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Relearning how to learn

September 21, 2022

As I sat down at my desk in the middle of the Pacific Ocean waiting for an Internet connection, I wondered if the long-awaited response would be sitting in my inbox. I kept hitting F5, hoping that the page would refresh faster. Internet on a naval vessel isn’t as instantaneous as the luxury Internet speeds […]

A “golden era” to study the brain

September 21, 2022

As an undergraduate, Mitch Murdock was a rare science-humanities double major, specializing in both English and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Yale University. Today, as a doctoral student in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, he sees obvious ways that his English education expanded his horizons as a neuroscientist.  “One of my […]

Scene at MIT: Dancing the night away

September 19, 2022

On Saturday night, MIT came out to party. An all-Institute dance party, organized by L. Rafael Reif as a thank you to the community as he approaches the conclusion of his tenure as MIT’s 17th president, was attended by thousands of students, staff, faculty, and their guests. The festivities opened with a community café dinner, […]

A musician-turned-anthropologist studies venture capitalism in China

September 19, 2022

As a teenager, Jamie Wong was a professional pop songwriter. Now, she’s an anthropologist studying venture capitalism in China. Her key turning point? Coaching a prison band in Hong Kong. “When I tell people this, they’re always quite surprised,” she says. “But [my journey] feels so natural to me.” Wong grew up in Hong Kong […]

Protecting maternal health in Rwanda

September 18, 2022

The world is facing a maternal health crisis. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 810 women die each day due to preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Two-thirds of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. In Rwanda, one of the leading causes of maternal mortality is infected Cesarean section wounds. An interdisciplinary team […]

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, […]

An ode to Kenji’s Cooking Show

September 16, 2022

At the start of the pandemic, my cooking skills were in top form. I had mastered scrambled eggs and had honed my selection criteria for one pot pastas (the simpler, the better). However, the pandemic and the subsequent shutdown revealed some gaping holes in my knowledge.  I was suddenly home all the time, afraid of […]

OGE GradDiversity

September 15, 2022

OGE GradDiversity takes a proactive lead in creating, fostering and partnering with others to make a better MIT. The Office of Graduate Education (OGE)’s GradDiversity seeks to support the success of underrepresented and under-served graduate students at MIT. This takes place through a series of programs designed to strengthen recruitment, enhance community, and ignite development […]

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 […]

Esther Duflo

Esther Duflo

September 15, 2022

Although her research focuses on daunting issues such as global poverty, Esther Duflo never neglects to dedicate time to something else she finds just as important: mentoring her graduate students. Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at MIT, and a co-founder and co-director […]

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, […]

The roller coaster ride of research life is no less scarier than those at Six Flags!

September 14, 2022

While I remember most events from my past with an extremely high level of detail thanks to my photographic memory, there is more to why I remember what happened on August 10, 2019. That was the day I went to Six Flags, New England, having purchased the discounted tickets sold by GSC. I had absolutely […]

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 […]

New endowment fund will power student innovation at MIT Sandbox

September 8, 2022

Through a $1 million gift from Daniel Gilbert ’91 and his wife, Judy, the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program gained a permanent source of funding with the establishment of the MIT Sandbox Endowment Fund. The new fund allows MIT Sandbox to expand its entrepreneurship education offerings to MIT undergraduate and graduate students, bringing to life […]

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 […]

Studies of autism tend to exclude women, researchers find

September 8, 2022

In recent years, researchers who study autism have made an effort to include more women and girls in their studies. However, despite these efforts, most studies of autism consistently enroll small numbers of female subjects or exclude them altogether, according to a new study from MIT. The researchers found that a screening test commonly used […]

Turning carbon dioxide into valuable products

September 7, 2022

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major contributor to climate change and a significant product of many human activities, notably industrial manufacturing. A major goal in the energy field has been to chemically convert emitted CO2 into valuable chemicals or fuels. But while CO2 is available in abundance, it has not yet been widely used to […]

MIT students contribute to success of historic fusion experiment

September 6, 2022

For more than half a century, researchers around the world have been engaged in attempts to achieve fusion ignition in a laboratory, a grand challenge of the 21st century. The High-Energy-Density Physics (HEDP) group at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center has focused on an approach called inertial confinement fusion (ICF), which uses lasers to […]

Forging political alliances through supply chains

September 6, 2022

The bustling coastal city of Wenzhou made its mark early on Hao Zhang. “It is considered the birthplace of Chinese capitalism, and living there, with many relatives involved in startups, I was exposed to all kinds of business,” says Zhang, a rising fifth-year graduate student in political science. He also gained a close-up view of […]

Featured video: Thank you, MIT employees!

