Monthly Archives: May 2015

May 29, 2015

GSC Headshots

Congratulations to the 2015-16 GSC officers!

The Graduate Student Council has elected a new officer team for the 2015-2016 academic year.  The incoming officers began their terms in May, 2015.  The new officers are:

  • President: Michael McClellan (EAPS) Pictured top right
  • Vice-President: Dan Smithwick (Arch) Pictured top left
  • Secretary: Eva Golos (EAPS) Pictured bottom left
  • Treasurer: Janille Maragh (MechE) Pictured bottom right

Congratulations to the new team!


May 29, 2015

Join MIT in Boston Pride Parade Jun. 13

Show your MIT pride at this year’s annual Boston Pride Parade on Saturday, June 13th from 10 am to 1 pm. All MIT students, staff, faculty, and alumni are welcome! The march is 2.7 miles from Copley Square to Boston City Hall Plaza. If you are unable to walk but would still like to participate, there is a trolley that will be a part of the parade (please RSVP trolley needs to Not up for marching? You are also more than welcome to come cheer us on from the sidelines (there will be a small group meeting with an MIT sign with the You Are Welcome Here logo at the corner of Charles St and Beacon, on the Boston Commons side). Free T-Shirts are available (the same as last year’s design so please recycle). Please email Abigail on or before 5pm on June 9th with the subject line “Pride Parade RSVP and T-Shirt Size” and provide the following information: your name, your MIT Affiliation, your email address, your “Female cut” or “Male cut” style, and your size. Photo by yuan2003.

May 28, 2015

D. Roy Memory Recovery

Roy researches ways memories lost to amnesia may be recalled by light

“Memories that have been ‘lost’ as a result of amnesia can be recalled by activating brain cells with light. In a paper published in the journal Science, researchers at MIT reveal that they were able to reactivate memories that could not otherwise be retrieved, using a technology known as optogenetics.”

Yes! Does this mean we can reclaim our long-forgotten halcyon childhood days with a bit of a laser boost to the right neurons? Um, no, not today. But it’s still fascinating. The study explores the difference between how a memory is stored — in a group of brain cells called an engram — and how it is retrieved. It quotes Nobel Laureate Susumu Tonegawa, who leads the group that did the work, on the evolving concept of what a memory is, in our brains:

“We are proposing a new concept, in which there is an engram cell ensemble pathway, or circuit, for each memory,” he says. “This circuit encompasses multiple brain areas and the engram cell ensembles in these areas are connected specifically for a particular memory.”

WBUR’s Rachel Paiste spoke with Dheeraj Roy, a grad student in Tonegawa’s MIT lab who worked on the research. Read their conversation at 90.9 wbur. 3-D reconstruction of mouse neurons (Zeiss Microscopy)

May 28, 2015

Share with others what stresses you out

Are you stressed at MIT? Do you want to share what’s stressing you out and receive support? You are NOT alone, and you don’t have to feel that way. Share your burden and lighten the weight on your shoulders. Please join the stress-relief community online to share what is stressing you and receive love and connection in return! Share with others anytime, from anywhere. Photo by Anna Gutermuth.

May 27, 2015

Dwivedi and Srinath help enable young Indian scientists to thrive through Khorana Program

Har Gobind Khorana was born in Raipur, a small village in Punjab, which is now part of eastern Pakistan. He was home-schooled by his father, the village tax clerk. He went on to study at Punjab University and then left India in 1945 to pursue his PhD at the University of Liverpool. Early in his career, Khorana performed some of his most groundbreaking work, which would lay the basis for modern molecular biology. The great achievement of this work was almost immediately recognized with the Nobel Prize in 1968, which he shared with Robert Holley and Marshall Nirenberg.

In 1970, Khorana moved his home to MIT, where he stayed for nearly 40 years until retiring in 2007. Beyond his profound contribution to the field of biology, Gobind was an active member of the MIT community with a passion for mentoring young scientists. Aseem Ansari, who was a postdoc at MIT, knew of Khorana’s accomplishments and his commitment to education and mentoring and was inspired to found a program in his name. The Khorana Program was founded in 2007 by Ansari at the University of Wisconsin. The program allows India’s highest ranking undergraduate students to do research for a summer term at a top U.S. university.

