March 20, 2017
After serving as the U.S. Energy Secretary for nearly four years, Prof. Ernest Moniz has returned to MIT as a part time physics professor and special adviser to President L. Rafael Reif, reports the Associated Press.
A new study by Prof. Daniel Rothman provides evidence that by 2100 the world’s oceans may hold enough carbon to trigger a sixth mass extinction, reports Alyssa Meyers for The Boston Globe. Rothman found that if, “310 gigatons of carbon dioxide are added to the oceans, it could be a crucial tipping point for the carbon cycle.”
Rana el Kaliouby, co-founder of MIT spinoff Affectiva, speaks to Asma Khalid from WBUR’s Bostonomix about her company’s work making tech devices that are more emotionally intelligent. “We envision a world where our devices and our technologies are emotional wear,” says el Kaliouby. “They can sense and respond to your emotions in real time in a way that makes the interaction more positive.”
Prof. Feng Zhang has been awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize, reports Sharon Begley for STAT. Zhang was honored for his, “track record of innovations and of coming up with big ideas that change fields,” explains Prof. Michael Cima, faculty director of the award. “Zhang is one of those individuals who move through groups of talented people sparking new ideas.”
Prof. Kerry Emanuel writes for The Washington Post about how climate change and U.S. disaster policies are threat-multipliers for natural disasters like hurricanes. “The confluence of rising sea levels and stronger and wetter hurricanes with increasing coastal population and unwise government interference in insurance markets portends ever increasing hurricane disasters."
Senior Lecturer Ken Urban speaks with HuffPost reporter Michael Levin about the burgeoning theater program at MIT. “There is a lot of institutional support for the arts in all of its forms at MIT and I think it’s because that process of being creative and realizing that it’s super-important for engineers,” says Urban.
A new study by MIT researchers examines how people who speak different languages describe colors, reports Zach Zorich for Science. The researchers found that, “the ability to describe colors isn’t as rooted in our biology as many scientists thought. And that means that language development may be far more rooted in our culture than in how we literally see the world.”