up-front preparation goes a long way: set aside time to ready your device, in the same way you contemplate what to pack. Continue reading at IS&T to find out what neat tips to keep in mind when heading out on a trip or vacation.

July 25, 2014

Eastgate Summer Grill Night Jul. 26

Enjoy a scrumptious, finger-licking good  BBQ on Saturday, July 26th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Eastgate Courtyard. You bring the meat, and they’ll provide the heat. Sides and drinks will be provided by the Eastgate Community Association. Photo by xeeliz

July 25, 2014

MIT Ballroom’s 2nd Annual Live Music Social Jul. 26

Join MIT’s Ballroom Dance Team for their 2nd Annual Live Music Social on Saturday, July 26th from 7:00 pm to midnight in the Walker Memorial building. Beginner Waltz and Swing lessons will start at 7:00 pm, and the band will begin playing for social dancing at 8:00 pm. Presale tickets are available online and cost $5 for MIT students, $10 for MIT affiliates, and $15 for the general public. Tickets will also be available at the door for an additional $5. Contact with any questions.

July 24, 2014

Llorens-Bonilla designs two extra robotic arms for you

Most of the robotic limbs you hear about are meant to replace arms and legs that have been lost to injury, but MIT is working on robotic limbs that are just meant to add on additional ones, giving people three or four arms so that they can get more done. Its researchers demonstrated the limbs — which they call supernumerary robotic arms — at a conference yesterday in China, and videos show that they’re already working to a basic extent. The current suit reportedly weighs just 10 pounds, but right now it seems to mainly be useful for holding light objects in place.

“Once we combine the most significant behavioral modes we are able to control the robot such that, from the wearer’s perspective, it behaves like an extension of his own body,” Baldin Llorens-Bonilla, an MIT researcher working on robotic limbs, tells IEEE Spectrum. Continue reading about his research on The Verge.

July 24, 2014

GSC Dissertation Bootcamp Jul. 28 through Aug. 8

Are you preparing your thesis to meet the summer thesis submission deadline? GSC is here to help! We will provide you with a quiet place in Hayden Library to work on your thesis with other graduate students, where breakfast & coffee will be provided everyday! This bootcamp will run from Monday, July 28th through Friday, August 8th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and you can choose to attend any day that works best for you. If you are interested, please sign up online, or contact GSC ARC at with any additional questions.

July 24, 2014

MIT-BSA Iftar and pre-Eid celebration Jul. 26

On Saturday, July 26th, MIT’s Bangladeshi Students’ Association (BSA) will be hosting their annual Iftar and pre-Eid celebration in the basement lounge of Westgate. The organization will provide a wide variety of pre-cooked, unique, spicy, and colorful Bangladeshi food for MIT students to try. The event begins at 8:00 pm and ends at 9:30 pm. Contact if you would like to learn more about the event. Photo by vipez

July 24, 2014

Join the Eastgate community for a water party Jul. 26

On Saturday, July 26th at 4:00 pm, come to the Eastgate Courtyard (E-55) for a water party open to MIT families and kids. This fun afternoon party will have a lot of water activities, so come with clothes that can get wet and a bit dirty! If it rains, the event will be postponed to Sunday, July 27th or Saturday, August 2nd. For more details contact eastgate-pc@mit.eduPhoto by Reggie Alvey

July 23, 2014

Arida, Ghole, and Wang take high school students out of the classroom with NuVu

The brainchild of MIT alumnus Saeed Arida PhD ’10, NuVu (pronounced “new view”) enrolls students from local schools — both during the academic year and the summer — to focus on real-world projects. In so doing, students are exposed to the collaborative, experimental, and demanding design process typical of architectural design studios. The NuVu Studio is located down an alley off Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. It’s a place where local high school students leave their classrooms behind to design robots, websites, board games, medical devices, and clothing, among other things. But they’re not playing hooky — in fact, it’s part of their education.

Co-founded with Saba Ghole SM ’07 and David Wang, a PhD student in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, NuVu brought in about 150 students last year. Around 400 students have participated in the studio, creating more than 130 projects including robotic arms, modular shelters, sustainable and futuristic clothing, documentaries about Boston’s Tibetan population, and strategy games. Read more about NuVu at MIT News.


