MIT News - Awards, honors and fellowships MIT News is dedicated to communicating to the media and the public the news and achievements of the students, faculty, staff and the greater MIT community. en Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:40:01 -0400 Alan Edelman recognized with 2019 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award Edelman&#039;s Julia programming language was recognized for solving large computational problems for high-performance computers. Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:40:01 -0400 Sandi Miller | Department of Mathematics <p>Applied mathematics Professor <a href="">Alan Edelman</a> has been selected to receive the 2019&nbsp;<a href="">IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award</a>.</p> <p>Edelman was cited “for outstanding breakthroughs in high performance computing, linear algebra, and computational science and for contributions to the Julia programming language.”</p> <p>One of the IEEE Computer Society's highest honors, the Sidney Fernbach Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the application of high-performance computers (HPC) using innovative approaches.</p> <p>Edelman works on numerical computation, linear algebra, random matrix theory, and geometry, and says that he loves algorithms, theorems, compilers, DSLs, and old-fashioned performance tuning. But a lifelong goal has been improving HPC research.</p> <p>“Julia was invented to prove that HPCs’ biggest challenges could be solved with language,” says Edelman, who leads the Julia laboratory in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), and is chief scientist at Julia Computing. “Still, there is so&nbsp;much work to do.”</p> <p>Edelman’s interest in HPC emerged shortly after he arrived at MIT in the 1980s to earn his doctorate in applied mathematics. He said he “learned many lost lessons moonlighting” at Thinking Machines, where he started thinking about how “breakthroughs in HPC could come from raising the levels of abstraction through high-level languages that are built from the ground up for performance and productivity.”</p> <p>“HPC had missed out for too long on the key intellectual ingredient that would make all the difference: language. The ‘one true goal’ for HPC number of users. Performance, productivity, scalability, reproducibility, composability, and other obvious and non-obvious metrics are subsumed by this ‘prime directive.’”</p> <p>Edelman, who came back to MIT as faculty in 1993, eventually teamed up&nbsp;with <a href="" target="_blank">Jeff Bezanson</a> PhD ’15, <a href="">Stefan Karpinski</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="">Viral B. Shah</a> to create a programming language that they called <a href="">Julia</a>. This language was designed to help researchers write high-level code in an intuitive syntax and produce code with the speed of production programming languages.</p> <p>The free and open-source Julia 1.0 was released in 2018. Today, the Julia project has over 800 open source contributors, 2,000 registered packages, and over 10 million downloads. It is used in over 1,500 universities, including MIT, for solving difficult and large-scale problems in areas such as <a href="">climate modeling</a>, <a href="">scientific machine learning</a>, and <a href="">medicine</a>. Julia is also used by companies such as BlackRock, Capital One, Intel, Cisco, and Netflix, and by government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, NASA, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.</p> <p>The Julia creators received the <a href="" target="_blank">2019 James H. Wilkinson Prize for Numerical Software</a>. In addition, Edelman has also received the Householder Prize, the Chauvenet Prize, and the Charles Babbage Prize. &nbsp;<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Edelman will receive his award, which consists of a certificate and a $2,000 honorarium, on Nov. 19 at the Supercomputing 2019 Conference awards plenary session in Denver, Colorado.</p> Applied mathematics Professor Alan Edelman has been selected to receive the 2019 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award. Mathematics, School of Science, Computer science and technology, Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) MIT economists Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee win Nobel Prize Professors share prize with Michael Kremer of Harvard University, are cited for breakthrough antipoverty work. Mon, 14 Oct 2019 06:09:00 -0400 Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office <p>Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, MIT economists whose work has helped transform antipoverty research and relief efforts, have been named co-winners of the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, along with another co-winner, Harvard University economist Michael Kremer.&nbsp;</p> <p>“We are incredibly happy and humbled,” Duflo told <em>MIT News</em> after learning of the award. “We feel very fortunate to see this kind of work being recognized.”</p> <p>Banerjee told <em>MIT News</em> it was “wonderful” to receive the award, adding “you don’t get this lucky many times in your life.”</p> <p>The work of Duflo and Banerjee, which has long been intertwined with Kremer’s, has been highly innovative in the area of development economics, emphasizing the use of field experiments in research in order to realize the benefits of laboratory-style randomized, controlled trials. Duflo and Banerjee have applied this new precision while studying a wide range of topics implicated in global poverty, including health care, education, agriculture, and gender issues, while developing new antipoverty programs based on their research.</p> <p>Duflo and Banerjee also co-founded MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) &nbsp;in 2003, along with a third co-founder, Sendhil Mullainathan, now of the University of Chicago. J-PAL, a global network of antipoverty researchers that conducts field experiments, has now become a major center of research, facilitating work across the world.</p> <p>J-PAL also examines which kinds of local interventions have the greatest impact on social problems, and works to implement those programs more broadly, in cooperation with governments and NGOs. Among J-PAL’s notable interventions are deworming programs that have been adopted widely.</p> <p>In the statement released this morning, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which grants the Nobel awards, noted that the work of Duflo, Banerjee, and Kremer has “dramatically improved our ability to fight poverty in practice” and cited their “new approach to obtaining reliable answers about the best ways to fight global poverty.”</p> <div class="cms-placeholder-content-video"></div> <p><strong>“A collective effort”</strong></p> <p>Duflo, 46, is the second woman and the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel in economic sciences.</p> <p>“We’re fortunate to see this kind of work being recognized,” Duflo told <em>MIT News</em>, noting that their work was “born at MIT and supported by MIT.” She called the work in this area a “collective effort” and said that “we could not have created a movement without hundreds of researchers and staff members.” The Nobel award, she said, also represented this collective enterprise, and was “larger than our work.”</p> <p>Banerjee, 58, noted that experiment-based work in development economics was a little-explored area of research 20 years ago but has grown significantly since then.</p> <p>“The kind of work we’ve done over the years, when we started, was marginal in economics,” Banerjee said. In that light, he added, the Nobel award is “great for the development field” within economics, reflecting the signifance of work done by many of his colleagues.&nbsp;</p> <p>Duflo added that she and Banerjee were “absolutely delighted to share this award with Michael Kremer,” calling his work an “inspiration” for antipoverty researchers. Kremer is a former MIT faculty member and postdoc who served at the Institute from 1992 to 1999, and remains an affiliated professor with J-PAL; he is currently the Gates Professor of Developing Societies at Harvard University. The three award-winners have known each other since the mid-1990s and have long viewed their research efforts as being intellectually aligned. The Nobel statement also cited Kremer’s research on education in Kenya as a key launching point for the new experimental method.</p> <p>While J-PAL researchers conduct experiments globally, Duflo and Banerjee have situated much of their own research in Africa and India. They have studied a wide range of issues implicated in global poverty, producing significant results over time. In one widely noted experiment, Duflo and Banerjee found that immunization rates for children in rural India jump dramatically (from 5 percent to 39 percent) when their families are offered modest incentives for immunization, such as lentils.</p> <p>They have also studied educational issues extensively, often with additional co-authors, uncovering new results about improvements in student achievement (when classes are divided into small groups) and ways to improve teacher attendance. But the range of topics Duflo and Banerjee have studied is immense, and includes fertilizer use by Kenyan farmers, physician training in India, HIV prevention in Africa, the effects of small-scale lending programs, and the impact of aid programs in Indonesia, among many other studies.</p> <p>In one study conducted on three continents, Duflo and Banerjee also reported significant welfare gains from an intervention that helps the poor simultaneously in multiple ways, including job training, productive assets, and health information.</p> <p>Duflo and Banerjee have published dozens of research papers, together and with other co-authors. They have also co-written two books together, “Poor Economics” (2011) and the forthcoming “Good Economics for Hard Times” (2019).</p> <p>A significant part of J-PAL’s mission is to scale up successful experiments that can be applied more widely in society. When Kremer and economist Edward Miguel demonstrated the immense value of deworming children in the developing world, J-PAL helped start Deworm the World, a nonprofit that has treated millions of children in Africa.</p> <p><strong>Scholarship and impact</strong></p> <p>At a press conference for Duflo and Banerjee held today in MIT’s Building E51, MIT President L. Rafael Reif introduced the two economists, praising their scholarship and the impact of their work.</p> <p>“By providing an experimental basis for development economics, professors Banerjee and Duflo have reimagined their field and profoundly changed how goverments and agencies around the world intervene to help people beat poverty,” Reif said. “In doing so, they provide a proud reminder of MIT’s commitment to bringing knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges.” He added: “We’re deeply proud of our newest Nobel laureates and the entire economics department.”</p> <p>After an extended round of applause from students, faculty, and administrators at the start of the press conference, Banerjee joked, “It feels like I wandered onto the set of the wrong movie.”</p> <p>Speaking to <em>MIT News</em>, Nancy Rose, the economics department head and the Charles P. Kindleberger Professor of Applied Economics, lauded Duflo and Banerjee’s scholarship and mentorship, as well as their extensive efforts to turn their findings into real-world policy.</p> <p>“Esther and Abhijit have been exceptional colleagues and contributors to the MIT economics department,” said Rose. “Their passion for the power of economics to do good in the world inspires us all, and their generosity and compassion in working with students and colleagues has propelled countless careers forward.&nbsp;We couldn’t be more thrilled for this recognition of all they have done.”<br /> <br /> Rose added that “Abhijit, Esther, and Michael's work shows economic research at its finest.&nbsp;They have not only transformed the way economists approach the study of poverty and development economics, but deployed their findings to improve the lives of hundreds of million people across the globe.&nbsp;Their founding&nbsp;of MIT’s J-PAL has created a vibrant network of scholars who are bringing evidence-based antipoverty policy into every corner of the world.”</p> <p>Melissa Nobles, the Kenan Sahin Dean of MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, praised the ethical foundations guiding the work of Duflo and Banerjee.</p> <p>“The significance of Abhijit’s and Esther’s scholarship is not only that it has transformed the ways in which economists and policymakers think about and approach poverty alleviation, but that, at the core, their research is guided by deeply humanistic values,” Nobles said. “In their vision, the materially poor are at the center, as are remedies for global poverty that actually work, that open doors for millions to education, health care, economic well-being, and safe communities — to the full promise of human life.”</p> <p>Duflo received her undergraduate degree from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1994, after studying both history and economics. She earned a master’s degree in economics the next year, jointly through the École Normale Supérieure and the École Polytechnique. Duflo then earned her PhD in economics from MIT in 1999. She joined the MIT faculty the same year, and has remained at MIT her entire career.&nbsp;</p> <p>Currently Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT. Banerjee is the Ford International Professor of Economics at MIT.</p> <p>Previously, Duflo has earned a series of awards and honors, including a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (2009), the John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economic Association (2010), and, also in 2009, the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award for Development Cooperation.</p> <p>Duflo has also helped create an MITx MicroMasters program in <a href="">Data, Economics, and Development Policy</a>, which the Institute launched in 2016.&nbsp;</p> <p>In her remarks at the press conference, Duflo thanked a variety of people instrumental in the development of J-PAL, including Bengt Holmström, the 2016 Nobel laureate in economics, who encouraged Duflo and Banerjee to pursue the idea when he was department chair; former MIT president Susan Hockfield; Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, the foundational supporter of the organization; and Rachel Glennerster, the long-time executive director of J-PAL (who is currently on leave and working as chief economist of Great Britain’s Department of International Development).</p> <p>Duflo also thanks her students, as well as another of her graduate advisors, MIT professor Joshua Angrist, a long-time advocate of using rigorous empirical methods in the social sciences.</p> <p>Asked at today’s press conference about the significance of being only the second woman to win the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, Duflo said she strongly wants to encourage other women to enter the discipline.</p> <p>“There are not enough women in the economics profession at all levels,” Duflo said. “That has to change.” The issue, she noted, “is something the profession is starting to reckon with.” Banerjee, for his part, observed that development economics has a higher percentage of female scholars than other subfields within the discipline, and he agreed that women should be encouraged to become scholars in economics.</p> <p>Banerjee received his undergraduate degree from the University of Calcutta, and a master’s degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He earned his PhD in Economics from Harvard University in 1988. He spent four years on the faculty at Princeton University, and one year at Harvard, before joining the MIT faculty in 1993.</p> <p>Among other honors and awards, Banerjee was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004, and was granted the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award for Development Cooperation in 2009.</p> <p>Duflo and Banerjee are the sixth and seventh people to win&nbsp;the award while serving as MIT faculty members, following Paul Samuelson (1970), Franco Modigliani (1985), Robert Solow (1987), Peter Diamond (2010), and Bengt Holmström (2016). There are now 12 MIT alumni, including Duflo, who have won the Nobel in economics; eight former faculty have also won the award.</p> MIT economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo stand outside their home after learning that they have been named co-winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in economic sciences. They will share the prize with Michael Kremer of Harvard University.Photo: Bryce VickmarkSchool of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, Economics, Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty, Nobel Prizes, Social sciences, Developing countries, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Poverty, International development, Office of Open Learning, EdX, MITx, India, Africa Longtime MIT Lincoln Laboratory researcher John Goodenough wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry One of three scientists recognized for developing the lithium-ion battery, Goodenough explored the physics of magnetic materials during his career at Lincoln Laboratory. Wed, 09 Oct 2019 16:40:07 -0400 Dorothy Ryan | Lincoln Laboratory <p>The Nobel Prize Committee awarded a share of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to John Bannister Goodenough for the development of the lithium-ion battery, which is used widely in portable electronics and which the committee stated has "enabled the mobile world." Goodenough, currently a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, began his engineering career in 1952 at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where he worked on random access memory for computers used by the Laboratory-developed SAGE air defense system.</p> <p>Goodenough's career at Lincoln Laboratory spanned 24 years, ending with his move in 1976 to become a professor of inorganic chemistry at Oxford University in the U.K. During his tenure at the Laboratory, Goodenough was a technical staff member and then a leader in several groups, overseeing pioneering work on computing and conducting seminal research on the magnetic and electrical properties of materials. In 1958, he was promoted to associate leader of the Digital Computer Development Group. A year later, he moved to the Computer Components Group as its leader. He became the leader of the Magnetism and Resonance Group in 1963 and transferred to the Electronic Materials Group as its leader in 1965.</p> <p>During his time at Lincoln Laboratory, Goodenough garnered honors for his contributions to science and engineering. In 1963, he was elevated to Fellow of the American Physical Society. In 1967, he was named a Docteur Honoris Causa of the University of Bordeaux for his interdisciplinary work in physics. The National Academy of Engineering elected Goodenough to membership in 1976, recognizing his work on designing materials for electronic components and his elucidation of the relationships between properties, structures, and chemistry. Also in 1976, he was invited by the Chemical Society to deliver a Centenary Lecture at seven universities in England and Scotland; this Centenary Lectureship, an honorary appointment, was offered to Goodenough for his contributions to solid-state chemistry.</p> <p>Goodenough shares this Nobel Prize with researchers M. Stanley Whittingham of Binghamton University, a state university in New York, and Akira Yoshino of Meijo University in Japan. He will receive the prize in December.</p> John Goodenough (left) received the National Medal of Science from U.S. President Barack Obama in 2011.Lincoln Laboratory, Staff, Awards, honors and fellowships, Nobel Prizes, Batteries Victor Kac elected to the Accademia Nationale dei Lincei Victor Kac elected to the Accademia Nationale dei Lincei Mathematics professor will join Galileo and Einstein as a member of the world&#039;s oldest science academy. Mon, 07 Oct 2019 15:45:01 -0400 Sandi Miller | Department of Mathematics <p>In 1977, math professor <a href="">Victor Kac</a> was a refugee from the Soviet Union living in Rome. As he was awaiting a U.S. visa so he could begin teaching at MIT, he met <a href="">Claudio Procesi,</a> an algebra professor at the&nbsp;Sapienza University of Rome, and other Italian mathematicians who set him up with a room in a family member’s home and helped him with paid talks in Pisa and with traveling throughout Italy. He said that those professors became his lifelong friends.</p> <p>More than 40 years later, he will return to Rome in November to be inducted as a&nbsp;foreign member of the <a href="">Accademia Nationale dei Lincei</a>, the Italian National Academy of Sciences, which is the oldest science academy in the world.</p> <p>Founded in 1603, the Italian institution counts Galileo Galilei as among its first members. Other distinguished members have included Niels&nbsp;Bohr, Albert Einstein, and Erwin Schrodinger.</p> <p>“I was quite surprised and profoundly honored,” says Kac, who joins only 20 other Accademia foreign members in math, such as Fields medalists Pierre Deligne, Pierre-Louis Lions, David Mumford, and Shing-Tung Yau.</p> <p>Kac works in several areas of algebra and mathematical physics related to symmetries. “Victor’s development of Kac-Moody algebras has continued implications for mathematics, as well as theoretical physics research,” says <a href="">Michael Sipser</a>, dean of the MIT <a href="">School of Science</a> and the Donner Professor of Mathematics. “His work developing an algebraic theory of integrable systems, as well as his theory of Lie superalgebras, make him more than deserving of this extraordinary honor.”</p> <p>The academy is composed of 540 members elected on the basis of their scientific merit by its national members: 180 Italian members, 180 Italian corresponding members, and 180 foreign members.</p> <p>“To the best of my knowledge, Victor is the first MIT&nbsp;mathematician to receive this honor,” says Michel Goemans, head of the Department of Mathematics. Two other MIT professors are members of the academy: Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences Professor Emeritus <a href="">Emilio Bizzi</a>, who was born in Rome, and Palermo native <a href="">Silvio Micali</a>, Ford Professor of Engineering in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. So is Kac’s friend Procesi.</p> MIT professor of mathematics Victor Kac will be inducted into the Accademia Nationale dei Lincei in November.Awards, honors and fellowships, Mathematics, Faculty, Europe Technology transfer award recognizes system that detects concealed objects on people The technology, first developed at Lincoln Laboratory, is now licensed and will soon be tested to screen passersby in sports stadiums. Fri, 04 Oct 2019 13:40:01 -0400 Kylie Foy | Lincoln Laboratory <p>Many of us are familiar with body scanners at airport security, where we must step into a machine, stand still, and wait for the system to detect any objects that might concern security. MIT Lincoln Laboratory has developed a similar technology that can detect and classify an item concealed on a person, but it does so as a person simply walks by.</p> <p>This technology has been licensed and transferred to the security company <a href="">Liberty Defense</a>, which intends to commercialize it in a system called HEXWAVE. For this transition, the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) awarded their 2019 Excellence in Technology Transfer Award for the Northeast region to the team that facilitated its transition.</p> <p>The technology transfer team includes William Moulder and Jeffrey Herd of the RF Technology Group at Lincoln Laboratory; Jayme Selinger and David Pronchick in the laboratory's Contracting Services Department; Kevin Lefebvre of the MIT Technology Licensing Office; and Aman Bhardwaj, Liberty Defense's chief operations officer and its president of U.S. operations.&nbsp;</p> <p>"It is rewarding to see the lab’s technology be transitioned to address an important problem," says Moulder, who led the technology's development at Lincoln Laboratory. "This tech transfer was successful because the technology addresses a well-defined national need and can be applied to multiple commercial security applications. The transition partner has significant experience in the security industry and understands the process of product development and system integration."</p> <p>The system handles a constant stream of subjects, making it possible to screen people in places like malls, stadiums, train stations, or schools, where it would otherwise be too disruptive to employ stop-and-pose imaging technology. The technology works by sending low-energy microwaves (less powerful than what a cell phone transmits) through clothing and bags on a person as he walks past the antenna. These microwaves bounce off any metal, liquid, or plastic on a person’s body and return to the antenna, generating a 3-D microwave image of the items. The system's artificial intelligence algorithms then process the image to classify the items. If an image is characterized as depicting a potentially threatening item, an operator is alerted and a security official can be dispatched to investigate.</p> <p>The system architecture — including the sparse aperture antenna array, radio-frequency transceivers, and real-time image processing capability — was transferred to Liberty Defense. In addition, "a spread-spectrum waveform and custom RF transceiver subsystem were jointly developed under a <a href="">Cooperative Research and Development Agreement</a> [CRADA]," says Herd, who leads the RF Technology Group. A CRADA is the mechanism through which a federally funded research institution can transfer technology, processes, and technical know-how they have developed to the private sector for commercialization.</p> <p>Liberty Defense has since signed agreements to beta test HEXWAVE at <a href="">Camden Yards Sports Complex</a> in Baltimore, Maryland;&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">FC Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena</a>&nbsp;in Germany;&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Rogers Arena</a>&nbsp;in&nbsp;Vancouver, British Columbia; in the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">state of Utah</a>; in&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Sleiman shopping centers</a>; and other locations.</p> <p>For the laboratory, transitioning technology to industry is an important part of its role as a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC). The mission of the FLC is to promote, facilitate, and educate FFRDCs and industry on the process of technology transfer.</p> <p>"Overall, this partnership has greatly accelerated movement of a federally developed technology investment into industry," FLC stated in an announcement about the award. "Almost one year after its founding, LDT [Liberty Defense] has grown to a sizeable organization, building a product that is based on a federally funded prototype." According to FLC, Lincoln Laboratory's close interaction with Liberty Defense facilitated "very efficient transfer of some of the core research and development, and practical developments realized under the federally funded effort."</p> Lincoln Laboratory employees (left to right) William Moulder, Jayme Selinger, David Pronchick, and Jeffrey Herd accept the FLC Excellence in Technology Transfer Award.Photo: The award recipientsLincoln Laboratory, Security studies and military, Imaging, Awards, honors and fellowships, Technology Licensing Office Strong mentorship through great decision-making Gabriella Carolini, Paula Hammond, and David Trumper honored as Committed to Caring graduate student mentors. Thu, 03 Oct 2019 15:40:01 -0400 Courtney Lesoon | Office of Graduate Education <p>Faculty mentors Gabriella Carolini, Paula Hammond, and David Trumper are known for guiding students through the trenches of graduate school — one decision at a time. &nbsp;</p> <p>Students encounter various obstacles in graduate school, many of which are unexpected. Selecting a research project may become an all-consuming task. Starting a family in graduate school may be both the best and the most-daunting decision.</p> <p>In addition to helping graduate students make choices, caring faculty mentors demonstrate support for the decisions graduate students make on their own and affirm that no obstacle is insurmountable. Through such acts of validation, these professors help to cultivate graduate students as productive and confident researchers.</p> <p>For this reason, among others, Carolini, Hammond, and Trumper have been honored as Committed to Caring (C2C).</p> <p><strong>Gabriella Carolini: making extraordinary the norm</strong></p> <p>One student extols Gabriella Carolini as “the single most-defining influence in my MIT experience to date.” This sentiment is far from an outlier.</p> <p>Associate professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), Carolini’s research focuses on the planning, implementation, and administration of infrastructure systems in vulnerable urban and peri-urban communities. Her work, largely based in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, examines how financing, project partnering practices, and project evaluations impact distributive justice in urban development, particularly with regard to water and sanitation services as well as community health.</p> <p>Carolini builds community in the DUSP International Development Group by sharing her own experiences with her students, and in doing so “fosters a friendly and inclusive work environment” (a C2C mentoring guidepost).</p> <p>One nominator remarks that Carolini’s “candor in sharing her experiences as a tenure-track female academic” has helped inform the student’s own career decisions. Another nomination describes Carolini as honest about the ups and downs of academia, including the tenure process, the management of research projects and publications, and family-work life balances.</p> <p>When an international graduate student and his wife were expecting a baby, Carolini — pregnant herself at the time — went out of her way to demonstrate her concern and personally provide support for them. Her actions made them feel like they “had a community to rely on at MIT.” This was especially appreciated in light of the current political climate, in which many international students have felt destabilized and socially isolated.</p> <p>In considering general obstacles for her students, Carolini explains that “choice” is perhaps their toughest hurdle. “Making a decision about what specific questions or issues to commit to is a perennially difficult challenge our students face. They are talented and able — so we understand why. But we all still have to choose to move forward.”</p> <p>Faculty members, Carolini says, need to help students find and commit to their research and professional practice aspirations. It helps when faculty members demonstrate excitement about students’ work and help them to develop a plan towards achievement. To Carolini, this means recognizing both the strengths and weaknesses of a project, and addressing the latter “without losing sight of the value of their work.”</p> <p><strong>Paula Hammond: individual and departmental advancement</strong></p> <p>Paula Hammond excels at actively listening to her students, helping her students move successfully through their programs, and improving departmental systems to encourage diversity and inclusion.</p> <p>Hammond is head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and the David H. Koch (1962) Professor in Engineering at MIT. The Hammond Research Group&nbsp;at the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research focuses on the self-assembly of polymeric nanomaterials, including the use of electrostatics and other complementary interactions to generate multifunctional materials with highly controlled architecture.</p> <p>Her work has a number of electro-optical, electro-mechanical, and biological applications. In cancer research, for example, the Hammond lab works on the generation of polymer-based films and nanoparticles for drug delivery.</p> <p>Whether students are struggling with qualifying exams or unproductive data, Hammond assures her students that their obstacles can be overcome. “I let them know that there is a path to a PhD here and we’re going to find it.” This sets students at ease, and alleviates much of the stress. Hammond says that all these challenges are “part of the journey, and everyone experiences them — we just need to get out on the other side of it.”</p> <p>Hammond provides channels for students to express their difficulties (a C2C mentoring guidepost). She says that during a recent departmental retreat, “we learned that there is a gendered experience for women in our department.” As department head, Hammond has set out to learn how this climate can shift into “one in which women feel equally recognized and equally able as soon as they walk in the door.”</p> <p>According to C2C nominators, Hammond makes every effort to empower students from diverse backgrounds. This is perhaps best illustrated by her ongoing commitment to the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP). By welcoming MSRP interns into her lab, Hammond gives her own graduate students valuable experiences mentoring potential future labmates.</p> <p>“I feel a responsibility as a woman, and as an underrepresented minority to be visible to others,” Hammond says. “I want to say, ‘There are people who look like you and have similar backgrounds to you doing this work.’”</p> <p><strong>David Trumper: champion of balance</strong></p> <p>David Trumper is a reliable guide for his students, who say that he invariably “encourages us to do what we are passionate about and supports us in any way he can.”</p> <p>As professor of mechanical engineering, Trumper’s research investigates the design of precision mechatronic systems, magnetic levitation for nanometer-scale motion control, and novel actuation and sensing devices. As director of the Precision Motion Control Laboratory, Trumper works with his group to conduct research in the design of electromechanical systems for precise positioning applications, such as semiconductor photolithography, high-speed machine tools, and scanned probe microscopy.</p> <p>According to his students, Trumper takes the time to sit down and listen, not just as a professor or advisor, but also as a friend. One nominator wrote, “we talked about the loss of my dad, about the presidential election, about life in general, and about life at MIT. It was the most encouraging and helpful experience that I have ever had with an MIT professor.”