left image

Do you have a story idea?

We are interested in stories about current research projects as well as lab history. We can provide help with writing the story and taking pictures. If you are interested email news@csail.mit.edu

CSAIL News RSS Feed: Want to keep up with the most current stories about CSAIL? Subscribe to our feed. Learn more about RSS feeds.

News in Exhibit: CSAIL news articles displayed with the interactive Simile group research project Exhibit. Take a look!

Press Inquiries: If you are a member of the press interested in talking to someone in CSAIL, please contact Adam Conner-Simons at 617-324-9135 or at aconner@csail.mit.edu.

left image

  • Teaching machines to predict the futureWhen we see two people meet, we can often predict what happens next: a handshake, a hug, or maybe even a kiss. Our ability to anticipate actions is thanks to intuitions born out of a lifetime of experiences. Machines, on the other hand, have trouble making use of complex knowledge like that....
  • Parallel programming made easyComputer chips have stopped getting faster. For the past 10 years, chips’ performance improvements have come from the addition of processing units known as cores. In theory, a program on a 64-core machine would be 64 times as fast as it would be on a single-core machine. But it rarely works out...
  • Analog computing returnsA transistor, conceived of in digital terms, has two states: on and off, which can represent the 1s and 0s of binary arithmetic. But in analog terms, the transistor has an infinite number of states, which could, in principle, represent an infinite range of mathematical values. Digital computing,...
  • CSAIL hosts 3rd annual Julia conference June 21-25The third Julia conference will take place June 21-25 at CSAIL. Named for the programming language that was developed at CSAIL, the conference features cutting-edge technical talks, hands-on workshops, a chance to rub shoulders with Julia's creators, and a weekend in a city known for its historical...
  • Eye-tracking system uses ordinary cellphone cameraFor the past 40 years, eye-tracking technology — which can determine where in a visual scene people are directing their gaze — has been widely used in psychological experiments and marketing research, but it’s required pricey hardware that has kept it from finding consumer applications. Researchers...
  • Artificial intelligence produces realistic sounds that fool humansFor robots to navigate the world, they need to be able to make reasonable assumptions about their surroundings and what might happen during a sequence of events. One way that humans come to learn these things is through sound. For infants, poking and prodding objects is not just fun; some...
  • Where bio, AI and engineering meetJames Weis began merging the biological and computational worlds early on. A young marine biology enthusiast, Weis was building coral reef ecosystems in his aquariums at home before he was a teenager. Unhappy with chain pet stores that kept their wild-caught fish and coral in poor conditions, Weis...
  • A method to image black holesResearchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Harvard University have developed a new algorithm that could help astronomers produce the first image of a black hole. The algorithm would stitch together data collected from radio telescopes scattered around the...
  • Super Mario Brothers isn't just hard - it's NP-hard.Completing a game of “Super Mario Brothers” can be hard — very, very hard. That’s the conclusion of a new paper from researchers at CSAIL, the University of Ottawa, and Bard College at Simon’s Rock. They show that the problem of solving a level in “Super Mario Brothers” is as hard as the hardest...
  • Automatic bug finderSymbolic execution is a powerful software-analysis tool that can be used to automaticallylocate and even repair programming bugs. Essentially, it traces out every path that a program’s execution might take. But it tends not to work well with applications written using today’s programming frameworks...
  • MIT team earns silver at ACM's global programming competitionThis week the MIT Progamming Team earned silver at the World Finals of the Association for Computing Machinery's 40th annual International College Programming Contest (ICPC) in Phuket, Thailand. The world's most prestigious programming contest, ICPC involves 300,000 students from two...
  • A learn-by-doing approach to codingComputer science and engineering, a.k.a. CS or Course 6-3, was the most heavily enrolled major at MIT in the 2015-2016 academic year, with 594 undergraduates. The major has grown rapidly over the last several years, and with this growth CS faculty noticed students were starting out with a range of...
  • MIT launches $5 billion "Campaign for a Better World"This past week MIT officially launched a new fundraising initiative aimed at advancing the institute's research and scholarship on some of the world's biggest challenges.  Called the "MIT Campaign for a Better World", the effort aims to raise $5 billion that will go towards topics like...
  • Ingestible origami robot can patch wounds inside your stomach!In experiments involving a simulation of the human esophagus and stomach, researchers at CSAIL, the University of Sheffield, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have demonstrated a tiny origami robot that can unfold itself from a swallowed capsule and, steered by external magnetic fields, crawl...
  • Ingestible origami robot can patch wounds inside your stomach!In experiments involving a simulation of the human esophagus and stomach, researchers at CSAIL, the University of Sheffield, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have demonstrated a tiny origami robot that can unfold itself from a swallowed capsule and, steered by external magnetic fields,...
  • New approach to genetic analysis yields markers linked to complex diseasesMany diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and schizophrenia, tend to be passed down through families. After researchers sequenced the human genome about 15 years ago, they had high hopes that this trove of information would reveal the genes that underlie these strongly heritable diseases. However,...
  • CSAIL PhD has sharp vision for visualizations and video gamesFor as long as Leilani Battle can remember, she has always loved video games. Raised mostly outside of Seattle, (her father was in the navy), Battle followed her affinity for games through her study of computer science at the University of Washington before applying to MIT. Her passion morphed into...
  • Lynch elected to the National Academy of SciencesCSAIL principal investigator Nancy Lynch is one of four MIT faculty members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of their “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”Lynch is the NEC Professor of Software Science and Engineering in the Department of...
  • The most memorable Game of Thrones characters, according to CSAIL researchersWith the “Game of Thrones” season starting this week, fans have been feverishly discussing the show and its many polarizing characters. Who’s the meanest? The sexiest? The most memorable?  For that last one, MIT scientists are on the case.  Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and...
  • NASA's humanoid robot lands at CSAILThis week MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) received an unusual package: a six-foot-tall, 300-pound humanoid robot that NASA hopes to have serve on future space missions to Mars and beyond.A team of researchers led by CSAIL principal investigator Russ Tedrake...
  • Team wins analytics award for work with Lahey ClinicA team from CSAIL has won a prestigious analytics award based on their research about how digitally-connected tools could be used to help diagnose brain disorders. 