July 23, 2014

Spotting a bad adviser and how to pick a good one

Universities have a lot of names for the professor who works with a graduate student on a thesis or dissertation and later signs off on it. The main titles are “adviser,” “director,” and, more rarely, “sponsor.” Some universities, including my own, call a professor in this position a “mentor.” I like “adviser” because I think that’s the best description of the job when it’s being done well.

The relationship between advisee and professor (whatever that person’s title) is the longest and most important one in a graduate student’s formal education, a unique blend of the professional and the personal. Continue reading this article online on The Chronicle.

July 23, 2014

Mind-body yoga dance party Jul. 24

On Thursday, July 24th, join other MIT community members for a mind-body yoga dance party in the Stratton Student Center (W20-491) at 7:00 pm. This event will begin with mingling and eating snacks, some light music and warm-up dance games, partner yoga, and guided meditation. At 8:25 pm, the music will start up again for anyone who wants to dance the night away! If you have any questions,  email or kgnayar@mit.eduPhoto by Tucker Sherman

July 22, 2014

Bamiduro and Adepetu are turning waste into energy, one community at a time

On a good day, residents in Lagos, Nigeria, get eight hours of electricity—far from enough for a rapidly growing city of 18 million. To address this shortfall, students from across MIT have teamed up to launch a waste-to-energy company that will provide Lagos residents with cheap, reliable electricity.

“Lagos has a severe waste problem, severe unemployment, and an environmental problem. Millions of people are running diesel generators on a daily basis,” said Adetayo “Tayo” Bamiduro, an MIT Sloan MBA ’15 student from Nigeria. The company the students founded, NovaGen Power Solutions, aims to supply biogas to apartment buildings while providing local jobs. “The impact is social, environmental, and economic,” Bamiduro said.

The brainchild of Adeyemi “Yemi” Adepetu, a student in MIT’s System Design and Management (SDM) program, NovaGen will collect organic waste from apartments and convert it into biogas to fuel generators. Continue reading the article here. Adepetu pictured at left. 

July 22, 2014

Sign up for the International Student Mentorship Program by Jul. 25

Interested in mentoring first year international graduate students? Give them an opportunity for cultural exchange and to learn more about Cambridge, Boston, and the MIT culture. Mentees and mentors will be matched up based on national/regional origins, mutual interests, and similar considerations. The deadline to register as a mentor is Friday, July 25th, and the sign-up link and more about the program can be found online. Should you decide to participate in the program, you have to be in e-mail contact with your mentee throughout August. During Fall Orientation, the new student will have the opportunity to meet his/her mentor at the Mentorship Mixer and International Dance Festival. Direct any further questions to

July 22, 2014

Israeli Dancing Jul. 23

The MIT Folk Dancing Club and Hillel MIT are planning an night filled with Israeli Dancing for Wednesday, July 23rd, to take place at the Student Center in room 491. Teaching and beginner dances will start at 8:00 pm, followed by open requests until 11:00 pm+. Kosher snacks will be provided. The event is free for all MIT students, but there is a suggested donation of $1. Don’t miss out on the fun! The event begins at 8:00 pm and will end at 11:30 pm. Email with any questions. Photo by U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv


July 21, 2014

De Montjoye helps you own your own data

Graduate student Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye is working on a new system that would allow individuals to pick and choose what data to share with websites and mobile apps. The example I like to use is personalized music,” says de Montjoye. “Pandora, for example, comes down to this thing that they call the music genome, which contains a summary of your musical tastes. To recommend a song, all you need is the last 10 songs you listened to — just to make sure you don’t keep recommending the same one again — and this music genome. You don’t need the list of all the songs you’ve been listening to.”

De Montjoye says “You share code; you don’t share data. Instead of you sending data to Pandora, for Pandora to define what your musical preferences are, it’s Pandora sending a piece of code to you for you to define your musical preferences and send it back to them.” Read more about de Montjoye’s new system at MIT News.


July 21, 2014

International Care Critical Data Marathon: Register by Jul. 31

In collaboration with Hacking Medicine, the MIT Laboratory for Computational Physiology is holding the second International Critical Care Data Marathon at the MIT Stata Center on September 5th7th. The event will bring together nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and physicians with data scientists to address clinically relevant questions in a large clinical database over the course of a weekend. Participants will have the opportunity to work with a large, open-access ICU database called MIMIC (created in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), MIT, and Philips Healthcare).  In 48 hours, teams of clinicians and data scientists will generate novel questions to address which will hopefully result in lasting relationships and clinically relevant projects. Be sure to register for the data marathon if you’re interested. The deadline to register is July 31, 2014.

