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MIT TechTV Expo cheers winners, offers lessons

Kelly Dobson, a graduate student in the MIT Media Lab, invented an odd device--the ScreamBody, a "wearable space for screaming," as she describes it. "When you need to scream but feel unable to because of environmental pressures--you're in the classroom or at work or watching children--you can scream into ScreamBody. ScreamBody silences the scream but also records it for later release."

You have to see it to believe it. Luckily, that's easy--Dobson uploaded a short video of herself demonstrating ScreamBody on MIT TechTV.

"ScreamBody" and other videos that members of the MIT community have uploaded to the beta version of MIT TechTV will be on display at the MIT TechTV Expo on May 17. The event begins with an open house in the student lounge near Lobby 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. People can also learn the basics of using MIT TechTV, a YouTube-like video-sharing web site that launched last month.

The interactive web site enables students, faculty, staff, alumni and others at the Institute to easily publish multimedia content and, if desired, embed those video clips in their own web sites and blogs. Users can also comment on and rate any video, organize their content into collections and create tags, or descriptive words, that enable viewers to easily find a particular video. Anyone outside MIT can view videos on MIT TechTV, but only members of the MIT community may upload, rate and comment on videos.

"The idea is to distribute science, engineering and other MIT-created videos on the web. Content can be serious or fun. I hope MIT TechTV will also encourage members of the MIT community to create web video," said Dean of Engineering Thomas L. Magnanti. He is leading the development of the first web "channel" on MIT TechTV, focused on generating interest in science and engineering among middle school students.

Several MIT students, including Dobson, uploaded short videos on science, engineering and "life at MIT" themes to compete in the Tech Video Showcase. Concluding the May 17 MIT TechTV Expo, Magnanti will award prizes to the video contest winners in the Bush Room at 4 p.m. The winners' videos, which will be shown at the awards celebration, are selected by a combination of online ratings by MIT TechTV users and a panel of student, faculty and staff judges.

Shane Colton, a senior in mechanical engineering, is participating in the video contest. "I was excited to hear about TechTV. I take video of everything--2.007 competitions, FIRST Robotics events, the Sodium Drop--and having a place to put it all is great. I can see it becoming a hybrid of YouTube and (a web site on hacker culture) where people can search for interesting engineering, science and technology video clips."

The School of Engineering, in partnership with Academic Media Production Services, is sponsoring MIT TechTV. For more information on MIT TechTV go to To view videos entered in the Tech Video Showcase, go to

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 16, 2007 (download PDF).

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