MIT and Tsinghua University sign urban innovation agreement

MIT and Tsinghua University in China have signed an agreement establishing a new technology project, the Future City Innovation Connector (FCIC), which is designed to support research and startup teams applying ideas to China’s rapidly growing urban areas. FCIC will draw upon the work of MIT professors and labs to identify innovative concepts and technologies […]

One vaccine injection could carry many doses

MIT engineers have invented a new 3-D fabrication method that can generate a novel type of drug-carrying particle that could allow multiple doses of a drug or vaccine to be delivered over an extended time period with just one injection. The new microparticles resemble tiny coffee cups that can be filled with a drug or […]

3Q: Anantha Chandrakasan on new MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab

MIT and IBM jointly announced today a 10-year agreement to create the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab, a new collaboration for research on the frontiers of artificial intelligence. Anantha Chandrakasan, the dean of MIT’s School of Engineering, who led MIT’s work in forging the agreement, sat down with MIT News to discuss the new lab. Q: […]

5 Reasons the UN Is Jumping on the Blockchain Bandwagon

By the time they woke on May 31st, 2017, 10,000 Syrian refugees stationed at Azraq camp in Jordan had received their long-awaited aid. But instead of the typical white and blue trucks from the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP), the aid came in the form of electronic vouchers distributed on the back of a […]

The Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through September 2)

AUGMENTED REALITY Google Unveils ARCore, Its Answer to Apple’s ARKit, But It Will Be Hard to Catch UpMark Sullivan | Fast Company “With ARCore, Google says, developers can create AR apps and games that run on virtually any Android smartphone–existing and forthcoming… ARCore games and apps will use an Android phone’s camera to determine the position and […]

Featured video: 47 years, and still going strong

At age 24, Peter Hicks began his employment here at MIT. Now, with over 47 years of service to the Institute, Hicks has the longest tenure within the Department of Facilities. Over his time at MIT, Hicks has held a variety of positions — everything from bulb-snatching across campus to his current position collecting and […]

Glassy carbon, now with less heat

Last winter, MIT researchers discovered that a phenol-formaldehyde polymer transformed into a glassy carbon material in a process similar to baking reaches its best combination of high strength and low density at 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit). Now they have determined that, they can achieve a similar glassy transformation, but at a more industrially-accessible temperature of 800 C […]

Fikile Brushett and Florence Wagner named to Chemical and Engineering News “Talented 12”

Professor Fikile Brushett of the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering and Florence Wagner, institute scientist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, have been selected as two of 2017’s “Talented 12” by Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly magazine of the American Chemical Society. Brushett is recognized for his innovative approach to economical […]

Robots and AI Will Take Over These 3 Medical Niches First

We’re no stranger to robotics in the medical field. Robot-assisted surgery is becoming more and more common. Many training programs are starting to include robotic and virtual reality scenarios to provide hands-on training for students without putting patients at risk. With all of these advances in medical robotics, three niches stand out above the rest: […]

Letter regarding MIT’s support of its DACA students

The following email was sent yesterday to the MIT community by Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart. To the members of the MIT community, In an op-ed published today in The Boston Globe, President Reif writes why the possible repeal of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is at direct odds with our national interests […]

Finish Him! MegaBots’ Giant Robot Duel Is Finally Going Down

It began two years ago when MegaBots co-founders Matt Oehrlein and Gui Cavalcanti donned American flags as capes and challenged Suidobashi Heavy Industries to a giant robot duel in a YouTube video that immediately went viral. The battle proposed: MegaBots’ 15-foot tall, 1,200-pound MK2 robot vs. Suidobashi’s 9,000-pound robot, KURATAS. Oehrlein and Cavalcanti first discovered […]

Measuring depths, scaling heights

Graduate student Leigh Ann Kesler is pursuing her two great interests: fusion science and rock climbing. One day she finds herself scrambling up bare rock faces to view grand vistas of mountains and valleys carved by glaciers, the next she is in the laboratory, exploring minute changes in the depth of materials being eroded by fusion […]

