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Top tweets of 2016

Best posts on @MIT touch on LIGO discoveries, Nobel laureate Bengt Holmström, Apollo pioneer Margaret Hamilton, Commencement speaker Matt Damon, and more.
A tweet noting "The Simpsons"' prediction of a Nobel Prize for Professor Bengt Holmström was @MIT's most popular to date.
A tweet noting "The Simpsons"' prediction of a Nobel Prize for Professor Bengt Holmström was @MIT's most popular to date.
Image: The Simpsons/Fox

2016 was a remarkable year for MIT, which in the spring celebrated 100 years since its move from Boston to Cambridge, Massachusetts. The year was remarkable on Twitter as well, as MIT's followers more than doubled in number, with a current total of more than 611,000.

Followers were particularly moved by news of the first — and second — direct detection of gravitational waves with the LIGO experiment; an episode of "The Simpsons" predicting Professor Bengt Holmström's 2016 Nobel Prize in economics; tributes to Apollo pioneer and former MIT computer scientist Margaret Hamilton; and comments by actor Matt Damon, who gave the keynote at this year's Commencement ceremony. Tweets noting Square Root Day on April 4th, a supermoon setting over the MIT Dome, and the Institute's new accelerator, The Engine, also garnered high engagement.

Here are the top 16 @MIT tweets of 2016, measured in retweets and likes, in chronological order:

A monumental scientific feat

Groundbreaking physics: Scientists detect #gravitationalwaves using the @LIGO observatory

— MIT (@MIT) February 11, 2016

To Einstein, with love

Happy birthday, #AlbertEinstein! We got you a special gift this year: evidence of #gravitationalwaves. Photo: @Giphy

— MIT (@MIT) March 14, 2016

Celebrating Square Root Day

Happy #SquareRootDay! 4/4/16 is the fourth of nine Square Root Days this century. #MathMonday

— MIT (@MIT) April 4, 2016

Matt Damon's advice for the Class of 2016

Matt Damon: "Turn toward the problems that you see, and engage." #MIT2016

— MIT (@MIT) June 3, 2016

Space pirate in the movies, honorary MIT pirate in real life

Arrrr… Actor Matt Damon was awarded an honorary MIT Pirate Certificate at @mitcommencement! #MIT2016

— MIT (@MIT) June 3, 2016

Twice as nice: Detecting a second black hold merger

“We did it again!” For the second time, @LIGO has detected #gravitationalwaves.

— MIT (@MIT) June 15, 2016

Commemorating a return to Jupiter

An incredible feat of engineering... We're at #Jupiter once again! Congrats to all on the #Juno team.

— MIT (@MIT) July 5, 2016

Taking a stand against violence

“We cannot stand as observers and accept a future of escalating violence and divisiveness.”

— MIT (@MIT) July 11, 2016

Mini Margaret in celebration of her Apollo achievements

47 yrs ago today, MIT computer scientist Margaret Hamilton's code landed humans on the moon. #Apollo11

— MIT (@MIT) July 20, 2016

A discussion of "forbidden research" for social good

Symposium at the @medialab featuring @snowden, bunnie Huang addresses #hacktivism:

— MIT (@MIT) July 27, 2016

Lauding a pioneer of nanoscale engineering

MIT Prof. Paula Hammond engineered a new nanoparticle to treat cancer. #BlackWomenDidThat

— MIT (@MIT) July 29, 2016

Professor Holmström's Nobel Prize reaction

"I feel very lucky and grateful." —MIT Prof. Bengt Holmstrom of @MITEcon and @MITSloan on winning the Nobel in Economic Sciences #NobelPrize

— MIT (@MIT) October 10, 2016

Milhouse gets one right

Fun fact: @TheSimpsons' Milhouse once predicted MIT Prof. Holmström would win a #NobelPrize. Today, he was right!

— MIT (@MIT) October 10, 2016

Announcing a new accelerator from MIT

Introducing The Engine, from MIT. #MITBetterWorld #Innovation

— MIT (@MIT) October 26, 2016

Setting supermoon

Yesterday's #supermoon sets over MIT. Photo: @DanZDill

— MIT (@MIT) November 15, 2016

President Obama honors an MIT legend

Margaret Hamilton led the Apollo software team at MIT. Today, she's a #MedalofFreedom recipient. Congrats!

— MIT (@MIT) November 22, 2016

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