Tag: Profile

Making her way through MIT

Lucy Du, a doctoral student in the MIT Media Lab, has a remarkable passion for making. She spends her work day in lab designing and fabricating prosthetics, and devotes her free time to personal projects in the MIT MakerWorkshop or inspiring other students to try their hands at engineering. “The best feeling is when I […]

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Six MIT students named 2023 Schwarzman Scholars

Five MIT seniors — Sihao Huang, William Kuhl, Giramnah Peña-Alcántara, Sreya Vangara, and Kelly Wu — and graduate student Tingyu Li have been awarded 2022-23 Schwarzman Scholarships. They will head to Tsinghua University in Beijing next August to pursue a one-year master’s degree in global affairs. The students will also receive leadership training, career development, […]

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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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3 Questions: Tolga Durak on building a safety culture at MIT

Environment, Health, and Safety Managing Director Tolga Durak heads a team working to build a strong safety culture at the Institute and to implement systems that lead to successful lab and makerspace operations. EHS is also pursuing new opportunities in the areas of safe and sustainable labs and applied makerspace research.  Durak holds a BS […]

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Silicon Valley beckoned, but he went home to Delaware

During his first year at MIT, Max Williamson felt lost and unsure of his long-term goals. By spring, he faced what felt like a career-altering decision: pursue a coveted summer computer science research position at MIT or return home to Delaware and intern for his senator. His friends thought he was crazy to pursue public […]

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Rewriting the operating manual

Suppose you were designing a system to allocate organ donations for the greater good. From one perspective, an optimized program might give organs to the youngest possible recipient, to maximize the number of life-years gained from each organ donation. However, such a system would likely be regarded as discriminatory based on its use of age, […]

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Chemist and MLK Jr. Scholar Robert Gilliard explores new frontiers in synthetic chemistry

Almost 15 years ago, Robert Gilliard posed for a photo in front of MIT’s Great Dome. At the time, he was an undergraduate at Clemson University visiting MIT with his research advisor, former MIT postdoc and Clemson University professor Rhett Smith. Just last month, Gilliard arranged a similar photo in front of the dome. This […]

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Investigating pathogens and their life cycles, for the benefit of society

Desmond Edwards was a little kid when first learned about typhoid fever. Fortunately, he didn’t have the disease. He was looking at a cartoon public health announcement. The cartoon, produced by the Pan American Health Organization, was designed to educate people in his home country of Jamaica about the importance of immunizations for diseases like […]

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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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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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An aspiring human rights lawyer, wielding tools from mathematics and philosophy

Ana Reyes Sanchez and her family sat in the living room, watching a movie together, just like any other night. Although she can’t recall which movie it was, she remembers seeing a shot of MIT’s Great Dome surrounded by students, and declaring, “I’m gonna go there!” Her parents smiled, thinking little of what that their […]

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Diagnosing cancer with a barcode-inspired test

As Dana Al-Sulaiman peers into a microscope, a row of dots appears on a slide. These dots can help provide a cancer diagnosis. Al-Sulaiman was inspired by barcodes found on consumer products. “I got the idea from my PhD supervisor, who said, ‘in the future you’ll be able to scan a diagnostic test like you’re […]

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Mark Vogelsberger: Simulating galaxy formation for clues to the universe

For all its brilliant complexity, the Milky Way is rather unremarkable as galaxies go. At least, that’s how Mark Vogelsberger sees it. “Our galaxy has a couple features that might be a bit surprising, like the exact number of structures and satellites around it,” Vogelsberger muses. “But if you average over a lot of metrics, […]

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Solving puzzles of international trade, war, and order

For Mariya Grinberg, the start of a research project often begins with a near-tangible sense of irritation. “I’d read something, a definition or idea that doesn’t make sense, that seems logically inconsistent — and it prickles,” says Grinberg, who joined the Department of Political Science as an assistant professor on July 1. “I try to […]

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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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Cynthia Breazeal named senior associate dean for open learning