July 21, 2014

Burgers and beers with LGBTQ students and allies Jul. 22

Come hang out with your fellow MIT LGBTQ graduate students and allies on Tuesday, July 22nd at Tasty Burger in Harvard Square. Delicious burgers, chicken sandwiches, and hotdogs are subsidized, so your dinner will be cheap! A group will be leaving Lobby 7 at 6:45 pm, or you can meet everyone at Tasty Burger at 7:30 pm. Don’t forget your ID and MIT student ID! RSVP online if you’re attending, although you can show up without RSVPing, and contact with any questions. Photo by Jennifer. 

July 18, 2014

A foreigner teaching in America

In his first year on the job, Jamie Miller, a faculty member at Quinnipiac University, grapples with culture clash: “You only need to stay one week ahead of your students.” “You are always smarter than they are.” “You can definitely teach a book you haven’t read yet.” Such was the advice I received in the summer of 2013. The first year of teaching is daunting for anyone, no doubt, but for me there was an additional complicating factor: I was a foreign Ph.D. teaching at an American university. Continue reading this article on The Chronicle of Higher Education.

July 18, 2014

Ashdown brunch Jul. 20

All graduate students are invited to the Ashdown June Brunch on Sunday, July 20th from 12:00 pm to 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! Please bring your own plates and utensils to reduce waste and receive an extra food item as incentive. Also, don’t forget your brunch punch card if you received one last time.  If you want to help out, contact, and direct all questions to All volunteers should show up at 10:00 am in the Hulsizer room to set up. Photo by Brian.

July 18, 2014

CAST summer outing for the sun and beach Jul. 19

Summer is the best time in Boston to enjoy the sunshine, the sea, and sports! On Saturday, July 19th join the MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology on a summer outing to Revere Beach for the National Sand Sculpting Festival. A lunch box will be provided to all participants. The group will meet at the Kendall Square T station at a time that will be announced in an email following trip sign-up. If interested, sign up online. Contact with any questions. Photo by John O’Neil

July 18, 2014

MIT/WHOI Summer Picnic Jul. 19

Graduate students of the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography invite you to a summer picnic and beach day in Cape Cod on Saturday, July 19th from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. There will be grilled burgers and hot dogs (vegan options included), fruits and veggies, light snacks, and drinks provided! The event will take place at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Ballfield, minutes by foot to volleyball and basketball courts, a soccer/softball field, and the beach! Transportation will be via chartered buses for MIT graduate students and their guests, and tickets can be purchased online.

Contact with any additional questions, and the group would like to give a huge thanks to their co-sponsors: LEF, GSC MEF, MIT Biology, EGSAC, EECS GSA, and Off-Campus Housing. Photo by Abaconda Management Group. 

July 17, 2014

Chong improves system for timing of urban lights to minimize commute times

A new optimization process developed by Carolina Osorio, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at MIT, and graduate student Linsen Chong can time traffic lights in large urban areas while accounting for the complex and diverse reactions of individual drivers. Their approach uses high-resolution traffic simulators that describe, in detail, the behavior of drivers in response to changes in travel conditions. In detailed simulations of Lausanne’s traffic, they found that the timings produced by their approach reduced the average travel time for commuters by 22 percent, compared with timings generated by commercial traffic-light timing software. Read more about Chong’s research at MIT News.


July 17, 2014

eMIT Science Outreach Meeting Jul. 17

If you find science or engineering intriguing and would like to teach and inspire other people then check out eMIT, a student group for science outreach. You can learn more about eMIT at their next meeting on July 17th at 6:00 pm. There will be free food and good company. RSVP if you would like to attend their upcoming meeting. The location is still to be determined. Photo by Martin Cron

July 17, 2014

Tang Hall BBQ and movie night Jul. 19

All MIT graduate students are invited to take a break from research to chill out over some delicious barbecue food and a movie with some friends on Saturday, July 19th. The event will take place on the Tang lawns and BBQ pits with food from 6:30 – 8:00 pm and the movie starting around 8:15 pm. If weather is bad, the rain location is the Tang 24th floor lounge. Please bring your own utensils to go green and contact with any questions.

Photo by Håkan Dahlström.

