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The Boston Globe

Adjunct Professor Emeritus Melvin “Mel” King, a political activist, former MA state representative and the first Black person to reach a Boston mayoral general election, has died at 94. “[In 1971], he founded the Community Fellows Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he became an adjunct professor of urban studies and planning. The program brings leaders from minority communities to MIT for a year of research and study,” writes Mark Feeney for The Boston Globe


Venti Technologies, a startup co-founded by MIT professors and alumni that builds autonomous vehicles for industrial and logistics centers, has raised $29 million in Series A funding. The company’s “target customer comes from the wide range of supply chain businesses that operate across warehouses, ports and other shipping and logistics environments where vehicles — currently driven by humans — are central to operations,” writes Ingrid Lunden for TechCrunch.

Financial Times

Prof. John Hart, co-founder of VulcanForms, speaks with Rana Foroohar at the Financial Times about the digital manufacturing company, which uses 3D printing with metals to create parts. “Everything we see around us, with the exception of ourselves and the food we grow, is manufactured,” says Hart. “Now, post-pandemic, several forces are aligning to reshape how we make things. We understand the need for agile supply chains. We realize how important production is for our economic and national security. And third, we need to decarbonize, which will require the growth of new manufacturing systems at scale.” 


Graduate student Crystal Owens speaks with NPR correspondent Miles Parks about her study which sought to find out the perfect ratio for breaking apart an Oreo cookie. “What we actually found was that all of the results were basically the same,” says Owens. “You can’t do it wrong because there’s no way to do it right.”


Prof. Aleksander Mądry’s testimony before a House subcommittee was highlighted by Politico fellow Mohar Chatterjee in a recent newsletter exploring how large tech companies are dominating how generative AI technologies are developed and utilized. During his testimony, Mądry emphasized that “very few players will be able to compete, given the highly specialized skills and enormous capital investments the building of such systems requires.”


Prof. Emeritus Marcia Bartusiak speaks with GBH co-hosts Paris Alston and Jeremy Siegel about her four decades of experience as a science communicator covering the fields of astronomy and physics. “That’s the role of a science writer, is to take those, what seemed to be difficult ideas and, through metaphors and analogies, show how it affects your everyday life, or explain them with examples that they would be familiar with from their everyday life,” says Bartusiak.


Milford High School student Elsie Sutherland created “Community Connector,” as her final project for MIT’s Leadership Training Institute, reports Lisa Hughes for CBS. The website “connects people who want to volunteer with organizations that need help,” explains Hughes. “Each listing includes a description of the non-profit, its event, the nature of the service project and a sign-up.”

Los Angeles Times

Prof. Simon Johnson writes for The Los Angeles Times about the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates despite the recent instability in the banking sector. “Increasing the deposit insurance cap and focusing on small-business transaction accounts could stabilize midsize banks, reduce more deposit transfers out of those institutions, and shore up confidence in the banking system,” writes Johnson.

Financial Times

Researchers at MIT have quantified the shift toward the artificial intelligence industry and how it has impacted academia, reports Madhumita Murgia for Financial Times. “The MIT research found that almost 70 percent of AI PhDs went to work for companies in 2020, compared to 21 per cent in 2004,” writes Murgia.


MIT has ranked first in 11 different academic fields in the latest QS World University Rankings, reports Michael T. Nietzel for Forbes.

The Boston Globe

Prof. Li-Huei Tsai and Prof. Ed Boyden co-founded Cognito Therapeutics after their research found that gamma waves could help clear amyloid plaques, which are known to appear in Alzheimer’s patients, reports Ryan Cross for The Boston Globe.  “It was the most surprising result I’ve ever got in my life,” says Tsai. “When we published our first paper, most people said, ‘I don’t believe it. This is too good to be true. How can something this simple have this kind of effect?’”

Featured Videos

A new system for autonomous vehicles called, FailureNet, is a recurrent neural network trained end-to-end on trajectories of both nominal and reckless drivers in a scaled miniature city. FailureNet observes the poses of vehicles as they approach an intersection and detects whether a failure is present in the autonomy stack, warning cross-traffic of potentially dangerous drivers.

Barry Duncan is a master palindromist who has been honing his craft for decades. He’s a bookseller at the MIT Press Bookstore, but when not surrounded by words for his job, he’s busy working words into two-way prose to the delight of many.

A new computational tool from MIT CSAIL is the first system for creating what they call Polagons: machine-made polarized light mosaics crafted from cellophane with user-defined color-changing behaviors.These designs could be used for data visualization, education, fashion, and more.

A team of scientists, engineers, and designers embark on an Arctic expedition to test space technology. The MIT Space Exploration Initiative expedition in Svalbard was not simply a space analog mission, but an experience to learn how to help enable better access to remote regions from the far corners of planet Earth, to the Moon and Mars.

With the start of the spring semester, Commencement is on the horizon for MIT seniors. Recent alumna Elissa Gibson, SB’22, who double-majored in Course 16 (aerospace engineering) and Course 9 (brain and cognitive sciences) reflects on her undergraduate experience.

MIT’s long-running programming competition, Battlecode, invites participants from around the world to write code to program entire armies – not just individual bots – before they duke it out on screen.

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