Monthly Archives: March 2015

March 31, 2015

Cell Barcodes

Ankrum wins prize at NIH’s Follow that Cell Challenge

James Ankrum, a 2013 Ph.D. alumnus from the Medical Engineering and Medical Physics, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology, and MIT former Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, submitted research for a self-destructing cellular barcode, a versatile tool for single cell analysis, and took home one of the top prizes at the The National Institutes of Health: Follow that Cell Challenge (Phase 1). Of critical importance for studying single cell activity is the ability to identify and track a single cell over time. This solution proposes a method for uniquely labeling thousands of single cells. The proposed label lasts for several weeks, is transferred to cell progeny, and self-destructs when the cell dies. The technique would be useful for determining stem cell fate and lineage. Read the full entry at National Institutes of Health.

March 31, 2015

Professor Conceison on Revolutionary Nostalgia in Contemporary China Mar. 31

On Tuesday, March 31st, visiting Professor Claire Conceison (Duke University) will be talking about the expressions of collective identity and Maoist nostalgia on stage in contemporary Beijing at a Cultural Revolution-themed “red restaurant” and in Meng Jinghui’s hit play “I Love XXX. She is a scholar, translator, and director and is currently teaching 21M.848 (Topics in Performance Studies) here at MIT. Her areas of research and teaching are contemporary Chinese theater, cross-cultural exchange and performance, Asian American theatre, translation, and sport as performance. Conceison’s talk will take place in Killian Hall at 5:30pm. Photo by Roger Andrews

March 31, 2015

Canadians Club Poutine Night Mar. 31

Meet your friendly MIT Canadians at the Thirsty Ear Pub on Tuesday, March 31st, at 8:00pm! Thirsty will have all the comforts of a classic Canadian pub, with plenty of free poutine, a Canadian delicacy which consists of fries, cheese, and hot gravy. Email with any questions. Photo by James

March 30, 2015

Science Outside the Lab workshop Mar. 31

The long-running Washington, D.C. science policy immersion program, Science Outside the Lab, returns for the summer of 2015. Graduate students in science, engineering and related disciplines, who are interested in how decisions about science and innovation funding, regulation and policy are made will benefit from this program. Students with an interest in careers in science policy will also find this to be an excellent opportunity to learn about important fellowship programs and meet current science and innovation policy professionals. One policy workshop is being offered in 2015: Monday, June 15th to Friday, June 26th. Applications are due by March 31st. For more information, email or visit online. Photo by Caitlin Childs

March 30, 2015

Conexiones: Intercampus talks Mar. 31

Join the ClubMex organization and other students from Boston area universities and listen to presentations on topics ranging from science, economics and politics. Food will be provided. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 31st at 7pm in E5-372. Email if you would like to learn more about the organization. Photo by Thomas Hawk

March 30, 2015

MIT Transportation Club Spring Mixer Mar. 31

Come and meet MIT Transportation Club (TClub) members and network with others interested in transportation and mobility at MIT at the Asgard Pub on Tuesday, March 31st from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Share research and learn about opportunities to get involved with the TClub while munching on free hot snacks! Email for more information. Photo by rik-shaw

March 27, 2015

Adebiyi’s Wecyclers advancing recycling efforts in Nigeria

Growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, Bilikiss Adebiyi MBA ’12 witnessed a waste epidemic in the city’s slums, where many of her relatives lived: Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and other waste accumulated in streets and open gutters, causing flooding, disease, and stress. Images of these trash piles remained vivid in Adebiyi’s mind in 2010, when she was a graduate student at the MIT Sloan School of Management. So when she took the D-Lab course MAS.665 (Development Ventures), which focuses on launching ventures in developing countries, “Something awoke in me to help solve the issue,” Adebiyi says.

Partnering with classmate Alexandra Fallon MBA ’12, she launched Wecyclers, which now deploys a fleet of cargo bikes to collect recyclables from houses in poor areas of Lagos, in return for rewards. Launched in 2012, the startup has collected more than 600 tons of recyclables, with more than 6,500 households signed on to its program. Each house has about five people, Adebiyi adds, “so we’ve impacted more than 30,000 lives.” Continue reading on MIT News.

March 27, 2015

Your Race, Your Pace by Felicia Harris

“… And no offense, Felicia, but you can tell they were mostly first-generation!”