</p> <p>In addition to promoting a healthy work/life balance (a C2C mentoring guidepost), Trumper’s students say he constantly stresses balance of every kind, for example “between creative thinking and precise detailing, between analysis and learning from prototyping, and between going fast and slowing down.”</p> <p>Trumper demonstrates to his students that balance is important, and ultimately more effective for everyone. He encourages his students to make time for creative efforts and physical activities. Trumper&nbsp;leads by example, spending&nbsp;time photographing, hiking, and rock climbing. “I also encourage my students to be more broadly educated by reading books that have nothing to do with their technical field,” he relays. “Reading for pleasure should be a lifelong habit.”</p> <p>Along with balance comes perspective, and Trumper is always offering a positive outlook. One student recalls that after making a careless calculation, his experiment failed. Trumper “did not criticize me once about the mistake, and instead, he simply said: ‘Now you will never forget this, which is great’.”</p> <p><strong>More on Committed to Caring </strong></p> <p>The Committed to Caring (C2C) program is an initiative of the Office of Graduate Education and contributes to its mission of making graduate education at MIT “empowering, exciting, holistic, and transformative.”</p> <p>C2C invites&nbsp;graduate students from across MIT’s campus to nominate professors whom they believe to be outstanding mentors. Selection criteria for the honor include the scope and reach of advisor impact on the experience of graduate students, excellence in scholarship, and demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.</p> <p>By recognizing the human element of graduate education, C2C seeks&nbsp;to encourage excellent advising and mentorship across MIT’s campus.&nbsp;</p> Left to right: MIT professors Gabriella Carolini, Paula Hammond, and David TrumperPhotos: Joseph LeeUrban studies and planning, Chemical engineering, School of Engineering, Koch Institute, Mechanical engineering, Mentoring, Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty, School of Architecture and Planning, Graduate, postdoctoral Josh Tenenbaum receives 2019 MacArthur Fellowship Brain and cognitive sciences professor studies how the human mind is able to learn so rapidly. Wed, 25 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0400 Anne Trafton | MIT News Office <p>Josh Tenenbaum, a professor in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences who studies human cognition, has been named a recipient of a 2019 MacArthur Fellowship.</p> <p>The fellowships, often referred to as “genius grants,” come with a five-year, $625,000 prize, which recipients are free to use as they see fit.</p> <p>“It’s an amazing honor, and very unexpected. There are a very small number of cognitive scientists who have ever received it, so it’s an incredible honor to be in their company,” says Tenenbaum, a professor of computational cognitive science and a member of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines (CBMM).</p> <p>Using computer modeling and behavioral experiments, Tenenbaum seeks to understand a key aspect of human intelligence: how people are able to rapidly learn new concepts and tasks based on very little information. This phenomenon is particularly noticeable in babies and young children, who can quickly learn meanings of new words, or how objects behave in the physical world, after minimal exposure to them.</p> <p>“One thing we’re trying to understand is how are these basic ways of understanding the world built, in very young children? What are babies born with? How do children really learn and how can we describe those ideas in engineering terms?” Tenenbaum says.</p> <p>Additionally, his lab explores how the mind performs cognitive processes such as making predictions about future events, inferring the mental states of other people, making judgments regarding cause and effect, and constructing theories about rules that govern physical interactions or social behavior.</p> <p>Tenenbaum says he would like to use the grant money to fund some of the more creative student projects in his lab, which are harder to get funding for, as well as collaborations with MIT colleagues that he sees as key partners in studying various aspects of cognition. He also hopes to use some of the funding to support his department’s efforts to increase research participation of under-represented minority students.</p> <p>Tenenbaum also studies machine learning and artificial intelligence, with the goal of bringing machine-learning algorithms closer to the capacities of human learning. This could lead to more powerful AI systems as well as more powerful theoretical paradigms for understanding human cognition.</p> <p>Tenenbaum received his PhD from MIT in 1999, and after a brief postdoc with the MIT AI Lab he joined the Stanford University faculty as an assistant professor of psychology. He returned to MIT as a faculty member in 2002. Last year, he was named a scientific director of The Core, a part of MIT’s Quest for Intelligence that focuses on advancing the science and engineering of both human and machine intelligence.</p> <p>Including Tenenbaum, 24 MIT faculty members and three staff members have won the MacArthur fellowship.</p> <p>MIT faculty who have won the award over the last decade include health care economist Amy Finkelstein and media studies scholar Lisa Parks (2018); computer scientist Regina Barzilay (2017); economist Heidi Williams (2015); computer scientist Dina Kitabi and astrophysicist Sara Seager (2013); writer Junot Diaz (2012); physicist Nergis Mavalvala (2010); and economist Esther Duflo (2009).</p> Josh TenenbaumImage: Lilly Paquette, MITFaculty, Brain and cognitive sciences, Behavior, Memory, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Center for Brains Minds and Machines, School of Science, Awards, honors and fellowships Malden Works for Waterfront Equity and Resilience awarded Norman B. Leventhal City Prize Prize supports powerful collaboration among diverse constituencies in Malden, Massachusetts. Tue, 24 Sep 2019 14:05:02 -0400 School of Architecture and Planning <p>Malden, Massachusetts, is a city of neighborhoods, with a patchwork of public open spaces such as parks and historic squares. With a proposal that extends beyond these neighborhood spaces to activate an industrial area along the Malden River,<strong> </strong>Malden Works for Waterfront Equity and Resilience, an urban coalition, has been named the winner of the first Norman B. Leventhal City Prize.</p> <p>The $100,000 triennial prize was established by MIT’s Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism (LCAU) to catalyze innovative, interdisciplinary urban design and planning approaches worldwide to improve both the environment and the quality of life for residents.</p> <div class="cms-placeholder-content-video"></div> <p>The 2019 prize sought proposals that foregrounded “equitable resilience,” the triennial research theme of LCAU. “Equitable resilience challenges global resilience thinking, addressing urban inequities that result from climate change preparations and impacts,” says Alan Berger, co-director of LCAU. “I’m excited to see the Malden Works team’s ideas put into practice.”</p> <p>Malden Works has proposed a transformation of the city’s Department of Public Works (DPW) site on the Malden River into a civic waterfront space. The project team brings together community leaders, environmental advocates, government officials, and urban design practitioners to collaborate on the planning, design, and realization of the project.</p> <p>The team will work with the DPW to study and redesign the site and building operations to foster climate change preparedness, improved stormwater management, and the integration of safe public access. Running through a historically heavy-industrial zone, the Malden River has never been considered part of Malden’s neighborhoods; redesigning a portion of the river for the public presents an opportunity to demonstrate a new process for envisioning an equitable and resilient future in Malden.</p> <p>With its focus on the only publicly owned parcel along Malden’s riverfront, the winning proposal resists waterfront gentrification while introducing essential climate resiliency improvements in combination with existing industrial uses and open space. The study will address a knowledge gap in resiliency planning and implementation around waterfront industrial uses, which pose a unique set of flood vulnerabilities and risks.</p> <p>This project will “explore the interplay between the river as a community asset and the risk it poses due to flooding,” says jury member Jo da Silva. “It is an intervention where measurable impact is achievable.”</p> <p>Both the physical transformation of the project site and the planning process will serve as precedents for realizing the community’s larger Malden River Greenway — an accessible pathway along the river for public recreation and enjoyment. They will also serve as a model for the equitable and resilient transformation of similar urbanized waterways in metro Boston and beyond.</p> <p>“This project could start a much bigger regeneration project with very significant sustainable benefits for the Malden community at large,” says jury member Nick Earle.</p> <p>“The Malden Works proposal was an impressive link between design, environmental health, and community engagement,” says jury member Carolyn Kousky. “There are many light industrial waterfronts around the country that have been underexamined by resilience work. The model proposed by Malden Works has the potential to scale in broad ways.”</p> <p>The prize required proposed projects to have an interdisciplinary team — MIT faculty or senior research staff working in collaboration with a government agency, nonprofit, or civic leadership organization — exploring urban design solutions in service of social and environmental change.</p> <p>The Malden Works project is led by Kathleen Vandiver of the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences, which is supported by an NIEHS Core Center Grant. The team includes Marie Law Adams of the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning; Malden’s Mayor Gary Christenson; Malden resident Marcia Manong; Amber Christoffersen of the Mystic River Watershed Association; Evan Spetrini MCP '18, a DUSP alumnus and member of the Malden Redevelopment Authority; and Karen Buck of Friends of the Malden River.</p> <p>The prize jury also identified two finalists: Lawrence Vale from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning proposed combining affordable housing with green space development and flood control in New Orleans, Louisiana. “[This idea is] an example of the sort of complex, interagency coordination that, while complicated and risky, could lead to a valuable and innovative outcome that could be shared and scaled,” says jury member Dan Tangherlini.</p> <p>Mary Anne Ocampo, a lecturer in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, was also recommended as a finalist for a proposal suggesting improvements for low-income residents vulnerable to climate change and socioeconomic inequities within the National Capital Region of the Philippines. Jury members were impressed by Ocampo’s “longstanding commitment and passion for working with communities in the Philippines,” and commended her proposal for “its interdisciplinarity and multisectoral involvement, as well as [its] considered application of technology and design.” Further details on both finalists proposals may be found on the <a href="">Leventhal City Prize website</a>.</p> <p>The jury for the first Norman B. Leventhal City Prize included Sarah Herda of the Graham Foundation; Nick Earle of Eseye; Jose Castillo of a | 911; Dan Tangherlini of Emerson Collective; Carolyn Kousky of the University of Pennsylvania; and Jo da Silva of Arup.</p> <p>Since its establishment in 2013 within the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, LCAU has sought to define the field of advanced urbanism, integrating research on urban design with processes of urbanization and urban culture, to meet the contemporary challenges facing the world’s cities.</p> <p>Drawing on MIT’s deep history in urban design and planning, architecture, and transportation, LCAU coordinates multidisciplinary, multifaceted approaches to advance the understanding of cities and propose new forms and systems for urban communities. Support for LCAU was provided by the Muriel and Norman B. Leventhal Family Foundation and the Sherry and Alan Leventhal Family Foundation.</p> The Malden Works team gathered in the Malden, Massachusetts, Department of Public Works garage during a recent site tour: (left to right) Marcia Manong, Karen Buck, Evan Spetrini, Gary Christenson, Amber Christoffersen, Kathleen Vandiver, and Marie Law Adams.Photo: Jonah SusskindSchool of Architecture and Planning, Urban studies and planning, Awards, honors and fellowships, Environment, Climate change, Cambridge, Boston and region, Sustainability, Center for Environmental Health Sciences (CEHS) Four from MIT named American Physical Society Fellows for 2019 Matthew Evans, Joseph Formaggio, Markus Klute, and Anne White are named MIT’s newest APS fellows for their contributions to physics. Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:00:01 -0400 Fernanda Ferreira | School of Science <p>Four members of the MIT community have been elected fellows of the <a href="">American Physical Society</a> (APS) for 2019. The APS fellowship was created in 1921 for those in the physics community to recognize peers who have contributed to advances in physics through original research, innovative applications, teaching, and leadership.</p> <p><a href="">Matthew Evans</a> is a professor of physics, a member of the MIT Kavli Institute of Astrophysics and Space Research, and a member of the MIT Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) research group. Evans was nominated by APS’ Division of Gravitational Physics for his “critical contributions to the development of advanced gravitational-wave detectors, as well as for developing techniques to enable further improvements in detector sensitivity, and for leading community efforts to design future large-scale ground-based detectors.”</p> <p><a href="">Joseph A. Formaggio</a> is a professor of physics and a member of the Laboratory of Nuclear Science. Formaggio was nominated by APS’ Division of Nuclear Physics for his “leadership in the pursuit of neutrino masses determination, and for developing novel technologies to attack the problem of direct detection.”</p> <p><a href="">Markus Klute</a> is a professor of physics and member of the Laboratory of Nuclear Science. Klute was nominated by APS’ Division of Particles and Fields for his “work establishing the coupling of the Higgs boson to tau leptons, and for establishing the physics case for colliders beyond the Large Hadron Collider, including the High Luminosity LHC.”</p> <p><a href="">Anne White</a> is a professor and head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. Nominated by the APS’ Division of Plasma Physics, White was cited for her “outstanding contributions and leadership in understanding turbulent electron heat transport in magnetically confined fusion plasmas via diagnostic development, novel experimentation, and validation of nonlinear gyrokinetic codes.”</p> Four MIT faculty have been named 2019 American Physics Society Fellows: (left to right) Matthew Evans, Joseph Formaggio, Markus Klute, and Anne White. Photos courtesy of the researchers (Bryce Vickmark for Anne White)Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty, Physics, LIGO, Kavli Institute, Laboratory for Nuclear Science, Nuclear science and engineering, School of Science, School of Engineering Mehrdad Jazayeri and Hazel Sive awarded 2019 School of Science teaching prizes Nominated by peers and students, professors in brain and cognitive sciences and biology are recognized for excellence in graduate and undergraduate education. Wed, 18 Sep 2019 14:30:02 -0400 School of Science <p>The School of Science has announced that the recipients of the school’s 2019 Teaching Prizes for Graduate and Undergraduate Education are Mehrdad Jazayeri and Hazel Sive. Nominated by peers and students, the faculty members chosen to receive these prizes are selected to acknowledge their exemplary efforts in teaching graduate and undergraduate students.</p> <p><a href="">Mehrdad Jazayeri</a>, an associate professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, is awarded the prize for graduate education for 9.014 (Quantitative Methods and Computational Models in Neuroscience). Earlier this year, he was recognized for excellence in graduate teaching by the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and won a Graduate Student Council teaching award in 2016. In their nomination letters, peers and students alike remarked that he displays not only great knowledge, but extraordinary skill in teaching, most notably by ensuring everyone learns the material. Jazayeri does so by considering students’ diverse backgrounds and contextualizing subject material to relatable applications in various fields of science according to students’ interests. He also improves and adjusts the course content, pace, and intensity in response to student input via surveys administered throughout the semester.</p> <p><a href="">Hazel Sive</a>, a professor in the Department of Biology, member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, and associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, is awarded the prize for undergraduate education. A MacVicar Faculty Fellow, she has been recognized with MIT’s highest undergraduate teaching award in the past, as well as the 2003 School of Science Teaching Prize for Graduate Education. Exemplified by her nominations, Sive’s laudable teaching career at MIT continues to receive praise from undergraduate students who take her classes. In recent post-course evaluations, students commended her exemplary and dedicated efforts to her field and to their education.</p> <p>The School of Science welcomes nominations for the teaching prize in the spring semester of each academic year. Nominations can be submitted at the&nbsp;<a href="">school's website</a>.</p> Mehrdad Jazayeri, an associate professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (left), and Hazel Sive, a professor in the Department of Biology, are the 2019 recipients of the School of Science Teaching Prizes in Graduate and Undergraduate Education, respectively.School of Science, Brain and cognitive sciences, McGovern Institute, Biology, Whitehead Institute, Broad Institute, MacVicar fellows, Faculty, Awards, honors and fellowships, Education, teaching, academics Cody Friesen PhD ’04 awarded $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize Materials scientist recognized for social, economic, and environmentally-sustaining inventions that impact millions of people around the world. Wed, 18 Sep 2019 10:10:01 -0400 Stephanie Martinovich | Lemelson-MIT Program <p>Cody Friesen PhD ’04, an associate professor of materials science at Arizona State University and founder of both Fluidic Energy and Zero Mass Water, was awarded the 2019 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for invention. Friesen has dedicated his career to inventing solutions that address two of the biggest challenges to social and economic advancement in the developing world: access to fresh water and reliable energy. His renewable water and energy technologies help fight climate change while providing valuable resources to underserved communities.</p> <p>Friesen’s first company, Fluidic Energy, was formed to commercialize and deploy the world’s first, and only, rechargeable metal-air battery, which can withstand many thousands of discharges. The technology has provided backup power during approximately 1 million long-duration outages, while simultaneously offsetting thousands of tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The batteries are currently being used as a secondary energy source on four continents at thousands of critical load sites and in dozens of microgrids. Several million people have benefited from access to reliable energy as a result of the technology. Fluidic Energy has been renamed NantEnergy, with Patrick Soon-Shiong investing significantly in the continued global expansion of the technology.</p> <p>Currently, Friesen’s efforts are focused on addressing the global water crisis through his company, Zero Mass Water. Friesen invented SOURCE Hydropanels, which are solar panels that make drinking water from sunlight and air. The invention is a true leapfrog technology and can make drinking water in dry conditions with as low as 5 percent relative humidity. SOURCE has been deployed in 33 countries spanning six continents. The hydropanels are providing clean drinking water in communities, refugee camps, government offices, hotels, hospitals, schools, restaurants, and homes around the world.</p> <p>“As inventors, we have a responsibility to ensure our technology serves all of humanity, not simply the elite,” says Friesen. “At the end of the day, our work is about impact, and this recognition propels us forward as we deploy SOURCE Hydropanels to change the human relationship to water across the globe.”</p> <p>Friesen joins a long lineage of inventors to receive the Lemelson-MIT Prize, the largest cash prize for invention in the United States for 25 years. He will be donating his prize to a project with Conservation International to provide clean drinking water via SOURCE Hydropanels to the Bahia Hondita community in Colombia.</p> <p>“Cody’s inventive spirit, fueled by his strong desire to help improve the lives of people everywhere, is an inspiring role model for future generations,” says Michael Cima, faculty director for the Lemelson-MIT Program and associate dean of innovation for the MIT School of Engineering. “Water scarcity is a prominent global issue, which Cody is combating through technology and innovation. We are excited that the use of this award will further elevate his work.”</p> <p>“Cody Friesen embodies what it means to be an impact inventor,” notes Carol Dahl, executive director at the Lemelson Foundation. “His inventions are truly improving lives, take into account environmental considerations, and have become the basis for companies that impact millions of people around the world each year. We are honored to recognize Dr. Friesen as this year’s LMIT Prize winner.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Friesen will speak at EmTech MIT, the annual conference on emerging technologies hosted by <em>MIT Technology Review</em> at the MIT Media Lab on Sept. 18 at 5 p.m.</p> Cody Friesen is the winner of the 2019 Lemelson-MIT Prize for invention. Photo: Zero Mass WaterLemelson-MIT, School of Engineering, DMSE, Alumni/ae, Awards, honors and fellowships, Batteries, Energy, Water, Solar, Materials Science and Engineering, Global TESS team is awarded NASA&#039;s Silver Achievement Medal The honor recognizes the &quot;stellar achievement&quot; of the people behind the exoplanet-seeking satellite. Thu, 12 Sep 2019 13:25:01 -0400 Kylie Foy | Lincoln Laboratory <p>On Sept. 5, NASA awarded a Silver Achievement Medal to the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) team. The award was presented during a ceremony at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as part of NASA's 2019 Agency Honor Awards.</p> <p>The Silver Achievement Medal is given by NASA center directors in recognition of government and non-government individuals or teams for "a stellar achievement that supports one or more of NASA's core values, when it is deemed to be extraordinarily important and appropriate to recognize such achievement in a timely and personalized manner."</p> <p>TESS was launched in April 2018 as the next step in NASA's search for exoplanets, which are planets outside of Earth's solar system. The four cameras aboard TESS were conceived, designed, and built by the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research and by MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Together, the cameras will gaze at 85 percent of the sky over the course of its mission, looking for discreet dips in light that signify that a planet is passing in front of a star.</p> <p>George Ricker, TESS principal investigator and senior research scientist at the Kavli Institute, says that "the NASA Silver Achievement Medal recognizes the revolutionary impact that TESS is now having on the emerging field of exoplanets, as well as TESS’ revealing of exciting new insights in stellar and extragalactic astrophysics. The members of the TESS science and engineering teams can rightly be proud of the marvelous instrument which they have brought into operation in just five years from our mission’s selection by NASA. I am personally gratified to have been part of this impressive MIT-led team."</p> <p>Lincoln Laboratory group leader Gregory Berthiaume, who served as the instrument manager for the TESS mission, adds that he is proud and honored to be a part of the TESS team, and congratulated the "incredibly talented and dedicated staff who provided key technologies and capabilities that enabled the TESS instrument."</p> <p>"The team is continuing to work hard to find planet candidates in the TESS data, and new planet candidates that may help us answer some of the intriguing questions in exoplanets today," says Sara Seager, the deputy science director of TESS who is also the Class of 1941 Professor Chair in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) with appointments in the departments of Physics and Aeronautics and Astronautics.</p> <p>Approximately 250 MIT scientists and engineers are included as recipients of the Silver Achievement Medal for their role on the TESS team.&nbsp;</p> <p>Since its launch, TESS has discovered two dozen new planets and 850 more potential worlds that have yet to be confirmed. Scientists expect TESS to discover thousands of new exoplanets by the time its mission is over.</p> <p>TESS is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. George Ricker of MIT’s Kavli Institute, serves as principal investigator for the mission.&nbsp;Additional partners include Orbital ATK, NASA’s Ames Research Center, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the Space Telescope Science Institute. More than a dozen universities, research institutes, and observatories worldwide are participants in the mission.</p> The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is inspected before its launch in April 2018. Approximately 250 MIT scientists and engineers are included as recipients of the NASA Silver Achievement Medal for their role in the TESS mission.Photo: Goddard Space Flight CenterLincoln Laboratory, Kavli Institute, Exoplanets, TESS, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Awards, honors and fellowships, Planetary science, Physics, School of Science, EAPS, Space, astronomy and planetary science, Aeronautical and astronautical engineering School of Engineering welcomes Sophie Vandebroek as first visiting scholar Primary focus will be to engage engineering students and peers from across the Institute on the school’s outreach and diversity activities. Wed, 11 Sep 2019 14:50:01 -0400 School of Engineering <p>A seasoned research leader and corporate executive, <a href="">Sophie Vandebroek</a> has been appointed as the School of Engineering inaugural visiting scholar for the 2019-20 academic year. &nbsp;</p> <p>Vandebroek most recently served as vice president of emerging technology partnerships at IBM and as chief operating officer of IBM Research. Previously, she served for a decade as the chief technology officer of Xerox, leading Xerox’s research labs globally, including the renowned PARC.</p> <p>As the first visiting scholar for the School of Engineering, Vandebroek’s primary focus will be to engage engineering students and peers from across the Institute on the school’s outreach and diversity activities.</p> <p>In this regard, throughout her career Vandebroek has been an extraordinary champion for creating inclusive organizations, and has mentored students and professionals on how to be exceptional innovators while maintaining <a href="" target="_blank">work-life balance</a>. At Xerox, she was the corporate champion for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees and also served as champion for black women employees. For her diversity efforts, Vandebroek has been the recipient of several awards. In 2004, the Xerox Women’s Alliance extended her the “Positive Difference Award,” and in 2011 the non-profit organization “Out &amp; Equal” Workplace Advocates celebrated her as their Ally Champion for Workplace Equality. In 2016, the Xerox employee resource groups honored Vandebroek with their <a href="" target="_blank">Inaugural Lifetime Diversity Leadership Award</a>.</p> <p>“We are thrilled to have Sophie on board as our inaugural visiting scholar,” says Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the School of Engineering. “Her extensive background in engineering and innovation, coupled with her expertise in creating inclusive organizations, will enable us to evolve initiatives and continue to foster a culture of inclusivity — which is so fundamentally important to our school and our community.”</p> <p>During her time on campus, Vandebroek will guide and participate in a variety of activities including mentoring students, giving lectures in leadership and innovation, and helping to advance diversity efforts in the school, such as working with the <a href="" target="_blank">Office of Engineering Outreach Programs</a>.</p> <p>“Over the years I have become convinced that creating and nurturing inclusive organizations is critical to attracting the very best people and cultivating a culture where innovation thrives,” Vandebroek says. “I am delighted to see the positive focus MIT’s School of Engineering has on this topic, and I’m very much looking forward to being a part of the extraordinary MIT community.”</p> <p>Vandebroek is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Institute (IEEE) and holds 14 U.S. patents. She is a director of IDEXX Laboratories and serves as trustee of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council and the Museum of Science, Boston.&nbsp;Previously she served on the advisory council of the dean of engineering at Cornell University, and was a trustee of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.</p> <p>Not a stranger to MIT, Vandebroek has been an active member of the School of Engineering’s Dean’s Advisory Council for the past decade.</p> <p>Vandebroek was born in Belgium, where she received a master’s degree in electro-mechanical engineering from KU Leuven. Her PhD in electrical engineering is from Cornell University.</p> Sophie Vandebroek has been appointed as the School of Engineering inaugural visiting scholar for the 2019-20 academic year.Photo: Justin SaglioSchool of Engineering, Awards, honors and fellowships, Diversity and inclusion, STEM education, K-12 education, Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ), Women in STEM Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics awarded to Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration for black hole observation Nearly 30 MIT-affiliated researchers will share in the prize, while David Jay Julius ’77 wins Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences; assistant professor of physics Max Metlitski shares New Horizons prize with Xie Chen PhD ’12 and Michael Levin PhD ’06. Fri, 06 Sep 2019 11:58:57 -0400 MIT News Office <p>The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, including scientists and engineers from MIT, will receive a 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. The team is being honored for making the <a href="">first direct detection</a> of a black hole. Assistant professor of physics Max Metlitski and several MIT alumni are also receiving awards from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.</p> <p>The $3 million fundamental physics prize will be shared equally with the 347 EHT researchers from around the world who co-authored the six papers published on April 10, 2019, which reported the detection of the supermassive black hole at the heart of Messier 87, or M87, a galaxy within the Virgo galaxy cluster.</p> <p>The new laureates will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Mountain View, California, on Nov. 3.</p> <p><strong>Earth-sized telescope</strong></p> <p>The EHT is a global network of radio telescopes that work together as one virtual telescope, with a resolution sharp enough to “see” a black hole’s shadow.</p> <p>Researchers at MIT’s Haystack Observatory made several key contributions as members of the global collaboration, such as developing the ultrafast devices that record the vast volumes of data captured by each telescope.</p> <p>After the observing run ended, the data were sent to Haystack and to the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, where they were processed using a specialized supercomputer called a correlator, also developed by Haystack researchers. Teams at both institutions then undertook the painstaking process of “correlating” the data and ensuring they were rigorously verified before being released to the independent teams that would create the images of M87.</p> <p>The result, according to the Breakthrough Prize citation, was “an image of this galactic monster, silhouetted against hot gas swirling around the black hole, that matched expectations from Einstein's theory of gravity.”</p> <p>MIT-affliated scientists and engineers who will share in the prize include researchers and alumni from Haystack Observatory, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the Department of Physics, the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, and the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. They are: Kazunori Akiyama, Frederick K. Baganoff, John Barrett, Christopher Beaudoin, Lindy Blackburn, Katherine L. Bouman, Roger Cappallo, Geoffrey B. Crew, Joseph Crowley, Mark Derome, Sheperd S. Doeleman, Chris Eckert, Vincent L. Fish, William T. Freeman, Michael H. Hecht, Colin Lonsdale, Sera Markoff, Lynn D. Matthews, Stephen R. McWhirter, James Moran, Kotaro Moriyama, Michael Nowak, Joseph Neilsen, Daniel C. M. Palumbo, Michael Poirier, Alan Rogers, Chet Ruszczyk, Jason SooHoo, Don Sousa, Michael Titus, Alan R. Whitney, and Shuo Zhang.</p> <p><strong>Additional accolades</strong></p> <p>The Breakthrough Prize Foundation has also honored assistant professor of physics Maxim Metlitski, awarding him a New Horizons prize, which recognizes early-career achievements in physics and mathematics. Metlitski will share the prize with three collaborators, two of whom are MIT alumni: Xie Chen PhD ’12 of Caltech, Michael Levin PhD ’06 of the University of Chicago, and Lukasz Fidkowski of the University of Washington.