July 17, 2014

Berry picking trip Jul. 19

On Saturday, July 19th, join the MIT CSSA in a trip to Russell Orchards farm in Ipswich, MA to pick farm fresh raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries and try their famous cider donuts! Tickets are $13 when you register online, and include transportation and the entry fee. The trip will meet in front of Ashdown (235 Albany St.) at 9:00 am and return at around 2:30 pm, so consider bringing some spending money and a light lunch. Contact with any questions. Photo by Ray Bodden. 

July 16, 2014

Liu founder of Procyon Ventures, the newest venture firm in Cambridge

Millie Liu, who graduated in 2012 from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, says that her “overarching theme is data — data processing, analytics, algorithms, machine learning.” This was the very quality that helped her startup her own company, Procyon Ventures. Her first fund, $10 million, comes from “successful business leaders in China.” And so part of her pitch to entrepreneurs she may invest in is that Procyon can be “the bridge between startups here in the U.S. and their global market, more specifically, the Asia market.” Liu, who speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese, says she travels to China regularly and works to help startups forge business relationships there.

Liu has already made investments in three startups: Infinite Analytics, which uses social network profiles to help e-commerce sites understand their customers; Seven Bridges Genomics, which helps researchers manage genomic data; and Contastic, a new web-based sales automation tool. Learn more about Liu’s success at BetaBoston.

July 16, 2014

Isabella Stewart Gardner Gala Jul. 18

Sip chardonnay, enjoy the company of other MIT graduate students, and get a look at the breathtaking artwork at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on Friday, July 18, from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Art historians will be available at the museum to answer students’ questions that evening. Tickets are $10 (single) or $18 (with a guest) and include the price of one drink ticket.  Remember to purchase your ticket online, and send additional questions to Photo by Maitri

July 16, 2014

Graduate Hillel Shabbat Dinner Jul. 18

On Friday, July 18th join MIT Hillel for a delicious Shabbat dinner with an awesome community of MIT graduate students. The dinner will be held from 7:30 – 10:00 pm in the Sidney-Pacific Multipurpose Room. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP by sending an email to

July 15, 2014

Lupoli and Marcus’ startup connects demand to supply

Sal Lupoli and Christine Marcus met as classmates at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where they noticed two thing: The school hosted a vast number of catered events, and it seemed to offer the same boring food on rotation. It would be great, they concluded, if there were an easy way to serve a wider variety of food, from a local restaurant that specializes in a particular style: burritos from the MexiCali Burrito Cabana, falafel and tabbouleh from Aceituna Cafe, and vegetarian options from Clover — all at the same event.

In 2012, the pair launched Phoodeez, an online catering service founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that handles just about every aspect of a client’s meal plan. It can supply a smorgasbord of cuisines, keeps track of gluten-free dishes and other dietary needs, and plans a different menu for the office every week. Read more about Lupoli and Marcus’ new startup on The Boston Globe.

July 15, 2014

Dear Kate: Understanding feminism and how to respond to misogyny

What should you do if a close friend offhandedly says a misogynistic comment like “when women smile when they say no, they’re really just saying ‘try harder'” or “women falsely accuse men of rape all the time”? And how do you navigate the conversation to avoid being negatively branded as an overzealous feminist? The latest edition of the GWAMIT Mentoring advice column, Dear Kate, addresses the nationwide debate on misogyny, male privilege, and feminism.

Kelley Adams at the Violence Prevention and Response office at MIT Medical, rather than the usual mentor/volunteer Kates, responds to these concerns in a two-part column. Part I discusses the idea of “rape culture,” and how feminism historically has — and likely will continue to have — negative connotations. Part II suggests multiple strategies for responding to misogynistic comments such as asking where that belief came from or cultivating empathy. Even though violence and beliefs that foster it are prevalent throughout our society and culture, every individual has the ability to change this by starting discussions and getting more people to think critically.