Uttam RajBhandary’s deep friendship with Khorana spurred his active involvement, along with Mandana Sassanfar, in forming the MIT chapter of the Khorana Program in 2012. And in 2013, the program hosted 35 students across 10 different institutions. For these students, this is more than just a research opportunity; it is a chance at gaining experience and connections to make them eligible candidates to pursue graduate studies in the U.S. As one scholar phrased it, “It is really a make it or break it opportunity for us.” Vivek Dwivedi and Chetan Srinath, respectively in their third and second years of the biology PhD program, are both Khorana alumni who feel a sense of commitment to the program and to helping future generations of Khorana Scholars. Every year when new scholars arrive, Khorana alumni and other current students serve as mentors to help the new scholars transition to life in Cambridge and to performing full time research. They are also able to provide invaluable scientific guidance and advice for graduate school admissions. Continue reading at MIT News.

May 27, 2015

Reminder: Subsidized Backup Childcare Program for Students

Each year, 10 days of childcare before June 30 can be subsidized to a cost of only $5 per hour! Any unused days will not carry over to the new cycle. MIT students can use the service at the subsidized rate up to 10 times annually, for a minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 8 hours each time. is a nation-wide service provider, and their screened, trained caregivers are available on short notice to provide childcare, day or evening, 7 days a week. The program is funded by the ODGE and administered by MIT Work-Life Office. For more information go to the Work-Life Office websitePhoto by Clever Cupcakes.

May 26, 2015

Namburi identifies neurons associating emotions with memories

Eating a slice of chocolate cake or spending time with a friend usually stimulates positive feelings, while getting in a car accident or anticipating a difficult exam is more likely to generate a fearful or anxious response. An almond-shaped brain structure called the amygdala is believed to be responsible for assigning these emotional reactions. Neuroscientists from MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have now identified two populations of neurons in the amygdala that process positive and negative emotions. These neurons then relay the information to other brain regions that initiate the appropriate behavioral response.

The findings could also help scientists to better understand how mental illnesses such as depression arise, she says. Many psychiatric symptoms may reflect impairments in emotional processing. For example, people who are depressed do not find positive experiences rewarding, and people who suffer from addiction are not deterred by the negative outcomes of their behavior. Graduate student Praneeth Namburi and postdoc Anna Beyeler are the paper’s lead authors. Continue reading on MIT News.

May 26, 2015

MIT CONNECT (Recreation Edition)

Would you like to ‘connect’ with random pairs of MIT members and take part in friendly, informal, and recreational activities? Through MIT CONNECT you can schedule any activity you would like to enjoy with others – tennis, squash, you name it! MIT CONNECT will connect you with other once a week, every week. All you need to do is sign up, identify your availability, and recreational interests and MIT CONNECT will do the rest. This social activity will take place throughout the 2015 year. Email if you would like to learn more. Photo by Brittany


May 22, 2015

Massimino to speak at June 4 doctoral hooding ceremony

Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart announced  that alumnus Mike Massimino SM ’88, PhD ’92 will be the first-ever guest speaker at MIT’s Investiture of Doctoral Hoods, a ceremony for PhD candidates held the day before Commencement. “We are thrilled that Dr. Massimino has accepted the invitation to speak on June 4,” says Barnhart, who hosts the hooding ceremony. “His words will motivate and inspire our doctoral candidates as they make this significant transition from student life.” The 2015 Investiture of Doctoral Hoods takes place Thursday, June 4, at 11:30 a.m. in the Johnson Athletics Center Ice Rink. The ceremony is open to family and friends of doctoral candidates; no tickets are required. To continue reading, please visit MIT News.

May 22, 2015

MIT Connect Tea and Honey Party May 23

The MIT CONNECT program is throwing a Honey and Tea Party on Saturday, May 23rd! Everyone will have the chance to reCONNECT one last time during this celebration filled with exotic honey and tea tasting, desserts, and several light-hearted activities. There will be freshly baked croissants, fruit tarts, 60 varieties of honey from nearly as many countries, a dozen of the highest quality teas and spices, a live string-quartet, and secret prizes for the activities! The party starts at 6 pm and goes until 9 pm in the 6th floor Multi-purpose Room of the MIT Media Lab (E14). Attire can be as formal and as quirky as possible (Top hats, Fedora, monocles, Saris, etc.) Please email Tuka with an RSVP if you plan to come! Photo by Flood G..