President Reif writes to support preservation of DACA

Writing in The Boston Globe, MIT President L. Rafael Reif has called on U.S. President Donald Trump and Congress to preserve the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, saying that a proposed repeal “would run counter to our national interest [and] strikes me as a violation of deep American principles.” Created in 2012, DACA […]

New way to test antibiotics could lead to better drugs

MIT and Harvard University researchers have engineered E. coli cells that can be used to study how bacteria at an infection site respond to antibiotic treatment, allowing scientists to learn more about how existing antibiotics work and potentially help them to develop new drugs. In the new study, which appears in the Aug. 31 issue […]

Finish Him! MegaBots’ Giant Robot Duel Is Finally Going Down in Japan

It began two years ago when MegaBots co-founders Matt Oehrlein and Gui Cavalcanti donned American flags as capes and challenged Suidobashi Heavy Industries to a giant robot duel in a YouTube video that immediately went viral. The battle proposed: MegaBots’ 15-foot tall, 1,200-pound MK2 robot vs. Suidobashi’s 9,000-pound robot, KURATAS. Oehrlein and Cavalcanti first discovered […]

Neighboring exoplanets may hold water, study finds

Seven Earth-sized exoplanets circle the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, just 40 light-years from our own blue planet. Now an international team of scientists at the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland, MIT, and elsewhere, report that the outer planets in this system may still hold significant stores of water. Three of these potential water worlds are also […]

Increasing equity through educational technology

Justin Reich was ready to observe a teacher integrating technology into her lesson plan at a school in rural New Hampshire. Her school had bought the laptops, Reich says. She had reserved them. They were charged. All of the kids were logged in. The power was on in the building. The wireless network was working. The […]

Making data centers more energy efficient

Most modern websites store data in databases, and since database queries are relatively slow, most sites also maintain so-called cache servers, which list the results of common queries for faster access. A data center for a major web service such as Google or Facebook might have as many as 1,000 servers dedicated just to caching. […]

Is This the Real Thing? How the Brain Separates Fantasy From Reality

When the moon finally eclipsed the sun’s dazzling rays, I stared at the black orb in the sky with utter disbelief. I was one among the tens of thousands camped out amongst the Painted Hills in Oregon, experiencing the celestial event of a lifetime. I’d heard from previous eclipse chasers that people have drastically different […]

Robot learns to follow orders like Alexa

Despite what you might see in movies, today’s robots are still very limited in what they can do. They can be great for many repetitive tasks, but their inability to understand the nuances of human language makes them mostly useless for more complicated requests. For example, if you put a specific tool in a toolbox […]

New robot rolls with the rules of pedestrian conduct

Just as drivers observe the rules of the road, most pedestrians follow certain social codes when navigating a hallway or a crowded thoroughfare: Keep to the right, pass on the left, maintain a respectable berth, and be ready to weave or change course to avoid oncoming obstacles while keeping up a steady walking pace. Now […]

Back to school special

As part of this year’s freshman orientation at MIT, new students encountered the typical lineup of takeaways: booklets and brochures, a list of 101 things to do before they graduate, lots of T-shirts, pens, etc. For the first time, however, they were also given a completely new version of the old campus staple: the backpack. […]

Celebrating Walker Memorial’s 100th year

Labor Day Weekend of 1917 marked the opening of MIT’s new student center, Walker Memorial — although not for its intended purpose. As part of the Institute’s contribution to the World War I war effort, 400 naval aviation students moved into the new building, taking over the gymnasium and balconies of the big hall for […]

Experiencing the Great American Solar Eclipse

They came in droves to witness the moon blocking the sun. On Aug. 21 at MIT’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts; at the MIT Wallace Observatory; and in eastern Idaho, members of the MIT community, and the public at large, gathered to watch what was hailed by many as the Great American Solar Eclipse — a […]