My friend hurled those words out, mid-rant, on the ride home from a very poorly planned fund raiser. We had purchased tickets in support of a scholarship fund for high-school seniors who had “overcome life-changing obstacles to achieve academic success.” As doctoral students who had done just that, we were looking forward to networking with other young professionals on behalf of a good cause near and dear to our hearts. Unfortunately, the event turned out to be nothing more than a college party. How that failure led to a correlation with first-generation students, I have somewhat of an idea.

At the time, I had just written about the need to address racism and microaggressions, and was still reeling from accusations of hypersensitivity directed to me via the comments and emails. I didn’t have the energy to speak up on behalf of yet another subculture of academia that is often made to feel as though we don’t understand the rules of engagement required of the academic elite. Heaven forfend a group of first-generation students hold a fund raiser without live jazz, a seafood entrée, and numbered tables. Continue reading on Chronicle Vitae. Photo by Steve Fair.

March 27, 2015

BGSA Billiards Night Mar. 30

The Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) will be hosting a study break at Flat Top Johnny’s on Monday, March 30th. Play pool, pinball, or darts with fellow grad students. Other games, food, and non-alcoholic drinks will also be available for free. The time will be announced at soon. Email with any further questions. Photo by Richard Matthews 

March 27, 2015

Latin Culture Night Mar. 30

Join the Technology Policy Students Society in celebrating the international cultures represented by our classmates on Monday, March 30th, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm in 6-104.The event is opened to the MIT community and will include a Latin culture presentation and food. Email for more information. Photo by borkurdotnet

March 26, 2015

Daniel creates detailed maps out of wood

Phillip Daniel, a graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has found a new talent: creating intricate wooden maps of areas such as our very own homely Cambridge, Massachusetts. Starting as a birthday gift for a friend, Daniel went on to perfect his art and sell his works. The method he uses to make such beautifully crafted maps involves a multi-step process that takes geographic vector files of a particular location and his own modification of the files for use with a laser cutter. What follows consists of staining the multiple layers of thin wood and joining everything together.

March 26, 2015

Send proposals to MIT Deshpande Center Grant Program by Apr. 3

The MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation is announcing its 2015 call for proposals. The Center’s research innovation grant program is open to MIT faculty and students, and grant applications must be submitted by MIT employees with Principal Investigator (PI) status. The grants provide significant benefits beyond just funding to its recipients in support of the commercialization of their technology. Consider this research funding opportunity or kindly share it with others who may find this program of interest. Earlier-stage proof-of-concept research project ideas with broad potential impact, and later-stage innovations, that faculty inventors are eager to see brought to market and commercialized, are both welcome. Three to four page pre-proposals are due April 3rd, 2015 at 5:00 pm.  Apply now! For additional information on the program and the Center visit the Center’s website.

March 26, 2015

Institute-wide iREFS program launch event at the Muddy Mar. 26

Come meet the new iREFS team and enjoy free pizza at the Muddy Charles Pub on Thursday, March 26th, from 4:30pm to 7:30pm. iREFS are grad students and post-docs trained in conflict management skills who are available to the entire Institute for confidential peer support. Be sure to RSVP here if you would be interested in attending. To learn more about iREFS, email Photo by Matt Harris 

March 26, 2015

Join the MIT Rowing team

Get out and row with a great team on a majestic river! The team is open to all MIT community members, and all levels. New to rowing? Join the program for complete beginners. Coxswains are also needed! Full coach-supervised training for novice coxes is offered all year. Practice is Monday through Friday in the Pierce Boathouse on the Charles River between 6 am and 8 am. Choose your own practice days! The season begins on March 30th. Find out more at the MIT Rowing website and get on the (low volume) mailing list! Photo by Tom Stohlman.

March 25, 2015

Paulsen qualified to run in U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

A lifelong runner, Laura Paulsen, MBA ’16, knew from an early age that she wanted to “break a seven-minute mile.” She trained hard—playing tag at recess—and ran a mile in 6 minutes 59 seconds. Or so her teachers told her. She was six. Paulsen, now 25, never stopped running. On Dec. 7, 2014, she ran the California International Marathon in Sacramento and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials with a time of 2:39:54. It was her first marathon. The time elevated Paulsen into the stratosphere of elite female runners like Shalane Flanagan, who won the bronze medal in the women’s 10,000-meter race at the 2008 Olympic games. Flanagan’s best marathon time is 2:21:14.

