July 16, 2019
Washington Post reporter Martin Weil spotlights the work of Prof. Fernando Corbató, who “drastically expanded the usefulness of the computer and put its benefits at the reach of all.” Weil notes that Corbató, who died on July 12, “fostered the digital revolution by developing shared computer operating systems and also put his stamp on daily life by introducing the computer password.”
ELLE reporter Molly Langmuir spotlights the work of Prof. Neri Oxman, who is known for “producing radically interdisciplinary work.” Oxman has produced everything from “a silk pavilion—a suspended dome of silk fibers spun by a robotic arm, completed by 6,500 live silkworms—to a design concept for a wearable digestive system incorporating photosynthetic bacteria that convert solar energy into sugar.”
MIT alumna Payal Kadakia speaks with New York Times reporter David Gelles about her startup ClassPass, a platform that allows users to access a myriad of fitness classes. Kadakia explains that she was inspired to attend MIT, as “the curriculum is so mathematical. Everything is numbers. It was this idea of this world that I lived in.”
WGBH reporter Cristina Quinn visits MIT to learn about a new ethics of AI workshop offered to middle school-aged children this summer. “I don't want the ethics piece to go to an elite few,” says graduate research assistant Blakeley H. Payne of the importance of offering an education in AI ethics. “And then you're just perpetuating these systems of inequality over and over again.”
Verge reporter Justine Calma writes that states in the Midwest and Great Lakes region could see $4.7 billion in health benefits by maintaining current renewable energy standards. “This research shows that renewables pay for themselves through health benefits alone,” explains Emil Dimanchev, senior research associate at MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
MIT researchers have developed an AI system that can predict Alzheimer’s risk by forecasting how patients will perform on a test measuring cognitive decline up to two years in advance, reports Casey Ross for STAT. The technique could help identify “patients who might benefit from novel therapies before the disease has already done irreversible damage to the brain.”