Japan’s SoftBank Is Investing Billions in the Technological Future

Remember the 1980s movie Brewster’s Millions, in which a minor league baseball pitcher (played by Richard Pryor) must spend $30 million in 30 days to inherit $300 million? Pryor goes on an epic spending spree for a bigger payoff down the road. One of the world’s biggest public companies is making that film look like […]

Peter Diamandis: How to Find the Mindset and Energy to Go Big

In a recent interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, Peter Diamandis said he’s at his best whenever he taps into his passion and lets it shine through. “Anything I do has got to be truly from the heart and the soul,” Diamandis said. “Otherwise, I’m not going to care. If the love […]

Inspiring the next generation of engineers

The halls of MIT were abuzz with 30 children and teenagers eager to be civil and environmental engineers for a day. All relatives, friends or neighbors of members of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), the young additions to the community were on campus for the second annual CEE Kids Camp, a day […]

Machine Learning Is Everywhere, But What Is It Exactly?

From Google’s language translation app to autonomous cars, machine learning has become a key ingredient in multiple areas of our lives—but what exactly is it? In the simplest sense, machine learning is a method of computer data analysis that learns from its own experience. Once a machine learning algorithm learns what specific patterns look like, […]

How to Store Data on Magnets the Size of a Single Atom

There is an adage that says that data will expand to fill all available capacity. Perhaps 10 or 20 years ago, it was common to stockpile software programs, MP3 music, films, and other files, which may have taken years to collect. In the days when hard disk drives offered a few tens of gigabytes of […]

Strength of global stratospheric circulation measured for first time

When commercial airplanes break through the clouds to reach cruising altitude, they have typically arrived in the stratosphere, the second layer of Earth’s atmosphere. The air up there is dry and clear, and much calmer than the turbulent atmosphere we experience on the ground. And yet, for all its seeming tranquility, the stratosphere can be […]

Danielle Wood joins Media Lab faculty

Danielle Wood ’05, SM ’08, PhD ’12 is the Media Lab’s newest assistant professor in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. She will officially start working at the lab on Jan. 16, 2018, to establish a new research group, called Space Enabled. Her mission is to advance justice and development in Earth’s complex systems […]

Bradley Olsen: Designing polymers with novel features

Tiny sensors made of antibodies, protein nanospheres that can clean up toxic spills, and gels that could be injected into a wound to initiate healing are just a few of the innovations emerging from Bradley Olsen’s lab at MIT. Olsen’s research is based on exploring the physical properties of new types of polymers, and taking […]

NASA Made This Technology for Space—Now, It Will Improve What We Eat

“The human eye has to be one of the cruelest tricks nature ever pulled.” These were Abi Ramanan’s opening words in a talk called “The Future of the Food Chain,” presented at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco last week. Ramanan explained that all the human eyes can see is a tiny cone-shaped area […]

Tech-X-Planations | Introducing a New Original Weekly Video Series

We’ve all name-dropped a new technology that sounds awesome—like CRISPR/Cas9—without really knowing the basics. This is why we’ve created Tech-x-planations, Singularity Hub’s new weekly video series that explores fundamental ideas in science, technology, and the future. With Tech-x-planations you’ll be able to sink your teeth into just the right amount of information on today’s hottest […]

The Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through August 26)

BIOTECH Lab-Grown Food Startup Memphis Meats Raises $17 Million From DFJ, Cargill, Bill Gates, OthersPaul Sawers | Venture Beat “Meat grown in a laboratory is the future, if certain sustainable food advocates have their way, and one startup just raised a bucketload of cash from major investors to make this goal a reality….Leading the $17 […]

Political science debuts on MITx

When he arrived from Princeton University three years ago, political science MIT Professor Evan Lieberman was determined to find new and engaging ways of presenting course content. “I wanted to understand the students here, figure out what materials would interest them, and make a teaching impact,” he says. One result of his efforts was 17.571 (Engineering […]