Paulsen ran cross-country and track and field in high school, college, and graduate school. She was a four-time All-American and three-time Centennial Conference Runner of the Year while she attended Johns Hopkins University, where she received a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering. She earned a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University, where she also competed in indoor track and field. Today, she runs with the Greater Boston Track Club. Continue reading on MIT Sloan.

March 25, 2015

Power and (In)Visibility Graduate Symposium Mar. 28

Please join the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies (GCWS) in rooms 4-159 and 4-163 on Saturday, March 28th, for the Power and (In)Visibility Graduate Symposium. This exciting and interdisciplinary symposium features cutting-edge work across various fields of graduate study with presentations ranging from LGBT representation in comic books to theorizing digital performativity. Panel topics for the day include queer identities, visual representations of race and ethnicity, space and place, theorizing gender, literary analysis, transnational labor, political, and children’s issues. The day will conclude with a keynote speech by Professor Elora Halim Chowdhury. This event is free and open to the public. Please register by March 18th. Volunteers who would be willing to lend 2 to 4 hours to this event are also welcome. It’s a great CV item for graduate and undergraduate students and it will be an informative and rewarding experience! Please e-mail the Symposium coordinators for more information on volunteering or the event itself.

March 25, 2015

Apply for grants from Committee on Race and Diversity by Apr. 1

The MIT Committee on Race and Diversity (CRD) provides funding to students, faculty and staff to promote diversity and inclusion at MIT, and the upcoming grants application deadline of March 1st is approaching! The grants are designed to help offset the costs of events or programs. CRD grant proposals are organized along five core themes that are intended to provide a diversity of event options, offer learning opportunities for all those involved, and ensure that the grantees and CRD learn from the experience: Career Development (Professional/Scholar), Collaborative Immersion, Community Based Initiatives, Expanding Outlooks (Social/Political/Cultural), and Leading Outward. For more information, please visit the CRD Grants website. Photo by Simon Cunningham.

March 24, 2015

Lampkin’s Blendoor brings diversity to wide range of workplaces

On March 15 Tech.Co once again presented Tech Cocktail’s Startup Celebration at SXSWi where more than two dozen startups showcased their product and delivered their pitch in hopes of winning prizes, glory, and a spot at the Tech Cocktail Celebrate Conference as well. A lot has been written about diversity (or the lack thereof) in tech. It is not surprising or even enlightening anymore to learn that women only make up an average of 30% of the workforce in tech firms. Even worse, less than 10% are in actual engineering positions. The numbers are equally bad for other minorities like hispanics and blacks. The majority of Silicon Valley’s workforce is made up of whites or asians with other races barely making a guest appearance. It is sad that none of this is breaking news anymore. It is the bare truth – plain and simple.

But here is the silver lining – something is actively being done about it. All major firms now have diversity initiatives in place and there is a real movement around diversity happening around the country with organizations like Girls Who Code, Black Star Launch, and Lesbians Who Tech. Blendoor is showcasing at Tech Cocktail’s SXSW Celebration event and we met up with Stephanie Lampkin, Blendoor’s founder and CEO for a quick chat about her startup. Continue reading on Tech.Co.

March 24, 2015

Job Market Mentor: The Interdisciplinary Ph.D.

“I am struggling to find the best fit on the academic job market, mainly because my interests have always been crossdisciplinary. So each job I apply for matches some of my interests and not others. I spend hours on applications trying to figure out how to fit myself into the position as posted. None ever really fit. So I cast a very wide net, applying for some positions that are not necessarily a perfect fit but have at least some crossdisciplinary leanings, and other positions that fit one aspect of my interests. If fit is a difficult criteria for my search, is there a different strategy for me?” To see advice from multiple professionals who made their crossdisciplinary interests work for them continue reading at Vitae.  Photo by Duncan Hull


March 24, 2015

Graduate Housing Webinars Mar. 26, Apr. 15, May 4

Have questions about housing? Want to learn more about what is offered on and off campus and how to pursue it? Tune into the upcoming graduate housing webinars! To register for a webinar, follow the registration link, click register, and then submit the required information. Once the host approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event. On Thursday, March 26th at 10am EDT, view the Graduate Housing and Allocation Overview webinar with host Tasha Coppett. On Wednesday, April 15th at 1 pm, Tasha will hold a Graduate Housing, Waitlist, and Sublicense Overview webinar. Then on Monday, May 4th at 11 am she will host a webinar on Navigating the Boston/Cambridge Off-Campus Rental Market. Photo by MIT Student Life.

