MIT cognitive scientists win Ig Nobel for shedding light on legalese

September 16, 2022

Two MIT scientists from the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) are among this year’s winners of the Ig Nobel Prize, the satiric award celebrating “achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.” BCS professor Edward “Ted” Gibson and graduate student Eric Martinez, along with former MIT visiting researcher Francis Mollica, […]

Cracking the carbon removal challenge

September 15, 2022

By most measures, MIT chemical engineering spinoff Verdox has been enjoying an exceptional year. The carbon capture and removal startup, launched in 2019, announced $80 million in funding in February from a group of investors that included Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Then, in April — after recognition as one of the year’s top energy […]

The economics of missed opportunities

September 15, 2022

Pharmaceutical companies make some remarkable advances. Could they make significantly more of them? It’s possible, but for that to happen, the industry would likely have to change some of its core habits, according to the research of Danielle Li, an associate professor of economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In a recent paper, […]

A lasting — and valuable — legacy

September 14, 2022

Betar Gallant, MIT associate professor and Class of 1922 Career Development Chair in Mechanical Engineering, grew up in a curious, independently minded family. Her mother had multiple jobs over the years, including in urban planning and in the geospatial field. Her father, although formally trained in English, read textbooks of all kinds from cover to […]

3Q: How MIT is working to reduce carbon emissions on our campus

September 12, 2022

Fast Forward: MIT’s Climate Action Plan for the Decade, launched in May 2021, charges MIT to eliminate its direct carbon emissions by 2050. Setting an interim goal of net zero emissions by 2026 is an important step to getting there. Joe Higgins, vice president for campus services and stewardship, speaks here about the coordinated, multi-team […]

MIT accelerates efforts on path to carbon reduction goals

September 12, 2022

Under its “Fast Forward” climate action plan, which was announced in May 2021, MIT has set a goal of eliminating direct emissions from its campus by 2050. An important near-term milestone will be achieving net-zero emissions by 2026. Many other colleges and universities have set similar targets. What does it take to achieve such a […]

MIT named No. 2 university by U.S. News for 2022-23

September 12, 2022

MIT has placed second in U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings of the nation’s best colleges and universities, announced today. As in past years, MIT’s engineering program continues to lead the list of undergraduate engineering programs at a doctoral institution. The Institute also placed first in six out of 12 engineering disciplines. In its […]

Jung Jae Kwon: Questioning the nuclear umbrella

September 9, 2022

Many of America’s allies have little faith that huddling under America’s nuclear umbrella will keep them safe. “The conventional wisdom has been that the threat of nuclear retaliation by the U.S. is enough to defend our junior non-nuclear allies,” says Jung Jae Kwon, a political science doctoral student at MIT. “But this threat is not […]

Modeling the social mind

September 9, 2022

Typically, it would take two graduate students to do the research that Setayesh Radkani is doing. Driven by an insatiable curiosity about the human mind, she is working on two PhD thesis projects in two different cognitive neuroscience labs at MIT. For one, she is studying punishment as a social tool to influence others. For […]

AI system makes models like DALL-E 2 more creative

September 8, 2022

The internet had a collective feel-good moment with the introduction of DALL-E, an artificial intelligence-based image generator inspired by artist Salvador Dali and the lovable robot WALL-E that uses natural language to produce whatever mysterious and beautiful image your heart desires. Seeing typed-out inputs like “smiling gopher holding an ice cream cone” instantly spring to […]