This Inspiring Teenager Wants to Save Lives With His Flying Robots

It’s not every day you meet a high school student who’s been building functional robots since age 10. Then again, Mihir Garimella is definitely not your average teenager. When I sat down to interview him recently at Singularity University’s Global Summit, that much was clear. Mihir’s curiosity for robotics began at age two when his […]

Drones relay RFID signals for inventory control

Radio frequency ID tags were supposed to revolutionize supply chain management. The dirt-cheap, battery-free tags, which receive power wirelessly from scanners and then broadcast identifying numbers, enable warehouse managers to log inventory much more efficiently than they could by reading box numbers and recording them manually. But the scale of modern retail operations makes even […]

Water war: East campus versus west

The idiom “wet behind the ears” may be a good way to describe new MIT students because, thanks to several MIT traditions, students spend their first few days on campus getting soaked. Many people know about the swim test that first-year students take during orientation, but soon after students dry out, it’s time for another wet MIT […]

Experiments confirm theory of “superballistic” electron flow

When many people try to squeeze through a passageway at the same time, it creates a bottleneck that slows everyone down. It turns out the reverse is true for electrons, which can move through small openings more quickly when travelling in large groups than when flying solo. The theory of so-called superballistic flow predicts that […]

For the love of ice: Journeys to the remote and inhospitable

Ice has always been fascinating to Alison Criscitiello PhD ’14. “I had a science teacher who did a short unit on glaciers … I couldn’t believe they were real,” she says. That classroom encounter when she was in eight grade in Winchester, Massachusetts, had a lasting impact. Criscitiello went on to earn MIT’s first PhD in […]

Monitoring network traffic more efficiently

In today’s data networks, traffic analysis — determining which links are getting congested and why — is usually done by computers at the network’s edge, which try to infer the state of the network from the times at which different data packets reach their destinations. If the routers inside the network could instead report on […]

Saving Venice, MIT-style

This summer, MIT professors Paola Malanotte Rizzoli of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) and Andrew Whittle of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) led an intensive workshop with several Italian faculty exploring key challenges facing Venice. Ten MIT students and seven students from the University of Venice (IUAV) joined […]

Why Empowering Women Is the Best Way to Solve Climate Change

In April of this year, the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded its first-ever carbon dioxide reading over 410 parts per million (ppm). This is a brand-new state of affairs, as humans have never existed on Earth with CO2 levels over 300 ppm. If carbon emissions continue their current trend, our atmosphere could get to […]

Artificial Intelligence | Future of Everything With Jason Silva (Part 6)

In the latest installment of Singularity University’s web series, Future of Everything With Jason Silva, Silva takes a look at artificial intelligence. “AI is perhaps the granddaddy of all exponential technologies. Surely to transform the world and the human race in ways that we can barely wrap our heads around,” Silva says. Forms of creativity will be […]

Custom robots in a matter of minutes

Even as robots become increasingly common, they remain incredibly difficult to make. From designing and modeling to fabricating and testing, the process is slow and costly: Even one small change can mean days or weeks of rethinking and revising important hardware. But what if there were a way to let non-experts craft different robotic designs […]

Expanding the pipeline to graduate school

Tsehai Grell grew up in a small island nation in the Caribbean called the Commonwealth of Dominica. Known as “the nature island,” Dominica features black sand beaches, rolling mountains, tropical green foliage, and a close-knit community. “I grew up there and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s a warm, friendly culture. You cannot […]

Lexicon of Biochemical Reactions: Vitamin B6 / PLP

MIT 5.07SC Biological Chemistry, Fall 2013 View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/5-07SCF13 Instructor: JoAnne Stubbe This video focuses on another cofactor: Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine). This is the cofactor you use whenever you want to metabolize amino acids. We use amino acids to make fats or sugars depending on what the environment is telling us we need […]