March 23, 2015

Chen and Christiansen create noninvasive method to locally stimulate brain

Researchers at MIT have developed a method to stimulate brain tissue using external magnetic fields and injected magnetic nanoparticles — a technique allowing direct stimulation of neurons, which could be an effective treatment for a variety of neurological diseases, without the need for implants or external connections. The research, conducted by Polina Anikeeva, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, graduate student Ritchie Chen, and three others, has been published in the journal Science.

In addition to Anikeeva and Chen, the research team also included postdoc Gabriela Romero, graduate student Michael Christiansen, and undergraduate Alan Mohr. The work was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and the National Science Foundation. Continue reading on MIT News.

March 23, 2015

Networking Evening with Employers Mar. 27

‘Networking Evening with Employers’ will give both students and employers the opportunity to exchange information about potential job and internship opportunities. Over 50 companies from a wide range of industries will be represented. This event is open to all MIT students and Postdoctoral Fellows. The event will be hosted on Wednesday, April 1st, from 4:00 – 5:30 pm on the 6th floor of the MIT Media Lab. Light refreshments and appetizers will be served. Advanced CareerBridge registration is required through the Events Search tab. The deadline to register is Friday, March 27th. If you have any questions, please contact Photo by maysbusinessschool

March 23, 2015

MIT Grad Gala Apr. 11

Join us for the annual GSC Grad Gala, MIT’s premier formal event for graduate students! With two bands, two dance floors, and a luxurious cruise along the Boston Harbor, this year’s Gala will be like no other before. So put on your most glamorous dresses and most dapper suits, and get ready for an unforgettable night of mingling, dancing, and luxuriating aboard the Odyssey! The GSC Grad Gala will take place on Saturday April 11th, 2015 at 6:30 pm on board the Odyssey. Early bird ticket sales starts on Wednesday, February 18 at 12 pm. Any current MIT graduate student or post-doc may purchase up to two tickets. For more details please visit.

March 20, 2015

Jackson plans for cleaner landfills

All over the world, landfills overflow with garbage, leaching untreated toxins into the environment. MIT Sloan student Tristan Jackson’s ambition is to neutralize much of that waste—and generate renewable energy—through his startup, Kanoot. “Most of the landfills in the developing world receive and store waste, but do not process or eliminate it,” said Jackson, MBA ’15. Kanoot sells a mix of microbes capable of digesting organic toxins and producing useful outputs, such as methane fuel.

While still in the early stages of development, the company is in negotiations with a landfill in Panama to use Kanoot’s technology to boost methane production for a planned 8.1 megawatt gas-fired electrical generator. “Kanoot microbes can boost methane production between 20 percent and 300 percent depending on the exact composition of the waste,” Jackson said. “This project will stop millions of gallons of toxic sludge from contaminating the surrounding area, greatly reduce atmospheric methane emissions, and produce megawatts of renewable energy.” Read more about Jackson’s startup, Kanoot, on the MIT Sloan School of Management Newsroom.

March 20, 2015

Apply for Lemann Education Fellowships by Apr. 1

A generous gift from the Jorge Paulo Lemann Foundation has created a pilot program to support Lemann Education Fellowships at MIT. For the 2015-2016 year, three 9-month fellowships will be awarded to outstanding MIT graduate students to further their studies in education, educational technology and innovation, educational policy and reform, and related areas. The value of the fellowship is $60,000. Graduate students from all schools and disciplines are eligible but preference will be given to applicants from Brazil, and then to applicants from any country working on issues relevant to advancing education in Brazil. Preference will also be given to masters students, then to doctoral students. Incoming students must first apply and be admitted to their program of choice at MIT. Once admitted at MIT, students then directly submit a further application for a Lemann Fellowship. Applications for incoming masters students and advanced masters and doctoral students currently enrolled at MIT are both due by April 1st by email to Rosabelli Coelho-Keyssar Program Manager of MIT Brazil. Photo by Deni Williams.

