October 24

Add to Calendar 2018-10-24 17:15:00 2018-10-24 18:15:00 America/New_York Hot Topics in Computing - Challenges and Opportunities for Self-Driving Cars We will describe some of the challenges and opportunities in autonomyresearch today, with a focus on trends and lessons in self-drivingcar research.  We will discuss some of the major challenges and research opportunities in self-driving, including building and maintaininghigh-resolution maps, interacting with humans both inside and outsideof vehicles, dealing with adverse weather, and achieving sufficientlyhigh detection with low probabilities of false alarms in challengingsettings.  We will discuss the promise of Deep Learning and theopportunities of developing Parallel Autonomy systems, in which highlyautomated algorithms operates in parallel with human operators, withthe aim of achieving the best of both human and autonomous control.John J. Leonard is Samuel C. Collins Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). His research addresses the problems of navigation and mapping for autonomous mobile robots. He holds the degrees of B.S.E.E. in Electrical Engineering and Science from the University of Pennsylvania (1987) and D.Phil. in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford (1994). He is an IEEE Fellow (2014). Professor Leonard is currently on sabbatical leave from MIT serving as Vice President for Autonomous Driving Research at Toyota Research Institute, where he is performing research to improve vehicle safety using autonomous driving technologies. 32-G449/Patil Conference Room Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

April 24

CyberWork and the American Dream

Elizabeth Cobbs and Jim Shelley
Add to Calendar 2019-04-24 16:30:00 2019-04-24 18:00:00 America/New_York CyberWork and the American Dream In "CyberWork and the American Dream", a new 56-minute documentary, a look at the past gives hope for the future: Throughout history, new technology has always caused problems in labor markets, and humanity always finds innovative ways to persevere. Join Elizabeth Cobb, writer, and Jim Shelley, director of the documentary for a screening and discussion on A.I. and the future of work moderated by Daniela Rus.Light refreshments will be served by 4:15pm, and the program starts at 4:30. 32-G449 Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

October 02

Saving Spaceship Earth

Dava Newman
AeroAstro / MIT
Add to Calendar 2019-10-02 16:30:00 2019-10-02 17:30:00 America/New_York Saving Spaceship Earth Light refreshments will be served at 4:00pm, talk begins at 4:30pm.Abstract:From solar electric propulsion to cutting edge life support systems, advanced space suit design, to the first crops grown in space, the journey to Mars is already unfolding in tangible ways today for tomorrow. However, Mars is not ‘Plan B’. Spaceship Earth, our pale blue dot, is the most magnificent planet to inhabit. Professor Dava Newman, former Deputy Administrator of NASA, MIT Apollo Professor of Astronautics at MIT, and an expert in space technology and policy, offers an orbital view of planet Earth’s interconnected systems through supercomputer data visualizations and stories to demonstrate risks, actions and solutions.Biography: Dr. Dava Newman is the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Harvard–MIT Health, Sciences, and Technology faculty member. She is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow for excellence and outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. She is the MIT Director of the MIT Portugal Program (MPP2030). Her research expertise is in multidisciplinary aerospace biomedical engineering investigating human performance across the spectrum of gravity. She is a leader in advanced space suit design, dynamics and control of astronaut motion, leadership development, innovation and space policy. Newman was the principal investigator on 4 spaceflight missions. The Space Shuttle Dynamic Load Sensors (DLS) experiment measured astronaut-induced disturbances of the microgravity environment on mission STS-62. An advanced system, the Enhanced Dynamic Load Sensors experiment, flew on board the Russian Mir Space Station from 1996–1998. Dr. Newman was a Co-Investigator on the Mental Workload and Performance Experiment (MWPE) that flew to space on STS-42 to measure astronaut mental workload and fine motor control in microgravity. She also developed the MICR0-G space flight experiment to provide a novel smart sensor suite and study human adaptation in extreme environments. She is the MIT PI on the Gravity Loading Countermeasure Suit, or Skinsuit, onboard the International Space Station as an ESA technology demonstration 2015-2017. Best known for her second skin BioSuit™ planetary EVA system, her advanced spacesuits inventions are now being applied to “soft suits/exoskeletons” to study and enhance locomotion on Earth. Recently, she co-founded EarthDNA with partner Guillermo Trotti to accelerate solutions for spaceship Earth’s Ocean, Land and Air subsystems by curating near-space satellite data to make the world work for 100% of humanity. Newman is the author of Interactive Aerospace Engineering and Design, and has published more than 250 papers in journals and refereed conferences, and holds numerous compression technology patents. She has supervised 90 graduate student theses and supervised and mentored over 200 undergraduate researchers.She served as NASA Deputy Administrator from 2015–2017, and along with the NASA Administrator was responsible for articulating the agency's vision, providing leadership and policy direction, and representing NASA to the White House, Congress, international space agencies, and industry. Dr. Newman was the first female engineer and scientist to serve in this role and was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. She championed the human journey to Mars, technology and innovation, and education. Recent honors include: Lowell Thomas Award, Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, AIAA Fellow, AIAA Jeffries Aerospace Medicine and Life Sciences Research Award, and Women in Aerospace Leadership Award. Patil Seminar Room 32-G449 Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

