February 20, 2019
A study by MIT researchers finds that climate change is causing pollution to linger longer over cities and making summer thunderstorms more powerful, reports Tanya Rivero for CBS News. “We found a way to connect changes in temperature in humidity from climate change to changing summer weather patterns that we are experiencing at our latitude,” explains graduate student Charles Gertler.
Writing for The New York Times, research scientists Chelsea Barabas and Karthik Dinakar argue that risk assessment algorithms designed to help predict people’s future criminal behavior are “fundamentally flawed. They give judges recommendations that make future violence seem more predictable and more certain than it actually is. In the process, risk assessments may perpetuate the misconceptions and fears that drive mass incarceration.”
Boston Globe reporter Cate McQuaid spotlights the Ericka Beckman exhibit at the List Visual Arts Center. “Beckman models her incantatory, hallucinogenic films on the ritualistic repetitions of games and hard labor,” writes McQuaid. She draws on fairy tales and uses percussive, throbbing music. Woven together, these structures offer a desperate, frenzied model of life in a society driven by work, production, and the almighty dollar.”
Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Lee Hotz explores the development of the Apollo Guidance Computer at the MIT Instrumentation Lab. Holtz writes that the computer’s “legacy is in just about every pocket, driveway, home and office. Its descendants helped to remake how the world learns, works, plays, communicates, spends and socializes.”
Writing for Astronomy, Korey Haynes spotlights Elaine Denniston, who was hired as a keypuncher at the MIT Instrumentation Lab, but went above and beyond, reviewing the Apollo code for errors. Denniston, who went on to become a lawyer, says that she “didn’t realize then that what I did was anything special. I typed, I found errors, I nagged people.”