March 20, 2015

Volunteer with Cradles to Crayons Mar. 21

Come volunteer with other members of the graduate community on Saturday, March 21st! From 1 to 3 pm volunteers will be at Cradles to Crayons, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing homeless and low-income children the resources they need. Work will involve sorting clothes, school supplies, and other things the children need to lead a better life. Please sign up by Saturday March 14th! Transportation and lunch will be provided. Help make a positive difference in your community! Photo by Digitas Photos.

March 19, 2015

Mancabelli’s school data analyzing software links classroom tech to student performance

To see the impact of their investments, companies often use business intelligence tools—primarily data-analytics software—that analyze company data to link cash spent with outcomes. Now MIT spinout BrightBytes has developed similar data-analytics software for schools that links the implementation of classroom technologies, and other strategies, to student achievement. About one in seven U.S. schools now uses the software.

The software combines academic research with collected data on students, teachers, and schools to create school-by-school analyses and action plans for implementing technologies and strategies. This lets educators and administrators know where to direct their funding. “It’s a business intelligence platform written for schools,” says BrightBytes CEO Rob Mancabelli MBA ’12, who worked in the education sector for 15 years before co-founding the startup. “Instead of a return-on-investment, though, it’s a ‘return-on-learning.” Continue reading on

March 19, 2015

Women in Leadership Symposium Mar. 24

This symposium brings together a diverse mix of successful women leaders who will discuss topics pertaining to today’s workforce. Some topics include: “Super Women: Can I Have it All?”, “Women of Color: Striving for Excellence,” “Changing Lanes: How Do I Know the Time is Right,” “Doing Business in Heels: Making the Workplace a Place of Your Own,” etc. Hear from Chanda Guth (HR Director at Biogen), Marika Reuling (Chief of Staff at Harvard University), Karen E. Spilka (Massachusetts State Senator), and four other women leading in their professions and learn how they paved their way to their powerful leadership positions. The event will take place on Tuesday, March 24, at the Microsoft New England R&D Center in Cambridge from 8:30 am to 11:30 am. If interested, register through the National Diversity Council. Photo by nasa_jsc_photo

March 19, 2015

Muddy Charles Grand Reopening Mar. 19

Celebrate the reopening of the newly renovated Muddy Charles on Thursday, March 19th! Starting at 6 pm and ending at 9 pm in Morss Hall, members of the Muddy Charles Board of Governors will be conducting guided tours to explore the fresh changes. There will be a cash bar (21+) in Morss Hall throughout event, and free light food will be provided. Photo by Maya83.

March 18, 2015

Wang uses new device to detect and analyze methane formation

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, second only to carbon dioxide in its capacity to trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere for a long time. The gas can originate from lakes and swamps, natural-gas pipelines, deep-sea vents, and livestock. Understanding the sources of methane, and how the gas is formed, could give scientists a better understanding of its role in warming the planet. Now a research team led by scientists at MIT and including colleagues from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of Toronto, and elsewhere has developed an instrument that can rapidly and precisely analyze samples of environmental methane to determine how the gas was formed.

“We are interested in the question, ‘Where does methane come from?’” says Shuhei Ono, an assistant professor of geochemistry in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. “If we can partition how much is from cows, natural gas, and other sources, we can more reliably strategize what to do about global warming.” Ono and his colleagues, including first author and graduate student David Wang, publish their results this week in the journal Science. Continue reading on MIT News.

March 18, 2015

Public Service Fellowships and Internships deadline Mar. 20

The Fellowships and Internships programs both support MIT students working on capacity-building service projects around the world. Fellows and Interns work with community-focused organizations such as non-profits, government offices, international aid agencies, schools, grassroots groups, student-initiated service enterprises and even for-profit businesses if the business is using a social-entrepreneurship model to address the needs of an under-served community. Students in these programs receive a stipend for their work, which typically goes towards living and travel expenses. Apply by Friday, March 20th at noonPhoto by mwms1916.

March 18, 2015

Apply for GSC funding by Mar. 19

Applications for the Winter/Spring Funding Board, Public Service Fund, and Sustainability Fund cycles are now being accepted. The application deadline for all the applications is March 19th at 11pm, and the funding cycle is for events occurring between April 1st and June 30th. Please note that late applications will not be accepted. Please submit any post-event reports that might be pending as soon as possible. All applicants must adhere to the GSC Funding Board Guidelines. All applications can be found online. Note that the reimbursement deadline for the first round of the Winter/Spring cycle is April 15th.