February 06

Private Event

HotTopics: Quantum Computational Supremacy and Its Applications

Prof. Scott Aaronson
The University of Texas at Austin
Add to Calendar 2020-02-06 16:00:00 2020-02-06 17:00:00 America/New_York HotTopics: Quantum Computational Supremacy and Its Applications Abstract:This fall, a team at Google announced the first-ever demonstration of "quantum computational supremacy"---that is, a clear quantum speedup over a classical computer for some task---using a 53-qubit programmable superconducting chip called Sycamore. In addition to the engineering accomplishment, Google's experiment built on a decade of research in quantum complexity theory, some of which we did at MIT with students including Alex Arkhipov and Lijie Chen. This talk will discuss questions like: what exactly was the contrived problem that Google solved? How does one verify the outputs using a classical computer? And how confident are we that the problem is classically hard---especially in light of subsequent counterclaims by IBM? I'll end with a proposed application for Google's experiment---namely, the generation of certified random bits, for use (for example) in proof-of-stake cryptocurrencies---that I've been developing and that Google is now working to demonstrate.Bio: Scott Aaronson is David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his bachelor's from Cornell University and his PhD from UC Berkeley. Before coming to UT Austin, he spent nine years as a professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Aaronson's research in theoretical computer science has focused mainly on the capabilities and limits of quantum computers. His first book, Quantum Computing Since Democritus, was published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press. He received the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award, the United States PECASE Award, the Vannevar Bush Fellowship, the Tomassoni-Chisesi Prize in Physics, and MIT's Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching.Light refreshments will be served at 3:45pm Patil/Kiva Seminar room Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

March 04

March 11

March 20

Add to Calendar 2020-03-20 14:00:00 2020-03-20 15:00:00 America/New_York Coronaviruses and COVID-19: The basic biology behind the epidemic Virtual talk via Zoom: https://mit.zoom.us/j/443735780 One tap mobile +16465588656,,443735780# US (New York)+16699006833,,443735780# US (San Jose)Dial US : +1 646 558 8656 or +1 669 900 6833Meeting ID: 443 735 780International Numbers: https://mit.zoom.us/u/aiS2rJKBOabstract: Dr. Lin will describe the basic biology of coronaviruses and the disease COVID-19, projections for the current epidemic, and review medications currently in clinical trials.bio: Michael Lin is Associate Professor of Neurobiology, Bioengineering, and Chemical and Systems Biology at Stanford University. The Lin lab applies biochemical and engineering principles to the development of protein-based tools for investigating biology in living animals. Topics of investigation include fluorescent protein-based voltage indicators, synthetic light-controllable proteins, bioluminescent reporters, and applications to studying animal models of disease.Michael Lin received an A.B. summa cum laude in Biochemistry from Harvard in 1994, a PhD in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from Harvard Medical School in 2002, and a MD degree from UCLA in 2004. Dr. Lin then received postdoctoral training with Chemistry Nobel Laureate Roger Y. Tsien at UCSD. Dr. Lin was appointed Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Bioengineering at Stanford in 2009, and Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Bioengineering in 2015. At Stanford, Dr. Lin leads a research group developing protein-based tools for imaging and controlling biological processes. Among these are methods adapting antiviral drugs and viral proteases to control protein stability and contruct synthetic signaling circuits. Dr. Lin is a recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists, a Rita Allen Scholar Award, a Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award, the NIH Pioneer Award, and the World Molecular Imaging Society Roger Y. Tsien Award. Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

