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Category: academics

Brave Behind Bars: Prison education program focuses on computing skills for women | MIT News
January 19, 2022

A programming language textbook might not be the first thing you’d expect to see when walking into a correctional facility.  The creators of the Brave Behind Bars program are hoping to change that.  Founded in 2020, Brave Behind Bars is a pandemic-born introductory computer science and career-readiness program for incarcerated women, based out of The Educational Justice Institute at MIT (TEJI). It’s taught both...

Clean room as classroom | MIT News
January 14, 2022

MIT undergraduates are using labs at MIT.nano to tinker at the nanoscale, exploring spectrometry, nanomaterial synthesis, photovoltaics, sensor fabrication, and other topics. They’re also getting an experience not common at the undergraduate level — gowning up in a bunny suit and performing hands-on research inside a clean room. During the fall 2021 semester, these students were part of 6.S059 (Nanotechnology —...

Physics and the machine-learning “black box” | MIT News
January 11, 2022

Machine-learning algorithms are often referred to as a “black box.” Once data are put into an algorithm, it’s not always known exactly how the algorithm arrives at its prediction. This can be particularly frustrating when things go wrong. A new mechanical engineering (MechE) course at MIT teaches students how to tackle the “black box” problem, through a combination of data science and physics-based...

Richard Cohen: Pioneering biomedical research and education at MIT for half a century | MIT News
January 7, 2022

Richard J. Cohen, the Whitaker Professor in Biomedical Engineering in the MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and a faculty member in the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology (HST), has seen a lot during his years at MIT. He is a rare “MIT lifer,” rising from student to senior faculty member and spending half a century at the Institute. Cohen joined HST as a first-year medical...

Making computation come alive | MIT News
January 6, 2022

As a Martian lander descends toward the Red Planet’s surface, when can its parachute be safely deployed? Open it too early, while the lander is hurtling through the atmosphere, and it might tear off — but open it too late and the lander might not slow down enough to prevent a catastrophic crash landing. There are seemingly endless possibilities in this complex conundrum. One way to solve this puzzle is to use a...

Kerstin Perez is searching the cosmos for signs of dark matter | MIT News
January 2, 2022

Kerstin Perez is searching for imprints of dark matter. The invisible substance embodies 84 percent of the matter in the universe and is thought to be a powerful cosmic glue, keeping whole galaxies from spinning apart. And yet, the particles themselves leave barely a trace on ordinary matter,  thwarting all efforts at detection thus far. Perez, a particle physicist at MIT, is hoping that a high-altitude balloon...

J-PAL North America announces five new partnerships with state and local governments | MIT News
December 17, 2021

J-PAL North America, a research center in MIT’s Department of Economics, has announced five new partnerships with state and local governments across the United States after a call for proposals in early February. Over the next year, these partners will work with J-PAL North America’s State and Local Innovation Initiative to evaluate policy-relevant questions critical to alleviating poverty in the United States. J-PAL...

The power of economics to explain and shape the world | MIT News
December 17, 2021

Nobel Prize-winning economist Esther Duflo sympathizes with students who have no interest in her field. She was such a student herself — until an undergraduate research post gave her the chance to learn first-hand that economists address many of the major issues facing human and planetary well-being.“Most people have a wrong view of what economics is. They just see economists on television discussing what’s going to...

Characters for good, created by artificial intelligence | MIT News
December 16, 2021

As it becomes easier to create hyper-realistic digital characters using artificial intelligence, much of the conversation around these tools has centered on misleading and potentially dangerous deepfake content. But the technology can also be used for positive purposes — to revive Albert Einstein to teach a physics class, talk through a career change with your older self, or anonymize people while preserving facial...

With “Hello!” as its theme, 2.009 returns to the stage | MIT News
December 9, 2021

On Monday night, Kresge Auditorium was lit up in the colors of the rainbow as a vibrant welcome for the final presentations of 2.009, MIT’s popular Product Engineering Processes course. After going virtual in 2020, the annual event was back in exuberant, pom-pom-waving form, with Covid-19 precautions in place to help ensure a safe and spectacular in-person show. To attend the night’s festivities, everyone 12 years and...

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