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Science

Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have studied the mind of polyglots and uncovered how language-specific regions of the brain respond to different and familiar languages, reports Natalia Mesa for Science. The researchers found that “the activity in the brain’s language network fluctuated based on how well participants understood a language. The more familiar the language, the larger the response,” writes Mesa. “There was one exception to the rule: when participants heard their native tongue, their language networks were actually quieter than when they heard other familiar languages.”

Boston.com

Visiting scientist Judah Cohen speaks with Boston.com reporter Eli Curwin about how a combination of more accurate data collection, precise weather models, and accessible forecast predictions make it unlikely that Massachusetts residents would be surprised again by a storm like the infamous Blizzard of ‘78. “The satellites, the ships, the weather stations, weather balloons used to integrate and assimilate all that data are much better than they used to be,” says Cohen.

Financial Times

Writing for the Financial Times, Prof. Daron Acemoglu and his co-authors explore their research demonstrating that “the biggest shift when a chief executive with a business degree takes charge is a decline in wages and the share of revenues going to labor.” Acemoglu and his co-authors note that while many business schools have updated their offerings to include more ethics courses, they emphasize the importance of “being aware of what managers with business degrees used to do is an important step in reflecting on how we can build better programs.”

Popular Science

Prof. Daniela Rus, director of CSAIL, speaks with Popular Science reporter Charlotte Hu about the field of artificial intelligence, explaining the difference between AI, robotics and machine learning, and exploring the future of AI. “[AI algorithms] can do really extraordinary things much faster than we can. But the way to think about it is that they’re tools that are supposed to augment and enhance how we operate,” says Rus. “And like any other tools, these solutions are not inherently good or bad. They are what we choose to do with them.”

CNN

Research scientist Mary Knapp and her collaborators are working on a concept for The Great Observatory for Long Wavelengths (Go-LoW), a space-based observatory comprised of small satellites aimed at making low-frequency radio waves visible, reports Ashley Strickland for CNN. “I learned back in my undergrad days that there was this part of the spectrum we couldn’t see,” Knapp explains. “It really just struck me that there was this unexplored part of the universe, and I want to explore this part of the sky for the first time.”

WBUR

Prof. David Hsu speaks with WBUR reporter Paula Moura about the importance of providing equitable access to electric vehicle charging stations. “The city definitely should provide equal access to services to everybody,” says Hsu. “There are barriers to doing that, but the government’s job is to overcome those barriers for everybody.”

The Economist

MIT researchers devised a new way to arrange LED pixels to create screens with a much higher resolution than is currently possible, reports The Economist. The new technique, which involves stacking micro LEDS, could also be used to make “VR images that appear far more lifelike than today’s.”

WBUR

President Sally Kornbluth, Provost Cynthia Barnhart, and Chancellor Melissa Nobles speak with Radio Boston host Tiziana Dearing about the importance of representation for women and underrepresented groups in STEM. “One of the most important pieces of having women in leadership is not just bringing a diverse perspective, but honestly being role models so that girls see that there is a possibility for them to be doing the kind of high-tech, heavy research that MIT does,” says Kornbluth. 

The Guardian

Prof. Juan Palacios speaks with The Guardian reporter Helena Horton about how air pollution can lead to more mistakes in chess players. “We find that when individuals are exposed to higher levels of air pollution, they make more mistakes, and they make larger mistakes,” says Palacios.

Featured Videos

Multimedia artist Erin Genia SM ’19 who is Dakota, an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, works to address social issues such as climate change and institutional racism through her art.

"Symbionts: Contemporary Artists and the Biosphere," on view at the List Visual Arts Center brings together over a dozen international artists whose work prompts us to reexamine our human relationships to the planet’s biosphere through the lens of symbiosis, or “with living.”

Sally Kornbluth, MIT’s 18th president, arrived at her office on MIT’s campus and greeted members of the community.

MIT MechE innovates the traditional Mechanics and Materials II class by exposing students to leading-edge concepts of nanotechnology, nanomechanics, and metamaterials.

With eleven languages in his back pocket, rising senior Kinan Martin uses computer science and neuroscience to untangle the complexity of languages and the brain at the Natural Language Processing group in the Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM) of the University of Chile.

When maintenance requires MIT to drain the teaching pool at the Zesiger Center, they reserve its last few hours with water for the dogs. Woof!

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