May 21, 2015

The Negotiation Tool Kit Jun. 10

Looking for a job and wondering how to negotiate the salary? Have a job and want to re-negotiate? Take part in the Negotiation Tool Kit! This highly interactive workshop focuses on the nuts-and-bolts of negotiation and is designed to help current and future employees navigate negotiations with ease and confidence. Global career strategist Sarah Cardozo Duncan (and founder of will be the guest speaker and will lead the workshop. In 2003, she was recognized by Boston Magazine as one of the 100 most powerful women in Boston. Her commitment and dedication to helping scientists transform their career paths earned her the 2014 MASS AWIS Mentor of Excellence Award. The Negotiation Tool Kit will take place in the Monadnock Room of the Broad Institute (415 Main St, Cambridge) on Wednesday, June 10, from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Keep in mind, the event is $5 for MASS AWIS members and $10 for non-members. Register before June 3rd for a chance to win an exciting prize! Photo by usembassyta.

May 21, 2015

ESD Spring BBQ May 22

On Friday, May 22nd join the MIT Engineering Systems Division for a community-wide barbecue to celebrate the end of the Spring Semester! Grab some friends and head down to the Ashdown courtyard for some food and fun in the sun! The event starts at 5:30 pm and goes on until 8:30 pm. This event is open to the entire MIT community and is co-sponsored by the GSC funding board. Photo by daijo1.

May 20, 2015

Boonthai, Kirinruttana, Kunifuda, and Sirikunakorn help Chilean company through G-Lab

Jude Richardson made a mistake. Sales at Lexian, the human resources training company he’d founded in Santiago, Chile, were up 60 percent in 2014. He started to expand. But at the same time the Chilean economy contracted, and his growth rate dropped to 20 percent.

“It got me into a situation that lost me a lot of money,” the entrepreneur said. But while meeting with a former Lexian student who was enrolled at MIT Sloan he learned about Global Entrepreneurship Lab, the action learning program at MIT Sloan that pairs students with businesses around the world for hands-on management projects. Richardson signed on as a host. Four MIT Sloan MBA students flew from Cambridge and stayed for three weeks, leaving Richardson with a roadmap for navigating Lexian forward. “It was one of the seminal decisions in the life of the company,” Richardson said.

In Global Entrepreneurship Lab, also known as G-Lab, students build a relationship with their host company online before traveling to work on the ground in the company’s home country. Sherry Sirikunakorn, Pat Boonthai, Verawat Kirinruttana and Take Kunifuda, all second-year MBA students at MIT Sloan, arrived in Santiago in January. They analyzed Lexian’s core competencies and then went out into the city, seeking the bigger picture. Continue reading in the MIT Sloan Newsroom.

May 20, 2015

MIT Comedy Night May 21

On May 21st come laugh your worries away at the MIT Comedy Night in Kresge! Starting at 7 pm, comedian Jimmy Tingle will be delivering a one of a kind comedic experience with Orlando Baxter, Patty Ross, and Paul Gilligan. Tickets are $15 with a MIT Student ID, $20 otherwise, and are available online, at CopyTech (11-004), or at MITAC (Stata Center). The first 100 students who register online will get free tickets thanks to generous support from the de Florez Fund for Humor! Ticket sales will benefit the MIT Community Service Fund, which funds public service initiatives. Free refreshments will be served afterward!

May 19, 2015


Serve on an Institute Committee

Serving on an Institute Committee as a graduate student can provide you with an unparalleled opportunity to significantly impact decisions made by the Institute. You will become a voting member of a committee alongside other students, faculty, staff and administrators. Issues range from student life, education and curriculum, policy, health and community, and matters of the corporation. Whether you are considering an academic, professional or industrial career, the experience gained by serving on an Institute Committee will prepare you with a unique skill set and a network of diverse collaborators to take on broad challenges. To learn more about the Institute Committees, visit the MIT Committees Website. Applications will be sent out in late May. Please contact Daniel Smithwick at with any questions.

May 19, 2015

Music at Whitehead May 20

Come and watch the return of the MIT Meridian Singers at the Whitehead Auditorium, on Wednesday, May 20, beginning at 12:00pm. They will be presenting their program, “Pastime with Good Company: Consorting musics from the time of the Tudors.” Todd Beckham, an artistic director who has performed as a singer, harpsichordist, organist, and conductor in the United States and Europe, will be directing this concert. This event is free and open to the Whitehead community and friends.

May 19, 2015

Transportation Club End-of-year BBQ May 20

Join the Transportation Community at MIT to celebrate the end of the semester! Eat to your stomach’s content, choosing from the delicious selection of classic BBQ favorites. Socialize with friends and reminisce over this year’s best moments. Even get the chance to meet the new members of the Transportation Club Executive Board! The celebration begins Wednesday, May 20th at 5 pm at the Kresge BBQ Pits. Original photos by raghavvidya and Chris Campbell.

