December 6, 2019
A new instrument device developed by MIT researchers improves the detection of gravitational waves by squeezing the vacuum of spacetime, reports Ryan Mandelbaum for Gizmodo. “The method enables us to increase the distance in the universe at which we can detect gravitational waves,” explains principal research scientist Lisa Barsotti.
MIT alumnus Michael Gruenbaum ‘53 recounts how due to his “mother’s persistence and a lot of luck,” he evaded being sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp and survived the Holocaust. “It behooves all of us to be very much on the alert and make sure that the smallest of such incidents is immediately thwarted and stopped in its tracks,” writes Gruenbaum.
Media Lab research scientist Stephanie Nguyen writes for Fast Company about how a number of social-impact startups affiliated with MIT Solve are handling privacy laws and concerns. Nguyen notes that, “if we take cues from what smaller companies are doing, we can find inspiration to make data privacy less about compliance and more about building products that meet user expectations and contexts.”
Boston Globe reporter David Weininger spotlights Johnny Gandelsman’s upcoming performance at MIT of Bach’s Cello Suites on the violin. Weininger explores how the inspiration for Gandelsman’s reinvention of Bach’s Cello Suites was inspired by a concert he gave at MIT in 2015, during which he realized that “I wasn’t quite ready to stop working on Bach’s music.”
Quartz reporter Heather Landy spotlights Prof. Daron Acemoglu’s book, “The Narrow Corridor.” Landy notes that at the World Economic Forum, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called the book “fantastic,” adding that it examines “the real, constant tension between what does a society want and … what does the government want … and you have to find the narrow corridor.”
A new study by MIT researches examines how culture influences moral decision-making, reports Sigal Samuel for Vox. “The study shows that our beliefs about what’s moral are, at least to some degree, products of our cultural context,” writes Samuel. “But, intriguingly, the study also shows that there are some universals in human morality.”
New York Times reporter Jessica Bennett writes that a study by MIT researchers finds during the run-up to the 2016 election, Americans were reluctant to use the word “she” to describe a hypothetical president. “People had difficulties reading ‘she’ even if the text had previously used ‘she,’ showing how persistent and deeply ingrained this bias is,” explains Prof. Roger Levy.