March 16, 2017
Laura Winkless writes for Forbes about the ways robots are changing life in urban areas. ROBOATs, the fleet of autonomous boats and floating structures developed by Prof. Carlo Ratti, “could offer an additional, low-cost way to once again integrate local canals and rivers into the urban landscape,” said Winkless.
Elizabeth Howell writes for Scientific American that a team of researchers, including scientists from MIT, have observed that when a black hole consumes a star there is a burst of electromagnetic activity. Howell explains that the “new research suggests that interactions among the debris could generate the optical and UV emission.”
President L. Rafael Reif speaks with Ellie Bothwell of Times Higher Education about MIT’s efforts to study how people learn and the future of education. Reif notes that at MIT, education is interdisciplinary and focused on bringing “knowledge from different areas…Problems are problems. You have to solve them with whatever knowledge you can get.”
Graduate student Maimuna Majumder writes for NPR about her research examining what caused an outbreak of the mumps in Arkansas in 2016. Majumder writes that her research shows, “why herd immunity is so important. When we vaccinate, we protect not only ourselves but the most vulnerable members of our communities, too.”
In an article for The Washington Post, Prof. David Singer examines how an overhaul of the H-1B visa program could impact the American job market. Singer writes that “restricting visas for highly skilled foreign workers could prompt high-tech firms in the United States to shift operations overseas in search of skilled labor.”
Popular Science reporter Rob Verger writes that MIT researchers have identified a way to prevent the body from developing scar tissue around medical implants. The “discovery involves using drugs to affect the behavior of a type of immune system cell called a macrophage in a way that prevents the buildup of scar tissue.”
In this article and video, Prof. Leia Stirling speaks with Devin Coldewey of TechCrunch about her research aimed at helping astronauts avoid stumbles and falls in space. Stirling explained that she and her colleagues developed a haptic feedback system to “potentially help someone navigate their environment and avoid obstacles at the same time.”