September 2, 2022

Every fall, some 7,000 students arrive on campus, joining around 5,000 already here. In preparation, staff and faculty have made ready 6,210 dorm rooms, 30 residence halls, 13,828 offices, 5,488 labs, and 119 academic buildings. In honor of Labor Day, in this video we say, ‘Thank you, MIT employees!’ Produced by Christine Daniloff. Video by […]

Letter regarding proposed free expression statement from MIT

September 1, 2022

The following letter was sent to the MIT community today by President L. Rafael Reif and includes a letter sent to MIT faculty today by Provost Cynthia Barnhart, Chancellor Melissa Nobles, and Chair of the Faculty Lily L. Tsai. To the members of the MIT community, Last fall, I asked the provost, chancellor and chair of the faculty […]

MIT releases strategic action plan for belonging, achievement, and composition

September 1, 2022

MIT has released a new strategic action plan for belonging, achievement, and composition, intended to help the Institute forge a stronger sense of community and pursue excellence by tapping into talent globally. The plan provides an Institute-wide framework for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion across MIT, while allowing individual departments, labs, and offices to define […]

Chloé Gentgen named one of Aviation Week Network’s “20 Twenties”

August 31, 2022

Aviation Week Network named Chloé Gentgen SM’22, a PhD candidate in the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AeroAstro), as one of this year’s 20 Twenties Award recipients. The program has selected 20 promising recipients each year since 2013, based on stellar academic performance, extensive community involvement, and substantial research contributions, to recognize the next […]

3 Questions: Thea Keith-Lucas on ministering to the MIT community

August 30, 2022

MIT Chaplain to the Institute Thea Keith-Lucas feels very much at home working on a college campus. Keith-Lucas grew up in Sewanee, Tennessee, on the campus of the University of the South, where her father taught. Keith-Lucas served as MIT’s Episcopal chaplain from 2013 to 2020, and was recently promoted to chaplain to the Institute […]

Leadership opportunity: Serve on the Exec Board of Graduate Womxn at MIT (gwaMIT)!

August 29, 2022

When: Applications reviewed on rolling basis. Apply before Sep. 6th!Contact: emilyyu@mit.eduApply online Want to get involved with gwaMIT, build your network, and collaborate with an incredible community of womxn graduate students? Apply to be part of the 2022-2023 gwaMIT Executive Board! You can apply online. Official role responsibilities and descriptions linked in the form. Join us to […]

Deepto Chakrabarty named head of the Department of Physics

August 29, 2022

Professor Deepto Chakrabarty, principal investigator at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, has been named head of the Department of Physics, effective Aug. 29. Chakrabarty succeeds Peter Fisher, the Thomas A. Frank (1977) Professor of Physics, who has led the department since Nov. 13, 2013. “Professor Chakrabarty will continue to provide strong […]

Tipping the balance between global rivals

August 29, 2022

John David Minnich was under the spell of political philosophy until he took a trip across a bridge in China. The doctoral student in political science vividly recalls this life-changing 2009 journey, undertaken as part of a summer research fellowship program.  “Driving in from the airport, I was overwhelmed by my first glimpse of the […]

Working out my body… and my mind

August 24, 2022

You’ve probably seen countless exercise videos promising to help you drop 10 pounds in a month and copious articles telling you why you should start a new fitness regimen, but I’m not here to convince you to start one. I’m here to share how having a fitness routine has helped me learn and grow as […]

Building better batteries, faster

August 24, 2022

To help combat climate change, many car manufacturers are racing to add more electric vehicles in their lineups. But to convince prospective buyers, manufacturers need to improve how far these cars can go on a single charge. One of their main challenges? Figuring out how to make extremely powerful but lightweight batteries. Typically, however, it […]

Bridging careers in aerospace manufacturing and fusion energy, with a focus on intentional inclusion

August 23, 2022

“A big theme of my life has been focusing on intentional inclusion and how I can create environments where people can really bring their whole authentic selves to work,” says Joy Dunn ’08. As the head of operations at Commonwealth Fusion Systems, an MIT spinout working to achieve commercial fusion energy, Dunn looks for solutions […]

Bringing lessons from cybersecurity to the fight against disinformation

August 21, 2022

Mary Ellen Zurko remembers the feeling of disappointment. Not long after earning her bachelor’s degree from MIT, she was working her first job of evaluating secure computer systems for the U.S. government. The goal was to determine whether systems were compliant with the “Orange Book,” the government’s authoritative manual on cybersecurity at the time. Were […]