May 18, 2015

Chen and Wadhwa develop way to visualize minute vibrations

To the naked eye, buildings and bridges appear fixed in place, unmoved by forces like wind and rain. But in fact, these large structures do experience imperceptibly small vibrations that, depending on their frequency, may indicate instability or structural damage. MIT researchers have now developed a technique to “see” vibrations that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye, combining high-speed video with computer vision techniques.

Normally, high-speed video wouldn’t pick up such subtle vibrations from a building. To do this, the researchers employed a computer vision technique called “motion magnification” to break down high-speed frames into certain frequencies, essentially exaggerating tiny, subpixel motions. Buyukozturk has co-authored a paper, along with lead author and graduate student Justin Chen, which appears in the Journal of Sound and Vibration. The paper’s other co-authors are graduate student Neal Wadhwa and postdoc Young-Jin Cha, along with professors of computer science and engineering Fredo Durand and William Freeman. Continue reading on MIT News.

May 18, 2015

Become a Grad Community Fellow!

Interested in joining a cadre of graduate students who work on projects and assignments that enhance graduate community in unique ways? Openings are available for 2015-16 Graduate Community Fellows. Receive a monthly stipend while you gain experience. Positions will be filled on a rolling basis. Open positions include:

  • Addir Interfaith Dialogue
  • Data VisualizationSpecialist: Blacks at MIT History Project
  • DSL Online Life Learning
  • Financial Literacy
  • Grad Accomplishments Writer
  • GSC Creative Media Manager
  • Institute Community and Equity Office
  • Language Conversation Exchange
  • Programs for Women (Fall 2015 only)
  • Violence Prevention and Response Programming Development

For additional information, please see the positions website. Apply now! Photo by Flazingo Photos.

May 18, 2015

Mega Muddy Monday May 18

Think Monday, May 18th 2015 is just another regular Monday? Think again! It’s Mega Muddy Monday! Head over to the Muddy Charles at 5:30 pm for free food and drinks, making new friends, and the promise of having a great time on a Monday. This event is hosted by the Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry departments. Original photo by Gemma Amor.

May 15, 2015

Applications for the MIT Volunteer Consulting Group due May 18

The Volunteer Consulting Group at MIT is currently issuing a call for applications! Send in your application by May 18th, 2015 to take advantage of a great opportunity to work part-time on an interesting real-life business problem. Participate in a team project and gain valuable consultancy experience. VCG starts in the middle of June for 6 weeks total (including the first week of preparation). Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed around the week of May 25th. Photo by Peter Hayes.

May 15, 2015

Colorful Shapes Workshop for Babies and Toddlers May 16

The List Visual Arts Center hosts its first ever workshop for babies and toddlers on Family Day! On Saturday, May 16th from 10:30 am to 12 pm in Building 6C and Lobby 7, drop in at two stations for play, exploration, stories, and art-making designed for kids under 3 years old. Discover colors and shapes works, MIT’s public art collection by Sol LeWitt and Martin Boyce. Take a look at the station locations onlinePhoto by Inez Valdez.

May 15, 2015

Eastgate Rainforest Animal Show May 16

The graduate student dorm Eastgate will be hosting a Rainforest Animal Show on Saturday, May 16th, at 10:30 am on the Eastgate Courtyard (rain location: Eastgate penthouse). The show will feature turtles, parrots, amphibians, and much more! For more information, visit the Eastgate webpage. Photo by Danny Chapman.

May 14, 2015

Lopin and Osborne’s Crayon offers marketers a source of inspiration

The world runs on marketing. Increasingly, that means digital marketing. Using software from companies like HubSpot, Marketo, and Eloqua, fortunes have been (and will be) made over the ability to attract potential customers via websites, social media, and e-mail—and get them to buy what sites are selling. Yet your average Joe Digital Marketer doesn’t have a centralized place to get Web design ideas, see what successful sites do to attract customers, and share ideas with other marketers and collaborators. Until now, that is.

A young Boston startup called Crayon recently rolled out a site where marketers can browse through millions of Web designs and have conversations about them. Crayon is led by CEO Jonah Lopin, an early and longtime HubSpot employee, and CTO John Osborne, a veteran of AdMob. Both are graduates of the MIT Sloan School of Management, and both understand the digital marketing and advertising realm. Continue reading on Xconomy.

