Dean of Engineering Thomas Magnanti announced that he has appointed Institute Professor Joel Moses as acting director of MIT's Engineering Systems Division, an academic and research division formed to tackle the large-scale engineering challenges of the 21st century.
On a muggy Saturday morning last summer, the Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood was humming with people. The Boston Symphony Orchestra followed conductor James Levine through a contemporary overture commissioned for his debut season in Boston.
One day at a movie theater in 1977, Helen Greiner met the man who would change her life. Like most, he had his flaws. He was too fat. His legs were stubby and his arms were too long. His voice was oddly pitched and flat. But to the 11-year-old girl transfixed by Star Wars , R2D2 was the most beautiful creature in the world. How crushed she was, then, to learn that he was operated by a human and not by some cutting-edge technology.
Scientists in developing countries may soon have better access to peer research on the Internet, thanks to a partnership between search specialists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Elsevier.
An interesting book appeared in the bookshop near my house this week. Roughly the size of a slender novel, its shiny black cover was dominated by a giant silver robot, zapping a hapless human victim with red laser beams coming out of its eyes. Its title was How to Survive a Robot Uprising.
If you want to travel to distant stars, or find life on another world, it takes a bit of planning. That's why NASA has established NIAC, the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts. For the past several years, NASA has been encouraging scientists and engineers to think outside the box, to come up with ideas just this side of science fiction. Their hope is that some of these ideas will pan out, and provide the agency with technologies it can use 20, 30, or 40 years down the road.
Parents used to accept routine vaccinations for their children without a second thought. But as more parents weigh the benefits of vaccination against the possible risks, some are hesitating, even resisting, those shots, as doctors struggle to persuade them of their safety. At stake is the health of a nation.
On December 3rd, 2005 over a quarter of a million people and one robot swam as part of the World Swim for Malaria. Money raised by the project will be used to buy mosquito nets to protect children from malaria.
Apple probably didn't intend it, but the iPod will likely prove to be an important stepping stone into solving a problem that has faced computer scientists for more than 30 years. Bruce Potter explains.
Recently MIT was ranked first among universities in the country for commitment to national service. In the tradition of service, CSAIL is pleased to announce that Google will partner with CSAIL's infrastructure group (TIG) to support the Fiji and Kenya Outreach projects.
In the sci-fi movie "The Matrix," a cable running from a computer into Neo's brain writes in visual perceptions, and Neo's brain can manipulate the computer-created world. In reality, scientists cannot interact directly with the brain because they do not understand enough about how it codes and decodes information.
MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Nokia Research Center today announced a research collaboration to advance the state of the art in mobile computing and communications technologies.
The Direct Marketing Association, an industry group for companies that send people pitches they didn't ask for, announced the other day that its members will now stand at the front lines in the war on spam.
Here's a seemingly simple puzzle.
Place four coins on the bottom row of circles (G, D, E, and R), leaving the letters MARTIN exposed. Your challenge is to slide the coins along the paths joining the circles so that the four coins cover the top row of circles (M, T, I, and blank), exposing the letters GARDNER.
A CWE/Springboard Enterprise Bootcamp has been held each year since 2000. This years all-day event was a "...workshop designed to provide entrepreneurs with the tools they need to successfully develop and execute a venture capital presentation." For women thinking about starting their own business, this information is invaluable.
ARLINGTON, Virginia -- With the exception of military and space applications, the United States is falling behind Europe and Asia in robotics research, according to an international study by the World Technology Evaluation Center.
MIT faculty research on the roots and future reach of the U.S. Constitution -- from a renowned historian's new book on how the Constitution was originally ratified to a media scholar's study of how rights of free expression relate to video games such as Grand Theft Auto -- bring Constitution Day, Sept. 17, to life on campus.
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Researchers Discover Key to Human Embryonic Stem-Cell Potential
What exactly makes a stem cell a stem cell? The question may seem simplistic, but while we know a great deal of what stem cells can do, we don't yet understand the molecular processes that afford them such unique attributes.
It's no surprise that Erik Demaine counts juggling among his hobbies. The 24-year-old--a home-schooled child prodigy who became M.I.T.'s youngest professor ever at age 20--picks off one arcane math problem after another. "I work on anything I consider fun," he says. "I'm a geek." Demaine, who has already co-written more than 100 papers, specializes in the computational theory of folded structures, most notably the mathematics underlying origami.
Thirty-three members of the NASA Robotic internship program visited CSAIL in early August. Their tour included a a visit to the Model- based Embedded and Robotic Systems Group and the Humanoid Robotics Group.