March 24

Private Event

An Invitation to Computational Epidemiology

Ankur Moitra and Elchanan Mossel
Add to Calendar 2020-03-24 14:00:00 2020-03-24 15:00:00 America/New_York An Invitation to Computational Epidemiology Join Zoom: https://mit.zoom.us/j/475800555One tap mobile +16465588656,,475800555# US (New York)Meeting ID: 475 800 555Abstract:Many researchers, us included, have been interested in the mathematical, statistical and computational problems in epidemiology. However with the outbreak of COVID-19, these problems have taken on a completely different level of urgency. In this talk we will introduce some of the basic problems in computational epidemiology, and will open up the discussion to ways that computational thinking can contribute.Bios:Ankur Moitra is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at MIT and a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). Prior to that, he was an NSF CI Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, and also a senior postdoc in the computer science department at Princeton University. He completed his PhD and MS at MIT in 2011 and 2009 respectively, where he was advised by Tom Leighton and was supported by a Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellowship. He received a George M. Sprowls Award (best thesis) and a William A. Martin Award (best thesis) for his doctoral and master's dissertations. He has worked in numerous areas of algorithms, including approximation algorithms, metric embeddings, combinatorics and smoothed analysis, but lately has been working at the intersection of algorithms and machine learning.Elchanan Mossel works in probability, combinatorics and inference. His interests include combinatorial statistics, discrete Fourier analysis, randomized algorithms, computational complexity, Markov random fields, social choice, game theory, evolution and the mathematical foundations of deep learning. His research in discrete function inequalities, isoperimetry and hypercontractiviting led to the proof that Majority is Stablest and confirmed that optimality of the Goemans-Williamson MAX-CUT algorithm under the unique games conjecture from computational complexity. His research has resolved open problems in computational biology, machine learning, social choice theory and economics. Elchanan Mossel received the B.Sc. from The Open University in Israel in 1992. He received both the M.Sc. (1997) and Ph.D. (2000) degrees in mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Microsoft Research Theory Group and a Miller Fellow at U.C. Berkeley. He joined the U.C. Berkeley faculty in 2003 where he was a professor of statistics and computer science. Prof Mossel is on the senior faculty of the Mathematics Department, with a jointly core faculty appointment at the Statistics and Data Science Center of MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems and Society (IDSS). Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

