News Archive 2004

  • Sliding-block Puzzles

    The December issue of The Economist contains an article with a prominent question. Has an inventor found the hardest possible simple sliding-block puzzle? It goes on to describe the Quzzle puzzle, by Jim Lewis. The article finishes with "Mr Lewis claims that Quzzle, as he dubs his invention, is...

  • A Fond Farewell to Agnes Chow

    Many members of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory gathered on December 7th, 2004 to say goodbye to Assistant Director Agnes Chow and wish well at her new position as Administrative Officer for the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.


  • The laboratory shaping our future

    • Building innovation into the walls
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  • The laboratory shaping our future

    That at least is the intention of researchers working on some of almost 400 separate projects that make up the Computer Sciences and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory's (CSAIL) grand research project into "pervasive computing."


  • Buildings Become Information Systems

    The transparent enterprise is characterized by increased data integration possibilities across formerly stovepiped databases. Now, even the buildings that house our transparent enterprises are becoming transparent themselves. In response to the demands of energy efficiency, security, lower...

  • Six MIT students win Marshall and Rhodes scholarships

    Three MIT students are among the 40 Marshall Scholars who will study at Oxford and Cambridge universities next year. Another three students won Rhodes Scholarships to study at Oxford University, joining a group of 47 North American scholars selected from more than 900 candidates.


  • MIT Wants to Make Computing as Easy as Breathing

    Anant Agarwal led me from his bright corner office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology down a hall to his glass-walled research lab, warning that I would laugh when I saw the latest "handheld" computer built to test his futuristic microprocessor.

    Read more:http://www....

  • Dertouzos Lecturer Series: Professor Jon Kleinberg


    The working metaphor for the Web in its early days was that of a `universal encyclopedia,' a repository containing vast amounts of human knowledge. More recently, our view has shifted to incorporate more dynamic forms of information and a more explicit `time axis' -- the Web...

  • DSL Prime: Commissioner or Dogcatcher?

    DSL Prime revises its nominations to the FCC, examines real CPE costs, and shows how other countries are plotting a path to nationwide broadband availability.

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  • Folding, folding, folded: Origami creates beauty from repetition

    True, they rattled paper throughout the 90-minute lecture, but the audience--rapt, eager, enthusiastic--hung on every word from the lips of origami master Robert Lang as he demonstrated the basics of the art and described, in a very rudimentary way, the mathematics behind it.

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  • Unfolding origami's secrets

    Robert J. Lang says origami is like music. If that's so, he writes its symphonies. Lang, who comes to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this week to give a series of lectures and workshops on the art and theory of origami, combines a firm grounding in mathematics with a refined aesthetic...

  • A speedy recipe for supercomputing

    Building a supercomputer used to take a long time. Not any more, according to results from the TOP500 list, a record compiled by computer scientists in the United States and Germany that officially ranks the speed of these machines twice a year.

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  • I Was Where Woz Was: Location-Aware Computing

    Woz loves the hands-on challenges of engineering. His joy in problem solving is coupled with an inspiration to "provide something that the masses can use" without having to "mold themselves to the technology." The challenge in creating the Apple I, he said, was to take the technology that...

  • RFID Rights

    With all of the excitement last month about the Food and Drug Administration approving an implantable radio frequency identification device (RFID), it’s easy to forget that the first place that many Americans will encounter RFID is not in their arms, but at the gas pump, on their key chains, and...

  • MIT's Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation Awards $669,000 in Grants to Faculty Research Projects

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation today announced it issued eight grants -- five new projects and three renewals -- totaling $669,000 from a pool of 34 applicants in its fall round of proposals. The grants, awarded to MIT faculty in...

  • MIT neuroscientist, cryptologist reverse Red Sox curse

    Last spring, the Boston Red Sox honored 2 MIT faculty members with the chance to throw the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway. Did it play a part in last night's triumphant win? We don't know for sure, but Rivest and Tonegawa both have their theories.

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  • Microchip imperfections could cut cloning

    Imperfections unique to every microchip can be used to make them impossible to clone. The technique’s inventor claims that this will make banking or ID smart cards impossible to copy, and perhaps halt the illicit global trade in counterfeit computer games consoles.