May 14, 2015

Nominations for 2015 School of Science Teaching Prizes due May 29

Nominate faculty members for the 2015 School of Science Teaching Prizes! These are given for both Undergraduate and Graduate Education. For the Teaching Prize for Graduate Education, preference will be given to nominees who teach mainstream subjects in which fundamental principles of the relevant fields are presented. Such courses typically provide the basis for advanced education and research and prepare students for professional careers. You can nominate a professor teaching a GIR, a fundamental or more specialized Science subject. Science subjects are Courses 5 (Chemistry), 7 (Biology), 9 (Brain and Cognitive Sciences), 8 (Physics), 12 (Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences) and 18 (Mathematics). Nomination letters from faculty members or students for either award are welcome. Nominations are easy and quick to submit: simply fill out the short online nomination form by the deadline on May 29, 2015. Although one strong letter is sufficient, additional letters of support are useful. You may want to get fellow students or colleagues to submit supporting nomination for your candidate. You can use one form or multiple forms to do this. Your nominations are important to recognizing and honoring teaching excellence in Science and at MIT. Don’t hold back!

May 14, 2015

Acoustic BBQ May 15

The GSC Activities Committee has put together an Acoustic BBQ afternoon featuring The Cover Story, a popular Boston full service entertainment band! There will be free food galore: burgers (veggie and beef), hot dogs, pasta, and chips. In addition, there will be exciting music and free drinks (21+ ID required for alcohol). The BBQ will take place at the Stata Amphitheater (rain location: Stata Center – 1st floor) on Friday, May 15th, from 5 pm to 8 pm and is open to the whole MIT community. Photo by Jun Seita. 

May 14, 2015

i-Trek Benefit Dinner May 15

On Friday, May 15th from 6:30 to 8:30 in 10-105, help support i-Trek, a great non-profit working to increase diversity in STEM, and walk away with some great prizes! If you purchase $5 (students) or $10 (non-students) worth of raffle tickets you also get a complementary dinner. Raffle items include a case of wine (12 bottles – must be 21 or over to win), a foldable bike, gift cards and more! For more information visit the event website. Get excited to win big prizes, eat food, and watch live entertainment! Photo by Randy Heinitz.

May 13, 2015

Bartomeus’s investment firm helps aging business owners with succession plans

When Barcelona native Marc Bartomeus graduated from MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 2010, he didn’t head to Silicon Valley or jump into a consulting gig. Instead, he raised a little over €200,000 (about $300,000 at the time) from 16 investors to form Ariol Capital, a small investment firm with one goal—to find a small company for Bartomeus to buy and run—and returned to Spain.

Last October, when Bartomeus’ investors ponied up the funds for him to buy Repli, a Barcelona-area packaging distributor with €17 million in annual revenues, Ariol Capital became the first so-called “search fund” to purchase a firm in Spain. In doing so, Bartomeus is on the leading edge of the international expansion of a trend that could offer an escape hatch for the growing number of aging European family business owners with no succession plan in place. Continue reading on Fortune. Photo by Michael Cogliantry—Getty Images.

May 13, 2015

Mentoring Matters Celebration May 14

Join MASS AWIS on Thursday, May 14th, for the “end of year” Mentoring Matters Celebration event with guest speaker Dr. Lindee Goh, a partner at Tapestry Networks. Dr. Goh has extensive experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical spaces, with particular expertise in strategy and organizational effectiveness. She will speak about her experience with and the importance of mentoring throughout her career. MASS AWIS is also welcoming those interested in participating in future mentoring circles either as a mentor or mentee — a great opportunity to learn about our renowned MASS AWIS Mentoring Circle Program! The event will be from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm and will be hosted in the Yellowstone Room of the Broad Institute (415 Main St. Cambridge). Keep in mind, the event is $5 for MASS AWIS members, $10 for non-members, and free for all circle participants. If interested, in the Mentoring Matters Celebration remember to register online. Photo by MC.

May 13, 2015

GAME and EECS Cookie Decorating Competition May 14

Celebrate the end of the semester with GAME and EECS! Join the cookie decorating battle to win fame, glory, and prizes! Or just come for a late afternoon snack… Cookies, milk, and edible decorations will be provided. All you need to bring is your creativity and sweet tooth. Get ready to create beautiful art and then eat it too! The event starts Thursday, May 14th at 3 pm in W20-491Photo by Lydia.

May 12, 2015

The Science of SciFi Panel May 13

How plausible are space battles? What might aliens really look like? Join engineers and SciFi creators in a panel discussion about the questions that every SciFi fan has mulled over and would love to see answered in his or her lifetime. The panel, taking place Wednesday, May 13th from 7:30 to 8:30 pm in 4-231, will feature Jim Cambias, Joseph Shoer, and Joshua Newman. Dinner will be provided at 7 pm. RSVP as soon as possible! This event is brought to you by Communicating Science @ MIT (ComMIT). Photo by Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL).

