As The Washington Post has reported, “at the heart of the dismal U.S. coronavirus response” is a “fraught relationship with masks.” With this “meaning of masks” series, which explores the myriad historic, creative, and cultural meanings of masks, we aim to offer our fellow Americans more ways to appreciate and […]

In mid-March, when the Covid-19 pandemic darkened MIT classrooms and labs, lights switched on for undergraduate research taking place remotely. Zooming in from time zones often distant from Cambridge, Massachusetts, many students were able to continue undergraduate research opportunities (UROPs) made possible by nuclear science and engineering faculty. Advancing projects […]

Horses don’t normally wear hats, and deep generative models, or GANs, don’t normally follow rules laid out by human programmers. But a new tool developed at MIT lets anyone go into a GAN and tell the model, like a coder, to put hats on the heads of the horses it […]

What do you do when a pandemic shuts down international travel, and you can’t do your internship in Japan? For MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) students this summer, the answer was the Virtual Language Conversation Exchange with the Tokyo Institute of Technology (also known as Tokyo Tech). MIT […]

The Covid-19 pandemic has upended educational systems around the world, from kindergartens through graduate schools. Classes with students packed into seats and a teacher giving lessons from the front were suddenly transformed into some combination of online Zoom lessons, home instruction by parents, or solitary work. When things eventually stabilize […]

Astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala has been named the new dean of MIT’s School of Science, effective Sept. 1. She will succeed Michael Sipser, who will return to the faculty as the Donner Professor of Mathematics, after six years of service. Mavalvala, the Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics, is renowned […]

Episcopal chaplain Reverend Thea Keith-Lucas has been named interim chaplain to the Institute as MIT pauses its search for a full-time chaplain, which launched last fall. “I am honored to serve alongside our dedicated and creative chaplains to support the religious identities, spiritual well-being, and ethical growth of our students […]

When clogs and corrosion threaten residential water and heating systems, homeowners can simply call a plumber to snake a drain or replace a pipe. Operators of nuclear power plants aren’t nearly so lucky. Metallic oxide particles, collectively known as CRUD in the nuclear energy world, build up directly on reactor […]

When Lauryn Kortman enrolled in Founder’s Journey, MIT’s entrepreneur-based first-year student seminar, she didn’t expect it would lead to a role in fusion research. As part of the program’s arranged visit to the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), Kortman learned about SPARC, a new fusion experiment that expects to […]

In mid-March, in response to the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic, MIT Medical quickly set up testing tents where essential workers and others who remained on campus could be safely screened for the novel coronavirus. In the tents, nurses and physicians administered nasal swabs while dressed in full personal protective equipment, or […]

As The Washington Post has reported, “at the heart of the dismal U.S. coronavirus response” is a “fraught relationship with masks.” In this series of commentaries — inspired by ideas from associate professor of literature Sandy Alexandre — MIT faculty explore the myriad historic, creative, and cultural meanings of masks. […]

Inside the cavernous 26-100 lecture hall, a team of staff works late into the night carefully reviewing students’ requests to live on MIT’s campus this fall. Unlike the typical scene in an MIT lecture hall — backpacks strewn around groups of friends sitting closely together in clusters of activity and […]

When Lauryn Kortman enrolled in Founder’s Journey, MIT’s entrepreneur-based first-year student seminar, she didn’t expect it would lead to a role in fusion research. As part of the program’s arranged visit to the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), Kortman learned about SPARC, a new fusion experiment that expects to […]

MIT shared details on its plans for the fall semester in a public hearing on Tuesday with members of the Cambridge City Council. The City Council’s Economic Development and University Relations Committee heard an overview from Cecilia Stuopis, director of MIT Medical; Suzanne Blake, director of MIT Emergency Management; and […]

In the spring of 2016, a striking art installation was constructed outside MIT’s building E15. The work consisted of 20,000 small green plexiglass squares, with intricate holes cut in each one, depicting vanished or endangered pieces of global cultural heritage, including buildings, monuments, and sculptures. Attached to fencing about 40 […]

