Tag: Computer science and technology

Artificial intelligence that understands object relationships

When humans look at a scene, they see objects and the relationships between them. On top of your desk, there might be a laptop that is sitting to the left of a phone, which is in front of a computer monitor. Many deep learning models struggle to see the world this way because they don’t […]

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In MIT visit, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston ’05 explores the accelerated shift to distributed work

When the cloud storage firm Dropbox decided to shut down its offices with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, co-founder and CEO Drew Houston ’05 had to send the company’s nearly 3,000 employees home and tell them they were not coming back to work anytime soon. “It felt like I was announcing a snow day or […]

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Design’s new frontier

In the 1960s, the advent of computer-aided design (CAD) sparked a revolution in design. For his PhD thesis in 1963, MIT Professor Ivan Sutherland developed Sketchpad, a game-changing software program that enabled users to draw, move, and resize shapes on a computer. Over the course of the next few decades, CAD software reshaped how everything […]

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Pushing the limits of electronic circuits

Ruonan Han’s research is driving up the speeds of microelectronic circuits to enable new applications in communications, sensing, and security. Han, an associate professor who recently earned tenured in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, focuses on producing semiconductors that operate efficiently at very high frequencies in an effort to bridge what is […]

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Theoretical breakthrough could boost data storage

A trio of researchers that includes William Kuszmaul — a computer science PhD student at MIT — has made a discovery that could lead to more efficient data storage and retrieval in computers. The team’s findings relate to so-called “linear-probing hash tables,” which were introduced in 1954 and are among the oldest, simplest, and fastest […]

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Toward speech recognition for uncommon spoken languages

Automated speech-recognition technology has become more common with the popularity of virtual assistants like Siri, but many of these systems only perform well with the most widely spoken of the world’s roughly 7,000 languages. Because these systems largely don’t exist for less common languages, the millions of people who speak them are cut off from […]

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Avoiding shortcut solutions in artificial intelligence

If your Uber driver takes a shortcut, you might get to your destination faster. But if a machine learning model takes a shortcut, it might fail in unexpected ways. In machine learning, a shortcut solution occurs when the model relies on a simple characteristic of a dataset to make a decision, rather than learning the […]

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Taming the data deluge

An oncoming tsunami of data threatens to overwhelm huge data-rich research projects on such areas that range from the tiny neutrino to an exploding supernova, as well as the mysteries deep within the brain.  When LIGO picks up a gravitational-wave signal from a distant collision of black holes and neutron stars, a clock starts ticking […]

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Creating dynamic symmetry in quantum systems

Physicists and engineers have long been interested in creating new forms of matter, those not typically found in nature. Such materials might find use someday in, for example, novel computer chips. Beyond applications, they also reveal elusive insights about the fundamental workings of the universe. Recent work at MIT both created and characterized new quantum […]

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Artificial intelligence sheds light on how the brain processes language

In the past few years, artificial intelligence models of language have become very good at certain tasks. Most notably, they excel at predicting the next word in a string of text; this technology helps search engines and texting apps predict the next word you are going to type. The most recent generation of predictive language […]

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Saving seaweed with machine learning

Last year, Charlene Xia ’17, SM ’20 found herself at a crossroads. She was finishing up her master’s degree in media arts and sciences from the MIT Media Lab and had just submitted applications to doctoral degree programs. All Xia could do was sit and wait. In the meantime, she narrowed down her career options, […]

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These neural networks know what they’re doing

Neural networks can learn to solve all sorts of problems, from identifying cats in photographs to steering a self-driving car. But whether these powerful, pattern-recognizing algorithms actually understand the tasks they are performing remains an open question. For example, a neural network tasked with keeping a self-driving car in its lane might learn to do […]

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New integrative computational neuroscience center established at MIT’s McGovern Institute

With the tools of modern neuroscience, researchers can peer into the brain with unprecedented accuracy. Recording devices listen in on the electrical conversations between neurons, picking up the voices of hundreds of cells at a time. Genetic tools allow us to focus on specific types of neurons based on their molecular signatures. Microscopes zoom in […]

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Thriving Stars: An initiative to improve gender representation in electrical engineering and computer science

The MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science announced yesterday the Thriving Stars initiative, a new effort to improve gender representation in MIT’s largest doctoral graduate program. “All types of representation are vital to EECS at MIT, and Thriving Stars will unify multiple disparate efforts focusing on women and other underrepresented genders,” says Asu […]

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Refugee learners aim to lift up their communities

The MIT Refugee Action Hub (ReACT) recently celebrated the graduation of its third Certificate in Computer and Data Science cohort in an online ceremony. ReACT is a yearlong online learning program that creates education-to-employment pathways for talented refugees and displaced populations. The graduating cohort of 50 learners represented 22 countries worldwide — by far the […]

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Hamed Okhravi is named co-chair of DARPA cybersecurity study

Hamed Okhravi, a cybersecurity expert and senior staff member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, has been named a co-chair of a new study for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). Titled “Cyber Moonshot: Accelerating Security of Systems with Emerging Technologies (ASSET),” the study will tackle questions of how to implement computer systems that are foundationally […]

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Budding coders create apps aimed at real-world impact

How can computer science be used to help make the world a better place? It’s a lofty question, but one that drives the team behind MIT App Inventor, a virtual programming platform that allows budding programmers of all ages to create their own apps. Following a year of disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the […]

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The language of change

Ryan Conti came to MIT hoping to find a way to do good things in the world. Now a junior, his path is pointing toward a career in climate science, and he is preparing by majoring in both math and computer science and by minoring in philosophy. Language for catalyzing change Philosophy matters to Conti […]

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Using AI and old reports to understand new medical images

Getting a quick and accurate reading of an X-ray or some other medical images can be vital to a patient’s health and might even save a life. Obtaining such an assessment depends on the availability of a skilled radiologist and, consequently, a rapid response is not always possible. For that reason, says Ruizhi “Ray” Liao, […]

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Making health and motion sensing devices more personal

Previous definitions of “well-being,” limited to taking a brisk walk and eating a few more vegetables, feel in many ways like a distant past. Shiny watches and sleek rings now measure how we eat, sleep, and breathe, calling on a combination of motion sensors and microprocessors to crunch bytes and bits.  Even with today’s variety […]

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How quickly do algorithms improve?

Algorithms are sort of like a parent to a computer. They tell the computer how to make sense of information so they can, in turn, make something useful out of it. The more efficient the algorithm, the less work the computer has to do. For all of the technological progress in computing hardware, and the […]

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MIT named No. 2 university by U.S. News for 2022

MIT has placed second in U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings of the nation’s best colleges and universities, announced today. The Institute shares the No. 2 spot with Columbia University and Harvard University. As in past years, MIT’s engineering program continues to lead the list of undergraduate engineering programs at a doctoral institution. The […]

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