</p> <p>The team is being honored “for incisive contributions to the understanding of topological states of matter and the relationships between them,” according to the Breakthrough Prize citation.</p> <p>“Max is part of a very talented group of experimentalists and theorists working on new materials with very unusual properties,” says Peter Fisher, professor and head of the Department of Physics. “These materials are teaching us how quantum mechanics plays an unexpected role in how electrons and vibrations can travel in materials that could result in new technologies.”</p> <p>Metlitski earned a BS in physics and mathematics and an MS in physics from the University of British Columbia. After obtaining his PhD in physics from Harvard University in 2011, he held a postdoctoral position at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He joined MIT’s Department of Physics as an assistant professor in January 2017, following a faculty appointment at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada.</p> <p>“On behalf of the School of Science, I congratulate Max Metlitski for this impressive early-career achievement in condensed matter theory,” says Michael Sipser, dean of the MIT School of Science and the Donner Professor of Mathematics. “In addition, I applaud our researchers in the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, who contributed to our first images of a black hole.&nbsp;We celebrate our scientists’ pursuit of fundamental research to advance human knowledge and all recipients of these prestigious awards.”</p> <p>David Jay Julius ’77, a professor at the University of California at San Franciso, has also won a 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, for discovering molecules, cells and mechanisms underlying pain sensation. And last month, Daniel Z. Freedman, professor emeritus in MIT’s departments of Mathematics and Physics, <a href="">was awarded</a> a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.</p> The MIT Haystack Observatory houses a specialized supercomputer called a correlator, which crunched data generated by the EHT project.Image: courtesy of MIT Haystack ObservatoryAstronomy, Astrophysics, Black holes, Haystack Observatory, National Science Foundation (NSF), Faculty, Staff, Alumni/ae, Kavli Institute, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (eecs), School of Engineering, School of Science, EAPS, space, Space, astronomy and planetary science, awards, Awards, honors and fellowships, Physics Legatum Center announces 2019-20 fellowship class The fellowship is MIT’s capstone program for student-entrepreneurs seeking high impact in emerging markets. Fri, 23 Aug 2019 13:45:01 -0400 Jim Cooney | Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship <p>The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT announced its fellowship class for the 2019-20 academic year. These 23 student-entrepreneurs are developing innovative business solutions for emerging markets across the globe, including 10 in Africa, six in Latin America, and seven in Asia. Solutions range from portable devices that protect newborns from hypothermia in India, to enhanced preservation of perishable products being shipped internationally from Colombia, to technology solutions that improve delivery of humanitarian aid for refugees in Kenya.</p> <p>The Legatum Center operates on the belief that entrepreneurial innovators and their market-driven solutions are critical to advancing a more inclusive, global prosperity. The center offers a range of programs for students, but its fellowship is reserved for those most committed to building and scaling ventures in the developing world. Besides tuition, travel, and prototyping support, fellows receive access to mentors and advisors, a targeted for-credit curriculum, and the peer support of an incubator-like community.</p> <p>Fellowships within the Legatum Center are supported by the Mastercard Foundation, as well as the Legatum Group and the Jacobs Foundation. Since its founding in 2007, the Legatum Center has supported 272 fellows, many of whom continue to lead and grow impactful ventures across the globe, while others have gone on to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in their roles as investors, corporate/non-governmental organization executives, academics, and policymakers.</p> <p>“As always, our fellows represent the next generation of impact-driven entrepreneurial leaders, and we can’t wait to begin working with them,” says Megan Mitchell, director of fellowship and student programs. “And, of course, every cohort is unique. This year, many of our fellows are developing innovative solutions for education and financial services, but we also have ventures in health care, agriculture, media, consumer goods, energy, transportation, and more.”</p> <p>The 2019-20 fellows within the Legatum Center are:</p> <p><a href="">Larissa Bezerra Abreu</a> is an MBA student in the MIT Sloan School of Management. Abreu’s business, mxnMEDIA, is an above-the-line media platform which enables Brazilian companies of all sizes to get verifiable mass reach without significant advertising budgets.</p> <p><a href="">Nafees Ahmed</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Ahmed’s business, Usawa Investments, is a digital platform that cultivates the Pakistani startup ecosystem by connecting investors to entrepreneurs.</p> <p><a href="">Michael Joseph Bautista</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Bautista’s venture, TOCA, seeks to provide job opportunities in the Philippines while supplying technology firms with cheaper machine-learning data.</p> <p><a href="">Chinh Bui</a> is a master’s student in engineering and management within the Integrated Design and Management program. Bui’s venture, Learn-In-Context, leverages automation and artificial intelligence to revolutionize the way English is taught and learned in emerging markets like Vietnam.</p> <p><a href="">Fatima Diallo</a> is a master’s and MBA student in the interdisciplinary Leaders for Global Operations program within MIT Sloan and the School of Engineering. Diallo’s venture, Cadi, seeks to enhance the student learning experience in Guinea by providing primary school teachers access to curated curricula.</p> <p><a href="">Efewongbe Gboneme</a>&nbsp;is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Gboneme’s venture, Sky High, is focused on reducing unemployment and underemployment in Nigeria by providing career exploration opportunities for students in secondary schools.</p> <p><a href="">Sahil Joshi</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Joshi’s venture RiskBoard, based in Mexico, uses machine learning to help multinational companies operate more sustainably.</p> <p><a href="">Nithin Kantareddy</a> is a PhD student in the Department of Mechnical Engineering. Kantareddy’s venture, Digilitics, helps factories in India reduce their monthly electricity bills and provides hospitals insights to better schedule their operations.</p> <p><a href="">Hugo Lopez Velarde Martinez</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Martinez’s venture DUO (cofounded with Fellow Luis Torres) is a challenger bank building the next generation of financial services, beginning with a management dashboard and corporate card, for small and medium businesses in Mexico.</p> <p><a href="">Sergio Medina</a> is an Executive MBA student in MIT Sloan. Medina’s venture, RISE, is deploying technology solutions to accelerate humanitarian aid for refugee children globally, starting in Kenya, with a particular focus on education, gender parity, and food security.</p> <p><a href="">Anatole Menon-Johansson</a> is an MBA student and Sloan Fellow in MIT Sloan. Menon-Johansson’s venture SXT, based in South Africa, is an anonymous and cost-effective way to inform sexual partners of their infection risk and digitally curate their journey to effective testing.</p> <p><a href="">David Miranda</a> is a PhD candidate in medical engineering within the Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology Program. Miranda's venture, Floricola, aims to improve the quality of perishable products shipped from Colombia during long-range transport.</p> <p><a href="">Michel Mosse</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Mosse’s venture, Inlara, is an online marketplace for individuals and enterprises in Argentina to find the most convenient coaching experience to unlock their potential.</p> <p><a href="">Mercy Ndambuki</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Ndambuki’s venture, Mbavu, aims to help upskill local Kenyan talent in private mid-sized companies.</p> <p><a href="">Quadri Oguntade</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Oguntade’s venture, Bright Future, seeks to provide an alternative light source for Nigerian students who lack access to electricity.</p> <p><a href="">Joshua Reed-Diawuoh</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Reed-Diawuoh’s venture, GhanaMade Cashew Company, will focus on making and selling premium Ghanaian food and beverage products for specialty markets.</p> <p><a href="">Sebie Salim</a> is an Executive MBA student in MIT Sloan. Salim’s Kenya-based fintech venture, Tenakata, seeks to help small businesses keep better records and increase their borrowing power in order to grow their business.</p> <p><a href="">Pulkit Shamshery</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Shamshery’s venture, Illumina Africa, aims to use solar mini-grids to provide access to water, cold storage, and electricity in underdeveloped communities in Kenya.</p> <p><a href="">Sumit Sharma</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Sharma’s India-based venture, i^4, aims to develop a portable incubator that will minimize the more than two million neonatal deaths that occur annually due to hypothermia.</p> <p><a href="">Rodrick Tan</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Tan’s venture, Sakay, empowers lower- and middle-class Filipinos without a car to get around Metro Manila through information on their phones.</p> <p><a href="">Yih Lin Teh</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Teh’s venture, CapSphere, is Malaysia’s first asset-based financing peer-to-peer lending platform.</p> <p><a href="">Luis Torres</a> is an MBA student in MIT Sloan. Torres’ venture, DUO (cofounded with Fellow Hugo Lopez Velarde Martinez), is a challenger bank building the next generation of financial services, beginning with a management dashboard and corporate card, for small and medium businesses in Mexico.</p> <p><a href="">Ezinne Uzo-Okoro</a> is a master’s student in the Media Lab. Uzo-Okoro’s Nigeria-based venture, Terraformers, aims to grow fresh food everywhere.</p> Ezinne Uzo-Okoro (standing, center) is developing a venture that aims to grow fresh and affordable food everywhere.Photo courtesy of Ezinne Uzo-OkoroLegatum Center, Sloan School of Management, School of Engineering, Health sciences and technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E), Developing countries, Students, International development, Media Lab, Awards, honors and fellowships, Business and management, Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) Mentorship and scholarship keep summer biology research program strong Support from Squire Booker PhD ’94 and the Bernard S. and Sophie G. Gould Fund helps MSRP-bio students excel. Mon, 19 Aug 2019 13:45:01 -0400 Laura Carter | School of Science <p>When you get a call offering you the chance to get involved in research at MIT, says <a href="">Squire Booker PhD ’94</a>, as he did when he was a student back home in Beaumont, Texas, with no summer plans, you don’t say no. This is how he joined seven other students from around the United States as the first class in the <a href="">MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP)</a>, even though the start date was only days away. “I was given the opportunity to get out of Texas, the opportunity to go to a big cosmopolitan city, the opportunity to go to MIT. So, I got a plane ticket and flew up a few days later,” says Booker.</p> <p>Thirty-three summers later, back on campus to deliver the <a href="">doctoral graduation ceremony speech</a>, where he had lunch with several current members and fellow alumni of the program, Booker insists that he has no regrets with his decision.</p> <p>Booker was one of three from that inaugural class who remained at MIT to pursue a PhD to continue the research he started during the program. He was incredibly fortunate, he notes, to get a “perfect match” placement, working with former professors of biology Bill Johnson and Chris Walsh on a project that aligned with his interests of combining chemistry and biology. He didn’t have much more of an idea of his preferred area of study than that.</p> <p>Prior to arriving at MIT, given the lack of exposure to science, he didn’t know what research entailed, or what scientists did every day. But he says he quickly fell in love with the subject and his research group, even joining their summer lab softball team.</p> <p>Although Walsh left MIT the year Booker was accepted as a PhD student, he easily shifted into the lab of Novartis Professor of Chemistry Emeritus <a href="">JoAnne Stubbe</a>, a new faculty member at the time, who was also working on the interface of chemistry and biology and provided the amount of hands-on support he needed as a new graduate student. “Ever since leaving the lab, she’s been my number one supporter,” he says of Stubbe.</p> <p>Stubbe and her research inspired the direction Booker’s education took. He continues to conduct research revolving around proteins and catalysis reactions as a professor at Penn State University and a principal investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Now, he heads a large lab group himself.</p> <p><strong>From mentee to mentor</strong></p> <p>Booker oversees an average of 10 group members at any given time, not including undergraduate students. Like his mentor, he tries to be very hands-on, resorting to email when he’s traveling — which is often. He admitted with a chuckle that his students keep track of where he is at any given time by following his Twitter account. Always trying to find ways to include motivated students who approach him about contributing to his research, the only time Booker turns them away is for their benefit — if they have a full course load and additional time on research will overload their schedules. He even considers high school students.</p> <p>The first high school student to join his lab was Martin McLaughlin ’15, who Booker describes fondly as “aggressively motivated” and “trembling with excitement to do research.” Within the first week, McLaughlin was taking the initiative to use his lunch breaks from school to bike to Booker’s lab. Martin’s results, which were <a href="">published in <em>Science</em></a> in collaboration with Professor <a href="" target="_blank">Cathy Drennan</a> in the MIT Department of Biology, introduced Booker into a new niche: crystallography.</p> <p>When McLaughlin asked to continue working on the discovery with Drennan as an undergraduate at MIT, he didn’t hesitate to agree. McLaughlin had moved into Drennan’s lab a week into his first semester.</p> <p><strong>Research for all</strong></p> <p>Not all students share this drive to delve into research. Like Booker himself, many aren’t even aware of possibilities to get involved in science and consider a career in research. It’s still hard, he says, even though “people are more serious about this diversity thing,” as he calls it, than when he was first starting his education.</p> <p>Booker tries to reach out, especially to other minority students, through several programs, much like the MSRP, an invaluable program. While on campus this past spring, <a href="">Booker met with current and past MSRP students</a>.</p> <p>One of those students was Jeandele Elliot, a chemical engineering student at Howard University from Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, who is working in the <a href="">Jing-Ke Weng Lab</a> in the Department of Biology this summer on a molecule that can protect pollen grains. For her, meeting Booker was another connection the program affords her. “The MSRP program has been beneficial to me in a special way since it has connected me with people I can really relate to,” she said.</p> <p>The advice he gave to Elliot, and the others in the same position he was in once, was to prepare for exciting careers. The program is not just a steppingstone into research, he proclaimed, but it places participants with the best mentors and being privy to the best frontiers. Booker was delighted that some of the 25 current and past participants then attended MIT for graduate school as he did.</p> <p>Tsehai A.J. Grell PhD ’18, a current chemistry graduate student in Drennan’s research group and an alumnus of MSRP, calls Squire Booker a “labhold” name — a household name in the lab. “As an African-American professor of biochemistry, an alumnus of my department, and a leader in my field, he instantly became one of my role models,” Grell said. “This was further solidified when I found out that he was a part of the first cohort of MSRP students, the summer research program which is responsible for me enrolling in MIT’s graduate program.”</p> <p>Grell reminisced on his experience and the spring luncheon with Booker. “Because MSRP was such a foundational experience in my career, I am always enthused to interact with the current MSRP cohort and to encourage them to make the most of this opportunity, as it can be a pivotal summer in their careers,” says Grell. In addition, he said, “the excitement of the students is palpable and contagious. It reenergizes me and gives me purpose.”</p> <p>Elliott, Grell, and Booker are three of more than 800 students from institutions with limited research opportunities who have participated in the MSRP, which was divided into two subcategories in 2003: <a href="">general</a> and <a href="">biology</a>, the latter of which has hosted 450 students. Since 2003, the MRSP-Bio program has been administered by Mandana Sassanfar, a biology lecturer in charge of the Department of Biology’s diversity and outreach programs. Since then, nearly 70 MSRP alumni have, like Booker, continued their research as graduate students at MIT.</p> <p><strong>Going for Gould</strong></p> <p>Bernard “Bernie” Gould ’32, who received his BS from MIT, was a longstanding and beloved biochemistry professor in the Department of Biology, well known for being an incredibly dedicated mentor to biology and pre-med students at MIT for nearly 40 years. His wife, Sophia Gould CMP ’48, shared his passion for counseling students. To honor this investment in encouraging student learning, the Goulds’ son, Michael, and his wife, Sara Moss, founded the <a href="">Bernard S. and Sophia G. Gould Fund</a> in 2016. Gould is a philanthropist and the retired chairman and CEO of Bloomingdales. Moss is the vice chairman of Estée Lauder Companies. The <a href="">Gould Fellow Fund</a> sponsors students, such as Elliott, in MSRP-Bio. Each year, Gould and Moss return to the MIT campus to meet with students benefitting from their support.</p> <p>Recently, the couple has designated a second fund, which will aid in extending the academic careers of students interested in the life sciences by providing support for MSRP-Bio alumni entering into the MIT biology graduate program.</p> <p>Six of the 16 Gould Fellowship alumni who have graduated from college have already been admitted to MIT as graduate students. “This is an exceptionally high rate by any standards, which demonstrates the amazing success of this initiative,” says Sassanfar. “Gould Fellows are truly grateful for the generosity of Mike and&nbsp;Sara and are very eager to succeed and give back to their communities,” a goal that is always stressed by the founders.</p> <p>With successful role models from previous MSRP cohorts, like Booker, combined with philanthropy from those like Gould and Moss, who believe strongly in supporting the education of our next generation of scientists, students are given the opportunity to thrive.</p> 2019 MIT Summer Research Program students gather to present the results of their work.Photo: Mandana SassanfarSchool of Science, Biology, Chemistry, Students, Graduate, postdoctoral, Undergraduate, Alumni/ae, Diversity and inclusion, Awards, honors and fellowships, Mentoring, Classes and programs, Funding Eight from MIT honored in 2019 Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35 Eight postdocs and alumni are among those named to the list. Fri, 09 Aug 2019 10:20:01 -0400 Jay London | MIT Technology Review <p>Earlier this summer,&nbsp;<em>MIT Technology Review</em>&nbsp;released its annual list of 35 Innovators Under 35, and the 2019 roster has a strong MIT presence. At least eight MIT alumni and current or former postdocs were named to this year’s group.</p> <p>According to <em>MIT Technology Review</em>, "35 Innovators Under 35," now in its 19th year, is a list of the most promising young innovators around the world whose accomplishments are poised to have a dramatic impact on the world. <a href="" target="_blank">The list</a> is split into five categories: Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Visionaries, Humanitarians, and Pioneers.</p> <p>Postdocs and alumni honored for 2019 are:</p> <p><a href="">Anurag Bajpayee SM ’08, PhD ’12</a> (Entrepreneurs) The founder of Gradient, Bajpayee's approaches can treat dirty wastewater and can make desalination more efficient.</p> <p><a href="">Cesar de la Fuente Nunez, 2015 postdoc</a> (Pioneer) An assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, De la Fuente Nunez developed algorithms that follow Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to create optimized artificial antibiotics.</p> <p><a href="">Grace X. Gu SM ’14, PhD ’18</a> (Pioneers) Now at the University of California at Berkeley, Gu is using artificial intelligence to help dream up a new generation of lighter, stronger materials.</p> <p><a href="">Qichao Hu ’07, 2012 postdoc</a> (Entrepreneur) Hu, founder and CEO of SolidEnergy Systems, is on the cusp of one of the most highly anticipated developments in industry: the next battery revolution.</p> <p><a href="">Raluca Ada Popa ’10, MEng ’10, PhD ’14</a> (Visionaries) Now at the University of California at Berkeley, Popa's computer security method could protect data, even when attackers break in.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">Ritu Raman, postdoc</a> (Inventor) A researcher at MIT's Koch Institute, Raman has developed inchworm-size robots made partly of biological tissue and muscle.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">Brandon Sorbom PhD ’17</a> (Inventor) Chief scientist at Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Sorbom's high-temperature superconductors could make fusion reactors much cheaper to build.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">Archana Venkataraman ’07, MEng ’07, PhD ’12</a> (Inventor) We still don’t know much about neurological disorders. Venkataraman, now at the Johns Hopkins University, is using artificial intelligence to change that.</p> <p>For more on the connection between the Institute and <em>MIT Technology Review's</em>&nbsp;Innovators Under 35, see Slice of MIT's lists from <a href="">2018</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">2017</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">2016</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">2015</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">2014</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">2013</a>,&nbsp;<a href="">2012</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="">2010</a>.</p> <p><em>A version of this article originally appeared on the Slice of MIT blog.</em></p> MIT alumni and postdocs were honored in the MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35 issue.Alumni/ae, Graduate, postdoctoral, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E), Awards, honors and fellowships, Students Daniel Freedman wins Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics MIT professor emeritus will share $3 million prize with Sergio Ferrara and Peter van Nieuwenhuizen for discovery of supergravity. Tue, 06 Aug 2019 10:00:41 -0400 MIT News Office <p>Daniel Z. Freedman, professor emeritus in MIT’s departments of Mathematics and Physics, has been awarded the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. He shares the $3 million prize with two colleagues, Sergio Ferrara of CERN and Peter van Nieuwenhuizen of Stony Brook University, with whom he developed the theory of supergravity.</p> <p>The trio is honored for work that combines the principles of supersymmetry, which postulates that all fundamental particles have corresponding, unseen “partner” particles; and Einstein's theory of general relativity, which explains that gravity is the result of the curvature of space-time.</p> <p>When the theory of supersymmetry was developed in 1973, it solved some key problems in particle physics, such as unifying three forces of nature (electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force), but it left out a fourth force: gravity. Freedman, Ferrara, and van Nieuwenhuizen addressed this in 1976 with their theory of supergravity, in which the gravitons of general relativity acquire superpartners called gravitinos.</p> <p>Freedman’s collaboration with Ferrara and van Nieuwenhuizen began late in 1975 at École Normale Supérior in Paris, where he was visiting on a minisabbatical from Stony Brook, where he was a professor. Ferrara had also come to ENS, to work on a different project for a week. The challenge of constructing supergravity was in the air at that time, and Freedman told Ferrara that he was thinking about it. In their discussions, Ferrara suggested that progress could be made via an approach that Freedman had previously used in a related problem involving supersymmetric gauge theories.</p> <p>“That turned me in the right direction,” Freedman recalls. In short order, he formulated the first step in the construction of supergravity and proved its mathematical consistency. “I returned to Stony Brook convinced that I could quickly find the rest of the theory,” he says. However, “I soon realized that it was harder than I had expected.”</p> <p>At that point he asked van Nieuwenhuizen to join him on the project. “We worked very hard for several months until the theory came together. That was when our eureka moment occurred,” he says.</p> <p>“Dan’s work on supergravity has changed how scientists think about physics beyond the standard model, combining principles of supersymmetry and Einstein’s theory of general relativity,” says Michael Sipser, dean of the MIT School of Science and the Donner Professor of Mathematics. “His exemplary research is central to mathematical physics and has given us new pathways to explore in quantum field theory and superstring theory. On behalf of the School of Science, I congratulate Dan and his collaborators for this prestigious award.”</p> <p>Freedman joined the MIT faculty in 1980, first as professor of applied mathematics and later with a joint appointment in the Center for Theoretical Physics. He regularly taught an advanced graduate course on supersymmetry and supergravity. An unusual feature of the course was that each assigned problem set included suggestions of classical music to accompany students’ work.&nbsp;</p> <p>“I treasure my 36 years at MIT,” he says, noting that he&nbsp; worked with “outstanding” graduate students with “great resourcefulness as problem solvers.” Freedman fully retired from MIT in 2016.</p> <p>He is now a visiting professor at Stanford University and lives in Palo Alto, California, with his wife, Miriam, an attorney specializing in public education law.</p> <p>The son of small-business people, Freedman was the first in his family to attend college. He became interested in physics during his first year at Wesleyan University, when he enrolled in a special class that taught physics in parallel with the calculus necessary to understand its mathematical laws. It was a pivotal experience. “Learning that the laws of physics can exactly describe phenomena in nature — that totally turned me on,” he says.</p> <p>Freedman learned about winning the Breakthrough Prize upon returning from a morning boxing class, when his wife told him that a Stanford colleague, who was on the Selection Committee, had been trying to reach him. “When I returned the call, I was overwhelmed with the news,” he says.</p> <p>Freedman, who holds a BA from Wesleyan and an MS and PhD in physics from the University of Wisconsin, is a former Sloan Fellow and a two-time Guggenheim Fellow. The three collaborators received the Dirac Medal and Prize in 1993, and the Dannie Heineman Prize in Mathematical Physics in 2006. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.</p> <p>Founded by a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, the Breakthrough Prizes recognize the world’s top scientists in life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics. The Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics honors profound contributions to human knowledge in physics. Earlier honorees include Jocelyn Bell Burnell; the <a href="">LIGO research team</a>, including MIT Professor Emeritus Rainer Weiss; and Stephen Hawking. &nbsp;</p> Daniel FreedmanImage courtesy of Daniel FreedmanPhysics, School of Science, Faculty, Awards, honors and fellowships, Center for Theoretical Physics, Laboratory for Nuclear Science, Mathematics School of Engineering second quarter 2019 awards Faculty members recognized for excellence via a diverse array of honors, grants, and prizes over the past quarter. Tue, 30 Jul 2019 13:40:01 -0400 School of Engineering <p>Members of the MIT engineering faculty receive many&nbsp;awards in recognition of their scholarship, service, and overall excellence. Every quarter, the School of Engineering publicly recognizes&nbsp;their achievements by highlighting the&nbsp;honors, prizes, and medals won by faculty working in their academic departments, labs, and centers.</p> <p>Antione Allanore, of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, won the <a href="">Elsevier Atlas Award</a> on May 15; he also won <a href="">third place for best conference proceedings manuscript</a> at the TMS Annual Meeting and Exhibition on March 14.</p> <p>Dimitri Antoniadis, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was elected to the <a href="">American Academy of Arts and Sciences</a> on April 18.</p> <p>Martin Bazant, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was named a <a href="">fellow of the American Physical Society</a> on Oct. 17, 2018.</p> <p>Sangeeta Bhatia, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of science from the University of London on July 4; she was also awarded the <a href="">Othmer Gold Medal</a> from the Science History Institute on March 8.</p> <p>Richard Braatz, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was <a href="">elected to the&nbsp;National Academy of Engineering&nbsp;</a>on Feb. 11.</p> <p>Tamara Broderick, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, won the <a href="">Notable Paper Award</a> at the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics on April 18.</p> <p>Fikile Brushett, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, won the <a href="">Electrochemical Society’s 2019 Supraniam Srinivasan Young Investigator Award</a> on Oct. 9, 2018; he was also named to the annual <a href="">Talented Twelve</a> list by <em>Chemical Engineering News</em> on Aug. 22, 2017.</p> <p>Vincent W.S. Chan, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, received the <a href="">Best Paper Award</a> at the IEEE International Conference on Communications on May 10.</p> <p>Arup Chakraborty, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, won a <a href="">Guggenheim Fellowship</a> on March 4, 2018.</p> <p>Anantha Chandrakasan, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was elected to <a href="">American Academy of Arts and Science</a>s on April 18.</p> <p>Kwanghun Chung, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was awarded a <a href="">Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers</a> on July 10.</p> <p>Constantinos Daskalakis, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, won the <a href="">Grace Murray Hopper Award for Outstanding Computer Scientist</a> from the Association of Computing Machinery on May 8.</p> <p>Jesús del Alamo, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was named a <a href="">Fellow of the Materials Research Society</a> on May 2.</p> <p>Elazer R. Edelman, of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, won the Excellence in Mentoring Award from the <a href="">Corrigan Minehan Heart Center</a> at Massachusetts General Hospital on June 18.</p> <p>Karen K. Gleason, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was honored with the <a href="">John M. Prausnitz Institute AIChE Lecturer&nbsp;Award</a> by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers on April 3.</p> <p>Bill Green, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, won the <a href="">R.H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering</a> from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers on July 19.</p> <p>Paula Hammond, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was honored with the <a href="">Margaret H. Rousseau Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement by a Woman Chemical Engineer</a> from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers on June 1; she also received the <a href="">American Chemical Society Award in Applied Polymer Science</a> on Jan. 8, 2018.</p> <p>Ruonan Han, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, won the <a href="">Outstanding Researcher Award </a>from Intel Corporation on April 1.</p> <p>Song Han, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was named to the annual list of <a href="">Innovators Under 35</a> by MIT Technology Review on June 25.</p> <p>Klavs Jensen, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was honored with the <a href="">John M. Prausnitz Institute AIChE Lecturer&nbsp;Award</a> by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers on Aug. 21, 2018; he also recognized with the <a href="">Corning International Prize for Outstanding Work in Continuous Flow Reactors</a> on May 1, 2018.</p> <p>David R. Karger, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was <a href="">elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences</a> on April 18.</p> <p>Dina Katabi, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was <a href="">named a Great Immigrant by the Carnegie Corporation of New York</a> on June 27.</p> <p>Manolis Kellis, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was honored as a speaker by the <a href="">Mendel Lectures Committee</a> on May 2.</p> <p>Jeehwan Kim, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, awarded the <a href="">Young Faculty Award</a> from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on May 28.