March 13, 2018
A study led by graduate student Hilary Richardson provides evidence that by age 3, children “have begun developing brain networks used to understand the beliefs and feelings of others,” writes Laney Ruckstuhl for The Boston Globe. “Richardson said researchers previously believed the networks used in theory of mind reasoning were not developed until at least age 4,” explains Ruckstuhl.
MIT hosted the 2018 USA Memory Championship for the first time at Kresge Auditorium. The contestants competed in four events, which required the memorization of a variety of topics, including “the periodic table, who’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the life stories of four people,” reports Margeaux Sippell for The Boston Globe.
Gigi Levy Weiss writes for Forbes about the importance of social change in tech education. Highlighting MEET (Middle East Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow), an MIT-supported non-profit that connects and empowers Palestinian and Israeli students, Weiss notes that alumni of the program “have gone on to study, work and lead in the global tech industry, as well as in NGOs and government roles.”
Developed by MIT researchers, ConcertCue, an app that provides real-time program notes during live classical music performances, has received a $50,000 grant from the Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund, reports Melissa Locker for Fast Company. The foundation awarded 12 grants to “innovative tech organizations and cultural institutions” that use technology to make the arts more accessible in the digital age.
A team led by MIT research scientist Ulrich Faul discovered quadrillions of tons of diamonds deep beneath the Earth’s surface using sound waves, writes Avery Thompson for Popular Mechanics. While the diamonds are too deep to be mined, “knowing that they’re there helps us learn more about our own planet and what it’s made of,” Thompson notes.
Researchers have developed a handheld device, inspired by spiders, to allow people to move in zero-gravity, writes Daniel Oberhaus for Motherboard. “I want to be able to move freely in 3D space,” explains Xin Liu, arts curator at the MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative, “so I design the technologies that allow me to do that.”