5. Enzymes and Catalysis

MIT 5.07SC Biological Chemistry, Fall 2013 View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/5-07SCF13 Instructor: JoAnne Stubbe In this classroom lecture, Professor Stubbe focuses on enzymes as catalysts. She describes the theory and mechanics of catalysis and explains why enzymes are so important. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA More information at http://ocw.mit.edu/terms More courses at http://ocw.mit.edu

Lexicon of Biochemical Reactions: Introduction

MIT 5.07SC Biological Chemistry, Fall 2013 View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/5-07SCF13 Instructor: JoAnne Stubbe Professor JoAnne Stubbe introduces the Lexicon of Biochemical Reactions, which explains how the chemistry of vitamins works. In particular, she describes how vitamins provide the enzymes that act as catalysts in biochemical transformations. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA More information at http://ocw.mit.edu/terms […]

Lexicon of Biochemical Reactions: Cofactors Formed from Vitamin B12

MIT 5.07SC Biological Chemistry, Fall 2013 View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/5-07SCF13 Instructor: JoAnne Stubbe Professor Stubbe refers to the cofactors formed from Vitamin B12 as “Nature’s most spectacularly beautiful cofactors.” These cofactors bind to the enzyme which plays a key role in the formation of red blood cells. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA More information at […]

Lexicon of Biochemical Reactions: Redox Cofactors

MIT 5.07SC Biological Chemistry, Fall 2013 View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/5-07SCF13 Instructor: JoAnne Stubbe In this video, Professor Stubbe reviews oxidation and reduction and the cofactors that are involved in these transformations. She focuses on the two redox active cofactors Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) and Vitamin B3 (Niacin). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA More information at http://ocw.mit.edu/terms […]

Ancient Earth’s hot interior created “graveyard” of continental slabs

Plate tectonics has shaped the Earth’s surface for billions of years: Continents and oceanic crust have pushed and pulled on each other, continually rearranging the planet’s façade. As two massive plates collide, one can give way and slide under the other in a process called subduction. The subducted slab then slips down through the Earth’s […]

Fusion heating gets a boost

In the quest for fusion energy, scientists have spent decades experimenting with ways to make plasma fuel hot and dense enough to generate significant fusion power. At MIT, researchers have focused their attention on using radio-frequency (RF) heating in magnetic confinement fusion experiments like the Alcator C-Mod tokamak, which completed its final run in September […]

How cytoplasm “feels” to a cell’s components

Under a microscope, a cell’s cytoplasm can resemble a tiny underwater version of New York’s Times Square: Thousands of proteins swarm through a cytoplasm’s watery environment, coming together and breaking apart like a cytoskeletal flash mob. Organelles such as mitochondria and lysosomes must traverse this crowded, ever-changing cytoplasmic space to deliver materials to various parts […]

Whitney Espich named CEO of MIT Alumni Association

Whitney T. Espich, an accomplished leader in alumni relations and development, has been named by President L. Rafael Reif as the next CEO of the MIT Alumni Association (MITAA). Espich is currently executive director of communications, events, and donor relations for MIT’s Office of Resource Development (RD), where she has worked since 2014. In that […]

Why We Should Send All Our Politicians to Space

Our world is far from perfect. While the world has been getting better in many ways, we are also continuously faced with challenges. War, political conflict, and social injustices continue to hinder human progress. All one needs to do is turn on a mainstream news channel and watch the issues that our world is faced […]

Our hairy insides

Our bodies are lined on the inside with soft, microscopic carpets of hair, from the grassy extensions on our tastebuds, to fuzzy beds of microvilli in our stomachs, to superfine protein strands throughout our blood vessels. These hairy projections, anchored to soft surfaces, bend and twist with the currents of the fluids they’re immersed in. […]

Using machine learning to improve patient care

Doctors are often deluged by signals from charts, test results, and other metrics to keep track of. It can be difficult to integrate and monitor all of these data for multiple patients while making real-time treatment decisions, especially when data is documented inconsistently across hospitals. In a new pair of papers, researchers from MIT’s Computer […]

