Tag: MIT Schwarzman College of Computing

The intersection of math, computers, and everything else

Shardul Chiplunkar, a senior in Course 18C (mathematics with computer science), entered MIT interested in computers, but soon he was trying everything from spinning fire to building firewalls. He dabbled in audio engineering and glass blowing, was a tenor for the MIT/Wellesley Toons a capella group, and learned to sail. “When I was entering MIT, […]

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Helping people understand and track their health

About half of all women over 50 will experience a broken bone at some point. Those injuries can lead to major setbacks in function and independence from which some patients never fully recover. Fortunately, maintaining bone density can prevent such injuries. One way to maintain bone health is by getting adequate levels of calcium and […]

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3 Questions: Can we fix our flawed software?

Sometimes, software is just like us. It can be bloated, slow, and messy. Humans might see a doctor if these symptoms persist (maybe not for messiness), but rarely do we push a flawed software program to go see its developer time and time again.  The answer to why our software is flawed is ensnared in […]

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MIT ID cards go digital

MIT community members have a new and easier way to navigate campus life at the Institute: the MIT Mobile ID, a digital version of the MIT ID card for iOS and Android devices. Developed prior to the pandemic and released by Information Systems and Technology (IS&T), the MIT Mobile ID can be used just like […]

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Popular new major blends technical skills and human-centered applications

Annie Snyder wasn’t sure what she wanted to major in when she arrived on campus. She drifted toward MIT’s most popular major, electrical engineering and computer science (EECS), also known as Course 6, but it didn’t feel like quite the right fit. She was interested in computer science but more passionate about understanding how technology […]

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Community policing in the Global South

Community policing is meant to combat citizen mistrust of the police force. The concept was developed in the mid-20th century to help officers become part of the communities they are responsible for. The hope was that such presence would create a partnership between citizens and the police force, leading to reduced crime and increased trust. […]

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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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Provost Martin Schmidt named president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

MIT Provost Martin Schmidt has been named as the 19th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the nation’s oldest technological research university. Schmidt, who earned his BS in electrical engineering at RPI in 1981, will assume its presidency on July 1, 2022. He has spent more than 40 years at MIT as a student, faculty member, […]

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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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The reasons behind lithium-ion batteries’ rapid cost decline

Lithium-ion batteries, those marvels of lightweight power that have made possible today’s age of handheld electronics and electric vehicles, have plunged in cost since their introduction three decades ago at a rate similar to the drop in solar panel prices, as documented by a study published last March. But what brought about such an astonishing […]

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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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At UN climate change conference, trying to “keep 1.5 alive”

After a one-year delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, negotiators from nearly 200 countries met this month in Glasgow, Scotland, at COP26, the United Nations climate change conference, to hammer out a new global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate impacts. A delegation of approximately 20 faculty, staff, and students from […]

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Electrochemistry, from batteries to brains

Bilge Yildiz’s research impacts a wide range of technologies. The members of her lab study fuel cells, which convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity (and water). They study electrolyzers, which go the other way, using electricity to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen. They study batteries. They study corrosion. They even study computers that attempt […]

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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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Dexterous robotic hands manipulate thousands of objects with ease

At just one year old, a baby is more dexterous than a robot. Sure, machines can do more than just pick up and put down objects, but we’re not quite there as far as replicating a natural pull toward exploratory or sophisticated dexterous manipulation goes.  Artificial intelligence firm OpenAI gave it a try with Dactyl […]

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Giving robots social skills

Robots can deliver food on a college campus and hit a hole-in-one on the golf course, but even the most sophisticated robot can’t perform basic social interactions that are critical to everyday human life. MIT researchers have now incorporated certain social interactions into a framework for robotics, enabling machines to understand what it means to […]

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Mentorship programs for underrepresented applicants strive to increase graduate diversity at MIT

Graduate students from a range of departments and programs at MIT have launched application assistance programs targeting student applicants from underrepresented backgrounds.  The Graduate Application Assistance Programs (GAAPs) are run by volunteer graduate students and recent alumni dedicated to increasing diversity in their programs. Last year, GAAP mentors reached out to as many as 1,000 […]

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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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MIT collaborates with Biogen on three-year, $7 million initiative to address climate, health, and equity

MIT and Biogen have announced that they will collaborate with the goal to accelerate the science and action on climate change to improve human health. This collaboration is supported by a three-year, $7 million commitment from the company and the Biogen Foundation. The biotechnology company, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Kendall Square, discovers and develops therapies […]

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3 Questions: Maaya Prasad and Kathleen Esfahany on vision, perception, and the poetry of science

If you’re a frequent commuter through Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, or a visitor to Massachusetts General Hospital, you might catch a glimpse of an art exhibit featuring some familiar faces. The exhibit, “The Poetry of Science,” pairs photographs of notable scientists, including MIT students and researchers, with poems about their research areas of interest. […]

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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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School of Science appoints 11 faculty members to named professorships

The School of Science has announced that 11 faculty members have been appointed to named professorships. These positions offer additional support to professors to advance their research and develop their careers. Andrew Babbin was named a Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Professor. A marine biogeochemist, Babbin studies the processes that return fixed nitrogen in […]

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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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Women’s Technology Program 2021: The sweet sound of success

Each year, a new cohort of high school students come to MIT’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus to learn not only about STEM, but about their own potential to excel. The Women’s Technology Program (WTP), now in its 19th year, brings high school students with little-to-no engineering and computer science experience to Cambridge every summer for an […]

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Making machine learning more useful to high-stakes decision makers

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in seven children in the United States experienced abuse or neglect in the past year. Child protective services agencies around the nation receive a high number of reports each year (about 4.4 million in 2019) of alleged neglect or abuse. With so many cases, […]

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One autonomous taxi, please

If you don’t get seasick, an autonomous boat might be the right mode of transportation for you.  Scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Senseable City Laboratory, together with Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) in the Netherlands, have now created the final project in their self-navigating trilogy: […]

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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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MIT welcomes Virginia Rometty as its next Visiting Innovation Fellow

Virginia M. “Ginni” Rometty, a business leader and champion of diversity in the workplace, will serve as the next MIT Visiting Innovation Fellow for the coming academic year. Formerly chairperson, president, and CEO of IBM, Rometty helped streamline the company’s portfolio by transforming it into a leader in AI, hybrid cloud, and quantum computing, both […]

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