The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has proposed a next-generation Internet with built-in security and functionality that connects all kinds of devices, with researchers challenging the government agency to look at the Internet as a "clean slate".
Much has been said about the political, religious and historical rifts that divide Israelis from Palestinians, but two MIT students have found something young people from these groups have in common: an interest in technology.
Determina(TM) Inc. today
announced its CTO, Saman Amarasinghe, and two co-founders from MIT, Derek
Bruening and Vladimir Kiriansky, are all recipients of the highly-regarded
InfoWorld's Innovator 2005 award. The full story and results appear in the
August 1, 2005, edition of InfoWorld and are available online at
Professor Emeritus Robert Fano receives an Honorary Degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the Politecnico di Torino. Professor Fano was born in Torino, Italy, and did most of his undergraduate work at the School of Engineering of Torino before coming to the United States in 1939.
Microsoft Research today
announced the first five recipients of its New Faculty Fellowship Awards, a
new program that honors early-career university professors who demonstrate
exceptional talent for novel research and thought leadership in their
Dr. Tom Leighton, co-founder and chief scientist of Akamai Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM), the leading global service provider for accelerating content and business processes online, will present testimony tomorrow before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science.
Many domains in the real world are richly structured, containing a diverse set of objects, related to each other in a variety of ways. For example, a living cell contains a rich network of interacting genes, that come together to perform key functions. A robot scan of a physical environment contains diverse objects such as people, vehicles, trees, or buildings, each of which might itself be a structured object. And a website contains a set of interlinked webpages, representing diverse kinds of entities. This talk describes a rich language based on probabilistic graphical models, which allows us to model domains such as these.
Quanta Computer, Inc. and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today announced a five-year, $20M joint research collaboration project ("TParty") aimed at developing the next generation of platforms for computing and communication beyond personal computers.
MIT's version of the "robotoddler" is just the latest MIT entry in the world of robots that can move themselves in a variety of settings. There's still a long way to go before today's robots evolve into practical, everyday technologies, but even now, autonomous robotic vehicles developed at MIT are exploring uncharted or hazardous places, assisting troops in combat and performing household tasks.
For years biologists have used computer models and high-performance computers to simulate and understand living processes. More recently, computer scientists have drawn inspiration from biology to immunize information systems against malware and to create algorithms that mutate without human intervention. In all such cases, the underlying computer architecture has remained traditional and unremarkable -- software running on silicon-based digital processors.
A team of three Chinese researchers have compromised the SHA-1 hashing algorithm at the core of many of today's mainstream security products. Top cryptographers said users can still rely on today's SHA-1-based systems and applications, but next-generation products will need to move to new algorithms.
"Some people don't even think this exists," says Dr. Erik Demaine, turning in his hands an elaborately folded paper structure. The intricately pleated sail-like form swooshes gracefully in a compound curve and certainly looks real enough - if decidedly tricky to make.
AS ONE, Segfrieda and I zoom past trash cans and dingy doughnut shops through the damp streets of Oakland, California. If I lean forwards, forwards we glide. If I lean backwards, backwards we glide. If I do neither, we simply balance on our own two wheels, as paradoxically stable as a hippopotamus on a beach ball.
Freely distributed open-source software like the Linux operating system has become increasingly popular, but one cloud over its future has been legal risk. So far, most of the lawsuits have involved claims that software code owned by someone else found its way into a cooperative programming project.
A handful of small, boxy robots scurried across the floor in a row, their red, blue and green lights blinking. Suddenly they broke into song -- "Hi ho, hi ho. It's off to work we go" -- and then scattered in all directions.
In January, students at M.I.T. are let off the leash to follow their fancies. The annual monthlong Independent Activities Period is a playground for the mind, offering courses, seminars, and special events devoted to everything from energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy to poetry reading. There's glassblowing, building spacecraft for mice, and the all-important coolest-stuff-made-of-duct-tape competition. "I wish I didn't teach an IAP," says Drew Endy, an assistant professor in biological engineering. "I'd take a whole bunch of the courses."
Researchers and technology companies alike want to move from today's speech recognition systems with their highly restricted vocabularies and unnatural pauses between words (think: directory assistance or booking a train ticket) to the Star Trek or 2001: A Space Odyssey (the HAL 2000) scenario where computers can engage in spontaneous conversation. But teaching computers to understand and respond to completely naturally spoken dialogue is, in the words of one expert, like teaching computers to breathe.