Applications for the Graduate Student Group Start Up Fund and GSC Collaboration Award are now being accepted as well for the cycle starting April 1st till June 30th. The deadline for the application is March 19th at 11pm. All applicants must adhere to the GSC Funding Board Guidelines. The application for these two funds can be found online. Photo by Sharon Drummond.

March 18, 2015

Animal Rescue League Volunteer Event Mar. 18

Would you like to help animals in the Boston area? Volunteer for the Animal Rescue League (10 Chandler St., Boston) on Wednesday, March 18th at 5pm! The Animal Rescue League has old cage latches that cannot be re-ordered, and a new solution is needed. Volunteers will get a tour of the ARL, learn more about the problem, brainstorm ideas, and have yummy snacks! Please contact Brandy Dixon for more information or to volunteer. Photo by Canopener Sally.

March 17, 2015

Rinderknecht and Zylstra granted Lawrence Fellowship

When MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) graduate students Hans Rinderknecht and Alex Zylstra applied for a prestigious Lawrence Postdoctoral Fellowship, they knew they were competing with each other, and over 200 other outstanding applicants. Because Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) awards only two to four fellowships per year, the chances of winning were slim; the chances of both winning seemed almost impossible. But the student colleagues, members of the MIT Physics Department who both work in the PSFC’s High-Energy-Density (HEDP) division, were thrilled to learn they had each received the award. The three-year fellowship, named after Ernest Orlando Lawrence, who received the Nobel Prize in 1939 for inventing the cyclotron, is given to candidates who have exceptional talent, scientific track records, and potential for significant achievements. The Lawrence fellowship is given out to a wide range of disciplines in the physical and biological sciences.

HEDP division head Richard Petrasso notes, “To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time two students from MIT have concurrently been selected for this fellowship. I confess that it took my breath away when I learned that both Hans and Alex were awardees. So difficult for one, almost unheard of for two!” Continue reading on MIT News.

March 17, 2015

e4Dev Speaker Series: Qorax Energy Mar. 17

On Tuesday, March 17th, as part of the e4Dev Speaker Series, come hear Christian Desrosiers speak about Qorax Energy, the tricks of the trade in social enterprise, and the role of social enterprise in the broader international development conversation. Qorax Energy is a renewable energy products & services channel that works in post-conflict regions. It was founded in 2012 to address market inefficiencies in Somaliland & is currently scaling throughout Somalia and moving into the DRC. The 3 co-founders iterated through several approaches, failing twice before identifying an effective, scalable model. This lecture will take place in the MITei Large Conference Room (E19-319) from 6:30 to 7:30 pmRSVP as soon as possible! Photo by Echoing Green NYC.

March 17, 2015

Prof. Shahla Haeri: Sexuality and Youth Alienation in Modern Iran (Mar 17)

On Tuesday, March 17th, come to room 3-133 at 5:30 pm to listen to Professor Shahla Haeri of Boston University speak about the main topic of her book Law of Desire, Temporary marriage in Shi’i Iran, sexuality and youth alienation in modern Iran. The talk will be followed by a book signing so bring your copy! Light refreshments will then be served. Photo by Kamyar Adl.

March 17, 2015

Cambridge Science Festival Apr. 17-26

Get ready to plan your visit to the Cambridge Science Festival during the week of April 17th-26th! Meet Alan Lightman, learn why you like coffee so much, and immerse yourself in a day of animation, or an afternoon of math. Whether it’s 3-D printing, science films, or game design that really float your boat, plan on spending your vacation week at the MIT Museum. More activities, tours and workshops will be present than ever before!

March 16, 2015

Webber develops method for analyzing exoplanet clouds

In a paper to be published in the Astrophysical Journal, researchers in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) at MIT describe a technique that analyzes data from NASA’s Kepler space observatory to determine the types of clouds on planets that orbit other stars, known as exoplanets. The team, led by Kerri Cahoy, an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, has already used the method to determine the properties of clouds on the exoplanet Kepler-7b. The planet is known as a “hot Jupiter,” as temperatures in its atmosphere hover at around 1,700 kelvins.

