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

  • Reshaping computer-aided design Almost every object we use is developed with computer-aided design (CAD). Ironically, while CAD programs are good for creating designs, using them is actually very difficult and time-consuming if you’re trying to improve an existing design to make the most optimal product.
  • Artificial intelligence suggests recipes based on food photos There are few things social media users love more than flooding their feeds with photos of food. Yet we seldom use these images for much more than a quick scroll on our cellphones.
  • Watch 3-D movies at home, sans glassesWhile 3-D movies continue to be popular in theaters, they haven’t made the leap to our homes just yet — and the reason rests largely on the ridge of your nose. Ever wonder why we wear those pesky 3-D glasses? Theaters generally either use special polarized light or project a pair of images that...
  • Watch 3-D movies at home, sans glasses While 3-D movies continue to be popular in theaters, they haven’t made the leap to our homes just yet — and the reason rests largely on the ridge of your nose.
  • Using chip memory more efficiently For decades, computer chips have increased efficiency by using “caches,” small, local memory banks that store frequently used data and cut down on time- and energy-consuming communication with off-chip memory. Today’s chips generally have three or even four different levels of cache, each of...
  • Practical parallelism The chips in most modern desktop computers have four “cores,” or processing units, which can run different computational tasks in parallel. But the chips of the future could have dozens or even hundreds of cores, and taking advantage of all that parallelism is a stiff challenge. Researchers...
  • Peering into neural networks Neural networks, which learn to perform computational tasks by analyzing large sets of training data, are responsible for today’s best-performing artificial intelligence systems, from speech recognition systems, to automatic translators, to self-driving cars. But neural nets are black boxes...
  • Computer system predicts products of chemical reactions When organic chemists identify a useful chemical compound — a new drug, for instance — it’s up to chemical engineers to determine how to mass-produce it. There could be 100 different sequences of reactions that yield the same end product. But some of them use cheaper reagents and lower...
  • Drones that drive Being able to both walk and take flight is typical in nature — many birds, insects, and other animals can do both. If we could program robots with similar versatility, it would open up many possibilities: Imagine machines that could fly into construction areas or disaster zones that aren’t...
  • Origami anything In a 1999 paper, Erik Demaine — now a CSAIL principal investigaor, but then an 18-year-old PhD student at the University of Waterloo, in Canada — described an algorithm that could determine how to fold a piece of paper into any conceivable 3-D shape. It was a milestone paper in the...
  • New technique makes brain scans better People who suffer a stroke often undergo a brain scan at the hospital, allowing doctors to determine the location and extent of the damage. Researchers who study the effects of strokes would love to be able to analyze these images, but the resolution is often too low for many analyses.
  • Shrinking data for surgical training Laparoscopy is a surgical technique in which a fiber-optic camera is inserted into a patient’s abdominal cavity to provide a video feed that guides the surgeon through a minimally invasive procedure. Laparoscopic surgeries can take hours, and the video generated by the camera — the...
  • Teaching robots to teach other robotsMost robots are programmed using one of two methods: learning from demonstration, in which they watch a task being done and then replicate it, or via motion-planning techniques such as optimization or sampling, which require a programmer to explicitly specify a task’s goals and constraints...
  • Giving robots a sense of touch Eight years ago, Ted Adelson’s research group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) unveiled a new sensor technology, called GelSight, that uses physical contact with an object to provide a remarkably detailed 3-D map of its surface. Now, by mounting...
  • CSAIL principal investigator receives two ACM SIGSOFT awardsThis week the Association for Computer Machinery presented CSAIL principal investigator Daniel Jackson with the 2017 ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award for his pioneering work in software engineering. (This fall he also received the ACM SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award for his research method for...
  • Wearable system helps visually impaired users navigate Computer scientists have been working for decades on automatic navigation systems to aid the visually impaired, but it’s been difficult to come up with anything as reliable and easy to use as the white cane, the type of metal-tipped cane that visually impaired people frequently use to...
  • Danielle Olson: Building empathy through computer science and art Communicating through computers has become an extension of our daily reality. But as speaking via screens has become commonplace, our exchanges are losing inflection, body language, and empathy. Danielle Olson ’14, a first-year PhD student at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial...