Civilization Is Breaking Down—Here’s What We Need to Do About It

“I think civilization is fundamentally breaking down today.” These were the opening words of Salim Ismail’s talk at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco this week. Not the most uplifting intro. But the good news is, Ismail had some pretty unique insight to share about the nature of the problems society is facing, and […]

The Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through August 19)

BIOHACKING Biohackers Encoded Malware in a Strand of DNAAndy Greenberg | WIRED “Regardless of any practical reason for the research, however, the notion of building a computer attack—known as an ‘exploit’—with nothing but the information stored in a strand of DNA represented an epic hacker challenge for the University of Washington team.” MEDICINE Doctors Plan […]

High school teachers become students for a week to learn about radar systems

From July 9 to 22, the Lincoln Laboratory Radar Introduction for Student Engineers (LLRISE) summer program provided 18 high school students from across the country with a project-based course on radar fundamentals. For the first time since LLRISE’s inception, two high school physics teachers participated in the first week of the program. The teachers, both […]

Which of These Emerging Technologies Will Be the Next Big Thing?

We tend to think of tech visionaries as inventors with a brilliant idea that no one understands. Because the world isn’t quite ready, they have to pitch their invention to anyone who’ll listen. Their ideas are either crazy or genius—no one’s sure because they’re so novel. There’s another kind of tech visionary. This person has […]

Gene Brown, professor emeritus of biology, dies at 91

Gene M. Brown, MIT professor emeritus of biology, former department head, and former dean of the School of Science, passed away on Aug. 4 at the age of 91. “He was really the heart and soul of the department for a very long time, devoted to undergraduates and to teaching,” says MIT Professor Lisa Steiner. […]

Lindsey Backman awarded Gilliam Fellowship

Graduate student Lindsey Backman has been selected by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to be one of 39 Gilliam Fellows for 2017. Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study are awarded to exceptional doctoral students who have the potential to be leaders in their fields and who desire to advance diversity and inclusion in the sciences. Gilliam Fellows are supported […]

Taking The Engine for a test drive

Innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs worldwide are waiting on news of the first companies chosen to be part of The Engine. Founded by MIT, The Engine is a combination of long-term investment, resources, and services for founders working on “tough tech” that prioritizes high-impact solutions to big problems over early profits. This summer a group of […]

Industrial “edge cities” have helped China grow

China’s massive investment in industrial parks has paid economic dividends while reshaping the urban areas where they are located, according to a newly published study co-authored by an MIT expert on urban economics. The study finds the creation of industrial parks does not just add to growth within the areas designated for manufacturing; it significantly […]

19. Principal Component Analysis

MIT 18.650 Statistics for Applications, Fall 2016 View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/18-650F16 Instructor: Philippe Rigollet In this lecture, Prof. Rigollet reviewed linear algebra and talked about multivariate statistics. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA More information at http://ocw.mit.edu/terms More courses at http://ocw.mit.edu

15. Regression (cont.)

MIT 18.650 Statistics for Applications, Fall 2016 View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/18-650F16 Instructor: Philippe Rigollet In this lecture, Prof. Rigollet talked about significance test and other tests. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA More information at http://ocw.mit.edu/terms More courses at http://ocw.mit.edu

3. Parametric Inference

MIT 18.650 Statistics for Applications, Fall 2016 View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/18-650F16 Instructor: Philippe Rigollet In this lecture, Prof. Rigollet talked about statistical modeling and the rationale behind statistical modeling. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA More information at http://ocw.mit.edu/terms More courses at http://ocw.mit.edu

9. Parametric Hypothesis Testing (cont.)

MIT 18.650 Statistics for Applications, Fall 2016 View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/18-650F16 Instructor: Philippe Rigollet In this lecture, Prof. Rigollet talked about Wald’s test, likelihood ratio test, and testing implicit hypotheses. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA More information at http://ocw.mit.edu/terms More courses at http://ocw.mit.edu

