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BBC News

Prof. Hugh Herr joins the BBC’s Shiona McCallum to discuss a program by the K. Lisa Yang Center for Bionics aimed at bringing prosthetics to those who suffered forced amputations during the Sierra Leone Civil War. “When we train a young person on how to construct an arm or leg prothesis we’ve impacted the country for solidly forty years,” Herr says. “That person’s going to be living in that country and contributing to their community for a very long time. That’s exciting.” 

Economist

MIT researchers have improved upon the diffusion models used in AI image generation, reports Alok Jha for The Economist. Working with electrically charged particles, the team created “Poisson flow generative models,” which “generate images of equal or better quality than state-of-the-art diffusion models, while being less error-prone and requiring between ten and 20 times fewer computational steps,” Jha explains. 

The Boston Globe

Katie Rae, CEO and managing partner of the Engine Ventures, speaks with Boston Globe reporter Aaron Pressman about The Engine Ventures’ third investment fund, which remains focused on “helping early-stage startups develop and commercialize ‘tough tech,’ which can include anything from fusion power generators to cement made without fossil fuels.” Rae notes: “You see this dynamism not just for climate, but for all things manufacturing, whether it’s biotech, whether it’s AI chips, it is about as an exciting moment as you could get for what we do.” 

The New York Times

Prof. Evelina Fedorenko has uncovered evidence that the human brain uses language for communicating, not reasoning, writes Carl Zimmer for The New York Times. “Other regions in the brain are working really hard when you’re doing all these forms of thinking, but it became clear that none of those things seem to engage language circuits,” she says. 

The Wall Street Journal

Postdoctoral associate Adam Forrest Kay’s book “Escape From Shadow Physics: The Quest to End the Dark Ages of Quantum Theory,” is reviewed by Andrew Crumey for The Wall Street Journal. “Consistently interesting” and “energetically written,” the book, “eloquently explains the history behind hydrodynamic quantum analogs,” writes Crumey.  

NPR

Prof. Daron Acemoglu speaks with Greg Rosalsky of NPR’s Planet Money about AI’s potential effect on jobs, specifically the translation business. “I think how good AI has become is often exaggerated,” says Acemoglu. “But there is pretty much nothing that humans do as meaningful occupation that generative AI can now do. So in almost everything it can at best helps humans, and at worst, not even do that.”

Financial Times

Prof. Yasheng Huang joins a Financial Times podcast to speak with James Kynge about how China’s technological advancement and economic growth could be threatened by the country’s increasing authoritarianism. “My own prediction is that if Chinese domestic policy doesn’t change substantially, the pace of technological and scientific progress that we have witnessed during the reform era, that pace is going to slow down,” Huang says.

Politico

Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have “outlined the costs and benefits of artificial intelligence in health care, education and the workforce,” reports Ruth Reader, Daniel Payne, and Carmen Paul for Politico. The researchers say “policymakers should study the real-world implications of the technology and consider using AI to inform policy,” writes Politico

CNN

Researchers at MIT have discovered the composition of primordial black holes, “potentially discovering an entirely new type of exotic black hole in the process,” reports Jacopo Prisco for CNN. “We were making use of Stephen Hawking’s famous calculations about black holes, especially his important result about the radiation that black holes emit,” says Prof. David Kaiser. “These exotic black holes emerge from trying to address the dark matter problem — they are a byproduct of explaining dark matter.”

Community Updates

Featured Multimedia

“My identity as a scientist and my identity as a gay man are not contradictory, but complementary,” says Jack Forman, PhD candidate in media arts and sciences and co-lead of LGBTQ+ Grad, a student group run by and for LGBTQ+ grad students and postdocs at MIT. He and co-leads Miranda Dawson and Tunahan Aytas ’23 interviewed queer MIT faculty about their experiences and the importance of visibility.

In explaining quantum technology, professor of physics and director of the MIT Center for Quantum Computing, Will Oliver cites MIT's interdisciplinarity as a key component in developing these technologies. In this video he, along with research scientist Jeff Grover, explore the origins of quantum mechanics and the state of quantum computing today.

MIT’s campus is home to a truly global community where the world’s leading researchers and educators come together in pursuit of scientific discovery and technological innovation. Our students and faculty enjoy intellectual freedom, share diverse perspectives, and strive for excellence in all their academic pursuits.

Noubar Afeyan PhD '87 delivered the address at the 2024 OneMIT Commencement ceremony. The inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist encouraged the Class of 2024 to “accept impossible missions” and “lead with imagination” in uncertain times.

DesignPlus is a learning community open to MIT first-year undergraduates. It’s a space for hands-on experimentation and exploration, acquiring technical skills, finding mentors and mutual support, and having fun. Approximately 50 students join each year to discover different facets of design, both in theory and in practice.

Sheila Xu ’14 never imagined she could become a pilot, but she says MIT put her on that path. Born deaf to hearing parents, Xu first learned American Sign Language and connected with the Deaf* community as an undergraduate. These experiences inspired her to want to open doors for more people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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