</p> <p>Heather Kulik, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was awarded a&nbsp;<a href=";HistoricalAwards=false">CAREER award from the National Science Foundation</a> on Feb. 7; she won the <a href="">Journal of Physical Chemistry and PHYS Division Lectureship Award</a> from the <em>Journal of Physical Chemistry</em> and the Physical Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society on July 1; she was honored with the <a href="">Marion Milligan Mason Award</a> Oct. 26, 2018; she earned the <a href="">DARPA Young Faculty Award</a> on June 20, 2018; she also won the <a href="">Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research</a> on Feb. 21, 2018.</p> <p>Robert Langer, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, won the <a href="">Dreyfus Prize for Chemistry in Support of Human Health</a> from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation on May 14; he also was named on the <a href="">2018 Medicine Maker’s Power List</a> on May 8, 2018; he was also named <a href="">U.S. Science Envoy</a> on June 18, 2018.</p> <p>John Lienhard, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, recevied the <a href="">Edward F. Obert Award</a> from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers on May 28.</p> <p>Nancy Lynch, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, won <a href="">TDCP Outstanding Technical Achievement Award</a> from the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers on April 18.</p> <p>Karthish Manthiram, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, received a <a href="">Petroleum Research Fund</a> grant from the American Chemical Society on June 28.</p> <p>Benedetto Marelli, of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, won a <a href="">Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers</a> on July 10.</p> <p>Robert T. Morris, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was <a href="">elected to the National Academy of Engineering</a> on Feb. 11.</p> <p>Heidi Nepf, of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, won the <a href=";all_recipients=1">Hunter Rouse Hydraulic Engineering Award</a> from the American Society of Civil Engineers on May 20.</p> <p>Dava Newman, of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, was named <a href="">co-chair of the Committee on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space</a> by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on April 8.</p> <p>Kristala Prather, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was elected <a href="">fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science</a> on Nov. 27, 2018.</p> <p>Ellen Roche, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, won the <a href="">Child Health Research Award</a> from the Charles H. Hood Foundation on June 13; she was also awarded a <a href=";HistoricalAwards=false">CAREER award from the National Science Foundation</a> on Feb. 20.</p> <p>Yuriy Román, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, received the&nbsp;<a href="">Early Career in Catalysis Award</a> from the American Chemical Society Catalysis Science and Technology Division on Feb. 28; he also received the&nbsp;<a href="">Rutherford Aris Award</a>&nbsp;from the North American Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering on March 10.</p> <p>Julian Shun, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, awarded a <a href="">CAREER award from the National Science Foundation</a> on Feb. 26.</p> <p>Hadley Sikes, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was honored with the <a href="">Best of BIOT</a> award from the ACS Division of Biochemical Technology on Sept. 9, 2018.</p> <p>Zachary Smith, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was awarded the <a href="">Doctoral New Investigator Grant</a> from the American Chemical Society, on May 22.</p> <p>Michael Strano, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, won the <a href="">Andreas Acrivos Award for Professional Progress in Chemical Engineering</a> from American Institute of Chemical Engineers&nbsp;on July 1.</p> <p>Greg Stephanopoulos, of the Department of Chemical Engineering, was honored with the <a href="">Gaden Award for Biotechnology and Bioengineering</a> on March 31.</p> <p>Harry Tuller, of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, received the <a href="">Thomas Egleston Medal for Distinguished Engineering Achievement</a> from Columbia University on May 3.</p> <p>Caroline Uhler, of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, won the <a href="">Simons Investigator Award in the Mathematical Model of Living Systems</a> from Simmons Foundation on June 19.</p> Jaume Plensa sculpture, "The Alchemist" on MIT's campusPhoto: Lillie Paquette/School of EngineeringSchool of Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (eecs), Chemical engineering, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), Mechanical engineering, Civil and environmental engineering, Awards, honors and fellowships, DMSE, Aeronautical and astronautical engineering, Faculty Portraits of mentoring excellence Committed to Caring honors professors Modiano, Kelly, and Li, and calls for nominations. Thu, 18 Jul 2019 11:50:01 -0400 Courtney Lesoon | Office of Graduate Education <p>What makes a great faculty mentor? Appreciative graduate students from across the Institute have thoughts — lots of them.</p> <p>In letters of nomination to the Committed to Caring (C2C) program over the past five years, students have lauded faculty who validate them, who encourage work-life balance, and who foster an inclusive work environment, among other caring actions. Professors&nbsp;Eytan Modiano, Erin Kelly, and Ju Li especially&nbsp;excel at&nbsp;advocating for students, sharing behind-the-scenes information, and demonstrating empathy.</p> <p>The pool of C2C honorees is still expanding, along with a growing catalog of supportive actions known as Mentoring Guideposts. A&nbsp;new selection round has just begun, and the C2C program&nbsp;invites&nbsp;all graduate students to&nbsp;<a href="">nominate professors</a>&nbsp;for their outstanding mentorship by&nbsp;July 26.</p> <p><strong>Eytan Modiano: listening and advocating</strong></p> <p>Eytan Modiano is professor of aeronautics and astronautics and the associate director of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS). His work addresses communication networks and protocols with application to satellite, wireless, and optical networks. The primary goal of his research is the design of network architectures that are cost-effective, scalable, and robust. His research group crosses disciplinary boundaries by combining techniques from network optimization;&nbsp;queueing theory; graph theory; network protocols and algorithms;&nbsp;machine learning; and physical layer communications.</p> <p>When students reach out to Modiano for advice, he makes time in his schedule to meet with them, usually the same day or the next. In doing so, students say that Modiano offers invaluable support and shows students that he prioritizes them.</p> <p>Modiano provides his students with channels to express their difficulties (a&nbsp;<a href="">Mentoring Guidepost</a>&nbsp;identified by the C2C program). For example, he allots unstructured time during individual and group meetings for student feedback. “These weekly meetings are mainly focused on research,” Modiano says, “but I always make sure to leave time at the end to talk about anything else that is on a student's&nbsp;mind, such as concerns about their career plans, coursework, or anything else.”</p> <p>He also reaches out to student groups about how the department and lab could better serve them. As associate director of LIDS, Modiano has responded to such feedback in a number of ways, including working alongside the LIDS Social Committee to organize graduate student events. He has advocated for funding of MIT Graduate Women in Aerospace Engineering, and was a key proponent of the Exploring Aerospace Day, an event the group hosted for interested high school students.</p> <p>Modiano does not think in binary terms about success and failure: “No single event, or even a series of events, is likely to define a career.” Rather, a career should be seen as a path “with ups and downs and whose trajectory we try to shape.”</p> <p>Modiano advises,&nbsp;“If you persist, you are likely to find a path that you are happy with, and meet your goals.”</p> <p><strong>Erin Kelly: sustainably moving forward</strong></p> <p>In her students’ estimation, Erin Kelly, the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Work and Organization Studies, rises to the level of exceptional mentorship by channeling her expertise in work and organization studies to the benefit of her advisees.</p> <p>Kelly investigates the implications of workplace policies and management strategies for workers, firms, and families; previous research has examined scheduling and work-family supports, family leaves, harassment policies, and diversity initiatives. As part of the Work, Family, and Health Network, she has evaluated innovative approaches to work redesign with group-randomized trials in professional/technical and health care workforces. Her book with Phyllis Moen, "Overload: How Good Jobs Went Bad and What to Do About It," will be published by Princeton University Press in early 2020.&nbsp;</p> <p>In Kelly’s words, she tries to “promote working in ways that feel sane and sustainable.” She does not count how many hours her students spend on projects or pay attention to where they work or how quickly they respond to emails. Kelly says that she knows her students are committed to this effort long-term, and that everyone works differently.</p> <p>One student nominator noted that Kelly was extremely supportive of her decision to have a child during graduate school, offering her advice about how to balance work and home as well as how to transition back into school after maternity leave. The nominator notes, “Erin does not view the baby as an impediment to my professional career.”</p> <p>In addition to providing advice on course selection and dissertation planning, Kelly offers her students “informal” advising (a&nbsp;<a href="">Mentoring Guidepost</a>) that goes beyond the usual academic parameters. Kelly “explained to me the importance of networking in finding an academic job,” another student says, “I’ve appreciated this informal mentoring, particularly because I am a woman trying to enter a male-dominated field; understanding how to succeed professionally is important, but is not always obvious.”</p> <p><strong>Ju Li: a proven mentor and friend</strong></p> <p>Ju Li is the Battelle Energy Alliance Professor of&nbsp;Nuclear Science and Engineering and professor of materials science and engineering at MIT. Li’s research focuses on mechanical properties of materials, and energy storage and conversion. His lab also studies the effects of radiation and aggressive environments on microstructure and materials properties.</p> <p>Li shows empathy for students’ experiences (a&nbsp;<a href="">Mentoring Guidepost</a>&nbsp;identified by the C2C program). One student remarked that when they were not confident in their own abilities, Li was “extremely patient” and showed faith in their work. Li “lifted me up with his encouraging words and shared his own experiences and even struggles.”</p> <p>He concerns himself with both training academic researchers and also preparing students for life after MIT, whether their paths lead them to academic, industry, governmental, or entrepreneurial endeavors. Li’s attention to his students and their aims does not go unnoticed. One C2C nominator says that former group members often come back to visit and to seek advice from Li whenever possible, “and nobody regrets being a member of our group.”</p> <p>It is clear from their letters of nomination that Li’s students deeply admire his character and hold him up as a lifelong role model. In addition to his caring actions, they cite his humility and his treatment of students as “equals and true friends.”</p> <p>Just as Li’s students admire him, Li was inspired by his own graduate mentor, Sydney Yip, professor emeritus of nuclear science and engineering, and materials science and engineering at MIT. Li says that Yip taught everyone who encountered him to become better researchers and better people. In graduate school, Li says, “I benefited so much by watching how Sid managed his group, and how he interacted with the world … I felt lucky every day.”</p> <p><strong>More on Committed to Caring (C2C)</strong></p> <p>The Committed to Caring (C2C) program, an initiative of the Office of Graduate Education, honors faculty members from across the Institute for their outstanding support of graduate students. By sharing the stories of great mentors, like professors Modiano, Kelly, and Li, the C2C Program hopes to encourage exceptional mentorship at MIT.</p> <p>Selection criteria for the award include the scope and reach of advisor impact on the experience of graduate students, excellence in scholarship, and demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.</p> <p>Nominations for the next round of honorees must be submitted by July 26. Selections will be announced in late September.</p> Left to right: MIT professors Eytan Modiano, Erin Kelly, and Ju Li.Photo: Joseph LeeAeronautics and Astronautics, Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS), Nuclear science and engineering, School of Engineering, Sloan School of Management, Mentoring, Awards, honors and fellowships, Leadership, Faculty, Community, DMSE, Students, Graduate, postdoctoral Seven MIT faculty win 2019 Presidential Early Career Awards Checkelsky, Chung, LeBeau, Lee, Marelli, Slatyer, and Surendranath receive the highest U.S. award for young scientists and engineers. Wed, 10 Jul 2019 13:45:01 -0400 Julia C. Keller | School of Science <p>Seven MIT faculty members were among the more than 300 recipients of the 2019 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (<a href="">PECASE</a>), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Those from MIT who were honored were:</p> <ul> <li><a href="">Joseph Checkelsky</a>, assistant professor in the Department of Physics;</li> <li><a href="">Kwanghun Chung</a>, associate professor in the departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Chemical Engineering</li> <li><a href="">James M. LeBeau</a>, the John Chipman Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering;</li> <li><a href="">Yen-Jie Lee</a>, the Class of 1958 Career Development Associate Professor in the Department of Physics;</li> <li><a href="">Benedetto Marelli</a>, the Paul M. Cook Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering;</li> <li><a href="">Tracy Slatyer</a>, the Jerrold R. Zacharias Career Development Associate Professor of Physics; and</li> <li><a href="">Yogesh Surendranath</a>, the Paul M. Cook Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>All of the 2019 MIT recipients were employed or funded by the following U.S. departments and agencies: Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the Department of Health and Human Services.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> These departments and agencies annually nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show exceptional promise for leadership in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Established by President Bill Clinton in 1996, the PECASE awards are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.</p> Top row, left to right: Yogesh Surendranath, Tracy Slatyer, and Yen-Jie Lee. Bottom row, left to right: Joseph Checkelsky, Kwanghun Chung, Benedetto Marelli, and James LeBeau.Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty, Chemistry, Physics, Brain and cognitive sciences, DMSE, Materials Science and Engineering, Civil and environmental engineering, School of Science, School of Engineering Meet the 2019 tenured professors in the School of Science Eight faculty members are granted tenure in five science departments. Wed, 10 Jul 2019 11:20:01 -0400 School of Science <p>MIT granted tenure to eight School of Science faculty members in the departments of Biology; Chemistry; Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; Mathematics; and Physics.</p> <p><a href="">William Detmold</a>’s research within the area of theoretical particle and nuclear physics incorporates analytical methods, as well as the power of the world’s largest supercomputers, to understand the structure, dynamics, and interactions of particles like protons and to look for evidence of new physical laws at the sub-femtometer scale probed in experiments such as those at the Large Hadron Collider. He joined the Department of Physics in 2012 from the College of William and Mary, where he was an assistant professor. Prior to that, he was a research assistant professor at the University of Washington. He received his BS and PhD from the University of Adelaide in Australia in 1996 and 2002, respectively. Detmold is a researcher in the Center for Theoretical Physics in the Laboratory for Nuclear Science.<br /> <br /> <a href="">Semyon Dyatlov</a> explores scattering theory, quantum chaos, and general relativity by employing microlocal analytical and dynamical system methods. He came to the Department of Mathematics as a research fellow in 2013 and became an assistant professor in 2015. He completed his doctorate in mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley in 2013 after receiving a BS in mathematics at Novosibirsk State University in Russia in 2008. Dyatlov spent time after finishing his PhD as a postdoc at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute before moving to MIT.</p> <p><a href="">Mary Gehring</a> studies plant epigenetics. By using a combination of genetic, genomic, and molecular biology, she explores how plants inherit and interpret information that is not encoded in their DNA to better understand plant growth and development. Her lab focuses primarily on <em>Arabidopsis thaliana</em>, a small flowering plant that is a model species for plant research. Gehring joined the Department of Biology in 2010 after performing postdoctoral research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She received her BA in biology from Williams College in 1998 and her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in 2005. She is also a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.</p> <p><a href="">David</a><a href=""> McGee</a> performs research in the field of paleoclimate, merging information from stalagmites, lake deposits, and marine sediments with insights from models and theory to understand how precipitation patterns and atmospheric circulation varied in the past. He came to MIT in 2012, joining the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences after completing a NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Before that, he attended Carleton College for his BA in geology in 1993-97, Chatham College for an MA in teaching from 1999 to 2003, Tulane University for his MS from 2004 to 2006, and Columbia University for his PhD from 2006 to 2009. McGee is the director of the MIT Terrascope First-Year Learning Community, a role he has held for the past four years.</p> <p><a href="">Ankur Moitra</a> works at the interface between theoretical computer science and machine learning by developing algorithms with provable guarantees and foundations for reasoning about their behavior. He joined the Department of Mathematics in 2013. Prior to that, he received his BS in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University in 2007, and his MS and PhD in computer science from MIT in 2009 and 2011, respectively. He was a National Science Foundation postdoc at the Institute for Advanced Study until 2013. Moitra was a 2018 recipient of a School of Science Teaching Prize. He is also a principal investigator in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and a core member of the Statistics and Data Science Center.</p> <p><a href="">Matthew Shoulders</a> focuses on integrating biology and chemistry to understand how proteins function in the cellular setting, including proteins’ shape, quantity, and location within the body. This research area has important implications for genetic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, and viral infections. Shoulders’ lab works to elucidate, at the molecular level, how cells solve the protein-folding problem, and then uses that information to identify how diseases can develop and to provide insight into new targets for drug development. Shoulders joined the Department of Chemistry in 2012 after earning a BS in chemistry and minor in biochemistry from Virginia Tech in 2004 and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2009. He is also an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and a member of the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences.</p> <p><a href="">Tracy Slatyer</a> researches fundamental aspects of theoretical physics, answering questions about both visible and dark matter by searching for potential indications of new physics in astrophysical and cosmological data. She has developed and adapted novel techniques for data analysis, modeling, and calculations in quantum field theory; her work has also inspired a range of experimental investigations. The Department of Physics welcomed Slatyer in 2013 after she completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study. She majored in theoretical physics as an undergraduate at the Australian National University, receiving a BS in 2005, and completed her PhD in physics at Harvard University in 2010. In 2017, Slatyer received the School of Science Prize in Graduate Teaching and was also named the first recipient of the school’s Future of Science Award. She is a member of the Center for Theoretical Physics in the Laboratory for Nuclear Science.</p> <p><a href="">Michael Williams</a> uses novel experimental methods to improve our knowledge of fundamental particles, including searching for new particles and forces, such as dark matter. He also works on advancing the usage of machine learning within the domain of particle physics research. He joined the Department of Physics in 2012. He previously attended Saint Vincent College as an undergraduate, where he double majored in mathematics and physics. Graduating in 2001, Williams then pursued a doctorate at Carnegie Mellon University, which he completed in 2007. From 2008 to 2012 he was a postdoc at Imperial College London. He is a member of the Laboratory for Nuclear Science.</p> Clockwise from top left: William Detmold, Semyon Dyatlov, Mary Gehring, David McGee, Ankur Moitra, Matthew Shoulders, Tracy Slatyer, and Michael Williams.Photos courtesy of the faculty.School of Science, Biology, Chemistry, EAPS, Mathematics, Physics, Laboratory for Nuclear Science, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Broad Institute, Center for Environmental Health Sciences (CEHS), Faculty, Awards, honors and fellowships, Whitehead Institute, Center for Theoretical Physics Daron Acemoglu named Institute Professor Versatile economist awarded MIT’s highest faculty honor. Wed, 10 Jul 2019 10:00:00 -0400 Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office <p>Economist Daron Acemoglu, whose far-ranging research agenda has produced influential studies about government, innovation, labor, and globalization, has been named Institute Professor, MIT’s highest faculty honor.</p> <p>Acemoglu is one of two MIT professors earning that distinction in 2019. The other, political scientist Suzanne Berger, has <a href="">been named the inaugural John M. Deutch Institute Professor</a>.</p> <p>Acemoglu and Berger join a select group of people holding the <a href="">Institute Professor</a> title at MIT. There are now 12 Institute Professors, along with 11 Institute Professors Emeriti. The new appointees are the first faculty members to be named Institute Professors since 2015.</p> <p>“As an Institute Professor, Daron Acemoglu embodies the essence of MIT: boldness, rigor and real-world impact,” says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “From the John Bates Clark Medal to his decades of pioneering contributions to the literature, Daron has built an exceptional record of academic accomplishment. And because he has focused his creativity on broad, deep questions around the practical fate of nations, communities and workers, his work will be essential to making a better world in our time.”</p> <p>In a letter sent to the MIT faculty today, MIT Provost Martin A. Schmidt and MIT Chair of the Faculty Susan Silbey noted that the honor recognizes “exceptional distinction by a combination of leadership, accomplishment, and service in the scholarly, educational, and general intellectual life of the Institute and wider community.” Schmidt and Silbey also cited Acemoglu’s “significant impacts in diverse fields of economics” and praised him as “one of the most dedicated teachers and mentors in his department.”</p> <p>Nominations for faculty to be promoted to the rank of Institute Professor may be made at any time, by any member of the faculty, and should be directed to MIT’s Chair of the Faculty.</p> <p>A highly productive scholar with broad portfolio of research interests, Acemoglu has spent more than 25 years at MIT examining complicated, large-scale economic questions — and producing important answers.</p> <p>“I’m greatly honored,” he says. “I’ve spent all my career at MIT, and this is a recognition that makes me humbled and happy.”</p> <p>At different times in his career, Acemoglu has published significant research on topics ranging from labor economics to network effects within economies. However, his most prominent work in the public sphere examines the dynamics of political institutions, democracy, and economic growth.</p> <p>Working with colleagues, Acemoglu has built an extensive empirical case that the existence of government institutions granting significant rights for individuals has spurred greater economic activity over the last several hundred years. At the same time, he has also produced theoretical work modeling political changes in many countries. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>He has researched the relationship between institutions and economics most extensively with political scientist James Robinson at the University of Chicago, as well as with Simon Johnson of the MIT Sloan School of Management. However, he has published papers about political dynamics with many other scholars as well.</p> <p>Acemoglu has also been keenly interested in other issues during the course of his career. In labor economics, Acemoglu’s work has helped account for the wage gap between higher-skill and lower-skill workers; he has also shown why firms benefit from investing in improving employee skills, even if those workers might leave or require higher wages.&nbsp;</p> <p>In multiple papers over the last decade, Acemoglu has also examined the labor-market implications of automation, robotics, and AI. Using both theoretical and empirical approaches, Acemoglu has shown how these technologies can reduce employment and wages unless accompanied by other, counterbalancing innovations that increase labor productivity.</p> <p>In still another area of recent work, Acemoglu has shown how economic shocks within particular industrial sectors can produce cascading effects that propagate through an entire economy, work that has helped economists re-evaluate ideas about the aggregate performance of economies. &nbsp;</p> <p>Acemoglu credits the intellectual ethos at MIT and the environment created by his colleagues as beneficial to his own research.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>“MIT is a very down-to-earth, scientific, no-nonsense environment, and the economics department here has been very open-minded, in an age when economics is more relevant than ever but also in the midst of a deep transformation,” he says. “I think it’s great to have an institution, and colleagues, open to new ideas and new things.”</p> <p>Acemoglu has authored or co-authored over 120 (and still rapidly counting) peer-reviewed papers. His fifth book, “The Narrow Corridor,” co-authored with Robinson, will be published in September. It takes a global look at the development of, and pressures on, individual rights and liberties. He has advised over 60 PhD students at MIT and is known for investing considerable time reading the work of his colleagues.&nbsp;</p> <p>As a student, Acemoglu received his BA from the University of York, and his MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics, the latter in 1992. His first faculty appointment was at MIT in 1993, and he has been at the Institute ever since. He was promoted to full professor in 2000, and since 2010 has been the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics.&nbsp;</p> <p>Among Acemoglu’s honors, in 2005 he won the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded by the American Economic Association to the best economist under age 40. Acemoglu has also won the Nemmers Prize in Economics, the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award, and been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. This month, Acemoglu also received the Global Economy Prize 2019, from the Institute for the World Economy.</p> Daron AcemogluImage: Jared CharneyFaculty, Awards, honors and fellowships, Administration, School of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Economics, President L. Rafael Reif Suzanne Berger named inaugural John M. Deutch Institute Professor Political scientist awarded MIT’s highest faculty honor in new titled position. Wed, 10 Jul 2019 09:59:59 -0400 Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office <p>Political scientist Suzanne Berger has been named MIT’s inaugural John M. Deutch Institute Professor, joining the select group of people holding MIT’s highest faculty honor.</p> <p>Berger is a lauded scholar who has published many studies of European politics and society, and who, in an overlapping phase of her career, has become an influential expert about the prospects of America’s innovation economy and advanced manufacturing.</p> <p>Along with Berger, economist Daron Acemoglu has <a href="">also been named Institute Professor</a>.&nbsp;There are now 12 faculty holding the <a href="">Institute Professor</a> title, along with 11 Institute Professors Emeriti. The new appointees are the first faculty members to be named Institute Professors since 2015.</p> <p>“It is difficult to imagine anyone more deserving of the distinction of Institute Professor than Suzanne Berger,” says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “Throughout her one-of-a-kind career, Suzanne has worked at the frontier of at least three distinct research areas and made influential contributions in every one. She stepped forward to inspire and lead groundbreaking research collaborations that brilliantly served both MIT and the nation. And — before we knew how much we needed it — she had the wisdom to invent the signature program that now leads MIT students into deep engagement with cultures around the world.”</p> <p>In a letter sent to MIT faculty today, MIT Provost Martin A. Schmidt and MIT Chair of the Faculty Susan Silbey lauded Berger as an “internationally acclaimed scholar” and praised her work on numerous campus-wide MIT initiatives.</p> <p>Berger’s central role in multiple MIT studies of the innovation economy and global business competition has “helped MIT in the realization of its mission to ‘serve the nation and the world,’” Schmidt and Silbey wrote. They added that Berger, as founding director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI), “has had a profound impact on generations of MIT students.”</p> <p>MISTI sends hundreds of MIT students a year to internships in overseas labs and companies, and funds MIT faculty collaborations with researchers globally.</p> <p>Nominations for faculty to be promoted to the rank of Institute Professor may be made at any time, by any member of the faculty, and should be directed to MIT’s Chair of the Faculty.</p> <p>In a sense, Berger has almost packed two careers into her time at MIT. When Berger joined MIT in 1968, she was studying the political ideologies of French peasants, and she has published multiple books and articles about French and European society and politics, including “Peasants Against Politics,” (1972), “The French Political System,” (1974), and “Dualism and Discontinuity in Industrial Societies,” (1980), the latter co-authored with Michael Piore.</p> <p>Additionally, starting in the 1980s, Berger became a key figure in several MIT-wide study projects, a branching interest that Berger credits in part to the broad-ranging research environment at MIT.</p> <p>“MIT really changed me,” Berger says. “I’ve learned a lot at MIT. What an extraordinary place to be constantly learning, and rethinking your basic assumptions about how the world works.”</p> <p>Berger adds that she is “deeply honored” to be named an Institute Professor, and noted that outside of MIT, “many people do not understand that we have extraordinary departments in economics, political science, linguistics, philosophy, and more. So on behalf of those of us on social sciences, I feel this is recognition of the role social scientists play, both in research and in the education of our students.”</p> <p>As Berger also notes, her career is also marked by both her own individual research, and her participation in Institute initiatives, some of which have been highly influential in shaping public discourse.</p> <p>“Over all my years at MIT, I’ve come to see that Institute Professors are people who both have worked in their own fields and made contributions to the Institute,” Berger says.</p> <p>That certainly is true in her case. In 1986, Berger was named to MIT’s Commission on Industrial Productivity, which conducted an intensive multiyear study of U.S. industry. That resulted in the widely read book “Made in America” and spurred MIT to found its Industrial Performance Center.</p> <p>For Berger’s part, serving on the commission also spurred her to play a central role in subsequent Institute-wide projects. That included studies of Hong Kong and Taiwan, for which she and Richard Lester, now associate provost at MIT overseeing international activities, co-edited the books “Made By Hong Kong” (1997) and “Global Taiwan” (2005).&nbsp;</p> <p>More recently, Berger was a key part of a five-year Institute global study of manufacturing that resulted in a 2006 book she authored, “How We Compete.” The book evaluated the strategies of multinational companies, examining when they outsource tasks to other firms and under what circumstances they move their own operations overseas.