6. Maximum Likelihood Estimation (cont.) and the Method of Moments

MIT 18.650 Statistics for Applications, Fall 2016 View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/18-650F16 Instructor: Philippe Rigollet In this lecture, Prof. Rigollet continued on maximum likelihood estimators and talked about Weierstrass Approximation Theorem (WAT), and statistical application of the WAT, etc. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA More information at http://ocw.mit.edu/terms More courses at http://ocw.mit.edu

12 Companies That Are Making the World a Better Place

The Singularity University Global Summit in San Francisco this week brought brilliant minds together from all over the world to share a passion for using science and technology to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. Solving these challenges means ensuring basic needs are met for all people. It means improving quality of life and mitigating […]

Featured video: Getting into MIT

Not even Drew Houston ’05, founder of Dropbox, was sure he’d get in to MIT. But that didn’t stop him, or thousands of other students and alumni, from applying. The gamble paid off: Houston got to tear up all his other college applications because he was accepted into his dream school. In this video, alumni […]

Demo day showcases serious innovation in “playful” tech

As “playful” technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) become increasingly prevalent in the gaming world — and the real world — MIT continues to find ways to support innovation and entrepreneurship in those areas. In January, the MIT Game Lab, along with Bayview Labs and the Seraph Group, announced the launch of […]

Investigating space weather effects of the 2017 solar eclipse

On Aug. 21, a solar eclipse will occur over the United States. Hotels throughout the 70-mile-wide path of totality from Oregon to South Carolina have been completely booked by amateur astronomers and excited skywatchers. Even outside the path of totality, a partial solar eclipse will take place across the entire continental U.S. Scientists at MIT […]

Study: For food-waste recycling, policy is key

Food scraps. Okay, those aren’t the first words that come to mind when you think about the environment. But 22 percent of the municipal solid waste dropped into landfills or incincerators in the U.S. is, in fact, food that could be put to better use through composting and soil enrichment. Moreover, food-scrap recycling programs, while […]

These 7 Forces Are Changing the World at an Extraordinary Rate

It was the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who first said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” He was onto something. But even he would likely be left speechless at the scale and pace of change the world has experienced in the past 100 years—not to mention the past 10. Since 1917, the global population […]

Nanotechnology | Future of Everything With Jason Silva (Part 5)

In the latest installment of Singularity University’s new web series, Future of Everything With Jason Silva, Silva discusses how nanotechnology will transform the world in ways we can hardly fathom. Nanotech allows us to pattern atoms, allowing us to manipulate the building blocks of the physical world. We can move beyond scarcity because everything is made of […]

Bringing poverty-alleviating solutions to market in India, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda

Six social entrepreneurs who are addressing pressing poverty challenges through market-based approaches make up this year’s cohort of the MIT D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellows. The entrepreneurs are all part of the D-Lab-affiliated International Development Design Summit (IDDS). The 2017 fellows include Tunde Alawode PhD ’17, Honey Bajaj SM ’17, and Rebecca Hui MCP ’17, as well as three IDDS alumni: […]

Krystyn Van Vliet named associate provost

Krystyn Van Vliet, an MIT professor in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering, with wide-ranging interests in research and innovation, has been named as the Institute’s new associate provost. She will assume this role on Sept. 1. Van Vliet succeeds Karen Gleason, who has decided to step down in June 2018. […]

Smart mat detects early warning signs of foot ulcers

While completing his residency in anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in the mid-2000s, Jon Bloom saw his fair share of foot amputations among patients with diabetes. The culprit: infected foot ulcers. “Some days, I would spend the entire day doing nothing but amputations,” Bloom says. “It’s a major problem we haven’t really moved forward on.” […]

Q&A: Richard Binzel on tips for observing the 2017 solar eclipse

It has been nearly a century since a total solar eclipse traversed coast-to-coast across the USA. Everyone in North America will have a view of the moon blocking at least part of the sun, in what’s known as a partial solar eclipse (depending on local cloud cover, of course). But the spectacle of a lifetime […]

