August 17, 2014
In a piece for The Boston Globe, Kevin Lewis writes about how political scientists from MIT and the University of California, Berkeley found that, contrary to popular belief, Senator Joseph McCarthy did not influence the outcomes of the 1950 and 1952 Senate elections.
Institute Prof. Thomas Magnanti will receive Singapore’s Gold Public Administration Medal for his “visionary leadership” at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), reports Jolene Ang for The Straits Times. Magnanti was cited for his work organizing the university in clusters, which “better supported the interdisciplinary nature of SUTD's programmes and strengthened SUTD's research capabilities.”
HUBweek, an annual festival co-founded by MIT that focuses on ideas for the future, will include a two-day Change Maker Conference this year. J.D. Capelouto writes for The Boston Globe, another HUBweek founder, that this new event “will address a variety of topics, including enabling technologies, diversity, inclusion and accessibility, and civic thinking.”
TODAY reporter Alessandra Bulow speaks with Prof. Jörn Dunkel about how he and his colleagues figured out how to snap a strand of spaghetti without it shattering into many pieces. Bulow notes that the noodles must be bent and twisted at the same time, and “you have to twist really strongly,” explains Dunkel.
Using mathematical modeling, a mechanical fracture device and a camera, MIT researchers found that dry spaghetti can be split into two pieces, reports Allyson Chiu for The Washington Post. The findings could be applied to studying fracturing, explains graduate student Vishal Patil, who notes that, “there’s still a lot to be discovered about fracture control, and this is an example of fracture control.”
Prof. Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research, speaks with Boston Globe reporter Jon Marcus about the growing interest in space and exploration in America. “Discovery, pure and simple, is truth. It’s pure. It’s a beautiful thing,” says Zuber, who has directed several NASA missions and chairs the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Advisory Council.
A study co-authored by Prof. Erik Brynjolfsson and graduate student Daniel Rock finds that specific tasks, not jobs, are likely to become automated, writes Joe McKendrick for Forbes. The researchers explain that, “machine learning technology can transform many jobs in the economy, but full automation will be less significant than the re-engineering of processes and the reorganization of tasks."