May 27, 2016
Prof. Emerita Suzanne Corkin, whose work with a famous amnesia patient was instrumental in uncovering the nature of memory, died on May 24, reports Benedict Carey for The New York Times. Carey writes that Corkin’s work “helped settle a debate about the function of the hippocampus in retrieving and reliving past experiences.”
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."
UPI reporter Brooks Hays writes that MIT researchers have successfully snapped a strand of spaghetti into only two pieces, solving an age-old mystery about why dry spaghetti noodles typically break into many pieces. “Scientists believe the discovery could help material scientists control for the fracturing patterns in other materials,” explains Hays.
A study by MIT researchers shows that by twisting and bending dry spaghetti past a certain angle, the noodles can be successfully split into two pieces, reports Travis Anderson for The Boston Globe. Anderson explains that the breakthrough, “could have implications far beyond the kitchen,” and could shed light on crack formation and how to control fractures in rod-like materials.
In an article for the Pacific Standard about dispelling rumors and conspiracy theories, Nathan Collins highlights research by Prof. Adam Berinsky examining how information sources impact voters. “People speaking against their interests [are] more credible,” Berinsky explains. “What’s more credible: the surgeon general or McDonald’s saying you shouldn’t eat French fries?”
Research scientist Joshua Siegel speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter A.J. Baime about his 1955 Chevrolet 210. Siegel explains that restoring the car drove him to pursue a career in engineering, explaining that his research involves, “putting sensors and modems all over vehicles so that you can know everything you need to know about your car through a device.”