May 12, 2015

Walk All Night to Fight Suicide Jun. 27

This 16-mile overnight walk is a fundraising event to prevent suicide. All funds that are raised will support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Professor Leslie Kolodziejski and Janet Fischer have organized team REACH OUT; Clarice Aiello is the student contact. They welcome all participants to join their team, or to sponsor the team members with a donation. If you’re interested in taking part in this event be sure to register and/or donate! Email if you would like to learn more. Photo by pengrin.

May 12, 2015

GAME Service Event with the Great Boston Food Bank May 13

Help GAME sort donated food that will get divided out to all regional food pantries on Wednesday, May 13th, from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Greater Boston Food Bank (70 S Bay Ave, Boston, MA). A group will be leaving together from 77 Mass Ave at 4:30 pm. The event is funded by the GCC-PSC Service Fund, so don’t worry about dinner or MBTA costs – they’ve got that covered! There are limited spots available and non-grad students will be considered if there is space available, so sign up if you’re interested in taking part in this community service event.  Photo by Martha Coakley.

May 11, 2015

Hiestand wins the 2015 Infinite Mile Award

This year, a 2015 Infinite Mile Award will go to Sylvia Hiestand, an International Student Advisor for the MIT International Students Office (ISO) in the ODGE. These annual awards recognize exceptional individual employees or teams of employees who have made extraordinary contributions within their own departments, labs, and centers and have provided exemplary service and substantial contributions in helping the Institute carry out its mission.

Hiestand has been described as an encouraging, dedicated, and kindhearted presence in the ISO. She has improved the overall experience of being an international for many students who seek her help. Ultimately, in her four years at the Institute, she has worked hard to provide support for grad students by advocating for them and helping these students get through difficult circumstances, whether they be personal, or academic.

May 11, 2015

MIT Clean Energy Prize Showcase & Grand Prize Ceremony May 11

The finalists have been chosen, and now its time to save the date for the Eversource MIT Clean Energy Prize Showcase & Grand Prize Award Ceremony on May 11, 2015! A prize of $75,000 and the grand prize of $200,000 will both be awarded at this event that will take place from 3:00 to 6:30 pm in Kresge Auditorium. All of the competitors and more information can be found on the 2015 Semi-Finalists page. Come for a night of amazement and wonder as the future of energy is discovered!

May 11, 2015

Theater Arts Design Exhibition May 11-15

Next week the Rinaldi Tile Building (E33) will be hosting the Theater Arts Design Exhibition! Come see the works of students and attend the opening reception Monday 5/11 at 8pm! The exhibition, open May 12th through 15th from 9am to 5pm, will feature works by students in Introduction to Design (21M.603), Costume Design (21M.732), Lighting Design (21M.734), and Drawing for Designers (21M.851). Photo by Sarah_Ackerman.


May 8, 2015

Morey wins KSTF Fellowship

MIT Chemistry alumna and former ODGE Graduate Community fellow (GCF) Shannon Morey recently won a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) Fellowship. The highly competitive KSTF fellowship provides dedicated, passionate teachers with five years of funding for professional development, grants for teaching materials, stipends, and leadership/mentoring opportunities! Additionally, she is also a Boston Public Schools Fellow and is featured on She is currently working as a teacher in the science department at East Boston High School.

May 8, 2015

Compton Lecture: Climate Change Science, Policy, and Communication May 11

On Monday, May 11, 2015, Dr. Mario Molina, co-winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, former Institute Professor, and one of the world’s foremost scientists in atmospheric chemistry, will visit our campus on Monday, May 11th to deliver the Karl Taylor Compton lecture: “Climate Change: Science, Policy and Communication”.  The lecture will begin at 4:30 pm in the Wong Auditorium (E51), followed by a reception in Ting Foyer. Both locations are in the Tang Center. The work of Dr. Molina and his co-laureates provided the scientific basis for the international agreements that banned chlorofluorocarbons because of their role in depleting Earth’s protective ozone layer. His perspective is particularly relevant as we continue our campus conversation around the most effective actions to combat climate change. Currently on the faculty at UC San Diego, Professor Molina also presides over the Mario Molina Center for Strategic Studies on Energy and Environment and serves as a climate policy adviser to the president of Mexico. Hosted and moderated by President L. Rafael Reif, the lecture is open to the whole MIT community. Photo by Janwikifoto.

