CSAIL researchers' competition videos prove that “science is awesome”

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by Adam Conner-Simons

As part of the Cambridge Science Festival this week, Two CSAIL graduate students helped organize a video competition aimed at proving the inherently “awesome” nature of science.

At Tuesday's SciEx, co-hosted by WBUR Radio, researchers from across campus screened short films about a variety of topics ranging from ultracold atoms to Aero-Astro spacesuits, which were then voted on by their peers.

Earning second place in the competition was visiting researcher Tom Bertossi’s flashy profile of CSAIL’s Distributed Robotics Lab, which featured the group’s exciting projects involving M Blocks, robotic fish, printable bots and more.

CSAIL PhD student Abe Davis was also a big hit at the event with his spoof rap song
“Super Sexy Science,” which included such couplets as “what I want is what I’m confessin’/ to fit to your curves like polynomial regression.”

SciEx 2014, which drew nearly 250 attendees, was organized by Zoya Bylinskii and Adrian Dalca, who do research on memory and medical image analysis, respectively.

“We want to change the image of science, and promote scientists and engineers to rock-star status,” they said in the event’s mission statement. “We want to give younger generations new idols to look up to, and new topics to gain interest in.”

"We thought the MIT community had what it takes, and we were not disappointed," said Bylinskii. "What we got were videos that show science as cool, extreme, sexy, fun, and beautiful."

Take a look at all of the videos on the event website.