Cynthia Breazeal has joined MIT Open Learning as senior associate dean, beginning in the Fall 2021 semester. The MIT professor of media arts and sciences and head of the Personal Robots group at the MIT Media Lab is also director of MIT RAISE, a cross-MIT initiative on artificial intelligence education. At MIT Open Learning, Breazeal […]

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Improving management everywhere

In the Indian state of Karnataka, many smallholder farmers have traditionally sold their products to intermediaries — wholesale traders who turn around and resell the goods for a quick profit. Much of the dealing between farmers and those traders has occurred locally, and farmers do not typically know what should be a “fair” price for […]

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Putting artificial intelligence at the heart of health care — with help from MIT

Artificial intelligence is transforming industries around the world — and health care is no exception. A recent Mayo Clinic study found that AI-enhanced electrocardiograms (ECGs) have the potential to save lives by speeding diagnosis and treatment in patients with heart failure who are seen in the emergency room. The lead author of the study is […]

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At the crossroads of language, technology, and empathy

Rujul Gandhi’s love of reading blossomed into a love of language at age 6, when she discovered a book at a garage sale called “What’s Behind the Word?” With forays into history, etymology, and language genealogies, the book captivated Gandhi, who as an MIT senior remains fascinated with words and how we use them. Growing […]

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From triathlons to aerospace, Caitlin Braun MBA ’21, SM ’21 pursues passions for leadership and manufacturing

Caitlin Braun MBA ’21, SM ’21 covers ground as an Ironman triathlete — and scales new heights at J&E Precision Tool, which provides parts to the aerospace and defense industries. As J&E’s director of strategy and process improvement, she focuses on streamlining efficiency across three J&E companies nationwide, focusing on high-precision parts for missile defense. […]

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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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Citizens emerge from the slums

Do the world’s nearly 1 billion urban poor, who subsist without legal housing, reliable water and sewer infrastructure, and predictable employment, lack political engagement as well? Ying Gao does not buy the claim by many social scientists that social and economic marginalization necessarily means political marginalization. “My results contradict the prevailing wisdom about slums and […]

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Lindsey Backman: Biochemist, mentor, and advocate

Raised in Tampa, Florida, Lindsey Backman takes pride in her family’s history and its role in the vibrant Cuban American community there. She remembers the weekends she would spend as a kid, getting café con leche with her grandparents and dancing in the studio with her friends. The cultural experiences she shared with friends, family, […]

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Data flow’s decisive role on the global stage

In 2016, Meicen Sun came to a profound realization: “The control of digital information will lie at the heart of all the big questions and big contentions in politics.” A graduate student in her final year of study who is specializing in international security and the political economy of technology, Sun vividly recalls the emergence […]

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Taking on the stormy seas

On his first day of classes at the Technical University of Athens’ School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Themistoklis Sapsis had a very satisfying realization. “I realized that ships and other maritime structures are the only ones that operate at the interface of two different media: air and water,” says Sapsis. “This property alone […]

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New views of autocracy emerge from historic archives

“There’s a stereotype of dictatorship where one person decides everything, but that’s not always how politics works in an authoritarian regime,” says Emilia Simison, a sixth-year doctoral student in political science. Since 2015, Simison has been able to access and study documents that chronicle the lawmaking machinery of some of the past century’s most notorious […]

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Making self-driving cars safer through keener robot perception

Aviation became a reality in the early 20th century, but it took 20 years before the proper safety precautions enabled widespread adoption of air travel. Today, the future of fully autonomous vehicles is similarly cloudy, due in large part to safety concerns. To accelerate that timeline, graduate student Heng “Hank” Yang and his collaborators have […]

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A teacher’s education in Haiti

Eli Brooks was only supposed to stay in Haiti for a few weeks. Like many college students, the mechanical engineering senior’s original plans for the summer of 2020 were scrapped due to the pandemic. He had an opportunity to volunteer at Have Faith Haiti Mission and Orphanage in Port-au-Prince for four weeks. As his month […]

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