May 8, 2015

Tang Hall Brunch May 9

All MIT graduate students are invited to join the Tang Hall residents and enjoy the last Brunch of the semester on Saturday, May 9th, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. Who wouldn’t want to unwind with friends and fellow students near the Charles River while eating breakfast? Enjoy the nice spring weather outside with some delicious food comprising pancakes, eggs, grit, bacon, fruits, beverages, and much more! Try to bring your own plates and utensils to help Tang Hall go green. The event will take place on the Tang Hall Lawn (Rain location: Tang Hall 24th Floor Lounge). Email if you would like to learn more about the brunch. Photo by Joe Hsu

May 7, 2015

Danielle Keats Citron: “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace” May 7

Most Internet users are familiar with trolling—aggressive, foul-mouthed posts designed to elicit angry responses in a site’s comments. Less familiar but far more serious is the way some use networked technologies to target real people, subjecting them, by name and address, to vicious, often terrifying, online abuse. In an in-depth investigation of a problem that is too often trivialized by lawmakers and the media, Danielle Keats Citron (Lois K. Macht Research Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law) exposes the startling extent of personal cyber-attacks and proposes practical, lawful ways to prevent and punish online harassment. A refutation of those who claim that these attacks are legal, or at least impossible to stop, Hate Crimes in Cyberspace reveals the serious emotional, professional, and financial harms incurred by victims. On Thursday, May 7th come hear Citron speak about the ever more relevant topics in her book from 5 to 7 pm in 4-231. For more information about the event visit the event page.

May 7, 2015

ESD Spring Pizza at the Muddy May 8

Celebrate the end of a hard week and take a break before finals begin at the Muddy Charles. Join your fellow graduate students and eat some freshly baked pizza on Friday, May 8th, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Don’t miss out on the fun! Email if you have any questions pertaining to the event. Photo by rob_rob2001

May 7, 2015

Social Science Happy Hour May 8

Take part in the Social Science Happy Hour on Friday, May 8th, at 6:00 pm in E18-202 with your fellow grads! Join other students and faculty and discuss social science research and meet other social science researchers. Food and beverages will be provided. All are welcome to attend. Email if you would like more information. Photo by



May 7, 2015

Urban planning & Interfaith discussion May 7

On Thursday, May 7th join a discussion from 4 to 6 pm in 7-338 led by Ora Gladstone, Coordinator of the Addir Fellows Program at MIT, and Whitney Barth, of the Pluralism Project at Harvard. The talk will be about how radically different beliefs can be taken into account when public decisions need to made about the use of public space. Ms. Gladstone will facilitate a discussion on interfaith dialogue, particularly how to appreciate different beliefs. Ms. Barth will lead a discussion of a case study of public controversy entitled A Call to Prayer. Professor Larry Susskind will serve as moderator for the event. This discussion is organized in conjunction with the Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program (MSCP) and the exhibition currently in the Wolk Gallery: Female Faces in Sustainable Places: Malaysian Women Promoting Sustainable Development.

May 6, 2015

Leonard finds links between brain anatomy, academic achievement, and family income

Many years of research have shown that for students from lower-income families, standardized test scores and other measures of academic success tend to lag behind those of wealthier students. A new study led by researchers at MIT, including grad student, Julia Leonard, and Harvard University offers another dimension to this so-called “achievement gap”: After imaging the brains of high- and low-income students, they found that the higher-income students had thicker brain cortex in areas associated with visual perception and knowledge accumulation. Furthermore, these differences also correlated with one measure of academic achievement — performance on standardized tests.

“Just as you would expect, there’s a real cost to not living in a supportive environment. We can see it not only in test scores, in educational attainment, but within the brains of these children,” says MIT’s John Gabrieli, the Grover M. Hermann Professor in Health Sciences and Technology, professor of brain and cognitive sciences, and one of the study’s authors. “To me, it’s a call to action. You want to boost the opportunities for those for whom it doesn’t come easily in their environment.” Continue reading at MIT News.

May 6, 2015


Seeking your input and sharing progress against sexual assault

Recently MIT Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart sent a letter to the MIT community concerning MIT’s progress in minimizing sexual assault on campus. Last fall, students on campus were invited to take an extensive survey on their experiences and attitudes regarding sexual assault.  The Committee on Discipline (COD) is seeking suggestions and recommendations from the community in order to improve their disciplinary process on sexual assault cases. In addition, Barnhart discussed the progress the MIT community made toward attaining “a positive campus culture of sexual respect.” There are currently more sexual assault awareness campaigns, prevention trainings, and support for students who have experienced sexual assault. To read the letter Barnhart sent to the MIT community, visit MIT News.