If you would like to submit any questions (pseudonymously) for a future column, go to the Dear Kate Google Doc. Photo by Kayla Sawyer

July 15, 2014

Contra Dance with live music Jul. 15

On Tuesday, July 15th, take part in some contra dancing with live folk music by Autumn Rose Lester (fidde) and Max Newman (guitar, banjo, mandolin). Contra dancing is a high-energy dance, directed by caller and accompanied by exciting live folk music. It’s easy to learn, beginners are welcome, and no partner is necessary. The event will take place from 8:00 pm to 10:30 pm in lobby 13 and is open to the public. The event is free for all MIT students, but a $3 donation is suggested at the door. Contact the MIT Folk Dance Club at if you would like more information. Photo by Joanna


July 14, 2014

Luther named 2014 Point Foundation Scholar

Every year, the Point Foundation awards a collection of deserving LGBT students in college and graduate school scholarships to continue their education and enable them to give back to the communities from which they came. All of the Point Scholars have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership within their communities, despite facing harsh discrimination, rejection, and homophobia from those communities, and sometimes even from their own families. Every Point Scholar is paired with a professional mentor and receives training to further cultivate their leadership skills.  As an MBA student at the MIT Sloan School of Management from 2013-2015, Samir Luther is focusing on operational excellence and change management through data analytics. He is passionate about sustainable economic development through information and communication technology and financial inclusion. Continue reading about the award on Advocate.

July 14, 2014

When Doubts Bedevil Your Writing, Invite Your Demons in for Tea

In my experience, no amount of time, space, or energy will make you a more productive writer if you let your inner writing demons (that is, your secret fears and self-doubts) sabotage you. So let’s examine them and talk about how to deal with them. These demons can surface even when (and sometimes especially when) we are deploying effective writing strategies on a project we care about. They may manifest as unconscious, self-perpetuating assumptions about who we are and what our writing should be. If we allow them to take hold, they can petrify us and keep us from writing. Continue reading this article on the ChroniclePhoto by Mark Seton

July 14, 2014

Dart Night at Thirsty Ear Pub Jul. 14

Come out for Dart Night at the Thirsty Ear Pub every Monday starting on July 14th. Doors open at 7:30 pm, darts are from 8:00 -10:00 pm, and the kitchen closes at 11:00 pm. Free food will be provided, and a 21+ government ID and an MIT ID are both required to attend! Contact with any additional questions. Photo by Manuel Noah Angeja.

July 11, 2014

Academia, Industry or Both? Academic Careers Series Jul. 14

The Graduate Student Council’s Academic, Research, and Careers (ARC) committee has put together a panel of professionals that will help you figure out what type of career path you should choose after graduation. Would you prefer working in an industry or teaching in academics? You will get to hear stories from Charles Cooney, a professor in MIT’s Chemical Engineering Department, Jack Turner, an Associate Director of the MIT Technology Licensing Office, and David Weitz, a professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard when these professionals were once in your shoes. Learn how they made this huge decision on July 14th at 2:30 pm at 32-123 (Stata). Email if you have any questions regarding the event.  Photo by IDS

July 11, 2014

Family Day at the List: Peculiar Portraits Workshop Jul. 12

On Saturday, July 12th, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, the List Visual Arts Center (E15 Upper Atrium) will be open to the public for free. Enjoy a day of artmaking and exploration. You’ll even be able to create your own deconstructed self-portrait collage to take home. See how contemporary artists explore identity in the 9 Artists exhibition and go on a family-friendly tour of the exhibition at 2:00 pm. No registration is required. Email with questions regarding the event.

July 11, 2014

Indian Barbecue Social Jul. 12

MIT Sangam and the Graduate Students Council have organized an Indian Barbecue to take place on Saturday, July 12th. There will be paneers, chicken kebabs, burgers, and hot dogs! The event will begin at 6:00 pm at the Kresge BBQ Pits. Email if you would like more information. Photo by Jun Seita

July 10, 2014

What Writing and Running Have in Common

When people ask me what running and writing have in common, I tend to look at the ground and say it might have something to do with discipline: You do both of those things when you don’t feel like it, and make them part of your regular routine. You know some days will be harder than others, and on some you won’t hit your mark and will want to quit. But you don’t. You force yourself into a practice, the practice becomes habit and then simply part of your identity. A surprising amount of success, as Woody Allen once said, comes from just showing up.

Or perhaps I’ll mutter something about sought-after outcomes: You want to nail it; you want, if nothing else, to beat yourself, to beat your best self. You want something to show for the effort. You want the applause that comes when you’ve finished, and finished well. You want the markers of achievement—you’d like to think you are just doing it for you, but most of us are not that self-realized. The material rewards mean something. Continue reading this article at The Chronicle of Higher Education.