Researchers clarify mystery about proposed battery material

Battery researchers agree that one of the most promising possibilities for future battery technology is the lithium-air (or lithium-oxygen) battery, which could provide three times as much power for a given weight as today’s leading technology, lithium-ion batteries. But tests of various approaches to creating such batteries have produced conflicting and confusing results, as well […]

This Free Online Tool Helps Strip the Jargon Out of Science Writing

Science and technology have a profound impact on everyone’s life, but the dense jargon experts use to talk about them make it hard for laypeople to get a grip on these fields. Now a new tool that automatically identifies jargon could help scientists get their point across more effectively. The “De-jargonizer” is the brainchild of […]

High-quality online video with less rebuffering

We’ve all experienced two hugely frustrating things on YouTube: our video either suddenly gets pixelated, or it stops entirely to rebuffer. Both happen because of special algorithms that break videos into small chunks that load as you go. If your internet is slow, YouTube might make the next few seconds of video lower resolution to […]

Get a Live Look Inside Singularity University’s Global Summit This Week

Singularity University’s (SU) second annual Global Summit begins today in San Francisco, and the Singularity Hub team will be there to give you a live look inside the event, exclusive speaker interviews, and articles on great talks. Whereas SU’s other summits each focus on a specific field or industry, Global Summit is a broad look at […]

Why Education Is the Hardest Sector of the Economy to Automate

We’ve all heard the warning cries: automation will disrupt entire industries and put millions of people out of jobs. In fact, up to 45 percent of existing jobs can be automated using current technology. However, this may not necessarily apply to the education sector. After a detailed analysis of more than 2,000-plus work activities for […]

The Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through August 12)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Blizzard and DeepMind Turn StarCraft II Into an AI Research Lab Darrell Etherington | TechCrunch “StarCraft II is such a useful environment for AI research basically because of how complex and varied the games can be, with multiple open routes to victory for each individual match. Players also have to do many different […]

Why It’s Taking Less and Less to Manufacture More of the Things We Want

Manufacturing productivity has been on a tear. It’s nearly doubled versus construction productivity over the last couple decades. Ever wonder why? I do. And at the heart of the answer is the increasing use of programmable logic controllers. These specialized computers analyze data, act on programmed, complex functions, report on a facility’s performance and hiccups, […]

3D Printed Blood Vessels Offer New Possibilities for Testing Drugs

Bioprinting enthusiasts envision a future where we’ll be able to print functional human organs on demand, putting an end to transplant waiting lists and health problems and deaths related to organ failure. That future isn’t unrealistic nor out of reach, but it’s going to arrive slowly—artificially re-creating an organ is a massively complicated task involving […]

Case study suggests new approach to urban water supply

If you live in the developed world, safe water is usually just a faucet-turn away. And yet, global warming, drought conditions, and population growth in coming decades could change that, ushering in an era of uncertain access to water. Now an MIT-based research team has evaluated those potential problems and, based on a case study […]

Instructor Interview: Using Visual Materials to Teach 21st Century Skills

MIT 21G.027 Asia in the Modern World: Images & Representations, Fall 2016 View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/21G-027F16 Instructor: Shigeru Miyagawa MIT Professor Shigeru Miyagawa talked about how to use visual materials to teach technical skills in his course. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA More information at http://ocw.mit.edu/terms More courses at http://ocw.mit.edu

Instructor Interview: Meet the Educator

MIT 21G.027 Asia in the Modern World: Images & Representations, Fall 2016 View the complete course: http://ocw.mit.edu/21G-027F16 Instructor: Shigeru Miyagawa This video is the introduction of Professor Shigeru Miyagawa, the instructor for the MIT course 21G.027 of Fall 2016. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA More information at http://ocw.mit.edu/terms More courses at http://ocw.mit.edu