The World Economic Forum estimates that there are approximately 139 million domestic migrant laborers in India who move from rural areas to urban centers such as Delhi or Mumbai in search of economic opportunities. These workers frequently rely on the advice of a “bandhu” (Hindi for friend, brother, or relative) […]

Researchers from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore, have found a practical way to induce a strong and broad immunity to the dengue virus based on proof-of-concept studies in mice. Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease with an estimated 100 million symptomatic infections […]

Big data has gotten really, really big: By 2025, all the world’s data will add up to an estimated 175 trillion gigabytes. For a visual, if you stored that amount of data on DVDs, it would stack up tall enough to circle the Earth 222 times.  One of the biggest […]

Physics professors Nuh Gedik and Pablo Jarillo-Herrero have been named Experimental Investigators in Quantum Materials by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The two are among 20 winners nationwide of the foundation’s Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems (EPiQS) Initiative. Each will receive a five-year, $1.6 million unrestricted grant to support their research in quantum materials.  […]

In June, OpenAI unveiled the largest language model in the world, a text-generating tool called GPT-3 that can write creative fiction, translate legalese into plain English, and answer obscure trivia questions. It’s the latest feat of intelligence achieved by deep learning, a machine learning method patterned after the way neurons in the brain process […]

For the past 14 years, the MIT Energy Conference — a two-day event organized by energy students — has united students, faculty, researchers, and industry representatives from around the world to discuss cutting-edge developments in energy. Under the supervision of Thomas “Trey” Wilder, an MBA candidate at the MIT Sloan […]

For a few nights in late 1991, a 74-year-old army veteran, newly arrived in Los Angeles and looking for family members, needed to sleep outside. Pastor Amarillento was a recently naturalized Filipino American, based on a 1990 law granting citizenship to Philippine Army soldiers from World War II. Amarillento had […]

WhatsApp is one of the most widely-used communication apps in South Africa. Though it’s often portrayed in the news as a way to spread disinformation, it shows surprising potential as a tool for online learning during the era of social distancing. Grassroot, a civic technology organization based in South Africa, […]

Razors, scalpels, and knives are commonly made from stainless steel, honed to a razor-sharp edge and coated with even harder materials such as diamond-like carbon. However, knives require regular sharpening, while razors are routinely replaced after cutting materials far softer than the blades themselves. Now engineers at MIT have studied […]

Several thousand strains of bacteria live in the human gut. Some of these are associated with disease, while others have beneficial effects on human health. Figuring out the precise role of each of these bacteria can be difficult, because many of them can’t be grown in lab studies using human […]

Just months before starting her PhD, Jessica Varner and her partner bought a small house built in 1798. Located on tidal wetlands along Connecticut’s Patchogue River, the former residence of an ironworker had endured over two centuries of history and neglect. As Varner began to slowly restore the house — […]

MIT’s graduate student orientation is historically a measured, months-long affair, ramping up in the summer with informational webinars and gatherings hosted by alumni around the world, and continuing in the fall with dozens of on-campus events. This is anything but a typical year, of course. For example, many of the […]

The research described in this article has been published as a working paper but has not yet been peer-reviewed by experts in the field. Masks reduce the spread of Covid-19. But just how much of an effect do they have? A study co-authored by an MIT professor finds that if […]

Edward Allen, a longtime associate and visiting professor of architecture at MIT, passed away from complications of Parkinson’s disease on July 7 in Wayland, Massachusetts. He was 81 years old. An architect by training, Allen was the author of bestselling books for architecture students and practitioners. A faculty member in […]

Letter writers across the country will soon have a fun and beautiful new Forever stamp to choose from, featuring novel research from the Media Lab’s Biomechatronics research group.  The stamp is part of a new U.S. Postal Service (USPS) series on innovation, representing computing, biomedicine, genome sequencing, robotics, and solar […]

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