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Popular Mechanics

Researchers from MIT and other institutions have been able to observationally confirm one of Stephen Hawking’s theorems about black holes, measuring gravitational waves before and after a black hole merger to provide evidence that a black hole’s event horizon can never shrink, reports Caroline Delbert for Popular Mechanics. “This cool analysis doesn't just show an example of Hawking's theorem that underpins one of the central laws affecting black holes,” writes Delbert, “it shows how analyzing gravitational wave patterns can bear out statistical findings.”

National Geographic

Sergey Paltsev, deputy director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, emphasizes the importance of reaching net-zero emissions as fast as possible. “By pushing natural gas—which is indeed cleaner than coal, but it’s still a fossil fuel that releases a lot of CO2 and more importantly, a lot of methane—we are actually hurting renewables,” says Paltsev. 

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Brian Heater writes about Inkbit, a CSAIL spinout, which is developing self-correcting 3D printing technology. “Its primary differentiator from the slew of existing 3D printers is a vision and AI system designed to identify and correct mistakes during the printing process,” writes Heater.

Inside Science

MIT researchers are developing an electronic skin that can withstand sweating, reports Karen Kwon for Inside Science. The researchers “punched holes on the e-skin to match the size of sweat pores and the distance between them. Then, inspired by kirigami, the team cut away even more material between two holes in an alternating pattern,” writes Kwon. The resulting pattern “could tolerate bending and stretching more than the conventional e-skin with simple holes.”

Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, research scientist Lisa D’Ambrosio emphasizes how “caregiving faces an innovation gap. Although there is plenty of inventive energy pouring into some caregiving needs, the core tasks of caregiving — the ones requiring the most intensive, even laborious attention — appear to be last in line for a technological helping hand.”

Bloomberg TV

Professor Danielle Wood joins Bloomberg Markets: The Close to discuss billionaires travelling to space and the sustainability and ethics of space travel. “Do we want to reproduce some of the same mistakes…on places like the moon and Mars that we’ve done on Earth,” says Wood. “Or would we rather preserve and conserve the natural beauty of these environments from the beginning of human activity?”

Issues in Science and Technology

Writing for Issues in Science and Technology, President L. Rafael Reif examines Vannevar Bush’s groundbreaking 1945 Science, the Endless Frontier report and considers how our needs today have changed. “To meet this moment, we need to ensure that our federally sponsored research addresses questions that will enhance our competitiveness now and in the future,” writes Reif. “Our current system has many strengths…but we must not allow these historical advantages to blind us to gaps that could become fatal weaknesses.”

The Wall Street Journal

Paul Page at The Wall Street Journal reports on a new study co-authored by researchers at MIT, which shows that despite the pandemic, companies were largely able to maintain their supply-chain sustainability goals and increase their focus on social welfare. “It was surprising to see the focus on social issues,” said research scientist David Correll. “The notion of social issues as part of sustainability goals is something we didn’t expect to see generally accepted, but in fact there was an increase in interest in the respondents.”

Fast Company

Researchers at MIT have developed a robot that can slide a vest onto a human arm, “which is an early but important step in creating a robot that could completely dress an aging or disabled person,” writes Mark Wilson for Fast Company. “In this work, we focus on a planning technique,” explains PhD candidate Shen Li. “If I dress a kid or adult, they might have different reactions. So you have to predict what they’ll do.”

The Wall Street Journal

A new paper co-authored by Prof. James Poterba finds that not all projects to enhance infrastructure are worth investing in, reports David Harrison for The Wall Street Journal. “If we are going to commit a significant amount of resources to new infrastructure projects or to maintain our existing infrastructure, bringing some discipline to the way we decide what we’re spending on is an important element of this,” says Poterba.

CNN

As part of the Vax India Now event on CNN, Profs. Bruce Walker, Peko Hosoi and Parag Pathak, along with senior research scientist Chris Caplice and MIT Medical Director Cecilia Stuopis, participate in a discussion led by Vijay Joshi, Editor-in-Chief of The Press Trust of India, about what India can learn from America’s experience with vaccine distribution. “It is absolutely [in the U.S.’s] interest to make sure that everybody in India gets vaccinated, that everybody in South America get vaccinated,” says Hosoi. “We really are all in this together.”

TechCrunch

Researchers at MIT CSAIL have developed a robotic arm that can put a vest on a human. “The promise of such technology is clear: helping people with mobility issues perform tasks that many of us take for granted,” writes Brian Heater for TechCrunch.

Motherboard

Prof. Nergis Mavalvala, Dean of the School of Science, speaks with Becky Ferreira of Motherboard’s “Space Show” about LIGO’s 2015 discovery of gravitational waves and what researchers in the field have learned since then. “Every one of these observations tells us a little bit more about how nature has assembled our universe,” says Mavalvala. “Really, in the end, the question we're asking is: ‘How did this universe that we observe come about?”

WBUR

In conversation with WBUR’s Jason Beaubien, alumnus David Moinina Sengeh SM ’12, PhD ’16, discusses his dual roles as Sierra Leone’s Minister of Education and Chief Innovation Officer, and his vision for the future of the country. "In a world where there's cryptocurrency and quantum computing we can't be thinking classically anymore,” says Sengeh. “We have to think quantum. We have to think outside the box."

Featured Videos

Before It's Too Late uses murals to depict scenes from nature that come to life in augmented reality. The finished products are meant to inform and inspire observers, says Before It's Too Late co-founder, Linda Cheung MBA '17.

A team at CSAIL has created a new method to computationally optimize the shape and control of a robotic manipulator for a specific task. Their system uses software to manipulate the design, simulate the robot doing a task, and then provide an optimization score.

Relay races, bean-bag tosses, tug of war, and ring tosses galore! Here at MIT, a group of undergraduate students were inspired to put their own Covid-safe spin on field day and show some dorm pride in the process.

Ashely Kaiser, a graduating PhD student in the department of materials science and engineering, worked with MIT's necstlab and NASA to leverage carbon nanotubes in designing stronger, tougher, and lighter materials for future space vehicles and habitats.

For only the second time in its history, MIT celebrated its Commencement in an online ceremony. This year’s event featured a musical composition created specially for the event, titled Diary Of A Pandemic Year.

For those who haven’t experienced the glorious sights of spring at MIT, we share this glimpse of our campus in full bloom. The blossoms and greenery are accompanied by flutist Sara Simpson, a PhD student in BCS.

After 31 years engineering medical solutions for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Seth Goldstein ’61, SM ’62, SM ’63, SCD ’66 launched a second career as a kinetic sculptor. Not only do they move, they all achieve a specific goal.

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