    Read more:http://www....

  • Location Reigns Supreme With Future PCs

    "Location, location, location" may be the mantra for real estate tycoons. But according to a panel of experts on location-based services, the same mantra holds true for the future of cell phones and mobile computers.

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  • Human side of greatness recalled

    In a touching tribute to "the gentleman of science," several hundred people gathered yesterday at the Salk Institute in La Jolla to honor the late Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA's structure.

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  • Theory predicts the uneven distribution of genetic diversity within species

    Links directly to segment in Real Audio Format

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  • Researchers Identify the Genome's Controlling Elements

    Scientists have churned out genome sequences for everything from fungi to dogs to chimps, and they won't be letting up any time soon. However, because a genome sequence is little more than a static list of chemicals-like, say, a parts list for a 747 airplane-scientists are increasingly turning...

  • Proving That Shape-Shifting Robots Can Get A Move On

    It started with tennis balls. As a former collegiate tennis player, Daniela Rus habitually rolls two tennis balls around in her hand as she paces her office. As a robotics researcher at Dartmouth College, she wondered why the tennis balls shouldn’t be able to roll themselves around.


  • Pentagon Revives Memory Project

    It's been seven months since the Pentagon pulled the plug on LifeLog, its controversial project to archive almost everything about a person. But now, the Defense Department seems ready to revive large portions of the program under a new name.

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  • Cracking the Cellular Code

    In the past few years, biologists have churned out the entire genetic sequence of dozens of organisms, including humans, dogs, mosquitoes, rats, and bacteria. But these strings of genes amount to the most basic molecular parts list, not much more helpful to deciphering how the genes combine to...

  • Stata Center Construction - Photo Gallery

    Emily Corbato:

    Note: some of these photographs can be viewed at the following exhibit:

    EMILY CORBATO, photographer exhibits Monuments and Memories at the McCoy Gallery, Merrimack College



  • The Power of Coincidence

    The life of psychiatrist Elisabeth Targ was haunted by coincidences. Her father, physicist Russell Targ, cofounded the Stanford Research Institute to investigate psychic phenomena. Elisabeth participated in his ESP experiments, and he encouraged her to "remotely view" and predict her birthday...

  • Domestic bliss through mechanical marvels?

    Never mind the humanoid Automated Domestic Assistants walking rich people's pets in the movie I, Robot, or the accordion-armed Robot B9 in TV classic Lost in Space warning of danger on lonely planets.

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    Biology is the nanotechnology that works. Or so says Tom Knight, a senior researcher at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That's a startling statement, especially when it's coming from a computer scientist.

    Read more:http://www.smalltimes....

  • Summarizer gets the idea

    The flow of a document, including the topics covered and the ways those topics relate to each other, is clear to people. It would be useful if computer systems that process documents -- like search engines and programs that generate summaries of news articles -- could also learn to consider...

  • Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

    Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium, was dubbed a Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II during an investiture in London on July 16. The rank of Knight Commander is the second most senior rank of the Order of...

  • Conference was held in Greece, celebrating the life of Prof. Michael Dertouzos

    A conference was held on July 10-11, 2004 on the island of Andros, Greece, celebrating the life of Prof. Michael Dertouzos, the late director of the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science. It was organized by the Society of Scientists from Andros, Michael's native island. Attendees from MIT...

  • Rethinking the Computer- Project Oxygen is turning out prototype computer systems

    Howie Shrobe's light fixtures are misbehaving this morning. When the principal research scientist in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory instructs the system that automates parts of his office to "stay awake," a voice emanating from a set of speakers obediently replies, "...

  • Peppercoin

    Peppercoin's technology was invented Professors Silvio Micali and Ron Rivest, founders of the Cryptography and Information Security Group at the Massachusetts...

  • Experts worry that synthetic biology may spawn biohackers

    Design automation systems tailored to the task of genetic engineering could prove to be double-edged tools. While they represent a central thrust of the emerging synthetic biology movement, they also can lead to the accidental or deliberate creation of pathogenic biological components.


  • CSAIL Spin Off Spotlight: Peppercoin

    Peppercoin's technology was invented Professors Silvio Micali and Ron Rivest, founders of the Cryptography and Information Security Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer...

