"Astute Assistants" photo series spotlights CSAIL staff

MIT professor Daniel Jackson's new book of photos shines a light on the administrators who help CSAIL function.
MIT professor Daniel Jackson's new book of photos shines a light on the administrators who help CSAIL function.

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One playful portrait was enough to become the catalyst for a photographic series highlighting the administrative assistants of CSAIL.  

When MIT professor Daniel Jackson caught sight of Patrice Macaluso holding a sparkling Elizabeth Taylor book, he wanted to photograph her holding it. When Jackson brought in a copy of the photo, it took off. Soon enough, he was snapping pictures of every member of the team.

The series, which has since morphed into a full book, puts a spotlight on the backbone of the CSAIL community: a group of individuals who continually support the efforts and endeavors of the lab. Every day they master a myriad of tasks, from organizing group meetings and managing accounts to providing support for teaching.

Jackson says the project was not only fun, but “a small gesture to raise the visibility of a group of people essential to our community, and who, in addition to their practical talents, bring warmth and wisdom to counterbalance our technological focus.”

The photographs feature each person with a personal memento and an accompanying description of its importance.

“The remarkable individuals captured in this series are devoted and loving members of the CSAIL family who contribute in ways big and small to help CSAIL with its mission to create the future of computing and make the world a better place,” says CSAIL Director Daniela Rus.

For more of Jackson's photography, you can view his online portfolio here.