A decade-long partnership between MIT professor Randall Davis and Dr. Dana Penney of the Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in...
  • Collision-free robots, guaranteedPlanning algorithms for teams of robots fall into two categories: centralized algorithms, in which a single computer makes decisions for the whole team, and decentralized algorithms, in which each robot makes its own decisions based on local observations. With centralized algorithms, if the...
  • Self-driving cars, meet rubber duckiesMIT has offered courses on everything from pirate training to “street-fighting math,” but a new robotics class is truly one for the birds. This spring, a hands-on course housed at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) took students on a trip to “Duckietown.” The...
  • First-ever 3-D printed robots made of both solids and liquidsOne reason we don’t yet have robot personal assistants buzzing around doing our chores is because making them is hard. Assembling robots by hand is time-consuming, while automation — robots building other robots — is not yet fine-tuned enough to make robots that can do complex tasks. But if...
  • System predicts 85 percent of cyber-attacks using input from human expertsToday’s security systems usually fall into one of two categories: human or machine. So-called “analyst-driven solutions” rely on rules created by living experts and therefore miss any attacks that don’t match the rules. Meanwhile, today’s machine-learning approaches rely on “anomaly detection,”...
  • The promise and perils of AI and social-messagingReprinted from Scientific American: Call your computer program a “bot” and people are going to make certain assumptions, many of them negative. Twitterbots have become notorious over the past few years for their propensity to remove the human element from the microblogging service—automatically...
  • Patching up Web applications By exploiting some peculiarities of the popular Web programming framework Ruby on Rails, CSAIL researchers have developed a system that can quickly comb through tens of thousands of lines of application code to find security flaws. In tests on 50 popular Web applications written using...
  • Who has worse drivers, Boston or NYC? This app will give us an answerIt’s a question that’s been debated as long as Bostonians and New Yorkers have existed - who are worse drivers? Thanks to a new app, we may finally get an answer.
  • “Flying Monkey” robot walks, grasps, and fliesA team that includes CSAIL researchers has designed a “flying monkey” robot that walks, grasps, flies, and clocks in at less than 1/10th of a pound. Modeled after the male stag beetle, the robot is part of a new class of robots capable of interacting with and modifying their surroundings, by using...
  • First-ever 3-D printed robots made of both solids and liquidsOne reason we don’t yet have robot personal assistants buzzing around doing our chores is because making them is hard. Assembling robots by hand is time-consuming, while automation — robots building other robots — is not yet fine-tuned enough to make robots that can do complex tasks. But if humans...
  • This MIT PhD has his fingers on the pulse of virtual-realityThese days the buzz around virtual reality (VR) has never been bigger. Last month VCs invested $800 million in a secretive venture called Magic Leap, while just this week major platforms have finally hit the market from HTC’s Vive and Facebook’s Oculus VR. Oculus’ highly anticipated system, the...
  • Wireless tech means safer drones, smarter homes and password-free WiFiWe’ve all been there, impatiently twiddling our thumbs while trying to locate a WiFi signal. But what if, instead, the WiFi could locate us? According to researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), it could mean safer drones, smarter homes, and password-...
  • How this $10 laser could help self-driving carsThe Microsoft Kinect was a boon to robotics researchers. The cheap, off-the-shelf depth sensor allowed them to quickly and cost-effectively prototype innovative systems that enable robots to map, interpret, and navigate their environments. But sensors like the Kinect, which use infrared light to...
  • Voice-controlled calorie counterFor people struggling with obesity, logging calorie counts and other nutritional information at every meal is a proven way to lose weight. The technique does require consistency and accuracy, however, and when it fails, it’s usually because people don't have the time to find and record all the...
  • Secure, user-controlled dataMost people with smartphones use a range of applications that collect personal information and store it on Internet-connected servers — and from their desktop or laptop computers, they connect to Web services that do the same. Some use still other Internet-connected devices, such as thermostats or...
