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Popular Science

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have uncovered evidence that early dinosaurs may have lived in social herds, reports Kate Baggaley for Popular Science. “People have known for a long time that the more advanced dinosaurs, the ones that lived in the late Jurassic and Cretaceous, especially the large sauropods…moved and lived in herds,” explains research scientist Jahandar Ramezani. “But the question has always been, when did this behavior start?”

The Boston Globe

Drew Houston ’05, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox, speaks with Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner about his favorite courses and extracurriculars activities at MIT, his first computer, and the future of work at Dropbox during a recent visit to MIT where he announced a gift that will endow a professorship in the Schwarzman College of Computing. “I loved studying computer science, and I loved things like distributed systems and operating systems and algorithms,” said Houston of his time at MIT. “Those were my favorite classes. I had grown up tinkering under the hood of my computer, trying to figure out how it worked.”

Guardian

Prof. Azra Akšamija, founder of the MIT Future Heritage Lab, speaks with Guardian reporter Greta Rainbow about her new book “Design to Live: Everyday Inventions from a Refugee Camp,” which spotlights inventions created by residents of the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan. “In a disaster, it is really important to support the cultural revitalization of affected communities, not just the empty symbols of physical monuments,” says Akšamija. “And isn’t the culture they are producing while being displaced a heritage of the future?”

GBH

Senior Lecturer Renee Richardson Gosline joins GBH’s Basic Black program to discuss ways to increase diversity in STEAM fields, and how to lower barriers and encourage kids of color to pursue STEAM careers. 

The Economist

Prof. Joshua Angrist, one of the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics, speaks with Rachana Shanbhogue of The Economist’s Money Talks podcast about the evolution of his research and how his work has helped bring the field of economics closer to real life. “I like to tell graduate students that a good scholar is like a good hitter in baseball,” says Angrist of his advice for economics students. “You get on base about a third of the time you’re doing pretty well, which means you strike out most of the time.”

Los Angeles Times

Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti spotlights how the City of Helsinki in Finland hosted an Energy Challenge aimed at solicit ideas to accelerate the city’s transition to green energy. “Helsinki and its Energy Challenge hold lessons for the rest of the world. The first is that climate efforts must balance competition with collaboration,” writes Ratti. The contest “allowed Helsinki to synthesize a diverse array of skills and visions.”

Forbes

Forbes contributor Frederick Daso spotlights Fitnescity, a startup founded by MIT graduates that offers “a streamlined online platform to help consumers select lab kits, get tested, and display their data on a digital dashboard.” CEO and co-founder Laila Zemrani MBA ’13 explains that: “Fitnescity was founded to give people access to the information they need to improve their health and wellness.”

Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek reporters Brendan Murray and Enda Curran spotlight the MIT Beer Game, a role-playing exercise that is an annual rite-of-passage for first-year Sloan MBA students that “models the supply-and-demand dynamics among a brewery, distributor, wholesaler, and retailer.” “The pandemic revealed flaws that were latent all along our globalized supply chains,” says Prof. John Sterman. “It’s urgent that we figure out how to improve them so we are prepared for the next shocks, whether another pandemic, civil unrest, climate change—or all of the above.”

The Washington Post

Ayr Muir ’00, SM ’01 speaks with Washington Post reporter Trisha Pasricha about how the goal behind his plant-based restaurants, Clover Foods Labs, is to use plant-based foods to help mitigate the climate crisis. “The overarching mission is global warming. And what we’re trying to do is help meat-lovers eat more meals that have no meat in them,” Muir said. “The more success we have with that, the greater impact we have on the environment.”

WBUR

Erin Genia ‘19 a multidisciplinary artist, has been honored as one of The ARTery 25, which highlights artists of color in the Greater Boston area who stand out for the work they are making, reports WBUR. “Genia, a tribal member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of South Dakota, sees her artistic mission as one of many efforts to make up for the centuries of assimilation and cultural repression.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Jeanna Smialek explores the work of Prof. Joshua Angrist, who was honored as a recipient of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work developing “research tools that help economists use real-life situations to test big theories, like how additional education affects earnings.” Angrist and his fellow recipients David Card and Guido Imbens “ushered in a new phase in labor economics that has now reached all fields of the profession,” said Prof. Trevon D. Logan of Ohio State.

CBS News

Prof. Yossi Sheffi speaks with David Pogue of CBS Sunday Morning about what’s causing the current supply chain breakdowns. "The underlying cause of all of this is actually a huge increase in demand,” says Sheffi. “People did not spend during the pandemic. And then, all the government help came; trillions of dollars went to households. So, they order stuff. They order more and more stuff. And the whole global markets were not ready for this."

CNN

Researchers from MIT and other institutions analyzed images captured by NASA’s Perseverance rover and found that Mars’ Jezero crater was a lake 3.7 billion years ago, reports Ashley Strickland for CNN. “The new information shows the importance of sending rovers to explore the surface of Mars,” writes Strickland. “Previous images captured by orbiters had shown that this outcrop resembled the kind of fan-shaped river deltas we have on Earth. Perseverance's images show definitive proof of the river delta's existence.”

Quartz

Writing for Quartz, Sloan Prof. Abdullah Almaatouq and Prof. Duncan Watts of the University of Pennsylvania explore the costs and benefits of being part of a team when completing a task. “The bottom line is that for simple tasks,” they write, “the cost of teamwork exceeds the benefit, whereas for complex tasks the benefits of teamwork surpass the costs, leading to greater efficiency.”

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