</p> <p>Berger followed that up by co-chairing MIT’s commission on Production in the Innovation Economy, formed in 2010, which took a deep look at the state of advanced manufacturing in the U.S., providing important input for federal policy in this area. Berger was also lead author of a 2013 book written with the other commission members, “Making in America,” summarizing the group’s findings.</p> <p>Currently Berger’s work is continuing along two tracks. She is a member of MIT’s “Work of the Future” task force, which is studying the condition of labor in the U.S., and working to complete a book project of her own, on the wave of globalization that occurred in the late 19th century.</p> <p>Berger received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and her PhD from Harvard University in 1967. She joined the MIT faculty in 1968 and has been at the Institute ever since.</p> <p>Berger has received many other honors in her career. She was made a <em>Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur</em> by France in 2009. She has also been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, and been named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.</p> Suzanne BergerImage: Stuart DarschFaculty, Awards, honors and fellowships, Administration, School of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Political science, MISTI, President L. Rafael Reif Gita Manaktala receives 2019 Association of University Presses Constituency Award MIT Press editorial director recognized for service to the university press community. Wed, 03 Jul 2019 09:50:01 -0400 Kate Silverman Wilson <p>Gita Manaktala, editorial director of the MIT Press, was named the 2019 Association of University Presses (AUPresses) Constituency Award honoree at this year's AUPresses Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan. The award was introduced by Larin McLaughlin, editor-in-chief of University of Washington Press, during the opening banquet.</p> <p>"Her letters of nomination for this award illustrate how much so many of us cherish Gita's contributions to our work," <a href="">McLaughlin remarked</a>. "One points out that 'her knowledge, her charisma, her humor, her charm are all generously bestowed on our membership.' Another describes Gita as 'a strong ambassador for the cooperative and collaborative spirit that defines the AUPresses.'"&nbsp;</p> <p>Manaktala's leadership of diversity and inclusion initiatives was seen as a signal achievement by many of her nominators. She has been one of the principal mentors involved in the Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship since its inception in 2016, a program that creates opportunities in university press acquisitions departments for talented scholars from diverse communities. The convener of a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group at her own press, she was also a founding member and co-chair, with McLaughlin, of the association's Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, created in 2017. The AUPresses task force will become a full committee for equity, justice, and inclusion, with Manaktala continuing as a co-chair, this fall.</p> <p>Manaktala's nearly 30-year career at MIT Press has encompassed marketing as well as editorial areas of expertise. As marketing director at the press from 2004-08, she led global sales, marketing, publicity, and electronic product development efforts. As its editorial director since 2009, she has guided a large and complex acquisitions program and currently oversees the work of 14 acquiring editors.</p> <p>Her additional volunteer service to the association has been equally varied:</p> <ul> <li>She chaired the 2011 Annual Meeting Program Committee, constructing a conference that is well-remembered for its&nbsp;vibrant and community-building offerings.</li> <li>As part of&nbsp;the 2015-16 Acquisitions Editorial Committee, she helped create&nbsp;the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Best Practices for Peer Review</a>&nbsp;handbook, bringing together insights from dozens of acquisitions editors to produce this guiding document.&nbsp;</li> <li>She has served on the Faculty Outreach, Digital Publishing, and Nominating committees, and as a member of the association's board of directors since 2017.</li> </ul> <p>The association's award recognizes Manaktala as a multi-talented and collaborative leader and thanks her for her many contributions to the work of university presses and to a rich and inclusive publishing culture.</p> <p>Created in 1991, the AUPresses Constituency Award recognizes staff at member presses who have demonstrated active leadership and service to the association and the university press community. Coincidentally, last year's award winner, Colleen Lanick, was also an MIT Press staffer; she is currently publicity director of Harvard University Press. The full honor roll is available <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> Gita Manaktala, editorial director of the MIT PressMIT Press, Staff, Books and authors, Diversity and inclusion, Awards, honors and fellowships Seven MIT educators honored for digital learning innovation Educators recognized for improving classroom instruction and student engagement through innovative uses of digital technology. Tue, 02 Jul 2019 13:30:00 -0400 Kelly McSweeney | MIT Open Learning <p>Seven MIT educators have received awards this year for their significant digital learning innovations and their contributions to teaching and learning at MIT and around the world.</p> <p>Polina Anikeeva, Martin Bazant, and Jessica Sandland shared the third annual <em>MITx</em> Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs —&nbsp;an award given to educators who have developed massive open online courses (MOOCs) that share the best of MIT knowledge and perspectives with learners around the world. Additionally, John Belcher, Amy Carleton, Jared Curhan, and Erik Demaine received Teaching with Digital Technology Awards, nominated by MIT students for their innovative use of digital technology to improve their teaching at MIT.</p> <p><strong>The <em>MITx</em> Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs</strong></p> <p>This year’s <em>MITx </em>prize winners were honored at an MIT Open Learning event in May. Professor Polina Anikeeva of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Digital Learning Lab Scientist Jessica Sandland received the award for teaching 3.024x (Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Materials). The course was praised for not only its global impact, but also for the way in which it enhanced the residential experience. Increased flexibility from integrating the online content allowed for the addition of design reviews, which give MIT students firsthand experience working on complicated engineering problems.</p> <p>3.024x is fast-paced and challenging. To bring some levity to the subject, the instructors designed problem sets around a series of superhero-themed comic strips that integrated the science and engineering concepts that students learned in class.</p> <p>Martin Bazant, of the departments of Chemical Engineering and Mathematics, received the <em>MITx </em>prize for his course, 10.50.1x (Analysis of Transport Phenomena Mathematical Methods). Most problems in the course involve long calculations, which can be tricky to demonstrate online.</p> <p>To solve this challenge, Bazant broke up problems into smaller parts that included tips and tutorials to help learners solve the problem while maintaining the rigorous intellectual challenge. Course participants included a diverse group of college students, industry professionals, and faculty from other universities in many science and engineering disciplines across the globe.</p> <p><strong>Teaching with Digital Technology Awards</strong></p> <div class="cms-placeholder-content-video"></div> <p>Co-sponsored by MIT Open Learning and the Office of the Vice Chancellor, the Teaching with Digital Technology Awards are student-nominated awards for faculty and instructors who have improved teaching and learning at MIT with digital technology. MIT students nominated 117 faculty and instructors for this award this year, more than in any previous year. The winners were celebrated at an awards luncheon in early June. John Belcher, Erik Demaine, and Jared Curhan attended the awards luncheon, and — in the spirit of an award reception for digital innovation — Amy Carleton joined the event virtually, through video chat.</p> <p>John Belcher was honored for his physics courses on electricity and magnetism. Students appreciated the way that Belcher incorporated videos with his lectures to help provide a physical representation of an abstract subject. He created the animated videos to show visualizations of fundamental physics concepts such as energy transfer and magnetic fields. Students remarked that the videos helped them learn about everything from solar flares and the solar cycle to the fundamentally relativistic nature of electromagnetism.</p> <p>Erik Demaine of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab received the award for his course 6.892 (Fun with Hardness Proofs). The course flipped the traditional classroom model. Instead of lecturing in person, all lectures were posted online and problems were done in class. This allowed the students to spend class time working together on collaborative problem solving through an online application that Demaine created, called Coauthor.</p> <p>Jared Curhan received the award for his negotiation courses at the MIT Sloan School of Management, including 15.672 (Negotiation Analysis), which he designed for students across the Institute. Curhan used digital technology to provide feedback while students practiced their negotiating skills in class. A platform called iDecisionGames helped simulate negotiation exercises between students, and after each exercise it provided data about how each participant performed, both objectively and subjectively.</p> <p>Amy Carleton received the award for her course on science writing and new media. During the course, students learned how to write about scientific and technical topics for a general audience. They put their skills to work by writing Wikipedia articles, where they used advanced editing techniques and wrote mathematical expressions in LaTEX. They also used Google Docs during class to edit articles in small groups, and developed PowerPoint presentations where they learned to incorporate sound and graphics to emphasize their ideas.</p> <p>Both awards celebrate instructors who are using technology in innovative ways to help teach challenging courses to both traditional students and online learners.</p> <p>“At MIT, there is no shortage of digital learning innovation, and this year’s winners reflect the Institute’s strong commitment to transforming teaching and learning at MIT and around the globe,” says MIT Professor Krishna Rajagopal, dean for digital learning. “They have set new standards for online and blended learning.”</p> Dean of Digital Learning Krishna Rajagopal (center) with winners of the MITx Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs, Jessica Sandland (left) and Martin Bazant. Not pictured: Polina Anikeeva, who also received the MITx Prize, and John Belcher, Amy Carleton, Jared Curhan, and Erik Demaine, who received Teaching with Digital Technology Awards.Photo: MIT Open LearningMITx, Office of Open Learning, Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical engineering, Mathematics, School of Engineering, School of Science, Office of the Vice Chancellor, Physics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Sloan School of Management, online learning, Massive open online courses (MOOCs), OpenCourseWare, Classes and programs, Technology and society, Education, teaching, academics, Awards, honors and fellowships Angelika Amon and Dina Katabi named Carnegie Corporation “Great Immigrants” MIT biologist and electrical engineer are two of 38 naturalized U.S. citizens honored for contributions to American society. Tue, 02 Jul 2019 13:15:34 -0400 MIT News Office <p>MIT professors <a href="" target="_blank">Angelika Amon</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Dina Katabi</a> have been named to the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s 2019 list of <a href="">Great Immigrants, Great Americans</a>. These 38 naturalized U.S. citizens are noted as individuals who “strengthen America’s economy, enrich our culture and communities, and invigorate our democracy through their lives, their work, and their examples.”</p> <p>Angelika Amon, who hails from Austria, is a molecular and cell biologist who studies cell growth and division and how errors in this process — specifically abnormal numbers of chromosomes — contribute to cancer, aging, and birth defects.</p> <p>Amon arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from Vienna in 1994 to complete a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research; she was subsequently named a Whitehead Fellow for three years. Amon then joined the MIT Center for Cancer Research, now the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, and MIT’s Department of Biology in 1999. She became a full professor in 2007 and is currently the Kathleen and Curtis Marble Professor in Cancer Research, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, the co-associate director of the Glenn Center for Science of Aging Research at MIT, and the inaugural director of the Alana Down Syndrome Center at MIT. Her most recent awards include the 2019 <a href="" target="_blank">Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science</a> and the 2019 <a href="" target="_blank">Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Dina Katabi, who was born in Syria, is an engineer who works to improve the speed, reliability, and security of wireless networks. She is especially known for her work on a wireless system that can track human movement even through walls — a technology that has great potential for medical use.</p> <p>Katabi joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science faculty in 2003. She is a principal investigator in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), as well as director of the <a href="">Networks at MIT</a> research group and co-director of the <a href="">MIT Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing</a>, both in CSAIL. Among other honors, Katabi has received a MacArthur Fellowship (sometimes called a “genius grant”), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Prize in Computing, the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, a Test of Time Award from the ACM’s Special Interest Group on Data Communications, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and a Sloan Research Fellowship. She is an ACM Fellow and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Damascus University and master’s and PhD degrees from MIT.</p> <p>The Carnegie Corporation celebrates its Great Immigrants every Fourth of July as a way to honor exemplary naturalized U.S. citizens. The organization has named nearly 600 individuals to its list since 2006. Past MIT honorees include Professor Daron Acemoglu (Turkey), Professor Nergis Mavalvala (Pakistan), President L. Rafael Reif (Venezuela), Professor Emeritus Rainer Weiss (Germany), and Professor Feng Zhang (China).</p> MIT professors Dina Katabi (left) and Angelika Amon are among the 2019 Carnegie Corporation "Great Immigrants, Great Americans."Image: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (Katabi) and Samara Vise (Amon)Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty, Global, Immigration, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Koch Institute, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (eecs), Biology, School of Science, School of Engineering MIT Media Lab Director&#039;s Fellows announced for 2019 NBA star, Polynesian voyager, mayor of Stockton, California, are among the new cohort working to build bridges between MIT and the world. Mon, 01 Jul 2019 12:30:01 -0400 MIT Media Lab <p>The MIT Media Lab has added 11 members to the diverse group of visionary innovators and leaders it calls the Director’s Fellows.</p> <p>Now in its seventh year, the Director’s Fellows program links a vast array of creators, advocates, artists, scientists, educators, philosophers, and others to the lab. The goal of the program is for the fellows to get involved in the lab’s work, bringing new perspectives, ideas, and knowledge to projects and initiatives.</p> <p>Conversely, the fellows spread insights, knowledge, and work of the lab out into the world, giving it exposure in spaces as varied as fashion, human rights, and sports.</p> <p>“My intention was to bring a wide range of voices into the Media Lab that we might not otherwise hear, because I firmly believe that technology and engineering alone cannot address the complexity of the challenges we face in today’s world,” says Joi Ito, director of the Media Lab. “Addressing an issue as complex as climate change or public health require solutions involving philosophy and politics and anthropology — a range of knowledge, skills, and talents that we don’t necessarily have at the lab.”</p> <p>With the addition of this year’s fellows, the Director’s Fellows network will be 70-ish persons strong. The fellows may collaborate on projects with students and faculty, serve as advisers, bring a project idea into the lab, or work on projects together. Those living abroad may participate in Media Lab workshops and other offsite events.</p> <p>Fellows have a formal affiliation with the lab for two years, but the hope is that the network continues to flourish after that period ends. “Our intention is to keep them as close as possible, both to each other and to the lab,” says Claudia Robaina, the program’s director. “They are great resources for us and for each other, a huge network of collaborators.”</p> <p>The fellows this year are as diverse as ever, although Robaina says there is perhaps a greater diversity of age than in the typical class. Among them are a digital forensics investigator, a freestyle skateboarder, and a physician.</p> <p>The Media Lab’s 2019 Directors Fellows are listed below.</p> <p><strong>Jaylen Brown</strong>, an NBA <a href="" target="_blank">basketball player with the Boston Celtics</a>, has a wide range of interests, including history, finance, technology, and meditation. Considered an innovator by his peers, he entered the NBA draft in 2016 without an agent, and a year later created a stir by pulling together a networking event for rookie players at the NBA Summer League, which was followed by a “Tech Hustle” event at the NBA All-Star Weekend that attracted venture capitalists, rap stars, and corporate chieftains to help players understand investment.</p> <p><strong>Jan Fuller</strong>, a former senior digital forensics investigator for the Redmond Police Department in Washington state, began conducting forensic investigations of electronic devices in 2003, when 1 gigabyte was a lot of data. Currently, she’s pursuing projects aimed at improving law enforcement capabilities deployed against digital crimes and coaching and mentoring students interested in careers in digital forensics.</p> <p><strong>Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner</strong>, a <a href="" target="_blank">poet of Marshall Islands ancestry</a>, achieved international acclaim with her performance at the opening of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York in 2014. She has published a collection of poetry, Iep Jāltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter, and she directs a Marshall Islands-based nonprofit dedicated to empowering Marshallese youth to seek solutions to the environmental challenges their homeland faces. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Ayana Elizabeth Johnson</strong>, founder and chief executive of <a href="" target="_blank">Ocean Collectiv</a>, a consulting firm for conservation solutions, is a marine biologist and policy expert. She founded the Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank focused on coastal cities, and has worked on ocean policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.</p> <p><strong>Lehua Kamalu</strong>, an apprentice navigator and the voyaging director at the <a href="" target="_blank">Polynesian Voyaging Society</a>, researched and devised the sail plan for Hōkūleʻa, a double hulled canoe, as it circumnavigated the Earth from 2014 to 2018 on a voyage named “Malama Honua — to care for the Earth.” She sees the practice of deep-sea voyaging as a means to challenge the depth and quality of our individual relationships to the ocean, nature, and one another.</p> <p><strong>AiLun Ku</strong>, president and chief operating officer at <a href="" target="_blank">The Opportunity Network</a>, works to create spaces for first-generation high school and college students of color to enhance and improve their postsecondary and career readiness education. She trains partners to integrate culturally balanced, student-centered curriculum design with rigorous data-driven practices with the goal of influencing systems that have traditionally excluded young people of color from college and career opportunities.</p> <p><strong>Nonabah Lane</strong>, a member of the Navajo Nation, is a sustainability specialist and entrepreneur in environmental and culturally conscious business development, energy education, and tribal community commitment. She is a co-founder of <a href="" target="_blank">Navajo Ethno-Agriculture</a>, a farm that teaches Navajo culture through traditional farming and bilingual education and is active in promoting and developing tribal sustainable energy strategies.</p> <p><strong>Kate McCall-Kiley</strong>, co-founder and director at xD, an emerging technology lab within the U.S. government, works to create new environments and mechanisms for behavior change while experimenting with different ways to productively challenge convention. She served as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow for the Obama administration, where she worked on projects including <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, The Opportunity Project, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, BroadbandUSA, and Vice President Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot.</p> <p><strong>Rodney Mullen</strong>, co-founder of one of the most dominant skateboarding companies in America, <a href="" target="_blank">invented many of the tricks</a> in use in skateboarding today and holds two patents related to the sport’s equipment. He has pivoted to work in the open source community, where he finds many parallels between the creativity of skateboarders and hackers. He still skates two hours a day.</p> <p><strong>Elizabeth Pettit</strong>, executive director of <a href="" target="_blank">Clínica Integral Almas</a> in Álamos, Mexico, which works with remote indigenous communities, is a physician. Medicine and work in rural public health is a second act: Pettit previously was a designer, creating specialty materials for art and architecture and for the film and entertainment industry.</p> <p><strong>Michael Tubbs</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank">mayor of Stockton, California</a>, has received national attention for his ambitious progressive agenda, which includes securing $20 million to finance scholarships to triple the number of the city’s students entering and graduating from college, and the country’s first universal basic income pilot project. He is the youngest mayor in the history of the country to represent a city with more than 100,000 residents and is Stockton’s first African-American mayor.</p> <p>Learn more about all of the fellows from all seven cohorts at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> The 2019 MIT Media Lab Director's Fellows: (top row, l-r) AiLun Ku, Lehua Kamalu, Elizabeth Pettit, Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner; (middle row, l-r) Kate McCall-Kiley, Ayana Johnson, Jaylen Brown; (bottom row, l-r) Michael Tubbs, Rodney Mullen, Jan Fuller, Nonabah LaneImage courtesy of the MIT Media LabMedia Lab, Awards, honors and fellowships, Collaboration, Technology and society, School of Architecture and Planning High school students receive 2019 MIT AgeLab OMEGA Scholarships for work with elders Local youth recognized for fostering unity across generations. Mon, 24 Jun 2019 15:20:01 -0400 Adam Felts | MIT AgeLab <p>On June 6, the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">MIT AgeLab</a>, in partnership with&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">AARP</a>, presented the fourth annual OMEGA scholarship awards to three accomplished young adults from New England. Sidonie Brown from Brookline High School in Brookline, Massachusetts, Brook Masse from Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and Jay Park from Newton South High School in Newton, Massachusetts, were each awarded a 2019&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">OMEGA</a>&nbsp;scholarship. OMEGA scholarships recognize young people who are leading efforts in their schools to foster intergenerational connections within their communities.</p> <p>The three winners are developers and leaders of programs that support older adults’ needs, utilize their experience and wisdom, and furnish social connections across generations. Brown has led an ongoing Brookline High School program called Brookline SHOP (Students Helping Older People), which recruits students to assist independent-living older adults with grocery shopping, technology use, and other instrumental activities. Masse started a student initiative with a local retirement community in which students converse, play games, garden, and create art with the residents. Park supported a program called Spanish Immersion Jamaica Plain and Brookline, which engages Spanish-speaking older adults as conversation partners with high school students to improve students’ mastery of the Spanish language.</p> <p>The OMEGA awards were presented at the MIT AgeLab before the recipients’ families, members of the MIT AgeLab’s Lifestyle Leaders Panel, Michael Festa, the director of AARP Massachusetts, AgeLab researchers, and leaders of community organizations serving older adults that collaborated in the recipients’ projects. The OMEGA scholarships will provide $1,000 toward each recipient’s college tuition and an additional $1,000 to each recipient’s school or community partner to continue their outstanding intergenerational efforts.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">OMEGA</a>, which stands for Opportunities for Multigenerational Engagement, Growth, and Action, was developed to support the development and growth of student-led programs and clubs that connect high school students with older adults. The MIT AgeLab is a multidisciplinary research organization that works with business, government, and non-governmental organizations to improve the quality of life of older adults and those who care for them.</p> Jay Park (pictured, left) was one of three Boston-area high school students to receive a 2019 OMEGA scholarship, along with Sidonie Brown and Brook Masse. Pictured at right is AARP Massachusetts Director Michael Festa. Photo: Arthur GrauAgeLab, Aging, Community, Awards, honors and fellowships, Center for Transportation and Logistics, School of Engineering, Volunteering, outreach, public service MIT chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society inducts 76 students from the Class of 2019 The new members of Xi of Massachusetts, the MIT chapter of PBK, combine the best of humanities, natural science, and social science scholarship. Thu, 20 Jun 2019 11:10:01 -0400 School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences <p>The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest academic honor society, held its MIT induction ceremony recently, admitting 76 graduating seniors into the MIT chapter, Xi of Massachusetts.<br /> <br /> Phi Beta Kappa (PBK), founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, honors the nation’s most outstanding undergraduate students for excellence in the&nbsp;liberal arts, which includes the humanities and natural and social science fields. Only 10 percent of higher education institutions have PBK chapters, and fewer than 10 percent of students at those institutions are selected for membership.<br /> <br /> <strong>Reflective, meaningful lives</strong><br /> <br /> Speaking at the event, Diana Henderson, an MIT professor of literature and the president of Xi of Massachusetts, said: “This year’s inductees have been chosen on the basis of their exceptional academic performance. Their educational choices have included not only technical subjects but also a substantial commitment to the humanities and social and natural sciences — the liberal arts."<br /> <br /> Henderson noted that MIT's 76 new members of the Phi Beta Kappa Society "have also become more knowledgeable citizens of the world through the study of a second language. Such an education helps prepare them to thrive in particular careers," she said, "and, even more importantly, encourages them to pursue reflective, meaningful lives, using their learning to contribute to the greater good."<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>Belonging and community</strong><br /> <br /> In her address at the induction ceremony, Hazel Sive, an MIT professor of biology and member of the Whitehead Institute at MIT, reflected on the need we all have for a sense of belonging to a community. She enjoined the&nbsp;initiates to find, and cultivate, such communities in their own lives.<br /> <br /> Sive shared some of her own journey across the world and back again, all while embedded in a dynamic university community. She posited that the role of a university is to create such a culture by bringing people together and providing coherence to the world in the midst of their diversity.<br /> <br /> As she spoke about being a&nbsp;young woman from apartheid South Africa and becoming a leading world biologist, she assured the new PBK members that a life in the lab can be fulfilling and full of human (and animal) connection, and urged them to prioritize cultivating their own communities, beginning with the people in the room.<br /> <br /> Sive was made an honorary PBK member at the induction ceremony, as was Rebecca Saxe, an MIT professor of brain and cognitive sciences.<br /> <br /> Henderson, who specializes in Shakespeare studies, provided the inductees and their families with a lively overview of the PBK society. With assistance from chapter historian&nbsp;Anne McCants, professor of history, and&nbsp;chapter guardian Margery Resnick, professor of literature, Henderson introduced the 2019&nbsp;inductees to&nbsp;the rights and responsibilities of PBK members.<br /> <br /> The 76 inductees were then recognized individually, shown the society’s secret handshake, and received by a group of MIT faculty. After signing the register of the Xi of Massachusetts chapter, the new members received their certificates of membership.</p> Speaking at the induction event, Diana Henderson, an MIT professor of literature and the President of Xi of Massachusetts, said: “This year’s inductees have been chosen on the basis of their exceptional academic performance. Their educational choices have included not only technical subjects but also a substantial commitment to the humanities and social and natural sciences — the liberal arts."Image: SHASS Communications Awards, honors and fellowships, School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, Students, School of Science, Humanities MIT Libraries staff honored with 2019 Infinite Mile Awards Seventeen staffers feted for caring, collaboration, and community. Thu, 20 Jun 2019 10:55:01 -0400 MIT Libraries <p>The MIT Libraries honored the outstanding contributions of its employees June 11 with its Infinite Mile Awards. The theme of this year’s festivities was “Treat Yo’ Self: Rest, Renew, Relax.” An awards ceremony in Killian Hall was followed by a celebratory luncheon featuring live music by the libraries' staff band, The Dust Jackets, and a guest appearance by Tim the Beaver.&nbsp;</p> <p>Director Chris Bourg presented awards to individuals and teams in the categories listed below; award recipients are listed along with excerpts from the award presentations.</p> <p><strong>Innovation, Creativity, and Problem Solving</strong></p> <p>In June 2018, the team of Ben Abrahamse, Helen Bailey, Li Cheung, Mike Graves, Rhonda Kauffman, and Jeremy Prevost set out to build the MIT Libraries’ first API, an indexing platform for populating searches/discovery, consolidating various source metadata into a single index. Nicknamed “TIMDEX,” the API is now being used and will enable the libraries to advance discovery and access, improve relevance and context, and bring together fragmented silos of content.</p> <p><strong>Collaboration and Inclusion</strong></p> <p>Shannon Hunt, Stephanie Kohler, and&nbsp;Sam Spencer had the difficult task of creating and overseeing a staff-driven nominating and voting process for the Staff Advisory Council, the first of its kind in the libraries. The team kept fairness and transparency at the forefront of the process, was an endless source of help and encouragement to those considering whether to participate, and demonstrated care and commitment throughout the launch of the council.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Results, Outcome, and Productivity</strong></p> <p>The team of Grace Mlady, Beverly Turner, and Kelly Hopkins was recognized for its awe-inspiring efforts to move 70 staff members (representing nearly 40 percent of the total staff) from across the libraries to a new office location. Despite the knotty logistics, the team made every effort to involve the community, listen to hopes and dreams as well as major concerns, and ensure equity and fairness in the end results. The team approached the project with “grace and aplomb” and their colleagues with “poise, kindness, and joy.”&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Bringing Out the Best Award</strong></p> <p>Human Resources Generalist Cherry Ibrahim is widely praised for her compassion, foresight, thoughtfulness, and can-do attitude. “She consistently models the caring organization we hope to be,” said one nominator. Ibrahim has used her remarkable organizational and problem-solving skills to help recruit, hire, and onboard new staff; plan the annual libraries staff breakfast; and serve on fast-moving search committees, all with a smile.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Tough Questions/Critical Thinker</strong></p> <p>Aeronautics/Astronautics and Physics Librarian Barbara Williams is not afraid to ask questions, especially when they pertain to the well-being and professional growth of her colleagues. Williams is driven by a sense of fairness and a respect for the expertise and talent of others. While the feedback she offers might be difficult, she manages to provide it with a smile and an honesty that empowers her colleagues to have the kind of uncomfortable conversations needed to live up to the libraries’ values.