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The Institute was featured on TV's "Jeopardy" recently in the context of the following "answer" in the category Science Prizes: "An annual half-million dollar prize for invention and innovation is given by MIT: the Massachusetts Institute of this."

The correct "question" is an easy one for any reader of this paper--"What is Technology?"--so let's rephrase the answer to make it a tad more challenging. "MIT's annual half-million dollar prize for invention is named this." And the question, of course, is "What is the Lemelson-MIT Prize?"


Students at some 40 campuses in the midwest will soon be able to monitor their laundry by computer--a feat achieved at MIT in 1999.

According to an Aug. 31 story by the Associated Press, IBM plans to install some 9,000 smart washers and dryers at universities including Ohio State. The company "hopes the eSuds system ... will instill a little efficiency in the college dormitory laundry room, letting students keep tabs on their laundry from anywhere they can access the Internet."

"It's an idea many students have dreamed about, and some clever ones have already made work," according to the story, which went on to credit the cyber-laundry at MIT. See the April 14, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk for more on the system developed by Philip A. Lisiecki (S.B. 1996).


National Public Radio's "Science Friday" focused on photographing science in a Sept. 27 show that featured a live interview with MIT's Felice Frankel and two others.

"From the very large to the very small, a distant galaxy or an individual atom, scientific photographers capture images that can reveal hidden aspects of the natural world," write the producers in a web site about the show.

Frankel, a research scientist and photographer, has been in the news several times recently since publication of her latest book, "Envisioning Science: The Design and Craft of the Science Image" (MIT Press, 2002). "Open the book at random, and your eye will be dazzled: a three-centimeter drop of ferrofluid, gold on gold (one-centimeter patterned chips on a gold wafer), or a flowerlike yeast colony illuminated by daylight," write the editors of Scientific American in a review on the magazine's web site recommending the book.

The magazine also lauds Frankel's goal of "encouraging science workers 'to find a place in your research for a new way of seeing and presenting your work' so as to see 'the potential of using your images to communicate to those outside the research community.'"


"I think we've done well. Al Qaeda is on the run. Domestic security has become a bigger issue. We're focused. They are a dangerous group, but so far they don't have the worst weapons."--Professor Harvey Sapolsky, director of the Security Studies Program, in a Sept. 8 story in the Austin American-Statesman about the war on terrorism.

"After being immersed in this very different field of creative writing, I think it takes them by surprise that they actually need it."--Professor of Writing Anita Desai on students who take creative writing and other humanities courses, in Boston Magazine, Sept. 1.

"I genuinely think there was an 'a-ha' moment."--Anne Margulies, executive director of MIT OpenCourseWare, on MIT's decision to place all its course materials online for free, on BBC News, Sept. 22.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 9, 2002.

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