  • Oxygen burst - MIT is readying new technologies that put humans in the center of computing

    Three years ago, Michael Dertouzos, the high-spirited director of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science, spelled out his vision of a future in which computers recede into the background as enabling tools. ''I don't want us to be slaves to our machines," he declared. ''I want our machines to...

  • BioBricks to help reverse-engineer life

    Leaders of a new movement are kicking off the first Synthetic Biology 1.0 conference at the Massachussets Institute of Technology this week. "Synthetic biology" is the blanket term for a multidisciplinary attempt to identify a class of standard operational components that can be assembled into...

  • Electronic voting: Moving beyond the ballot box

    Computer scientists gathered in Piscataway, New Jersey, recently and bobbed their heads into an odd-looking contraption for a glimpse of emerging technology that might just help make the digital world safer for democracy

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  • The Swarm Keeper

    When James McLurkin was a high school junior on Long Island, N.Y., he built his first robot: a toy car that he rigged with a keypad, an LED display and a squirt gun. Then he programmed the unit to travel to the next room and "engage the target." His parents—the target in question—got a good...

  • High School Students Win Prize for Origami Algorithm

    Kids, computational origami is something you can do on your own. That's what James Colovos and John Reid, two juniors at the Albuquerque Public Schools Career Enrichment Center, discovered over the past six months as they developed a computational origami science fair project with inspiration...

  • Cryptologist tries to break curse, not code

    He can lock up a secret -- but can he lock into baseball's strike zone?

    That was the question for MIT cryptology expert Ronald Rivest, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch in Fenway Park before the Red Sox took on their arch-rivals, the New York Yankees, on April 16.


  • Dertouzos Lecturer Series: Professor Dan Huttenlocher

    Professor Dan Huttenlocher from Cornell University gave a talk titled "The Computer Science of Computer Vision"on April 29, 2004.


    It has been forty years since the first attempts to build computers that see.

    In limited domains such as industrial...

  • Dertouzos Lecturer Series: Professor Scott Shenker

    Professor Scott Shenker from ICSI Berkeley gave a talk titled "Distributed Hash Tables and Internet Architecture" on April 15, 2004.


    The explosive growth but primitive design of early peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing systems led the research community to develop a...

  • Algorithms That Changed the World

    Sometimes, algorithms that change the world arise not as research for its own sake, but to answer a pressing need. One example of this type of innovation is encryption, which was created to defend against code-breakers who seek to steal or eavesdrop on vital data.

    Read more:http://www....

  • Dertouzos Lecturer Series: Professor Anna Karlin

    Professor Anna Karlin of the University of Washington gave a talk titled "Mechanism Design for Fun and Profit" on April 8, 2004.


    The emergence of the Internet as one of the most important arenas for resource sharing between parties with diverse and selfish...

  • MIT's Deshpande Center gives latest round of grants

    The MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation has issued its newest grant round, giving out a total of $612,000.

    The Deshpande Center awarded eight grants selected from 38 proposals. The center gave four Ignition grants, which fund proof-of-concept explorations, and four...

  • David Hendricks: MIT's maverick view of intellectual property worth considering

    The idea of intellectual property is a wonderful thing, especially as it becomes more widely understood.

    Intellectual property laws allow tangible and intangible things like words, music, images, design, software, technology and inventions of all kinds to gain value by protecting that...

  • Slideshow: Robots to Get Boss Upgrades

    PackBot EOD's three-link arm extends to approximately 7 feet. The robot can automatically position its arm to give its operator the best possible view of a suspected explosive device. iRobot Chairman and Co-Founder Helen Greiner, right describes the action of the arm to an attendee.


  • CSAIL Member Butler Lampson shares Draper Prize

    The engineering profession's highest honors for 2004, presented by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), recognize a technological achievement that has changed almost every aspect of our lives and an innovative educational program that has produced hundreds of leaders. The Charles Stark...

  • Three faculty members elected to NAE

    Three MIT professors are among the 76 new members of the National Academy of Engineering.

    Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions an engineer can receive. Academy membership honors those who have made "important contributions to engineering theory and practice...