March 26

Add to Calendar 2020-03-26 14:00:00 2020-03-26 15:00:00 America/New_York Pandemic Updates and Recommended Actions Join Zoom Meeting: https://mit.zoom.us/j/326183751One tap mobile:+16465588656,,326183751# US (New York)+16699006833,,326183751# US (San Jose)Meeting ID: 326 183 751US : +1 646 558 8656 or +1 669 900 6833Abstract: NECSI relative to COVID-19: https://necsi.edu/corona-virus-pandemichttps://www.endcoronavirus.orgBio:Prof. Yaneer Bar-Yam received his SB and PhD in physics from MIT in 1978 and 1984 respectively. Since the late 1980s he has contributed to founding the field of complex systems science, introducing fundamental mathematical rigor, real world application, and educational programs for new concepts and insights of this field. In developing new mathematical methods and in their application he has published on a wide range of scientific and real world problems ranging from cell biology to the global financial crisis.He has advised the Chairman’s Action Group at the Pentagon about global social unrest and the crises in Egypt and Syria, the National Security Council and the National Counter Terrorism Council on global strategy, the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group about military force transformation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about delivery of prevention services and control of hospital infections, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Congressman Barney Frank about market regulation and the financial crisis, and other government organizations, NGOs, and corporations on using principles and insights from complex systems science.His development of multiscale representations as a generalization of renormalization group addressed the limitations of calculus and statistics in the study of nonlinear and network system dependencies in collective behaviors. His recent work quantitatively analyzes the origins and impacts of market crashes, social unrest, ethnic violence, military conflict and pandemics, the structure and dynamics of social networks, as well as the bases of creativity, panic, evolution and altruism. He is the author of over 200 research papers in professional journals, including Science, Nature, PNAS, American Naturalist, and Physical Review Letters, has 3 patents, and has given 175 invited presentations. His work on the causes of the global food crisis was cited among the top 10 scientific discoveries of 2011 by Wired magazine.He is the author of two books: a textbook Dynamics of Complex Systems, and Making Things Work, which applies complex systems science to solving problems in healthcare, education, systems engineering, international development, and ethnic conflict. He has taught the concepts and methods of complex systems science to over 2,000 graduate students, professionals and executives. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He is currently Research Scientist at the MIT Media Laboratory.He chaired the International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS) and is the managing editor of a Springer book series on complexity. His work has been described in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Die Zeit, Le Monde, Time, The Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, Wired, Fast Company, Forbes, Slate, Mother Jones, and Vice, among others. He has appeared on ABC News, Canada’s CTV, RT, BBC Radio, NPR Radio, and other national media outlets. His scientific visualizations received recognition as “best of” from Wired in 2011 and 2013, and from Motherboard in 2013. Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

March 31

Private Event

Effectiveness of social distancing strategies

Alex Pentland and Esteban Moro
Add to Calendar 2020-03-31 14:00:00 2020-03-31 15:00:00 America/New_York Effectiveness of social distancing strategies Join Zoom Meeting https://mit.zoom.us/j/795615592One tap mobile +16465588656,,795615592# US (New York)+16699006833,,795615592# US (San Jose)Meeting ID: 795 615 592US : +1 646 558 8656 or +1 669 900 6833International Numbers: https://mit.zoom.us/u/aiS2rJKBOAbstract: The current situation of emergency is global. As of March 22nd 2020, there are more than 23 countries with more than 1.000 infected cases by COVID-19, in the exponential growth phase of the disease. Furthermore, there are different mitigation and suppression strategies in place worldwide, but many of them are based on enforcing, to a more or less extent, the so-called social distancing. The impact and outcomes of the adopted measures are yet to be contrasted and quantified. Therefore, realistic modeling approaches could provide important clues about what to expect and what could be the best course of actions. Such modeling efforts could potentially save thousands, if not millions of lives. Our report contains preliminary results that aim at answering the following questions in relation to the spread and control of the COVID-19 pandemic:- What is the expected impact of current social distancing strategies?- How long should such measures need to be in place?- How many people will be infected and at which social level?- How do R(t) and the epidemic dynamic change based on the adopted strategies?- What is the probability of having a second outbreak, i.e., a reemergence?- If there is a reemergence, how much time do we have to get ready?- What is the best strategy to minimize the current epidemic and get ready for a second wave?Key findings:-School closures do not have a major impact on controlling the epidemic, despite closing them, infections keep occurring within the households and the community layers.-Passive social distance strategies are not enough to contain the epidemic, indicating that active strategies need to be established. For instance, large scale testing, remote symptoms monitoring, isolation and contact tracing.-School closures and self-distancing at 90% of adoption is a feasible strategy for minimizing the effects of the epidemic, but only if they are applied for a long period of time.-A full confinement is not feasible and will not solve the problem, without active measures in place after the confinement, since there would be a new outbreak.-If high resolution mobility data is available, our data-driven approach with real world data can be easily replicated for new cities or countries to measure the impact of social distance strategies and the epidemic.Bios: Esteban Moro is a researcher, data scientist and professor at MIT IDSS (visiting) and Universidad Carlos III (UC3M) in Spain (tenured). He was previously researcher at University of Oxford. He is affiliate faculty at Joint Institute UC3M-Santander on Big Data at UC3M and the Joint Institute of Mathematical Sciences (Spain). He has published extensively throughout his career (more than 80 articles) and have led many projects funded by government agencies and/or private companies.Esteban's work lies in the intersection of big data and computational social science, with special attention to human dynamics, collective intelligence, social networks and urban mobility in problems like viral marketing, natural disaster management, or economical segregation in cities. Apart from his academic career he has worked closely with companies like Twitter, Telefónica or BBVA in the use of massive datasets to understand problems like how humans communicate, how to political opinion spreads in social networks or building alternative wellbeing indexes. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the “Shared University Award” from IBM in 2007 for his research in modeling viral marketing in social networks and the “Excellence in Research” Awards in 2013 and 2015 from UC3M.Esteban's work appeared in major journals including PNAS or Science Advances and is regularly covered by media outlets The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, El País (Spain).Professor Alex 'Sandy' Pentland directs MIT Connection Science, an MIT-wide initiative housed within IDSS, helped create and direct the MIT Media Lab, and has an h-index of 137. He is on the Board of the UN Foundations' Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, co-led the World Economic Forum discussion in Davos that led to the EU privacy regulation GDPR, and was central in forging the transparency and accountability mechanisms in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. His recent books are Trusted Data (MIT Press), Social Physics (Penguin), and Honest Signals (MIT Press). Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu

April 02

Add to Calendar 2020-04-02 14:00:00 2020-04-02 15:00:00 America/New_York Telemedicine and AI-based approaches for coronovirus and other time-sensitive health emergency situations Join Zoom Meeting: 

 One tap mobile
+16465588656,,277582146# (New York) or 
+16699006833,,277582146# (San Jose)

Abstract:Healthcare is increasingly adopting a three pronged approach that involves: (i) personnel in proximity to the patient; (ii) domain experts who may be located in another city, state, or country; and (iii) computer-based analytics and other IT-based processes. Prudent application of such approaches can offer better quality of healthcare, faster access to proper attention and advice, and lower costs too. In the context of the evolving telehealth ecosystem, the discussion will include coverage of the aspects of knowledge acquisition, knowledge discovery, knowledge management, and knowledge dissemination, with greater focus on interoperability and its critical role in the use of telehealth in pandemic and other situations. In the US, 911 led to a major reform of the banking industry and the immediate adoption of automated processes for reading and processing of bank checks. Can coronavirus lead to a similar change in the healthcare industry and catalyze the widespread adoption of telehealth practices? What is the role of computer science departments and other departments at universities and what are the critical success factors to attain a better world? Examples of successful and unsuccessful strategies from US (Massachusetts, New York, Arizona, and California) and foreign countries will be used.Bio:Dr. Amar Gupta has spent most of his career fostering innovative technologies and processes, and then helping with their deployment on a global basis. He worked earlier at MIT as Principal Research Scientist and Senior Research Scientist. Then he moved from Boston to serve as Endowed and Tenured Professor at two universities. At the first university, he held several concurrent appointments including Professor of Computer Science, Professor of Public Health, and Professor of Law. At the second one, he served concurrently as Dean of Computer Science and Information Systems. In 2015, he rejoined MIT initially as Visiting Professor.Dr. Gupta was a founding Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Internet Technology and an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. He has published over 70 papers with the largest subset in CS journals. Dr. Gupta has served as Advisor to World Health Organization and other leading international and national organizations, as well as major corporations. At MIT, he developed and taught the course Telehealth and Telemedicine for Global Health; it was co-listed as 6.884 in Spring of 2018 and its details are available at the MIT Stellar site. More details about Dr. Gupta and his activities are available at: news.mit.edu/2018/removing-health-care-barriers-and-boundaries-amar-gupta-telemedicine-0522 Belfer sarah_donahue@hks.harvard.edu