Researchers have previously shown that by studying the variations in the amount of light coming from these star systems as a planet transits, or crosses in front or behind them, they can detect the presence of clouds in that planet’s atmosphere. That is because particles within the clouds will scatter different wavelengths of light. To find out if this data could be used to determine the composition of these clouds, the MIT researchers studied the light signal from Kepler-7b. They used models of the temperature and pressure of the planet’s atmosphere to determine how different types of clouds would form within it, says lead author Matthew Webber, a graduate student in Cahoy’s group at MIT. Continue reading on MIT News.

March 16, 2015

Women in STEM Mar. 17

The MIT Global Education and Career Development office has put together a seminar aimed to help women succeed in STEM fields. The U.S. Department of Commerce states women represent approximately 25% of workers in STEM and make 14% less than when men in the same field earn. Moreover, women experience unique challenges that differ from their male counterparts, such as, lacking mentorship or a work/family life balance.  At this seminar, learn how panelists Arlis Reynonds (Senior Associate for Cadmus), Ann Marie Faust (Investigator for Novarits), Angela Bassa (Data Scientist for Enernoc), and Kathleen Mahoney (Site Reliability Engineer for Google) succeeded in their disciplines and hear what special issues you will need to consider as a woman in STEM. The seminar will take place on Tuesday, March 17, in 4-231. If interested, be sure to register at CareerBridge. Photo by RDECOM

March 16, 2015


Recommendations from the ICEO

In April 2013, President Reif created the position of Institute Community and Equity Officer (ICEO). As the first person to hold this post, Professor Ed Bertschinger undertook an extensive listening tour across our campus, and he collected the many ideas into a number of findings and recommendations. Outlining what Professor Bertschinger learned and suggesting next steps, his report, “Advancing a Respectful and Caring Community: Learning by Doing at MIT, “offers an encouraging view of many aspects of our life as community, while also detailing areas for further attention. To read more visit the MIT News Office.

March 14, 2015

Yoga Classes Sundays at 11 am

The Health and Fitness Club will be hosting yoga classes on Sundays at 11:00 am at E51-063. The classes are free for members of the Health and Fitness Club and SWIM and $5 for Non-Club Members. If you would like to do yoga with the Health and Fitness Club on Sundays remember to take your own mat. In addition, the Health and Fitness Club is accepting new members ($20 membership fee for 2 years)!  Any questions should be emailed to Photo by Lyn Tally

March 13, 2015

Apply for the CIS Summer Study Grant by Mar. 16

Doctoral students in international affairs, consider applying for summer support for dissertation research. Research on a broad range of international issues will be considered, and support may be requested either for fieldwork and/or archival research, or for home-based research and write-up. Grants will not exceed $3,500. The main criteria for determining which proposals will be funded are the importance of the research question and the quality of the research proposal and the strength of the letter of support. The deadline for applications is Monday, March 16th. For more information, visit the grant website, where most of your questions will be answered under the Frequently Asked Questions section. Photo by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

March 13, 2015

Sign up for Spark Security Mar. 14-15

Spark is a program where over 1000 middle school students come to MIT to take classes from MIT students. To run smoothly, the program needs volunteers to check students in, run supplies, answer parent/student questions, and more. Volunteer for as much or as little as you want. For volunteering, you will get a shirt and free food. Work for four hours and you’ll get a laptop sticker. Six hours will earn you a nice hat. Volunteering will take place in the Bush room (10-105) on March 14th and 15th. See the volunteering page for more details and to sign up for shifts, and contact Spark Security with any questions. Original photo by Sadi Junior.

March 13, 2015

Sixth Annual Graduate Arts Soiree Mar. 14

The Sixth Annual Graduate Arts Soiree is coming up, and it will be taking place on Saturday March 14th from 7:00 – 10:00 pm on the 6th floor of the Media Lab. Munch on canapés, sip some Chardonnay, enjoy phenomenal works of art—all for free. All works are submitted by your fellow graduate students! Register online to reserve a spot for you and a guest. Both of you must be 21+ to attend, and remember to dress to impress! Artwork is still being accepted to be showcased at the Soiree. Just fill out the relevant brief form and bring your artwork on the day of the event. Photo by Ulf Bodin.