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>User Service and Support</strong></p> <p>Georgiana McReynolds, reference services and user experience librarian, received this award&nbsp;recognizing a staff member who consistently keeps library users in mind when implementing services. Nominators highlighted her “tireless, exemplary work on tools and services that connect our communities to the information they need.” Another wrote, “Any question handled by Georgiana is guaranteed to be addressed thoroughly, thoughtfully, and professionally. She takes the time to understand and interpret users’ information needs and provides tailored strategies and solutions.”</p> <p><strong>Unsung Hero</strong></p> <p>Administrative Assistant Renee Hellenbrecht is a treasured member of the MIT Libraries staff who daily makes a positive impact in many ways. She has led Webex training for her colleagues, helps keep kitchen items in supply, and even “MacGyvers” the industrial coffee machine when it breaks. As one nominator wrote, “she gets things done, often without other people even realizing that there was something that needed to be done.”&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Christine Moulen “Good Citizen” Award</strong></p> <p>Jeremiah Graves, access services manager for Barker and Rotch libraries, was acknowledged for his “relentless” support of his staff’s professional development. Praised for his ability to anticipate and solve both large-scale problems and quick questions, Graves is a co-chair of the recently created Staff Advisory Council. His efforts to build community via the libraries’ softball team, the Bibliotechs, have been sustained and considerable, and he truly displays the spirit of teamwork, courtesy, and generosity that characterized&nbsp;<a href="">Christine Moulen '94</a>, the inspiration for this award.&nbsp;</p> This year’s winners. (Top row, left to right:) Cherry Ibrahim, Jeremiah Graves, Chris Bourg, Barbara Williams, Georgiana McReynolds; Kelly Hopkins, Grace Mlady, Bourg, Beverly Turner. (Bottom row, left to right:) Sam Spencer, Bourg, Shannon Hunt; Rhonda Kauffman, Ben Abrahamse, Helen Bailey, Bourg, Jeremy Prevost, Li CheungPhoto: Jia SpiggleLibraries, Awards, honors and fellowships, Staff, Administration, Community Four 2019 40 Under 40 award winners are from Lincoln Laboratory The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association recognizes innovation and leadership in science and technology. Wed, 19 Jun 2019 11:00:01 -0400 Lucas Principe | Lincoln Laboratory <p>Each year, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) presents the Young AFCEA 40 Under 40 award to 40 individuals under age 40 for their significant contributions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This year, the Lincoln Laboratory is home to four winners: Anu Myne, Mark Veillette, Meredith Drennan, and Alexander Stolyarov. The recipients are chosen by AFCEA for the innovation, leadership, and support they provide to their organizations, particularly through the application of information technology to make advancements in STEM.</p> <p><strong>Anu Myne</strong></p> <p>Myne currently serves as an associate technology officer within the Lincoln Laboratory Technology Office, where she supports the strategic development of the laboratory’s internal investments and innovation initiatives, and furthers collaboration with MIT campus. In this role, she’s focusing on the laboratory’s overall strategies for advancing research and development in artificial intelligence (AI) for national security. Among various other projects, Myne organized the AI Technical Interchange meeting for laboratory-wide participation last year, and is now planning the inaugural Recent Advances in AI for National Security Workshop that will be held in 2019.</p> <p>"It has been a distinct privilege to work with Anu, one of our rising stars at the laboratory," says Robert Bond, chief technology officer. "Anu has an impressively diverse professional resume spanning hardware design, signal processing, and machine learning. This background, coupled with her natural inquisitiveness and ability to zero in on the important technology issues, has made her ideal for her current role as associate technology officer."</p> <p>Before joining the Technology Office, Myne made significant contributions to a diverse set of problems addressing challenges in electronic warfare and radar systems for next-generation defense. Her efforts ranged from system analysis and development of simulation tools to hardware design, implementation, and testing.</p> <p>Myne believes that every opportunity she's had to develop, test, and demonstrate system concepts was a great experience. She’s been most recognized for her efforts in developing a novel electromagnetic environment simulation tool and a Bayesian network approach for intelligent test design — successes she attributes to an appreciation for both real hardware and software design challenges and her willingness to try out new ideas or approaches.</p> <p>Upon winning the award, Myne said, "The laboratory is filled with talent and I'm honored to be recognized this way."</p> <p><strong>Mark Veillette</strong></p> <p>Veillette began working in the Air Traffic Control Systems Group in 2010. Since then, his main focus has been the application of AI and machine learning in weather sensing and forecasting. "As you can imagine, weather involves a lot of data and uncertainty, so I think it's a very rich and exciting space to be applying these types of algorithms," Veillette says.</p> <p>Currently, Veillette is working on a project to create a global picture of synthetic weather radar. The data used for the project are similar to weather radar imagery seen on the news, except that these data will be available globally, even in areas without weather radar.</p> <p>"Mark is not only an expert in his field, he is a consummate teacher," colleague Christopher Mattioli says. "Even at his most busy and stressful times, he's always willing to offer technical guidance and listen to new ideas. His type of character fosters a healthy working environment, which ultimately strengthens and expedites innovation."</p> <p>Veillette says he is particularly proud of organizing and teaching a technical education course titled Decision Making Under Uncertainty. He has also been involved in various support roles across groups and divisions, and has served on the Laboratory's Advanced Concepts Committee for the past two and a half years.</p> <p>"There are so many talented people here at the laboratory and at other institutions supporting the Department of Defense, so to be recognized by the AFCEA is very nice," Veillette says. "I’m thankful to the Director’s Office for nominating me."</p> <p><strong>Meredith Drennan</strong></p> <p>Drennan has been working at the laboratory since 2010, when she started as an associate staff member in the Integrated Systems and Concepts Group. Since that time, she has worked on an assortment of laboratory projects and is now an assistant leader of her group.</p> <p>From 2010-14, as part of the Multi-Aperture Sparse Imager Video System and Wide-Area Infrared System for Persistent Surveillance teams, she developed software for wide-area motion imagery processing.</p> <p>Since 2014, Drennan has been the lead flight software developer for the SensorSat program — a project to build a next-generation surveillance satellite. She was made program manager of this project in 2018.</p> <p>What Drennan appreciates most about her work at the laboratory has been the opportunity to contribute technically while working with great people on difficult problems. She pointed to her work on SensorSat as the reason for her receiving this award: "While I admit I worked very hard on that program, I was one of many. Any successes the satellite has had are a result of the hard work and dedication of dozens of individuals, not just one."</p> <p><strong>Alexander (Sasha) Stolyarov</strong></p> <p>Stolyarov, a staff member in the Chemical, Microsystem, and Nanoscale Technologies Group, currently leads the Defense Fabric Discovery Center (DFDC) — an end-to-end advanced fabrics prototyping facility focused on developing multifunctional fibers and fabrics for national security. The DFDC, opened in October 2017, is one of a planned network of fabric discovery centers and was built in a joint venture among the laboratory, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, and the Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center (formerly called the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center).</p> <p>Shortly after joining the laboratory in 2014, Stolyarov began working on a program involving multimaterial fiber devices. The program seeks to incorporate these devices into fabrics for a variety of uses, including fabric-based chemical sensors and optical communication systems.</p> <p>Stolyarov says that his greatest accomplishment at the laboratory has been "starting and growing the advanced fibers technical area, which has grown from a group project to an enterprise involving collaborations with many of the laboratory’s system divisions."</p> <p>Livia Racz, associate leader of the Chemical, Microsystem, and Nanoscale Technologies Group, says, "Sasha had a passion for this subject since he first started at the laboratory. When we first saw his proposal, we realized that it promised to become a perfect example of what we were looking for — a rapid, scalable way to break the paradigm of electronics on flat circuit boards."</p> The 2019 Young AFCEA 40 Under 40 award winners from Lincoln Laboratory are (left to right): Anu Myne, Mark Veillette, Meredith Drennan, and Alexander Stolyarov.Photo: Nicole FandelLincoln Laboratory, Awards, honors and fellowships, Radar, Aviation, Space, astronomy and planetary science, Earth and atmospheric sciences Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum honors MIT D-Lab with National Design Award D-Lab noted for its &quot;work to address the daily challenges of poverty through design.&quot; Tue, 18 Jun 2019 15:10:01 -0400 Nancy Adams | D-Lab <p>The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum announced that MIT D-Lab has won the <a href="" target="_blank">National Design Award</a> in the Corporate and Institutional Achievement category. Nominations were solicited from leading designers, educators, journalists, cultural figures, corporate leaders, and design enthusiasts from every U.S. state.</p> <p>“D-Lab’s work in bringing design thinking to under-resourced areas of the globe is a tremendous example of MIT’s mission to serve the world,” comments Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the MIT School of Engineering. “The D-Lab team deeply understands that designing and developing products and services for people living in poverty is not enough. Teaching people to design solutions to meet their own needs is rich with benefits — a sense of pride and accomplishment, the joy of creation, and an increased sense of agency,” he continued.</p> <p>One of 11 awards, the Corporate and Institutional Achievement Award is "given in recognition of a corporation or institution that uses design as&nbsp;a strategic tool as part of its mission and has consistently exhibited&nbsp;ingenuity and insight in the relationship between design and quality of&nbsp;life," according to the Cooper Hewitt website.</p> <p>“It is an incredible honor to have our work recognized by this award,” says Amy Smith, D-Lab founding director and senior lecturer in mechanical engineering. “Design is such an important part of what we do at D-Lab — we believe that both the products and the process of design can have a significant impact in addressing global poverty challenges.”</p> <p>Comments Thabiso “Blak” Mashaba, of founder of These Hands, GSSE and one of D-Lab’s longtime collaborators in Botswana, “We work with D-Lab because our community members not only learn design skills, they become equal design partners on projects that matter and then design leads as they move projects forward and start others.”</p> <p>Founded in 2002, D-Lab began as a single course known as The Haiti Class, which sought to apply engineering and design principles to the complex issues faced by people living in poverty. That first course embodied the values of technical expertise and a commitment to deep and respectful collaborations that D-Lab continues to hold at the center of its work today. D-Lab’s programs include more than 20 interdisciplinary courses, six research groups working in collaboration with global partners, as well as field programs focused on social entrepreneurship, inclusive markets, innovation ecosystems, and humanitarian innovation.</p> <p>“This award is a wonderful recognition of D-Lab’s nearly 20 years of world-leading collaborative design education and research focused on empowering local communities to alleviate the pervasive challenges of global poverty,” says Ian A. Waitz, vice chancellor for undergraduate and graduate education.”</p> <p>When the National Design Awards were established in 2000 as a project of the White House Millennium Council, the stated intent was to affirm design excellence in the U.S. “Twenty years later, the achievements of this year’s class underscore not just the incredible prowess of American design today, but advance our understanding of the power of design to change the world. From MIT D-Lab’s work to address the daily challenges of poverty through design to Open Style Lab’s functional and stylish wearable solutions for people of all abilities, the 2019 winners join an impressive group of honorees who have made an indelible impact on society,” says Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt in a prepared statement.</p> <p>The other National Design Award winners are Open Style Lab, co-founded by Grace Teo PhD '14 (Emerging Designer); Susan Kare (Lifetime Achievement); Patricia Moore (Design Mind); Thomas Phifer (Architecture Design); Tobias Frere-Jones (Communication Design); Derek Lam (Fashion Design); Ivan Poupyrev (Interaction Design); IwamotoScott Architecture (Interior Design); SCAPE Landscape Architecture (Landscape Architecture); and Tinker Hatfield (Product Design).</p> <p>National Design Award winners will be invited to participate in public-facing programs at the Cooper Hewitt during National Design Week starting Oct. 12. A gala to celebrate the award winners will be held at the museum on Oct. 17.</p> In conjunction with defining design criteria for a novel water filter technology using plant xylem tissue under development by Mechanical Engineering Professor Rohit Karnik, a D-Lab research team investigated user needs and preferences through surveys, interviews, and through water filter prototyping sessions with local women in Bageshwar district, Uttarakhand, India.Photo: Megha Hegde/MIT D-LabD-Lab, International development, Poverty, Design, Awards, honors and fellowships, Arts, Mechanical engineering, School of Engineering PhD students awarded J-WAFS fellowships for water solutions J-WAFS announces graduate fellowships for Sahil Shah and Peter Godart, both of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Mon, 17 Jun 2019 13:40:01 -0400 Andi Sutton | Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Systems Lab <p>The Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS) has announced the selection of their third cohort of graduate fellows. Two students will each receive one-semester graduate fellowships as part of J-WAFS’ Rasikbhai L. Meswani Fellowship for Water Solutions&nbsp;and J-WAFS&nbsp;Graduate Student Fellowship Programs. An additional student was awarded “honorable mention.” J-WAFS will also support the three students by providing networking, mentorship, and opportunities to showcase their research.&nbsp;</p> <p>The awarded students, Sahil Shah and Peter Godart of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mark Brennan of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, were selected for the quality of their research as well as its relevance to current global water challenges. Each of them demonstrates a long commitment to water issues, both in and outside of an academic setting. Their research projects focus on transforming water access opportunities for people in vulnerable communities where access to fresh water for human consumption or for agriculture can improve human health and livelihoods. From developing a way to use aluminum waste to produce electricity for clean water to making significant improvements to the energy efficiency of desalination systems, these students demonstrate how creativity and ingenuity can push forward transformational water access solutions.</p> <p><strong>2019-20 Rasikbhai L. Meswani Fellow for Water Solutions</strong></p> <p>Sahil Shah is a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He spent his childhood in Tanzania, received his undergraduate education in Canada, and worked in Houston as an engineering consultant before being drawn to MIT to pursue his interest in mechanical design and hardware. As a PhD student in Professor Amos Winter’s lab, he is now working to decrease the cost of desalination and improve access to drinking water in developing countries.</p> <p>His PhD research focuses on new methods to decrease the cost and energy use of groundwater treatment for drinking water. Currently, he is exploring the use of electrodialysis, which is a membrane-based desalination process. By improving the design of the control mechanisms for this process, as well as by redesigning the devices to achieve higher desalination efficiency, he seeks to decrease the cost of these systems and their energy use. His solutions will be piloted in both on-grid and off-grid applications in India, supported through a collaboration with consumer goods maker Eureka Forbes and infrastructure company Tata Projects.</p> <p><strong>The 2019-20 J-WAFS&nbsp;Graduate Student Fellow</strong></p> <p>Peter Godart is a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and also holds BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering and a BS in electrical engineering from MIT. From 2015 to 17, Godart also held a research scientist position at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where he managed the development of water-reactive metal power systems, developed software for JPL’s Mars rovers, and supported rover operations.</p> <p>Godart's current research at MIT focuses on improving global sustainability by using aluminum waste to power desalination and produce energy. Through this work, he aims to provide communities around the world with a means of improving both their waste management practices and their climate change resiliency. He is creating a complete system that can take in scrap aluminum and output potable water, electricity, and high-grade mineral boehmite. This suite of technologies leverages the energy available in aluminum, which is one of the most energy-dense materials to which we have ready access. The process enables recycled aluminum to react with water in order to produce hydrogen gas, which could be used in fuel cells or internal combustion engines to generate electricity, heat, and power for desalination systems.</p> <p><strong>Honorable mention</strong></p> <p>Mark Brennan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP). He studies the supply chains behind public programs that provide goods to vulnerable communities, especially in water- and food-insecure areas. His ongoing projects include studying which firms shoulder risk in irrigation supply chains in the Sahel, and how American federal assistance programs are structured to provide relief after disasters.</p> <p>Brennan is currently collaborating with a team of researchers at the MIT Sloan School of Management, MIT D-Lab, and DUSP on a J-WAFS-funded project that is investigating ways to increase the accessibility of irrigation systems to small rural sub-Saharan African farmers, with a specific focus on Senegal.</p> PhD candidates Sahil Shah (left) and Peter Godart, both of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, have each received fellowships from MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab for 2019-20. Their research explores possible solutions to global and local water supply challenges through new approaches to desalination.Mechanical engineering, Urban studies and planning, Water, Food, Agriculture, Climate change, Sustainability, Global Warming, Developing countries, Design, Africa, India, Awards, honors and fellowships, School of Engineering, J-WAFS, School of Architecture and Planning Spotlight on engineering staff The School of Engineering gives its 2019 Infinite Mile Awards for exceptional service and support. Wed, 12 Jun 2019 10:55:01 -0400 School of Engineering <p>The School of Engineering hosted its 19th annual Infinite Mile Awards ceremony on May 22 to recognize and reward members of the school’s administrative, support, service, and research staff whose work is of the highest caliber. The awards support the Institute’s and the School of Engineering’s objectives for excellence.</p> <p>Nominations are made by department heads and laboratory directors, and the awards are presented to individuals and teams who stand out due to their high level of commitment, energy, and enthusiasm. Since their inception in 2001, the Infinite Mile Awards have been presented to nearly 250 staff members.&nbsp;</p> <p>For the quality of their contributions, the individuals who earned the Infinite Mile Award for Excellence were:</p> <ul> <li>Priyanka Chaudhuri from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering;</li> <li>Sharece Corner from the Department of Chemical Engineering;</li> <li>Eileen Demarkles from the Department of Chemical Engineering;</li> <li>Reimi Hicks from the Office of Engineering Outreach Programs;</li> <li>Magdalena Rieb from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; and</li> <li>Faika Weche from the Office of Engineering Outreach Programs.</li> </ul> <p>In addition to the Infinite Mile Awards, the School of Engineering presented an Ellen J. Mandigo Award for Outstanding Service. Established in 2009, the award recognizes staff who have demonstrated, over an extended period of time, the qualities Ellen J. Mandigo valued and possessed during her long career at MIT: intelligence, skill, hard work, and dedication to the Institute. This award is made possible by a bequest from Mandigo, a member of the MIT engineering community for nearly five decades.</p> <p>The 2019 recipient was Angelita Mireles from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.</p> Left to right: Priyanka Chaudhuri, Magdalena Rieb, Angelita Mireles, Faika Weche, Anantha Chandrakasan, Reimi Hicks, Sharece Corner, and Eileen DemarklesPhoto: Lillie Paquette/School of EngineeringSchool of Engineering, Chemical engineering, Office of Engineering Outreach Program (OEOP), Awards, honors and fellowships, Staff, DMSE 2019 Creative Arts Competition winners combine arts and entrepreneurship Annual competition encourages art-based entrepreneurship on campus, offering mentorship, support, and cash awards to student teams who present business plans for arts-related initiatives. Mon, 10 Jun 2019 10:50:01 -0400 Ken Shulman | Arts at MIT <p>Mark Adams '19 worked in agriculture in Zambia. Derek Beckvold taught music in a refugee camp outside of Erbil in Iraq. Robert Jordon gave piano lessons to young people in Afghanistan. Their experiences in the developing world, combined with a shared love of music (Adams is also a musician), inspired the three longtime friends to create “Teach to Learn,” an online global music mentorship program that connects musicians, teachers, and students across the globe.</p> <p>Teach to Learn won this year’s $15,000 first prize in the <a href="">MIT Creative Arts Competition</a>. Now in its seventh year, the annual competition encourages art-based entrepreneurship on campus, offering mentorship, support, and cash awards to student teams who present business plans for arts-related initiatives.“This almost feels surreal,” says Jordon, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, after his team was awarded first prize. “But I’d seen Mark’s presentation several times. That convinced me we had a chance.”</p> <p>Other competition winners include Sky international Music Education, awarded $7,500 for second place in the 2019 competition; ArtNext took the $2,500 third prize; and Along Fault Lines won $750 for the Audience Choice Prize. “Every year we see so many strong ideas at the competition,” says Mary Hale '09, a Boston-area architect and artist who has participated in the Creative Arts Competition judging panel since it began. “I think it’s wonderful that there is so much attention focused on the arts here.”</p> <p>This year’s competition drew a record 28 teams who submitted their proposals in February. Teams then worked with arts industry mentors to develop a business plan and pitch over the next six weeks. The names of the eight finalists were announced in April. Later that month, the teams pitched their proposals to a panel of judges before a live audience at an event at the Media Lab. “It’s a tough competition,” says Sam Magee, manager of Student Arts Programs at MIT and organizer of the competition. “We had teams with working prototypes and revenues who didn’t make the final eight. But the process that the students go through, starting with defining their idea, to developing their business plan, to working with their mentors, and ultimately honing their pitch, is more important than the prize.”</p> <p>In addition to working with industry mentors, the eight finalists had an opportunity to refine their pitches with Chris Nolte '15, winner of the 2014 competition, who worked with the teams a week before their final presentations. “This prize was a big validation for our team,” says Nolte, who is now vice president of partnerships at TIDAL (an audio streaming service). “I’m able to leverage the experience in my current role. I’m still grateful to the Arts and MIT team that gave us this fantastic opportunity in 2014.”</p> <div class="cms-placeholder-content-video"></div> <p><strong>Teach To Learn: First Prize</strong></p> <p>Omar is a cellist in Damascus, Syria; Henry is a cellist in Brooklyn, New York. Each month, the two connect on a video platform to talk about music, technique, and their lives.</p> <p>This is the essence of Teach to Learn, a global music mentorship program. Founded just two years ago, the program’s U.S.-based mentors already connect over 100 students in 19 countries. “Our company is about music across cultures,” says Teach to Learn team member Derek Beckvold. “But it’s also about listening across cultures.”</p> <p>Beckvold grew up on Boston’s North Shore with Teach to Learn teammate Mark Adams, and studied with Robert Jordon at the New England Conservatory of Music. While in Iraq, Beckvold watched children in a refugee camp communicate and create an online community with children in Afghanistan. He thought the internet could do the same thing for musicians.</p> <p>Teach to Learn currently has a pilot program at Masconomet Regional High School in Boxford, Massachusetts (two of the team’s three members are Masconomet graduates). To support its core global mentoring platform, the program’s business model includes two additional platforms to generate revenue: Fellowship, a series of 10-month programs at universities, will culminate in a community music event; Leadership offers professional musicians a platform to teach remotely at high schools.</p> <p>As a nonprofit company, Teach to Learn will also depend on grant funding and individual and corporate donations. “We can demonstrate the tangible impact of this program for all our stakeholders,” says team member Mark Adams. “There are global connections, there is community building, and there is an opportunity for musicians to share their expertise and earn a living.”</p> <p>In the coming year, the team will apply its $15,000 prize to expand its high school programs, launch its university collaborations, and develop a unified technical platform for its mentorship initiatives.</p> <p><strong>Sky International Music Education: Second Prize</strong></p> <p>There are approximately 280 million children between the ages of 3 and 18 in China. Sky International Music Education CTO Guo Zhang ’19 believes that many of these children would like to study music (or their parents would like them to.) Yet most qualified music instructors live in big cities — out of reach of rural families.</p> <p>Sky International Music Education is an online music instruction system that connects aspiring Chinese violinists and pianists with expert teachers in their country. The system also employs artificial intelligence tools that assess a student’s progress and suggests practice techniques. Zhang believes his potential market is huge, and ready to be tapped.</p> <p><strong>ArtNext: Third Prize</strong></p> <p>ArtNext, an online leasing service, connects art lovers looking to enjoy artworks in their home or workplace with art galleries. ArtNext seeks to tap the nearly 98 percent of all art gallery objects in storage that generate neither revenue nor aesthetic pleasure.</p> <p>Using ArtNext, galleries could lease their warehoused artworks for a modest monthly fee, providing enjoyment to the client and a reliable and significant revenue stream for the gallery. ArtNext’s team estimates that individual galleries could pocket up to $170,000 each year through the initiative. ArtNext is launching its pilot program in Boston and hopes to enlist 15 percent of that city’s galleries by 2020.</p> <p><strong>Along Fault Lines: Audience Choice</strong></p> <p>Art and urban design can serve as a source of hope to people in urban communities that have suffered trauma. Along Fault Lines’ team member Antonio Moya-Latorre, a second-year graduate student at the Department of Urban Studies (DUSP), saw this firsthand during a visit to Mexico’s earthquake-stricken Oaxaca state as it recovered in 2018. While there, he also saw there was room for much broader healing, and how a global pool of artists and urbanists could contribute to that healing.</p> <p>As a nonprofit donor-funded company, Along Fault Lines matches distressed communities with grassroots arts organizations and artists around the world. Along Fault Lines has launched a pilot program in Oaxaca and intends to expand its reach to other communities around the world that have been impacted by natural disasters, conflict, and endemic poverty.</p> First Place 2019 $15K Creative Arts Competition team Teach to Learn, a global music mentorship program, receives their prize from MIT competition organizer Sam Magee (left). Photo: H. Erickson/MITArts, Entrepreneurship, Awards, honors and fellowships, Sloan School of Management, Contests and academic competitions Dwaipayan Banerjee receives 2019 Levitan Prize in the Humanities Award will support research for &quot;A Counter History of Computing in India.&quot; Mon, 10 Jun 2019 10:20:01 -0400 School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences <p>Assistant Professor Dwaipayan Banerjee of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) has been awarded the 2019 James A. (1945) and Ruth Levitan Prize in the Humanities. The prestigious award comes with&nbsp;a $29,500 grant that will support Banerjee's research on the history of computing in India.<br /> <br /> Melissa Nobles, the Kenan Sahin Dean of MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS), announced the award, noting that a committee of senior faculty had reviewed submissions for the Levitan Prize and selected Banerjee’s proposal as the most outstanding.<br /> <br /> “Dwai’s work is extremely relevant today, and I look forward to seeing how his new project expands our understanding of technology and technological culture as a part of the human world,” Nobles says.</p> <p><strong>Postcolonial India and computing</strong></p> <p>Banerjee’s scholarship centers on the social contexts of science, technology, and medicine in the global south. He has two book projects now nearing completion: "Enduring Cancer: Health and Everyday Life in Contemporary India" (forthcoming in 2020, Duke University Press) and "Hematologies: The Political Life of Blood in India" (forthcoming in 2019, Cornell University Press; co-authored with J. Copeman). Both books assess how India’s post-colonial history has shaped, and been shaped by, practices of biomedicine and health care.<br /> <br /> Banerjee says he was delighted to receive the Levitan Award, which is presented annually by SHASS to support innovative and creative scholarship in one of the Institute’s humanities, arts, or social science fields. “Its funds will go a long way in helping explore archives about computational research and technology spread across India, some of which have yet to receive sustained scholarly attention,” he says.</p> <p><strong>Global computing histories</strong><br /> <br /> Banerjee's Levitan project will investigate the post-colonial history of computing in India from the 1950s to today. “Contemporary scholarly and popular narratives about computing in India suggest that, even as India supplies cheap IT labor to the rest of the world, the country lags behind in basic computing research and development,” he says. “My new project challenges these representations.”<br /> <br /> Banerjee adds, “In presenting this account, I urge social science research, which has predominantly focused on the history of computing in Europe and the United States, to take account of more global histories of computing.”<br /> <br /> The project, titled "A Counter History of Computing in India," will trace major shifts in the relation between the Indian state and computing research and practice. Banerjee explains that “In the first decades after India’s independence, the postcolonial state sought to develop indigenous computing expertise and infrastructure by creating public institutions of research and education, simultaneously limiting private enterprise and the entry of global capital.”</p> <p>Noting that today the vision for development relies heavily on private entrepreneurship, Banerjee asks: “Why and how did the early post-colonial vision of publicly-driven computing research and development decline?”<br /> <br /> <strong>Policy, computing, and outsourcing</strong><br /> <br /> More broadly, Banerjee plans to investigate how changing policies have impacted the development of computing and shaped the global distribution of expertise and labor. “After economic liberalization in the 1980s, a transformed Indian state gave up its protectionist outlook and began to court global corporations, giving rise to the new paradigm of outsourcing."<br /> <br /> Banerjee says he will endeavor to answer the question, “What is lost when a handful of U.S.