May 5, 2015

Handling Personal Tragedies Around You

In academia, as in any workplace, you encounter the personal tragedies of the people around you. Colleagues experience illness, divorce, death, and more. As much as anything I’ve written about in this series, those traumatic events interrupt the life of the mind. Academics lead uniquely solitary work lives. Yet at the same time, we are uniquely tied to our work — and therefore to our colleagues. For example, we form long-lasting relationships across time and space: We stay in touch with our advisers and fellow students long after leaving graduate school behind. Our fields tend to be closed universes in which relationships grow across institutions, states, and national borders.

All of which means that, in many ways, academia is like an extended family, not just a job. For the sake of our extended academic families, I decided to learn more about how to react better to personal tragedies in our midst. I reached out to two academic professionals who have experienced significant personal tragedies during their careers. It’s normal to have trouble saying the right thing when someone near you is suffering. These colleagues have given some simple guidelines to help make things easier. To read these guidelines columnist Katie Rose has put together, visit Vitae. Photo by Kevin Dooley

May 5, 2015

Campus Planning / Kendall Community Meeting May 6

Exciting developments are taking place in MIT’s Kendall Square and east campus design process, the planning study for west campus, and key steps being taken regarding housing for graduate and undergraduate students., and opportunities are being created for the community to offer input to the process in the coming months. The proposed building designs for Kendall/east campus will be shared at initial community meetings on May 6th. Once broad feedback has been collected, design schemes will be submitted to the Cambridge Planning Board for its public hearing and review process. Both of these meetings will be on Wednesday, May 6th. The first will be from noon to 2 pm in the MIT Student Center, W20 Room 491. The second will be from 6pm to 8pm in the Kendall Marriott at 50 Broadway. Come and be an active, informed member of your community!

May 4, 2015

Arndt solves mystery underlying beetle’s attack

Bombardier beetles, which exist on every continent except Antarctica, have a pretty easy life. Virtually no other animals prey on them, because of one particularly effective defense mechanism: When disturbed or attacked, the beetles produce an internal chemical explosion in their abdomen and then expel a jet of boiling, irritating liquid toward their attackers. Researchers had been baffled by the half-inch beetles’ ability to produce this noxious spray while avoiding any physical damage. But now that conundrum has been solved, thanks to research by a team at MIT, the University of Arizona, and Brookhaven National Laboratory. The findings are published this week in the journal Science by MIT graduate student Eric Arndt, professor of materials science and engineering Christine Ortiz, Wah-Keat Lee of Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Wendy Moore of the University of Arizona.

“Their defensive mechanism is highly effective,” Arndt says, making bombardier beetles “invulnerable to most vertebrates, and invertebrates” — except for a few very specialized predators that have developed countermeasures against the noxious spray. Continue reading on MIT News. Photo by Charles Hedgcock.

May 4, 2015

Apply for 2015-2016 GCWS Graduate Seminars

GCWS graduate seminars are open to students across disciplines at all GCWS member institutions. Masters and PhD students are eligible to apply as well as advanced undergraduate students doing work in a discipline related to the course topics. The current course offerings for Fall 2015 include Workshop for Dissertation Writers in Women’s and Gender StudiesUnderstanding the Pornographic and the Obscene, and American Motherhood and Mothering: Theory, Discourse, Practice, and Change. The Spring 2016 offerings are Feminist Inquiry and The Secret Sex Life of Anthropological Artifacts: Gender and Race in the Museum. The complete course descriptions and faculty bios are in the 2015-2016 course brochure. There is a particular application process for GCWS courses. Applications are accepted until the enrollment deadline and are reviewed by the seminar instructors immediately following. Students will be notified of their final acceptance two to three days after the deadline. Students may apply after the deadline, pending available space in the class. The fall application deadline is August 24th, 2015 and the spring application is January 4th, 2016. Please call or email the GCWS for more information about application procedures, member institution cross-registration policies, or credit questions, and visit the GCWS web site.

May 4, 2015

Off-Campus Housing Fair May 5

The Sidney-Pacific HVAC Committee, GSC HCA Committee, and MIT Housing has gotten together create an Off Campus Housing Fair for grad students looking for off-campus housing for next year. Students will have the opportunity to meet landlords early, schedule viewings, see housing offers, and learn about community resources. The fair will take place on Tuesday, May 5th, from 4-6 pm at the Sidney-Pacific Multipurpose Room. Photo by Xynn Tii