  • Armando Solar-Lezama: Academic success despite an inauspicious start When Armando Solar-Lezama was a third grader in Mexico City, his science class did a unit on electrical circuits. The students were divided into teams of three, and each team member had to bring in a light bulb, a battery, or a switch.
  • Using Bitcoin to prevent identity theft  A reaction to the 2008 financial crisis, Bitcoin is a digital-currency scheme designed to wrest control of the monetary system from central banks. With Bitcoin, anyone can mint money, provided he or she can complete a complex computation quickly enough. Through a set of clever protocols...
  • New funding enables work on Internet policy and cybersecurity for key infrastructure Today, MIT’s cross-disciplinary Internet Policy Research Initiative (IPRI) announced that it has awarded $1.5 million to a select group of principal investigators for early-stage Internet policy and cybersecurity research projects. “Each project is aimed to support innovative research in...
  • Graduate student receives ACM Doctoral Dissertation AwardThis week the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) awarded MIT CSAIL graduate student Haitham Hassanieh the Doctoral Dissertation Award for his work in creating efficient algorithms for computing the Sparse Fourier Transform (SFT).Hassanieh, who was a grad student in CSAIL Professor...
  • Creating interactive websites, apps with HTMLEver wish your website could be edited right from the browser?A CSAIL team has developed “Mavo,” a language that lets you create and edit interactive websites and apps with nothing more than HTML.
  • Cinematography on the fly In recent years, a host of Hollywood blockbusters — including “The Fast and the Furious 7,” “Jurassic World,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” — have included aerial tracking shots provided by drone helicopters outfitted with cameras. Those shots required separate operators for the drones and...
  • Teaching robots to teach other robots Most robots are programmed using one of two methods: learning from demonstration, in which they watch a task being done and then replicate it, or via motion-planning techniques such as optimization or sampling, which require a programmer to explicitly specify a task’s goals and constraints.
  • Eric Schmidt visits MIT to discuss computing, artificial intelligence, and the future of technologyWhen Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt started programming in 1969 at the age of 14, there was no explicit title for what he was doing. “I was just a nerd,” he says. But now computer science has fundamentally transformed fields like transportation, health care and education, and also...
  • Eric Schmidt visits MIT to discuss computing, artificial intelligence, and the future of technology When Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt started programming in 1969 at the age of 14, there was no explicit title for what he was doing. “I was just a nerd,” he says. But now computer science has fundamentally transformed fields like transportation, health care and education, and also...
  • Detecting walking speed with wireless signals We’ve long known that blood pressure, breathing, body temperature and pulse provide an important window into the complexities of human health. But a growing body of research suggests that another vital sign – how fast you walk – could be a better predictor of health issues like...
  • Genuine enthusiasm for AI On an afternoon in early April, Tommi Jaakkola is pacing at the front of the vast auditorium that is 26-100. The chalkboards behind him are covered with equations. Jaakkola looks relaxed in a short-sleeved black shirt and jeans, and gestures to the board. “What is the answer here?” he asks...
  • Srini Devadas wins IEEE’s McDowell AwardThis week it was announced that CSAIL principal investigator Srini Devadas is the 2017 recipient of the IEEE W. Wallace McDowell Award, given for “fundamental contributions that have shaped the field of secure hardware, impacting circuits, microprocessors, and systems.” The McDowell Award is given...
  • Learn a language while you wait for WiFi Hyper-connectivity has changed the way we communicate, wait, and productively use our time. Even in a world of 5G wireless and “instant” messaging, there are countless moments throughout the day when we’re waiting for messages, texts, and Snapchats to refresh. But our frustrations with...
  • Explained: Neural networks In the past 10 years, the best-performing artificial-intelligence systems — such as the speech recognizers on smartphones or Google’s latest automatic translator — have resulted from a technique called “deep learning.”
  • D. Fox Harrell promoted to full professorIt was recently announced that CSAIL principal investigator D. Fox Harrell will be promoted to full professor in July.

 Harrell is Professor of Digital Media (July 1st, 2017) in both the Comparative Media Studies Program and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. His...