-based corporations seek to determine hierarchies of technology work and control how its social benefits are globally distributed?” The Levitan Prize will support Banerjee's field research in India and help him develop a multi-city archive of primary sources relating to the history of computational science and technology in the region.<br /> <br /> First awarded in 1990, the Levitan Prize in the Humanities was established through a gift from the late James A. Levitan, a 1945 MIT graduate in chemistry who was also a member of the MIT Corporation.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <h5><em>Story prepared by MIT SHASS Communications<br /> Editorial and Design Director: Emily Hiestand<br /> Writer: Kathryn O'Neill</em></h5> Dwaipayan Banerjee says he will endeavor to answer the question: What is lost when a handful of U.S.-based corporations seek to determine hierarchies of technology work and control how its social benefits are globally distributed? Photo: Jon Sachs/MIT SHASS Communications School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, Program in STS, Awards, honors and fellowships, India, History, Computing, Faculty, History of science, Economics The tenured engineers of 2019 Seventeen appointments have been made in eight departments within the School of Engineering. Tue, 04 Jun 2019 10:30:01 -0400 School of Engineering <p>The School of Engineering has announced that 17 members of its faculty have been granted tenure by MIT.</p> <p>“The tenured faculty in this year’s cohort are a true inspiration,” said Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the School of Engineering. “They have shown exceptional dedication to research and teaching, and their innovative work has greatly advanced their fields.”</p> <p>This year’s newly tenured associate professors are:</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Antoine Allanore</a>, in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, develops more sustainable technologies and strategies for mining, metal extraction, and manufacturing, including novel methods of fertilizer production.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Saurabh Amin</a>, in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, focuses on the design and implementation of network inspection and control algorithms for improving the resilience of large-scale critical infrastructures, such as transportation systems and water and energy distribution networks, against cyber-physical security attacks and natural events.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Emilio Baglietto</a>, in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, uses computational modeling to characterize and predict the underlying heat-transfer processes in nuclear reactors, including turbulence modeling, unsteady flow phenomena, multiphase flow, and boiling.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Paul Blainey</a>, the Karl Van Tassel (1925) Career Development Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering, integrates microfluidic, optical, and molecular tools for application in biology and medicine across a range of scales.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Kerri Cahoy</a>, the Rockwell International Career Development Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, develops nanosatellites that demonstrate weather sensing using microwave radiometers and GPS radio occultation receivers, high data-rate laser communications with precision time transfer, and active optical imaging systems using MEMS deformable mirrors for exoplanet exploration applications.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Juejun Hu</a>, in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, focuses on novel materials and devices to exploit interactions of light with matter, with applications in on-chip sensing and spectroscopy, flexible and polymer photonics, and optics for solar energy.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Sertac Karaman</a>, the Class of 1948 Career Development Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, studies robotics, control theory, and the application of probability theory, stochastic processes, and optimization for cyber-physical systems such as driverless cars and drones.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">R. Scott Kemp</a>, the Class of 1943 Career Development Professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, combines physics, politics, and history to identify options for addressing nuclear weapons and energy. He investigates technical threats to nuclear-deterrence stability and the information theory of treaty verification; he is also developing technical tools for reconstructing the histories of secret nuclear-weapon programs.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Aleksander Mądry</a>, in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, investigates topics ranging from developing new algorithms using continuous optimization, to combining theoretical and empirical insights, to building a more principled and thorough understanding of key machine learning tools. A major theme of his research is rethinking machine learning from the perspective of security and robustness.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Frances Ross</a>, the Ellen Swallow Richards Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, performs research on nanostructures using transmission electron microscopes that allow researchers to see, in real-time, how structures form and develop in response to changes in temperature, environment, and other variables. Understanding crystal growth at the nanoscale is helpful in creating precisely controlled materials for applications in microelectronics and energy conversion and storage.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Daniel Sanchez</a>, in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, works on computer architecture and computer systems, with an emphasis on large-scale multi-core processors, scalable and efficient memory hierarchies, architectures with quality-of-service guarantees, and scalable runtimes and schedulers.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Themistoklis Sapsis</a>, the Doherty Career Development Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, develops analytical, computational, and data-driven methods for the probabilistic prediction and quantification of extreme events in high-dimensional nonlinear systems such as turbulent fluid flows and nonlinear mechanical systems.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Julie Shah</a>, the Boeing Career Development Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, develops innovative computational models and algorithms expanding the use of human cognitive models for artificial intelligence. Her research has produced novel forms of human-machine teaming in manufacturing assembly lines, healthcare applications, transportation, and defense.</p> <p><a href="">Hadley Sikes</a>, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, employs biomolecular engineering and knowledge of reaction networks to detect epigenetic modifications that can guide cancer treatment, induce oxidant-specific perturbations in tumors for therapeutic benefit, and improve signaling reactions and assay formats used in medical diagnostics.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">William Tisdale</a>, the ARCO Career Development Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, works on energy transport in nanomaterials, nonlinear spectroscopy, and spectroscopic imaging to better understand and control the mechanisms by which excitons, free charges, heat, and reactive chemical species are converted to more useful forms of energy, and on leveraging this understanding to guide materials design and process optimization.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Virginia Vassilevska Williams</a>, the Steven and Renee Finn Career Development Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, applies combinatorial and graph theoretic tools to develop efficient algorithms for matrix multiplication, shortest paths, and a variety of other fundamental problems. Her recent research is centered on proving tight relationships between seemingly different computational problems. She is also interested in computational social choice issues, such as making elections computationally resistant to manipulation.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Amos Winter</a>, the Tata Career Development Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, focuses on connections between mechanical design theory and user-centered product design to create simple, elegant technological solutions for applications in medical devices, water purification, agriculture, automotive, and other technologies used in highly constrained environments.</p> The MIT School of Engineering newly tenured faculty are: (first row, left to right) Amos Winter, Kerri Cahoy, Antoine Allanore, R. Scott Kemp, Juejun Hu, Emilio Baglietto, Virginia Vassilevska Williams, Aleksander Mądry, and Julie Shah. (second row, left to right) William Tisdale, Paul Blainey, Themistoklis Sapsis, Frances Ross, Sertac Karaman, Hadley Sikes, Saurabh Amin, and Daniel Sanchez.School of Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Civil and environmental engineering, Biological engineering, Nuclear science and engineering, Aeronautical and astronautical engineering, Electrical engineering and computer science (EECS), Mechanical engineering, Chemical engineering, Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty Celebrating the Class of 2019 and CEE community Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering honors students, postdocs, faculty, and staff at awards banquet; seniors present capstone projects. Mon, 03 Jun 2019 16:40:01 -0400 Taylor De Leon | Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering <p>The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering gathered recently to acknowledge the close of the academic year and celebrate the Class of 2019 and notable members of the CEE community. The annual event unites students, postdocs, faculty, and staff and is a great evening to reflect on the accomplishments of&nbsp;the year and show appreciation for the people who make CEE an outstanding department.&nbsp;</p> <p>The graduating seniors kicked off the event by presenting the findings of their capstone projects. The CEE capstone, a component of 1.013 (Senior Civil and Environmental Engineering Design), gives seniors the opportunity to work individually or in a pair in order to conduct engineering work with a real-world impact during the final semester of their MIT undergraduate career.&nbsp;</p> <p>The design-focused work was presented in the form of digital posters, which allowed the community to interact with each student, or pair, to learn about their projects, and for CEE faculty to evaluate and vote on the top three posters. Topics ranged from tackling climate change issues and nature-inspired materials to data analysis of transportation&nbsp;systems&nbsp;and computational toolkits for green-space design. Markus Buehler, head of CEE and McAfee Professor of Engineering, announced that first place was awarded to Apisada "Ju" Chulakadabba, while Tim Roberts earned runner-up and David Wu came in third place.&nbsp;</p> <p>Chulakadabba’s capstone project compared global climate models to the MIT regional climate model to examine projected climate-change impacts on hydrological cycles in China. The primary areas Chulakadabba focused on were the Yangtze River Basin, where the water supply is abundant, and the Yellow River Basin, where water is scarce. Her findings from the comparison provided the future trends of the hydrological processes in China, and also evaluated the performance of the selected models in the regions. Chulakadabba’s work suggests that there is an increase in annual precipitation, runoff, and evaporation trends; nevertheless, she emphasized that regardless of the potential increase in water availability, it is still important to have the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Water Transfer Project</a>&nbsp;as a backup plan. Chulakadabba stressed that based on her work, the project would be justified from an environmental engineering perspective. However, it is not financially sustainable.&nbsp;</p> <p>Shifting from environmental engineering challenges to nature-inspired materials, Tim Roberts presented his project on synthetic silk production <span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: nimbus-sans, sans-serif, Arial, Verdana; font-size: 15.75px;">—</span> a promising, yet challenging, design issue. The current method occurs in live cells and can take up to five days without yielding the desired results. His project focused on designing a screening process using cell-free protein expression to assess the feasibility of producing proteins in live cell expression.&nbsp;</p> <p>Working with systems and data, David&nbsp;Wu's capstone project used data analysis to evaluate the effect that Red Sox baseball games have on congestion, specifically at the Kenmore MBTA stop in Boston. After games, there is a mass exodus of people attempting to utilize MBTA transportation, whereas at the beginning of games, fans' arrival times vary.&nbsp;Wu&nbsp;analyzed the MBTA data and examined how many people use the T to leave, and how travel times are affected. Using queuing theory and&nbsp;the given data, he created a queuing model to simulate station operations and estimate waiting times.&nbsp;Wu&nbsp;expressed that data is often limited, and it is beneficial to learn&nbsp;domain-specific&nbsp;concepts, such as queuing theory in terms of transportation, to gain invaluable insight that statistical models cannot provide, and to design more efficient transportation strategies.&nbsp;</p> <p>Following the capstone poster session was the presentation of the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">CEE awards</a>.&nbsp;All recipients were nominated by both peers and advisors for being exemplary members of the community who represent the CEE mission, and significantly&nbsp;contribute&nbsp;to the department’s excellence, cutting-edge research, and education. “The awardees resemble the aspirations, values, and ideals of the MIT CEE department, recognize exceptional achievements and talents, and inspire others,” Buehler said in his opening remarks.&nbsp;</p> <p>The first portion of awards applauded undergraduates for their dedication to the department. This year, junior Zoe Lallas received the CEE Leadership and Community Award, which recognizes an undergraduate student who makes exemplary contributions to improve the CEE community, fosters excellence and diversity, and contributes to our inclusive culture. Lallas has served as the social chair for the CEE Student Association and has been involved with the First-Year Preorientation Program, serving as a mentor one year and a student organizer the next.&nbsp;</p> <p>Sophomore Chelsea Watanabe won the Best Undergraduate Research Award, which honors excellence in any area of research by a CEE undergraduate student, carried out in the context of either an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program internship or through coursework, such as Traveling Research Environmental Experiences. Watanabe is known to be inspiring to work with due to her deep sense of curiosity and ambitious attitude.&nbsp;</p> <p>Senior Christine Langston won the Leo (Class of 1924) and Mary Grossman Award for her strong interest in transportation and impressive academic record. Langston has combined data from a variety of sources such as state and local transportation agencies, Google Maps, and Trip Advisor to measure and model travel patterns within cities. Langston is recognized for her passion and drive to improve transportation systems.&nbsp;</p> <p>Senior Tim Roberts earned the Juan Jose Hermosilla (1957) Prize for demonstrating exceptional talent and potential for future contributions at the intersection of mechanics, materials, structures, and design. Roberts was nominated for being well-rounded and for his many achievements in engineering. He is not only proficient in Spanish and Chinese, but he also performed research at several labs at MIT and completed an internship at a leading structural&nbsp;engineering&nbsp;company. Roberts’ colleagues speak highly of him, as he is known to be very humble and thoughtful, willing to go out of his way to help others.&nbsp;</p> <p>Senior Amber VanHemel was awarded the Paul Busch (1958) Prize, given to an undergraduate student in environmental science and engineering for academic achievement and contributions to the CEE community. VanHemel is recognized by her peers and professors as an exceptionally bright, hard-working, outgoing and ambitious scholar.</p> <p>Achieving the Tucker-Voss award was MEng student Andrew Novillo, who completed his thesis in experimental testing of cast-metal connections for complex loading conditions designed with topology optimization. The award was established in memory of professors Ross R. Tucker and Walter C. Voss, who were the first two department heads of the now extinct Course 17 (Building Construction). When Course 17 merged with the Department of Civil Engineering in the 1950s, the Tucker-Voss award was established. Novillo earned this award for his use of innovative 3-D printing technology in his thesis, which demonstrated the promising future he will have in the field of building.&nbsp;</p> <p>Graduate student Hayley Gadol was awarded the Trond Kaalstad (Class of 1957) Fellowship, which recognizes an outstanding graduate student who has displayed leadership and/or contributed significantly to the well-being of the CEE community. Hayley took on the goal of improving graduate student life in the department and the Institute, serving as the head of CEE Student Graduate Committee and taking charge of organizing events for the community.</p> <p>The Maseeh Annual Award for Excellence, which recognizes the most outstanding teaching assistant in the past academic year, was awarded to Hejian (Patrick) Zhu, who was an instructor for the subjects 1.361 (Advanced Soil Mechanics) and 1.364 (Advanced Geotechnical Engineering). Through his commitment as a teaching assistant, Patrick has proved to be passionate about helping others deepen their knowledge and understanding of geomechancial&nbsp;topics.</p> <p>Receiving the Best Doctoral Thesis Award was Simone Cenci, who worked under the guidance of his advisor, Mitsui Career Development Assistant Professor in Contemporary Technology Serguei Saavedra. This award honors scholarly and academic excellence and a high level of distinction of a CEE graduate student in any area of research. Cenci produced eight impressive research papers, and has significantly contributed to the area of theoretical ecology by expanding concepts and tools that can get us closer to a better understanding and prediction of population dynamics.&nbsp;</p> <p>The CEE Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring, Teaching and Excellence Award recognizes mentoring, teaching, and other exceptional contributions by a postdoc, emphasizing high potential for future contributions. Ehsan Haghighat received the award for his extraordinary teaching and generous mentorship, displaying strong research in computational mechanics and more. Ehsan excelled in this teaching role by demonstrating an outstanding ability to communicate knowledge effectively to the students, as well as earning top reviews in the student evaluations.</p> <p>Two members of the CEE staff received the CEE Excellence Award, which recognizes staff for excellent contributions to the community, commitment to professionalism, dedication and best practices, and for fostering a culture of diversity, inclusiveness, and innovation. The first recipient was undergraduate academic assistant Sarah Smith. Smith was acknowledged for her ability to flawlessly handle every interaction with faculty and staff with a positive, respectful attitude and a smile.&nbsp;</p> <p>The second recipient of the CEE Excellence Award was research engineer John MacFarlane. MacFarlane is known to be a dedicated member of the department who is willing to help others, ensure safety within labs, and maintain a great attitude. Buehler noted that MacFarlane is known as a “the Life Saver” by the students, faculty, and staff.&nbsp;</p> <p>The department also presented faculty with three awards. The Samuel M. Seegal Prize, which honors faculty members for inspiring students to pursue and achieve excellence, was awarded to William E. Leonhard Professor Harry Hemond. The CEE community noticed Hemond for being a beloved teacher and mentor who leads by example, and who inspires students long after their time at MIT. A former student wrote in the nomination: “His mentorship shaped the scientist I am today, and I continuously strive to be as knowledgeable, thorough, and creative in my work as he is,” reflecting the great impact Hemond had on his students.&nbsp;</p> <p>Associate Professor Lydia Bourouiba received the Ole Madsen Mentoring Award, which honors faculty members for conspicuous contributions to mentoring and educating CEE students outside the classroom, and inspiring them to pursue a career in the fields of civil and environmental engineering. Bourouiba teaches students the skills, qualities, and critical thinking required to succeed in their studies and research; more generally, she prepares them to be successful in their professional lives. One student wrote: “Her dedication and genuine care to the education, professional development, and well-being of her students and mentees are truly remarkable and extraordinary.”</p> <p>Recognizing the most outstanding faculty member in the past academic year is the Maseeh Excellence in Teaching Award, which was presented to Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Assistant Professor Admir Masic. Masic stood out to his colleagues for his enthusiasm and energy for research that sparks the students’ interest in the challenge of learning. He is known by his students for his ability to make learning fun, engaging, and exciting.&nbsp;</p> <p>“The CEE awards ceremony this year highlighted the extraordinary members of the department who contribute to our overall success, and gave the Class of 2019 an opportunity to showcase all of the hard work they have put into their capstone projects. This event exemplifies how various people in the department, from staff to the students and faculty, come together to continue fulfilling our commitment to excellence and solving important societal problems in infrastructure and environment,” Buehler says.&nbsp;</p> <div> <div> <div> </div> </div> </div> The CEE Class of 2019 gathered at MIT's Samberg Conference Center for a photo with the Boston skyline as the backdrop.Photo: The BearwalkCivil and environmental engineering, School of Engineering, Awards, honors and fellowships, Students, Staff, Faculty Maria Zuber awarded the Gerard P. Kuiper Prize in Planetary Sciences Honor recognizes scientists whose achievements have most advanced our understanding of planetary systems. Fri, 31 May 2019 15:45:01 -0400 EAPS <p><em>The following news is adapted from a&nbsp;press release&nbsp;issued by the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society.</em></p> <p>The American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) has awarded the 2019 Gerard P. Kuiper Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of planetary science to MIT Professor Maria Zuber for her advancements in geophysics, planetary gravity mapping, and laser altimetry. Zuber is the E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) and vice president for research at MIT.</p> <p>The Gerard P. Kuiper Prize honors scientists whose lifetime achievements have most advanced society’s understanding of the planetary system. Zuber’s numerous accomplishments include her seminal 2000 paper in <em>Science</em> combining Mars Global Surveyor laser altimetry data and gravity data to determine the crustal and upper mantle structure of Mars. Zuber became the first woman to lead a NASA spacecraft mission as principal investigator of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. GRAIL constructed a model of the moon’s gravitational field to spherical harmonic degree 1800, which exceeded the baseline requirement of the mission by an order of magnitude. Zuber has turned her attention to many different solid bodies in the solar system, focusing on structure and tectonics, including Mercury, Venus, Eros, Vesta, and Ceres. Since 1990, she has held leadership roles associated with scientific experiments or instrumentation on nine NASA missions.</p> <p>Zuber has been at the helm of MIT’s research endeavors, overseeing more than a dozen interdisciplinary research laboratories and centers, ensuring intellectual integrity, and fostering research relationships. Over the years, she has advised a number of students and postdocs, and one reports that she strikes the perfect balance of being demanding, supportive, encouraging, and open-minded.&nbsp;</p> <p>As the recipient of the prize, Zuber will be invited to present a lecture at a DPS meeting and publish a written version of it in <em>Icarus</em>.</p> Maria Zuber is the E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) and vice president for research at MIT.Photo: Bryce VickmarkAwards, honors and fellowships, Faculty, Planetary science, space, Space, astronomy and planetary science, Moon, Mars, NASA, EAPS, School of Science, Geology Call for nominations: MIT Media Lab’s Disobedience Award The Disobedience Award recognizes individuals and groups who engage in ethical, nonviolent acts of disobedience in service of society. Wed, 29 May 2019 10:10:12 -0400 MIT Media Lab <p>The MIT Media Lab has opened the call for nominations for its third annual <a href="" target="_blank">Disobedience Award</a>. The $250,000 cash prize will go to a person or group to recognize individuals and groups who engage in ethical, nonviolent acts of disobedience in service of society. The award is <a href="" target="_blank">open to nominations</a> for anyone still living and active in any field, including the arts, academia, law, politics, science, and social advocacy. A diverse selection committee composed of experts in a wide range of fields will choose the winner(s) and finalist(s), who will be announced in November.</p> <p>The criteria for the Disobedience Award include nonviolence, creativity, and personal responsibility: It’s about speaking truth to power, taking responsibility, and demanding systemic change.</p> <p>“Disobedience can mean different things in different spaces,” says Media Lab Director Joi Ito. “Defying a formal process or deeply ingrained culture, such as we might see in academia and the sciences, looks very different from staging a nonviolent civil protest, or resisting political pressure. What these things have in common is moral courage, a willingness to take personal risk, and a commitment to a goal beyond personal gain.”</p> <p>As head of the selection committee, Ito hopes to see nominations from around the world — from expected as well as unexpected quarters. Although the Disobedience Award was not intended to function as a popularity contest or commentary on specific controversies, Ito says, the annual nature of the award means that it will often reflect the zeitgeist of any given year.</p> <p>Previous winners and finalists have included Mona Hanna-Attisha and Marc Edwards, physicians who fought to expose and correct the water crisis in Flint, Michigan; Tarana Burke, BethAnn McLaughlin, and Sherry Marts, three leaders of the #MeToo and #MeTooStem movements; the Standing Rock water protectors; a representative of the 2018 West Virginia teachers’ strike; and numerous advocates and defenders of immigrants’ rights and environmental protection.</p> <p>Nominations can be submitted at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> The Media Lab Disobedience Award is a $250,000, no-strings-attached cash prize.Awards, honors and fellowships, Media Lab, Social justice, Ethics, School of Architecture and Planning MIT celebrates a year of excellence at the 2019 Awards Convocation Students, groups, faculty, staff, and community members are honored for their achievements and dedication to MIT. Wed, 22 May 2019 12:40:01 -0400 Kailey Tse-Harlow | Division of Student Life <p>On May 13, over 300 members of the MIT community gathered in the Samberg Center (E52) to celebrate outstanding achievements by students, student groups, faculty, and community members at the annual <a href="">MIT Awards Convocation</a>. In total, more than 60 awardees were honored for their accomplishments in leadership, academics and teaching, public service, athletics, the arts, and service to MIT.</p> <p>In a video message to attendees, MIT President L. Rafael Reif commended all award recipients for playing a role in shaping the Institute community. ”MIT draws great strength from talented, creative, dedicated individuals in every corner of our campus. Today we say thank you for all you do to make MIT so special.”</p> <p>The nomination process for the 30-plus awards begins in early February and lasts several weeks into the spring semester. Winners are selected by committees convened for each award. This year, MIT community members submitted over 500 nominations across all award categories.</p> <p>Visit the Awards Convocation website for more information on each award, to view a <a href="">photo gallery</a> from the ceremony, and to see the <a href="">full list of 2019 winners</a>.</p> Jessica Quaye (center) with friends after receiving the Albert G. Hill Prize and Laya W. Wiesner Award at the 2019 Awards Convocation.Photo: Heath PhotographyAwards, honors and fellowships, Community, Faculty, Staff, Student life, Students, Leadership, Public service, Mentoring, Arts, Athletics, Education, teaching, academics Amnahir Peña-Alcántara named 2019 Knight-Hennessy Scholar Fellowship funds graduate education at Stanford University and prepares global leaders. Mon, 20 May 2019 12:50:01 -0400 Julia Mongo | Office of Distinguished Fellowships <p>MIT senior Amnahir Peña-Alcántara, from the Bronx, New York, has been selected as one of this year’s 69 Knight-Hennessy Scholars. After graduating in June with a bachelor of science in materials science and engineering, Peña-Alcántara will begin PhD studies this fall at Stanford University School of Engineering. She aspires to create affordable, wearable-technology clothing that offers sustainable solutions to environmental and public health issues.</p> <p>The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, now in its second year, funds the full cost of graduate education at Stanford University and aims to develop future interdisciplinary global leaders committed to tackling the world’s most complex challenges. For its 2019 cohort, the program received over 4,400 applications from students around the world. Scholars are selected based on their academic excellence, independence of thought, purposeful leadership, and civic mindset.</p> <p>Dance was an integral part of Peña-Alcántara’s Dominican culture while she was growing up, but childhood asthma limited her participation. Instead, she became fascinated by the dancers’ costumes and how they contributed to expression of movement. During her first year at MIT, Peña-Alcántara visited Ministry of Supply, a startup founded by MIT graduates, where she discovered that fashion offers many engineering as well as decorative possibilities. She began to investigate how biofabrics could enhance public health by filtering carbon dioxide and improving air quality.</p> <p>Peña-Alcántara has conducted research on novel fibers and wearable technology with Professor Yoel Fink’s Fibers@mit lab; Professor Neri Oxman’s group at the MIT Media Lab; Institute Professor Robert Langer’s MIT lab; Professor John Rogers’ Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics at Northwestern University; and Professor Hazel Assender’s polymers lab at Oxford University during a junior year departmental exchange. As an intern, she has integrated temperature sensors into fiber with the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, analyzed fabric design processes with Himatsingka Seide in India, and repaired costumes for the Boston Ballet. She has also worked as a research assistant at labs in the United States, Bahamas, and China, and as a surgeon assistant in the Dominican Republic. Prior to matriculating at MIT, Peña-Alcántara spent a year in China studying Mandarin at Tsinghua University and working on research at Peking University.</p> <p>Peña-Alcántara, a National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar, has been the women’s saber squad leader with the MIT varsity fencing team. She has tutored and mentored middle and high school students with the National Society of Black Engineers and she tutors MIT students through the Tau Beta Pi honor society. She is also a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.</p> <p>MIT students interested in applying for the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship should contact Kim Benard, assistant dean of distinguished fellowships, in the Distinguished Fellowships Office at Career Advising and Professional Development. The deadline to apply for the program’s 2020 cohort is Oct. 9.</p> MIT senior Amnahir Peña-Alcántara is a Knight-Hennessy Scholar.Photo: Ian MacLellanUndergraduate, Awards, honors and fellowships, Students, DMSE, Materials Science and Engineering, School of Engineering Twelve MIT students accept 2019 Fulbright Fellowships Grantees will spend the 2019-2020 academic year pursuing research and teaching opportunities abroad. Thu, 16 May 2019 15:40:01 -0400 Julia Mongo | Office of Distinguished Fellowships <p><em>This article has been updated to include a scholar who was promoted from alternate to winner in June 2019.</em></p> <p>Twelve MIT graduating seniors and current graduate students have been named winners in the 2019-2020 Fulbright U.S. Student Fellowship Program. In addition to the 12 students accepting their awards, three applicants from MIT were selected as finalists but decided to decline their grants.</p> <p>MIT’s newest Fulbright students will engage in independent research and English teaching assignments in Brazil, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Taiwan, and Senegal.</p> <p>Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the mission of Fulbright is to promote cultural exchange, increase mutual understanding, and build lasting relationships among people of the world. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers grants in over 140 countries.</p> <p>The MIT students were supported in the application process by the Presidential Committee on Distinguished Fellowships, chaired by professors Rebecca Saxe and Will Broadhead, and by MIT’s Distinguished Fellowships Office within Career Advising and Professional Development. The MIT winners are:</p> <p><strong>Annamarie "Anna" Bair</strong> ’18 earned a bachelor of science in computer science and engineering in June 2018 and will receive her master of engineering degree in computer science later this year. In Barcelona, Spain, Bair will engage in complex systems research.