March 13, 2015

MIT Wind Ensemble: Awakening Mar. 13

On the night of Friday, March 13th, attend a moving performance by the MIT Wind Ensemble, an encore presentation of Jamshied Sharifi’s Awakening and works by Holst, Grainger, Francaix, and Chavez. Featuring MIT Wind Ensemble alumni, including Dr. Kirk Kolenbrander on trombone, the evening will celebrate the 2014 AMPS Emmy Award-Winning documentary Awakening: Evoking the Arab Spring Through Music, which aired on PBS. The program, beginning at 8 pm in Kresge Auditorium, includes an excerpt from the documentary. General admission is $5, but the event is free to community members with MIT addresses. Get your tickets at EventbritePhoto by Ken Colwell.

March 13, 2015

Tax workshops for domestic and international students Apr. 1

The Office of the Vice President for Finance (VPF) in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), the Office of the Dean for Graduate education (ODGE) and the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) will be hosting tax workshops for MIT students and international scholars on Wednesday, April 1st. The workshops are not intended to provide individual tax advice but to provide guidance to students and international scholars on the process of filing 2014 US and MA tax returns. The workshops will take place in NE30 in the Broad Institute Auditorium.

  • From 10 am to 11 am the workshop will be geared towards international students who have lived less than 5 years in the US.
  • From 1 pm to 2 pm the workshop will be geared towards international scholars (non-students).
  • From 2:30 pm to 3:30 the workshop will be for US resident students, international students who have lived more than 4 years in the US, and international scholars.

March 12, 2015

Nominate a Graduate Woman of Excellence by Mar. 15

Announcing Graduate Women of Excellence, an event to honor graduate women who exemplify leadership and outstanding accomplishment. Using the official nomination form, nominate a graduate woman who meets the following criteria by March 15: she is a leader among her peers in her example and her actions, is dedicated to serving the MIT community to improve the graduate student experience, provides thoughtful and constructive feedback when asked for advice, is a catalyst for change when challenges arise. A celebration event will be held in late April and honorees will be asked to create posters detailing their path to MIT. If you are interested in joining the planning team for Graduate Women of Excellence or have any questions, please contact Megan Roberts. Sponsored by the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education.

March 12, 2015

Rebuilding the Philippines Forum Mar. 13

Friday, March 13th, join MIT community members as they share reflections on their work towards reconstruction efforts in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. The event will run from 1:00 to 2:30 PM in Room 4-270 and will include brief presentations and an opportunity for discussion and networking. The destruction Typhoon Haiyan left in its wake in November 2013 was historic: damage estimated at $1.5 billion and a human cost of more than 6,000 people dead and nearly 2,000 missing. In writing to the community during the weekend of the typhoon, President Rafael Reif extended his condolences to the people of the Philippines and asked Provost Martin Schmidt and Faculty Chair Steven Hall to explore ways in which MIT might aid in the Philippines’ recovery efforts. Shortly thereafter, Provost Schmidt and Professor Hall wrote to the community to describe efforts already underway and to outline a relief process that would draw on MIT’s strengths. In the past 15 months, students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae from all five schools of MIT have joined together to provide relief to hard-hit communities, to aid existing organizations in recovery work, and envision a resilient and sustainable future for the Philippines and other geographically vulnerable sites.  We are proud of MIT’s contributions, but work continues, and we hope next week’s forum will generate further ideas and connections.

March 12, 2015

Nautical Night Mar. 13

On Friday, March 13th come to Nautical Night at the MIT Museum! This annual evening event, starting at 5 pm and going on until 8 pm, brings together people from different departments at MIT who share their passion for the sea. From knot tying to RoboClam to better understanding what autonomous underwater vehicles do, this hands-on evening is a fun way to break out of the winter doldrums. Photo by Beverley Goodwin.

March 12, 2015

Opera in the Whitehead Auditorium Mar. 12

Spend a lovely time enjoying some opera on Thursday, March 12 at noon in the Whitehead Auditorium (Nine Cambridge Center), featuring selections from Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and more sung by New England Conservatory sopranos Nataly Wickham and Elena Snow, tenor Rafael Delsid, and bass-baritone Josh Quinn, with piano accompaniment by Soyoung Yang. Refreshments will be served to accompany the wonderful entertainment. Photo by Trey Ratcliff.