  • CSAIL director Daniela Rus wins Engelberger Robotics AwardThis week CSAIL Director Daniela Rus was presented with the Engelberger Robotics Award recipient for her instrumental work as a leader, educator, and pioneer in the field of robotics. The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) presented the award at Automate 2017 and the International Symposium on...
  • Tim Berners-Lee wins $1 million Turing Award MIT Professor Tim Berners-Lee, the researcher who invented the World Wide Web and is one of the world’s most influential voices for online privacy and government transparency, has won the most prestigious honor in computer science, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) A.M. Turing...
  • Tim Berners-Lee wins $1 million Turing Award, "the Nobel Prize for computing"MIT Professor Tim Berners-Lee, the researcher who invented the World Wide Web and is one of the world’s most influential voices for online privacy and government transparency, has won the most prestigious honor in computer science, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) A.M. Turing Award...
  • Study shows dangers of distracted drivingUsing mobile data, CSAIL spinoff Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) released a new study on the dangers of distracted driving that found that phone distraction occurred in the majority (52 percent) of all crashes.CMT’s apps give users insight and tangible information into their habits and actions...
  • MIT experts urge Trump administration to take immediate action on cybersecurityIn a world where hackers can sabotage power plants and impact elections, there has never been a more crucial time to examine cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, most of which is privately owned. According to MIT experts, over the last 25 years presidents from both parties have paid...
  • MIT experts urge Trump administration to take immediate action on cybersecurityIn a world where hackers can sabotage power plants and impact elections, there has never been a more crucial time to examine cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, most of which is privately owned. According to MIT experts, over the last 25 years presidents from both parties have...
  • Faster page loads A webpage today is often the sum of many different components. A user’s home page on a social-networking site, for instance, might display the latest posts from the users’ friends; the associated images, links, and comments; notifications of pending messages and comments on the user’s own...
  • Toward printable, sensor-laden “skin” for robots In this age of smartphones and tablet computers, touch-sensitive surfaces are everywhere. They’re also brittle, as people with cracked phone screens everywhere can attest. Covering a robot — or an airplane or a bridge — with sensors will require a technology that is both flexible and cost-...
  • Protecting web users’ privacy Most website visits these days entail a database query — to look up airline flights, for example, or to find the fastest driving route between two addresses. But online database queries can reveal a surprising amount of information about the people making them. And some travel sites have...
  • A better TCP? System lets you test alternatives 20x faster & w/o changing hardware The transmission control protocol, or TCP, which manages traffic on the internet, was first proposed in 1974. Some version of TCP still regulates data transfer in most major data centers, the huge warehouses of servers maintained by popular websites.
  • Security for multirobot systemsDistributed planning, communication, and control algorithms for autonomous robots make up a major area of research in computer science. But in the literature on multirobot systems, security has gotten relatively short shrift.
  • Security for multirobot systems Distributed planning, communication, and control algorithms for autonomous robots make up a major area of research in computer science.
  • Daniel Zuo: Creative approaches to connectivity Distributed planning, communication, and control algorithms for autonomous robots make up a major area of research in computer science.
  • New AI tool improves cognitive testing One good piece of news in recent years is that people around the world are living longer. The downside to this news is that older age exposes more of us to varieties of cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people with this...
  • Cutting down the clutter in online conversations From Reddit to Quora, discussion forums can be equal parts informative and daunting. We’ve all fallen down rabbit holes of lengthy threads that are impossible to sift through. Comments can be redundant, off-topic or even inaccurate, but all that content is ultimately still there for us to...
  • Former White House adviser to lead new cybersecurity project at MITToday MIT announced that a former major White House adviser is joining the Institute to direct a new project focused on cybersecurity and the economy. R. David Edelman served on President Obama's National Economic Council, National Security Council and the Office of Science and Technology Policy....
  • AI beats pros at Super Smash Bros.Game-playing artificial intelligence has proved to be a game-changer for even the most seasoned veterans.
  • Brain-controlled robots For robots to do what we want, they need to understand us. Too often, this means having to meet them halfway: teaching them the intricacies of human language, for example, or giving them explicit commands for very specific tasks. But what if we could develop robots that were a more natural...
Syndicate content