</p> <p><strong>Abigail "Abby" Bertics</strong> will graduate in June with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and computer science. Her research in Yekaterinburg, Russia, will focus on natural language processing methods for understanding English second language acquisition by Russian speakers.</p> <p><strong>Hope Chen</strong> is a senior graduating with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. She will be going to Taiwan as an English Teaching Assistant in primary school classrooms. After completing her Fulbright program and returning to the U.S., Chen will matriculate in medical school.</p> <p><strong>Dariel Cobb</strong> is a doctoral student in the History, Theory and Criticism program within the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. In France, she will conduct archival research on architect Henri Chomette’s projects in Francophone West Africa in the years surrounding independence, and the influence of the Négritude movement on modern architecture.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Alexis D’Alessandro</strong> will graduate this spring with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. For her research in Aracaju, Brazil, she will develop an educational program and chemical sensing tool to promote water safety awareness among children.</p> <p><strong>Sarah DiIorio</strong> will earn her bachelor of science in biological engineering in June. She is headed to Eindhoven, the Netherlands, to conduct medical research related to cartilage regeneration for osteoarthritis. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Katie Fisher</strong> is a senior in MIT’s Scheller Teaching Education Program graduating with a bachelor of science in urban studies and planning with a concentration in education. As an English teaching assistant in the Netherlands, Fisher will work with students at a vocational college in Amsterdam.</p> <p><strong>Miranda McClellan</strong> ’18 received a bachelor of science in computer science and engineering in June 2018 and will earn her master of engineering degree in computer science this spring. McClellan will research automated scaling of 5G computer network resources in Barcelona, Spain.</p> <p><strong>Samira Okudo</strong> will graduate in June with a joint bachelor of science in computer science and comparative media studies. As an English teaching assistant in Brazil, she will work with university students training to be English-language instructors.</p> <p><strong>James Pelletier</strong> is a PhD candidate in physics. For his Fulbright research in Madrid, Spain, he will develop biophysical models to investigate how plants process information for cellular resource allocation and agricultural efficiency.</p> <p><strong>Jonars Spielberg</strong> is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning’s international development program. In Senegal, he will examine how the personal interactions of bureaucrats and farmers shape agricultural policy implementation in the country's main irrigated regions.</p> <p><strong>Catherine Wu</strong> will graduate in June with a bachelor of science in biology. She will be working with university students in Brazil as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.</p> <p>MIT students interested in applying to the Fulbright U.S. Student Program should contact Julia Mongo in Distinguished Fellowships.</p> Clockwise from top left: Katie Fisher, Abby Bertics, Catherine Wu, Jonars Spielberg, Samira Okudo, Hope Chen, Alexis D'Alessandro, Anna Bair, Miranda McClellan, Sarah DiIorio, James Pelletier. Not shown: Dariel CobbAwards, honors and fellowships, Students, Undergraduate, Graduate, postdoctoral, Mechanical engineering, Biological engineering, Urban studies and planning, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (eecs), Comparative Media Studies/Writing, Physics, Biology, School of Science, School of Engineering, School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, School of Architecture and Planning, International initiatives, Global, Program in HTC Susan Silbey earns faculty’s prestigious Killian Award Innovative sociologist of law granted MIT’s highest faculty honor. Wed, 15 May 2019 15:59:59 -0400 Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office <p>Susan Silbey, an MIT sociologist whose pathbreaking work has examined the U.S. legal system as experienced in everyday life, has been named the recipient of the 2019-2020 James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award.</p> <p>The Killian Award is the highest honor the Institute faculty bestows on one of its members, and is granted to one professor per year.</p> <p>“It is most special to have people recognize the work you have done,” Silbey says. “It’s extraordinarily gratifying and humbling.” She adds: “I take pride that this is for social science.”</p> <p>Silbey is the Leon and Anne Goldberg Professor of Humanities, Sociology, and Anthropology in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and professor of behavioral and policy sciences at the Sloan School of Management.</p> <p>Silbey’s research has long examined the relationship between abstract law and daily life, illuminating the varied ways people conceive of the law, and in turn obey, manipulate, or struggle against it. Her much-lauded 1998 book, “The Common Place of Law,” co-authored with Patricia Ewick, explored these issues in American society broadly. More recently, Silbey has produced original studies about the relationship between law and the everyday practices of science, exploring how laboratories, for instance, vary in their interpretations of environmental, health, and safety regulations while conducting complex and challenging experiments.</p> <p>“Professor Silbey is a world-renowned sociologist of law, celebrated for her groundbreaking work on legal consciousness and regulatory governance, most recently in scientific contexts,” states Silbey’s award citation, which also notes that “in order to understand how the rules of law operate, we need to see how they are interpreted, defended, negotiated, and resisted by people as they do their jobs and go about their daily lives.”</p> <p>At MIT, Silbey has also extensively studied gender roles in science and engineering. She has produced numerous empirical studies and papers developing the concept of “professional role confidence,” a highly gendered phenomenon that can explain why talented women may decline to pursue careers in the STEM fields.</p> <p>“We are delighted to have this opportunity to honor Professor Susan S. Silbey for her insatiable intellectual curiosity, unstoppable productivity, and overwhelmingly generous mentorship and leadership,” the citation adds.</p> <p>Silbey earned her BA in political science from Brooklyn College, and her MA and PhD in political science from the University of Chicago. But she identifies herself as a sociologist in disciplinary terms, and was a faculty member in Wellesley College’s Department of Sociology from 1974 through 2000. She first joined the MIT faculty in 2000.</p> <p>Silbey was already quite familiar with MIT even before then; her husband was the late <a href="">Robert Silbey</a>, former head of MIT’s Department of Chemistry, director of the Center for Materials Science and Engineering, and dean of the School of Science from 2000 to 2007.</p> <p>“My husband would have been very pleased,” Silbey says about receiving the Killian Award. “He was always very supportive of my research and professional career. He would have been very proud that our colleagues are recognizing my scholarship this way.”</p> <p>While continuing her research, Silbey has been a highly active faculty citizen within the MIT community. Among many other things, she is currently chair of the MIT faculty and has helped guide the faculty input into the development of the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. From 2006 to 2014, Silbey was head of the Anthropology Section at MIT, leading its expansion and a round of new faculty hires.</p> <p>“I have the most marvelous colleagues,” Silbey says. “That has to be understood. … I’ve never met an academic group like this. And they are just superb at what they do. The books they write, and the teaching in this department, is extraordinary.”</p> <p>Silbey also praises the excellence of the sociologists at MIT Sloan, with whom she has supervised dozens of doctoral students and regularly teaches graduate courses on social theory and research methods for the social sciences.</p> <p>Silbey has received many previous honors during her career. She was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 2001, received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2009, a Russell Sage Foundation Fellowship in 2014, and in 2015 was appointed to the Institute for Advanced Studies in Paris.&nbsp;</p> Susan SilbeyImage: Jake BelcherAwards, honors and fellowships, Anthropology, Social sciences, Humanities, Faculty, Sloan School of Management, School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences Robert Langer wins 2019 Dreyfus Prize for Chemistry in Support of Human Health Institute professor is honored for transformative work in drug delivery and tissue engineering. Tue, 14 May 2019 14:00:01 -0400 Department of Chemical Engineering <p>Robert S. Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT, has been awarded the 2019 Dreyfus Prize for Chemistry in Support of Human Health. The biennial prize includes a $250,000 award; an award ceremony will be held at MIT on Sept. 26 and will include a lecture by Langer.</p> <p>Langer is honored for “discoveries and inventions of materials for drug delivery systems and tissue engineering that have had a transformative impact on human health through chemistry.” The citation explains that “the drug delivery technologies that he invented have been lauded as the cornerstone of that industry, positively impacting hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The impact and influence of his work is vast, and his papers have been cited in scientific publications more than any other engineer in history.”<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Langer has written more than 1,400 articles and has over 1,350 issued and pending patents worldwide. His patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 400 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. He is one of four living individuals to have received both the National Medal of Science (2006) and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011), both bestowed by the president of the United States. He has received over 220 major awards, including the 1998 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the world's largest prize for invention, for being "one of history's most prolific inventors in medicine."</p> <p>“Bob Langer created two rich fields at the intersection of chemistry and medicine: controlled release materials for delivery of therapeutic macromolecules and tissue engineering,” states Matthew Tirrell, chair of the Dreyfus Foundation Scientific Affairs Committee and Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. “His discoveries have been translated, often by Langer himself, to many products that profoundly impact human health. In a diverse field of chemists and chemical engineers with many powerful contributors, the enormous body and influence of Bob Langer’s work stands out in a singular way.”</p> <p>The Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences, initiated in 2009, is conferred in a specific area of chemistry in each cycle. It is the highest honor of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. The foundation was established in 1946 by chemist, inventor, and businessman Camille Dreyfus, with the mission to advance the science of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences as a means of improving human relations and circumstances throughout the world.</p> MIT Institute Professor Robert LangerPhoto courtesy of the Department of Chemical EngineeringChemical engineering, School of Engineering, Awards, honors and fellowships, Biological engineering, Koch Institute Ashwin Sah, Megan Yamoah, and Steven Truong named 2019-20 Goldwater Scholars Three MIT undergraduates honored for their academic achievements. Fri, 10 May 2019 15:30:01 -0400 School of Science <p>Three undergraduate students have been selected for a 2019-20 <a href="">Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship</a>, two in the <a href="">School of Science</a> and one in the <a href="">School of Engineering</a>. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense National Defense Education Programs, the Goldwater Foundation gave the award to 496 sophomore and junior students within the United States, chosen from more than 5,000 nominations this year.</p> <p>One of the 62 fellows in mathematics and computer science majors, Ashwin Sah, is not only aiming on continuing his education in mathematics to acquire a PhD but also hopes to teach as a faculty member at a university, researching theoretical mathematics. Now a sophomore in the <a href="">Department of Mathematics</a>, he was previously one of six Putnam Fellows at the Putnam Mathematics Competition and won the gold medal at the International Math Olympiad. Sah produced two papers accepted for publication in research journals, has written several others independently, and solved a 2001 conjecture by Jeff Kahn regarding the maximum number of independent sets in a graph. He is on track to graduate with his bachelor’s degree in three years.</p> <p>Megan Yamoah, a junior in the <a href="">Department of Physics</a>, is among the 360 recipients majoring in natural sciences. In addition to an outstanding academic record, she performed research in two groups and continues in another as a repeat participant in MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Yamoah has built a control system for a semiconductor, culminating in a patent currently under review. She also helped install dilution refrigerators in a lab on MIT's campus and experiments with them largely on her own, designing and engineering <font size="2"><span style="font-size:10pt;">devices to investigate two-dimensional materials used in novel quantum computing</span></font>. In her future, Yamoah plans to focus on quantum computing. Beyond research, she is a strong student leader in many physics societies and groups on campus.</p> <p>In Course 20 (biological engineering), Steven Truong joins 74 engineers across the country who were granted this year’s Goldwater fellowship. He is a junior in the <a href="">Department of Biological Engineering</a>&nbsp;and is also a double-major in <a href="">Writing</a>. Truong has an&nbsp;outstanding academic record and is also an opinion&nbsp;editor for the <em>MIT Tech</em> newspaper and co-president of the MIT Biological Engineering Undergraduate Board. His&nbsp;research interests lie in studying diabetes, such as developing new ways to deliver insulin to diabetics. He currently works with members of the <a href="">MIT Koch Institute</a> and has also collaborated with the Joslin Diabetes Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and traveled to Vietnam for a project he co-led.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served for 30 years in the U.S. Senate. The program was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students in their pursuit of careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering, providing recipients with stipends of $7,500 per year to contribute toward their educational expenses.</p> Left to right: Ashwin Sah, Megan Yamoah, and Steven Truong are among just under 500 undergraduate students in the United States to receive 2019 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships. Photos courtesy of Sah, Yamoah, and TruongSchool of Science, School of Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), Biological engineering, Comparative Media Studies/Writing, Koch Institute, School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, Awards, honors and fellowships, Undergraduates, Students Ambient plant illumination could light the way for greener buildings Collaboration between MIT architect and chemical engineer could be at the center of new sustainable infrastructure for buildings. Thu, 09 May 2019 23:59:59 -0400 Becky Ham | MIT News correspondent <p>Buildings of the future may be lit by collections of glowing plants and designed around an infrastructure of sunlight harvesting, water transport, and soil collecting and composting systems. That’s the vision behind an interdisciplinary collaboration between an MIT architecture professor and a professor of chemical engineering.</p> <p>The light-emitting plants, which <a href="">debuted in 2017</a>, are not genetically modified to produce light. Instead, they are infused with nanoparticles that turn the plant’s stored energy into light, similar to how fireflies glow. “The transformation makes virtually any plant a sustainable, potentially revolutionary technology,” says Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. “It promises lighting independent of an electrical grid, with ‘batteries’ you never need to charge, and power lines that you never need to lay.”</p> <p>But Strano and his colleagues soon realized that they needed partners who could expand the concept and understand its challenges and potential as part of a future of sustainable energy. He reached out to Sheila Kennedy, professor of architecture at MIT and principal at Kennedy and Violich Architecture, who is known for her work in clean energy infrastructure.</p> <p>“The science was so new and emergent that it seemed like an interesting design challenge,” says Kennedy. “The work of this design needed to move to a different register, which went beyond the problem of how the plant nanobionics could be demonstrated in architecture. As a design team, we considered some fundamental questions, such as how to understand and express the idea of plant lighting as a living, biological technology and how to invite the public to imagine this new future with plants.”</p> <p>“If we treat the development of the plant as we would just another light bulb, that’s the wrong way to go,” Strano adds.</p> <p>In 2017, Kennedy and Strano received a <a href="">Professor Amar G. Bose Research Grant</a> to build on their collaboration. The MIT faculty grants support unconventional, ahead-of-the-curve, and often interdisciplinary research endeavors that are unlikely to be funded through traditional avenues, yet have the potential to lead to big breakthroughs.</p> <p>Their first year of the Bose grant yielded several generations of the light-emitting watercress plants, which shine longer and brighter than the first experimental versions. The team is evaluating a new component to the nanobiotic plants that they call light capacitor particles. The capacitor, in the form of infused nanoparticles in the plant, stores spikes in light generation and “bleeds them out over time,” Strano explains. “Normally the light created in the biochemical reaction can be bright but fades quickly over time. Capacitive particles extend the duration of the generated plant light from hours to potentially days and weeks.”</p> <p>The researchers have added to their original patent on the light-emitting plant concept, filing a new patent on the capacitor and other components as well, Strano says.</p> <p><strong>Designing for display </strong></p> <p>As the nanobionic plant technology has advanced, the team is also envisioning how people might interact with the plants as part of everyday life. The architectural possibilities of their light-emitting plant will be on display within a new installation, “Plant Properties, a Future Urban Development,” at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York opening May 10.</p> <p>Visitors to the installation, part of the 2019 “<a href="">Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial</a>” exhibition, can peek into a scaled architectural model of a New York City tenement building — which also serves as a plant incubator — to see the plants at work. The installation also demonstrates a roadmap for how an existing residential building could be adapted and transformed by design to support the natural growth of plants in a future when available energy could be very limited.</p> <p>“In Plant Properties, the nanobionic plant-based infrastructure is designed to use nature’s own resources,” says Kennedy. “The building harvests and transports sunlight, collects and recycles water, and enriches soil with compost.”</p> <p>The invitation to contribute to the Cooper Hewitt exhibition offered an unexpected way to demonstrate the plants’ possibilities, but designing an exhibit brought about a whole new set of challenges, Kennedy explains. “In the world of design museums, you’re usually asked to show something that’s already been exhibited, but this is new work and a new milestone in this project.”</p> <p>“We learned a lot about the care of plants,” Strano adds. “It’s one thing to make a laboratory demonstration, but it’s another entirely to make 33 continuous weeks of a public demonstration.”</p> <p>The researchers had to come up with a way to showcase the plants in a low-light museum environment where dirt and insects attracted by living plants are usually banished. “But rather than seeing this as a sort of insurmountable obstacle,” says Kennedy, “we realized that this kind of situation — how do you enable living plants to thrive in the enclosed setting of a museum — exactly paralleled the architectural problem of how to support significant quantities of plants growing inside buildings.”</p> <p>In the installation, multiple peepholes into the building model offer glimpses into the ways people in the building are living with the plants. Museum visitors are encouraged to join the experiment and crowdsource information on plant growth and brightness, by uploading their own photos of the plants to Instagram and tagging the MIT Plant Nanobiotics lab, using @plantproperties.</p> <p>The team is also collecting data on how the plants respond to the nanoparticles and other potential stresses. “The plants are actually under more stress from being in the museum environment than from the modifications that we introduce, but these effects need to be studied and mitigated if we are to use plants for indoor lighting,” Strano notes.</p> <p><strong>Bright and nurturing futures</strong></p> <p>Kennedy and Strano say the plants could be at the center of a new — but also “pre-eclectic” — idea in architecture.</p> <p>For most of human history, Kennedy explains, natural processes from sunlight to waste composting were part of the essential infrastructure of buildings. But these processes have been excluded in modern thinking or hidden away, preventing people from coming face to face with the environmental costs of energy infrastructure made from toxic materials and powered by fossil fuels.</p> <p>“People don’t question the impacts of our own mainstream electrical grid today. It’s very vulnerable, it’s very brittle, it’s so very wasteful and it’s also full of toxic material,” she says. “We don’t question this, but we need to.”</p> <p>“Lighting right now consumes a vast portion of our energy demand, approaching close to 20 percent of our global energy consumption, generating two gigatons of carbon dioxide per year,” Strano adds. “Consider that the plants replace more than just the lamp on your desk. There’s an enormous energy footprint that could potentially be replaced by the light-emitting plant.”</p> <p>The team is continuing to work on new ways to infuse the nanoparticles in the plants, so that they work over the lifetime of the plant, as well as experimenting on larger plants such as trees. But for the plants to thrive, architects will have to develop building infrastructure that integrates the plants into a new internal ecosystem of sunlight, water and waste disposal, Kennedy says.</p> <p>“If plants are to provide people with light, we need to keep plants healthy to benefit from everything they provide for us,” she says. “We think this is going to trigger a much more caring or nurturing relationship of people and their plants, or plants and the people that they illuminate.”</p> Glowing nanobionic watercress illuminates the book “Paradise Lost.”Image: Strano Research GroupResearch, Plants, Design, Nanoscience and nanotechnology, Chemical engineering, School of Architecture and Planning, School of Engineering, Renewable energy, Sustainability, awards, Awards, honors and fellowships, Arts Martin Zwierlein receives Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship Professor of physics will use U.S. Department of Defense fellowship to study the quantum world in search of new states of matter. Thu, 09 May 2019 11:50:01 -0400 Sandi Miller | Department of Physics <p>Physics Professor <a href="" target="_blank">Martin Zwierlein</a> has been named one of 10 recipients of the <a href="">2019 Class of Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship</a> by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).</p> <p>Zwierlein and other fellows each will receive up to $3 million over a five-year fellowship term. Zwierlein aims to “uncover the rules by which ensembles of atoms and molecules organize under the laws of quantum mechanics,” he explains. To do so, he will use a system that uses ultracold gases of atoms and molecules as stand-ins for electrons in condensed matter or neutrons and protons in nuclear matter. With this “<a href="">quantum emulator</a>,” Zwierlein’s <a href="">research group</a> hopes to gain insights into a much wider range of physical systems.</p> <p>“The award provides me with the unique opportunity to go into truly unchartered territory in the quantum world, not driven by deadlines and milestones but, in the best sense of fundamental research, by curiosity,” says Zwierlein, who is the inaugural Thomas A. Frank (1977) Professor of Physics. “With luck, we may stumble upon new states of matter with extraordinary properties that we did not even anticipate.”</p> <p>The highly competitive fellowship, formerly known as the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship, aims to advance transformative, university-based fundamental research. It is named in honor of <a href="">Vannevar Bush</a> PhD 1916 (1890-1974), a professor, and dean of engineering at MIT, as well as vice president, chair of the MIT Corporation, and honorary chair. A scientist and engineer nicknamed “The General of Physics,” he organized and led American science and technology during World War II. Bush also served as the director of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development and founded a large defense and electronics company. &nbsp;</p> <p>Selected by a panel of experts from among more than 250 white papers, this year’s awardees will join 55 current fellows conducting DoD-related research in areas that include materials science, cognitive neuroscience, quantum information sciences, and applied mathematics.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>"The Department of Defense is the home of big ideas for unique problem sets," said Bindu Nair PhD '00, deputy director for <a href="">basic research</a> in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. "The Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship reflects the department's commitment to support paradigm-shifting research that explores the unknown, engages outstanding scientists and engineers on these challenges, and helps to define and transform our research agendas of the future."</p> Martin Zwierlein's fellowship is named in honor of Vannevar Bush PhD 1916, the late MIT professor and dean of engineering, as well as vice president, chair of the MIT Corporation, and honorary chair, whose scientific leadership during World War II earned him the nickname “The General of Physics.” Photo: Susanne ZwierleinPhysics, Awards, honors and fellowships, Faculty, School of Science 2019 Summer Scholars look forward to MRL lab experience Research Experience for Undergraduates program participants bring diverse interests in sustainable energy, polymers, and physics. Tue, 07 May 2019 12:45:01 -0400 Denis Paiste | Materials Research Laboratory <p>A diverse group with a broad range of personal and scientific interests and experiences, this year’s 10 MIT Materials Research Laboratory Summer Scholars include a former U.S. Navy SEAL, an accomplished classical pianist, and a voice actor. Each was selected for a strong undergraduate record in science and technology.</p> <p>The Summer Scholars, as MRL calls its National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates interns, will be on the MIT campus from June 16-Aug. 10. They were chosen from among 286 applicants.</p> <p>“I was a Navy SEAL for nine years, in which time I was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as serving as a mountaineering instructor in Kodiak, Alaska,” says University of Washington junior Chris Moore. While in Alaska, Moore and two fellow SEAL instructors planned and executed an expedition to the summit of Denali (formerly Mount McKinley).&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Clement N. Ekaputra, a Case Western Reserve University junior, plays classical piano and recently performed&nbsp;a&nbsp;concerto&nbsp;as a soloist with the University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.</p> <p>When she isn’t pursuing her scientific education, Hunter College physics major Ariane Marchese is a&nbsp;voice actress who volunteers to narrate audiobooks for schools.</p> <p><strong>Eager learners</strong></p> <p>While seeking a sharper focus for graduate school research is a common theme for Summer Scholars, this year’s participants are eager learners willing to stretch into new topics and experimental techniques. “I’m really excited to learn from MIT Materials Research Lab faculty and the other talented and diverse interns I’ll be working with,” Marchese says.</p> <p>University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez mechanical engineering major Marcos A. Logrono Lopez hopes to pursue research at MIT in the area of microfluidics. “My goal is to understand the behaviors that dominate fluids at the micro scale and implement them into new innovative technologies, such as micropropulsion and microelectromechanical systems,” he says.</p> <p>“I’m certain that no matter the project I’m assigned to in this internship, I will work passionately and be motivated with the goal of pushing forward the research that takes place at MIT,” Logrono says. “Positivism, humbleness, hard work, respectfulness, and passion for helping others are the fundamental bases of who&nbsp;I am as a person,” he adds.</p> <p>University of California at Los Angeles junior materials science and engineering major Isabel Albelo hopes the REU experience “will provide me with further clarity as to what I would like to study in graduate school and the field in which I would like to work.” She is currently interested in sustainability, either in the areas of agriculture and food science or renewable energy generation and storage. During the first half of 2018, Albelo studied abroad in Chile despite the difficulty of fitting that experience into an engineering curriculum.</p> <p>Case Western Reserve University junior Nathan Ewell is most interested in electrochemical engineering and polymer physics. “I am excited to get a feel for what my life will be like as a graduate student in a few years,” he says.</p> <p>Also interested in polymers and nanomaterials, University of Massachusetts at Amherst chemical engineering major Jared Bowden hopes to work with bioinspired materials. “I am very interested in emulating extremely specialized natural polymers perfected by millions of years of natural selection and applying the benefits of their properties to modern problems,” Bowden says. “I hope to learn new things that I can bring back with me to UMass that will help me in my nanofiber research for my senior thesis.”</p> <p>Moore, a physics and astronomy major, hopes to conduct optical experimental research in condensed matter, specifically topological defects. “I find the field fascinating, both conceptually and experimentally,” Moore says. “Much of what appeals to me about the research at MIT is how often it creates and broadens new fields of research. This is reflective of the clear experimental direction that I hope to pick up during this experience.”</p> <p>Melvin Núñez Santiago is majoring in electrical technology with renewable energy at the University Ana G. Mendez at Gurabo in Puerto Rico. Núñez hopes to channel his passion for research and technology development into a summer project related to electronics, power, communications, or energy storage. Marchese, a junior at Hunter College, also expresses interest in energy production and storage, but is interested in all aspects of materials science.</p> <p>Improving their research and analytical skills is a common goal of this year’s cohort. “By working full-time on a research project with them, I know I will learn a lot about conducting research — about discovering interesting questions and designing methods to solve them,” says Ekaputra, a Case Western Reserve materials science and engineering major.</p> <p>Dartmouth College junior Carly Tymm says, “I would like to take on a multidisciplinary project at MIT with perspectives from synthetic chemistry, surface science, and bioengineering in the design, synthesis, and analysis of biomaterials. There are many macromolecular solutions to challenges in medicinal materials science that I would like to investigate deeper.” Tymm is a double major in chemistry and biomedical engineering sciences.</p> <p><strong>Regional explorations</strong></p> <p>Northwestern University junior materials science and engineering major Leah Borgsmiller will be experiencing Massachusetts for the first time, “so I am excited to spend evenings and weekends exploring the Cambridge/Boston area,” she says. She hopes the intensive eight-week program will help her form long-lasting connections to her peers, as well as MIT faculty.</p> <p>“In this modern world, we are increasingly more dependent on electronics and energy consumption to power our lives, and so being able to contribute to research to make these processes more efficient and environmentally-friendly would be a rewarding experience,” Borgsmiller says.</p> 2019 MRL Summer Scholars are (top row, left to right) Isabel Albelo, Leah Borgsmiller, Jared Bowden, Clement Ekaputra, and Nathan Ewell, and (bottom row, left to right) Marcos Logrono, Chris Moore, Ariane Marchese, Melvin Nunez Santiago, and Carly Tymm.Materials Research Laboratory, Materials Science and Engineering, School of Engineering, Undergraduates, Awards, honors and fellowships, National Science Foundation (NSF), DMSE, Classes and programs, Students