  • CSAIL PhD has made seven robots, and still finds time to meditate.For Julian Straub, one man’s trash truly became his treasure when a microcontroller sparked a keen interest in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence. The German native is a fourth-year EECS student studying how robots can better understand their surroundings. Straub studied electrical...
  • U.S., EU leaders talk Web policy and world economy at MITAs the Internet has become a driving force in today’s global economy, governments have come to a stark realization: The world’s Web policies are inconsistent, imprecise, and in flux. One example is the “Safe Harbor” accord, a data-transfer agreement between the United States and the European Union...
  • System loads webpages 34% faster by fetching files more effectivelyThere are few things more frustrating than a slow-loading webpage. For companies, what’s even worse is what comes after: users abandoning their site in droves. Amazon, for example, estimates that every 100-millisecond delay cuts their profits by 1 percent.To help combat this problem, researchers...
  • CSAIL, University of Cambridge team up for “Cambridge 2 Cambridge” cybersecurity hackathonWith cyber-attacks and data privacy becoming increasingly important global concerns, many cybersecurity experts have called for more international collaboration in developing technologies to help us protect our data and systems.To that end, this past weekend students from MIT’s Computer Science...
  • Browsing in publicResearchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a new system that allows Web users to share self-selected aspects of their online activity with their friends and the general public. The hope is to give users themselves, as well as academics and...
  • NYT: "Smart robots make strides, but there's no need to flee just yet"In assessing AI anxiety, the New York Times offers "reassuring views from computer scientists who sense that the end is not nigh" because "machines are not nearly as clever, or necessarily as pernicious, as the fretters believe." CSAIL researchers Daniela Rus, Russ Tedrake and...
  • VIDEO: BB-8 droids deliver MIT admissions decisions!Admissions decisions are arriving soon from a galaxy far, far away. Decisions for the Class of 2020 come out on Pi Day 3/14, at (when else?) 6:28 p.m. ET.     To honor the occasion, the Admissions Office has released a new video starring Star Wars' BB-8 drones, which are...
  • Postdoc's Trump Twitterbot uses AI to train itself on transcripts from Trump speechesThink Donald Trump says crazy things? Just wait until you hear his Twitterbot. This week a postdoc at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) developed a Trump Twitterbot that Tweets out remarkably Trump-like statements, such as “I’m what ISIS doesn’t need.” The bot is based...
  • Madry and Moitra receive research fellowship from Sloan FoundationCSAIL principal investigators Aleksander Madry and Ankur Moitra are two of 11 at MIT to be among 126 American and Canadian researchers awarded the 2016 Sloan Research Fellowships, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced today.  Spanning 52 colleges and universities and awarded annually since...
  • Six steps to start-up success from serial entrepreneur Mike StonebrakerMost entrepreneurs would consider themselves lucky to launch a single company.For MIT’s Michael Stonebraker, try nine. A researcher at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, Stonebraker has founded and led nine different big-data spin-offs, including VoltDB, Tamr and Vertica - the...
  • Human-robot teams to the rescue!Autonomous robots performing a joint task send each other continual updates: “I’ve passed through a door and am turning 90 degrees right.” “After advancing 2 feet I’ve encountered a wall. I’m turning 90 degrees right.” “After advancing 4 feet I’ve encountered a wall.” And so on. Computers, of...
  • Risk, reward and robots Planning algorithms are widely used in logistics and control. They can help schedule flights and bus routes, guide autonomous robots, and determine control policies for the power grid, among other things. In recent years, planning algorithms have begun to factor in uncertainty — variations...
  • CSAIL researchers collaborate on brain-mapping consortium
  • Charles Leiserson elected to National Academy of EngineeringCSAIL researcher Charles E. Leiserson is one of three at MIT to be among the 80 new members and 22 foreign associates elected to the National Academy of Engineering. The Edwin Sibley Webster Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Leiserson was...
  • Computer science meets economicsDaedalus of Crete — who, according to Greek myth, designed the labyrinth that trapped the Minotaur — is one of the oldest symbols of human ingenuity, credited with the invention of the saw, the ax, glue, and the ship’s sail, among other things. Constantinos Daskalakis, a recently tenured associate...
Syndicate content